Anxiety Occasionally, for no apparent reason, even when at my most relaxed — lying in bed or watching television — and right now as I type these words, I feel anxious; that is to say, I think I’m feeling anxious. First, let me try to explain the feeling. Although we must accept that this process is an experiment of sorts. Because, while I’ve given plenty of thought to these feeling over the past several weeks, I’ve never before tried to write about it. Yet I think that in trying, that could actually help me develop a better understanding of the feelings. Whereby the act of transcribing my thoughts in words, setting them down on the page and forming clear and[…]

The 8-point story Arc (PART ONE) Eight key elements to help with writing a short story. Stasis The equilibrium or balance in the story. This is the protagonist’s everyday life in which the story is set. The exposition of the story goes here, introducing character and setting. E.g. Cinderella sweeping the ashes for her sisters, or Harry Potter living under the stairs with the Dursley family. Trigger This is the something which happens outside of the control of the protagonist. This marks the beginning of the rise in action of the story (see point 3). E.g. The arrival of Cinderella’s fairy godmother or Jack’s meeting the man with magic beans, or Harry’s getting a letter of acceptance at Hogwarts. Quest[…]

A problem with writing For some time I’ve considered writing a hobby. I’ve not taken things too seriously, but I’ve been keen to develop my writing skills and to learn to write properly; and fiction seemed a great vehicle for developing these. But in addition, I also enjoy the physical act of typing on the keyboard, with its tactile keys and reassuring ‘thock’ sound, which I find to be hugely calming and, dare I say, therapeutic. Anyway, I guessed it would be easier for me as a novice writer to chose to write material that I’d made-up rather than, say, an essay or such like. I’ve no specific reason for thinking this way, but I suppose it’s as good any.[…]

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.[…]

8-bit memories I recall with great fondness and love these wonderful and evocative machines. For many, many years they defined my very existence, and contributed immeasurable to who I am today. I gave hours (and hours) of my youth over to their 8-bit, digital charms. Back then these machines meant everything to me, even now, some thirty-something years later, they hold a very special place in my heart. Looking at these images now and casting my mind back to those long days alone in the bedroom of my childhood, makes me feel really quite good about myself. Happy days… So, let me share with you al I know about these little beauties and my memories of them, if I may.[…]

Motivation I often wonder where the really successful people get their motivation. It’s a mystery to me, I often struggle for this elusive driving force and will, finding myself keen to return to the quiet solitary of my home-office and to the digital realms that many of us occupy nowadays. Yet, when I’m back there, safety ensconced in my office, alone, tapping away at my keyboard or surfing the web, I yearn to be outside in the world again, living and experiencing life. Hey-ho, I suppose this is the real mystery of it all, isn’t it? I ask as I think I’d rather like the ability to summon up motivation, at times. Now, I’m conscious there is no good and[…]

Playing with dialogue I hesitated before I spoke, pulled my tie straight and sat up in my seat. "I don’t know about you, but I’m not a fan of the tilting parts." She hadn’t once looked up from her book since smiling, having asked if I minded her sitting opposite. Of course, I didn’t mind. "Oh, God. I know!" she said and smiled again. "Always makes me feel sort of sickly." "And me," she said, still smiling, her book now face down on the table. "It’s why I always sit near the isle, supposed to be less likely to make you puke." "Really? I didn’t know that," I said. I did know that. I’d been told the same thing before,[…]

Choosing to how to feel about stuff I watched an interesting video on YouTube last night. That man again, Mr M.A. Singer, this time in an interview about his work and preachings as a Spiritualist. It was everything you’d expect from a video on the virtues of spiritualism. However, despite some of it being very obvious to anyone that’s ever thought about how the mind works, it struck a chord in one particular area: what we feel about things is a choice. Now, I’ve come across the idea before, back during my many months of counselling and therapy. The notion that we each chose to feel bad about things that happen to us, and that we could instead chose not[…]

Thoughts about thoughts The concept of noticing one’s own thoughts is interesting and potentially very empowering. The ability to listen critically to the voice inside one’s head, forming a view on what it’s saying before acting upon it, instinctively, provides for a whole new way of living life. I often find my inner-voice providing a running commentary on the day’s events as they occur, or indeed before and after they occur. For example, let’s say I receive an email at work, not a stretch so far — I receive lots! Ok. I read the email, a fairly innocent little affair at first blush. Yet, before I’ve any time to properly process its content, my inner-voice is working manically, jabbering away,[…]