Some advice and examples of how to improve writing, be it fiction or fact; the importance of proof-reading and choosing your words carefully.
This is my own response to a challenge I set some time ago, to write a story following a photo prompt; a story about kindness, about nature and about history, set in the Sussex countryside of England.
Local language and landscape go hand in hand. Here we explore two words which link two areas of England, north and south. Their meanings are similar but they have evolved differently due to dialect and history.
'Paper' conjures up many images. Here we look at the varied meanings and uses of the word within our idioms and everyday speech. What do you think of first? Look around you to find different types of paper and its uses; the amount might surprise you!
Norwich, the county town of Norfolk, is a beautiful city in East Anglia. It deserves a visit for its mediaeval and Norman buildings, its vibrant university community and its connection with dragons. Walk with me to explore.
During a visit to Norwich, England, dragon statues were on display, the theme for 2015's charity fund raising. They provided entertainment, a sense of history, a tour of the city and a glimpse into mythology. Come with me on my Dragon Trail.
Poems inspired by the Lighthouse on the beach at Burnham-on-Sea, Somerset and by the digging of lugworms for bait. The history of the lighthouse is inextricably linked to the present day, as it now has a tourist rather than marine rôle.
Writing tips for those who want to find their style, grab the reader, vary their delivery & entertain. General advice and ideas for description, as well as getting rid of that awful word 'nice' by using far better alternatives. Take a journey & maybe take up the challenge!
Counting views & knowing the number of your followers is interesting. This is a personal view of what those statistics mean to me, how important writing is for me & how creativity must never be compromised. Writing runs in the family & continues to do so. Hooray!
Colour is, of course, seen everywhere. The word is also used in phrases & idioms, as well as being applied to some events. Some people associate colour with abstract things & we have the artist's use of the colour wheel. Come & explore this colourful world with me.
Response to a challenge to write a poem with close rhymes to ten given words which don't have perfect rhymes. This sent me off at a tangent from one of those ten words. It's fun writing poetry!
Three corgis made of bronze stand on a street in Christchurch. They inspired me to write two poems about these quirky creatures. A bit of fun to entertain and also some facts to provide a little education.
Continuing my trip round New Zealand's South Island, we look at the Taramakau River, a braided river and consider its amazing qualities. Topographical Map & photographic views from the sky. I hope you enjoy it.
2018's Poetry Month inspired me so much, despite the fact that I wrote only 20 of the required 30. I decided to publish the remaining drafts for the month of May. They are all based on my recent travels in New Zealand & Australia. I hope you enjoy them. Also included is a poem by Kimberley Mann.
These poems are based on my experience on the Indian Pacific, a bucket list journey across the Nullarbor Plain of Australia. It's an hospitable ride across an inhospitable semi-desert and is like no other train journey I've undertaken. Ride with me on this silver streak!
Here are my thoughts regarding the effects on Christchurch of the earthquakes in 2010 & 2011. The contrast of before and after left me feeling sad but the stoicism of the people creates huge respect. Five poems express my feelings.
Poetical tribute to a series of short stories, including 3 poems, plus more information regarding White Horses & chalk carvings in southern England.
This poem was inspired by a visit from a Song Thrush in the trees next to my garden. His song was magical. There are several species of thrush which I also mention here.
Two more poems for poetry month. Words are my passion. By their nature they encompass everything. Here you have my words, famous people's words and favourite words of my own.
Two poems inspired by Ravenscar, a town in Yorkshire, England. Planned as a resort, this town was not well conceived, though set in spectacular scenery. Find out more about it and why it earned the name 'The Town that Never Was'.
We follow paths to explore, or to take us to familiar places. We follow career paths. However, we don't always take the right path but learn along the way to make an educated decision regarding which ones to follow.
Two more poems exploring ideas that fly into my head! I thought of the possible difficulties with breathing and also of the rhythms that come with sleep & how words are exhaled as we sleep.
Two poems for poetry month 2018. One about the relationship between people & places, the other about conflict & communication.
Mauritius is fascinating, beautiful, tropical. This is an account of 5 days spent there, away from the usual tourist hub. There is much of the unexpected. Come with me on my short journey.
Challenges inspire us to go beyond our boundaries. This is a reply to a photo prompt and is a modern twist on a well-known fairy tale.
Think about the word 'stand'! How many different uses can you bring to mind? How often do you employ it? Explore with me the phrases and idioms which stand up to close scrutiny!
When you stand in familiar surroundings do you get a sense of place, a sense of history, a sense of belonging? This is an exploration of what you have around you.
This writing prompt is designed to inspire you to write whatever it brings to mind, be it story, poem or a piece of non-fiction (real or not!). There is no time limit & there are no rules. Go for it!
