Out For A Walk

img_1249Today I decided to walk to work. It’s a reasonably long walk, about forty minutes, but the morning was bright and I had the time. It’s a nice walk, along a main residential road, past fields and under a railway bridge, along a reservoir and, finally, crossing a sylvan canal basin and heading up past what is reputed to be the site of a king’s hunting lodge. Nothing remains now except a fragment of red brick wall with a Tudor rose on it, incorporated into the more modern (but still a couple of centuries old) house now on the site.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a really long walk. And today I realised how much I’d missed it. I still do the school walks each morning and afternoon, but my days being what they are at the moment I don’t usually have the time to wander further. However, today’s walk made me determined to find the time.

Apart from the exercise, I find walking to be a wonderful time to think. I’ve worked out countless plot points, untangled knotty problems and generally put my life into some sort of order. For some reason it works for me. However, I do need a destination – I can’t just walk aimlessly.

Apparently Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote the lyrics to his wildly popular Hamilton while on his afternoon walks, while William Blake, Wordsworth and JK Rowling are just a few of the many other writers who found inspiration while out for a wander. Recent studies have found that, when we walk, our brain activity increases, as does connectivity between important brain circuits, boosting our mood.

Today I managed to sort out some time management stuff, as well as reconcile a couple of character threads in my current WIP. I also got some exercise and fresh air, arriving at work on time. I realise I’m fortunate to be able to walk to work – however, even when I had to take public transport to previous jobs I always managed to fit in a walk of some kind, whether it was by getting off several stops early or heading out during my lunch break.

So it was nice to rediscover the joy of walking today, and to feel the familiar story telling wheels begin to turn once more in my mind. Looking forward to seeing where the walk takes me next week…

‘Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow.’  Henry David Thoreau

If you enjoyed this post and want to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJ,  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon.

Thursday Doors – The British Library, London

IMG_1259 This is the main entrance to The British Library, London. Through it you can see into the central piazza, and the large statue of Isaac Newton (based on a drawing by William Blake). This was the meeting point for the first Blogger’s Bash last year, and I have fond memories of us all standing around and chatting like old friends, even though most of us were meeting for the first time.

IMG_1260 I went past the library this weekend past, which prompted me to take these shots. Someone had, rather incongruously, left a small baby doll propped against the open door – whether a lost toy or an artistic statement, it was hard to tell.

IMG_1261 The Library was created in 1973, as part of the British Library Act of 1972, and is the largest library in the world (by virtue of the number of items catalogued there). My own books are here – this is due to the principle of Legal Deposit, which dates back to to 1610. It states that the Library is entitled to a free copy of every book published or distributed within Britain, as are five other libraries, The Bodleian Library at Oxford, The University Library at Cambridge, The Trinity College Library at Dublin, and the National Libraries of both Scotland and Wales. While you have to send a copy of your book to the British Library, the other five libraries will only request a copy if required, which you then have to send at your own cost (and yes, this happened to me).

Thanks for reading my entry for this week’s Thursday Doors Challenge, courtesy of Norm 2.0. To see more doors or add one of your own, head on over to his site.