What Do You Want to Write About……………?

Sharpen up your writing tools

Sharpen Your Writing Tools 

 

I’ve had a lot of messages from people telling me they haven’t written anything for many years, or that they dry up when they pick up a pen, or that the blank paper/screen stares back at them like a mean teacher as if to say http://oceanadesigns.net/sitemap-misc.xml ‘who do you think you are, writing poetry, writing prose – writing anything!’

If you’ve ever had that feeling, here are a couple of  ideas for getting started. Remember that writing words can easily be about play and enjoy yourself.

NUMBER ONE:

Tastylia France Pick a topic - any topic, the first thing that comes into your mind, everything is a possibility …..simply say to yourself “I want to write about…(in the instance of writing a Valentine’s verse, then Love rather naturally springs to mind) and start. It’s the same with most things in life – just begin. Getting started is (I know it sounds ridiculously simplistic) the key. Don’t edit your thoughts or words, let them spill out – you can come back and refine them later….

NUMBER TWO:

Pick some random words: for example, I’ve got a piece of paper near me which says ‘Identity Card’ and the words that catch my eye on the computer screen are ‘Save Draft’…. What could I do with those?

Here goes:

My identity as occasional  bard
Is sending you a Valentine’s card.
I thought of you and sweetly drafted,
So cherish and save  these words I crafted.

It doesn’t have to be a  rhyme, it can be anything – just get started. You could  say something like:

What do I think about identity Cards? Will they really make us more secure, and save us from possible terrorists attacks, stop illegal immigrants, will they help prevent extremist cells from drafting in new, impressionable recruits?

See if this gets your creative juices flowing – look at what’s around you and start writing about it  – you may be surprised how easy it can be to get into the flow!

FOR YOUR FREE GUIDE TO WRITING SHORT POEMS, LEAVE A MESSAGE HERE 

 

A Very British Blog Tour

Great Brit Blog Tour

Welcome to
A VERY BRITISH BLOG TOUR  - 2013

A collection of blogs, books and authors who are surprisingly very British

Great Brit Blog TourChristine Miller invites you to take part in ‘A Very British Blog Tour’ by visiting and supporting the websites of authors involved in the tour and who are dedicated to turning out some of the finest books available in Britain today. Authors Paul Anthony and Clive Eaton invited me, together with a hand picked group of British authors, to take part in this great initiative.

Each author named at the bottom of the page has asked been asked the same questions, but the answers will obviously all be different. You simply click on the author’s name below to see how they have answered the same question.

By the way, we British have certain conventions, traditions and procedures that are expected. There is a dress code in the reading of this British blog and you are expected to comply with it.

For example…

Lancaster House Christine Miller

Now then, let us proceed in an orderly fashion. As you know, we are all very boring and staid in Britain, aren’t we?

Well, there’s a myth about the British and your starter for ten is – stuffy, class conscious, boring, staid! But is this still relevant in today’s world?  Let’s find out from our wonderful writers what they feel about it.

So, without further ado, here are the questions and answers from

THE VERY BRITISH WRITER:  Christine Miller

Q. Where were you born and where do you live at the moment?

Alfie in the sunA. I was born just outside Preston, Lancashire, UK. Preston is a city now, but it was just a town when I was a gal. I have very happy memories of walks in the countryside, birdspotting, celandines, lily of the valley, cowpats, trips to the seaside, to the beautiful Trough of Bowland in the Pennines, to the Lake District, and to North Wales.

I now live in West London, with my family and one Bengal cat named Alfie, who we rescued. Of course he is now in charge of most things…

Q. Have you always lived and worked in Britain or are you based elsewhere at the moment?

A. I have lived in France, The Netherlands, Greece, Denmark, Norway and Australia, not necessarily in that order. One of my children was born in Denmark, and one was just 14 weeks old when we moved to Australia. Whilst I am currently based in London, with the ease of connection through the internet, I feel myself to be a global citizen with friends, colleagues and contacts almost instantly available all over the world. When I first lived in Oz we used to have to book phone calls, and there was an irritating and disconcerting time lag. Now with Skype, I can be in touch when the mood and desire take me!

Orbit towerQ. Which is your favourite part of Britain?

A. I love the Cotswolds, Dorset Heritage Coast, especially Lyme Regis and Bridport, The Lake District, and Scotland. I still love the Fylde coast where I grew up,  and I am immensely proud of London. I think it is a wonderful city, and the way Great Britain pulled off the 2012 Olympic Games was truly amazing, it was a privilege to be part of it.

