Showing posts from October, 2012

The Café Aphra November Writing Challenge 2012!

Inspired by NaNoWriMo , a wonderful project run by the Office of Letters and Light every November since at least 2001, Café Aphra have decided to set our own challenge for the month of November. Many of us are stuck with our writing, either through a lack of time, inspiration or discipline. Some of us need a kick-start to just get going again, to break through those barriers, blockages and general blahs that are stopping our fingers from writing those words. Café Aphra proposes that whoever wants to join us in our November Writing Challenge can pledge to write a certain number of words every day for the 30 days of November, or alternatively can set themselves a similar goal. Such as, for example: “to have finished chapter 3 by the end of Week 1 and to have written chapter 4 by the end of Week 3”.  Whatever works for you and makes sense for your writing right now. Our idea is this: It doesn’t matter what we write. It might be a short story, flash fiction, an existing
                     THE MOTHER OF THE MUSES,   MY FRIENDS AND MNEMOSYNE Mnemosyne - The Mother of the Muses   Mnemosyne,, the Mother of the Muses, has been on my mind a lot recently as I search for inspiration for my first novel or collection of short stories. Plot, structure, characterisation, pacing etc are one set of difficulties but there is another fundamental question that causes me to seize completely.  That stumbling block is purpose.  What is it exactly that I am trying to achieve with my writing?  This is not the first time I have wondered about the purpose of literature.  This topic has occupied my thoughts for many years. Rewind 10 years or so ago to a casual phone call with an old friend from university when we ventured rather close to philosophy when I asked her what she thought the purpose of literature was. After all,  she had studied it for four years while I had veered off after two years to specialise in Psychology.   We were both entirely sober at the time

The Art of Giving

The Art of Giving I went to see the The Edinburgh Book Sculptures Tour 2012   recently when it visited Aberdeen Central Library. Ten book-sized sculptures, twisted bits of paper, cut up pages, glue and occasional flashes of colour that made up incredibly detailed, beautiful images of scenes and messages from and to the literary world. They were found throughout 2011 in various locations across Edinburgh including the Scottish Poetry Library, the Writer’s Museum and the Edinburgh Book Festival. They are extraordinary, brilliant pieces of art but what astounded me most was their provenance. To this day the artist is anonymous. From a note left by the artist with the final offering we know that she is a She, but that is all. She has not revealed herself despite a media search and mass, adoring calls for revelation. She has not stood up and said ‘It’s me and I’m available for commissions’ which would undoubtedly make her fortune as they are wildly popular and surely collectable. The