Lock-Down. How to Self Isolate…

Self-isolating is no joke, people – but it doesn’t need to be miserable either. I loved this by Tom – we’re in desperate need of humour right now. Please go and like the original post, thank you 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“We don’t heal in isolation, but in community.”  S. Kelley Harrell

*do not follow this advice. Or indeed any in this blog, other than the swimming bit.

Be careful what you wish for. Here we all are. All working from home due to Coronavirus, which my spellcheck already recognises. We are housebound like we’d prayed for every Monday morning since we started working; all those prayers for an extra day in bed have been answered. But, how will we survive? It’s all very well wanting time at home because you’re too hungover to pick up the post from the doormat, but sober? What do we do with all this time?

For most writers this is sort of self-isolation comes naturally, although having government-sanctioned marksmen on rooftops with L115A3 rifles trained on front doors to prevent you from leaving probably puts a different slant on staying at home to nail…

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Never Give Up on Creativity.

Most creative people are plagued by self-doubt, the trick is to be aware of it and keep at it when a draft is not going well. It is equally as important to – understand and accept – when your doubts are more than just the usual crisis of self-confidence – when you feel deep in your bones that what you’re working on is going nowhere. Good blog by Tom on this – please go and like the original post, thank you 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“Always stop with a victory.”

Robert Greene, The 48 Laws of Power

What is it with starting things? We are constantly told how we should be doing more. And advice in leading fuller, more enriched lives invariably concerns starting something. Apart from cars. If they’re not starting you may as well buy a new one, they’re like kettles these days. The pressure to start something far outnumbers how to finish something 10 to, well, I’m not sure actually, I started that statistic with no idea how to complete it.

Every journey starts with a single step – before going back for your phone charger – but when should we stop? A journey might start on the London Underground’s Circle Line, but if we don’t get off we’re just going around in circles. Well, in fact we’re not because it isn’t really a circle, it’s more the shape of a small…

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How Important is it to be well-read?

This is a really fab blog by Tom about being well-read – I adored it! Go read & like the original post, folks 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

My mother is probably the wisest person I’ve ever known. She’s not schooled, she’s not well read. But she has a philosophy of life that makes well-read people seem like morons. –  Gene Simmons

How well-read you are has been a standard measure of intelligence, social kudos and pulling power since the written word was invented. In fact, it’s hard to resist conjecture that it was invented simply to impress other people. And this lingers, despite a digital age of commuters watching TV box sets on public transport, or publicly declaring how moronic they are by playing pointlessly additive games such as the ubiquitous Candy Crush. These activities are for unplugging the mind, not engaging it. Of course in some circles to have concluded the Eggsteroids level in Angry Birds is greatly admired, but it isn’t quite the same as being well-read. Not yet.

Being well-read is a…

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How important is Writing Blog Posts to Novel Writing…?

Please go and like the original post, thank you 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“It is named the “Web” for good reason.”
David Foster Wallace

I can’t believe I’ve now been desperately thinking of things to blog about for four years. When I started I had little idea what blogging was really about, and now I truly have no idea. I think blogs exist mainly so you can get annoyed, and then say rather pointedly to yourself that you’re going to bloody blog about it, because there’s clearly a readership out there for articles on drivers’ inability to park without taking up two bays. Of course unless you do blog about it within 2 minutes you’ll have forgotten all about it and probably driven off anyway. Blogs are the modern equivalent of writing to the Times.

It’s like all those notes in your phone that were Pullitzer prize winning novels, but now read more like a free-associating dead-head in 1960s San Francisco mumbling…

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What IS it about Fashion these days..?

PLease go and like the original post – thank you

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Ooh fashion
We are the goon squad and we’re coming to town
Beep-beep, beep-beep

David Bowie. Fashion.

What do our clothes say about us? I don’t mean when they’re crushed together in the laundry basket wondering who’s next to be washed, and cursing the current favourite top that barely lands before being whisked off to be cleaned – although I can see that as the next Pixar movie. No, I mean what do they announce about ourselves to the world that might otherwise stay silent. I don’t just mean band tee-shirts that marked some final tour in 1978, the one that’s not had the good times rinsed out since.

