In a couple weeks time, I shall hit the benchmark of one year since starting my website and blogs. I am chuffed- so chuffed that I have remained true to my objectives to keep it going and to sharpen writing skills . I’ve really enjoyed this project I set myself, writing about the things that have […]
Five Wishes To Make My Week. Skilbey Blogs.
Five wishes, that’s all… Can I please swap my brain for a Dolphin’s? Dolphins rest one-half of their brain while the other half remains conscious. After two hours they swap halves. This allows for round the clock vigilance and facilitates their need to surface for air. So a dolphin’s brain would make things so much […]
No Deja-Boo! And No Sight Of A Clown Either. Skilbey Blogs
Do you tire giving treats after the tenth witch? Or have you never lost your sense of the Deja-Boo? Halloween greetings. I bring you a true tale without witches, ghosts, ghouls, zombies or demons or anything dripping with blood. And there’s no sign of New Age Clowns either. They, quite frankly, deserve to be treated with a […]
Canned Laughter Should Be Kept There- In The Can. Skilbey Blogs
…then placed in a sack weighed down with the heaviest shit you can find then dropped at sea… Trouble is…canned products are reputed to be- quality wise- as good as they were when they first went in… Only after reading the compelling book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B Cialdini many, many years […]
10 Truths Some Cat Lovers Need To Be Reminded Of. Skilbey Blogs
To (some) cat lovers 1. The kindest thing you can do to a wandering cat if it is clearly not starved or neglected and it is not your cat is to not feed it. Try to differentiate between a cat that is starved/ malnourished or neglected (Clue: They look ill and your heart will hurt and […]
Why aren’t libraries open on a Sunday? Skilbey Blogs
Leave aside the budget cuts for now. We are all aware that there is a systematic culling of UK libraries wherever local governments can get away with it, and surviving library casualties placed through the mangle have had their opening times slashed. Our cultural services are guilty of a kind of sacrilege and libraries have […]
Is there really a dark side to yoga? Skilbey Blogs
I was having a conversation with someone just over a week ago about energy; the good and bad and the ugly energies floating around in the world and the name Gabriel Amroth came up. Back at base, I Googled him. He is was the world’s most famous Italian Exorcist, working on behalf of the Vatican. He’s […]
A writer’s memories of a random, scatty, pleasurable moment. Skilbey Blogs
About ten years ago I was in Coram’s Fields in the heart of London. It’s a seven-acre park with playgrounds suitable for every child between toddler and sixteen years. You are not allowed to enter without being accompanied by a child. They treat play very seriously. My children at that time were of primary school age. […]
What a way to start your writing day! Skilbey Blogs
Laughter-based exercise program has health benefits, study finds. And as a writer, I can’t think of a better way to start the day. Research at Georgia State University has found that older people placed on an exercise program that incorporated playful simulated laughter into its routine, felt healthier. This simulated laughter first allows you to […]
Giving thanks to careers advisers. Skilbey Blogs
Tuning into the radio recently, I listened to a mother’s phone-in, wishing her grown up son a happy birthday. She also touched upon his successful career and how he “had proven his careers adviser wrong”. It was then, that a faint red mist began to form around me. I think careers advisers should be […]
Dribbling on strangers and the ‘Zeno effect’. Skilbey Blogs
Are you the dribbler or the dribbled on? It’s been witnessed numerous times and experienced first hand by many; a stranger dribbling on the shoulder of another stranger on a train. And the speed at which the shut-eye, static and upright, slips 80 degrees due east or west, before rapidly descending is funny to watch. […]
Does my fat look like a bum in this?
I don’t know how it happened but a shit load of sugar fell into my ‘plain’ cooked chicken slices. Any sugar in just plain chicken is a shit load, as far as I’m concerned. I’m sure it was an accident; factory error, as I wasn’t after fancy pancy chicken. Just plain, cooked chicken. Sliced. I […]
Oblique Strategy Cards For Writing Inspiration? Skilbey Blogs
Oblique Strategy Cards For Writing Inspiration? Stuck in a rut creatively? Have you exhausted all techniques advised by the great and the good? Or perhaps you’re faced with a dilemma with no clear path to take? Have you tried looking at some Oblique Strategy cards? It could be useful. I say ‘could be’, as I […]
Sunday Dinner at Jim Haynes’s is still going strong. Skilbey Blogs.
Sunday Dinner in Paris? I’ll rewind a little. Something caught my eye just recently. On a notice board in a neighbouring town from where I live. It must have raised an eyebrow or two. A couple was inviting local residents over to their house to enjoy an evening meal with them. They explained that they […]
Harry Potter And The Cursed Child Goes Spectacularly Beyond Binary. Skilbey Blogs.
This is not a spoiler. My youngest and I were fortunate enough to get preview tickets to see The Cursed Child last Wednesday. Part one, 2pm and Part Two, 7pm. A Potter Fest, you could say. A master class in kick-ass theatre and in marrying the fantastic with the real world. Lightning needs to find […]
Manuscript ready? One last thing…Skilbey Blogs.
