Daily Archives: November 3, 2013

Picture It & Write – Victorian Secrets


This is my response to this week’s Picture It and Write challenge


by John Thompson . Taken from this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123212/Black-white-pictures-capture-lives-Londoners-1800s.html

by John Thompson .

Taken from this article http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2123212/Black-white-pictures-capture-lives-Londoners-1800s.html



Marie’s search of her ancestary took her back to Victorian London. There were plenty of books she could look through and articles from that period, what she had learnt tracing her family tree was an enjoyment of pictures. Photographs depicting the unspoken story, the invisible lines interwoven through people’s lives. This one gave little clue.

She stood at the photocopier in the small Newsagents in Pepperton Street and reeled off 10 copies.

Returning to her small apartment she cut them out and using masking tape stuck them all around. The bathroom mirror, her bedside table, the mantelpiece, the kitchen door, the fridge, beside the TV and finally inside her current book.

What of the other three copies? They were for her ancestors. She took her old saucepan outside and walked to the back gate of the block. Marie checked that there were no other residents around, then she set a match to the paper. Watching it burn into ashes in the saucepan. Praying that they would help her find the truth at last.

Something more than poor women buying cheap jewels to make them feel like a lady. There was something there that was real. Far from imitation and Marie was on her way to finding it out.

Day 3 – A NaNo Afternoon


nanowrimo-poster (Buy it at the NaNo Store www.nanowrimo.org )

Phew – today was a long NaNoWriMo session. I left the writing to a more optimum time for me (late afternoon, evening work well) by then my creativity seems to have woken up and I also get a chance to do other things before sitting down at the keyboard.

I started shortly before 4pm with about half an hour of research, I also made some notes today – next to the story map in my notebook. Just on the events (plot) of the next few chapters so that my writing had a concrete direction.

I am not quite a ‘pantster’ – someone who literally flies by the seat of their pants – has no idea what they will write next and doesn’t make a plan beforehand.

Many writers spend the month before NaNoWriMo planning (or even writing – cheats 😉 ) their story. I had a busy month performing and writing poetry, attending workshops and book launches, enjoying the literature festival, running Inkspill and going back to work, I had no time spare to plan a 50,000 word write!


Today was a GOOD day! I did some surfing about yesterday (on the internet – we live pretty far from the coast!) and came across a really good website covering NaNoWriMo from a social network link. I will have to try to find it again tomorrow and hook up a link.

After the amazing Mark Lanegan gig all thoughts of my NaNo write completely left my head and it was a while today before I thought about it at all. When I did think about it, I thought about dialogue.

My narrative voice is fairly fine tuned from my prose poetry but dialogue – that is a struggle – to make it sound natural at least. But as we all know DIALOGUE carries the story along, can move the action forward and is necessary to break up the text of a longer piece of writing.

I decided today I was going to make sure I used dialogue.


I started writing for about half an hour – 40 minutes and to my surprise and delight had managed  1081 words. I felt I needed a break – so unlike yesterday, I allowed myself a break.

45 minutes later I was back on the laptop and spent the best part of another 45 minutes writing, perhaps a little longer. A strange thing happened….

I decided today I would smash the 1667 daily word count as it is Sunday and I could write in short slots. Every time I totalled the word count it would end on a number that was only a few steps away from a pinnacle number, or a round one (ending in 0) – now I do not have an issue with this sort of thing normally, but just like the days of dissertation writing I heard the inner cheer leader –

‘Go on just another few hundred words!’ 

2295 after an hour of writing plus a little more researching.


‘See how close it is to 2300? Go On!’



‘See how close it is to 2450? I bet you could reach 2500 Go On!’



‘See how close it is to 2650? I bet you could reach 2700 Go On!’

at this point my own inner voice replied


“Shut UP! I have cooking to do, I’m starving, it’s tea time and I still have a poem to write!”

(Guess I can write dialogue after all!)



  • Take that break!
  • Listen to your own personal inner cheerleader – but don’t be afraid to shut them up when you have had enough!
  • Write a few notes before you start the session so you know where the writing is going or what you want to achieve *PLOT ideas or events.
  • At the end of the write (when your cheerleader is sulking at being told to shut up!) write a few base notes – leave it hanging – but know already where you are going to start the next day!
  • REWARD yourself for being good!


TOTAL WORDS = 61921nano5000b

WORDS TO GO = 43,8081nano1vik


PS A scary fact I picked up from the PAD challenge – we are 10% of our way through the month – by now your Nano should be 5000 words!

I Met Mr Music – Mark Lanegan!


A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to catch Mark Lanegan perform his acoustic set in a tiny venue – 500 people or so, I was practically on the stage – right at the front – just a few metres away from him. It was the first time I had heard him LIVE and had only recently started to hear his low tones coming from Mr G’s Ipod. It was an amazing gig, left me feeling how music should.

So to my delight we were asked to go to see him again – of course we both jumped at this chance. It was only in the evening on our pre-gig tour of the city that I began to think about expectations. Mine were incredibly high as that first gig left me feeling something I can’t even express in words!

It was A M A Z I N G !  copyright jackseattle cbslocal.com

For starters he played with his band, he looked 10 years younger than the gig I saw in the tiny venue – we were still up close to the stage – something I never expected – it was a seated gig with the option of standing. Mr G and I went to see Seether last Autumn and felt we had become too old for standing all night and decided we were going to only go to seated gigs – something we might have said without the intention to practise 😉

 copyright sbphoto.comau

And as if the night couldn’t get any better we queued to meet the man himself, Mr Lanegan (we noticed when we walked in) that he was signing.) We shook his tattooed hands and gushed praise and starstruck clichés at him. I wish we had asked for a picture -plenty people were. But the boys were a little too embarrassed or in awe of meeting their hero.

He was so cool that he spoke to every fan, which for those of you familiar with Lanegan is incredible as on stage he is a man of very few words (apart from the ones he sings that is!)

I felt truly honoured and of course we all got our gig tickets signed.

Then we made our way back through city streets to the last bar before making our way home. Feeling invincible and repeating our happy mantra – We just met Mark Lanegan!

 copyright bbc.co.uk




2013 November PAD Chapbook Challenge: Day 3

The PAD challenge 2013 – A Poem A Day from Writer’s Digest is another NOVEMBER challenge I have set myself and so far it has produced 2 quality poems, I need new material for gigs I have lined up this month and am struggling to find my own poetic muse so using a impetus works fine.
Can’t believe we are 10% in already – that goes for NaNo too – which is where I am heading off next to write!

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer

Robert Lee Brewer is Senior Content Editor of the Writer’s Digest Writing Community

It’s not too late to catch up, but for those who are already on day three: Great job! After today’s poem, you’ll be a whole 10% through the month. We’re going to poem this month out!

For today’s prompt, write a “the last time I was here” poem. Imagine you’re returning to a spot (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.): Is it a good thing? Bad thing? What did you leave behind (if anything)? What’s there to welcome you back (again, if anything)?



My Day 3 PAD poem is about visiting San Francisco – a city that stole my heart back in 2005!