Friday, 24 December 2010


Nearly Christmas and we are still caught up in a frozen landscape. It is the coldest December since 1894,and those Victorian Winter Wonderland of frozen rivers and lakes.
If only the roads and pavements were salted it wouldn't be so bad,but the sparkle of diamonds in the snow has worn off. The icicles are amazing hanging from the guttering like sculpture,as long as they don't bring down the guttering when they fall.

Friday, 17 December 2010


My hand is much better. I had the stitches out.For the last two days I've had no voice.I think I picked up my sore throat at the doctors' surgery waiting to see the nurse. A poet with no voice is ironic. I open my mouth and there is nothing. I've been dosing myself on lemon, honey,ginger and cough sweets.

Snow outside -6 inches deep. I went through it to put up fat balls for the birds. Then indoors to try and find my voice.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010


The day of my operation arrived-the first day of the advent calendar - and it wasn't as bad as I thought.

My right hand has 6 stitches,and is painful.I can't write,and can't drive for 6 weeks. Although in this snow and ice I don't want to drive. I have the stitches out next week, and can swim again in a fortnight.

At last it's over.I think the anticapation is the worst bit.Last night I wrote my Christmas cards and the rent cheque. So no washing up for a while, and I'm learning to type with my left hand.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Selling Our Anthology

It is hard selling books-harder to sell the books than write them-but the role of the author is also to sell. Our anthology Of Cake And Words was aimed for the Christmas market. It is the perfect stocking filler or Christmas present.

Yesterday it snowed. Today it is the Christmas Fayre. We've paid for our stall and so armed with cakes and books we slither through the snow and ice. We offer a piece of cake and some people buy our anthology. A whole day, but we sell twelve. One of the buyers works for the Book Council. Would we like our book listed on their site? A brilliant moment!

So a cold hard day, but worth the effort.

Copies Of Cake And Words are available through The Cwrtnewydd Scribblers website.

Tuesday, 16 November 2010

Of Cake and Words

Our writing group anthology has just been published and it's an excellent read. Only £3.50, with 50p from each copy going to the Air Ambulance. I sold some the other day and was asked to sign them-I felt like a celebrity. Perhaps we haven't produced enough with them selling well and sure to become collectible. We have booked a stall at the Christmas Fayre and hope to sell plenty.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Poetry Interview

Last week I had the pleasure of interviewing resident Welsh poet, Sue Moules.

Hi Sue, Thank you for agreeing to be guest poet on my blog. Whenever I pick up a volume of poetry I am always wary of what it will contain. Poetry can be wonderful or it can be very, very dreadful. I was so thrilled when I first read yours, it absolutely sings. You present a unique view of the world and take the reader beyond the obvious and turn the mundane into something special. What was it that made you realise you had this ability and what first prompted you to write?

I started writing poetry when I was about eight. I always enjoyed reading and loved the poem, Hiawatha by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. My grandfather, Frank Longfellow, said we were related to the American poet, but I don’t think we are. I wrote poetry because I found stories difficult. However, I did win the Brooke Bond prize at school for a story, with my friend, Sheena, coming second. The headmaster had expected her to win and had read her story out to the school. Sheena and I used to write poems together - one line each - in small red Memo books.

Ooh, you may be surprised; you should trace your family tree and find out if you are related to Longfellow, maybe that is where you get your talent. So, you have written from childhood, how long was it before you were first published and how did it feel?

My first poem to be published was in the local paper w hen I was a child, back in the 1960’s. The poem was called Trees and it rhymed. I was very excited to see my poem in print. I got a 2/6d postal order which seemed like a fortune. My first literary publication was in 1982 in Poetry Wales. It felt good to be in the company of published poets, and knowing that my work had made the standard. I had been trying since I graduated from University in 1979, so it had cost a lot in postage and rejections.

What about your main influences, tell us about them.

I like to say that I am influenced by no one and everyone but obviously everything read is an influence. I studied English Literature at University and read a lot of dead male poets. I wrote my dissertation on Sylvia Plath. Since then I have discovered many women poets such as Elizabeth Bishop and Mary Oliver and many male poets.

I know you have several books published, can you tell us about the latest ones and perhaps which are your favourites?

My favourite book is always the most recent, so The Earth Singing (Lapwing) published in August 2010. Although getting a box of The Copyright of Land (National Poetry Foundation), my first book after three pamphlets, back in 2000 was exciting.

