It was most satisfying to write my letter sending Noxious Fogg off the premises. A number of people have shared it on their facebook accounts and I hope that it has helped other people to kick him off the premises. Result!
Today has been an exceptionally warm autumn day. Tony took the camera for a walk down to the river, where the salmon are leaping upstream over the weir. Sometimes you just have to swim against the current, don't you? I went outside and dug over one of the borders while Much looked on and told me how to do it, though I doubt he's ever handled a spade in his life. And I read something about advice for writers in getting the creativity going, which included some word games.
I don't use them much myself these days, but perhaps it's time I went back to them, if only for fun. When I was doing short stories and teaching creative writing I always had three envelopes on the go, each full of little cards. One envelope was characters, one was places, one was situations. Something like -
Science teacher, wizard, inventor, doctor, spoilt child, great-grandmother, footballer, ballet dancer, office cleaner, pony
Castle, park, ship, hospital, hovel, railway station, university, Houses of Parliament, mountain
birthday party, exam, trial, battle, wedding, Christmas shopping trip, losing your keys, training a puppy
except that I'd have at least twenty in each envelope. You shut your eyes and take a card from each (or place them face down and shuffle them about). Then for five minutes you write furiously about a footballer training a puppy in the Houses of Parliament, or whatever you've picked up. You can have an envelope for objects, too, if you like. Or do the same thing with pictures. The important thing is to KEEP WRITING, not thinking too much about it, for five minutes. Then sit back and see what you've got. It may go somewhere. It may not, but it will have woken your brain up.
A new one to me is writing a simple sentence and changing a word or two. Then do it again, as in
The sheep are in the field
The sheep are on the bus
The sheep are driving the bus
The alligators are driving the bus
The alligators have crashed the bus.
The alligators have crashed the speed record.
You won't get a novel, but it'll tickle your creative cells.