Dear Ruth Paris's persuasive email about this ‘blogging tour’ arrived to prick my conscience: I haven’t written anything on my blog for ages. And another age has passed since she asked me.
Do visit Ruth's site - viewing her huerto (allotment) blog offers a refreshing shower for the overheated mind.
So, in answer to the four Big Questions:
Q1: What am I working on?
Peer into my mental tumble dryer today, and you’ll spot the following:
• a case statement (a charity’s raison d’être) for a prominent school that gives BBB kids (Bright, from a Broken Background) a chance to shine.
• An interview with a local lawyer who is going to help our hospice charity get more funding
• An ad promoting our next expert forum for the tobacco industry
• A downloadable pdf brochure lauding the latest triumphs of a special baby new potato from Pembrokeshire
• A new blog post for my blog, Andalucid, about a day in Málaga with our noses in roses.
Q2: How does my work differ from others in the genre?
So many genres, so little space! The only common thread seems to be that whatever I’m writing, I want to play, with language and imagery and the rhythm of sentences. This tendency means I am often put on the naughty step by clients and editors until I promise to be less literary and more literal.
Q3: Why do I write what I write?
1) For a living. I get to work at home, take our terrier Eddie for walks in the woods and still pay the grocery bills.
2) For good. In case my words might move someone to care, donate or get involved with what matters – healing hurt and creating kindness in the world.
3) For fun. I love sharing what I love – the smell of a garden after rain, the absurd, overheard; biting into the crumbly cloud of a croissant.
4) Because I can't take photographs.
Q4: How does my writing process work?
A steaming mug of tea or coffee and a Sicilian lemon shortbread is a good start. A 0.7 gel pen gliding over a lined yellow pad. Powered by my anxiety to order and shape a swirl of ideas, research, words and phrases.
Two mugs of tea later, If I’m lucky, a little pile of yellow notepaper has caught and held a misty, messy version of the piece I want to write. Only then can I sit down at my Mac, run my fingers over the keys and hammer out a first draft. Typing the last few words brings a rush of relief. I’ve pinned myself down again, stilled my restless body and mind and captured an idea, a message, a moment I can share.
Some of the best writers I know don't blog, but I'll namecheck you anyway, my friends: Rosie Miles, Shujata Luptajan, Carrie Saint Freedman, Helen Bell, Laura McFall - they are exceptionally witty, sharp and truthful about their daily lives.
Finally, I'd like to nominate one more: Karethe Linaae is an engaging and informative blogger bursting with enthusiasm about her new home, the beautiful mountain town of Ronda in Andalucia.
Karethe's life changed drastically in November 2013, when she and her husband moved from Vancouver, BC, Canada where she was working in film, TV and international media relations, to the small mountain town of Ronda in Andalucía. In the 19 months she has been living in Spain, she has learned Spanish, started an environmental organization, and is helping to organise another natural living event this July. In between mountain hikes and yoga, growing vegetables in their community garden, restoring worm-ridden farm furniture and organizing and volunteering on environmental clean-ups, Karethe tries to write blog stories about the wonderful curiosities of life, in Spain, in Norway or wherever she may be.