New Week, New Writing Leaf

Last week I wrote about a writing wobble, and you were all so lovely, giving me encouragement and reminding me what it is I love so much about this blogging community – thank you all so much for your support.

This week I have a week off, the first in while, and I’m back where Ambeth began, the park where Alma disappears between the trees just a few minutes’ drive away. Today I’m heading further west to Wales, where her story continues, and I’m hoping that the combination of some free time and seeing these places again will immerse me fully into that world once more.

For now I am re-reading Under Stone, making small adjustments but not yet quite ready to don my editing hat. Which is kind of a problem, as I’m supposed to be doing Camp NaNo, and the edit is my project. Oh well. We can only do what we can do.

And perhaps, that is the lesson here. That you can’t force things. That, unless we’re lucky enough to be able to write full-time, life has to be addressed. The creative urge is a powerful one, for writers no less than any other, and it can be difficult, sometimes, to find that balance. I know for me that my blogging life is not as active as it once was, and I am woefully behind when it comes to reading, my TBR pile teetering, my Kindle stuffed with unread titles.

Still, it’s not the end of the world, is it? To be able to inhabit other worlds, whether as a writer or a reader, is a privilege. And I remain forever grateful.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.



Falling Star

Today is a funny sort of a day. The sun is shining (for the moment), it’s cold and the air feels fresh. Yet the world is diminished in some way. When an artist of Bowie’s magnitude, who touched so many lives for so many years, leaves this plane, you can almost feel the loss, a vacuum of space where once someone shone brightly.

People gathered in Brixton last night, singing his songs and lighting candles, trying to hold onto that aura of stardust. And he will remain, of course he will. His music, his art, will not be forgotten. While I wouldn’t class myself as a mega fan, I liked his music, his songs appearing regularly on my playlist. I liked his films, too – on a recent visit to the EMP in Seattle I gazed in awe at his Goblin King costume, it still holding a faint vestige of the spark he brought to the character.

But I guess what I liked the most about Bowie is that he lived a creative life. And he did it for himself. He wasn’t worried about what others would think – he had a vision to explore and he did so. So in many ways, that to me is his lesson, his legacy. The arty version of ‘feel the fear and do it anyway.’

And so, as I walked back over the canal bridge, rippling water and golden leaves, I thought about it. Writing is what I love to do. It’s how I express myself, how I work through things, how I convey what is inside me. To ignore it is to dishonour myself. I know I’m lucky to have the time to pursue it, but it doesn’t mean it is not hard work at times.

Anyway, I just wanted to say thank you.