‘You make a great cup of tea.’ I know it doesn’t sound like the most fulsome praise to give someone, but it’s a decent start. The small things matter, in fact, people are more likely to believe and remember the small compliments, the droplets of praise; they become the mortar holding our days together, they … Continue reading You Did Good
What if holding on opinion is over-rated and not making up one's mind is the better place to be?
We use the expression in Ireland, “giving out” – I’m not sure how far it travels. It can mean to tell someone off, to complain, fault-find, or to indulge enthusiastically in expressing one’s dissatisfaction with all and sundry. I have a good friend upon whom I rely for our weekly telephone dose of mutual giving … Continue reading Giving Out
The world has ground to a halt. Except that the wheels of the world grind slowly, and 2020’s halt felt more like an emergency stop. There we all were, spanking along, foot to the floor, probably on the wrong side of the speed limit, when a shadowy figure ran out unexpectedly. There are no wolves … Continue reading Wolves
Sometimes quoted as, ‘murder your darlings’ other times as, ‘kill your darlings’ -- whatever your preference, the advice amounts to the same thing: don’t scrimp when it comes to editing. Take to your writing with a red pen and the eye of Marie Kondo going through kitchen cupboards that haven’t been reviewed in a decade, … Continue reading Murder Your Darlings
“Two stars and a wish,” she told us brightly. I was at my Monday morning creative writing class and we were to do that ‘thing’ again: turn to the person next to you, take turns to read what you’ve written from the week before, then share your feedback. The instructions were to accentuate the positive (two … Continue reading Harsh Judgements