A proverb about success

"The door of success is marked 'push' and 'pull.' Achieving success is knowing when to do what." - Yiddish proverb

Some quotes about writing a novel

"The job of a novelist is to explore human emotion and motivation. You learn more about your protagonists as you write them. If you are not very often forced by your characters to bin your masterplan, then you are a wooden and a formulaic writer indeed. So, better than having a planned structure is to begin with a character or two, and a theme you intend to explore, and an initial direction you plan to start exploring in. Don’t be alarmed when, on arriving at what you thought was your summit, you realise you’ve climbed up the wrong mountain. That’s why novelists go through drafts – because plans go brilliantly awry." - Chris Cleave

"I’m a very slow writer. Slow works for me. I have all the bad habits my fellow writers warn you not to fall into: I procrastinate. I write a bit and wander off to think it over and come back two weeks later. I have no schedule, no regular habits, no fetishes, no daily word quota. I incubate ideas for years and once I start to work on them I can spend more years happily researching esoteric bits and bobs that may not even end up in the novel. I am terribly caffeine dependent. I edit while I write. " - Audrey Niffenegger

"Every writer uses different tools to write books, and none of those tools are right for every writer—or even for every project a given writer tries. Part of making that transition from apprentice writer to journeyman is learning how to apply the right tools in the right way. For example, outlines are a tool. Some writers hate them, others love them. Character dossiers, three-act format and other plotting formulas, even a given word processing program—these are all tools. Sometimes they’ll work, sometimes they won’t. Nobody can tell you if any specific one will help you on a given project. Only through practice and experience can you get a sense of what works for you as a writer." - Brandon Sanderson

You can get your copy of "Capcir Spring"by clicking HERE if you are in the USA or here if you are in the UK

A quote from Anon

The prolific writer "Anon" has come up with a short witticism yet again.

"Money is not important, but it is useful when you are going shopping."

Quote of the day

From the well known author Anon

"A fellow who does things that count, doesn't usually stop to count them."


The French impressionist artist Degas said 
"Art is not what you see but what you make others see."
This is true for all creative people - writers, painters or whatever - opening peoples eyes to see what they have missed in the ordinary world all around them.

Walk on the Capcir Plateau

Capcir - walk the same trails as John in the novel Capcir Spring

Walking through the Pyrenees

 Starting the tour de CapcirA short minibus journey takes us into the Capcir, a high bowl of lakes pasture and forest surrounded by mountains and known locally as "Petit Sibire" (little Siberia) which tells you a lot about its winters. We start walking from the pretty village of Matemale and skirt the eastern side of the Capcir in a long day of forest tracks and paths, with cracking views across to the Puig Carlit (our eventual high point of the week, and the highest peak in the area, even higher than the famous Canigou). Skirting the lake of we cross its dam to the old village of Puyvalador then on up a beautiful side valley to the hamlet of Espousouille.Lac de Camporells

CamporellsWe leave our friendly gite d'étape and follow the Vall de Galba upwards into the mountains. A good path takes us to the remote and beautiful Camporells refuge (bunk beds, outside toilet, basic food). A gorgeous spot.

Traverse of the PéricsThe two mountains in front of the hut are the little and big Pérics. We will climb them both by some extremely steep paths followed by a descent involving a bit of scrambling, down the northeast ridge. Vistas of mountains all round, a good chance of seeing vultures, and possibly a lammergeier. We trSmall lake above Camporellsaverse the Puig de la Cometa and drop down to the even more remote hut of D'En Beys. Similar accommodation.
Into the Vall d’Orlu
We leave the Camporells and retrace our steps of day 4 briefly before heading up the mountain to the Estany del Diable, the Lake of the Devil! We cross the ridge and descend steeply into the Orlu valley. We make our way up to the remote Refuge d’En Beys.

Puig CarlitHopefully you had a good rest because this is the big one. An early start heading south down the very remote valley then we strike steeply up the western flank of Puig Carlit, at 2921m the highest peak in the Capcir, and in this part of the Pyrenees for that matter. Tremendous views from the top. We then descend a long rough path followed by wanderings on green pasture next to a multitude of shimmering lakes, with semi-wild herds of horses. Finally we drop down to the huge Bouillouses reservoir and cross its dam to get to the relatively opulent Bouillouses refuge. We can even go out to dinner, as there is a bar/restaurant next door!

Completing the circleLac de Camporells, April 2005A relatively relaxed start and we soon strike off into the forest. Coming out onto alpine pasture we skirt the Lac d'Aude and easily ascend Mont Llaret behind it. Superb views of our previous adventures. A steep descent through the forest brings us out onto a forest road and down to the beautiful lake of Balcere with its little cafe and ardent anglers. From here we follow the forest track to the village of Les Angles. The lake of Matemale glitters below. We descend and skirt the lake (possibility of a swim) then a short pleasant walk through open woodland takes us back to Matemale, and we are soon back at the hotel.

Further information can be found at the Pyrenees walking website .

You can get your copy of "Capcir Spring"by clicking HERE if you are in the USA or here if you are in the UK

Love and truth

The world is too dangerous for anything but truth and too small for anything but love.
William Sloane Coffin

The love of writing

I love writing and so do many others. Here are some of my favourite Quotes.
Jean de Beurre

There are many reasons why novelists write – but they all have one thing in common: a need to create an alternative world.  - John Fowles
Forget all the rules. Forget about being published. Write for yourself and celebrate writing.  - Melinda Haynes
Writing wasn’t easy to start. After I finally did it, I realized it was the most direct contact possible with the part of myself I thought I had lost, and which I constantly find new things from. Writing also includes the possibility of living many lives as well as living in any time or world possible. I can satisfy my enthusiasm for research, but jump like a calf outside the strict boundaries of science. I can speak about things that are important to me and somebody listens. It’s wonderful!  - Virpi Hämeen-Anttila

Saying what is important

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them -- words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they're brought out. But it's more than that, isn't it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you've said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That's the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a tellar but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons

How fictional characters come to be

"Characters take on life sometimes by luck, but I suspect it is when you can write more entirely out of yourself, inside the skin, heart, mind, and soul of a person who is not yourself, that a character becomes in his own right another human being on the page."
(Eudora Welty)

You can get your copy of my novel "Capcir Spring"by clicking HERE if you are in the USA or here if you are in the UK