Your poems are very evocative, you seem to see the world in quite a unique way, or at least to be able to describe it in a more colourful manner than most people. Is this something that came naturally or did you have to learn to do it?

I think that going on courses helps define one’s work and encourages it to be more outgoing. My themes tend to be introspective, although I would see myself as a nature poet. My poems are full of colour because I would have liked to have been good at art. I think a poet never stops learning and that comes from hearing other poets and reading other poets.

And each new experience presumably alters the way we see the world and learn from it. What keeps you motivated and where do you look for support?

I go through phases when I’m not motivated, when I think I’m wasting my time, but then, when I manage to craft a piece that works and isn’t “chopped up prose” I feel I’ve achieved something.
I think a form can help to achieve this. As a child I loved those square puzzles which had a picture broken down into smaller squares. You had to move the squares around to make the picture complete. Another of my favourite games was a small hand held solitaire game, with small blue plastic markers. The aim being to achieve one marker in the centre of the game. Years later I enjoyed précis at school, reducing words down to their basics. All good grounding for a poet. I find it hard to write a long piece. A poem that goes over the page is an achievement for me. I find it hard to write prose, as I want to get to the kernel of the story.
At primary school we read ballads, The Highwayman, The Ballad of Patrick Spens, The Ancient Mariner, Hiawatha etc. I do like to have story in my poems, and it probably comes from this early grounding.
I was lucky to have excellent English teachers at the three secondary schools I attended. At ‘O ‘level we studied Six Modern Poets, living poets, and my favourite poem was Relic by Ted Hughes. I hadn’t come across Hughes before, or Philip Larkin - his “blackbird /astonishing the brickwork“ was just a fantastic observation that I remember often.
I also studied Elizabeth Jennings. I knew that Christina Rossetti and Emily Bronte had been poets, but Elizabeth Jennings was a living female poet. It was good to see that women could be poets too.
At University English Literature ended with W.H. Auden but my knowledge of contemporary poetry has come from subscribing to magazines and reading. I first went to poetry readings at University and started to buy poetry books then. Unfortunately, back in the 1970s there weren’t creative writing degrees.

Are you a member of any writing groups?

I belong to so many groups I never have time to write! I seem to be a real groupie. It is hard to be a writer in isolation and, by meeting up with other like-minded people, you are able to talk shop, which of course keeps you motivated. I attend workshops and try to go on a writing course every year if I can afford to. Being with other writers can be inspiring and having the space to write is important. Often I write and think it’s “a so what piece” and often it is, but occasionally I write something I’m really pleased with.

If you don’t mind, I would like to include an example of your poetry in this blog, can you suggest one that means a great deal to you and explain why?

The following poem is from The Earth Singing, it is a mirror poem, and took some crafting.

On The Night of A Full Moon

This is a spell to make things right:
plant when the moon is waxing,
harvest when the moon is waning.
The eyes of the cat are copper circles,
its feline body sussurates along the cold pavement.
As I name the stars and planets,
call on their wisdom,
the continuity of sky,
crunch of autumn leaves on grass,
short days and dark nights.

Short days and dark nights.
crunch of autumn leaves on grass,
the continuity of sky.
Call on their wisdom,
as I name the stars and planets.
Along the cold pavement.
its feline body sussurates,
the eyes of the cat are copper circles.
Harvest when the moon is waning.
plant when the moon is waxing,
This is the spell to make things right.

In the past 10 years Ceredigion, where I live, has started to celebrate the fact that Dylan Thomas lived in the area by putting up plaques to show where he lived. One day driving into Aberaeron there was a cut out model of the poet standing outside the bookshop. As well as being surprised and shocked, I thought it quite surreal, especially as Dylan Thomas had not been given such acclaim when he was alive and so I wrote the poem “I Labour by Singing Light” taken from his ‘In my Craft and Sullen Art.’

‘I Labour by Singing Light’ From ‘In my Craft and Sullen Art’ by Dylan Thomas.

Outside Bookworm in Aberaeron
Dylan Thomas stands
life size in his sepia photo,
dead before he was forty.

‘Yes, I remember the boyo
left a tax bill,
and at the Seahorse in New Quay
he never paid his tab.’

We are all keen to claim him now,
put up blue porcelain plaques
on the places he visited,
the houses he rented.