Say it loud, say it proud. Read. Out. Loud. You will not need a live audience. And you can do it anywhere. You will need a little more time, your precious MS to hand and… a little more of your imagination? “Whaaaaat?” I hear you exclaim. “Haven’t I provided enough already, in the way of a […]
Writing and Fantasies. Skilbey Blogs.
I’m sorry there’s no other way of saying it, but my fantasies are fucked. Actually, that may not be the appropriate word. My fantasies are not fucked. I am putting aside sci-fi fantasy writers here. They don’t inhabit necessarily the fantasy world I’m about to touch upon. I’m not interested in Mr Toolbox or […]
Writing and Procaffenating. Skilbey Blogs.
How do you prepare yourself for writing? Do you have something that needs to happen before setting forth on your writing path for the day? If I’m lucky, I get to whisper under breath – though I love my family dearly- “Don’t let the door hit your backside on the way out”. I wait for […]
Writing about a different ‘me’. Skilbey Blogs.
“Photo booths really know how to capture your ugly”. Occasionally, we get to see ourselves in a fresh light, though not always an attractive one. For example, hearing a recording of our own voice is often shocking; we don’t like or can’t identify with what we hear, adamant that such a peculiar sound doesn’t belong […]
Turn your face towards the sun…Skilbey Blogs.
Negativity, that old gatecrasher comes trashing through your mind before begging you to put him up for, ‘just a few days’. Nope. Positive thoughts I like to hold on to: It really is better to light a candle than curse the darkness. To find your integral voice, conduct a debate presenting a thoroughly researched argument […]
Do you feed your embarrassing moments into your writing? Skilbey Blogs.
‘Can’t get you outta my head’. As writers, we are always on the lookout for fertile ideas. We understand, engage and exercise our ‘periphery’ very well. We casually flick our eyes, showing an interest in our world and the community we live in, much like everyone else, but for writers (and artists), it goes that […]
It’s only “stuff”. Skilbey Blogs.
I bumped into a lovely friend a few days ago who I hadn’t seen for a while. Her children and my children grew up together; from infants to teens and secondary school. She moved out of the neighbouring village and not too far away, but far enough to make our encounters infrequent. I have always […]
Why I find it hard to write in cafes and coffee shops. Skilbey Blogs.
No doubt, as writers, we all have our favourite- often special- spot to write in. It may be a spare room, a shed, a conservatory, a summer house or indeed the worktop in a kitchen. It may be somewhere that is out of bounds to other members of the family who are under strict instructions […]
Can dogs smell emotions? Skilbey Blogs.
I have to give a special shout out to the dog above. Her name is Milly. She belongs to our eldest. It is her dog. The love our eldest has for her Milly is not confined to a love that only stretches to infinity and beyond. It is far, far more serious than that. It […]
Human Energy. Shame we can’t bottle and cork it. Skilbey Blogs.
Perhaps pickle it and put it in a jar? I am and have always been fascinated with energy and energy exchanges. I listened to Denise Gough on the radio over the weekend, (Radio 2 Graham Norton), talking about her Olivier Award-winning performance in People, Places and Things in the West End, and she made […]
‘What’s in the box?’ has me stumped. Skilbey Blogs.
Now, I’m a supporter of the ‘Viva la difference’ brigade. It’s got to be an instruction embedded in one of the genes in our human DNA; if nothing else, stop us all from being created in the likeness of Donald Trump. If genes only had to do one job… So, I say, each to […]
Everybody needs a bit of ‘time out’. Skilbey Blogs.
My daughter and her friend were in town the other day. She came back gushing about why she was back a little later than usual. ‘Because of this baby fox’. The last time I got up close and personal with a fox was some years ago, when I heard our extremely large, strutting, slightly aggressive […]
Dear writer, did you have an imaginary friend? Skilbey Blogs.
University study suggests that a writer’s relationship with characters is analogous to children’s relationships with imaginary friends. A study, by University of Oregon psychologist Marjorie Taylor, Ph.D., and her colleagues, refutes the conventional wisdom that preschool is the peak time for all kinds of imaginative play, including playing with imaginary companions. It inspired me […]
Domestic trivia V the beautiful pleasures of writing. I have a cunning plan…Skilbey Blogs
If I go a couple of days without getting my head down to some writing or editing, I am proper grumpy. I start to twitch. Right eye first, left eye is no good to man nor beast without lens support, but that’ll go too. This grump is official and verified by an independent suffered enough […]
Biting the hand that feeds…Why I’m out of love with Facebook. Skilbey Blogs.
If absolutely nothing else, disregard this blog, skip and read the following link in its entirety. http://www.dailydot.com/opinion/quit-facebook-in-2016/ This blog, by Cody Musser, sums up perfectly how I have physically (yes, physically- it makes my stomach sink), and psychologically felt since committing to Facebook in Dec 2015 and why over the following months it was beginning to […]