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Wolves, dreams and memories

I’m guessing it’s happened to you: you are re-reading a book and a crucial scene, the one you remembered most clearly of all, doesn’t actually occur in the story at all. For me, this happened with Angela Carter’s short story “The Company of Wolves” (in her collection The Bloody Chamber), and it set off a […]

The Great Spring

Natalie Goldberg, one of the greatest writers on freewriting, began as a student of Zen Buddhism.  It involved long hours of sitting meditation, disciplined timekeeping and mundane tasks, all in the spartan environment of the zendo (meditation centre). At the same time, she was beginning to write poetry, inspired by the idea that her own […]

Surrealist novels?

Can you name any Surrealist novels?  I don’t mean books with surreal elements such as magical, illogical or dream-like ideas or events, I mean novels about Surrealism as a movement or depicting Surrealist artists.  No?  That’s because there are very few. When I conceived the idea of a novel about the mysterious woman at the […]

Hopewell Ink on Radio 3

Instead of a post this month, here’s the link to the Radio 3 programme Exposure featuring my band Hopewell Ink at Neuadd Ogwen in Bethesda, North Wales, broadcast last Thursday. We are on first, and there’s also a short interview in which I explain how these spoken word and music pieces started off as freewriting […]

Hopewell Ink – Exposed!

Since 2013 I’ve been part of a band called Hopewell Ink and we’ve performed in local venues around North Wales.  Hopewell Ink consists of spoken word, and various instruments including drums, harmonium, and slide guitar.  The words are written and performed by me, and the electronic or acoustic music and sounds are created and performed […]

Finding Your Voice

Some artists have an utterly distinctive voice.  Within a second of hearing one twisted, mournful note, I can recognise the great Johnny Marr of The Smiths.  In the same way, the weirdly uncomfortable but perfect half-beat-off of Emily Dickinson’s poetry springs out at me before I have had time to check the quotation is hers.  […]

It’s time for Surrealist Games!

When people get together for Christmas or other festive events they often play games.  There’s Charades, especially for when a few drinks have been taken, or board games (often ending in family arguments). Then there’s the one where you have a post-it note with a name stuck to your forehead and you have to guess […]

The Surrealist Muse

The Oxford English Dictionary defines a muse as “a person (often a female lover) or thing regarded as the source of an artist’s inspiration”. Here is one of the muses of Surrealism: The image appeared on the cover of the group’s journal La Révolution Surréaliste in 1927 and the title is “L’Ecriture Automatique” (automatic writing). […]

The Makeover

This month’s post is a fairy story I wrote some years ago (all rights reserved, folks!). I hope it will amuse everyone and appeal to writers especially.  See if you can identify the different writing gurus, they are all connected with freewriting.  If you spot any resemblance to TV personalities or shows of the past, […]