Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Creative Writing - Progress Report 2

Not easy, this writing lark. In fact, it's downright hard. For years I've translated other people's words, written reports for conferences, political tracts, articles and polemical essays. I've written long letters and journals. But I've never written anything which is entirely about myself. This blog is my first experience of writing in the first person singular.

First thing to admit is that I've written several half chapters, but have completed none since Progress Report No. 1. I am floundering. I have several excuses, (I'm very good at excuses): I was unwell before Christmas and hardly able to think straight. Then came the festive season which always throws me. Since then it's been really hard to motivate myself. I have spent a lot of time thinking about the shape this memoir should take, how to get into it; I have drawn up outlines, copied some of the reminiscences posted on this blog to use as a basis for chapters to be fleshed out and mentally paraded the characters I intend to include.

I find it hard to stick to a schedule; there's always something else that gets in the way of writing. Should I opt for early mornings, before the day proper begins? But then Benno hears me moving about and wants attention; 'feed me and let me out', he whines. Should I opt for late evenings? I often blog late at night, or read. Reading is, of course, part of writing. Without regular and varied reading there is no writing.

After breakfast jobs need doing around the house, there's laundry and tidying up, there are meals to be prepared. After lunch it's dog walking, shopping, etc., you all know the score. Being retired should mean that the days are entirely at my disposal. Fat chance! On at least one or two days a week I am not at home at all.

Another problem I've come up against, is that blogging is entirely different from reading or writing seriously. I enjoy blogging, I've made friends I would never otherwise have made, but the blogging and writing mindset are different. I know some of you disagree, but I find writing requires me to concentrate fully, for hours, on the same subject; it requires focus. With blogging I can stop and start, read a few posts, write one, comment here and there; it doesn't matter how often I am interrupted, I can always go back later. Once my writing thread is interrupted, it's hard to get back into the flow. Beloved is a problem here, he thinks I might like a cup of tea, or he comes and asks me what he should do about vegetables for supper, say.

Then there's research. As this memoir is set in a different country from the one I live in, research is something I can't do by looking up the local records. Not everything is available on the internet. I may have to employ somebody to dig up names and help me with exactly pinpointing dates and events. Historical facts need checking; although this memoir is about my own memories, they need to be placed in context, otherwise the whole thing makes no sense.

Ideas and advice, please, from all you writers and wannabe writers out there who read this blog, and if there are writers amongst those of you who remain in the shadows, who neither comment nor join, but read (I know you are out there, Google has told me), I'd be grateful for your input too.  How do you/did you overcome lack of motivation and discipline?


  1. The best motivator I found recently was a daily word target. It's a bit artificial, but does mean you don't have to set aside a particular time for writing. Alternatively, just accept that you can't do it every day, but say aim for 3-4 days a week. Ultimately, it's about motivation to get the thing done; if that's strong enough, you'll find the time. Enlist Beloved's help by getting him to 'nag' you and ask him nicely not to disturb you when you've got your writing hat on.

  2. Well, I think you need to write what you know. If you are writing a "memoir" it does not need to be fact driven but more on your memory. A biography would need facts. You can write about today. You are not feeling well? Write about that! Benno? Write about Benno! Write about the mess, write about the shopping and the laundry. Write about your warm bed. Write about your grandma and grandpa and your best childhood friend. Write about the most trouble you ever got into as a child. Tell us about the worst/best person you ever worked for. Write about what makes you happy, sad, angry, scared, lonely. What is your favourite meal and how do you prepare it?
    I think you are thinking too much. Write for enjoyment, not out of obligation.

  3. This seems always to be my burning question. How to get motivated? You've got me Friko! I'm looking forward to the responses you receive here.
    Happy day!

  4. there definitely is a lot more discipline required to write...stay at it...def takes discipline...and you have to do it every day...

  5. You have the talent and I know that you will do a fine job!

  6. As you know I have started a horrendous writing project. A fiction taking place in a country I once visited ever so briefly! I spend much of my time coming to a word in a sentence or a description and I have to stop and research and research to make sure I have it accurately. Then I am slowly realizing that I must be able to answer why to every single things my protagonist does. Would she and why? Would she do or say it this way and why? New characters keep creeping in like sauce spatters on the stove and I have no idea if they are important or need only a mention.

