Hand

Give a man a free hand and he’ll run it all over you.
Mae West

Writing is what I do, though not often as I maybe should. Here’s a selection of pieces, old and new.

Writer on the Road
For several months during 2012, I worked as an ’embedded writer’ for the Bath and North East Somerset Council, covering a number of events, running workshops and entertaining passers-by:

414. Torch relay, morning – in Bath, with young Quest writers
415. Torch relay, afternoon – a glimpse of the Olympic flame
426. Street party’d out – the Quest team defies increasingly heavy rain
428. Park picnic, part I – a Roman soldier looks forward
429. Park picnic, part II – a Latin scholar looks sideways
445. The spider on the bus – a travelling companion
446. Midsomer fayre’s fare – a day of medieval merriment
447. All the wheels a stage – of trick cyclists and troubadours
464. A certain Twerton – tucked away beyond the railway line
502. Thanks for the warm-up – basketball, boccia and an adapted bicycle
503. Spirit in motion – Bath celebrates the Paralympic Flame
504. In Your Shoes – a second visit to the Time Bank
506. A Puddleduck Sunday – the annual Circuit of Bath Walk
509. Written on the Road – a concluding summary

Poetry

32. X factors – the referendum: X marks the spot
33. Clocked – three poems spanning four decades
36. Right up my street – a soft spot for the downtrodden pavement
40. Staying in the dryThe Voyage of the Todorcim
43. Unequal opportunities – the interesting verb ‘to solicit’
51. Occam’s razor – live coverage of the end of the world
56. When in CoriniumHysterical Historical Poems: The Romans
60. One small snip for manouch
72. Body shop rap – on the National Health Service
79. Field of Avalon – overheard in the poetry tent
84. Passenger lines – a day spent at a local radio station
89. Stanza and deliverThe Poetry Slam
96. Paradox sliced – Greek philosophy revisited
131. The age of heroes – fictional figures as mere mortals
144. Fossil fuelled – pieces commissioned by the local water park
161. Don’t bank on itWords Ploughed into Shares
180. Writing about womenWardrobe Mistress
185. National Poetry Day – three personal pieces
190. A necessary riskI and We and They, a preview
210. Mercenary rhymes 1A was an Apple Pie and other re-writes
224. Mercenary rhymes 2Old Mother Hubbard and more
231. From Death and Taxes – a study in black humour
240. Mercenary rhymes 3The Queen of Hearts, et al
266. Lines of thought – poems for Boxing Day
280. Mercenary rhymes 4Rub-a-dub-dub, plus two
289. Mercenary rhymes 5Little Bo-Peep, Doctor Foster &c
301. Eye of the beholderSigns of the times
305. National Libraries DayKnit One Pearl of Wisdom
311. What’s in a name?yclept
322. Tale of Two Taylors – on bullying schoolboys
365. Famous for its ducksSlimbridge C.C. and other cricket poems
382. Gender agendaProblem Page
405. Village VersesReturn Journeys through fields of rape
420. Cotswold Water ParkA wildlife walk and I am an ammonite
449. Mary had a tiny sheep – a great writing exercise
452. Smoking poetry – excerpts from Death and Taxes
472. Words with daughters 1 – script-writing for a folk tale
473. Words with daughters 2 – Fayra’s perilous journey

Satire and sketches

16. Short shrift – omg! a txt msg mare
19. Time and again – the opening lines of a radio play
48. Meeting targets – improving train travel, part 1
61. Service updates – improving train travel, part 2
138. Are you AAA rated? – star qualities and the alpha male
168. Conference 1: Clegg – the Lib Dems in Birmingham
172. Faster than light – money is disappearing into black holes
173. Conference 2: Miliband – the Labour party in Liverpool
178. All kinds of weather – an English obsession
182. Conference 3: Cameron – the Conservatives in Manchester
204. Blank cheque – an idea for a short story
213. Prithee, what news? – Shakespeare at the top of the hour
248. The Vu sisters – haven’t we met before?
309. Treacherous conditions – the terrorist group W.E.A.T.H.E.R.
329. Some silly stories – two pieces for children to act out
357. British Summer Tie – a word game inspired by a lost hour
369. Move Tiles – revised versions of classic films
424. The search continues – intelligent life? not on Auris-θ

Writing about writing

1. Signifying nothing – blogging is not my style, but…
20. Samba of Kangaroo – the married admirer of latent talent
29. Written work – writers on writing
37. Alphabet stories – a writing exercise
100. Take time to pause – the best words in the best order
267. Spurred on by football – writing to the full-time whistle
293. Exercise yards – planning to walk and write every day
294. Mensa Quest inquest – writing for a short-lived magazine
306. Garret, anyone…? – what to do with the attic
316. The default state – advice from Terry Pratchett
337. Comment-is-free fever – addictions and the internet
350. Improbabilities – on statistics and unlikely events
378. Being out at night 3 – the astronomer and the astrologer
422. Types of writer – a Smith Corona, an autobiography, and a crazy cricketer
461. A helpful shove – Le Tour de France and its metaphors

 

 

 

 

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