Do you have a love of words? This book inspires us to search out a new lexicon, to understand the connection between word and landscape, to explore your own environment by the language it yields.
Chalk Downs, chalk on the blackboard, what else do you associate with this word? I investigate phrases & idioms whilst reminiscing about my home area.
An advert in a magazine got me thinking. Could we buy land on another planet? Who could sell it? How could we buy? What are the parameters? A bit of fun!
The Bengal Tiger & the Fiddler Crab play an important part in the Mangrove Forests of the Sundarbans. Learn more about them & find out why they should be looked after for the future of our plant.
'Round' is a common word but how often do you use it in phrases & idioms? Explore with me how the word appears in everyday English, as well as in Music, Theatre & Writing.
How many plants in your garden have been given to you? How many have you planted because they remind you of people & places or evoke fond memories? My new garden reflects my life, friends & family.
Why do we send Valentine's Day cards? What are their origins? My memories of sending them, why it's important to tell someone of your love, a personal poem & a different slant with a Bowie song.
Train travel with poems (mine and others') describing this mode of transport, reflecting my own experiences. Steam trains, electric trains, including travelling to school, Flying Scotsman, Mallard
Exploring the counties of England, using poetry (others' & mine) & memoirs, starting with the South to Southwest, we look at Sussex to Devon; a little taste of England to whet your appetite.
A word doesn't have to have an immediate impact to be important. 'Let' is not a word you would pick for being diverse but when I started to think about its uses I came up with a surprising number
Challenges push a writer's boundaries, something we need to do all the time or we do not progress, nor improve. This story tells of a personal challenge which many face, dealing with another's pain.
Two books of quirky poems, a percentage of proceeds from which go to Kings College DBS research. Find out more about how to buy the poems, about Parkinson's & about the treatment referred to as DBS
What does this word mean to you? What paths have you chosen in your life, be they a trodden path, a career path or a life-style choice? Paths lead to the future but also have a history to discover.
After 6 years on HubPages, I explore why we write, what writing means & how a writing community helps, as well as looking at the reasons why writers succeed. I also issue a Challenge!
Donoghue's novel is totally different from anything else I've read. Jack and his mother are imprisoned and we find out how they cope and what happens to them. A must-read, especially for mothers.
So many idioms exist that use the word 'time'. Take some time out to have a look at a few as I race through parts of my life.
I have a heart, you have a heart, we all have hearts. What do they do? How do we use that word? What phrases can we create? What situations can we illustrate with it?
The Paris attacks of 13/11/15 have changed many people's lives for ever. This is my account of how it unfolded for me, what images affected me, my thoughts on the situation & on the perpetrators.
'Morph' can refer to various shapes or creatures, can be a cartoon character or can apply to human form and languages. Find out more about it & read a short poem.
Language labels us; accents maintain diversity & should be valued. Through local accents and customs we keep a sense of self-esteem, identity and value which in turn can lead to tolerance of others.
I was shocked to learn that many words regarding our surroundings had been omitted from the Oxford Junior Dictionary. Rich, regional vocabulary should be used & kept alive, not viewed as irrelevant.
We take a look at where 'two' comes from, how it's used in everyday expressions and why it's important to some people, like me! A poem illustrates some of the idioms.
There are so many types of books & there are many idioms using the word 'book'. This looks at the derivation, the definitions & the usage of 'book', exploring idioms via a fun poem & a short story.
What do you think of when you see 'clock'? The time, perhaps, or a phrase like 'around the clock'? The more you think, the more you'll remember. Find out a little more. I hope you enjoy the story.
We should be mindful of the world around us. The rôle of the Media accounts for much of our information; is it reliable? Has PC gone mad? We look at examples & at ways of dealing with it.
Meet Garth the Grey & Gethin of Tregoth; a wolf and a man who have something in common. So do their family members. A few facts concerning wolves have been thrown in for good measure.
This challenge was to write a poem, using the innovative visual prompt of two videos. This led me to discuss man's ability to survive in extreme conditions, as well as animals' empathy with humans.
Review of poetry compiled as a tribute to the author's father, looking at times gone by in one family, recording history. We should ask the questions which record our own family hertiage.
There are a surprising amount of phrases which use the word 'cut'. Here you'll learn about its etymology, read a couple of poems using some of the idioms & learn about the Cutty Sark.
Huelgoat, Brittany, is like no other place I've ever visited. It has a lake, a river, a forest and, above all, the mysterious 'Chaos' of giant boulders in a setting of legends.
Response to a flash fiction challenge, given parameters of genre, location and object to be included. This is a good discipline to test our writing skills. Why not have a go?