‘Drunkard, womaniser, waster’
they called him then.

All summer this cut out
has done the rounds,
famous not for poetry
but for drink and a film
that has taken truth and made fiction.

In his singing light
he might have laughed
to be standing on Alban Square
stopping traffic.

Lovely, Sue, thank you so much for sharing them with us. If any of my readers wish to purchase a volume of your work, can you tell me where they are available?

My poetry books are available from Amazon or direct from me: I prefer to sell them myself as there is little money in poetry and I’d prefer it went to me or my publishers rather than Amazon. Amazon is quick, easy and efficient and I enjoy using it myself, but I always try and buy friends’ books direct from them.

Copyright Sue Moules 2010

Posted by Judith Arnopp at 00:56 1 comments
Friday, 22 October 2010

Poetry Interview

Last week a friend of mine,the novelist Judith Arnopp, interviewed me for her blog page.This can be viewed at

Monday, 11 October 2010

Caryl Ward

While my son was at his Life Saving class at the swimming pool the other day, I went for a walk in the University grounds,and ended up by the river sitting on Caryl's bench. I like to do this once in a while to remember my friend Caryl Ward. When I first met her she said she'd chosen to come and study at Lampeter because of the Writers' Workshop. I had met her work in publications such as On My Life{Honno) and was pleased to get to know her as a friend as well as an excellent poet and short story writer. She published a small pamphlet of poems during her life time-Muddy Eyes (Red Sharks Press).

It must be eleven years since she died, five months after being diagnosed and treated for cancer. When I saw her last she was studying for an M.Phil in creative writing at the University of Glamorgan and writing a novel.

I raised the money for this bench and plaque by asking writers to contribute. Everyone was so generous. One letter with a cheque said "I never met Caryl but we shared anthology pages together."

As I sat by the river,I remembered Caryl who would have achieved so much more than a small poetry pamphlet, and magazine and anthology publications.Perhaps a publisher will sit on the bench and ask who was Caryl Ward, and publish a collection of her work.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

National Poetry Day

Everyone who knows me knows that I celebrate NPD every year. At the Women's Workshop we invite women to bring in poems on the theme-this year the theme was home. We had flowers, cake and chocolates, and tea from a teapot with a jug of milk.

We had a huge variety of well-loved poems about places which were home.Then the exciting part to create your own poem.Many didn't need a prompt ,but I took Thomas Hood's poem I remember, I remember, /the house where I was born. It was a good takng off point for poems and memoir.

So for NPD tomorrow find a poem you like about home-it can be about an animal or about a place,then have a go and write your own home poem.

Saturday, 25 September 2010


Twenty-four years ago,back in 1986,when my daughter was just a few weeks old,I was invited to buy a share in a new women's co-operative publishing venture,Honno.
Honno is the Welsh word for that,it is a feminine pronoun.

I am fortunate to have been published in two Honno anthologies-Exchanges,Poems by Women in Wales,and in On My Life,a memoir collection.These were a long time ago,back in the early days. Later in the 1990s I had my poetry collection Foxglove Land accepted for publication,but although the Honno editorial board wanted it, the Arts Council of Wales readers wouldn't fund it.I wasn't angry with Honno ,but with the Arts Council for their funding policy.

Honno is now 24 years old.It no longer has to re-submit manuscripts to the Arts Council for approval .Its books are found in bookshops and libraries,but they also have a catalogue and website. And it is still a co-operative of women working together to celebrate women That 1970s and 1980s idealism is still alive in Wales. Honno is a press with a purpose,it hasn't been eaten up by any big company. It you have a share, you have a vote. Check out their website,,and buy a book.

Monday, 6 September 2010

Ty Newydd Anthology

Up to North Wales on Saturday for the launch of The Listening Shell,an anthology of poems to celebrate 21 years of Ty Newydd. A marquee on the lawn and music ,and of course poetry. An interesting anthology edited by Gladys Mary Coles and available from Headland Publications, a small poetry press based in Ruthin. All profit from the sale of the book is being donated to Ty Newydd's bursary fund ,which enables those who can't afford the full fee to go on course. The book contains 60 poems and includes Gllian Clarke and Carol Ann Duffy.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Poetry Doesn't Make Money

Of course, I know poetry doesn't make money. The buzz with a poem is, as either Coleridge or Wordsworth said , "getting the right words in the right order".
However, looking up my new book on Amazon, I noticed that my collection The Copyright of Land ,which sold at £5 when it was published ten years ago ,is now out of print and is changing hands on Amazon for £20 a copy. A shame I only have my reading copy left.

