Writing exercise: a sense of place

It’s early and the crowds haven’t arrived yet: all he can hear is the sound of the espresso machine. The scent, the rich, inviting smell of coffee is already all around him. He wraps his cold hands around the cup, stroking the click, glassy surface fondly. He takes a sip, enjoying the  way the milk wraps the coffee in a gentle blanket, waking up his taste buds slowly. The pattern on top of the foam distorts after his sip, the change in tension makes bubbles burst, like dreams touching reality.

The above is not a great piece of writing. It is what I wrote, in five minutes, when set a writing exercise to work on “sense of place”. The task was to think about a place and write a sentence for each of the senses inspired by that place. I thought of Brew Lab, the café in South College Street, because I like the look of their exposed, somewhat grungy walls.

So where are the walls?

Finding new markets: tools of the trade

Last year, I wanted to get four pieces of writing published. I only managed three. When I analysed possible reasons, the most obvious one was this: I didn’t send anything out for six months.

Not everything you send is accepted, far from it, but if you don’t send stuff, it can’t be accepted. I wish there were pixies that flitted about looking in drawers and scanning hard drives to find pieces whose authors were too shy to submit and moved them from obscurity into the sunny gaze of  a willing publisher. But it doesn’t work like that. You have to be your own pixie.