Thirteen Years Ago

It seems a bit late to wish people a Happy New Year – although I do wish this. Many of my friends had Covid during the Festivities. I can imagine the bleakness that isolation must have brought. Still, I hope that 2022 improves and that we can experience the newness and wonder of another year.

I suppose I would link my New Year greetings with my blogging anniversary. Thirteen years ago (January 2009), I began this blog with WordPress, unsure of what to expect. The time has passed swiftly. Time often does.

So what have I learnt during the thirteen years?

First, the Internet offers countless opportunities for expressing creative writing, music, photography, essays and others interests or concerns – often free or for a small price. It’s amazing and a privilege. I’ve corresponded with people from all over the world through WordPress. It’s wonderful, a gift.

WordPress provides a publishing platform. However, we should adopt a ruthless editorial eye to what we choose to share. Online material is still publishing and the author or blogger ought to pay attention to what they promote, especially in regards to personal information. Posting details of a birthday party, for instance, provides the public with a date of birth, along with other vital information. Those details should remain private. Think carefully before you click on Publish. Prune. Edit. Restrict. Pause and consider.

Second, sharing media online involves communication and communication always involves others. We may publish content but we must also engage. The online community resembles a global community of sorts, and we should respect this and benefit from it.

For me, WordPress offers a virtual equivalent of the traditional printing press, and with much promise. We can write or promote whatever we like, our efforts limited only by our imagination. What a great opportunity.

I wish everyone a good 2022 and trust that we will continue blogging meaningful content through WordPress and sharing our aspirations while staying safe.

A WordPress Blog – Eleven Years On

Time flies, as the popular expression goes.

True. For me, the events of a decade ago seem recent.

Eleven years ago, I began this blog, not knowing what to expect. A blog devoted to the creative and performing arts. Since then, I’ve begun two other WordPress blogs, based around related interests. I’ve also met lots of interesting people online.

During the past eleven years, I’ve tried to post articles on a regular basis, particularly on this site. Sometimes, the commitment has proved difficult (and, therefore, lacking), but I don’t regret my decision to blog, and I look forward to more years of writing and publishing blog posts.

For me, WordPress offers a platform to publish for free, an opportunity that many people could only have dreamt about twenty or so years ago.

Citizen Journalism, but far more sophisticated than a decade back.

Music. Art. Poetry. True Life.

Essays. So much.

Plus, most people believe that WordPress offers the best opportunities for bloggers.

In closing, I wish to thank my readers for choosing to return to these blog posts. I leave the reader with the following post that appears to have generated a lot of interest over the years since its publication on 1 February 2010:

Flashbacks and repressed memories make for interesting reading in fiction, but there’s a problem. So often, the subject can become another cliché, similar to an opening italicised dream.

Clearly, though, some people repress memories of a traumatic event and triggers such as a smell or a sound can cause those memories to come back, often resulting in distress.

Since fiction is all about character and since characters reflect people and their problems, I can see no reason for advising against the use of flashbacks in novel writing. However, I would suggest the following:

  • Imagine that you are the character
  • Introduce fleeting impressions of memory at first, relying on one or more of the five senses
  • Make sure there is an adequate trigger for the first flashback, preferably a sound or a smell. Alternatively, discussing an event can trigger memories that a person wasn’t aware of
  • Avoid using italics
  • Develop the memory over the course of the story, especially the images and the impact on the character
  • If the character is remembering a traumatic event, have some of the details echo
  • Introduce something new each time you deal with the memory scene

“Hello World”, Blogging With WordPress – Ten Years On

Time flies, as they say, and this applies to the blogging world as well.

Ten years ago, I weighed up the pros and cons, and decided to start a blog.

At the time, I had no Internet access at home. Every Sunday morning, I would visit an Internet Cafe and post blog articles as I devoured several cups of sweetened black coffee.

Additionally, I’d taken countless scenic photos on my phone but could not upload them, as I had no way of getting online with the phone and my computer was pre-historic (almost). I used to get despondent.