Of course, poetry is ephemera to a book seller and that's where the money is, not in the poetry but the rarity. Poetry has small print runs ,usually no more than 200),so a first edition can have value. Seeing my book listed at four times its original price was a good boost, especially as I now have a box of The Earth Singing to sell.

Friday, 13 August 2010


It is always exciting and a little frightening to see your new book. Will there be errors,is everything as it shold be,am I happy with it? So much time and effort goes into putting a collection together and getting the title right.Then eventually, after all the proofs,the long wait to publication ,the books arrive in a box. An anti-climax really. They are in your front room and you have to get them into the bookshops and into the hands of the reader.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Back from four and a half days at Ty Newydd with my batteies re-charged having met some interesting people, heard some stunning poems, been on some fantastic walks, eaten delicious food and had a Cadwalladers' ice cream. And now I'm back to reality-the dirty oven,kitchen surfaces needing a clean, a fridge to defrost, washing tumbling out of the linen basket. And in the garden a jungle of growth-how can things go to seed in only four and a half days? Those days that went so quickly when I was away seem to have gone slowly here to create this amount of chaos.

Monday, 5 July 2010

Book Launch

In Cardigan on Thursday night in the rain for the launch of Sixty Poems for Haiti ,edited by Eli Niland and Maggie Harris. I was asked to contribute and so am at the Welsh launch of the book. A shame more people didn't turn up,especially as the venue had a stage,microphone and bar. The audience were appreciative even if the weather wasn't. A long drive home,the roads alive with leaping frogs and toads.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010


At last I'm back on line and catching up on emails-383 of them- after I spent a few days at the Hay Festival, and then 183 after the computer went on a go slow and had to go in for a service. It took ages to sort and I had to buy a new router, but I'm back in the swing of things now with a poem appearing in an anthology for Haiti which is due out in July.

Nothing happens through the post any more,which as several things haven't arrived ,is perhaps a good thing except I don't like correcting proofs on line. I print them out and use a red pen.A pdf file that you can't correct a spelling mistake on is a nightmare. So as I haven't seen a proof of my poem,which has probably already been printed and packaged,I hope there are no typos in my few lines.

Friday, 14 May 2010


I am searching for grants to help defray the publishing costs of a writing group anthology. I know there are funds out there....... somewhere.

Our editor applied to the Arts for all Lottery fund. His Arts Council advisor was sure we'd be successful. We had a constitution, accounts, project all ready, but we didn't get a grant.

It is very disappointing when that happens, so I've taken up the baton and am seeking, searching, delving for some small grants to make a dream a reality.

An Anthology is a perfect achievement for a writing group. It is inclusive and showcases the group. It is wonderful for morale, a good opportunity for a launch party, and the publicity re-energises the group,and often new people join.

As I phone and email and find that a lot of community funding no longer exists I am down-hearted. Local projects are important for communities. The village shops and post offices have been closed, many of the smaller schools also, and the pubs can't make a living. A community needs its meeting places.Ours is a 1950s hall, their committee are busy fund raising to upgrade. There is a graph of progress on the wall. We met in it when it was cold and we had to wear our coats and scarves. Now they have put in double-glazed windows and new heating. We can write without our coats and scarves. Like them ,our fund raising is piece-meal:raffles, book sales, car boot sales. A small grant would boost our fundraising, and make seeing work in print a closer reality.

We will get there, but somewhere there is a grant for a small rural based writing group. I have to seek it out so we can apply.

Saturday, 24 April 2010


Two weeks without rain and the garden is dusty and dry. The water butt, full of March rain,is now empty. The air is heavy. Is it volcanic dust or just the lack of moisture usually present?

Usually, when the weather is good I make for the sea, but I've been too lethargic to go, blaming it on the weekly increase in the cost of petrol, but it is more than that. I have become tired and lack the motivation.

I remember one June a few years ago when the weather was hot and sultry, and then at last it rained. We went out to dance in the rain, to feel its cool wetness on our skin and hair. I am waiting now for a shower,for my bleached out honesty flowers to be refreshed to their bright purple-pink colour, and for the air to feel less dusty and dry.

