We’ve all been there, caught between the rock that is our moral sense of justice, and the hard-place that is those decisions made by our employers which give us cause to ask the following question: Why do I stay? For many, the answer is depressingly simple: money. We need the money we are paid for services to our employers in order that in turn we can pay for the many things we like and all of the things we, and those that depend on us, need. So given that work is a necessity for all but a very few of us, how does one become resilient to attacks on the soul associated with the internal politics of working in an[…]

The Spike – An Essay by George Orwell Old Daddy, witless with age, sat silent, his back bent like a bow and his inflamed eye dripping slowly on to the floor. George, a dirty old tramp notorious for the queer habit of sleeping in his hat, grumbled about a parcel of tommy that he had lost on the road. It was a disgusting sight, that bathroom. All the indecent secrets of our underwear were exposed; the grime, the rents and patches, the bits of string doing duty for buttons, the layers upon layers of fragmentary garments, some of them mere collections of holes, held together by dirt. Old ‘Daddy’, aged seventy-four, with his truss, and his red, watering eyes, a[…]

Hello there, J. It’s D. It’s been a long time since we last spoke. Honestly, this is awkward – anyway, I hope you’re well. I’m doing OK, although things have changed. I’m sure you’re wondering why, after all this time, I’m contacting you (like, WTF?!?). Well, I got the ‘urge’ to contact you a few weeks ago. I can’t recall why or where I was at the time or what I was doing, but later that evening as I sat down to write, well, I didn’t know what the hell I wanted to say. And, after a few failed attempts to write anything interesting, I quit. Afterwards I forgot about writing you, remembered again some days later, forgot again and[…]

Here I am, sliding cat-like into the back row, trying to avoid being noticed, self-conscious in the presence of all you proper writer types. I’m just a man (I’m sorry), that’s all, trying his best to be good at something – just the one thing: only one thing, please. And, that thing, I’ve decided, is writing. Writing has always appealed; yet, it’s also been illusive. I’m getting there, success or death, but I need a push, I think. A helping hand held out by one who cares. I need encouragement from others that know. I read almost solely in the hunt for the perfect sentence. That sequence of words so carefully crafted to communicate fully the thoughts of the author.[…]

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. However, I never really thought it was possible. I just wasn’t very good at it, and when I tried to write it was a frustrating experience. My sentences lacked clarity and often what I wrote was not at all what I had intended to say. At first, when I sat down to write, I often struggled to find the right words – or any words, for that matter. Whether it be a noun, a verb, an adjective or adverb, I had a strong sense of what I wanted to write, but the words simply wouldn’t make themselves available in that moment. It was as if in the very moment of my writing, the[…]

Tell "Mortimer? Mortimer?" Simon Hedges said. "Where are you?" "Look up, you ninny. I’m on the roof." "What in blazes are you doing perched up there?" Mortimer Twill explained to Simon how his long-awaited cupola and weather vane had finally arrived. He just couldn’t wait for Simon to install the gadgets, so Mortimer had decided to climb up to the roof and complete the installation himself. He was still sorting through the directions. "Come on down before you kill yourself," Simon said. "I swear I’ll put them up for you this afternoon." Show "Mortimer? Mortimer?" Simon Hedges said. "Where are you?" "Look up, you ninny. I’m on the roof." "What in blazes are you doing perched up there?" Peering down,[…]

Readers want actions in verbs, but even more they want characters as subjects. We give readers a problem where for no good reason we don not name character in subjects, or worse, delete them entirely. There was fear that there would be a recommendation for a budget reduction. Who fears? Who recommends? Who reduces? The staff feared that the Executive would recommend its managers reduce budgets. When writing or revising, ensure that main characters are the subjects of your sentences and that their key actions are verbs. A decision was made in favour of doing a study of the disagreements. Who decided? Who will study? Reconstructing absent characters Research strategies that look for more than one variable are of more[…]

A new hope is rising. In stark contrast to September’s inclement weather – taking on the air of an early English autumn, leaves turning, rain quickening, wind blowing – my mood has brightened. Several positive steps have been taken domestically to address numerous long-standing issues. And it’s in taking these steps that there is now an emergence of a feeling of future possibilities. It’s an unfamiliar blend of feelings, and as ever I’m cautious about such things wherever they could be perceived as being largely positive in nature. As such, I’m expecting things to unravel, a pessimistic fear that I carry with me much of the time. It’s the hope that kills you, or so the saying goes, and I[…]

“Sometimes I wonder if men and women really suit each other. Perhaps they should live next door and just visit now and then.” ― Katharine Hepburn Introduction My wife and I have been married for almost twenty years, bringing three children into the world. Before this, we were a couple for five years. Last week, after over twenty years living together, we separated. I wanted to write about why this happened and how I’m feeling. I think doing so will help with the emotional processing and may even be useful in future to look back upon and to remember. Story Despite the separation, we remain friends – in fact very little has changed since. This is because we’ve been living[…]