Exercise 1.10

This exercise combines three aspects we’ve covered in Part One: freewriting, the writing diary and reflective commentary.

  • Freewriting. Consider this quote, which is said to come from the Beat poet Allen Ginsberg: “Follow your inner moonlight; don’t hide the madness.” Think about this quote for a minute or two, then complete a five-minute free write about these thoughts.

My passion is where my source, light and strengths will come as a writer. I’m very open about my life and experiences, both positive and negative. This authentic writing style has helped me to develop an online community and to build relationships. I do not hide my madness. I can also see that this authenticity will be a huge bonus in writing short stories or a novel. Writing about what I know. My opening idea for Sophie Lives comes from my experience of being abused and from my understanding of domestic violence and the tragedy that in the UK 2 women are murdered every week by their current or ex partner. This is something that I feel angry about. Writing from Sophie’s perspective of abuse and recovery is something that has the potential to be powerful.

  • Writing Diary. Read your freewrite through and think about your writing journey – the good and the difficult parts to this exercise. Make notes in your writing diary about the experience. Be as open as you like – only you will read this account.

Firstly, other people will read through my account. I don’t mind this. My community matters to me and I welcome feedback and interaction with others. However, there are some pieces of writing that will remain behind closed doors until they are complete and ready to be seen. For example, I will only reveal one more small passage from Sophie Lives, and then I’ll develop the rest of the novel in private.

Writing from a prompt has been easier than I have expected it to be. It’s a very good way to approach and develop writing. I can see why the notebook is so important, it will become a source of my own ideas and prompts, which are far better than the prompts from others. Having a starting point that comes from the heart will be the driving force of successful creative writing.

  • Reflective commentary. Read through the notes you’ve just made on the original exercise and start to think how much of this you’d want to share with your tutor. Also think why you’d want to share this. (Check the ‘two-fold purpose’ above.)

I have absolutely no problem with sharing anything I write with my tutor. I feel no shame about my writing, I don’t fear critique; the opposite is true, I value feedback from my tutor, she’s an experienced author and can guide me on my journey. Yes my reflection is self-critique and this is highly valuable in developing myself, I get that, it will be a source of strength, but I’m open to my tutor reading anything I write.

Freewriting will also be a source of overcoming writers block, which all writers experience from time to time. I had creative blocks while I was studying photography, and getting out and taking photos for enjoyment and developing personal practice helped me to move forward. It’s no different with writing. It troubles me that creative writers on the course are not expected to have a blog and are encouraged to secrecy. Why should creative writers be treated differently than other students? Yes we do need to keep personal projects behind closed doors until they are complete and ready to be published, but coursework doesn’t need secrecy.

Notebook Journal

I have decided to have one post for my notebook so that I’m not having to continuously open different posts on my blog to recall ideas, that could be quite a painful thing to do, and I’d lose track of ideas and themes.









Gender Identity

Something that I could journal or explore as I go through counselling.

Pronouns – they/them

Wearing a blouse in public

Stew and dumplings

I can smell the sweet aroma of stew and dumplings in kentish town road. It makes me want to find out where its coming from and to eat it. I’m going to have to find a recipee, make it and see if I can write poetically about it. My cousin makes it in a slow cooker and it doesn’t have the same aroma. Maybe a few hours in the cooker will be the best way.

Notebook Quote

“And it wasn’t just that I’d never let go during sex, it was that I’d never truly let go in any experience I’d ever had.” (p138)

This is why photography is so important to me. I let go as a photographer. I am free to be in the moment, at peace even at peace with my insanity. My camera is my haven.

“The girl who has already got out, leans back into the cab, as if she wants to give me a kiss, but I’m too far from her. ‘Have a nice life. ‘ she tells me. ‘Have a beautiful life.’ I laugh, charmed, and say ‘I’ll try.’ She looks suddenly earnest, totally serious. ‘Please do.’ she tells me.” (p142)

Beaumont, S; 2008; Thirteen; Newcastle Upon Tyne ; Myrmidon

Notebook Quote

“A lifetime clearly lay between them, and I had a sense that their affection was coloured by a mutual disapproval that was very real, yet to weak to break their bonds.”

