On Writing Freely and ‘NaNoWriMo’

Holding pen

I am sure many people reading this know about NaNoWriMo: National Novel Writing Month, which is now apparently.  In honour of this month a friend shared the following page: https://www.writeinvisible.com

This enables you to write up to 500 words without seeing a jot of what you’ve actually written… until you decide to submit it to yourself via email, when you can see what you’ve garbled together, typos and all.  Since I’ve been struggling with writing – not for want of ideas, but more from a want of time and satisfaction with my writing – this seemed like a useful tool to me. Continue reading

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Atmospheric Railway Journeys and Stories

Sherlock HolmesThe rain is lashing down. Drops dot and dash against the windows, while some run sideways as the train speeds on. On and on, hurtling forward.

Through the speckled window I can see dark, heavy clouds. Greyness fills the sky, while the green fields below, light and dark, hills, rivers and trees patiently bow their soaked heads.

The skies darken still, as day is overtaken by evening. Continue reading

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St Mary’s Quad

imageThis is St Mary’s college in St Andrews, dedicated for centuries to the study of divinity. This picture was taken from inside the old library, named after Professor James Gregory, the renowned 17th century mathematician and astronomer.

The latticed windows have a special way of letting the sunlight flow into the dark wood-panelled hallways,  that renders the outside even more picturesque and the inside even more peaceful.

I have tried to take a few pictures to reflect the serenity, but they do not do it full justice. So words may do a better job. Continue reading

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Reading and Drawing the Lord of the Rings Part 2: Enter Frodo Baggins and the Ring


The morning after the night before – Drawing with ink and wide nib

Welcome to my 50th post on this blog!

The Influence of the Ring

It is in this chapter that we get our first glimpse of the power and evil influence of the Ring.  Continue reading

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Reading and drawing The Lord of the Rings Part 1: Bilbo’s Long Expected Party

imageGandalf arrives in Hobbiton – Drawing with ink and wide nib

WHENEVER autumn arrives, when the leaves turn red and orange, and there’s a new chill in the air, I feel it’s a time for new challenges. I’m sure there’s a strong connection with the fact that in the UK, the new academic year begins in autumn – our childhood routines live on in our subconscious. Continue reading

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Mysterious Cities of Gold Episode Recap: Ep 3 Heroes Again

Screen Shot 2015-09-06 at 23.36.35

The next recap of ‘Mysterious Cities of Gold’ is finally here! I figured it was high time I returned to the the 16th century and our voyage to the New World…so here we go, and it’s an especially dramatic episode this time! Continue reading

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The Art of Ted Nasmith

I’m a big admirer of Ted Nasmith’s Tolkien artwork, I’ve blogged about it a few times here. So it was a joy to come across J Glover’s blog reviewing some of Nasmith’s most evocative paintings. Well worth a read, the descriptions and images will transport you to Middle-earth.

JGlover Art

Welcome to the latest addition to my companion posts, running bi-weekly on alternate weeks to my Lord of the Rings Project, for this week’s post I’ll be talking about the art of a very well know Canadian illustrator; Ted Nasmith.

Nasmith started sketching and drawing at a young age his skill eventually being nurtured by the time he got to high school; it was whilst in his third year that upon his sister’s recommendation he began to read The Lord of the Rings; Tolkien’s literature became a focus for Nasmith and the inspiration that he found in Tolkien’s writing led him to drawing scenes and characters from the books.

“Tolkien had long since had a very profound effect on me, and helped lead to much that I now count most significant in life. It opened up in me a dormant love of lost and misty times, myth and legend.” –…

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