Posted on November 3, 2014 by Seymour
Although this is supposed to be a ‘writers blog’ it tends to be a repository for the things I don’t write: the stuff I do when I should be writing. When I do find the time to actually do some writing (for myself), I often find all my brain wants to do is mess about and compose nonsense. I find this incredibly easy and profoundly satisfying.
Really, ‘nonsense’, of the sort that Lewis Carroll and Edward Lear gave us, leaves a much wider space for readers or listeners’ imaginations to play in. It harps upon this beautiful feature of human languages: with syntax, sound and context we are more than half way to understanding meaning. Who the hell needs vocabulary?
I give you, therefore, ‘The Toast of Far Gelar‘.
If you like this sort of thing, you might enjoy listening to my story, The Jellyfarglemarsh, at Stories from the Borders of Sleep.
Filed under: Inspiration, Miscellanea, Poems, Poetry, Spoken, Writing | Tagged: Creative Writing, Fiction, Grammar, Humour, Poetry, Writing | Leave a comment »
Posted on August 18, 2014 by Seymour
Sometimes when my journaling habit collapses, squeezed out by the busyness that I perceive in my life (whether it’s really there or not), I still find time to doodle. I have very basic app on my phone that makes it easier.
I like to ask people the question: if you could swap your primary creative talent for another, would you? And what would it be? Most people say, ‘no, I wouldn’t.’ But I’ll admit I have artist’s envy for people who can draw as wonderfully as a couple of people I know. When you’ve looked at these phone scribbles, go and check out the work of a couple of pros:
Daniel Weatheritt – A very inspiring illustrator I’ve had the pleasure of working with recently.
Philippa Cappelman – A gifted draughtswoman friend who has recently launched out.
I’m still fairly obsessed with trying to draw swifts
Crustacean – I love these creatures and wish I could draw them
The Good Land
See some of my previous doodle posts.
Filed under: Art, Inspiration, Miscellanea | Tagged: Creativity, Doodle | Leave a comment »
Posted on June 3, 2014 by Seymour
As we approach middle age, is it normal for birds to become more fascinating to us? We start feeding them, watching them, doodling them. Do they represent our longing to shed the earthbound web we’ve woven for ourselves and to be as light as air? Maybe it’s just me.
Once again my scratchpad (the notebook I keep strictly for rough work/business notes, lists of action items and phone calls) has been invaded by the doodling dreamer.
try to make a swift with as few strokes of the pen as possible.
Filed under: Art, Inspiration, Miscellanea | Tagged: Creativity, Doodle, Freelancing, Nostalgia | 2 Comments »
Posted on May 16, 2014 by Seymour
A good writing implement can bring out the best in us.
I’m mainly a pencil person for taking notes, doodling and writing. For journaling, inking in or neater work, I adore the triplus® fineliner by STAEDTLER. But lately, a couple of fountain pens have been added to the arsenal. A good one, well primed, is a wonderful writer. A bad one can fill a page very quickly with bizarre textures and symbols.
The pages of my scratch book have recorded a strange battle over the last week or so:
Page one was an ordinary page in the scratch book. A few lines of pencil were engaged in a key debate.
Page two played host to pencil lines – decadent and fanciful in bourgeois ingnorance of their own demise
On page three, the fountain pen ink army came with raw scratches, marching upon the page in angry angles and scrawls.
In forms foreign and fantastical it fell upon page four, forsooth!
By page five, total and permanent domination was secured.
I like to believe that even the way we scribble when trying to get a blasted pen to work can be pressed into the service of narrative.
Filed under: Art, Inspiration, Miscellanea | Tagged: Creativity, Doodles, Humour, Journaling | Leave a comment »
Posted on May 9, 2014 by Seymour
Last night, I had occasion to share my postcard collection with a room of some twenty people.
“Find me a picture that speaks to you of God,” I asked them.
At the top of the first cluster of cards I picked through was this:
Although this wasn’t the card I chose for myself in the end, it struck me how the sacred stone circles of Britain have played a part in my own journey towards Divine Mysteries. I flipped it over …
The back side of the card brought a flood of memories from my 18-year-old self, who sits like a lodestone in my consciousness and frequently pulls at my internal compass needle.
Dear Seymour, We are sitting in a pub with our local draughts, (beer not women!) having journeyed to the sacred stones – and halfway back. Meeting bearded bards and chalkened travellers, Listening to tails From near and Far. Met the sacred guitarist of Avebury, Played a beautiful song to me as the moon danced upon the clouds and shone incandescent against the stones. LUV Owain, Meic, Rob Surtees :-) Robin.
I include a scan of the original to show how my messengers clearly passed the card around, each adding their own lines in the true spirit of the bards of old. They would have been excellent company: one of my English teachers (the biggest single influence on my education), his two sons (companions on many woodland adventures) and another pal from school (an occasional co-conspirator in mischief).
Ahhh … the summer of ’95.
Filed under: Inspiration, Miscellanea | Tagged: Fantasy, Nostalgia, Spirituality | 7 Comments »
Posted on November 23, 2013 by Seymour
An infinite number of monkeys… (Photo credit: Olivander)
I have an app that seems to be permanently open in my brain; maybe it is a monkey on a typewriter. Strings of letters constantly rearrange themselves and every so often a combination sticks and I have a new word in my head. I’ve tried to figure out what to do with these words.
Some of them have ended up in a story I wrote, about a “jellyfarglemarsh”, which you can listen to over at Stories from the Borders of Sleep. Others are being collected in a document on Draft (superb tool for distraction-free writing and collaboration invented by Nathan Kontny) until I find a use for them. As a writer, you always need new words for things.
The typewriting-monkey app goes crazy, though, when I play Scrabble. In the last month, I would have scored a lot better in Scrabble if I could have played some of the following non-words:
So there we are.
I guess, if any other chump googles them, they will end up reading this post.
Would any of my readers care to come up with meanings for some of this new vocabulary?
Filed under: Miscellanea, Writing | Tagged: Creativity, Humour, Writing | 3 Comments »
Posted on November 9, 2013 by Seymour
Grimm Brothers (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I have been labouring my way through the complete tales of the brothers Grimm, on and off, for the last three years. At first, there were curious and enchanting moments but, I have to admit, it has felt more ‘uphill’ recently. I’m not sure how to understand the resurgence of interest in Will and Jake’s collection. There has been a popular TV series and a couple of movies have tried to reclaim the tales for the dark side, after years of disneyfication; Philip Pullman has turned his pen to them, and several others have delighted in re-working them for the ‘Potter, Buffy and Twilight’ generation.
Having almost finished reading the complete works, I have my own take on the oeuvre.
When the brothers rolled into a village on their collecting expeditions, I reckon that the locals thought it would be a jolly jape to ply them with schnapps and treat them to lengthy, extemporized tales that endlessly recombined a basket of popular motifs in spirals of fantasy. These plot lines were not authentically handed down through the generations until they were captured and immortalised with pen and ink; they were made upon the spot, like the rambling narratives that children play out in the tree house and at the bottom of the garden or the anecdotes of a boozy uncle who can’t remember the end from the beginning.
For example, here is the tale of the Three Black Princesses. It is wryly amusing for the fact that it barely goes anywhere, it is clearly unfinished and there are some serious issues with overall coherence. I hope my rendition is faithful to the original.
Filed under: #GoingPublic, Books, Miscellanea, Reviews | Tagged: Audio, Books, Folklore, Humour, Literature, Reading | 3 Comments »