Where does 'word' come from? What type of words exist in the English language? What expressions contain 'word' or its derivatives? Can you think of some? Examples plus a short story.
A quote from the wise Mark Twain urges us to not waste opportunities, to be happy that we've used our lives well. I explain how I interpret his words, what they mean to me.
Another selection of idioms and sayings based on a word. How many do you know? Can you use them in your writing? Can you adapt them, even make your own? Experiment and make your writing shine!
What do you think of when you see this word? What pictures does it conjure up? How many sayings do you know which include 'bag'? A selection of phrases to bring a little more variety to your words.
Interesting idioms and phrases including the word 'dog'. Another word chosen at random, its history and its uses, presented in a short story. It also looks at some breeds of dog.
The first of a series, some musings on an English word chosen at random. What's a penny? Where does the word come from? Old and new pennies, plus idioms using the word 'penny'.
A light-hearted response to a challenge from hubber dzymslizzy, to put da Vinci in the present time and see how he would cope with the internet. This was fun!
An attempt to write a mirror poem led to expanding the hub to consider the word 'mirror' and its different uses. What do you see in the mirror? What images can it create?
Childhood bike rides in Autumn, the freedom of the countryside and the beauty of nature. A response to carbdiva's challenge.
She sits looking through family photos, remembering grandparents and wishing she'd asked questions, known more about them & others. Ask those questions before it's too late for you!
A profile of the White Stork, emblem of Alsace, France; find out how it survived near-extinction, where you can see it & why the stork is associated with the arrival of babies.
Ways to become more confident, learning about the world and an example of a short story from someone who said she couldn't write fiction.
Discussion about the merits of each art form with 3 poems for American National Poetry Month. Visit other hubpages' poets. How do you feel about the arts?
In response to a challenge to write extremely short flash fiction, I set myself 3 tasks, respectively within a maximum of 50, 25 and 15 words. Included are ways to overcome lack of inspiration.
Originally a response to a short story competition, this deals with relationships, with breaking out to freedom & truth.
An incident of someone needing urgent help and the reactions of others. Thoughts on behaviour, awareness & community spirit.
Response to a challenge within 'Questions' from Jennifer Arnett. Short story based on a picture prompt of 'DEAD BIRDS EVERYWHERE' written on a cubicle door. Why did the birds die?
A tribute to a lovely Mum, a celebration of my mother's life and the history of Mothering Sunday. Poems & incidental information.
A response to mdavisattiers' challenge, explaining how I dive into the richness that is the English language, what I value and how I create the finished article.
The history of MTB 219, how and why it came to Bridgwater Docks and its intended future, as well as thoughts on remembering the events of war.
This is a response to a photo-prompt challenge. Set around the beautiful Isle of Avalon, it spans several generations and follows the fate of a cottage and fireplace built by a young man called Art.
In response to Bill Holland's challenge, this is a story about a criminal's experience which changed his life. Writing challenges push our boundaries and make us think within given dictates.
Response to a challenge from hubber Jodah in the form of thoughts with a poem. Writing can be lonely; how to avoid the vacuum and share ideas. The ups and downs of writing.
A message of solidarity winging its way around the world following the terrorist attack at the offices of the satyrical magazine 'Charlie Hebdo'. Implications, reactions and a call to writers.
A response to Jackie Lynnley's challenge to write about winter memories. Events from my childhood to present day; family, fun in the snow, fainting from cold, train girls skiing, traveling.
The Christmas story unfolds in 9 Haikus. It's designed to make us think about what Christmas really means; the material or the spiritual? Follow the story from red berries to a boy's gift of thanks.
A response to questions, this deals with the variation of where to place quotation marks, word order in a sentence affecting meaning and verb endings matching the subject of a sentence.
When we need to double consonants in spelling. Rules and examples, short and long vowels and a glossary of terms.
This is an attempt at the technique of writing a dream sequence in fiction, as suggested by the hubber Bill Holland. We need to write out of our comfort zone if we want to improve as writers.
Basic mistakes when writing plurals, the confusion of to/too/two & are/our. Ways to remember and get it right!
Finding out about Ann's background, likes and dislikes, why she writes and where her ideas come from.
An attempt at using allegory, based on an art installation at the Tower of London with background information. Reminders of the dead, how we should learn from history & a wartime poem.
A response to hubber availiasvision's challenge to write a story from a photo prompt. This deals with a man trying to cope with change whilst hating his hum-drum work.
Learning & remembering vocabulary; memory techniques, useful words & spelling, using multi-sensory learning. Use of colour, rhythm & illustrations.
