Sunday, July 28, 2013

In the Cupboard of Virtues

“Courage is not simply one of the virtues but the form of every virtue at the testing point, which means at the point of highest reality. ”

― C.S. LewisThe Screwtape Letters

Sometimes it just happens.  You're in a room with a book, working away, and then suddenly it just gets up from the table and leaves, straight out into the night, without even closing the door.  That's when you realize you're in a wheelchair, there is a steep flight of stairs down to the ground, the rain is lashing and the streets lights are out.  Oh, and there is no phone.

I'd been thinking about courage and, without considering very carefully, I'd taken as my model the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz - at the early part of the movie, when he's looking for "the Nerve", as if it were a thing that you can acquire or lose.  And then, trawling for something else, I came across the quote from C.S. Lewis, where he says it is not a discrete thing at all.  Courage doesn't exist in a vacuum, or even on a separate shelf in the cupboard where you store your virtues.

So I don't need to be brave to push myself down the steps without a ramp or a raincoat.  In the midst of doing something else, that's where I'll discover bravery.  Which is pretty much the message in Wizard of Oz, at the end where it goes all sanctimonious and embarrassing.

After the really, really scary monkeys.   

Sunday, July 21, 2013

If Not There, Then Where?

(image from

This week I have been waving otter photos about on Girls Heart Books, being excited over Ozymandias on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure, meeting up with fellow writer Gill Arbuthnott, getting up to speed with family members who have, bizarrely, continued to have lives while I was away, organising a trip to Belfast and going to a really interesting lecture on James Guthrie's painting In the Orchard at the Art Gallery of Scotland.  And carrying on with the still nameless book.  I think I'm about half way through.  It will be interesting to see what the book thinks ...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Goodbye to Roshven 3

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Goodbye to Roshven 2

Friday, July 12, 2013

Goodbye to Roshven 1

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Five Today!

Come join the celebrations over on An Awfully Big Blog Adventure today - it's our 5th Birthday!  The new Children's Laureate, Malorie Blackman, is kicking things off, and there will be frolicking all day!

Huzzah x Five and pass the cake!

Monday, July 08, 2013

Throwaway Lines

Another challenge/delight from 26 - this round of Throwaway Lines has been edited by Malcolm Blythe.  What happens is, writers are sent a random bit of rubbish - a thrownaway scrap of paper - and told to write a story.

This is my scrap.

Here is my story - They Do It with Mirrors.  And there are plenty more - enjoy!

Friday, July 05, 2013

He Came, He Went - Otter on the Move

Oh, and I'm over on The History Girls blog today - maybe see you there!  (Using, I confess, material I've already posted on Girls Heart Books, but, well,I figure  it's a different demographic ...)