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FEATURED POST - step back in time with C.G.Allan's favourite past post of the month!

A Summer of Cycling!

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# "Destiny was calling Monday afternoon, Wednesday you'll be crawling and you'll pray to be there soon, with sports and wine, yeah, yeah... Sports and wine, no, no..." - Ben Folds Five I don't really consider myself to be a "sporty" person - I like to casually dip in and out of playing badminton and enjoy swimming and running in my spare time as ways to help take my imagination off whichever scribbles I happen to be doodling with at any one time (although inevitably, my mind ALWAYS wanders back to my writing during these periods of exercise and exertion, but maybe that's the productive point of the distraction!) - anyway, recently I decided to invest in a new mode of transport to get myself to and from my day job as a way to break the boredom of taking the train and bus (and in an effort to at least "try" to get a bit fitter in my old age...) So this month, I thought I'd bring a different kind of post with some photos of my two-wh

WRITING: the Sequel...

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(..or: 'What I did on my extended "scribble vacation"!') COMING SOON...

My mid-life journey: "40 & lovin' it?" Hmm... (I'll let you know, soon'ish!)

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# "If only I don't bend and break,  I'll meet you on the other side,  I'll meet you in the light...  If only I don't suffocate,  I'll meet you in the morning when you wait" # - Keane The 40-journey for me has been a curious one so far... It's become a time of pressing the "pause button" and thinking about things even more introspectively than I have in the last 10 years or so. I have friends who have gone through similar journeys and they have been helpful in conversing with about this strange stage in life, so I remain ever grateful to them for their continued patience and counsel. Since being young I've been fascinated with dragonflies, and I read recently that these ancient insects can go through stages of re-emergence and that's incredibly inspiring to me... I will write more on this soon here on the blog, but my creative writing is one of the things I've also pressed pause on for a little while, so

A good way to round-up the year: with a creative success!

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A real year of living creatively! # "When I'm deep inside of me, don't be too concerned... I won't ask for nothin' while I'm gone... " - Billy Joel For the last couple of years here on the blog I’ve begun to journal about my efforts to move towards becoming a video editor  in my day job  and this month thanks to a recognised course with an exam at the end of it, happily, I’ve managed to take a larger leap towards that goal. For a little while because I’ve been mainly carrying out editing jobs at work using Adobe Creative Suite, I’d been eyeing up an Adobe Associate course here in the UK, and considered various course providers around the country.  Negotiating with my employer it was finally settled on making the trip to Manchester for a week-long expert course in using Adobe Premiere Pro.

"If Adventure Makes a Sound..." ("Finding a Voice": Part-the-First!)

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# “Have you seen me lately? I was out on the radio starting to change” - Counting Crows Have you ever listened to a podcast? “Audio scribbling” is something I’ve dabbled with over the past few years here and there  but for the past decade or so I’ve been listening to various podcasts – some put together by fans of films franchises like Star Wars and others made by established authors who often use the sound waves to give advice about stepping into the writing world .

VERY Spooky tales - FEAR of a blank page... (part 2!)

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An exclusive tale from C.G.Allan's forthcoming first collection of short fiction... "The Thirst for Knowledge" by C.G.Allan MY life has always been filled with questions. Most of them begin with "Why" and end with "me", but about three hours ago I was faced with a new, more profound question which has forced me to try to forget my own problems for the present moment at least.   It was 7pm again and I had become thirsty as I always did at 7pm.  In setting this down now I hope to help myself remember, for the thirst makes me forget things quickly.   Typically, my pockets were empty. When my pockets became light like that I always visited those who had been my friends before.

Fear of "the Blank Page"?

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# “I'm just staring at the ceiling, staring back at me…” # - Counting Crows ...illusive and always just lingering on the horizon... There is a myth, that stretches back into the far reaches of time itself, into the annals of decades gone by, a legend so ingrained in our psyche that as writers, perhaps more so than the average person you pass on the street, it takes hold of our very core and teases us with its own existence.  It’s not a tangible thing, most myths aren’t, but its power still has a hold on us with every authorly breath we take… And what is this fantastical phantasm of which I speak (and have been treading water, to skirt around it, properly procrastinating, for this first post paragraph) …? It is of course, the myth of WRITERS’ BLOCK!

"Isn't Life A Dream?"

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#  I must be looking for something, something sacred I lost... But the river is wide and it's too hard to  cross... # - Billy Joel Setting aside that larger metaphysical question that I’ve decided to title this post with (even though it’s a brilliant starting point for a story: are we actually existing within someone else’s dream or nightmare, even...?), the title words here actually refer to a new outdoor hobby I’ve taken up this year – rowing.

The time has come, my friends, to talk of ALL these things... (10 years of the Writing Blog!)

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# "I wish it was last September, s o we could lose ourselves in crowds everyday..." - Ben Folds C.G.Allan circa 2006! 2006 was a very good year… It was also a very different one too – and a vastly varied world to that of 2016.  There was no instagram, Twitter was only just getting going and a younger scribbler C.G.Allan was only a year out of graduating from an MA in Creative Writing  and was busy tinkering with his first novel which he’d started on that course and was wondering how to take his writing to the “next level”… It was also around that time that an old school friend and fellow amateur scribbler (and still best friend, I might add) suggested I get “one of those blog things” and I began to read a little about what exactly an “online journal” was .  It was around early 2006 too that I realised I wanted to create a website for my various first attempts at creative writing - partly to make a record of these for posterity but also to create a base for any r

"Unfinished Tales" and other "Talking Titles"...

