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Saturday, 11 February 2012

What the Dickens are we doing?

A friend said to me the other day,
“It’s amazing how times change – where once writers were considered to be eccentric persons who locked themselves away in attics – nowadays we are expected to be upfront and up to date." 

And he’s right. Today we need to be at least; computer experts, marketing managers and able to speak well in public. Eccentric may still apply – but, hopefully, we cover it well.

Now and then I ask myself why, when I could be slipping into retirement with my feet up, dozing in a rocking chair on the old porch, puffing on my clay pipe and fighting off the dog’s fleas – am I locked away in my little study with my computer, learning the maniacal machinations of ever new software packages, emails, attachments, blogs and websites, etc. etc. etc. And why?

Because I love stories, and the words that paint them in someone else’s head.

So did Leo Rosten –
‘We love by words - love, truth, God.
We fight for words – freedom, country, fame.
We die for words – liberty, glory, honour.’

We are in good company.
Two hundred years ago, on the 7th February 1812 Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth, England and through all trials and tribulations in his personal life still managed to leave us his fabulous legacy of classic works. And Charles Dickens had to learn shorthand for his work as a journalist and probably burnt many a midnight candle to get his manuscripts to print and out to the people!

I wonder if a candle might give me more inspiration and stamina!

© Jean ‘Angel’ Allen  Feb 2012


  1. Just make sure you have plenty of other light, Jean. Avoid eyestrain!

  2. A candle may not bring you inspiration or stamina but remember what the Buddha said: Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.

    Continue to share your happiness with those around you, Jean, as you do in your Writers' Group.