    I do not follow a schedule although the early morning is the best time for me and I try to write then. I try to stop just before I think the story is taking a turn or something is going to happen. I must have it quiet. Once interrupted, like you I lose steam.

    You are a better writer than I, so I have faith this will come together. I think you are just a little impatient. Be kinder to yourself.

  7. I wanted to add that blog writing is very, very, very different from writing something longer that requires tenacity and complexity. Blog writing is quick, requires only cursory checking, and doesn't have to be fact checked...because who would know anyway?

  8. I am an undisciplined writer. Those quoted words of wisdom in my sidebar, from personal correspondence with the likes of Bleasdale and Waterhouse, are there to remind me of the fact. My problem, like many with a tale to tell, is that I'm far too easily distracted, to make significant progress. Maybe it's the same for you? Good luck.

  9. Yes, I am one of those who hover in the shadows. I am having a break/or have stopped blogging; I wasn't doing anything worthwhile with it.
    I am a wannabe writer; I have pages of memories prompts or 'shimmering images' that I want to get down. My problems are lack of discipline and lack of writing skills - plus a hovering Husband!
    Writing skills wouldn't be your problem. I think being able to set a time for writing each, or most, days is the answer, as is being able to make Husband understand that it is something serious.

  10. What you're hearing from the So. of Fr. is a deafening silence. If I knew.....

  11. How do I overcome lack of motivation and discipline? Friko,I don't know ... I'm still working on that one, my blogs are even getting a bit thin on the ground. Perhaps we're more all alike than we think we are.

  12. It doesn't sound to me like you lack motivation or discipline. Rather, it sounds like you are pretty productive, it's just how you feel about it that is more the issue. I would suspect you get the job done, sooner or later, but you feel that unless you are sitting down with a structured regimen, it somehow doesn't count. I think you should go with the flow, so to speak, and trust your process. Let it happen when it happens. Let it tell you rather than you tell it. Does this make sense? I could talk to you for quite some time about this, but I'll stop so you can go write ;)

  13. PS One more thought (and maybe I can send this one without typos the FIRST time ;)). I find that when I impose too much structure on what I perceive is my process, it stomps the creative life out of whatever I'm doing. For what it's worth...

  14. My blog is my first experience at writing to and i take the attitude of just getting on with it and see where it takes me :-).

  15. Go into your writing room and lock the door, turn the radio off, put soundproof ear covers on, leave a notice on the door outside, "Please do not disturb". Then set the alarm for your work period and go to it. There is no place for interruptions when you are working.....

  16. Blogging and writing are indeed two different things, with some overlap.

    I did a brief stint as a freelance writer and can identify with the need for focus and discipline. It is hard. Word targets can help. Also, time will be filled with something. If you want to write, then let something else go. Carve out a space for writing and make that time a priority. Train your beloved - nicely. Ask for his support, he'll be thrilled.

  17. First of all, a concrete suggestion. If you don't have William Zinsser's book, "Writing About Your Life", I recommend it. Zinsser, of course, is the author of "On Writing Well", an absolute classic. Both books were put into my hands about two years ago. If I were a little closer, I'd come running down the road, bang on your door and put them into yours.

    Now, some words from Zinsser himself that may be of use:

    [If you're going to write] the story of your life, mere facts aren't enough. No matter how many details you diligently collect about the people and places and events in your past, they won't add up to a memoir. .. We like to think an interesting life will simply fall into place on the page. It won't. Life is too disorganized...

    To write a memoir, you must manufacture a text. You must construct a narrative so compelling the reader will want to keep reading... You are the central actor in your story, and you must give yourself a plot... Like a playwright or screenwriter, [you must rearranged and compress your story] to give it dramatic shape."

    There's 228 pages of that kind of stuff, along with very concrete and practical suggestions.

    You've read the two Louisiana travel posts - I tried to take Zinsser's words seriously there, to create a story instead of doing the "and then we went there, and then we went there" business. It didn't work perfectly, but it worked well enough for me to think the guy really knows what he's talking about.

    Here's a place for you to start now - an NPR interview and an excerpt from another of his books, "How to Write a Memoir". It's just wonderful, and addresses very specifically the issues of motivation and discipline as they relate to memoir-writing.