Having issued a challenge, I decided to write my own version based on my photo prompt. Background to the original is explained.
A response to a challenge laid down by billybuc (Bill Holland), to write a story inspired by a photo. A story of ambition and realisation.
The English vocabulary gives you a vast pool to dip into and to choose from. Make sure you learn it carefully, use it well, make your voice heard and convey your message clearly. Try the challenge!
What makes a leader? Who were good leaders and why? What examples can you think of? Here are some thoughts and examples. Inspired by Project Good Words from Jo Goldsmith.
A story in response to Frank Atanacio's challenge to write an ending for his hub 'A Different Type of Torture'. Burnt bodies give Detective Laura Kimber a problem to solve.
This is a response to a challenge laid down by billybuc, to interpret the lyrics of The Beatles' 'Across the Universe' in free verse. I read the original then transferred my feelings to the page.
Thoughts on wars past & present, learning from the past, changing the future and the importance of education and communication.
A hub which looks at why we must have the latest gadgets and fashions, talks about built-in obsolenscence of machines and asks if our leaders are as environmentally friendly as they profess to be.
A poem on how music conjures up memories but with a warning, urging us to look to the future, cherish the good and look after the earth.
A central campsite in Brittany, with local sites, walks and suggested excursions. Huelgoat is an excellent base from which to explore.
Are passing crazes just that or can we benefit from them? What skills do they teach? Are they useful? A lesson learned from a recent 'craze'.
A tour of Glastonbury and its attractions: the Tor, the Abbey, Legends of King Arthur and the world-renowned Pop Festival
Looking at the uses of 'off', 'of', 'from' & 'about' and some of difficulties in using these words, as well as their use in expressions and idioms.
Exploring further the common mistakes in English; where to use apostrophes, the correct use of adjectives & adverbs & where to use the conditional.
Poem in response to 'Spirits sat as Mourners' - Frank Antanacio's April Poetry Month challenge in a 10 line continuation verse.
Common mistakes that should not occur in professional writing and presenting. Spelling tips & explanations of writing & grammar rules
The pros and cons of getting a family dog; consider the dog's welfare and consider the family's welfare. This includes an open letter to a pet who was re-homed due to being too big.
Guided tour along this stretch of Somerset coast, from the promontory of Brean Down in the north to the hill of Brent Knoll in the south. Explore the sea, the sand and the land & look at the wildlife.
If you don't make an effort, you can't succeed in life, you can't reach your potential. Hints on what to do to change that. Don't expect something without having to work for it.
History of the Lighthouses of Burnham-on-Sea; how navigational aids evolved, how they affected safety and the lives of coastal inhabitants
A childhood walk in Hurstpierpoint, West Sussex; 1950s Sussex & fond memories following a series of photos taken with a Box Brownie
An alternative ending to the story of Jenny Camacho; a response to the challenge laid down by Frank Antanacio
One of the 'Exploring the Back Roads' series, looking at a choice of places to visit from Auckland to Taupo and Lake Taupo to the West Coast, especially the Logging Route over the mountains.
A Review of 'The Photograph' by Penelope Lively: Scenario, Characters, Theme, Style; types of memory; other titles by Lively & information about her. Ever unearthed a photo which triggered memories?
The Helicopter Crash in Glasgow on Black Friday 2013; what happened, people's reactions, the emotions involved and how such an incident can bring out the best in human nature.
One of Exploring the Back Roads of.... Series, this explores Orakei Korako in New Zealand's North Island; the Hidden Valley, thermal springs & outstanding scenery.
One of Exploring the Back Roads of.... Series, this Explores the north of the West Coast to the road's end above Karamea, visiting Karamea, the Oparara Basin, Oparara River & the Heaphy Track
Looking at the south island of NZ, from Christchurch to the West Coast via Arthur's Pass, north to Punakaiki, Karamea, the Heaphy Track & the Oparara Basin
The practicalities & problems of dyslexia, its impact on daily life & learning, as well as its positive aspects; what help is available, what teachers, parents & friends can do.
A true chance encounter with a rare albino blackbird in a Somerset location, thoughts about its survival & emotions evoked by this event.
Poem about lying awake at night, thinking of dead parents, with regrets for past deeds, also showing how those dead can still lighten our pain.
Selling & Leaving a much-loved house in France; feelings & memories
Marshmallow Trifle; an illustrated, quick & easy recipe for an alternative to Traditional Sherry Trifle. Clear, easy steps. No-cook recipe.
My entry to billybuc's writing contest; the story itself and the process one goes through to write fiction, involving drafting, re-writing, developing characters, choosing words.
