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.

Saturday 31 October 2015

such a warm day!, bronzed and coppered and yellow leaf-fall, i am the man who lives in a shoe, decades, narrative, ux, ugdip

Such a warm day! We sat out at the pub as if it was summer and I dug the allotment in a T-shirt.

Strange to be cycling through an autumn landscape with bronzed and coppered and yellowed leaf-fall in such weather. Part of you wonders if the sights you are seeing can quite be right.

Revisited my life-writing book, I Am the Man Who Lives in a Shoe (formerly, Trust: A family story), this week. The text was 'finished' a while back but inevitably time means that one sees it in a different light and there are things to change and strengthen, not least as far as the typesetting is concerned. I think that after this week's work it is substantially there now. It is in a fit state to run past people in the professional writing world to get feedback.

It's been curious to re-read it this week. Partly because the reading of it creates connections in one's mind and reveals new insights into the events of the last three decades or so. Partly because one watches the players in this sad drama and wishes so much that one could intervene and stop them from damaging themselves so deeply.

It was interesting to read an excellent article on life-writing narratives, focusing on Doris Lessing and Alison Bechdel, in the excellent Narrative magazine - October issue (available to University readers via OxLIP+).

Fascinating day at Imperial College mid-week learning about Ux (User Experience) surveys.

Preparing for my Undergrad Diploma in Creative Writing seminars - a course I have been teaching since 2007. Very much looking forward to meeting the students week after next.

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