Category Communications

The Best Laid Plans…

This morning my plan was to curl up on the sofa, shamelessly privileging indolence over activity on a splendid spring Saturday, and watch back-episodes of the long dead Keifer Sutherland series, 24. This was scuppered when the dishwasher man, who had not responded to a single texted call for help across the week, suddenly rang […]

Wolf Call

In recent weeks there’ve been few points of light to lift a work-strewn, chore-heavy, deadline-driven, and often bleak midwinter landscape. Angela Carter’s classic gothic tale, The Company of Wolves, rich with evocative prose from the shape-shifting heart of a forest teeming with lycanthropes, captures the mood of the season perfectly. We read it this week […]

Story Times

Our household was alive with the sound of viruses over the seasonal break: grunting, coughing, hawking, hurrumphing, sighing, spluttering, mewling, puking… The medicine cabinet was refilled every 48 hours. Then there was the daughter who spent six days in hospital after an elbow piercing turned septic, but that’s a story in itself. What is it […]

Write Stuff

“When I was eight, I got my first pen-pal. Forty years older than me, he was a prisoner on Death Row in Columbus, Georgia.” So began a presentation my daughter gave last week to an advertising agency. “I would write to him about who’d stolen my satsuma at break and as time passed, my suspicions […]

All In The Mindfulness

During a paper review on BBC News this morning, the subject of food banks was raised in relation to the Archbishop of Canterbury’s statement that hunger is a growing problem needing government support. His opponents say the problem is the poor don’t manage money well. I said managing money is difficult at all levels when […]

Textual Peeling

It’s past midnight and I’m printing off texts for this morning’s Tricycle Readers group – the last of the term. Each week I’ve expected the task of finding a story of the right length and quality for a 90 minute session to get easier, but it continues to be a challenge: a short story can […]

Processing Data

During a telephone interview for a writing job this week, I was asked if data was singular or plural. ‘Plural’ I gulped with fingers crossed, ‘Though people use it as both.’ After the call I went dashing to Wiktionary and was relieved to have data confirmed as a plural noun (singular, datum). I was grateful […]

Spellcheque

When so much online content is created without vetting systems – no sub-editors to check for sense and accuracy, spelling, grammar, style and meaning – errors will slip through. The whizziest sites are often the biggest culprits. Estate agents start lists with the term ‘comprises of’, when the correct usage is just ‘comprises’. Other common slips […]

Winter Mission

The evening started well with fizzy drinks and olives in the bar of a small London theatre reviving a play once describe as ‘elusive’.  On entering the auditorium the two old miseries sitting at the end of our row reading newspapers, refused to let us pass. “You’re sitting in the middle. Enter from the other side,” […]

Show and Tell

Storytelling is the key to all good communication. If you give an audience context and evidence within a clearly structured narrative, they are more likely to engage emotionally with the particulars, the person, the product, the politics, or the policy embodied within that story.  They will think about what they’ve heard, finding markers with which […]