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Another Well by Colin Angwin

A few years ago, some sparky copywriter came up with use of the word “silver” as a euphonious euphemism for “elderly”, which is itself a euphemism for “aged”.   The usage has become widespread and a week ago last Sunday I attended a session on Creative Writing given as part of a series of events for oldies grouped under the title of “Silver Sunday”.

 

The tutor, Robert, mentioned a piece by one of his students who came from Eastern Europe, I think, and who recalled that in her childhood she had had to break the ice on the well in order to draw water.   Others from warmer climates had indeed had to use wells for water supplies, but not through the ice.

 

This reminded me of a well I came across as a child.   I must have been about 7 or 8 and I was with my parents in some remote part of India.   One day, as I wandered about the countryside, I saw a magnificent well-head.   It consisted of a huge horizontal wheel linked by a system of large cogs to an equally huge vertical wheel.   This type of irrigation apparatus was and probably still is widespread in Asia and the Middle East and I imagine it has been for centuries.

 

My eye was caught by the third component of the structure, a rope festooned with earthenware pots at regular intervals and looped loosely round the vertical wheel so that part of it trailed down into the well beneath.   An ox was lashed to the horizontal wheel and rotated it by plodding round in a never-ending circle.   This made the vertical wheel rotate in its turn, so that the pots came up out of the well filled with water which, as they passed the apex of their circuit, was tipped into a channel leading to the fields to be irrigated.

 

I picked up a stone and threw it at one of the pots which shattered satisfyingly, shedding its contents onto the dry earth.   I repeated the act with another stone, another pot.   My memory is that I hit a pot with every stone I threw, but my later experience on the cricket field showed that my hand and eye coordination is very shaky so that is unlikely.   It is, however, true that by the time I had finished my little game every pot was broken, and I headed for home well pleased with myself.

 

I dawdled on the way, so that the owner of the well got there well before me and was pouring out the story to my father, who took decisive action.   He paid the man for the damage done, more than generously I have no doubt, and he took a slipper to me, also quite generously.   This is the only beating that I remember his giving me.   I also remember his clear explanation of what the beating was for.   It was not for breaking the pots.   It was for not considering the effects of my action on the farmer, whose whole livelihood depended on the irrigation system I had destroyed.

 

Looking back on the episode many decades later, I also draw two other possibly unfashionable conclusions.   First, corporal punishment can be good – this slippering certainly impressed the desired lesson on me and did not in the least diminish my love and respect for my father.   Secondly, you could be one of the colonial rulers and still behave thoughtfully and fairly to the ruled.

 

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23 Essential Writing Quotes from Ernest Hemingway

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Got the dreaded writer’s block again? Worry not! Get over to The Write Practice and read these 23 essential writing quotes from Hemingway  they should help get your creative juices flowing back through your pen….

Six Unusual Writing Studios

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How wonderful and inspiring to see how other writers work and are inspired by these Six Unusual Writing Studios. we stumbled upon at Something to Write Home About – Jean Fischer’s brilliant blog.

Writer’s Block?

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Then why not read these 30 indispensable Writing Tips from Famous Authors on Buzzfeed. Get some tips and inspiration from some of the world famous experts!

Creative Writing Competition Resource

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At Book Trust you can find an excellent resource for Creative Writing Competitions.

Click Here to see more!

Travel Writing Tips

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It’s that time of year! The sun is shining (in London at least) so you may be planning a little getaway. Or maybe you are not able to travel and are stuck at home…

If you can wander then why not get scribbling on your travels..?

If not, then why not write about a trip you took in the past that left you with magical memories? Which country or city did you visit that really inspires you to write about?

In Wanderlust magazine you can find 10 great tips to get you started on writing a travel piece… Why not give it a go!

10 Tips For Writing Travel Articles

Please share your travel writing with us at Wordwise we would love to hear about your adventures!

Easter Creative Writing Ideas

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Have you got writer’s block? Do you have some free time to indulge in a spot of creative writing this Easter break and need a little inspiration?!

Here are 10 super Easter Creative Writing prompts by Bryan Cohen we discovered on the Build Creative Writing Ideas Blog. If you enjoyed these prompts, the entire collection of 1,000 Writing Prompts for Holidays is available for purchase on Amazon.

671. What is the best treat you could ever hope to find in an Easter egg? How excited would you be if you actually found it and what would you do with such a prize? What would make the treat so special?

672. You hear a knock on your front door and it’s the Easter Bunny! He says that he’s extremely tired and could use some motivation to keep delivering Easter baskets around the world. What do you say to the Easter Bunny to give him the pep talk he needs?

