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Why write?

frog jpgWhether you are in National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) mode; thinking about writing fiction; writing inspirational true life stories. Or perhaps you just want to write reflective words about the world around you .

Whatever gifts writing gives you, just do it. Enjoy it. Luxuriate in it. Writing can be a place of refuge, liberation, therapy, encouragement and solace. It doesn’t have to be online or shared. Just grab a notebook and a pen and enjoy crafting your own words in whatever format makes you feel good.

Writing is calorie free and good for your soul. Reading is nourishing. Writing exercises your imagination and creativity. The process can help you create a happy me-space in your day.

Go on try it…

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Posted by on October 13, 2017 in a2z, writing

 

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Coming soon…

Ann Edwards creates stories that touch your heart and make you chuckle and cry at the same time.

Below are two Ann Edwards stories that are exclusive to Amazon Kindle. Whilst you are waiting for the next release, available at the end of October 2017, why not add these carefully crafted stories to your Kindle collection by clicking on the links in the book titles below.

Max and MaisieBat Spec Bra
Talented teenage cricketer Max is chosen to go on a school cricket tour to Cornwall. While he is away he meets and has his first fumbling encounters with Maisie.

Back in Yorkshire, his sporting ambitions are dashed when he is told that his holiday liaison is about to make him a father at the age of only fifteen.

2 plus 2 make plenty : the curious adventures of POJ

POJ coverPaul Oliver James, Poj, feels his life is dull. He goes to London to study to becomes a maths teacher but as well as having a full understanding of the statistics of chi square he learns a lot about life when he meets Vi, the wife of the local off licence owner and her brutish husband, the’ Blimp.’

His encounters with strong, sexy women continue whilst he takes his teaching exams and becomes fully qualified to teach and to discover that there is a lot more to life than “wham, bam, thank you M’am.”

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on October 12, 2017 in a2z, Ann Edwards

 

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1969 – Pivot Point

In the previous post of this retrospective, I talked about my own sense of loss at the end of the 60s. To me it was a ‘golden decade’.

As the 60s was coming to a close – I felt scared of going to the High School and scared of the sense that my magical childhood days were slipping away. Like Black Beauty, I was no longer free to gallop amongst the trees, fields and grass but I now had to become a ‘work horse’.

Looking back I do realise that I had an incredibly protected and privileged childhood. My creativity was encouraged by my lovely Mum, even when I painted my bedroom ceiling dark blue with silver and yellow stars. I was trying to recreate the constellations, with an emphasis on Orion. This was my “Patrick Moore” phase.

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The 1st Moon landing had stirred up much interest in the stars, as did The Sky at Night with Patrick Moore. Patrick Moore wrote some wonderful books including the annual astronomy year books.

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In September 1969 I started at the Girl’s High School. It was uncomfortable. A shy 11 year old, who blushed every time anyone spoke to her (teachers or pupils). I was used to the atmosphere of a cosy junior school, with one class teacher who taught you all subjects. Basically a kindly “Auntie” type figure. Safe and reassuring. Now there was a form teacher, who also taught French and Latin and specialist teachers for all of the other subjects. The lessons and homework were not a problem but I always felt like an outsider. During break times I would normally have my nose in a book. There was a long bus journey home, again I would read my way home. On arriving home, I would have tea, do my homework, watch some telly, bath and then more reading until bedtime.

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I’m sure I’m not the only kid who felt disconcerted about the transition from junior school to high school but there were many great books, music bands, films, pirate radio stations and television programmes that helped me get through this phase.

from Wikipedia

Patrick Troughton was no longer the Doctor, an event that was also a source of much sadness for me and we had to wait until 1970 for Jon Pertwee to introduce his dandy version of the Doctor in full colour. Randall and Hopkirk (deceased) and Monty Python’s Flying Circus were first aired, both of which I was not supposed to watch, but I sneaked down to watch them anyway.

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The Beatles had already split up, their final live performance at Apple Corps building at 3 Savile Row, London, on 30 January 1969. Many bands and artists were getting ready to fill the void left not least Jethro Tull with Ian Anderson’s resonant flute playing and the most commercially successful and influential rock bands of all time, Pink Floyd

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Book-wise, the library at the High School held some delights I hadn’t found before. My interest in astronomy and the constellations named after characters from Graeco-Roman myths led me to reading as many books as possible about Greek and Roman mythology and the works of Homer. Heroic deeds, strong women, magic powers, shape changers, it’s all there. If you’re a writer and you’re looking for inspiration. I would highly recommend looking back at the Greek and Roman classics.