Monday, 5 April 2010


My son and his friend have made a Facebook page for the cat. The cat isn't fussed about it, and I can't find the page as my son has forgotten the password. I have several passwords and always find I can't access things as I've used the wrong one.

My eldest daughter used to change her password every week,and then couldn't use the school computer system as she couldn't get in. I am like that with pin numbers and use the wrong one on the wrong card.

Life seems to be so complicated now,and no one writes letters or sends postcards. Why should they with the post going up yet again? So there are e cards and animated e mails and Facebook where you can see the social life of your cat,if you can dredge your memory for the right password.

When I was a child a password was something special;it was the word chosen that let you into the group.The letters spelt out a magic, and doors opened

Monday, 22 March 2010


So it is officially Spring ,and yesterday I dug my vegetable patch over ready for planting. It was a glorious morning, but it rained in the afternoon. Now my garden is full of cats thinking that this soft earth has been dug over just for them.

What makes Spring:the daffodils and bluebells or the bird song. The brighter mornings and the longer evenings. It is all about light. And Easter,that Pagan festival, linking the Passover and the Resurrection by falling on the first full moon after the equinox.

Rabbits, hares,eggs-it is fertility-the birth of the new light.

Saturday, 13 March 2010


What is a group of writers called? A flock,a congregation, a colony a culture, a shrewdness,a murder? Here we all are promoting our books,gathering information,talking writing, meeting old friends, making new ones. It is cogenial especially when you realise how many published writers are actively involved in writing groups in west Wales.

So home with a clatter of books I'm eager to read,but I'm too tired.I arrive home to a different reality,a reality where writing isn't centre stage,and what a group of writers is called is irrelevant.

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Yesterday I went to see the new Alice in Wonderland or Alice in Underland film. I've never been to a 3D film before and it was different. Objects and characters seemed to fly into the auditorium.

My eldest daughter loved watching Alice in Wonderland videos,but I was never much of a fan. I had an illustrated copy of the book as a child, but much preferred to read Heidi or Little Women.I much preferred the pratical to the whimsical, but have to admit I enjoyd the film.

However, it took me away from the novel I am reading Scapegallows by Carol Birch about the life of Margaret Catchpole, an 18th century woman transported to Australia instead of being hung for stealing a horse.It is an exciting adventure and would make an excellent film.

Monday, 1 March 2010

St David's Day

Spring is here at last with St David's Day and a few daffodils in bloom. Yet this morning my car was frosted with ice;it took de-icer and scaping the windscreen to clear it,but this afternoon when I went to the school Eisteddfod it was a sunny Spring day. I seem to have been going to school eisteddfods for ever.Once it was all traditional costume,but now it is rugby shirts.Of course, Wales should not be defined by its costume or its lovespoons,and rugby is an integral part of the land.

This is new Wales,and it is good to see the rugby shirts and dragon flags. Growing up in England we did not have this celebration of a national day-St George and Shakespeare seemed to merge together on April 23rd and mean nothing. They both seemed to be old and mythic. There was no celebration in school,no concert or competing. So Wales eisteddfod tradition is important,and I shall probably miss sitting in a hot hall listening to three versions of the same song and the same recitation.

I think there used to be more hwyl and always the National Anthem was sung.Today it wasn't. Perhaps they ran out of time or felt that with all the red rugby shirts it might feel more like a match than a concert. Of course, there are always the fine voices you know you'll hear again-Rhian,Caryl and Natalie,especially Natalie with her beauty and her voice.

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Snow again today, just when we should be moving towards spring. My friends have gone on a writing weekend,which I had hoped to go on this year,but couldn't afford it.My car MOT repairs cost two and a half writing weekends ,and I sometimes wonder if its worth it,especially when it snows and I have to walk.

By the afternoon the snow had melted and I went out and bought some spring bulbs:primulas and daffodils to brighten up my front garden.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


I love buying stationery-pens, paper,notebooks,anything to do with writing. Then I get my books and pens home and they are all far too good to use. I don't want to spoil my new book by writing in it,and my pens are just perfect to put in a pencil case for later.

It is the newness of the notebook. I could write anything in it, but will my writing be good enough or neat enough. For years I used to write on scrap paper and then I'd lose all my writing.

