How to beat the Winter Blues..?

It’s never too early for advice on how to beat the winter blues, right? And it’s definitely always a treat to read & share a blog by one of my favourite people who also happens to be a writer I’m totally in awe of.

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Yes, it’s How to Beat the Blues season again. And I don’t mean Manchester City, although they are probably the least of Crystal Palace’s worries. It’s the time of year when weekend newspapers pack away features on 10 best bikinis, Get Fit Without Lifting a Finger, Top Ten things to do in Ibiza (and two to avoid) and How To Get a Beach Body by the Time you reach it From Your Hotel, and turn instead to life beneath the heavy skies. Winter is coming.

So, in the magnanimous spirit with which Scott Wildblood set up his speculative Life Assistance Agency, whilst failing to look up assistance in the dictionary, we idly consider how we might combat those seasonal blues.

Don’t look at the internet. The first birthday greeting I got was from a German company offering me a £5 voucher after I bought a record stylus from them…

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How important are Daily Rituals to Writers..?

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Dare to be complicated – be the child’s robot that sings sweet Child O’Mine. – from notes in my phone.

‘How d’you find time to write?’ has to be one of the most common responses to any writer announcing they are starting another novel, as though they’ve found some secret stash of time under the stairs in that strange old chest that glows after midnight. It’s not a football match, there’s always time, although you may not necessarily be around to see it. Life is simply how you choose to spend our time. Cooks like to literally chop stuff up while crime writers enjoy chopping stuff up literally. Besides, having time to write doesn’t automatically mean you’ll do any. In fact, give someone unlimited time and they’ll achieve nothing, beyond the ability to mumble mañana beneath their breath.  As we know, nothing fuels invention like necessity.

Writing is like grabbing…

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What makes a writer..?

The latest from Tom, go visit him and show him some love since “it didn’t come home” but went to France instead #WorldCup

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

It’s none of their business that you have to learn to write. Let them think you were born that way. Ernest Hemingway.

What attracted me to writing was the idea that writers were respected. With nothing but a pen as their weapon they seized upon life itself and wrestled it into tight-knitted prose, for the pleasure of adoring hordes. I intended to observe the world with a louche and insightful eye beneath the slow purr of ceiling fans from the corners of colonial cafes still stained with ancient tobacco smoke, political discussion and illicit liaisons. Annoyingly this is not the life of a writer.  The life of a writer is spent finding increasingly-intricate ways in which to stop checking your Amazon sales rankings and not getting into arguments on Twitter. Despite this, many people still aspire to being a writer.

I still blame JK Rowling. Since her success everyone still wants…

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Why we all need to slow down…

Please go and give Tom some love on his blog 🙂

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Busyness is an important topic for Idle blogs, which has been put off for too long… 

‘Keep busy’ someone once advised me, which would have been helpful had the reason for my seeking their advice not been due to doing too much. Now, before anyone who knows me has choked on their cornflakes, I’m not renowned for industriousness; as I’ve said before, writing a book doesn’t appear to be doing much beyond quietly swearing under your breath, and I’ve avoided real work like the moon avoids the sun. It’s no coincidence that my greatest inspiration has been Jerome K Jerome and his Idle thoughts of an Idle Fellow.

Beware the barrenness of a busy life, Socrates once said, which someone (probably himself) astutely wrote down before it was forgotten. Coming from someone who was a stonemason, hoplite foot soldier and later a founder of western philosophy, this is possibly…

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Autumn – The Shock of the Fall.

This is a witty & rather lovely post about Autumn (my favourite season!) by my (really talented) friend Tom.
Please go and like on his blog.

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

The English are frequently accused of talking about the weather, that’s if they can be interrupted, but there’s just so much of the bloody stuff that it’s hard not to. Unlike Australia for example, were weather forecasts in Coober Pedy have remained unchanged since the 1940s – they just press play after the ‘news’. If you listen carefully you can hear Anzacs returning from the war in the background. Besides, the English can’t ask if it’s teatime all the time. Well, we can, but the weather’s a permanent option once you have that cuppa in hand.

October is a busy time of year, with the weather as predictable as a compass at a magnet party. The temperature plays it’s usual autumnal tricks of appearing far colder from the window than it actually is outside. Not that this stops many people forgetting all about Autumn and thinking Winter starts when Summer…

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How I wrote my first novel

Brilliant post for the writers, would-be writers and anybody looking for a good read. Tom’s book is fan-fucking-tastic, and so are his blogs – go check him out

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

Some time ago I was asked to write about myself and how I started writing the WHSmith Fresh talent novel, The Life Assistance Agency. 

I started the Life Assistance Agency many years ago. It was initially called the Karma Account, which considered how our deeds might determine our destiny, and this led me to consider how hard this must be for people who are immortal, and particularly laborious once they found themselves into the 200th year.

Not knowing any immortals to ask, I had to make one up. Or rather I didn’t. I forget how I first encountered Dr. Dee, the Elizabethan alchemist of the late 1580s, but I’m glad I did. He had pursued angels, so it wasn’t a huge leap to him chasing immortality.

He seemed a good starting point, particularly in the absence of any others. Actually, Damon Albarn and a few other writers were drawn to Dee at a…

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Things people always say to Writers.

Great piece by my brilliant friend Tom

Idle blogs of an idle fellow

It was recently said I look like a writer, which I tried to pretend wasn’t shorthand for appearing socially inept, malnourished and skint. They then asked me what genre my novel is.

It’s a regular question, and in light of people invariably asking the same things upon hearing that you are a writer, it would be a good idea to have well-prepared answers, which makes my lack of them even more inexplicable.

The most common is, ‘Are you published?” like it’s something that inevitable happens to every writer. Of course you want to grab them by the lapels and scream ‘D’you have any fucking idea how hard it is to get published?’ It’s not something you choose as an option at A-level . If I was published I would be (even more) unbearable, and you’d not be able to enter my house due to piles of unsold copies of the novel…

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Defiance…

I read this a while ago and it *really* spoke to me. Eric is a fantastic writer with a love for—and understanding of—women that’s inspiring af. I keep saying I want him to be cloned because he’s too damn far away and I need a British version of him real bad – I’m only half joking. This man is wonderful: both as a writer and a human being 💜

My Sword and Shield....

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She is bruised
but
She is not broken
She coils
around her heart
like the warm earth
embraces the seed
protecting it
from the frozen world above
gathering her strength
until the spring
when she shall rise
and the world shall bear witness
to her beauty
in bright vermillion
courage

*authors note: Another tribute to all the brave female hearts I am privileged to know.

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Beautiful British Day

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I woke up feeling and looking so tired, I just knew I needed to get inspired. The deadline has come and gone, today it’s beautiful sweet freedom. Honestly I was feeling so happy, even the sun was shining for me. Went for a long refreshing walk, but now….. letting the pics do all the talk.

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image You can tell those trees are on a coast where the wind is forever blowing in one direction. I call them “Gondor Trees” like the LOTR obsessed person that I am 🙂
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The swans! ❤
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image Typical and atmospheric old-fashioned English Pub

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Now I’m back home, still looking tired but most definitely feeling inspired – hoping you ALL have the most fantastic day!