  18. It's been so long since I've written anything more than a blog post, I'm not sure I can be much good here. But, digging from the deep past when I was writing fiction, I'll pass on a couple things that helped me. First, while I knew it would be best if I wrote in the morning, before the day started up in earnest, I was never able to achieve it. So, instead, I set myself a "deadline" of stopping and sitting down with writing trappings around me by 2 or so in the afternoon. Two hours. Minimum! Without interruption (making a pact with the mate, who was always quite happy to have me busy so she could do as she wished without interruption too).

    Well, of course, then the trick was not to get diverted by the myriad of distractions I am so talented at conjuring up. Starting small always helped: a cup of tea (of course), a re-read of a print-out of what I'd already written (if a large piece, the latest chapter, say), pen in hand. I found a print-out helpful for this, so I was less tempted to veer off and start seeing what's doing on the internet. Before long, an idea might bubble up and I'd pursue it. I'd get on the computer and write without editing for as long as I could stand, then "reward" myself with a poke about the internet for "research" and spend some time editing what I'd written. All that said, I suspect you're streaks beyond whatever I could suggest!

  19. Years ago I took a creative writing class. The teacher had published many articles and essays and even a fairly long novel. She said that writing was a discipline that required her to get herself into the mood. She would start by sitting down at the computer and answering emails. Then she would start on a small project and afterwards work a while on a longer project.

    I tried these methods, but I'm not actually wanting to write much any longer than a post or two. She said she was amazed at how many talented writers passed through her class and never wrote anything at all afterwards. Discipline, I guess, and motivation are not able to be imposed from without.

  20. My book demanded to be written. I was obsessed with it and constantly thought of things, or saw things that "belonged in it" so they went into the notebook. By the time I had my MS, I couldn't stand my own 'voice.'
    The words swam before my eyes. A good friend came over for 3 days in a row, and I read him the entire thing. I had to HEAR the words and sentences.
    We heard a very few things to fix. But people from intellectuals, to average folks tell me it's 'easy to read." People I value have raved. I'm in the library and Amazon. I did it because it demanded to be written. blogging is:

    " blogging is entirely different from reading or writing seriously. I enjoy blogging, I've made friends I would never otherwise have made, but "

    Yes, bite-sized and ruined me for anything longer than a commentary or position paper. . . . unless I get another case of "this story must be told by me!"

    Aloha from Waikiki, Friko
    Comfort Spiral

    > < } } ( ° >

  21. I totally agree that blogging is totally different than what I call "writing-writing". I haven't done much of it since my health has been so bad for the very reasons you describe. It would take me a while to work into the zone and then I could get lost in time writing for hours and hours. But stopping and being interrupted was hard for me, too. These days I can't sit in one place long enough to even get into the writing zone. I have to get up and take breaks just to blog, but with blogging it is easy to pick up where you left off. When I did write quite a bit (only have had short stories and poems published in lit mags) I picked the time of day that was best for me not to interrupted or sidetracked and that was evening. No wonder I would often be shocked to hear the birds waking up pre-dawn--LOL! I have never figured out how to do that kind of writing in short little sections of time since my body stopped cooperating. But once you really get going and it takes hold of you--you won't have any trouble. :)

  22. I can relate to this Friko - oh how easy it is to procrastinate than pin yourself down to a specific writing task. (I am procrastinating now - using the need to visit blogs and comment - rather than getting down to serious writing - I haven't worked on 'my book' for months - always find excuses.)

    Odd thing is that when I am away from the comp or indeed paper and pen - my mind is flooded with wonderful ideas. Damn annoyuing!

    Anna :o]

  23. I think that each of us has to find what works for us. And if you really want to write, you will.

    Shoreacres quotes from Zinsser are right on the mark, I think. You need to give the main character of your memoir (you) a compelling drive -- she must want something very much and the reader must be invested in following her struggles to attain this goal -- whether it be a new pair of shoes, understanding, a puppy, love, whatever. Once you have this premise in place, your various chapters can speak to this -- how is she moving closer to the goal? What obstacles are in her way and how does she overcome them

  24. You're asking a tough question Friko. Who knows from whence the crative muse springs?

    I have spent my life writing technical material,field reports, correspondence, etc. Creative writing eludes me, although I love the well-turned phrase.

    I think you write beautifully, which is why I keep coming back to your site. As for motivation, you can have all of the motivation in the world, but if you can't write...well it's like loving art and being unable to paint. Dianne

  25. A fascinating post and comments thread, Friko. Not feeling the compulsion to write anything longer than a thoughtful blogpost, I can't offer much practical advice, other than the need to carve out a undisturbed chunk of time when you can truly concentrate.

