#WordlessWednesday ~ A Hike in the Hills #Photography #Countryside

I love these beautiful photos of the Welsh countryside taken by Cathy Ryan. When I imagine my characters going on their long journeys from place to place, I imagine they experience sweeping landscapes like these along the way. 🙂

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Pancakes, sophistry and sacrifice

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

It is Shrove Tuesday and in England that means pancakes. Not, you will understand, those heart-warming American delights, nor the elegance of French crepes, but ‘proper’ pancakes. For my sons, following in the tradition of the family that has spanned generations… several of which made pancakes for me as a child… it involves Mum armed with a hot frying pan, presiding over a conveyor belt effect of ‘next one’s ready’ and ‘how many more can you eat?’.

In the typical Pancake Day scenario, in our family at least, Mum makes up a huge batch of batter to feed the family. She spends the next hour cooking and deftly tossing pancakes for everyone else, ending up with usually too little batter left for herself. And having cooked so many for so long, really, the desire has all but gone. Just to add to it, she then usually eats alone in the…

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Why You Should Always Write Down Your ‘Shower Thoughts’

Novelty Revisions

About once every few weeks — sometimes more, depending on my mood and the state of my mental health — I accidentally write a song while taking a shower.

This is not something I’ve really felt the need to talk about until now. It’s weird. And I’m not particularly fond of explaining why I have written many of these songs throughout my life but have no plans to expose them to the world because, uh, priorities.

But this doesn’t change the fact that I am proud of where my ideas come from. We are all so distracted by the people and noises and shiny objects around us that we rarely give our brains the chance to run wild while we stare at a blank wall and wait for our conditioner to soak in.

Why do shower thoughts happen? Well hopefully it’s because you’re not really doing much in there other…

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Cats & Dogs & Television

It has been one of those aggravating days already. I’ve been on the phone fighting to get an auto-debit reversed that was twice the amount I agreed to. *sigh* After waiting 45 minutes for a supervisor, I was finally just told to call back at 2. So thanks to Lee Duigon for posting this video today, because it made me laugh, and I needed that! Maybe some of you need a good laugh too…

Incidentally, I don’t have a cat that watches TV, but one of them will chase anything that moves on my phone screen. She’s knocked it off my desk more than a few times in her frenzy to “catch” her pixelated prey.

Lee Duigon

How into TV are your pets? The dogs in this video take it very seriously.

Of all the cats I’ve had, only Buster took an interest in television. He always tried to catch the little elephants on Nature. And he sat in my lap and watched all of The Creature from the Black Lagoon. I could tell he really liked it.

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North-easterly VII: A final grace

The Silent Eye

“…Manifest thy light for my regeneration, and let the breadth, height, fullness and crown
of the solar radiance appear, and may the light within shine forth!”

Abbe de Villars, ‘The Comte de Gabalis’

“We’ve just got to the top of the slope by the castle,” said the voice on the phone, in answer to my query. We had been a few minutes late arriving on Holy Island, and our companions had begun to stroll out towards the medieval castle that dominates the island landscape. Having failed to find them in any of the three cafés where we had looked, we had located them by phone and, putting on a bit of a spurt, finally caught up with them. From here we could look back at the beginning of our journey, over the water to Bamburgh Castle, just as the spiritual pilgrim looks back on his inner journey and sees with…

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How Life Intersects with Writing

Andrea Lundgren

This is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog-hop, designed to help encourage authors and foster discussions about writing topics across the internet and the world. This month’s question is “How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?”

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Most of the time, life affects my writing by overturning my scheduling and making it so writing doesn’t happen (like last month, when I had so much work to do, I didn’t even get to write a blog post). Thankfully, my work involves the world of writing, as I get to coach authors and edit manuscripts, but it can still be a challenge as it reminds me regularly that I’m not getting to my own work.

When I do get to write, I’m reminded how much it helps me. I’m a happier, better person when I get to write, and here are a…

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North-easterly V: Layers

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

A short walk along the coast from Craster is another of the most iconic sights on the Northumbrian shore…Dunstanburgh. The castle has inspired artists and poets over the centuries; Turner and Girtin both painted the ruins, and so did I, long ago, when I was teaching myself to paint. I had only ever seen the castle from a distance, though… this was the first time I would step within what remains of its walls.

Like the castle at Bamburgh, just nine miles up the coast, Dunstanburgh was built on a much earlier site. Our earliest ancestors had used the rocky outcrop and had built a promontory fort there, ringed with earthworks that were, almost two thousand years later, incorporated into the defences of the thirteenth century castle. It is a curious feeling to see those same ancient earthworks still intact, topped by the ruins of a grandeur a mere seven…

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