You can complete character profiles based upon little more than the type of sandwich someone habitually eats, so clothes are a dead giveaway. That there’s more hashtags for yoga pants than there is for yoga itself tells you all you need…

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The Importance of Reading Books

Please go and like the original post, thank you.

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Life doesn’t happen in chapters — at least, not regular ones. Nor do movies. Homer didn’t write in chapters. I can see what their purpose is in children’s books (“I’ll read to the end of the chapter, and then you must go to sleep”) but I’m blessed if I know what function they serve in books for adults. — Sir Terry Pratchet

I’m aware that this title appears to be advertising the bookshop of Berkshire’s leading commuter town, but it’s been drawn to my attention by no one that I’ve been so busy blogging about writing books that I’ve not looked at how to read the blasted things. Every reader knows how to buy  books – see a previous blog : https://lifeassistanceagency.com/2018/12/28/how-to-buy-books/ –  but reading them is an art form itself.  In a modern world of boxsets, bagels and Brexit it’s a wonder anyone is reading, yet the literary…

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How to live with Writer’s Block.

By Tom, about writer’s block – please go and like the original, thank you 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“Writing about a writer’s block is better than not writing at all”
Charles Bukowski

What awful timing, or perhaps it’s related. My new novel UnfinishedBusiness is published and I’m struck down by what feels like something I don’t want to name, no, not a STD, but writer’s block. Despite a launch party last night that included four Spanish women without  word of english to their name arriving to buy a signed copy of the novel for one of their brothers, I’m looking at Unfinished Business with the sense it was a fluke; never to be repeated.

I can’t recall if I’ve written about writer’s block before, I must’ve blocked it out, which is exactly the sort of crap joke that suggests it’s time to step away from the keyboard and do something else. Anything. Just stop writing. Mind you writers aren’t capable of much else, unless it’s the…

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Publication Day for Unfinished Business

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It’s Publication Day for Unfinished Business – how exciting! – so here’s (another) pic of me holding the book a bit earlier today, because that’s definitely what the internet needs.

If you missed my (looong) post about the novel the other day, here it is again: Being a Bookworm and a Beta Reader is Beautiful

You can order Unfinished Business here: Unfinished Business on Amazon

A couple of pics that didn’t make it in the last post: yes, I know, I’m shameless – but this book is soooo good I’m quite happy inundating you all with photos.

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How useful are Writing Prompts?

This, by Tom, is brilliant and v. funny – please, *please* visit his blog and like the original post, thanks 😊

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

“True life is elsewhere. We are not in the world.”Arthur Rimbaud

#Writingprompts, if their 20,000 Instagram usage suggests, are very popular, although some way off #cutekitteninbucket.  I’ve never been a fan of writing prompts. They sound too deliberate, like intending to do shots before you’ve left the house instead of spontaneously deciding eight tequilas is a good idea from the moment you reach the pub.  To be fair life is a writing prompt, as anyone who’s written a To-do list with testify. However, I was recently exposed to the most fantastic inspiration for writing at my local B&Q. No, I wasn’t lost, nor was I asking directions to the nearest record shop.

These days there are hash tags for everything, although there’s an odd sweet sense of fresh territory when coining a new one on Instagram and #DIYWritingPrompts was a new one.  At least it was yesterday. Imagine being…

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Unfinished Business: What’s So Good about Sequels…?

Please visit Tom’s blog to read and like the original post, thank you 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Most authors will be familiar with having finished writing a novel. Sometimes it’s completed for as long as 24 hours before another rewrite is underway. That’s fine. That’s how novels are written, but my 79,000 words of Unfinished Business have been sent to the publisher. There are no more late night edits to be undone in the morning. It will be bound up in proofs the next time I see it, safe from any more changes. It seems a long time ago that a friend suggested I write a short film and I came up with the idea of a retired 80s wrestler who morphed into a character even bigger than Ricky ‘Nasty’ Bashcraft, or Giant Haystacks.

Just as its proprietor Scott Wildblood needed a wingman The Life Assistance Agency now has a companion, as there’s nothing worse* than a novel sitting alone, full of friends and enemies bouncing off the…

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