Difficult Writing About Past Experiences

A person wants to share autobiographical material. How do they proceed? Too much, and the reader may get bogged down in the detail. Too little, and the narrative will lack conviction.

Plus, the past is complicated. And messy. And emotional, of course. Can a writer really reduce a period of time to a few paragraphs or pages and expect to convey their experiences?

I think the answer lies in painting pictures first, then providing summary in later parts of the story. Describing new scenes, themes, in detail, bringing the narrative to life. But choosing summary techniques as well, to prevent the story from getting stuck at later points.

Writers also have the task of deciding on various lenses, to borrow a term from photography. Does the person choose an introspective approach, looking inward? Or do they project their material?

I’m currently sharing my experiences as a piano player on my sister blog and facing these structural and editorial issues. I use a number of narrative techniques. You can access the story here.

Till next time.


Coming To London, An Anniversary

Twenty-four years ago today, I arrived in London from Exeter.  The day always evokes a mixture of feelings. Pride that I made it work, to the best of my abilities. Nostalgia for a different life, for Exeter. The Roman city. The summer evenings.  The lack of responsibility. 

Devon, the place where I’d studied. 

It took me a long time to get used to London life, but now I can’t imagine living anywhere else. 

Another Late Summer?

The dull summer has given way to glorious weather again, bypassing the month of July and most of August.  Another late summer.

I find it interesting how seasons come and go, often in unexpected ways.   I think artists live unpredictable lives that mirror the seasons. Things are never that straight forward, surprises often come from nowhere, some good, some bad.

As for my own artistic endeavours, I can’t work out what to do with the current writing project, a crime novel based in Lancashire, so I’ve decided to put it to one side for a few months and concentrate on other pursuits – my music, blogging.  At the moment, I’m blogging my own musical journey as a piano player on a sister site.  The new blog is now just over a week old (twelve posts, so far)  and takes the reader from my first encounters with music to my early experiences of performing before an audience.

Meanwhile, I hope to pursue the crime writing at some point and go through the publishing process again.

Just a few of my thoughts.



A Sticky Summer, And A Lull

Hi, the good weather has gone for the most part, replaced by Autumn skies and humidity.  After such a warm June, August seems almost depressing, a reminder that Autumn will come soon, and then Winter, followed by another year. 

In terms of writing, I’ve reached a lull and am uncertain of how to proceed. I miss working on plot and character and churning out page after page of work, but I’m reluctant to self-publish again. I think I need to put the writing to a side for twelve months, then reconsider the options.

Meanwhile, I spend more time at the piano these days and I now have more than thirty videos of my playing on YouTube. I hope to do some more recording at some point in the near future. 

Till next time.

Happy Summer (Well, Almost)

The sun is out, the temperature soaring just like on a summer day.

I’m sitting in the local coffee/bookshop, getting acquainted with my new laptop.  I’ve just downloaded one of the later versions of LibreOffice and have added writer2epub, an epub conversion.  In today’s publishing climate, a prospective novelist can never pin all their hopes on a conventional publication deal (although one should always continue submitting), so I have added the epub conversion in case I need to produce an outstanding ebook, alongside a standard print on demand paperback novel.

Apart from that, I hope to enjoy the rest of the day and the warm weather.

Till next time.



Summer Rain

Summer will arrive soon – in just over three weeks.  The weather here in the UK has improved, the temperature risen, just like summer but still spring, my favourite season.  Today, the rain came without warning and the skies darkened. The air is sticky and humid.

Meanwhile, I’ve sent my novel, a psychological thriller, out to more agents and am waiting for replies.  I continue to practise the piano most days in anticipation of further online or Indie recordings. Then, the languages, of course.  I study French, German and Russian during my free time.

Till next time.