Exercises From Workbooks · Thoughts on thursday

Writing Exercise – Lists


Today’s exercise once again comes from…

518-ogA2vXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_I am really enjoying most of these exercises, the odd ones do not really seem to help or fit with my writing style but overall it has been a good investment. So today’s exercise is…


Now obviously you know me and how much I love lists so this would seem to be a really easy one not because I could not come up with a list for each one but because I would not know where to stop lol.

I am going to cheat slightly here, as you know we all get awards then struggle to come up with 7 interesting things about you over and over again so I am going to do a couple of lists here now then use the other suggestions to do my 7 things on awards posts and link them back to here.

List your favourite childhood books

Okay in no particular order…

The Hobbit by JRR Tolkien

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton

Wish For a Pony by Monica Edwards

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

The Worst Witch by Jill Murphy

James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

List some metaphors for sunset.  The sunset looked like…

…a dissolving rainbow sliding across the sky.

…a princess colour scheme swatched against the clouds.

….a gossamer cascade from the Goddess’s gown.

Okay so thats mine done I would love to see a few lists in comments from you all pick one and share and also feel free to pinch the idea’s for using on awards post 😀

Exercises From Workbooks · Highs and Lows · Thoughts on thursday

Writing Exercise And Why I


First before today’s writing exercise I will reveal the results of the poll for Sunday Story… well I am not so sure you guys really do like me you picked the genre I really didn’t expect – Romance.  It received 4 votes while Ghost Story and Fantasy received 3 each no one wanted a horror story not sure if that means you didn’t like my only attempt at it and all lied at the time to make me feel better (if you did thank you 😀 ) or if you all just think I am so warped that it would be just too scary week after week.  Because the vote was so close I think I shall add elements of the other two genres as we go along.  After I write this I shall go soak in a bubble bath with candles lit to get into the mood for writing some loving.

You may have also noticed that I did it! What? You didn’t? You are now at paulaacton.com not wordpress.com! Today I took the plunge and began down the road towards writing as a career rather than just a passion.  I finally paid for my domain and got the full Scrivener (it had begun trial again on new computer but I went for it despite having twenty plus days left.  I also ordered the bookmarks and some business cards – only a few because I am not sure on the design until I see them in the flesh so to speak. The down side is by actually taking this step I put pressure on myself to justify doing it.  Don’t get me wrong not to anyone else but to myself after all anything I spend on writing I take away from my family in one respect.  I know it is an investment but it is only justifable if I make it so.

That said now down to business! The exercise comes from…

518-ogA2vXL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-arrow-click,TopRight,35,-76_AA300_SH20_OU02_I have done a couple now and am really enjoying them although I am still trying to work out the best way to do the first one we discussed here.  So on to todays…


While I am sure plenty of fun could be had being invisible I would much prefer to be able to fly.

When I was younger I used to go riding, there is nothing to beat that feeling of your hair streaming out behind you as it blows in the wind and you canter across a field. Now of course health and safety would have a strop if you were caught without a helmet on unless you are a stunt man or a super hero!  Health and safety rules do not apply if you run round in your pants and can fly – I guess if you are invisible they may still apply but they can’t check up on you.  So my brain says if it was cool feeling the wind in your hair riding imagine how much cooler it would be flying through the clouds at high speed.  The freedom to travel wherever you wanted, you could see anywhere that you desired – fly along the Nile and watch the sunrise over the Pyramids then across the ocean and watch the sunset on Stonehenge before flying on and eating a midnight snack at the top of Mount Everest while watching the stars.

Okay this exercise was possibly more of a thinking exercise than a writing one but it was fun.  Now your turn I would love to see in comments what superpower you would like or why – or write your own post and link back here so we can all come see.

Highs and Lows · Me And Mine · Monday Musings

300 Posts and the Start of a New Year

Okay so technically as a pagan the new year began for me just over a week ago with the Solstice but as I had no computer it passed by rather quietly.  I have to say in some ways I believe the Mayans had it right for me personally as the dates for their end of the world and the pagan year end were in time with each other but I think we misinterpreted their meaning.  I say this because this new year I really do feel like it is the end of one way of life and the beginning of a new one which I am really excited about.

In 2012 with the help of friends around the world who I have never met in person I found the self belief and confidence to actually believe in my own ability as a writer. I have written a specific writing resolutions post to be published tomorrow so I won’t go into that too much here but let me say I am very excited about the projects and aims I have set for the next year.

