Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

I was recently doing edits to some bits of my novel, when I realised that a lot of my scenes are set at dawn or at dusk. I seem to be drawn to those times of day when the light changes and things may seem unreal. With that thought in mind I was very attracted to this view of a telecommunications tower in the mist recently. It’s a mysterious vision, which could inspire the beginning of all sorts of stories.

What do you think could happen here? What kind of tales does this picture inspire? Ideas or flash fiction welcome in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

I was out walking with Baby Magpie a few weeks ago and I saw these two photo’s pinned to this tree. I’m not sure if this is a lost object that someone has pinned to the tree, hoping to reunite it with it’s owner, or a subtle piece of public art.

It’s one of those things that I come across on a fairly regular basis and think ‘Ohh, that’s interesting.’ I rarely get much further than thinking about how interesting the thing is, and how there is probably a story to tell about it. I thought that someone else may see this and get an idea that sends them off onto an interesting creative tangent.

If you are a writer, artist, doodler or storyteller, you may have your own ideas about this image. Post your ideas in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

It’s been a bit grim here in London over the last few words and I’ve been thinking about how much the weather influences my own writing and other creative work.

Here’s a video of some moody weather to inspire. Writers, artists, doodlers and storytellers, what does this film suggest to you?

Post your ideas in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Sunday Funday: Creative Prompt

Here is another creative prompt for this week.

This is my cat, who likes to look down on us and in a ideal world would have us deliver his dinner to him at the top of the stairs.

Writers, artists, doodlers and storytellers, have some fun with this image. Post your ideas in the comments below, or turn it into a post on your own blog and let me know.

Thank you for reading. I also make art and films. You can see my films at my YouTube channel here. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

Late night research and the Hidden Life of Trees

Followers of this blog may know that I’ve been working on a novel for some time (like ten years worth of time). I think it’s taken so long because it took me a while to work out what kind of book I was writing. When I started I had pretentions towards a kind of literary book, maybe magical realism, but wouldn’t have placed it in any kind of genre. Over time my ideas have evolved and I have ended up writing something that fits more squarely with the science fiction/ urban fantasy genres, with a strong environmental and mental health theme. I hesitate to call it feminist, but it has two female protagonists who are complicated, and as ‘whole’ as I can make them so far.

One of the things I’ve been doing while up in the middle of the night expressing milk for the baby is to read non fiction books that could be called ‘research’ for this. I think this may be where the famous ‘multi tasking’ that women are often claimed to have begins, because I certainly wouldn’t claim to be a multi-tasker, but I’ve found that I can just about manage to hold a breast pump and balance my chrome book on my knees at the same time.

My list so far has been slightly eclectic, and tending towards environmental themes. I’ve read This Changes Everything, by Naomi Klein, which I really liked/ was deeply frightened by, and also Into the Woods, by John Yorke, which is a really nice book about the mechanics of storytelling.

I’ve just begun reading the Hidden Life of Trees by Peter Wohlleben, which is a really interesting insight into the biology of forests. It explains how trees in forests communicate through a ‘wood wide web’ and form a social network through which they can support each other and warn each other of threats. I really like these ideas for my novel. I was finding the idea of writing science fiction because there was no place for things like robots or computer science (yet) in my book. Equally I was having difficulty with the idea of writing fantasy as so far there are no elves or swords in my story (although with time who knows – these things evolve). But I feel like I am on good ground with biological sciences, which I always found a had most affinty with.

For anyone interestes in reading about the social life of trees I would suggest this book as a nice tour. The writing in the early chapters reads a bit like an essay someone has written for GCSE biology, with a series of chapters that read a bit like lists of interesting things, rather than a coherent story, but this evens out later in the book.

Happy reading.

This article contains affliate links. Should you choose to buy one of the books cited with the links here amazon will throw few pennies my way. I also make art. You can see things with my designs on at my shop here. Could even treat yourself if you wanted to. Just saying. If buying art is not your thing, but you would like to support what you see I also have a Patreon Page here.

What is it that I blog about anyway?

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I’ve been thinking a bit about what it is I am doing (or trying to do) when I’m writing this blog recently. Looking back over previous posts there are bits and pieces about my art, other people’s art and being creative, and sometimes (but not as much as I initially thought there would be) on trying to sell it. There are bits about being in nature (mostly in the woods), or out and about in lovely bits of the UK, and on appreciating the wonderful things we may have that may often go unnoticed close to home. There are also some thoughts on mental health, wellbeing and some of the tiny steps that may be part of the journey to getting us there. I think for a while I have felt a bit like this is a messy blog with out a central theme, which, while it may suit my messy brain, may ultimately not be of that much interest to other people.

I’ve been looking around at some of the ‘alternative lifestyle’ movements for a while and with each one found that it wasn’t quite for me. I like some of the principles of minimalism, but am far too (proudly) messy to be minimalist. I can see that living a ‘laptop lifestyle’ while travelling and living on a shoestring may be exciting, but I like my home and my friends and family too much to feel like swanning off into the sunset would be my thing. I don’t rage against my day job, which is meaningful and I think involves important work, but I do want to do a bit less of it. I have always been a bit anti-consumerist, but at the same time have a deep appreciation of (and am very happy to pay for) the sensuality and materiality of objects and food that have been made with skill and love. I find some of the writing coming out of the self help movement useful, but find they often promote an approach that for me is uncomfortably self absorbed. I like being with people, but also like my alone time too much to consider some form of communal living to be the answer. So I kind of didn’t really fit with any of the alternative lifestyle tribes that would require quite radical changes to my current way of doing things.

I think I’ve come to realise that the blog is all about me efforts in trying to carve my own pragmatic (and messy) path to living a creative, purposeful, connected, meaningful life.  While I may not be a perfect fit with any of the currently available ‘alternative’ tribes, I do think that what I’ve been trying to think about is living a different kind of life to one that is normal and heavily promoted in western culture (striving, ambitious, busy, individualistic, resource and spending heavy). I think that in particular I’m beginning to see the kind of isolation that kind of life can lead to, and how frankly unhealthy that is. There has got to be a better way that may involve slightly softer lifestyle changes. I’ve been pretty inspired while reading the blog of Mrs Craft of Craft and other crazy plans, who seems to be doing all sorts of interesting creative and outdoorsy things and generally enjoying that. And I’ve been thinking about more collective ways of doing things. I think over the next year or so I’ll be posting a bit more about this as I work things out as I go along. We may even start our own pragmatically, proudly messy, creative tribe, together. Would love to hear your thoughts on this in the comments below.