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Image from Wikipedia :: Ummagumma  by Pink Floyd released in 1969

For me 1969 will always be a creative pivot point. A time when I truly started to immerse myself in as many books, bands, films and television programmes as possible. By the end of 1969 my sense of loss had changed to a sense of adventure, alongside discovering the total joy that was pirate radio.

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…to be continued…

 
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Posted by on October 2, 2011 in History

 

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Patrick, George, Mr.Watzisname, 11 plus, Men on the Moon and a Black Horse

In the last post, Getting lost with Doctor Who via Mary Poppins, a brief description was given of my early memories and encounters with books and television.

Whilst I was discovering my literary and televisual delights, my sister J was also discovering her own musical delights via the Beatles. We had this blanket, very similar to the one pictured here. At that time everyone had their favourite member of the Beatles. J’s favourite was Paul, Ringo was the joker of the group and John was, even then, the more avant-garde Beatle.

My Beatle was, the ever gentle, George Harrison. George reminded me of Patrick Troughton.

In fact I can remember thinking that George was Doctor Who’s son (Patrick Troughton’s incarnation of the Doctor). There was a gentleness and other worldliness about George and Patrick that I loved then and still do, now. This was a magical time in my childhood, with all of the buzz of the Beatles, the cosmic and quizzical Patrick Troughton as Doctor Who and growing up in the sixties.

A memorable book that was read to me at school was the Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton. There have been some name changes to some of the original characters. Fanny is now called Frannie and Dick is now called Rick. But despite this desire to censure names due to slang references to female and male body parts, the magic of this series still lays in waiting to introduce children to the world of imagination and magic. Wikipedia gives a brief introduction to the main characters below:

The main characters are Joe, Beth, and Franny, three siblings. Franny is the youngest, Beth is next in age and Joe is their big brother. They live near the Enchanted Wood and are friends of the residents of the Faraway Tree. Other characters include:

  • The Angry Pixie : He lives in a house with a tiny window and has a habit of throwing cold water or any liquid at hand over people who dare to peep inside.
  • An owl lives in the house after the Angry Pixie’s. He is a friend of Silky’s.
  • Silky the fairy : Silky is so named because of her long, silky, golden hair.
  • Mr.Watzisname- : He cannot remember his name (for a very good reason) and sleep and snores all the time. During a particular episode at the Land of Secrets, Mr. Watzisname discovers that his name is ‘Kollamoolitumarellipawkyrollo’. Funnily enough, this is forgotten by the end of the episode (even by the man himself) and he goes back to being Mr. Watzisname.
  • Dame Washalot : She spends her time washing her clothes and throwing the dirty wash water down the tree. If she has no clothes to wash, she washes the dirty laundry of other people and even the leaves of the Faraway Tree!
  • Moonface : Moonface is named because of his cute little round face that looks like the moon. His house is likewise round, and filled with curved furniture. There is a slippery-slip in the middle of his house, which is a slide which lets you slide down to the bottom of the Faraway Tree instead of climbing down!
  • The Saucepan Man : lives with Mr. Watzisname. His name stems from the fact that he is covered all over with saucepans and kettles. Sometimes, he cannot understand what his friends are saying because he is quite deaf, which is further aggravated by all the noise from the pans and kettles which he carries all the time.
  • The Saucepan Man’s mother- lives with Dame Washalot. She runs a cake shop.
  • Dame Slap- runs a school for bad pixies which in adventures, the friends accidentally land in.

Where we lived, in North Yorkshire, our home was surrounded by trees and fields and I spent a large part of my time up trees, playing make-believe and pretending that I was living in the Faraway Tree. A bright and carefree time.

Then, came the first of a series of exams. The 11 Plus. Suddenly from being allowed to play with paint, plasticine and enjoy stories of magic, our worthiness was measured, based on our abilities in Arithmetic and English. Success at the 11 Plus meant you were considered suitable for further academic education, with a possibility of being considered for university. Failure meant you were considered suitable for a more vocational and practical education and perhaps with a consideration of further education at a Polytechnic. Looking back I wish I gone for a vocational and practical education, it would have been a lot more fun. Safe to say this is the time when I started to dislike school. Instead of being a place of stimulation and creativity, the daily schedule became mechanical. I remember thinking that my class teacher was trying to turn us all into Cybermen, soul less, joyless and identical. Apart from a few brief escapes (including pop festivals and holidays) 1969 – 1981 was a period of my life when I felt very much like I had been programmed to function in a certain way, behave in a certain way, work within a limited environment with fewer chances to enjoy the magical time of my early childhood. There were many joyous times, but from an educational and work perspective, those areas of my life were something that were endured, rather than enjoyed.

