Tag Archives: learning

So that’s what it’s all about

Candice: I’ve learnt something new over the Christmas period. I obviously know the importance of reading to everyone: vocabulary development, breadth of knowledge, for example, but I with a small child currently learning to speak didn’t realise the importance of nursery rhymes to this this development.

My daughter is nearly two and she is coming along with leaps and bounds.  I used to watch other parents and grandparents singing along like nutters with their small children and would say to myself, ‘I’m never doing that’.  But I am now the woman who can be heard singing ‘Baa Baa black sleep’ round the park.  And why, because she is learning at every step and the singing means new spoken words which eventually leads to understanding written words.

How do I know this?  Well she has a favourite teddy who has always been called ‘Teddy’  but a few weeks ago she started calling him ‘Teddy Bear’.  We couldn’t work out why until she started singing ‘Round and round the garden…’ which of course leads to ‘…like a teddy bear’.  She’s put two and two together and worked out that a teddy is a teddy bear.  Now, when she sees a picture of a teddy its always called a teddy bear.

She loves singing, and if its not Round and round, its Baa Baa, or Old Macdonald.  I wonder if she is aiming for a career as a pop star? Seriously, I’d like her to do something creative, knowing how much I love writing so I am hoping that the nursery rhymes and children’s book reading we are doing will lead to her having her head always in a book – like I was growing up.


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Filed under Candice, Writing

Investing in my writing

Phil: Being quite happy with quality of the feedback we’ve received from Writers-forum for our last short story, We’re planning to submit another entry. It’s ready, edited, polished and perfect, or so we think.

Checking the entry details, to take part costs £6. This is cut by half for subscribers to the magazine – so, I wonder if it’s worth subscribing. After all, this is £36 or the money saved on twelve entries. Can you see my Scottish and Polish blood lines coming through ?

Anyway, a trip to WH Smith sees me the proud owner of a copy of said magazine. It’s got a nice shiny cover and decent quality paper (I do work with other magazines, trust me, this is important). Settling down with a mug of tea and a little cake, I start to read. You know what ? It’s really not bad at all. I know you can’t really judge a magazine by a single issue (unless my byline is in there, in which case it’s as good as you get) but I pretty quickly find a couple of pieces that set me thinking which seems like a good thing.

I also have the chance to read the winning short stories for September. These don’t seem anything like as good as ours, in fact I can’t get through the winner at all. The judges might think it “sucks them in” but I only agree with one of those words. It is useful to read other people’s work even if I don’t like it, the skill is working out exactly what I don’t like and trying to learn from their mistakes, or at least understand why I might be wrong (surely not).

Anyway, the website is down so I make a quick phone call and hand over my credit card details for a years worth of magazines. If I am serious about writing, and I am, then I need more input. Ignoring the money for a moment (I’ll get that back with 10 miutes worth of sales once The Book gets published) I need to make time  to read this stuff. You can’t learn by osmosis, the mag must be read from cover to cover every month, in many ways the investment is more in time than money. It’s certainly quicker than a college course in creative writing and cheaper too. Who knows what I might learn, or what opportunities will appear to be grasped ?

Writers-Forum website

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Filed under Phil, Writing