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Following the Feelings

We like to think we're advanced, thoughtful, logical creatures, who carefully ponder our way through problems.

But that can be a liability in life if we forget to follow our feelings. 

I was on my way to a book talk last week, when I saw a beautiful spectacle gathering in the western sky - 

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I debated whether to stop and enjoy it - because logic told me to get to the venue, get settled and ready to do my talk, like a good professional.

So I turned off the road anyway, enjoyed the sunset, and even decided it was like being on an alien planet, watching a neighbouring world waning in the sky. 

It was a joyful moment of feeling and reflection. And when I got to the venue, instead of doing my planned talk, I veered off course. 

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Futures and Decisions

I bought a diary for 2017 this week, and found myself flicking through its empty pages wondering what they would come to contain. 

Futures and decisions, so much a part of life, writing, and writing life.

For our characters, decisions are perhaps the most important part of a story. The choices they make and the ends they lead to - good or bad. 

And for us, ourselves. What are we but the sum of our decisions?

Before I get too profound, some uplifting news on the futures' theme. The River Exe goslings are growing beautifully, their squeaky little voices are about to break, and they're looking set for the colder months - 

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(Doesn't it look like they're smiling? Excuse my hairy knee.)

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The Big Bang

Ok, I might be exaggerating a tad here (how very unlike me, eh?) - we're not quite talking an intro like the fireworks that started the universe. 

But... it's my own humble little version. 

A lovely oportunity came my way this week, but also quite a challenge. 

I was invited to the excellent Exeter College to give an inspirational and aspirational talk to some of the students. 

That's kind and flattering, thank you, but here are the issues - 

Firstly, I'm talking to 900 of them. Yep, that's NINE HUNDRED. Ie. almost a thousand. Ie. lots and lots and more lots. Which is a little daunting. 

Secondly, they've just sauntered back from six weeks of happy hols to dull old school. So they're not in the cheeriest and most energetic of moods. 

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The Socks and Pants Rebel

I've been a rule-breaking rebel this week. Prepare to be shocked. 

(A bit... maybe...)

I've also clocked up a claim to fame. I think I might have become the last person to get banned from British Home Stores. 

You'll know about the sad demise of BHS. How it all ended at 4pm on Sunday, after 88 years on the high street, with every last store shutting down. 

Moments of change are what writers live for, so I toddled into our branch in Exeter, mainly to share sympathies with the staff. 

Ok, I haven't shopped there since I was about seven, getting socks and pants for school days. But nostalgia can be a powerful thing. 

I thought I'd take a couple of melancholic photos, to mark the moment...

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