Tuesday, 13 January 2015

The Sorrow of Love

The quarrel of the sparrows in the eaves,
The full round moon and the star-laden sky,
And the loud song of the ever-singing leaves
Had hid away earth's old and weary cry.

And then you came with those red mournful lips,
And with you came the whole of the world's tears,
And all the sorrows of her labouring ships,
And all burden of her myriad years.

And now the sparrows warring in the eaves,
The crumbling moon, the white stars in the sky,
And the loud chanting of the unquiet leaves,
Are shaken with earth's old and weary cry.

W.B. Yeats

Take one or more lines from the above poem and use them to write a poem of your own, or a piece of flash fiction.

Then select a few threads from your piece of work and write a short story. Write the story from one perspective and later write it from an alternative perspective.

Take ten words at random from the poem (or from your own work) and see if you can connect them together in another piece of creative writing.

Have fun and good luck! Heather

Sunday, 9 November 2014


Droitwich Canal


 Childhood Games by Sue Johnson


Think of a game you played when you were a child – for instance:


  • Hide and seek
  • Making a den in the woods
  • Dolls’ tea parties
  • Cops and robbers
  • Murder in the dark
    Pick an idea and free write for five minutes. This means not censoring what you write and no crossing out. Write as quickly as you can so that you trip up that nasty little voice in your head that says ‘you can’t put that.’ Concentrate on getting the ideas down. Don’t worry about correct spelling or grammar. Just fill as much paper as you can in the time allowed.
    Have a short break for a cup of tea or coffee then go back to what you’ve written and underline or highlight any bits you like.
    Free write again – this time thinking about a time of year. Concentrate on the sensory detail of the place you are writing about. For instance, if you played hide and seek in an old house, did the cupboards smell of mothballs and were the floors dusty? Did ice patterns form on the windows in winter?
    Who did you play with? What were they like? What sort of adult might they have grown into?
    Then play the ‘what if’ game. What if something had gone wrong and one of the group had died or disappeared (e.g. ‘The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe).
    Allow your imagination to go back to how it was when you were a child.
    What if, years later, someone seeks revenge…?

Wednesday, 22 October 2014



I just love autumn, don’t you? I know it means winter is on its way, but the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ is full of artistic inspiration! So, get your wellies on, grab the dog’s lead and set out for a ramble…

Of course, you could just flick through a gardening or country lifestyle magazine, or visit your local garden centre. Whatever suits you and helps fill your creative stream!

While you are out, pick fallen leaves in vibrant colours; take photos; listen to the birds and the sound of the ground/foliage underfoot; look out for shy woodland creatures; smell the air and plants; catch snippets of conversation; make a rough sketch of anything which captures your interest.

  • When you get home, jot down five things you have seen or heard and see if you can weave them into a poem.

  • Write a piece of flash fiction.

  • Take one or all of your observations, add a name, a place and a time of year (it doesn’t have to be autumn) or type of weather and see where they take you.

Above all, enjoy what you are doing!

In case you cannot get out for any reason, here are a few ideas:

  • Golden strands of light in a dappled grey sky

  • Dewdrops sparkling like jewels on a cobweb

  • Crisp copper leaves scrunching with every step

  • The creaking of old trees in an echoing silence

  • Flapping ears and scrabbling paws of a happy dog chasing hither and thither

  • The sweet smell of rain-washed greenery

  • Squish of boot treading along a mud-drenched track

  • Bright gems of colour amidst a cloak of green and brown

  • Grey flash of a squirrel (or red, if you’re really lucky)

  • Yellow leaf spiralling in a lazy wind

  • Fading sunshine warming the last flurry of blackberries

  • Laughter of children swinging across a brook on a rope


I really hope this post inspires some wonderful writing. I would love to hear about them!

Happy Writing! Heather



Friday, 26 September 2014

Teasing Titles

I usually go in a library to change books or do some research... This is what Sue gets up to!

This is a great exercise to do if you have a few spare minutes in a Library!

Go to the Fiction section and pick a shelf.

Jot down the title of every fifth book. Stop when you’ve written down ten titles.


Create a poem from the list. It doesn’t have to rhyme – or make sense for that matter. The main thing is to keep your pen moving!

Then close your eyes and pick three of the titles and see if you can link them to form a story.

This exercise also works well with CD tracks.

If a stronger idea emerges once you start writing, then go with it. Feel free to adapt or change titles to suit the story as it develops.

Have fun!