673. Describe the most colorful Easter egg you’ve ever seen. What are all the different colors represented and how would you describe the pretty pattern if there is one?

674. Imagine that the animal of the holiday was not a bunny at all but some other animal entirely. What animal would you choose to be the face of the holiday and why? What are some of the other ways the holiday would change with this new and improved animal?

675. Easter is one of the biggest holidays of the spring season. What is the thing you like the most about spring and why? What is the thing you like the least about spring and why don’t you like it?

676. It’s a tradition for people to try to wear some of their finest clothing during the holiday for Church services. What do you think your Easter outfit would look like if you were trying to look your best? How would you try to spice it up to make it more interesting and why?

677. What kind of candies and toys would make up your perfect holiday basket? Why would you choose those items specifically?

678. Create a made-up story using the following words: bunny, egg, bonnet, and sunshine.

679. You and three of your friends have gained entry into a worldwide Easter egg hunt with a big cash prize! Describe the hunt from beginning to end, including whether or not your team is the winner.

680. While the holiday is full of candy eggs and decorative eggs, sometimes the best kind of egg is one you cook. What is the tastiest kind of egg you’ve ever had and why was it so good? What are some other foods that have eggs in them that you enjoy?

A Good Year by Cornelia J. Glynn

Thank you to Open Age member and writer Cornelia J. Glynn for sharing her heart-warming and uplifting piece of writing:

‘A Good Year’ on our blog today…

You can see more of Cornelia’s wonderful and inspirational work at :

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The Power of Love A Transformational Guide to Living from the Heart

A GOOD YEAR

2014 had been a difficult year to get through and didn’t rank high on my list of years to repeat in a hurry, if at all. Some years are just like that. They come to an end and all you want to say is “Good bye and good riddance!” That isn’t to say that it wasn’t interspersed with joyful interludes and light hearted conversations, because it was, but they had been a mere sprinkle by comparison with some of the traumatic events that presented themselves not just to me, but also to people I cherished. With sickness, mine and other people’s, and death reaching out with his cold bony hands snatching relatives of those dear to me, he hadn’t succeeded in snatching my seven year old great nephew, but did succeed in taking yet another close friend of mine and a neighbour to his kingdom. I was in mourning and couldn’t wait for the year to disappear.

Returning from Germany on New Year’s eve where I usually spend Christmas, my flat felt strangely empty and quiet. The previous owners of the cat that had been in my care for over two years and of which I had grown very fond, had been looking after her while I was away and decided they were going to keep her after all.

My mood was reflective and somewhat glum as I cast my mind back over 2014, and 2013 which hadn’t been much better either.  Tired and sad, I apprehensively wondered what 2015 would bring. I didn’t expect problems to magically disappear. They rarely do. But I did hope for fewer trials and tribulations and more jubilations and fun.

I had gone to bed at 11.00, switched on the radio and was dozing a bit, half awake and only dimly aware of the presenter at the radio station starting the count down to midnight before broadcasting the bell of Big Ben. Then something quite extraordinary happened. As Big Ben struck for the first time, my alarm clock started to beep in unison. It wasn’t turned on and even if it had been, it was set for 8.30 in the morning. When the bell had struck for the last time and my alarm clock had stopped beeping, fireworks went off in a garden nearby. I got out of bed, pushed open the curtain and watched the most spectacular display from my bedroom window, letting out several oohs and aahhs. Suddenly, there was a warm glow of elation inside me and I was at peace. I curled up under my duvet and had a smile on my face.  “It’s going to be good year” I thought. “It’s going to be a good year”.

© Cornelia J. Glynn

http://www.thepoweroflove.co.uk/main.htm

Short and Sweet Advice For Writers: Stop Putting Yourself Down

Fantastic words of advice to boost writers’ confidence and self belief – from Jamie Lee Wallace

Live to Write - Write to Live

girl pig insultIf you’re like most writers (even the working ones), you would like to spend more time (and make more money) writing. You might write as a side hustle, pro bono, or “just for fun.” Or, if you’re like me, you might make your living writing, but only because you do a lot of commercial (vs. creative) work – copywriting, content marketing, etc.

My writing life includes bits of each of these scenarios. I make my living writing website content, ebooks, reports, blog posts, etc. for corporate, business-to-business (B2B) clients mostly in the technology and marketing industries. I take on the occasional side project to write a paid feature for an arts or lifestyle magazine. I also write a bi-weekly column for my local paper as a pro bono gig. And, finally, I journal, blog, and write fiction “just for fun.”

That’s a lot of writing.

Still, when someone asks what…

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