Your most useful, multi-purpose writing tool is……


A computer ? A dictionary ? A pair of compasses ? No- they come later.

The most useful writing tool in the world is…….metaphor.

Believe it.

It might be a good idea to set the table first, before we begin the meal. This is what Wikipedia has to say:

“A metaphor is a figure of speech that describes a subject by asserting that it is, on some point of comparison, the same as another otherwise unrelated object. Metaphor is a type of analogy.”

You compare A with B. They are very different, yet they have something in common. By comparing them you are saying something about A, something about B, and something about the collision which has just occurred. You’ve just made three things out of two. That’s poetic fission. And it’s just happened in your brain.

It doesn’t always work though. Some metaphors are dud from the start; others lose their punch and hang around at the end of sentences, like tramps looking for a handout. Politicians are particularly guilty in this regard, perhaps because they use second hand language. They assume that the electorate is stupid, and can’t be challenged. So they talk of ” level playing fields” when they mean equal opportunity; they promise that a new policy will be ” rolled out across the country” as though an idea is some kind of giant panjandrum which will rumble out of its hangar. And ” resilient” – I hate “resilient” almost as much as I hate “robust.” Both words have a muscular physicality about them which can’t be translated into the realm of abstract ideas. It doesn’t work, guys !

Sorry, I got a bit carried away there.

Meanwhile, back at my train of argument..the explosion, the poetic fission which has just happened in your head goes down on paper. If you’re a good writer, you leave it there for a few days. In the dark. To mature. And then you take it out again and taste it. Does it still leave a thrilling tingle on your tongue ? If it doesn’t, then it goes down the waste disposal. If it does, then it stays.

And then someone reads it…and it sets off another chain reaction in the reader’s head, which is the same as, and yet strangely different from the effect it had on you. And so it goes….

Human experience, the never-ending film that runs inside your head, is held together with…metaphor.

Enough for now. The compasses ? You’ll see their relevance in the next post.


I’d just like to thank…..


I have been nominated for an award. Not one of those great silver tea-urns, waved from the top of the team bus- no- just a quiet pat on the back- a “ thanks- you’re doing a good job.”

And I have to thank Daniel Budiarto for this. You will find him here

I’m up for The Liebster Award. If you want details of the Liebster, then go here:

In fact, it’s a round robin. Someone notices you, puts you on a list, and then you nominate in turn, and so it goes. It’s a small, but rewarding way of encouraging writers to write.


11 Facts about me.

I am almost very old.
I am a voice-over artist, among other things.
I can remember The Sixties.
I am owned by two cats and am The Walker of Choice for a small dog.
I buy too many books.
I am a cheese-a-holic – not Wensleydale, like Wallace- I’m a Stilton man.
I think too much and write too little.
My shoe size is 9 1/2.
I once met The Rolling Stones.
Apart from reading, my favourite pastime is sleeping.
I cannot drive, but I can walk really quickly.

My answers
If money were a nonissue, what would you do?
Run the best second hand bookshop in the world.

If there were a giant DELETE button, what would you erase completely off the earth?
Bad manners.

Name anybody famous, living or dead, whom you would like to have dinner with.
The Pope
What would you talk about with (3)?
What it’s like to be Pope

Summarize why you write in one or two words.
Can’t stop

If you had one one-way ticket to live in outer space, would you go? Yes.
If all books were to disappear from the universe but one, what would you want it to be? Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne.
How do you get inspiration? Never been inspired.
If you could be anybody other than yourself on Earth, who would you be?
Max Wall 1950’s comedian
What was the kindest thing you have ever done to a complete stranger?
Couldn’t possibly say

Now -my questions
1.What make was your first computer ? Mac / PC? Amstrad ?
2.What was your very first post about ? What made you write it ?
3.Physical book or e-reader ? Why ?
4.The one line of poetry you’ve never forgotten ?
5.Veggie or carnivore ?
6.Star Wars or StarTrek ?
7.Favourite historical character from the 20C ?
8.Town or country ?
9.Greatest hope ?
10.The title of Your Song ?

The nominations (5 here, 5 to come)

1.Alasdair Stuart at : for film, music,web, graphic novels and anything else in contemporary culture you can think of. And cooking. Especially cooking. Wide ranging, clever and engaging.

2.V.C Linde at
Terrific combination of thoughtful poetry, brilliant projects, and some lovely imagery.

3.Almost Written at Go here for lovely photographs and all your haiku needs.

The Brass Rag at for common sense, a gently inquisitive view of life and perceptive insight.

5.J.A. Hennrikus here: Any blog that includes Jane Austen and baking gets my vote.

You’ll note that there are only five nominees here. These are the blogs I’ve come to know and love. There are plenty of others out there as well- I just haven’t discovered them yet.
When I have, I’ll let you know.