I have known Annabel Hughes since we first tried to teach our dusty ponies to jump over things without throwing us off.
More than a few decades later and we’ve both turned up on the blogosphere. Annabel, blog name Savannabel, always braver and faster, offered me a hand up in mid-summer. So here I am, writing out across the world, with Annabel a couple of dustclouds ahead.
The questions I’ve been set:
What am I working on?
The plan is to be in Italy for a year and during that year I shall test whether or not The Phraser has a life of its own. I want to learn digital speak – learn Facebook, learn Twitter – use these languages to advertise and translate my blog. I want to build a gallery of personal experiences and impressions that I hope will tweak the curiosity we all have.
How does my work/writing differ from others of its genre?
My blog is different in that it does not specialise in any one area (if I tried this I’m fairly certain that within a few posts I would bore myself to a stop). Instead I have chosen to grasp at the flashes of life within reach as I hurly-burly past in the every day. My blog includes some thought pieces, a wide range of reviews and interviews, and some articles on Zimbabwe.
Why do I write what I do?
The topic that fascinates me most is people. I want to know what makes them who they are and then to paint a word portrait that can reveal as much as a sketch on a page. It is this process of holding life still for a moment that I enjoy. Writing art reviews is another way to slow things down and really look. The reviews give me the chance to dive right into an experience – a book, a meal, a film, a play, an exhibition – and to splash around exploring its depths and edges. Finally, if I’m lucky enough to come across a few quieter days, I might also have the time to ‘think’ – to try to understand on paper some of the life that splatters against our windscreens.
How does my writing process work?
My writing process tends to be a mixture of blog-pressure followed by hectic tension. The stress comes in two parts: first – the hunt for the life-space to begin, and second – the effort to secure enough time at the end of the writing to edit, cut, edit, cut, and then have one final edit …. and cut.
Introducing my invitee – Tom Benyon OBE
Tom Benyon is a man who never stops. I know him through his recent walks and blogs which he ties together to raise money for the vulnerable communities supported by his charity Zimbabwe A National Emergency (ZANE). Every day that he walks a blog is posted. The effort is personal and from the heart – the helping hand he holds out is needed desperately.
Here is Tom in his own words (he is more chatty in his blog!):
Tom Benyon OBE
Director of ZANE: Zimbabwe A National Emergency
Prior to that:
Army, Businessman, Politician