Thank You, David: One ugly woman’s message to David Starkey

A most excellent response to David Starkey’s appalling comments about ugly female historians:

F Yeah History

This week historian David Starkey, was quoted as saying: ‘

The only chance I have of being on TV again is if I were very ugly. I think only old, ugly women can get on TV. Like Mary Beard,

What a delight!

But it may come as a surprise to many (who have probably heard a few of my feminist rants or seen me light up your tellybox briefly, championing the women’s suffrage movement) to hear that I owe David Starkey, historian and broadcaster, a great debt.

He has been my teacher for many a year, and in the last couple of days I’ve found out that I keep learning valuable lessons from him.

So where to begin? We might as well start with a thirteen-year-old girl, who loved history, and had grown out of Horrible Histories. I found Starkey’s biography on Elizabeth I on a bookshelf…

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Notes on creativity

I’ve been struggling with creating anything for a while now. This post by Nimue not only makes me feel like I’m not alone but also helps me see that not only am I allowed time out, I actually need it.

Druid Life

Those of you who have followed this blog for a while will know I’ve had ongoing struggles with creative work. The creative industries are a mess, austerity means many people can’t afford books, art or music. It’s really hard making a living at the moment. There’s only so much time and energy available to me. However, over the last six months or so I’ve learned a lot of useful things about staying creative, so, here’s what’s been helping me get moving again.

  1. Not using writing to pay the bills. It’s incredibly stressful and requires a rapid output, which I have found depressing and exhausting every time I’ve tried it. I am more likely to make money from writing if I write the things I want to write and then try to find a home for it, and not have making it pay be my primary concern. If I’ve got my…

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Tips for angry arguments

Druid Life

Politics doesn’t bring out the best in people, and angry political exchanges can put strains on otherwise viable friendships. What to do if someone you thought was ok starts spewing hate, insults and what looks to you like madness?

  • Don’t respond in kind. You’ll just cause them to dig in and may confirm their prejudices.
  • If they respond to facts and evidence with insults and unfounded belief, you won’t shift them by hitting them with facts. Instead, ask for their facts and evidence. Ask for the underlying philosophy of their stance. The odds are they are regurgitating unconsidered propaganda. By asking them politely to explain it, you force them to look at it, and this can be rather effective.
  • People project. If greed and self interest are their major motivators, they may be unable to imagine that anyone else has other motivations. Thus it is normal for anyone defending the…

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In which I go visiting …

… well, my writing does anyway. Yes, today I am the guest writer on Bag Lady’s wondrous blog - which you should all be following if you don’t already - so please go and have a look at the memory which surfaced when I was prompted with the word foreign! After you’ve read my piece, … Continue reading In which I go visiting …

How do I procrastinate, let me count the ways!

Hmm, I'm supposed to be finishing off my penultimate short story for my creative writing course so obviously I have just spent the evening putting together the first chapter of another Merlin fan fiction.  Honestly, sometimes I despair of my myself and my seemingly endless ways to do anything other than what I should be … Continue reading How do I procrastinate, let me count the ways!

Sunshine and procrastination

It is such a glorious day outside that I'm having trouble staying motivated to the task at hand - trying to complete drafts of my two final pieces of OU course work. Suffice to say I've spent more of the day in the sun than behind my keyboard! Having said that I have been getting … Continue reading Sunshine and procrastination

All the World’s a Stage

The pain won’t leaveIt stands in the wingsThe antithesis of a promptWaiting to rewrite the script the minute I acknowledge itI will not listenThe last of the cast I tread these well worn boards aloneEach step echoing with scenes long since pastVoices I will not hear again until this play is overBut I cannot bring … Continue reading All the World’s a Stage

This is the beginning

Well I've just posted the prologue to my new Merlin fan fiction on the fanfic website. Link on the right hand side of this page. Please go and have a look if you are interested - the next chapter probably wont be up for a couple of weeks as I'm trying to get the bulk … Continue reading This is the beginning

Plot bunnies are jumping

Given the wave of interviews and news on S4 of Merlin this week (they started filming S4 a couple of weeks ago) I now have a fan fiction plot stuck in my head that won't go away, despite the fact I have three short stories I need to be working on. Oh well, the muse … Continue reading Plot bunnies are jumping

Fairy Dust

The shadow of pen and hand flickers on the blank pageBurning like stygian flames, consuming intent, kindling fear Your hand withdraws, leaving virgin white unsulliedThe starkness mocks, continuing to hold your gazeAs hope fades like forgotten fairies, lost in the flakesSnow blindness strikes, cleaving the story from your mindBut in the blizzard one crystal flares, … Continue reading Fairy Dust