The love of reading.

There is nothing better than curling up with a good book and losing myself in a different reality. I’d love some novel recommendations, if you would like to share yours, please comment below. Here are the last three reviews I wrote for ‘Goodreads’.

Once in a House on FireOnce in a House on Fire by Andrea Ashworth

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This memoir is essentially an old story about childhood abuse, written from a child’s point of view. However, it’s a beautifully written poetic book approached with such clarity and maturity, I found it compelling and read it in one day. The tactile descriptions of small moments experienced, gave weight and power to the prose. If anyone needs an exercise in showing and not telling, study this book. In the opening chapter, a seemingly cheerful description of the families situation, became laden with foreboding with a few choice words. Writing to lose yourself to.

 

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Regular people – indulging a small routine rests the brain.

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Been feeling low lately, just a little slow, spending too much time in front of my laptop doing pretend research. Thousands of ideas buzzing in my head, bumping into each other and squashing each one dead. Today I escaped from my screen based life and took a walk in the woods. I stopped here and there to write in my notebook, managing to move forward on projects that I’d previously forgotten. Rediscovered words that were buried in the ‘to-do’ pile.

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Treat Yourself

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Ordinary Heroes

This year everything has changed, I am seeking a renewal of faith, the people I once turned to are now gone. I have an urge to hold onto what was, when I know that I cannot. My hands open and close, reaching out for a tangible fact to hold onto. I simply end up grasping faded light and playing with shadows, I’m left sat in the dark, wishing I could get up and turn the lights on, but I can’t. I’ve forgotten where the switch is. At these times I reach out my hands and see who wants to hold them. I’ve been asking friends, fellow students, neighbours, work colleagues, what is a personal hero? My husband wrote:-

A hero, as a concept it’s very compelling – the individual that will endure hardships and terror to save others from oppression or some other manner of adversity. The hero that possesses skills and/ or resources that are rare amongst the hero’s peers. For me my heroes are the ones that can articulate big ideas, noble ideals, those that communicate in such an effective way as to bring positive change to their communities, to inspire and shine light of truth and clarity in places where others are happy to scrabble in the dark. For me the heroes are of the pen and not the sword, from Gandhi to Noam Chomsky.’ Tom MacCallum

I asked, writer Stuart Wakefield who is your personal hero?

James Dean and Marlon Brando might have been heralded as the faces of the new wave of acting, but, for me, it was Montgomery Clift. Witness any close-up shot of Clift and you’ll see a lot going on in his eyes. You can see what he’s thinking without him saying a word. That was ground-breaking at the time. Clift was a hugely popular actor, sizzling on screen with Elizabeth Taylor in several movies. But there was an ongoing struggle with illness and sexuality that I think informed his style, too. Clift knew what physical and emotional suffering felt like and was able to project that through the camera and onto film.  – Stuart.

Too many of my personal heroes have left this world in the last few months, Maya Angelou, Nelson Mandela, Robin Williams and Rick Mayall to name a few. I still see them in their books and films around me. I feel blessed I’ve lived a life where I have witnessed their creations. I’ve spoken with my friends, family and colleagues about this, it’s a shared conversation. I’m seeing community projects popping up all over the place, ‘what super hero are you’, ‘who are your heroes’, we are a community searching for guidance. I’m reminded once more that it’s too easy to dine at the  media table and worship the rough diamonds that have been polished too brightly, by the cameras that created them. Is that to cynical? There are times when all I can do is rest on the truth of other people’s creativity, in those times my life path is held safe in those hands that dared to be bold. I lean on old quotes and trust.

“The world is full of magic things, patiently waiting for our senses to grow sharper.” ― W.B. Yeats

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Permission To Play.

Are we all just big kids still waiting for someone to invite us out to play? Have we as adults lost ourselves just a bit to the business of being a grown-up? Are you hoping for a knock on the door and a spontaneous adventure outside? I have to remind myself that I am allowed to instigate play as an adult. I do not need permission, from anyone. Most of the work I do as a freelance artist is to give permission to grown-ups to play in a creative way. You do not need to be a story-teller, visual-artist, pc master or 3D sculptor to use your imagination. I’ve seen children pick up a piece of dirt and give it a name and a voice. If you feel you simply cannot let yourself go, I have devised a new product for you and your family:

 

PLAYPACK

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