Back to the end of the sixties. My 11 plus was passed and the Junior School gave me a book as a reward. The book was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell. This book is written in the 1st person from the perspective of the horse, Black Beauty. Wikipedia displays an admirable and memorable quote as below:

“…. there is no religion without love, and people may talk as much as they like about their religion, but if it does not teach them to be good and kind to man and beast, it is all a sham….”
Black Beauty, Chapter 13, last paragraph.

At the age of 11, this was the first book that made me think. It is not a children’s book or a fairy tale. There are many sad moments and I can remember this book making me cry. It is the first book I read that was not “sugar coated” .

My final summer days at Junior School marked the celebration of the Moon Landings, one giant step for man, etc. Although there was a lot of excitement and news coverage, I would still rather have jumped into the Tardis than have been a crew member on Apollo 11.

As the 60s was coming to a close – I felt scared of going to the High School and scared of the sense that my magical childhood days were slipping away. Like Black Beauty, I was no longer free to gallop amongst the trees, fields and grass but I now had to become a ‘work horse’.

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2011 in History

 

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Getting lost with Doctor Who via Mary Poppins

At the age of five, my wonderful Uncle talked to me about “suspending my disbelief”. I was a pragmatic child who required an explanation for everything. Or as my Uncle would say “Do you always have to know the far end of a fart?”

As an adult, during my commercial career, I believe that pragmatism has stood me in good stead. This trait ensured that all significant information had been collected and collated when editing, proofreading preparing reports or being part of an important decision-making process. However, after my recent redundancy and a few other personal milestones and experiences my soul is seeking a more creative and connected life. I am still a stickler for detail and professionally, I always will be, but my urge is no longer just to quantify, analyse and correct, but to ride the waves of the process, suspend my fear of letting go and allow in all of the magic that has previously been sidelined as “kids’ stuff”.

This brings me back to my Uncle, or maybe, I should first talk about my sister, J. Our family was not wealthy and my Mum and Dad both worked hard to keep a roof over our heads and food on the table. My sister often took on the role of Mother. When I was very small and my reading levels were still on Janet and John, J used to read some wonderful stories to me, books like Heidi, What Katy Did and What Katy Did Next and Little Women and then we come to the crux book Mary Poppins by P. L. Travers.

Suddenly from girls getting into mischief whilst growing up, I was suddenly presented with this “practically perfect” Nanny with magical powers and I must admit my fascination with this book was a catalyst for me to improve my reading skills. I wanted to know more about this ‘Magic Stuff’.

I asked my Uncle to explain how a Nanny could do magic – he told me to “suspend my disbelief” and that I didn’t have to understand everything about something to enjoy it. I did enjoy it but I didn’t believe it could be possible. I kept on reading the book to try to understand what made Mary Poppins tick – I was only five – and I soaked up words and images like a sponge,

The next entertainment event in my ‘suspending disbelief education’ happened on 17:15 GMT on 23 November 1963, after the Football results and the tea time news – The First Episode of Doctor Who – An Unearthly Child – the impact of this was not just the Science Fiction story, but the presence of William Hartnell’s Doctor Who as a Grandfather figure, having recently lost my own dearly loved Grandad to bowel cancer, William Hartnell’s Doctor was my fantasy replacement.

With this TV series I did not have to be told to suspend my disbelief, as I was immediately submerged into the whole story, with its scientific and historical references I felt that time travel really could be possible which is probably why I found the “Monsters” totally terrifying. The Daleks and Cybermen had me going to bed with a torch seeking comfort in the analysis of my Mary Poppins book as I read myself to sleep.

The Kid’s Disbelief is suspended, a girl who enjoys escaping to magical places through stories in books and on film and television is being formed.

There is more to be said but for the moment this wannabe comedy writer has to do some housework….//back to reality//

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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Working on Fiction

Added a new page to the blog here

If this is of interest to you. Please leave a comment with your link and it will be posted on this page.  Let’s see if we can help to inspire each other.

Ten Rules for Writing Fiction (from the Guardian)

WikiHow – How to Write Fiction

Update 23 August 2011
Some great advice from a friend.

“To be totally honest first off I write straight from the heart and imagination, I don’t think about words, sentences or grammar. I just write how I see the scene or conversation play out in my head or what it would look/sound like on the big screen. I know how it’ going to start and how it will end. The rest kind of writes itself for me, with the occasional jump in to keep it on track, I just go with characters and see where they lead me.

I do research as I go but if I a character works their way into the book and looks like they will stay, I do sit down a work out a full profile for them… bit like a C.V I guess. I have a 4’ x 4’ section of wall covered with post stick notes in order to keep track of everything. But that’s about it.

If you are considering writing a Novel, stop considering and do it. Work out the finer points after. just get writing.”

 
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Posted by on August 23, 2011 in TaTUM

 

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