One area which has suffered this year is reading anything other than blogs, I really do need to remedy that in the future and although I hate reading by numbers I think setting a target of reading 20 pages a day of which ever book I have on the go is realistic, if all else fails I will read them while laying in the bath.

My blog which I envisioned as a sort of online journal which I only expected myself and a few friends to be interested in has become so much more.  You have provided a sounding board for my ideas, an audience for my stories, I have met people who have become not only friends but teachers showing me ways to improve my own work.  There is a preconception about the writer as a lonely, hermit locked away with a typewriter isolated in their own world, well maybe that applies to those for whom financial success has altered their way of life but I think the blogosphere shows in full technicolour glory the bonds of friendship, respect and comradeship is alive and well within this community.

In real life I am lucky that I will start this new year in many ways far healthier than I have the last few, my surgery has been a success (touch wood) though I am still in recovery stages as I work on getting the muscles working again, I have stopped smoking even though I still really really want one which is weird considering the smell now makes me feel sick.  But also I cannot help but think about those for whom the past year has not been so considerate of, poor little Charlie whose trial treatment failed to deliver the miracle we all hoped for, now the family are left facing a very bleak new year unless the power of prayer can provide a miracle.  It would be easy to lose faith at a time like this but it is the very time when one must draw strength from them Charlie as you know was given weeks to live a couple of months ago yet he is still here and fighting, there is an amazing young lady named Alice Payne who has been fighting off this disease and refusing to let it beat her for over twelve months now.  It is the most we can do to hold on to each day as it passes and pray it brings these children closer to a cure which surely must be found to combat this terrible disease.  Children teach us what it really means to appreciate life, they do not know that they should be defeated by this thing which has invaded their bodies, they do not know they should fear it and this gives them the very strength to keep fighting unlike adults they have not learned to give up.

I am determined to make the most of every day and to raise some funds for both the Charlie fund and for the other charity close to my heart The Joseph Salmon Trust which helps families who are struck by the terrible tragedy of losing a child.  Will I make thousands for either probably not but I do believe every penny counts and if I make a hundred pounds or so for each then I will be contented.

I know this has ended up as a far more serious post than I ever intended it to be so if you have read down this far may I wish you all a happy and healthy New Year and hope your wildest dreams may come to fruition.

My highlight of 2012….all of you guys coming into my life.

Exercises From Workbooks · Thoughts on thursday

Writing Exercise #1

This is taken from above posted book, now obviously I cannot post the chapter which goes along with the exercise nor am I going to print every exercise in the book am pretty sure the author would not be happy with that.   The idea here is every other week opposite my vlog post I shall look at an exercise in this or one of the other books I seem to be accumulating and give you my thoughts on how that particular book is helping me so for todays exercise I have chosen this one as with the new year approaching I quite like the idea of this…


Now I confess I haven’t actually done this one but it ties in with a blog post a read recently over at One Handed Writers, they were discussing how they had a scent for each of their characters in their minds as they wrote about them and I think that is part of what I get from this idea.

To me this is not so much a five minute exercise as an on going project so what I intend to do is grab a nice new clean notebook and divide it up into the senses then actually make notes of various sensations.  I guess it will be a little like saying something tastes like chicken then trying to explain to someone who has never eaten it what chicken tastes like.  I think something I am guilty of at times is assuming that people share my experience of things a prime example is if I were to talk about the smell of a fire burning, my fires when I burn them tend to have a lot of rose wood in them where I have hacked back the wild rose that grows in my garden yet I know if I were burning pine boughs it would smell differently.  I can really see how this one will help me create more layers to my writing and especially my poetry and the idea of starting a sensory journal is quite exciting.  So what do you think is this something that could work for you?

Exercises From Workbooks

New Thursday Posts

I have taken a leaf out of Vikki at the View Outside’s book and have invested in a couple of books on writing.  This one just arrived in the post this morning.


Now obviously I can’t share the whole book with you but what I intend to do for the next few Thursday is to give you a brief summary of one of the chapters and the attached exercise and show you what I came up with.  There are 58 chapters in total but I only intend to do half a dozen or so on here picked at random then I shall do an overall review of what I thought of the book as a whole in terms of structure, exercises and then if you like what you have read you can pop along to amazon or your local bookshop and get your own copy.

I have not had much chance to look through so far but the quick skim I did have it looks fascinating and as all the exercises are designed to be completed in 5 minutes then there is no excuse for not doing them, of course this does mean I need to pick up a new note book specifically for these exercises lol.

So what do you guys think are set exercises a good thing to warm up the brain and push you for your comfort zone?