    I had to do this when following a three-year course of study in the middle of a busy working life and it was HARD! Other things had to be sacrificed to it, including holidays and most other forms of recreation and you definitely need an understanding partner.

    Good luck. If this memoir is meant to be, you will do it.

  26. As always, a very interesting post, Friko. I understand completely how one can become distracted from what is of primary importance in one's life. When that happens to me, however, there is an onset of depression, which, in turn, leads me to strip away what is nonessential in order that I can concentrate on the essential. I ask myself this: What really matters? Once I can answer that, I have fewer problems finding the discipline needed to accomplish my goals.

  27. Ah, Friko, if only I had the answer, I would have written so much by now. Writing a blog has been good for me in that it keeps me disciplined to write something almost every day

    Writing a memoir is a bit different. I do my best work when I am alone and it is quiet. Some people work well with music in the background. I'm better without, so, late at night works for me, or very early morning. I wish I could discipline myself for a blocked out time, but, like you, I'm on the move many days.

    For me, the best motivator is a deadline, which I always meet in the eleventh hour. In fact, one sits, half done right now and it needs to be email in three hours. ha! Off I go . . .

  28. Friko, I so relate to needing focus and losing it so easily, in blogging, in living life as a whole. What comes to mind is the writing of Julia Cameron, who is back with us here in The Land Of Enchantment, once again a local and an inspiration to creative folks world wide. If you have not checked out her book The Artist Way, maybe most famous, or The Right To Write, please do so. She gives very practical advise on how to guard against say intrusions to our creative process. She advocates Morning Pages as a must, hand written, 3 pages long as daily preparation for - living/writing/creating. I really appreciate your update and look forward to how things will move forward as I have great faith in your abilities.

  29. "When we let writing be a Big Deal, it is difficult to do it. When we find that without our wanting it to, writing has become a Big Deal, we need to learn to negotiate. I negotiate by bribes:"

    "Being in the mood to write, like being in the mood to make love, is a luxury that isn't necessary in a long-term relationship."

    Julia Cameron

  30. I have published 3 memoirs: 2003, 2005, and 2008.

    For each memoir, I bought a 3 ring binder, printed a picture with a title and my name under it, and placed it on the binder cover. Then I printed a title page, copyright page, and dedication page and inserted them into the binder.

    As I wrote one chapter after another, I inserted it into the binder. Before starting a new chapter, I read the preceding chapter, editing as I read.

    My first memoir dealt with my grandparents who immigrated to Hawaii from Korea. Since they are dead, I relied on my aunts and uncles and my mother for information.

    I included 25 photos in my book.

    Pretty soon, my binder was full. I published it. I did this 3 times!

    Good luck and have fun publishing!

  31. I'd miscast myself as a memoirist.
    I'm more of an off the hip whenever blogger. But your stuff is eminently accessible, at least for me. ~Mary

    ps deadlines in other areas of my life work for me. i very much respect deadlines.

  32. Just this: Don't think too hard over the first draft. Find a voice you're comfortable with and plow through it, whenever time permits. Overlook rough patches and leave blanks for details that need to be filled in. Just get the skeleton up.

  33. If you HAD to write your memoir - say it was a class you were taking and so many pages a day was your assignment, or part of your job was to write so many pages a day (I did have a job like that once) what would you do? How would you manage your time if this was a "must do?" Would it help to have an "office," a place where you only wrote and did nothing else? Perhaps you could rig a study carroll where you could hide out from temptations (and beloved). When I had reams of writing to do for my graduate classes I left everything to the weekends and then made myself sit down on Saturday morning (I was too tired to write every day after work) and at least start. Once that barrier was breached, continued writing was possible. I did the same when I was writing for a newspaper or magazine deadline - I'd work myself into a corner time-wise until I had no choice but to write. If all else fails, take yourself by the hand, say, "Come Friko, let's go write!" and treat it as going off to play with your best friend.

  34. Well Friko, I know that you are fine writer, and have also got lots of interesting life to capture in a memoire. My advice would be to exercise some sort of scheduling discipline, but also not to berate yourself for any lack of words on the page or screen.

