One of the great joys of writing is that there's so much of the kingdom to explore - fiction or non fiction, genre, short stories, novels, poetry etc etc.
When I was away teaching in the summer, I popped in on a short story course and thought I'd give it a go. I'd never tried it before and always enjoy something new, so I set myself a challenge - one a week in the run up to Christmas.
I've now written 20 short stories, and looking back on them have found a surprise -
16 are about love. That's 80% of the total.
When I started writing, I was never overly interested in the love thing in my books. Yes, there was a bit of sub plot with the characters because they've got to live real lives, and that was about it.
But now I discover myself writing about love a lot. Which poses the obvious question - why?
Maybe it's a phase of life, or perhaps it's part of the great self discovery thing which is one of the joys of writing, the way it taps into your subconscious to reveal what's really going on in your mind.
Is it getting older and thinking about the value of relationships, what life and love really mean?
In which case, my view of the world is changing and a great deal from when I started writing, some ten years ago. And lo and behold! Only by writing have I realised that.
Finally, there is one great love which has always been with me, and that's for this wonderful planet of ours.
Nature and the countryside are big themes in my scribblings, and long may it remain so. On the subject of which, I'll end this blog with a picture that sums up a relationship I never tire of.
My beloved River Exe, heart of Exeter, source of so much relaxation and inspiration, and my favourites of its many fine inhabitants -
A very Merry Christmas to my dear geese, and everyone else, and may your relationships be joyful ones.