Bridgwater on the River Parrett in Somerset, England, has an interesting history, a marina, a canal and a famous 'Guy Fawkes' Carnival, as well as being the birthplace of Admiral Robert Blake.
A poem about the atmosphere of eating out well into the night, in a French country garden; the wildlife you see and hear, the shooting stars and the satellites you can look out for.
This explains how children can learn through games, with friends and family, lots of skills which are essential for all sorts of learning as well as useful life skills. Learning through fun and social activity is one of the best ways; it is more memorable and doesn't feel like learning!
This hub is about fighting crime by showing courage and standing up to criminals and bullies. It includes suggestions of questions for discussion with adults and children and advocates preparing children for possible situations.
How to see as much as possible of Paris in one day, including transport options, possible routes, check-lists and information on landmarks and prices. Advice on managing your day and itinerary. Includes sites such as the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Elysees, Place de la Concorde, Louvre,...
A humorous look at possible bank holidays. Silly things to do to lighten our mood and make the world more fun. Ways to help people and make them happy. Rules for Charades.
How to work as a team is an important skill. This shows how the individual is important to the whole and talks about hard work, achievement and reward, the latter sometimes just being the satisfaction of a job well done.
A look at the literacy patterns of 'soft c' and 'soft g', the rules and how to teach them. It includes tips on general teaching of dyslexics, approaches to use and examples of word lists.
Buying and selling a house in France; tips and information of finding a property, the dos and don'ts and solving problems. Agents, notaires and procedures explained.
The Hoopoe, Upupa Epops, the only extant bird of its species, migrates to Europe in Spring to nest and breed. Description of a chance sighting in a French garden, including information and interesting cultural and historical facts.
A view of the types of corruption in the world and ways to beat it; why we should not give up and a vision of a future without corruption.
Celebrating the 20th hub, talking about experiences in writing, what's surprising about hubpages, technical learning and the hub community.
Book review of 'The Book Thief' by Markus Zusak, an Australian of German & Austrian parents; a poignant & vivid portrayal of Liesel and her German foster-family who secretly shelter a Jew during WWII.
This is for teachers and parents to help Involve children in their own learning. What a pupil needs, the 'SMART' IEP (Individual Education Plan) and self-monitoring; the benefits of pupil-input and setting goals and targets.
Traditional Apple Crumble recipe; utensils needed, ingredients, method & serving suggestions. Useful tips and alternative accompaniments. Comes with an invitation to share it with me.
About a French longère; its history and place in village life. It also mentions French property and inheritance law, a sawmill, family feuds and good neighbours. There's a link to a recipe for apple crumble.
Help for Adult Dyslexics; encouragement, contacts for advice & professional assessment plus ideas for self-help regarding reading, improving memory. There are links to find further help.
An overview of the North Devon area, Exmoor National Park and Lynmouth & Lynton, with a view to its sights, walks, scenery and wildlife. History of the Flash Floods of 1952 plus influences on literature.
Haiku as a learning tool, using rhythm, rules of the Haiku form and the 5 senses in multi-sensory teaching. Haiku can aid learning in any subject, including literacy and syllable awareness.
This hub deals with thinking skills needed to absorb information, analyse it, evaluate it, look at various outcomes and use the knowledge gained. It is aimed at the teacher in the classroom, with an added bias towards teaching dyslexics.
This deals with letter pattern choices for the long vowel 'a' sound. Further contact suggestions and practical ways to help a child read and spell.
Talking about and showing photos of birds and butterflies and other winged creatures in a French country garden.
France; a description of the flora and fauna found in a French country garden. Descriptions and photos of plants, insects, animals and their protection.
Buying & holidaying in France, owning & repairing a longhouse & living the French way; sampling the wine, the cheese and some celebrations.
Thoughts about learning; different ways people learn, from the educational system to life experience. A poem, a poll and a link to 'Critical Thinking'.
The Tarn Gorge, France; a journey along the river, information about Hauterives and experiencing the Millau Viaduct from above and below.
Haiku poems, how to construct them and my own examples. Designed for fun, inspiration and encouragement.
Further help and advice for parents of dyslexic children. Information about dyslexic associations and where to find support and advice, support procedures within the education system and more practical suggestions to support reading progress.
Impact of a new sibling. Ideas for presents to make sure children don't feel left out and a short story written for my 10 year old granddaughter when she had a baby sister, written from observation.
Humorous account of my bunion operation & recuperation period, the realities and practicalities, from the viewpoint of a shoe-a-holic. Also a serious slant offering a mixture of facts and opinions.
Help and advice for parents & helpers of dyslexic children. Background information and practical suggestions to support reading practice. Designed to reassure and provide an upbeat approach.