Those Were Our Days Volume 2

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It took a long time but at last, the second volume of Those Were Our Days is published. Available from all major book distributors and Amazon. The volume comes in both print and Kindle editions.

Old and young alike are often excited when stories of past times are retold. It takes the listener and the reader into worlds otherwise unknown and lost.

People, places and events that we might forget, or that others may not know about are all captured here in delightful, evocative and emotional stories.

The writers of the York U3A Living Memories Group have completed a second-year project to give us new insights into the world that was. Readers will be delighted, charmed and moved as they step into bygone days and have the opportunity to be surprised by joy as they remember and relive once again the world that is past. For those too young to remember the times that are captured in this volume there is the opportunity to share the experiences of the Authors’ worlds.

The Authors hope that this collection of short stories will excite the memory of the reader as they begin to draw on their own memories of a bygone era.

Enjoy the ride through time.

Available now in print and on Kindle.

 

Those Were Our Days Volume 1

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Before I announce the launch of those Were Our Days Volume 2, I want to draw your attention to the writers of Those Were Our Days volume 1. This group of writers came together under my leadership two years ago. Few had any experience of formal writing and were nervous about starting on a writing enterprise. By the end of year one, they had acquired enough confidence to turn-in some touching, funny and evocative stories. In spite of still needing to tighten grammar, we decided to publish.

Here is a book that will transport you back in time to a world that is vastly different from ours. Those Were Our Days aims to give the present-day reader an insight into the past and to preserve experiences and ways of life that might otherwise disappear with the passing of time. On these pages you will experience people, places and events that stretch back almost to the turn of the 20th century. Written by a group from York U3A, these stories are full of delight, evocation, humour and resourcefulness. This first book will leave you waiting for the next volume.

Enjoy reading.

Time For Reflection

Do you feel the well has dried up? Have you hit a blank page? Has the light gone out? Is the Muse departed? Is the flow of your imaginings dammed up? Yes, I know you are probably reading this and screaming ‘mixed metaphors!’ But I have a purpose.

Whatever genre of writing we are involved in and however much we may wake up full of vigour for the writing task – the truth is, when we least want it, need it or expect it, our gift vanishes. That’s why the Muse and I have so many spats…I love her dearly, but she goes away without a word…like a morning cloud vanishes from the mountain top. When the gift is gone, the worst thing we can do is stress and try to make it work. Here’s my suggestion for restarting the flow:

Take a seat in a quiet and favoured spot and relax. For me it is the old log outside the Muse Shack that is a fallen tree. Something happens when I sit there. I connect with something beyond myself…a stirring begins that is different every time, but looks a bit like this:

All the pent-up and unacknowledged stresses of my life are laid down as I give myself to the inspiration of my landscapes. As soon as my body and hands interact with that ancient seat…I become aware of all the things I could not experience five minutes before…textures, colors, smells, scents, sounds (minute some of them), feelings, emotions, desires, wishes, memories, people, places, events (gone and yet to be), pain, happiness, special joys, accolades, disappointments, fears, hopes, dreams, places that fascinated, dark places I never want to see…and shall I go on? In a few minutes of respite in a favoured place, the well is flowing, the light has come on…get the picture?

The secret is to allow yourself to feel, to sense, to smell, to hear…extend every little thought and experience out in a ‘free-flow’ way…what does it feel like when a bug from the tree is crawling up my leg? There’s a character in there…a scene…a  moment of hilarity or anger in the past. Sight of a Damselfly and the scent of Barley fumes sparked my poem ‘North East in Eden’. I’m sure you get my drift!

You see…the Muse is never far away! She is always ready to fly to my need…all I need to do is allow her freedom and then sit quietly and let her know I need her. She never disappoints.

Oh…I carry a notebook and a sharpened memory because the Muse gives me a hard time if I forget what she has brought to my attention.