    You've reminded me of a much published writer I knew decades ago. I am sorry that he has now passed on, but my memories of him are quite strong. He was Italian, had lived in New York for decades, but also had a Russian family heritage. By choice, he lived in a small apartment in a very posh part of New York. His main room had a sort of shelf arranged around three of its four walls. On each of these shelves were stacked piles of papers, representing various works in progress, in his three languages!

    He used a manual Olivetti, and was a unique force of nature. Many of his shorter pieces appeared in The New Yorker magazine.

    He kept his own eccentric hours, took long walks around NYC to refresh his mind. His accomplished children were mostly raised by his also very accomplished attorney wife.

    Anyhow, many of his novels were forms of memoirs.

    I do miss being able to take some of those walks with him, learning much about the literary history of this city.

    Friko...see how you've summoned up some of my own memories?


  35. Hello Friko,

    Here is my advice. Try writing a memoir about excuses. You say that you are good at these. I like the advice from Alice in Wonderland... Start at the beginning and when you get to the end... stop.

    I was sitting in the Portales once in Morelia Mexico. I saw a man sitting next to me hunched over a computer. I noted the model. I wanted to buy a similar one so I leaned over and asked... Hey Gringo, what computer is tha..

    Strangely enough, he answered and said it was something or other. I asked him what he was writing. He said he was a scriptwriter from California and had figured out a formula on how to write scripts. He said something like a scene lasts maybe 90 seconds so I write about 90 seconds worth and then write 20 more.

    He started to get suspicious then. He said, there are these guys following me. I think that they are with the intelligence services. He was serious. He said to me, I think that they are following me all the time.

    I said, well ciao gringo and left for the plaza de las armas which was far away from the portales.

  36. I have no useful suggestions. I need to write on the spur of the moment, as the flow of words hits me. Often this happens on the bus, and the surge of creativity evaporates. When I set out to write, often it becomes very turgid. and I run out of inspiration and topics. I don't think I have a book in me which needs to be written, and I don't have sufficient recall to write the story of my life. and there re parts too painful to want to recall. so blogging suits me well enough, and reading other blogs does inspire me, to come across how others write, to read their experiences and insights, and to enjoy their creative use of language. So many others are able to stand outside themselves and have insights which are beyond my ken.
    In my professional life my writing was quite academic, but I don't do that sort of thing any more. It is the personal I want to explore, and now that there is no one to infringe my privacy, I have a freedom which was lacking in many years. I now feel that despite exploring my emotions, I am able to do so both in a personal sense, but also with some degree of detachment and with some degree of impartiality. And I hope that I can learn from the very varied experiences of others, and that they will enable me to step outside of my own closed world.

  37. I still struggle with motivation and discipline and probably always will. Blogging has improved things as far as writing goes--I try to maintain a regular schedule. And I do this with multiple blogs (including one blog devoted to memoir). But writing outside of blogging I find difficult. Same with reading. At least I don't sit around watching television or something like that.

    Tossing It Out

  38. i think writing is sometimes like going to the gym - you can always find reasons not to go unless you say "no, i will go regardless"

    Find a day and a time and a room if possible and commit that you will always use that time to write - and keep writing through the problems.

    "Give writers a window to stare out of and they will get no writing done" Stephen King

    "Writing is like staring at a piece of paper until your head bleeds" Douglas Adams

    Well, it worked out ok for them - didn't it? So if they struggle, then take comfort in not being alone

    When it's going well - ah well, there's nothing quite like it

    "Writing is the most fun you can have on your own" Terry Pratchett

  39. The initial writing is ok - you can just start typing on the keyboard, but the important part in a serious work is the revising and editing. At least that's what they tell me. And so the short stories and outlines for novels sit in a drawer unedited because I am always thinking of the next thing to write. Yours writing is always well crafted, Friko, a joy to come back to over and over again. All the best with something longer and more challenging.

  40. Hi, Friko,
    Good luck with you memoirs. Blogging is only as intriguing as the respondents, and you really have a following – takes a half-an-hour to read your comments! Blogging to me is not as important as my private work. When I was young, I had lots of free time. Now, I pick and choose my sessions at the keyboard. Time is such a critical factor, of which I am working on securing more of it soon.

    And, good luck with DrDx. He writes wonderfully, although somewhat out-of-my-league. I like his blog Uncle Donnie’s Stories About Everything (Bronze@8K) best.

    Take care,

  41. I've published a memoir and a history. Both projects took two years, pretty much full time.

    Many of these comments offer good advice. At the risk of severe overkill, here's mine.