It is about taking yourself seriously,and so today I bought a set of coloured pens,a rainbow of colours,all far too good to use. I know really good artists who use scrap paper and wax crayons,or the biro left on the kitchen table. It is as if buying a sketch book makes their art too serious,and art like writing needs an element of fun. So I shall open my packet of ten assorted pens,and,like James Joyce, write in my book my name,and address-the world,the universe.

Thursday, 28 January 2010


Our swimming pool is open again and I'm back in the water. It's fantastic to be able to swim again. I find when I swim I can think, and ideas work themselves out. Walking is also good for this,but I like swimming up and down the blue of the swimming pool in that elemental meditation. Up and down, up and down, like lines on the page,ploughing a furrow,which is where the line of poetry originates. Swimming up and down creates rhythm and pattern.

Walking is also useful for writing.There is the rhythm of the feet and the heart-beat. It can be no co-incidence that lines of poetry are measured in feet.

So I have taken my exercise and my mind is open to new ideas.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010


Just when the weather was improving and the evenings creeping towards the light the air has turned cold again,the clouds dark and the forecast is for more snow. Snow is a lovely word, and I enjoyed it when it snowed when I was a child,but now it is disrupting January. The phone rings to cancel more things.Will events planned for tomorrow happen, or will the school be shut again?

Snow is a blank page and I find blank pages hard to deal with.I don't want to spoil them. I like to buy stationery and pens,but it is the act of combining the two to make a writing or drawing that is the creative thing. I have blank pages in front of me,but are my words worthy of its pristine state? January is like that blank page the first page in a new book and when I write on it I want to be able to say something new and original.

Snow is good for the garden adding nitrogen to the soil, I hope it will be as good for my imagination.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010


My son has been off school since December 18th, when school broke up for Christmas, because of snow and bad weather. I keep hoping that school will re-open tomorrow, but then we have more snow ,or the school has boiler problems. We are living in our own white world where we totter through snow to the supermarket everyday and get the bits my elderly neighbour needs,and the bits we don't need but are tempted to buy. It is the social point of the day; the supermarket is packed with people and food and we buy in case the snow is deeper tomorrow. The supermarket lorry manages to get through fortunately, although our road is still unsalted.
Last night we must have had 6-8 inches of snow. The cat raced out this morning, his pink paw prints making neat patterns.The birds came for the food I put out. I need to find my bird book to identify the species I don't normally see among the robins, bluetits,blackbirds and starlings.
Everything is being cancelled or postponed,and already we are in the middle of January and all new year's resolutions (or revelations as my son calls them) are long gone. I just want to get back to normality, to the ordinary,the everyday,the way life was before school broke up for Christmas.

Friday, 8 January 2010


A week into the new year and I still haven't written anything. I intended to start on the 5th ,when school started back, but school didn't happen because of the snow and the -16 temperature,the same as that in Moscow. So there has been no school since before Christmas,and my motivation to write has been frozen. We have made a snowman (demolished by others),re-waxed the runners of my 1963 sledge,but the novelty of snow has worn off. The pipes have frozen and been coaxed into life by the hair dryer.We are fed up with the cold,with the lack of salted roads and pavements. Each day we go out to get some fresh air.My son skids along on the ice;I take dolly steps, frightened of falling. We make our way through the blinding white and cold of the snow to the town, where cars and buses move along the salted, sludgy roads and there is normality. Not only school closed but events cancelled.We totter home with our shopping-the supermarket has a salted car park-back along the pavements iced like glass,back up the hill to the isolation of land-locked cars and frozen snow.Only our cat is enjoying the blindingly white cold weather, his paw prints criss cross the paths. I call him to come into the warm, his name echoes through the white air.

Friday, 1 January 2010


The start of the new year is a blank page waiting for those resolutions, but Christmas isn't over until the new term starts, which is next week for school, and the week after for University. Then I'll be able to get to the computer. We will be half way through January, and my new year's resolutions to write more, and read more will have been swept away.

Do we need more writing when so many books are pulped? Apparantly that even happened to Cherie Blair's memoirs after a six figure advance. It is hard enough to get published, and yet so many people are writing. Perhaps my resolution should be to write less.

But today, in the frosty landsape with the large full moon bobbing like a balloon, the page looks crisp and inviting. A new decade. Can it really be ten years since the Millennium? The page needs something jazzy and exciting not more of the same. And so, like all those expensive notebooks I have bought in the past and been too frightened to spoil with words or drawing ,I look at the blank page and want to keep it pristine.