Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, Bampton in rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. Note: In February 2020, on jtns' tenth birthday, I stopped posting to this blog. It is now a contained work of life-writing about ten years of my life. Frank, 21 February 2020.

New blog: morethoughtsnstuff.com.

Friday 19 September 2014

finished, unexpected places, surprising conclusions, energy and thought, set-aside, exhilaration and exhaustion, ripening tomatoes

Finished the life-writing narrative. In the end it was 25,000 words - written on my Blackberry on the bus to and from work and over a couple of hours last Saturday. The writing of it took me to places I hadn't expected to go and led to some insights and conclusions that surprised me. It was a good way of getting things straight. It has also been very therapeutic. An outpouring of energy and thought.

I shall now take the advice I give to students and set it aside - while I get on with teaching and marking - before coming back to it in a few months' time. Then the work of editing and rewriting will begin. Then I shall start shaping it and the two earlier narratives, together with blog posts, photos and documents, into a coherent and, I hope, satisfying work of life-writing. The whole will be around 70,000 words.

Meanwhile, it has been an exhilarating but exhausting week all round.

The tomatoes continue to ripen.

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