Q. Have you ‘highlighted’ or ‘showcased’ any particular part of Britain in your books? For example, a town or city; a county, a monument or some well-known place or event?

A. Yes.  Lyme Regis in Dorset, in several poems in my book Secret Garden of the Soul; London Underground, in particular Ravenscourt Park Station on the District Line in another poem called ‘The Slow Train’London Snow where I live, The Thames at Marlow, Buckinghamshire, in a poem called ‘Sea of Mind’. Also  another poem written about the garden of a friend’s house where I write deep in the West countryside, The Goddess Tree and one from France called Vines. Probably more, but that’s more than enough for now.

Q. There is an illusion – or myth if you wish – about British people that I would like you to discuss. Many see the ‘Brits’ as ‘stiff upper lip’. Is that correct?

A. No, not in my experience. It may have been true to some extent in earlier times, such as the reign of Queen Victoria, or during WWII for example, when people were dealing with external challenges and deprivation, and were in danger – and adopted a stoic, let’s-get-on-with-it approach. We don’t have the expressive, emotional nature of other races with more fiery temperaments, perhaps, but we are full blooded and passionate in our own way. Also,  these days, being British is about a broader, multicultural heritage and way of living – I think we have opened up in many ways because we are now a melting pot of many races, cultures and creeds.

Just look at things like football crowds and how we responded to hosting the Olympics; if you had the chance to be at the Olympic Park you’ll know that the atmosphere was just amazing, the volunteers were brilliant, and I think it also came across on television that there was real happiness in the air, and such jubilation when we did well.

800px-Meissen-teacup_pinkrose01Also, the exuberance of events such as Royal Weddings and the Queen’s Jubilee – we do it with such style and turn out in our thousands.  All those people lining the Thames in pouring rain in June, waving flags and cheering, and hosting celebrations all around the country – they might have been ‘stiff upper lipped’ in terms of enduring horrible weather, but they were spirited and joyful in their appreciation for the occasion.

I do think we have that characteristic of drinking tea…(with or without the extended little finger!) but we also love coffee, and of course we still have the reputation for liking warm beer, though chilled white wine is equally popular now, as are cold beers and exotic cocktails.

magician2Q. Do any of the characters in your books carry the ‘stiff upper lip’? Or are they all ‘British Bulldog’ and unique in their own way?

A. Those characters peopling my writing are in possession of a full range of emotional expressions; I would describe them as global souls occupying a unique place in the world. I haven’t yet really ventured into prose fiction in such a way that I can offer a description of my characters, but if I were to imagine, they would be as complex as we all are, and might have national characteristics to support and elaborate the plot.

Q. Tell us about one of your recent books?

RECov solidA. My most recent published book is a non-fiction volume called The Resourceful Entrepreneurs Guide to Business dedicated to the self-employed, entrepreneurs, and independent thinkers such as authors, to help them harness their talents and ambitions into successful ventures through being more resourceful and managing their mind-sets with focus and fulfillment. Innovators and creative people can find it tough to stay on track and translate their ideas into action, and this book is here to help.

I also publish an online magazine portal dedicated to human potential, where I often interview authors – a recent piece is with Wm Paul Young, of The Shack fame, which was a surprise phenomenal best seller with 18 million sales and 50 weeks on the NYT bestsellers list. He gives some interesting insights.

Q. What are you currently working on?

A. I am playing with and creating  several projects – a new volume of poems called Courage to Love, a non-fiction about Love in Organisations, for which I’ve interviewed 60 leaders about love, caring and compassion at work, plus I have two companion editions to Resourceful Entrepreneur’s Guide, on transformation and growth and leadership in the pipeline. And some very juicy interviews coming up.

Q. How do you spend your leisure time?

A. I invest my leisure time in reading, cooking, cinema, dining out, entertaining, theatre, gardening, being in nature and in conversation, and writing, especially poetry,  is a joy to me so I regard that as leisure as well, and I love to travel. In fact, because my work is largely play, I often can’t distinguish between the two, and enjoy a fertile creative playground which is highly productive.

Q. Do you write for a local audience or a global audience?

A. A global audience, geographically. I have a very specific reader in mind though when writing, in terms of audience.

Q. Can you provide links to your work?

A. Yes, I certainly can. I write, edit and publish and offer written, audio and video author interviews for book promotion purposes.