The same applies to music. I’d trained as a concert pianist but hadn’t released a recording.

And the writing, of course. I’d written a couple of novels.

I want to excel in the performing and creative arts, but didn’t know how. I started researching self-publishing and approached it with caution.

The last ten years has contained many highs and lows. A couple of my books almost got accepted for mainstream publication but didn’t make it in the end.

I despaired but continued searching the options.

Using WordPress and other online tools, I managed to create a CD of my piano playing, self-publish two novels and an autobiography, release mp3s of my piano playing, share photography, start a second blog devoted to the piano, and more recently a poetry blog.

I’ve communicated online with lots of interesting people.

Crucially, I was able to fulfil another cherished dream: learning a number of foreign language through online resources.

Not bad for ten years.

I’m deeply grateful to WordPress for their blogging services, and to all my readers and followers. And yes, I gave up the sugar eventually and avoid it completely now. But not the black coffee.

My first post from ten years ago, Hello World:

Lancashire born and bred. I moved to Devon to study piano at Dartington College of Arts, Totnes, and then to London where I have performed in the City of London lunchtime concert events. I also write and am working on two psychological thrillers set in the countryside.

I grew up with classical and rock music, but I particularly enjoy playing piano works by Chopin, Liszt, Mozart and Beethoven. I’m currently working on the 5th and 12th Hungarian Rhapsodies by Liszt, along with some of the early Chopin preludes, Mozart’s “Simple sonata” in C and a Beethoven Rondo (in C). I also enjoy playing the Chopin studies, especially the C minor arpeggio study from the second set, along with Beethoven sonatas (“Moonlight”, “Appassionata,” “Waldstein”).

I suffer from RSI in the shoulders, but the playing really helps (even those mad Lisztian sections)!

The Blog, Nine Years On

Nine years ago, I started a WordPress blog. Somehow, I’ve managed to continue posting regularly, several times a month, for nearly a decade.

I don’t always know what to blog about. Some people would say, “blog about whatever is on your mind”. I think this probably works as a general principle. Whatever the case, I look forward to many more years of blogging.

I’m also working on a sister blog, a musical autobiography based on my piano training and musical journey. I eventually hope to publish some of the posts as a paperback.

Creating A New WordPress Blog, Some Thoughts

Hi, I’ve spent the last two weeks creating content (in my case, a musical bio), designing a site with a Template in mind (libretto), and copying the content into readable posts with publishing dates set in reverse order, allowing a chronological order of events.

I’ve found the process both simple and frustrating.

You can view the site here:

So what are my thoughts on the Content Management side of things?

  • Easy to publish Posts.
  • Great looking Template, simple but classy (good for classical music site).


  • Difficult to create extra Pages, leaving me unable to decide where and how to post a Table Of Contents (like Chapters).
  • Publishing in reverse order to allow a chronological narrative can lead to all sorts of errors.

Worth the effort, though.

New Site, MyPianoBio

I’ve completed a basic draft of material for the new site and it should go live in the next few weeks.

MyPianoBio, a sister site to this one, contains the story of my musical journey, culminating in my experiences as a recital pianist, newly arrived in London.  

It also picks up on several other themes.

Many thanks again to WordPress for the powerful online publishing tools! 

The Blog

In a couple of months’ time, I will have been blogging for eight years. I chose WordPress and believe that it beats all other blogging platforms. Initially sceptical of blogging, I have posted regularly during that time, though not always in the last couple of years.

So what do I like about blogging, and WordPress in particular?

It seems a great opportunity for self-expression, a haven for people in the creative arts – and free, of course. WordPress offers plenty of space. Bloggers meet other bloggers online, receive and give feedback. Blogging is a form of publishing, so a blogging platform provides the writer/artist with a space to share their work. Crucially, WordPress gives the blogger the tools to create a static webpage with the option of having the blog (recommended) as the landing page. I’ve tried to make my blog a website too, with links to music files.

As the year draws to a close, I need to make some important decisions regarding my current novel and revise accordingly, but I will continue updating my WordPress blog and look forward to many more years of doing so.