    Being too rigid in your approach takes much of the pleasure out of creating a major work, but I think three things are important:

    1. Form a mindset that your writing project is what you will do every day. Instead of deciding to devote four or six hours to it, decide to devote all your time to it. Then, you can establish an hour or two, or whatever is absolutely necessary, for everything else. As with a diet, you will fail now and then and get out of your writing mode. Don't despair, just return to it and go on.

    2. Establish a place where you work on your project and nothing else.

    3. Set up a good filing system that mimics your first rough outline (chapter by chapter). Be prepared to change it and the outline many times as you go along.

    Go to your writing place, sit down, and make it happen!

  42. I've heard so many wonderful things about you from other bloggers. I just had to stop by.

    You sound very motivated. ;)
    I have a hard time sticking to a schedule at times. If I don't write first thing in the morning, then I don't get a chance at all.

    I'm so glad to have stopped by :0)

  43. Dear Friko,
    Here are a few thoughts on writing. Some of this I've learned through working at the craft. Some, I've heard from others or read.

    First: Decide what you want to be able to say to yourself each night or at the end of each week. For example, do you want to be able to say each night, "I worked on my memoir today?" What is it you need to do to feel as if you are accomplishing something?

    Second: Once you decide this, you will then know how often you want to write each week. And whether you want so many words each writing session or whether you are happy simply writing the thought you have that day.

    Third: Some writers want and need an outline. Other writers--and I'm one of them--sit and let the words come. Often I'm surprised by what comes. For me the story takes on its life, not the life I'm trying to impost on it. But perhaps that doesn't feel comfortable for you. Then find what does and know that every writer finds his or her own milieu.

    Fourth: Resist the urge to edit as you write. Often we edit a piece to death. We remove all its juices. And often we never finish a manuscript because we keep editing.

    For myself, I need to see that I can get to the end of the book. Then I know I've accomplished something. "There is a book here," I can say. So I do a first draft --a truly rough draft--and never look back. Where I stop one day, I start the next.

    When I get to the end, then I know I have a book. Then it is that I go back and produce a second draft through sometimes ruthless editing and always through thoughtful cutting. You don't know what you have until you have it. So I just write to the end and consider that my first rough draft. Then comes the editing.

    Well, this has gotten long. I don't want to take up any more space, but I hope the little I've said here helps you because I so believe in your ability to craft a fine memoir.


  44. May I just add that all of these sincere and thoughtful comments is proof to me that there are people waiting on your book . If they could write it for you they would:).
    I assume this process will have transitions and learning curves and surprises. But it will be so worth it.

    all the best to you . Write to done.

  45. It was very interesting for me to read all the comments with the various advices. I love reading but don’t care much for writing. I write my blog around my pictures. My pictures come first, then I write. I don’t care for my writing either. If I think in French and translate what I think it comes out better I believe, but I don’t do that often. I also think that writing a “memoir” would not be like writing fiction or poetry. You do have to remember events – write them down, then look at the sentences. I am reading a book now on Ernest Hemingway and how, at the start of his career, when he had no money and lived in a small apartment in Paris, he still had to rent another room to be able to write – he had to be totally alone. I hope you achieve what you wish to do and are happy with the results.

  46. I have always found that setting a daily word count goal to be the most successful for me. And most important, not to have any distractions or interruptions cause then I'll just go take care of them.

  47. Good morning, Friko!

    It's Saturday, the only day I've had in a bit to make the rounds and enjoy blogs.

    It's so useful to me on this day to read this post -- I have similar issues regarding writing, blogging and doing my art. Adding in the job, of course, puts a bit of a snarl in things. The necessary evil, I call it. But I write all day at work, and to come home and write again, even if it's my own thing, can be a challenge. I love the short form blog posts and the camaraderie with writers and artists and simply other like-minded individuals, but the novel in my head seems to stay there. I sometimes think if I ever start writing it, words will pour out and I won't be able to stop.

    I'm curious about your memoir -- the challenges of the record-checking would be siginificant, but not insurmountable. I've tossed that idea about -- I suppose as we get older, we want to leave some of our history behind.

    I look forward to more of your fascinating posts and hope your other writing doesn't keep you too far from your blog.

  48. When you find the answers please tell me dear Friko. I too am in the swamp, up to my armpits in crocdiles.

    Happy New Writing Year

    Isabel x


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