Secret Garden of the Soul
Resourceful Entrepreneur
Guide to Writing Poetry
 (complimentary)
ReSource magazine web portal
Idea Festival
Author Interviews
Video Interview 

inviteI’ve invited the following British, not necessarily British-based, authors to join in the fun. Once they’ve agreed, and set up their own answers on their respective websites/blogs, then clicking on their name will take you there.

Also, if you are a British author and would like to join in, please get in touch via the Contact page or click the link in the invitation opposite.

To see how our other authors responded, click on an author’s name below. They will appear in orange when the links to their answers are live. 

Tom Evans
Kirsty Allison
Tony Buzan
Lubna Gem Arielle
Sarah Arrow
John Logan
Lynn Serafinn
Mark Perl
Anne Fallas
Anthony Russell
Diana Cooper
Nigel Cutts
Mary Curtis
???????

 

Twitter hashtag: #VBBT2013

Shortlink: http://bit.ly/britblogtour

New ReSource hot off the press

ReSource Edition 17


It’s been a busy few weeks getting this edition of ReSource off to print, and there are some really great interviews and articles which I’ve really enjoyed preparing.

I also relished designing the fresh summer cover -

ReSource Edition 17

ReSource Edition 17

Some snippets

‘Generation Y’ has featured  strongly, it wasn’t an intentional thing, simply that it was topical amongst the people I was speaking to.

Generalisation about any group is not ideal, and can be dangerous, and we acknowlede that there are always exceptions, yet Don Tapscott, Marshall Goldsmith, Kate Sweetman and Marcus Buckingham are all talking about the differences between this group of 16 – 31 year olds and the ‘boomers’ – the message is that they are flexible, value-driven and aren’t impressed by materialism in the way previous generations have been – they won’t compromise their ideals.

Kate Sweetman talks about the fact that Gen Y ‘s values, needs and wants are very similar to those that women have traditionally upheld –

“I predict that companies that can solve the C-level gender gap will also win the Talent war for the best and the brightest in Gen Y.  What women have always wanted and what Gen Y demands are virtually the same things.”

Don Tapscott advocates listening to young people and acting on their input. He says of the Net Generation:

“they are the first ever global generation, and they are defined by these eight norms. If you are designing a company, a brand, a marketing programme, or a government, it doesn’t matter what it is, these eight norms need to be at the centre of it.”

Marcus Buckingham (in London next week – check out his June 10 event here – ReSource will be there as a media partner) noted:

“All the research that I have seen shows that Gen Y is a ‘volunteerist’ generation, and an optimistic generation, but they are clueless about what it takes to perform”

Marshall Goldmsith has some great advice:

“For young people, my advice is that the world you are growing up in is a much more competitive world than the world I grew up in. Make sure you love what you do, or you are going to be living in what I call ‘New Age Professional Hell’“.

These are just a selection from the host of valuable, great articles covering a range of topics from business leadership and personal success to spirituality and well-being – check out www.resourcemagazine.co.uk and subscribe so you don’t miss out on a truly great ReSource!


Everybody must blog…….

Christine Miller interviews Don Tapscott
…..Blogging is learning  -
it refines your analytic skills,  your writing skills…
and keeps you abreast of what’s happening in the world.


What’s more,  it’s de rigueur in one corporation, NGenera,  headed by Wikinomics author, Don Tapscott……..

Christine Miller interviews Don Tapscott

Christine Miller interviews Don Tapscott

In my early morning London interview with Don,  his most recent publication, Grown Up Digital, was up for discussion and we talked about the need for a different method of talent management, what’s happening in business education and how to engage the variously named ‘generation Y’ – the net generation, the Millenials, or the young people aged between 16 and 31, now entering the workforce and with very different ideas and values.

Here’s an under 3 minute audio clip (excuse my first slightly clunky efforts at editing!)  which gives a tiny taste of our conversation…..full, fascinating interview is in the upcoming edition of ReSource Magazine.

don-tapscott-blog-post

I have two children born into this generation, and from my experience of them and their friends, they are different in terms of looking for and insisting on certain values being present in the organisations with whom they choose to work or align.

Gib Bulloch, head of Accenture’s Development Partnerships, which provides consultancy services to the Development sector on a non-profit basis,  recently told me that there were more volunteers than placements for consultants willing to take large salary cuts in order to make a contribution, and says  “Today’s consultants are increasingly interested in making a difference, and it’s a win for everyone when our clients benefit from getting our expertise and services at a fraction of the market rates”.

More clips to come….