Would You Trade Your Writer’s Block?


I promise that it was there… until I woke up. Didn’t you see it when you arrived? Maybe it departed on wings of… well take your pick, on Gossamer, feather, metal, wood or leather.

Time to be honest. I don’t suffer from writer’s block. Maybe I have an antigen in my makeup, or my muse works overtime.  Whichever it is, I have too many ideas, therefore too many first drafts that need editing.  I just need to find the one idea that fits the moment.

However, I admit with Multiple Sclerosis that I am always losing thoughts as I write. This post is a typical example as I lost my train of thought many times. Whether the thought ever came back, I don’t remember. Yes, it’s that bad.

As for my block it’s over editing, but more of that later.

Let’s continue with my primary antigens to Writer’s Block. Not all of them work all of the time, but at least one might yield something that I can use. Maybe even something that helps you.

  1. DREAMS: We all dream, although we often forget most of them. I don’t always have inspiring dreams, but there are a few that offer something of worth. When I wake up, I either write the dream down or work through the idea that it inspires, for later use as either a scene, a short story, or a novel.


Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

Photo of a cloud illuminated by sunlight. ~ by Ibrahim Iujaz from Rep. Of Maldives

  1. PHOTOS: Although I used to take photographs as an equestrian journalist, it tends to be other people’s photos that yield the best inspiration. On Pinterest I have gradually collated images to inspire new ideas. See my Pinterest file here.


  1. OUTDOORS: When I was more mobile, I found that getting out into natural surroundings would inspire me. That included observing people in the street or park. I once got the idea for a Haiku about a kite from a summer wander – or was it a Senyru? Nowadays I have to rely more on my immediate surroundings for inspiration – like “Black with Secrets, Adorned with Silver”, my Blog Post on Monday, which was inspired by dawn sounds that woke me up. One advantage is gazing at Snowdon every day.


  1. GAMING: Okay playing online games – MMORPGs – is one of my ways to chill… a reward like chocolate, but gaming is a source of inspiration. I have two draft novels set against a gaming world, in fact a fictional gaming world based on my short story saga “Gossamer Flames”. I’m not sure what the inspiration for the first novella that became “Gossamer Flames” was, but gaming has built more of the world. Ironically, the novella –Weave of the Sister Skein – appeared while I was recovering from my first MS attack in 1999.

I’m sure that you can suggest other sources of inspiration, and you are welcome to add them in your comments.

So to My Block and Insecurity – Editing. I am churning out first drafts faster than I can edit them. My mind can no longer deal with focusing on finding the faults. Yes I can trudge through the manuscript – not MS, please, as I live with a MonSter already. Trawling word by word, I aim for perfection. I search for plot holes and character flaws. But I need months, even years. Time is not on my side.

Perhaps I need an editor partner. Maybe someone that can take my words then polish the idea into something worth reading. All offers considered.

Maybe that’s another Writing Unblock antigen. Anyone want to trade?


The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day, when we talk about our doubts and the fears we have conquered. We discuss our struggles and triumphs, perhaps offering a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.

This is my monthly IWSG post and there are many more words of wisdom out in cyber-space. I’m only a single blip among 290 other amazing bloggers rocking the neurotic writing world. If you click here there are links to all of them and you can visit as many as you want.

All thanks to Ninja Captain Alex J Cavanaugh and his awesome co-hosts Sarah Foster, Joylene Nowell Butler, Lily Eva, and Rhonda Albom!

Black with Secrets, Adorned with Silver



Smoke On The Water ~ Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Smoke On The Water ~ Image courtesy of Evgeni Dinev / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

They are gathering. I can hear them in the darkness and wonder why they are here so early. At first their cries slipped into my dreams, weaving their way into the gradual awakening. Eyes open, my conscience knows that it’s time. Time to face the day and my obligations.

The heavy drapes pulled wide as my eyes, I see the dawn, soft and orange, streaked with indigo and tendrils of mist from the lake. Shadow trees are reflected in the shimmering water.

My visitors are waiting.

Raiment as black as coal, they glisten in the light like black diamonds. As they stalk around on the grass, their eyes watch me, knowing what I will do. But I am waiting for their cousins. They arrive acrobatically displaying their talent. Hopping across the ground as they land, the sun shines on heads adorned with silver, then they gracefully fold their wings. Their echoing chacks add another contrast to the raucous caws of their larger brethren. All the feathers shine, preened to brilliance by beaks created for a varied diet.

Some would say that I was sick in the head for feeding this elegant corvid family, and some would shoot them as vermin, hanging their carcasses up as scarecrows. But the intelligence of my feathered friends captivates me, the supreme ones for me being the Jackdaws. So every morning they feast on my fruit and berry granola, and I try to understand them.

"Jackdaw - up close and personal (552502080)" by John Haslam from Dornoch, Scotland - Jackdaw - up close and personal. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jackdaw_-_up_close_and_personal_(552502080).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Jackdaw_-_up_close_and_personal_(552502080).jpg"Jackdaw - up close and personal (552502080)" by John Haslam from Dornoch, Scotland - Jackdaw - up close and personal. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Jackdaw_-_up_close_and_personal_(552502080).jpg#mediaviewer/File:Jackdaw_-_up_close_and_personal_(552502080).jpg

“Jackdaw – up close and personal by John Haslam from Dornoch, Scotland. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 via Wikimedia Common.

Is that mischief or secrets in their glances and nods?

They are considered the most intelligent of birds, having demonstrated self-awareness and tool making ability. Their total brain-to-body mass ratio is equal to that of the great apes, and of cetaceans like dolphins. Therefore, there could be more.

Are the black feathers symbolic of death and evil? A Black Knight with wings dreaming of taking centre stage in a world uprising? Ridiculous. Their other cousins are multi-adorned, in black and white, or pinkish-brown with blue flashes. They are precious gems of nature, even when screaming in the woods as the elusive Jays do.  A simple cry to a mate or rival? A warning? Or those secrets? Will we learn what lies in their minds?

Perhaps the answer lies in the soil that nourishes us all, from birds to humans. Soil that can be as black as the jackal that is Anubis, the funerary deity of the Ancient Egyptians, but richer than the rarest gems. Black diamonds set in silver.

"Armadillidium vulgare 001" by Franco Folini - San Francisco.California. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons - http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki

“Armadillidium vulgare 001” by Franco Folini – San Francisco, California. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons.

Is the secret in the silver, gleaming on the head or sparkling in the eyes? What are the Corvids seeking in the ground? Insects? Worms? Or the strange silver denizens of our humble gardens? Those silver armoured creatures like woodlice or sow bugs, the crustaceans that crawl in the darkness but do no harm.

But maybe in a world turned upside down, where dreams are nightmares or a chance to rebuild, the talent lies elsewhere. What happens if the silver adorned creatures in black armour and the feathered acrobats demonstrate their prowess? Food for thought and survival, maybe.

Instead I awake from my fantasies, knowing that reality rules. I am back in my wheelchair without the granola, and gazing out the office window at jackdaws hopping on the neighbours’ roof and wheeling in the sky towards Snowdon.

The Ghostly Father

The Ghostly Father download

I have just added a review of Sue Barnard’s The Ghostly Father, on Goodreadshttps://www.goodreads.com/review/show/859252977.

You can read her blog here.

Sue’s brilliant book has been nominated in the Guardian Not The Booker Prize award and deservedly is through to the longlist. There’s still time to cast your vote for the finalists and this has to be my favourite. Voting closes at midnight (UK time) on Sunday 3 August: