Thoughts of Wind and Sea

Thoughts of Wind and Sea

Wind is the living breath of the atmosphere that cocoons all life on Earth. It keeps us warm, provides the air we breath, protection from the harsh, burning radiation from space that would shrivel our skin and increase the numbers of cancers we suffer.

Wind is our friend. It brings us fresh air and clouds that carry quenching rain from the restless sea to the burning fields. It used to push along the ships that carried our food to us from far away lands. It may again as oil runs out and is too valuable to burn and too dangerous to our warming climate.

Wind stirs the oceans, brings nutrients to the surface to feed the pelagic fish that 60% of the human population rely on. Wind creates dust storms in the Sahara and then carries the dust across the Atlantic to fertilise the Amazon rain forest – without the Sahara there would be no forest because the soil it grows on is so poor.

Humans may have made our own environment by crushing nature in and around our mega cities but wind reminds us that nature is still there as it blows our rubbish along the city streets and creates eddies in building corners; eddies that contain discarded crisp packets, leaves from the few trees that we have allowed to remain and many ‘don’t know what they ares’ in the middle. The eddies act like a centrifuge sorting out the materials by size and weight ready to be swept up and carried away to a far off dump to feed seagulls and rats. Have you ever thought that there is no such thing as ‘Throw it away’? What you really mean is ‘Take my rubbish away so that I cannot smell or see it.’ It is still there somewhere – there is no such thing as ‘outside the environment.’

Wind provides an increasing fraction of the electricity we so carelessly waste. It is replacing the polluting power stations of the past.

Wind can be destructive. I wondered why the wooden houses in Ammassalik, South East Greenland, were anchored to the rock by steel hawsers and ring bolts. I learned later that the katabatic winds draining off the ice cap can reach over 200 mph. These are called Piteraqs in Greenlandic. The wind gauges only measure up to 200…

Walk through Fernworthy pine plantation on Dartmoor on a windy night and listen to the trees groaning in endless torment in the keening wind. Keep looking behind you for the banshee that haunts this ancient landscape. Is it there?

Have you walked past a yacht marina on a windy winter’s day? Listened to the ‘tap, tapping’ of the wire halyards against the hollow aluminium masts, trying to attract your attention to their need to go sailing. Like a dog holding its lead in its mouth as it looks up at you with a supplicating gaze.

I like the wind, it is a reminder that nature is still alive, we have not killed her yet in our race for ‘progress’. She still has her rhythms that she keeps to in spite of mankind’s depredations.

There is a wonderful feeling to be had. Stand on one of the rocky granite tors of Dartmoor on a cloudy February day. Horizontal icicles hang from the ancient rocks. Face the wind and breath deeply, freeze your brain and teeth. Meditate with Tai Chi if you have the balance. After, clamber down the rocks to the lee side, sip warm coffee from your vacuum flask as you savour the lone remoteness and the wind roaring over your head.

Back to the wind is sometimes the best way to stand, especially if you are at sea and goffers are coming over the rail. Spray feels like lead shot when it is driven by the full force of a North Atlantic gale. Taking it green is an old sailing term but it is still valid and the green still turns white as it races across the deck to the thirsty scuppers.

I used to think that the heaving waves of the ocean created the wind. I now know that it is the other way around. Waves can by pulled up to unreal heights by the keening wind. I well remember a force 13 off Bermuda on a frigate hove to, just enough headway to give steerage into the wind and waves. Climbing up the face of a wave into the full force of the wind then slithering down the other side into a windless silence, everyone hoping that the submarine plunge would end and she would pull her head up before it was too late.

Ships used to be designed to be able to survive  60 ft waves but then damage was found on ships and oil rigs above the 60 ft height and many ships sank without trace each year. The old sailors used to say that the seventh wave was the biggest, the one to watch for. This was idea was scoffed at by land lubbers but the advance of quantum mechanics and the ready availability of computer power proved them right. 100 foot waves were recorded in the North Sea during a scientific investigation on oil rigs.

I often ponder, safe and warm in my bed on a winter’s night as the wind howls around the house, how much worse it is away from land and I think of those sailors still in peril on the sea.

 

Links

Winds around the world
http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-3.52,52.00,3000/loc=-3.225,51.362

Ships around the world
http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-5/centery:52/zoom:11

 

Eorðdraca

© Richard Kefford 2016

My Kindle books are on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Richard+Kefford

 

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A walk in the country near Bristol

Introduction
This was designed as a geological walk but it passes through beautiful country near Bristol. It is good at all times of the year but it is wonderful in Spring with all the flowers. It is mesmerising in winter when there is more water in the brook but wellies are best as it gets very muddy in the wood!
The wood is owned by the Forestry Commission.
Please follow the countryside code.
Enjoy your walk, allow 2 – 3 hours.

*

Directions
Drive towards Bristol on the B3128. Pass the Failand Inn on your right and then turn left into Oxhouse Lane. Follow this to the ’Tee’ junction and turn left, to park carefully on the verge by St Bartholomew’s Church.  ST 51527  73539

*

Maps  and links.
Ordnance Survey     Bristol West and Portishead                              Sheet 154
British Geological Survey      Solid and Drift geology     Bristol     Sheet 264
http://www.forestry.gov.uk/forestry/englandbathandnortheastsomersetnoforestbristolwoodlandswesttanpitwood
http://www.bgs.ac.uk/discoveringGeology/geologyOfBritain/viewer.html

*

The Walk
Enter the field via a stile directly opposite the Tee junction. Walk down the hill, keeping close to the hedge field boundary on your right. At the right hand corner of the field surmount another stile and then walk downhill to a gate under a big tree. After the gate there is another with a wall stretching off to your right for some 50M. Examine closely the stone blocks of which the wall is made. This is quite a coarse sandstone, as a hand lens will show, and also has many clasts of vein quartz included. There are several clues as to what material it is and where it came from. The cross bedding indicates it was laid down in a river – Fluvial sandstone. The grains of sand are polished rather than frosted – so again it is water, not air, borne. The clasts, or pebbles, included in the matrix are of hard quartz but have been eroded so they are rounded or sub rounded., indicating that they have travelled a long distance. There are also some brown pebbles of Jasper. Putting all of this together, it is thought that these pebbles have come a long distance in a powerful river from the North West. Some pebbles have been identified as coming from the Mona complex in Anglesea which is the site of a Pre Cambrian ophiolite, approx. 611 mya – a subduction zone where the ocean sediments of the descending slab are scraped off by the continental plate. This process is known as obduction. There will have been some Andesite extruded above the subduction zone as the entrained seawater heats up as the oceanic slab descends into the deeper, hotter earth.

This is the Black Nore Sandstone of the Lower Old Red Sandstone. It was probably laid down in the Emsian  Stage of the Devonian Period, 407.6 million to 393.3 million years ago. It has minimal fossils in it. The reason for looking at the wall is that there are no exposures or quarries in this strata where it can be seen in situ.

To summarise, volcanic rocks were eroded from the andesitic volcanoes, the mica and feldspar were softer and so were eroded away, leaving the harder quartz grains as the rocks matured. They were transported across a vast desert plain by braided rivers to their present location. The clasts were rounded into pebbles as they were tumbled in the rivers.

Now follow a hedge back up the hill to the road but this time follow a hedge line heading further to the East, keeping it on your left. Check the capping stones on the top of the wall by the cattle trough – are they all Black Nore Sandstones – without fossils? Look at the drop on the other side of the wall. Was this an old quarry? During the winter, when the leaves are off the hedge plants, a wall can be seen in the middle of the hedge. This wall becomes more distinct as the road at the top of the hill is approached. A close inspection will show that it was built using similar stones that have already been seen. Use the stile to get back on the road where a National Trust interpretation board for the Failand Estate can be seen, close to the hedge.

Directly across the road there is a track with a public footpath sign. Follow this track down a steep hill, passing a few cottages on the left. At the bottom of the hill, rejoin Sandy Lane , turning right to follow it down to the ford by Mulberry Farm. The farm house garden wall is partly built on exposed bedrock. These are the Portishead Beds and more exposures will be seen later in the walk. Look at and identify the rocks in the wall.

Turn right at the Farm and follow the footpath through a gate, keeping the wood and stream on your left. The stream is called Markham Brook. It flows into the River Avon at Pill. Go through a gate into the wood. Just in front of you is a bridge across the stream. Cross the bridge, to the left a small pump house can be seen. A look inside will show the pump housing while in the side of the stream an iron pipe can be seen. This worked on the hydraulic ram principle. The pressure in the pipe from higher up in the stream increased until it was high enough to trigger the ram with an audible thump – thus pumping water up the hill to a storage tank near to where it was needed. One of these tanks can be seen by the side of the road on the way back to the church. The use of this water supply to Lower Failand continued until the 1950’s. The tile on the top of the pump house is embossed with ‘Danger. Baldwin. Electricity’ so assumedly the pump was converted from a hydraulic ram to an electric pump at some stage.

Follow the stream until you see a second bridge. Cross this bridge, turn to the right and follow a path along a gully until a fallen tree can be seen. Look to the right at the stream and look for a tufa dam in the stream. The water has passed through the limestone, dissolving carbonate minerals. Where it passes over a cascade, carbon dioxide is released. The minerals come out of solution and are deposited as carbonate rock. This slowly builds up to form a tufa dam. This is the same way that stalactites are formed in Limestone caves.These are relatively rare features in the UK so please do not disturb this example in any way. This has recently been designated as a RIGS ( Regionally Important Geological Site ) by the Avon RIGS Group. ( http://avonrigsoutcrop.blogspot.co.uk/p/about-avon-rigs-group.html )

West Tan Pit Wood is so called because leather was tanned using the clean water. Pits were dug and lined with oak and used for leather tanning. The tannins leached from the oak bark to soften the hides.

Return to the bridge and walk on to a ’Tee’ junction with another path, noting the sandstone crag exposure to your right. These are Upper Old Red Sandstones from the Devonian period and are known as the Portishead Beds. This rock is impermeable so the streams flow on the surface here. These are younger than the Black Nore Sandstones previously seen. The also have a different habit in that there are minimal pebble inclusions and the cross bedding is more defined. These deposits were laid down during the Famennian stage of the Upper Devonian period 372.2 to 358.9 million years ago Subtracting the end of the Emsian stage, 393.3,  from the start of the Famennian, 372.2, you get a gap of about 21 million years. During this time either nothing was deposited or something was deposited and then was subsequently eroded away. Either way, there is a time gap between the two strata, this is called an unconformity.

DSC09963

Turn right on to the other path, noting the carved wooden sign. Follow the path to a gate which allows entrance to a grassy area with an artificial circular pond A rest may be taken on a thoughtfully provided seat to enjoy the pool with its backdrop of a small cliff of the sandstone. Walk further on, taking the right hand fork across the grass to see a natural-looking pool with no apparent water supply, even though water is flowing out. It may be fed through a hidden pipe from the spring-fed stream in the garden. This is one of the springs and is flowing out of the Limestone overlying the Sandstone. The Limestone is permeable so the water can flow through it but cannot enter the impermeable Sandstone so emerges at the surface as a spring and runs downhill as a stream.

Follow the path up a steep incline to a path junction at the end of the road, in front of a large garage. The two houses there are called Ferney Row.

Progress up the hill then turn right and cross the field, keeping the hedge on your left. A gate into a wood will appear. Pass through the gate, which may be surrounded by deep mud and follow the track noting the springs on the hillside to your left and and the rock in the track bed. This is the limestone which rests conformably on the Devonian Sandstone. This is Carboniferous Limestone – Lower Limestone Shales from the Avon Group. This is younger than the Devonian Sandstones. As its name implies, this was laid down in the Carboniferous period, in fact it is the basal strata of the Carboniferous succession.

At the beginning of the Carboniferous – approx. 360 mya – the arid terrestrial environment of the Devonian gave way to shallow marine conditions – a marine transgression. The Mendip area became part of a broad, southward shelving, shallow tropical sea that stretched from Belgium westwards into Pembrokeshire. The initial flooding of the region produced the mud-rich Avon Group (Lower Limestone Shale), This is up to 150 m thick in the western Mendips. The dominant lithology is fissile mudstone with limestone inter-beds. The mud-rich nature of the succession reflects the environmental transition from arid desert to shallow sea. Conditions were too turbid to allow the growth of corals, which are a feature of much of the lower Carboniferous succession, but other marine fossils such as crinoids, brachiopods and bryozoans became well-established and are a significant component of limestones in the lower part of the succession, including a marker-horizon known as the ‘Bryozoa Bed’. Ripples, scours and cross-bedding in the limestones show that deposition occurred in a shallow, high energy environment, and some of the limestones are distinctly reddened due to high concentrations of the iron mineral haematite. The higher part of the formation contains greenish-grey shales and black crinoidal limestones, which were probably deposited in a slightly more open-water marine setting.

Keep an eye on the verges and the track bed, you will be very unlucky if you do not see some brachiopod and Crinoid fossils there. Note also that the track is mostly dry – as the limestone is permeable. The dip of the strata may also be seen in the track bed.

Continue along the lane, pass a wooden bungalow on your right and eventually arrive at Oxhouse Lane complete with the Forestry Commission Wood notice board. Turn to the right and follow the lane back up to the church. Just after leaving the track, you will see on the right an exposure of the Portishead beds showing that this is very close to the contact between the Limestone and Sandstone – hence the springs in this area. The road will lead you up the hill. Halfway up the hill, look back to the hill on the other side of the valley and the road to the wood. You will see a ridge running across the field. This is called a break of slope and marks the transition to the harder Black Rock Limestone from the softer Lower Limestone Shales. The harder and softer rocks are eroded at different rates so forming the ridge. This is called differential erosion. Just before you reach a footpath off the the right, you may be able to see another small pump house hidden in a piece of woodland.When passing Failand House to your right, an inspection of the gate posts will reveal that they are made from Black Nore Sandstone. The house is owned by the National Trust but there is no public access.

Arriving back outside St Batholomew’s Church, it is worth having a look at the building stones. The church was built by Richard Vaughan in 1887. The areas that require freestones – window frames, statue niches etc. are made from Bath Stone. This is a cream Oolitic limestone from the Great or Inferior Oolite, probably from one of the quarries on Dundry Hill. The walls are built from the local Black Nore Sandstone, the pebbles can clearly be seen. The colour of the walls also hints at the Old Red Sandstone. Inside, the font is also made from Bath stone. The steeple can be seen to be cream rather than red so is probably made from Bath stone as the individual blocks would need to have been shaped during the building process.

It is always worth looking at churches, from the geological point of view, as they were usually built mainly from the closest available suitable stone to reduce costs. Transport was more expensive than the quarrying costs. They are therefore a marker for the quarries and rock to be found locally.

There is a booklet, available for 10p at the church or from the web site

It is also interesting to see that the churchyard is bounded by a wall made from the same Devonian stone. However this wall is topped by a different sandstone. This is the Pennant Sandstone from the Carboniferous period. This gives a delightful colour contrast to the main mass of the boundary wall.

Eorðdraca

©Richard Kefford

My Kindle books are on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Richard+Kefford

Parisian Journey

Parisian Journey

Laura  had had a tense relationship with her husband. He died a year ago, and wounds were starting to heal.   As it was autumn, she decided to visit her pen-friend, Danielle, single, with an on/off boyfriend, who lived in Paris.

Laura then flew to the beautiful French city. and stayed in her tiny apartment near the  Sacre-Cœur.

Their first day of sight-seeing   was by walking and using the Metro. Having not seen each other for quite a while, they took their time, chatting and laughing at pavement coffee bars. Danielle looked at her watch, it was mid-afternoon, ‘’just one more place ‘’ she thought ‘to complete the day. A rather surprising choice was to go to the famous Père Lachaise Cemetery in the 20th district. Laura felt uncomfortable about her friend’s decision Danielle reassured her it was all right.

Taking the Metro, again,  they arrived at their destination just 50 minutes before closing. The air felt cooler and dusk was setting. At the entrance gate they took a complementary map, showing all the graves and tombs displayed. So many graves, some very ornate, including those of well-known people such as Collette, Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Jim Morrison and Isadora Duncan. The grave that really attracted Laura was the one for Alan Kardec the non de plume of Leon Revail. A large stone canopy supported by pillars. Flowers were tightly packed around the border. Revail  was  a French educator, and   philosopher. He researched into ‘the spirit world’, and later founding The Spiritualist Society of Paris and a journal he edited until his death in 1869.

Suddenly Laura decided to touch one of the canopy pillars, immediately there was a strong surge of tingling up her arm and into her body, feeling excitement and a lot of fear she shakenly stood back and Danielle moved forward to support her. The girls agreed this was enough, and holding each other, they moved down the cemetery path, in the fading light, Laura turned her head  towards the grave and saw a tall shadow of a man wearing a top hat, and swishing his long dark cloak around him. This seemed unbelievable to see a ghost – Danielle saw nothing…

©Gina Merrett Smith 2016

Minerals

Minerals

It started as a harmless idea, an abstract concept. Of course that was before they realised the full implications of what they planned to do.

Wolfram had started it over coffee in the canteen one lunchtime. They were chatting about the implications of quantum physics – as you do – when Wolfie said.’ Why is it it that most scientists are happy to ignore the one problem with the most accurate theory in all science, the fact that it requires an observer to collapse the wave function so that a particle’s position can be measured? Everyone is happy to use the maths of quantum physics because they work so well, what everyone calls the shut up and calculate method but isn’t it time someone sorted this out and why shouldn’t it be us?’

Galena put down her doughnut and looked at him over the rim of her paper coffee cup. ‘What’s wrong with leaving it as it is, everybody seems happy with it and it works so why change it? Anyway we don’t have any of the equipment that we would need to do the experiments.’

‘If every scientists had taken that attitude, we would still be living in caves,’ said Wolfram, ‘ and what ever happened to scientific curiosity and the need to find out?’

‘Oh, stop arguing you two,’ said Olivine crossly, ‘let’s just get on and do it. Where do you suggest we start Wolfie?’

‘Well, as Galena kindly reminded us, we don’t have any equipment or money to buy any so I think all the work will have to be done by thought experiments. If it was good enough for Schrödinger and Einstein then it should be good enough for us.’

‘You forget that they were clever people and we have only got you,’ said Galena

‘Yes, and think how lucky you are to have me.’ said Wolfram.

‘Come on. Let’s stop sniping at each other and get on with it,’ said Olivine, ever the peacemaker. ‘ Do you think we should fetch Tourmaline and ask her if she would like to join in and help us?’

‘Yes, I think that is a great idea,’ said Wolfram

‘Well, you would of course, you have been lusting after her since she started here,’ said Galena who had a bit of thing for Wolfie and didn’t like the thought of Tourmaline muscling in on her territory. Wolfram coloured a little but said nothing, he didn’t want Tourmaline to know how he felt. Tourmaline, of course, knew exactly how Wolfram felt and was just biding her time until Galena was out of the way. She knew very well that fixing her startling green eyes on him in a full stare just made him melt and become incapable of rational thought.

‘OK then,’ said Galena. ‘Lets start here at the same time tomorrow. I’ll let Tourmaline know.’

*

‘Where do we start?’ asked Tourmaline, directing her searchlight stare at Wolfram.

‘Well, err, I think, we should start with the most famous thought experiment of all, Schrödinger’s cat.’

‘That sounds good to me,’ said Galena, anxious to get on Wolfram’s good side now that her rival for his affections was here. ‘Why don’t you go ahead and describe it for us, set the scene as it were?’

‘Creep,’ thought Tourmaline who knew exactly what Galena was up to. ‘Yes, that’s quite a good idea, luv.’ She said patronisingly as if surprised that someone with Galena’s limited intelligence could think of such a complicated concept. She said it with the Australian questioning lift at the end of the sentence which emphasised her incredulity.

‘OK then. A cat is placed in a wooden box. In  the box there is a gadget that fires a single photon at a filter. There is a 50% chance of the photon passing through the filer. If it does then a phial of poisonous liquid is broken and kills the cat. This means that, before the box is opened the cat can be in one of three quantum states:- alive, dead or both alive and dead. Once the box is opened the wave function collapses and the cat instantly snaps into one of the two possible classic states, alive or dead. The question is, when does the cat change from being in one of the three quantum states to being in one of the two classic states? What trigger is required to change it between quantum and classic states? All experiments so far show that an observer or measurement is required but does this agency have to be human?’

‘Well summarised Wolfie,’ said Tourmaline, determined to get her flattery in before Galena. ‘Where do we go from here?’

‘Why not try to split the human and non human possible cause of the collapse along the time axis and then we can record what happened when’ said Olivine who was the most original thinker of the group.

‘And just how do we manage that?’ asked Galena sarcastically. She had long been jealous of Olivine’s seemingly effortless thinking.

‘We need to record the event so why not put a camera in the box that is triggered by the same photon result that breaks the poison phial. This will then show what state the cat is in before the box is opened. If the photo shows the cat is dead then a non human agency can collapse the wave function and trigger the change from a quantum to classic state. If the experiment is repeated many times and the photo shows that the cat is always alive then it requires a human agency to force the change.’

As soon as Olivine finished speaking, there was a flash and they all fell to the floor of the box-like canteen, dead.

Someone else was doing the same experiment and they were now the cats.

Eorðdraca

©Richard Kefford 2016

My Kindle books are on Amazon at:

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=Richard+Kefford

THEN

Then

We knew life well
Serpents gulch, Spyglass hill and Snipers island.
Our kingdom
Its still there!

But do you remember. Muddiford.
outside the pub.
Alive, happy, and ready.
Dennis, and you, and I.

