Emperor Claudius and His Ally, Barbara

One day there was a cat called Claudius. 

I am the emperor of kingdom.

When he roamed his district, velvety paws making soundless noise, his presence was noted.

And noted by Barbara, an ally from a neighbouring kingdom who welcomed him with offcuts at the back of a shop. Thank you Barbara.

Barbara would beckon and the Cat King meowed thanks for the meat. 

But she needed to be repaid for her homage. 

I should really thank Barbara.

Her kindness stood out as the world changed – female cats now tucked inside with their owners; being patted and fed fake food out of tins like the mockery it was. Oh the ignorance of owners!

He was glad he was not “kept” – confined to awful couches and 6.30pm current affair shows on television and sleeping in laundries and garages.

He left her a mighty gift.

 I hope she likes it.

No need for a card, but the feathers and a half-eaten bird would show ample thanks. 

But he was curious about the tins too. Perhaps he would try it too but first he had to get into a house, even watch the 6.30pm news.

So he followed Barbara home, smelling the cat inside and the shouts of the news anchors screaming. It was 6.30pm and even a king needed the fake food sometimes.

I shall explore my new kingdom but first I will find my throne. Timely, dear reader, there – there is a box on the kitchen floor. If I fit, I shall sit!

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Thanks for reading, you’re ace!

More Creating, Less Categorising – Why I’m Blogging Again

I recently put hand-to-keyboard and blogged. It had been such a long time – a year – since I’d pressed Publish on a blog.

Honestly, I didn’t think I had anything to say.

No books for you to read (yet…), no huge news (probably like all of us in the year 2020) and maybe a case of writer-comparison-syndrome, which tends to shut down everything else. 

Then I dug deeper, to think about my why. 

The answer surprised me.

Enter stage Perfectionism. 

Maybe you know the feeling? 

“Unless I have something wonderful, game-changing and profound with professional photographs, it’s not worth doing”.

Hey I even plastered this Charles Dickens quote over my CV a while ago: “anything worth doing is worth doing well.”

Which it turns out, may not have come from Charles Dickens but Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield. It’s officially this: “Whatever is worth doing at all, is worth doing well.”

A good idea but, in some people, the concept behind it can stop us from even trying. 

I used to blog all the time. I started it back in 2008, which is a long time in Blog-Land! 

The words flowed on whatever theme struck me – faith, ancient history, call-to-arms to fellow writers, some DIY and lots of opp0shopping related posts.

Then I guess I stopped writing because I started to categorise more than create. I started to overthink it.

Thoughts began to circle like, “Hmmm… where does this fit?” And worse, “Does this go with my brand?”

The more I categorised (and got lazy) and thought, the more fearful I became. Of having a voice. And writing to “only add value” to people’s lives, not just post “content chaff”.

I think by now you’re sensing my realisation: I was too hard on myself. I was too hard on my poor blog. 

Blogs are meant to be alive, imperfect, changing and usually – not fitting within any prior categories. (And the fix is easy, just make another category.)

Hey, this photo depicts a person blogging from space even… you never know! I’m leaving all options open.

Photo by Tom Leishman on Pexels.com

I’ll leave you with what I realised, and I hope it may help you too:

Who am I decide what is “adding value” to someone’s life?

How can I judge what might resonate with a reader I may not have ever met? 

Such is the power of writing, of words – and only one thing is needed for us writers: to have the courage to press Publish. Let’s do it!

The Sparkle Volleyball of Creativity

Creativity makes more creativity. 

It is a never-ending sky of beauty and innovation, birther of ideas, inventions and the little tweaks of life which can bring so much joy.

It is a tool, meant for good. I’m also learning it is a tool which is meant to be shared.

A volleyball to toss to another person – the opposite of a poison ball – which begins to then inspire, even change its holder.  I’m coining it sparkle volleyball!

Continue reading “The Sparkle Volleyball of Creativity”

My 3 Tips On Writing

Are you wanting to become a writer? You might already be one.

And if you don’t think so, well, you can become one.

I’ve been writing professionally since 2011, before then I was studying it for almost five years. I love it so much – there is always something new to learn, but most importantly write. So whether you’re at university, studying for a 21st century writing career ahead or penning away at a novel squirrelled in your study, post-work, I’ve put together a few tips which may be of service. Continue reading “My 3 Tips On Writing”

Writing Conferences And The Unknown

Fear Of The Unknown + Writing Conferences = Too Scary Box

“I’m not scared of anything except going to writing conferences!”

Not all that long ago, I could have worn a badge with those words plastered on it… not that I would have wanted to. Continue reading “Writing Conferences And The Unknown”