Beltane 2014 by Jasper Schwartz

Welcome the May Queen

Today is Beltane, otherwise known as May Day. It’s a pagan festival that welcomes the move from spring to summer. Novels like Neil Gaiman’s American Gods, look at the plight of the old deities in the modern world. What are they doing, behind the scenes, as we become distracted by new religions and even give up our faith altogether?

writing course

Free Online Writing Fiction Course

If you want to write, but just can’t get started, then you’re in luck. The Open University has launched a free, online course, called ‘Start Writing Fiction’. The course focuses on creating characters, takes place over eight weeks and you only need to spare three hours a week – that’s a couple of weekend sessions or less than 30 minutes a day.

genome © ISTOCKPHOTO/DAVID MARCHAL

I wrote a poem too :)

So tomorrow is Undiagnosed Children’s Day, for kids with genetic wossnames wrong with them, but of such vanishing rarity that no-one really knows what’s up. At that point we get into frontier science and medicine. Nenna (my daughter, 6) has been submitted, along with thousands of other kids for a country wide study called Deciphering…

alone in the dark

Alone in the Dark

Sometimes, all you need is an image to spark off a story. Street photography is often a good place to start, as it offers snapshots of life and exposes strange coincidences and the bizarre or beautiful, in the banal and everyday.

writing procrastination

Diversify to Beat Writer’s Block

I’m between projects at the moment. My novel is still lurking and stuck in the difficult middle, so of course the natural response is to avoid it. But rather than avoid it by not writing at all, I have a new strategy. At the start of 2015, I decided to diversify. The theory is, that any writing is better than no writing.

ostara-helena-nelson-reed

Eostre – A Strange Visitation

In modern times we attribute the Easter season to the resurrection of Christ, but the tradition goes back much further than Christianity. Eostre was a festival our pagan ancestors dedicated to Ostara, an ancient goddess who represents the revitalisation of the Sun and its effect on Nature. “Ostara, Eástre seems therefore to have been the…

girl in a cafe

Cafe Culture – Taunton’s Top Writing Spots

I urge you to give cafe writing a try. Keep a notebook in your bag or use your smartphone. If you’re meeting a friend in town, why not turn up an hour early and get some writing done, while you wait? Writers Anon is based in Taunton, Somerset, so here are my top writing spots for Taunton.