Desperate card battles.
Shrewd and profound endeavours
All; eclipsed by inscrutable brilliance
as Old Auntie Doris lays a card.

Erindale farm’s Christmas snow.
Skidding down the bank
on rubber tyres

These are not done when we are gone.
This is our immortality,
immutable. for all time
A thread within reality.

John Watts

 

 

On being a writer…

Doubt

I hammer the computer keys relentlessly, scribble the lines furiously, print a draft, waiting anxiously for the printer to do its stuff. I’m not happy with it so notes in the margin, grooves in the paper, crossings out, coffee forgotten, another cold cup forlornly waiting.

Ideas flowing from the voices in the head, plot, characters, non stop, tripping, slipping, changing –  tangled.

It’s enough, stop, too long, write to length, no breaks or brakes

Must go on, there’s more to write, before it fades, what was that word?

Insert a pun, more stupidity, will anyone get it, like it? Check the dictionary, thesaurus.

Perhaps a joke, some irony, a character with a strong opinion, someone offended?

It’s edit time, change that word, chop that line, cut that adverb, change the verb, too many adjectives, ‘kill your darlings’, change the order – start again?

Is it any good, I hope so, I believe so, I want so, I don’t know,  I doubt it, it’s crap, it’s rubbish.

Tear it up? Start again? Edit and change? Rephrase? Spelling, Grammar? Syntax, What to do?

Am I writing for an audience or am I writing just for me?

Put on the blog, exposed for all to see, wait for feedback, peer review

Wait a few days, check for comments or feedback, any critique good or bad, nothing there

I knew it was no good, no one likes it, I’m not a writer, I cannot do it

It’s four in the morn, I should be in bed, still working on ‘improving’ it.

“ I like it”

Someone likes it!!! What do they know, just being kind?

Is this how a writer lives, always doubting? Always rejected, dejected, anxiated?

But, what of the day when you have a huge slab of time free, just you and your characters playing happily together. Undisturbed, the creativity flowing like the flush of spring grass, lush into the meadow. The right word is always there, the plots make sense, they flow on to the paper, just a light edit and spell check – perfect, I think.

Do I really want to be a writer?

Yes…!

 

Keeping a Character Journal

A fascinating article about the creative  process, here is Lisa V’s helpful ideas on writing and on writing about characters. Lisa is a fellow WordPress blogger, her interesting and varied blog is ‘Write Side Of The Road’; and here are her thoughts on ‘keeping your muse active’:

Keeping a Character Journal

I recently finished my WIP and am in the editing phase, and waiting for feedback from trusted Beta Readers. So, in the meantime, before the next brilliant idea comes to me, I’ve started a Character Journal. #writingideas

My first novel was born out of a character study I did about 25 years ago. I rode the bus with a man who was straight out of a novel, down to the gravelly voice, the silver hair, the grease under his finger nails and who wore the same red flannel work shirt every day. But it was his stories that were so fantastic to me. He had an over-developed sense of confidence and he spoke loud enough for everyone within earshot to hear. What choice did I have but to take notes? Little did I realize that he would find his way into my novel so many years later.

Characters are funny that way: writers can find them anywhere. Sometimes they’re born from an overheard conversation, sometimes it’s the woman at the table beside you in the coffee shop, sometimes it’s a stranger you pass on the street. And some of them spring from our imaginations.#nobodyisimmune

Most writers carry a small notebook with them for when an idea strikes. My best ideas usually come while I’m trying to go to sleep, so I keep a notebook beside the bed. I’ve even learned to write in the dark so as not to wake my husband.

There are many resources for character development on-line. I also suggest checking out pinterest for actual pages that you can print out for character description, as a sort of launching pad to get your brain thinking.

I’ve just started my Character Journal. Some of the characters only have physical descriptions so far, but some have complex back stories including supporting characters. They are all different ages and from all different backgrounds.

It’s actually sort of liberating. #freewrite Since they are individual characters, I don’t have to make sure any one’s motivation matches another. No one character has to mesh with another. I’m hoping that will happen organically when I find the right match.

What kind of “journals” do you use to keep your muse active while you’re in between ideas? Have you ever kept a Character Journal?

Here are links to Lisa’s article, and also to her blog, we’re sure you will enjoy both!:

https://writesideoftheroad.wordpress.com/2016/07/15/keeping-a-character-journal/

https://writesideoftheroad.wordpress.com/