Beaumont, S; 2008; Thirteen; Newcastle Upon Tyne; Myrmidon Books LTD

Lucky Day – Very Short Story

I met a nice man in the bar of the golf club, and he invited me for a round of golf. I said “sure James, that would be lovely.”

We walked down to the first tee. On the way I explained that I used to play as a junior but had not played since.” I haven’t any clubs” I said, “may I borrow yours please?” The first hole was a par four that went over a beautiful lake with trees on the far bank. He took his shot from the pro tees and I from the ladies. To be honest I was proud of my ball flying through the air and over the trees, I knew it would be near the green. His was further away. He took his second shot and walked towards the green, passing me a 7 iron on the way. I lined my feet up and addressed the ball, it landed right near the hole. This was clearly my lucky day.

Word Definitions

This is a page in which I will record words that I either don’t understand or that I have only a vague knowledge of. Definitions come from a Google search. Descriptions in brackets are my attempts at understanding an alternate meaning from the sentence that the original word was in.

  • Acerbic – (especially of a comment or style of speaking) sharp and forthright.
  • Alabaster – A translucent form of gypsum or calcite, typically white, often carved into ornaments.
    made of Alabaster. “the gilded alabaster tomb of Sir Anthony Browne” (if a person is described as having an Alabaster face this must mean their skin is translucent.) 
  • Alacrity – Brisk and cheerful readiness
  • Avuncular – kind and friendly towards a younger or less experienced person. – Relating to the relationship between men and the children of their siblings
  • Caroused – Drink alcohol and enjoy oneself with others in a noisy, lively way.
  • Cerulean – deep blue in colour like a clear sky.
  • Cove – A concave arch or arched moulding, especially one formed at the junction of a wall with a ceiling.
  • Curmudgeon – A bad-tempered person, especially an old one.
  • Dissemble – conceal or disguise one’s true feelings or beliefs.
  • En deshabille – partly dressed in a loose or careless manner.
  • Esoteric – intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest. Somewhat crudely, esotericism can be described as a Western form of spirituality that stresses the importance of the individual effort to gain spiritual knowledge, or gnosis, whereby man is confronted with the divine aspect of existence.
  • Forensic – relating to or denoting the application of scientific methods and techniques to the investigation of crime. relating to courts of law.
  • Founder – A person who manufactures articles of cast metal; the owner or operator of a foundry.
  • Friable – Easily crumbled (such as soil)
  • Fug – a warm, stuffy or smoky atmosphere in a room.
  • Fugue – a disturbed state of consciousness in which the one affected seems to perform acts in full awareness but upon recovery cannot recollect the acts performed. a musical composition in which one or two themes are repeated or imitated by successively entering voices and contrapuntally developed in a continuous interweaving of the voice parts.
  • Furtive – attempting to avoid notice or attention, typically because of guilt or a belief that discovery would lead to trouble; secretive. “they spent a furtive day together”
  • Geas – (in Irish folklore) an obligation or prohibition magically imposed on a person.
  • Gonnagle – Name of Gaelic origin (The Nac Max Feegle in the Disc world are also known as Pictsies, this suggest they are of Gaelic/Celtic inspiration)
  • Habitue – A resident of or frequent visitor to a particular place.
  • Hiatus – A pause or break in continuity in a sequence or activity.
  • Idiom – a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words (e.g. over the moonsee the light).
  • Jigget – To gad; to move from one place to another in a (seemingly) flippant or idle manner.
  • Kelda – A girls name in Norse – meaning spring or fountain (maybe referenced as a leader.)
  • Lament – A passionate expression of grief or sorrow. “his mother’s night-long laments for his father”. A complaint. “there were constant laments about the conditions of employment” Express passionate grief about. “he was lamenting the death of his infant daughter”
