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 ‘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:

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

Love Is – More than rosy moments

Come To Love Christine Miller

heartstone Christine MillerLove Is

I was reflecting this morning that this is the first Valentine’s Day for three years that I haven’t been involved in some kind of poetry competition or promotion – 2010 and 2011, I was working with Hallmark Cards as a judge on a ‘Twittermantic’ project offering a prize for the best short romantic verse, with the winning words being turned into a card. Great fun and we attracted lots of entries both times.

Last year, I was working with QVC, the shopping channel, as resident poet on a Love Letters campaign to help the British public write messages of love to their loved ones – I turned out hundreds of poems in two days, and it was great fun. Each entrant received a beautiful, specially designed card with a personalised verse inside, and the requests came from sons and daughters, parents and friends as well as romantic interests, the long-married and newly established and those hopeful for relationships to develop. There were some deeply moving stories of loss, illness, misfortune – through which Love had triumphed and endured, and it was such a delightfully endearing project.

Although not publicly involved this year, I am,  as well as writing a book about Love in Organisations, deeply engaged in the process of bringing together a new volume of poems called ‘Courage to Love’, and this seems like the ideal time to give you a sneak preview.

This one is called ‘Come to Love’ and seems quite fitting for Valentine’s Day, even if it’s a little alternative. It’s really a statement that hearts and flowers and romance are not the essence of lasting love. We need more of the kind of love that endures and grows, standing up to all kinds of challenges and upsets, just like every aspect of human life. A Love that is present not only between couples and in families, but throughout our lives, including our work, our politics, and the way we engage with nature and the environment – in fact, throughout the planet, even the cosmos.

I like to think of us rising and standing in love, strong and courageous and loyal, collectively, rather than falling in love and being infatuated, on a hormonal high which inevitably recedes and leaves us wondering what we saw in that person in the first place. A Love that simply Is…not always easy, but one we know will endure the ups, downs and broadsides of human life.

I dedicate this poem to Love  - as a way of being and becoming; inclusive, extensive and pervasive, bringing the joy and spirit of human flourishing to us all.

Christine Miller

Happy Valentine’s Day – Loving Every Day, Every Loving Day 

Come To Love Christine Miller

Soul Poet

Christine Miller

Poetry is a means of expressing our inner thoughts and feelings, our inspirations, insights and intimate experiences.  Life is poetry – and poetry occurs all around us, in us and through us all the time.


Poetry can be harsh and demanding, soft and yielding, delicate and dreamlike – and filled with stark realism. It doesn’t have to rhyme, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone other than the poet, and it can blissfully, wilfully ignore the rules of grammar and presentation.

And – poetry can be prose, images, short, long, scribbled on the back of an envelope or inscribed in elaborate hand on expensive paper. In essence, poetry is essence, yours, mine, ours, and it is personal yet universal, even cosmic, at the same time.

These poems are an invitation to journey through the Secret Garden of a Soul, a soul in the process of re-membering its essence and reconnecting to its authentic, joyful self.

My intention is that in reading the poems, you will find a meaning unique to your life, and that you, too, may be led to a place of inner peace and joy, a private place where your soul can dwell unfettered by mundane concerns.

Christine Miller

More here: www.soulpoet.org

New View of The Dragon in 2012

magician2

 

Originally written as a story and metaphor for a young client, this was first published in
my poetry book, ‘Secret Garden of the Soul’, here recreated and revised for 2012, 

the Year of the Water Dragon.

 

Happy Chinese New Year…

 

Love in the Dragon's Nest blog pic

Valentine’s Twittermantic with Hallmark

pot-cover1

Hallmark Romantic Verse Competition Returns for Valentine's 2011

LONDON, England, January 19, 2011

 - UK Wide Search for the Best Twittermantic

- Winner Receives a Luxury Romantic Break Away

After the huge success of last year's Twittermantic competition, which saw more than 600 entries, author and poet Christine Miller, Founder of ReSource, a global intelligence provider in the business and personal development field,  has again agreed to act as a judge.  Hallmark Cards is again giving the UK's wannabe Shakespeares the chance to show off their poetic side in a national creative writing contest, launching today. But in the true spirit of a modern day Romeo or Juliet – the romantic verse must be composed in just 140 characters on the popular social network site, Twitter!

The competition, back by popular demand, is being launched by Hallmark's online personalised card service, Hallmark.co.uk (http://www.hallmark.co.uk/), as part of its build up to Valentine's Day, with a luxury weekend break away on offer for the winning Twittermantic!

The best entries collected before Valentine's (February 14th) will be judged by an online public vote and by a panel of experts, including poet and published author, Christine Miller. (http://www.christinemiller.co)

Christine said: “Many writers – poets, journalists, bloggers et al, have said that Twitter, far from restricting their expressiveness, has helped them hone their skills and improve their writing. This is because they don’t have the luxury of length, so have to drill down and identify the key points and condense their ideas. It has provided a paradoxical opportunity to get more creative and meaningful by saying less – a pared down scenario with greater freedom, where new types of expression like text speak are not only allowed but positively encouraged.  So be playful and have fun.

‘Have great fun, Let your senses soar, send us your love poems, ♥♥♥♥. We want to see lots more!’”

free-guide-to-twitter-poemsChristine is offering a FREE guide to writing poems over Twitter, normally valued at £7.99, to all entrants of the Hallmark competition, and will be offering tips on the Hallmark blog during the competition.

[Read more...]