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# “I am the entertainer, I bring to you my songs.  I'd like to spend a day or two, but I can't stay that long…” # - Billy Joel As a writer or just as a reader, I love the idea of ‘lost’ or unfinished tales of an author I’m particularly fond of.  A little while ago I bought a copy of Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Narrative of John Smith  which was billed as a “lost tale” of his and published by the British Library (another place with ‘lost books’ I just have to visit if I’m ever in London) and whenever a new Bernard Cornwell book is released, I enjoy hunting out the “sampler” chapters that Waterstones here in the UK releases as teasers to the main book. As to my own “sough-after” tales, way back in 2008, I posted here on the blog about a disastrous event that befell me when I mislaid a notebook of stories I’d been working on throughout that year.  And to this day, almost ten years later, I still have nightmares where I awake in a panic, wondering just where that pocketbook no

That "difficult" second novel...

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# "Birds fall from the window ledge above mine, then they flap their wings at the last second..." # - Cake For a long time now, while I've been in the throws of drafting and redrafting my first adventure novel, I've been thinking about, talking about and even begun writing the first 7 chapters or so of a second, probably more ambitious novel .

The Creative Day Job...

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# “Who writes the pages of our life… in black and white?” – Adam Duritz For a little while now, ever since moving more into the video editing, post-production side of things in my day job , (and had some minor success and praise) I’ve been meaning to start to build myself a creative “show reel”... This is no mean feat, cramming what amounts to be several hours of full-length videos into a condensed “sizzle” of around 3 to 5 minutes… It’s still early days though, and for now, I’ve been gathering the material together, and thought it might be useful if only for my own “archiving” purposes to post up some clips here on the blog of how creative I’ve been getting in my day job of late.

In tribute of a lost globetrotter...

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# If you’re going to San Francisco, you’re going to meet some gentle people there…” # - Scott McKenzie Since I was young there’s been many figures in my family who’ve stood out and been influential on how my own personal universe has been shaped.   I’ve talked about an unforgettable uncle on my dad’s side before called John  but like every family I’ve had other people growing up who’ve not necessarily been blood-related but who we’ve still thought of a close friends.   Unfortunately this year, we’ve lost one such family friend who I actually thought of as an uncle and who my brother kind of looked on as a grandfather figure since our grandparents died when we were both quite young.

"The SHORT short version"! (the 2016 Writing PREVIEW!)

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# " Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there w ith open arms and open eyes, yeah...  Whatever tomorrow brings, I'll be there, I'll be there... " # - Incubus Once you get into a life of writing and start to read around your subject or listen out for sage advice from ‘those who are in the know’, you begin to hear things like “there’s only 7 stories in the whole entire world that just get told over and over again” or “you can’t write a lot until you read a lot” – now, I don’t necessarily hold to these particular beliefs about writing – they feel too prescriptive and “rule-like” for my yearnings.  But there is one particular novel notion in the field of creative writing that I am beginning to subscribe to and that’s the idea of “the power of the number three”.  It kind of comes down to the old odd numbers versus even numbers, but in nature random patterns of 3 do look better than a pair of things standing side by side…

"12 Months Revisiting Childhood Dreams!" (the 2015 Writing REVIEW!)

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# " Tell us all a story about how it used to be... Make it up and write it down, just like history" # - Paul Simon At the beginning of each year when I face down the new scribble year to come, I try to reflect on the previous 12 months of my writing – the highs, the lows and generally just celebrate the fact that I’m still alive and kicking as an amateur author(!) So here we go with the rundown of the last year in my writing life…

Look to the horizon and... choose... wisely...

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# "I guess the winter makes you laugh a little slower, m akes you talk a little lower about the things you could not show her..." # - Counting Crows I thought I’d end the year that was 2015 with a short post, reflecting on an aspect of my writing life   that’s been on my mind a lot recently - and for me personally, it’s a biggie…

Scribble thoughts for Autumn...

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# "You wanna be a writer, but you don't know how or when? Find a quiet place and use a humble  pen" - Paul Simon When I first got into writing, I thought I should surround myself with the tools of the trade - I bought myself an old typewriter (which I never used!) and had a few fountain pens (one was even inscribed with my name!) and ink cartridges (that inevitably leaked).  Of course non of them made me any more productive on the scribbling front - I can't actually remember the last time I used a pen to write out in long-hand a chapter or new story (mostly, being a product of the latter-20th century, I write using my keyboard). Funnily enough though recently, I've stumbled across a collection of "special" pens and pencils which I've collected over the years either as gifts or keepsakes and they reminded me of the need for a humble scribbler to sometimes get back to the basics of writing...

The Building Blocks of My Early Imaginings...

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# "I wanna move you, I wanna move you around..." # - Anya Marina When I was about 7 years old, I remember being given a peculiarly-small Christmas present to open.  I probably left it to last to unwrap because of its size amongst the plastic toy soldiers and Action Force figures (as well as the Star Wars vehicles) that sat alongside them under our Christmas tree.  But it turned out that the old adage of big surprises coming in small packages was right, because that particular present ended up being my favourite that Yuletide (and for pretty much the whole of the year after).  AND... it was this tiny bundle of mini-figures that introduced me to the wide world of "Lego"...