  • Lascivious – inclined to lustfulness; wanton; lewd: a lascivious, girl-chasing old man. arousing sexual desire: lascivious photographs. indicating sexual interest or expressive of lust or lewdness: a lascivious gesture.
  • Lucre – money, especially when regarded as sordid or distasteful or gained in a dishonourable way.
  • Lye – A strongly alkaline solution, especially of potassium hydroxide, used for washing or cleansing.
  • Ministrations – the provision of assistance or care.
  • Nonplussed – So surprised and confused that one is unsure how to react.
  • Obliquely – not in a direct way; indirectly. “he referred only obliquely to current events” in an oblique direction; slant wise. “the strings of the instrument run obliquely away from the player”
  • Patrician – An aristocrat or nobleman. Belonging to or characteristic of the aristocracy.
    “a proud, patrician face” (The Patrician of Ankh Morporkh is authoritarian and the suggestion is that a Patrician is a dictatorial leader.)
  • Pavane – a stately dance in slow duple time, popular in the 16th and 17th centuries and performed in elaborate clothing.
  • Pottage – Soup or stew.
  • Quarter – a part of a town or city having a particular character or use. Rooms or lodgings, especially those allocated to people in military or domestic service. Pity or mercy shown towards an enemy or opponent who is in one’s power.
  • Requiem – (especially in the Roman Catholic Church) a Mass for the repose of the souls of the dead. “a requiem was held for the dead queen. A musical composition setting                    parts of a requiem Mass, or of a      similar character. “Fauré’s Requiem. An act or token of remembrance. “he designed the epic as a requiem for his wife”
  • Repose – a state of rest, sleep, or tranquillity. “in repose her face looked relaxed” Be situated or kept in a particular place. “the diamond now reposes in the Louvre”
  • Requisite – made necessary by particular circumstances or regulations.
  • Restive – (Of a person) unable to remain still, silent, or submissive, especially because of boredom or dissatisfaction.
  • Reynard – A name for a fox
  • Roister – Enjoy oneself or celebrate in a noisy or boisterous way.
  • Sage – (especially in ancient history or legend) a profoundly wise man or woman.
  • Sonsie – (Scottish) bringing of luck or good fortune, but it can also describe someone who is jolly, attractive or cheeky.
  • Sonsy – having an attractive and healthy appearance.
  • Suave – (especially of a man) charming, confident, and elegant.
  • Sconce – a candle holder that is attached to a wall with an ornamental bracket. a flaming torch or candle secured in a sconce.
  • Shamble – (Of a person) move with a slow, shuffling, awkward gait.
  • Sidle – walk in a furtive, unobtrusive, or timid manner, especially sideways or obliquely.
    “I sidled up to her”
    Staccato – Music performed with each note sharply detached or separated from the others.
  • Steadings – A farm and its buildings. A farmstead.
  • Stoic – a person who can endure pain or hardship without showing their feelings or complaining.
  • Stygian – Very dark.
  • Surmise – suppose that something is true without having evidence to confirm it.
  • Susseration – Whispering or rustling.
  • Swarf – Fine chips or filings of stone, metal, or other material produced by a machining operation. “a curl of metal swarf”
  • Umbrage – offence or annoyance.
  • Unfettered – not confined or restricted.
  • Visceral – Relating to the viscera (the Visceral nervous system). Related to deep inward feelings rather than interlect.
  • Woad – A yellow-flowered European plant of the cabbage family. It was formerly widely grown in Britain as a source of blue dye, which was extracted from the leaves after they had been dried, powdered, and fermented. Dye obtained from the woad plant, now superseded by synthetic products.




Notes For Future Reference

My notebook will probably mean nothing to you. It’s a page for recording inspiration, ideas and points of interest that I may or may not use at a future date.

Terry Pratchet – comedy

“Now her second thoughts were at work, thinking about what she was thinking.” p63 The Shepherds Crown, Pratchet.



Seeing the doors left me curious as to who lived behind them and questions as to what the walls have witnessed.