Monday, 12 December 2011

Wish I was here?

SHINE ON: by William Neal.
THERE are very many places I would like to be at the moment that can mostly be reached from a runway. Yet, a journey that is good for the body and soul does not necessarily require a plane or even a grid reference. Some of the most beautiful and dramatic sights can be experienced on the “viewless wings” of imagination: through books, movies; photographs, poetry and particularly art.  
William Neal is my favourite artist. He paints those evocative landscapes that softly call your name and lure you into the beauty and solitude of their other-worldliness. They are places that cannot be reached in the physical state but, the longer you gaze, the more you are drawn into the landscape and feel yourself there.
The picture here is called Shine On. It is one of the artist's very fine snowscapes in watercolour. This is a place that will never be ravaged by man and will always remain uncorrupted. You can walk around and hear your boots crunching in the snow without disturbing the pristine beauty of its surface. You can feel the bite of the evening frost on your face and the shimmer of moonlight in your hair. Above all, it's a place that you can revisit any time or simply never leave. So there's no need to wish I was there. I already am.

This post is in response to an invitation by my friend Janice Horton. She is holding an online launch party for her new book Reaching for the Stars - her third romantic novel and one that she has been working like a Trojan on for quite some time. After an exhausting sprint to the finish line, the book is out on Amazon in Kindle format. Take a look at it:
Janice said: "On Wednesday 14th December just put up a photo or picture on YOUR BLOG of where you wish you could escape to - for a little while - or forever! It might be a paradise island, a secluded beach, a woodland hut, a mountain ski lodge? The possibilities are endless - but fun to imagine right in the middle of December! Then on Wednesday - as well as posting a full list of all the bloggers taking part on my blog - I'll be visiting all the blogs to see where YOU would like to escape to and to leave a comment!
"There will be prizes and several draws for all those taking part."

Friday, 2 December 2011


NANOWRIMO, no it's not a character from a rough bar in Mos Eisley with trumpet snout and laser gun, its a site for writers who took on the challenge of producing 50,000 words of a novel in one month. It stands for National Novel Writing Month and was kindly introduced to me by a fellow journalist and writer. Said fellow managed her impressive word count well before November 30th and r.e.s.p.e.c.t. to her for balancing a hectic lifestyle with time out to create a masterpiece. Me, I joined three days late with the intention of keeping up and managed to write 0 - yes, that equates to nil - before the deadline. For the paper, I make three deadlines a week and a lot more sub-deadlines in between that. After work, I throw the journalist hat on the umbrella stand and get straight into the kitchen to prepare dinner. Once dinner is cooked and consumed, it's time to check the email. Sixty or seventy emails a day is not unusual: most of them don't need answered but some of them lead to a bit of trawling for further information on the web. Now, the TV is shrieking in the background and the phone rings. Six or seven conversations later and six or seven promises to sort out something for the imminent future, it's time to get down to writing. Oh, it's also time for bed to get up in the morning and do it all over again. Maybe next year.