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The Revival of an Icon

The distinctive red telephone box was once commonplace in the UK. Unfortunately, due to advances in technology, the ĎOh-So-Britishí red telephone box is a much rarer sight these days.† So what happened to the 92,000 or so BT owned kiosks that once graced our highways and byways?

Many have been recovered from telephone box graveyards, refurbished as mini snack bars and art galleries, or have become tiny shops selling small items such as postcards, hats or sunglasses.† Two such kiosk shops can be found at the end of Brighton Pier.

Some are used to display flowers and at least one was used to house a Christmas tree. In a field opposite his home, one slightly eccentric chap mounted a 20 foot high sculpture composed of three telephone boxes mounted at different angles.† Apparently his neighbours were not appreciative.

As part of BT's "adopt a kiosk" scheme, communities are able to acquire a decommissioned telephone kiosk for £1.† Kiosks in remote areas have been fitted with defibrillators, small devices which can deliver an electric shock to a person in cardiac arrest, helping them to regain a normal heartbeat rhythm. If a defibrillator is used within three minutes of arrest, the chance of survival could be as high as 70%.

In the Cambridgeshire village of Shepreth, one redundant kiosk briefly became a pub as part of a protest at plans to turn the recently closed local watering hole into housing.

Benjamin Shine, an award winning artist, turned one kiosk lengthways and transformed it into a highly original Chesterfield style couch. It went on display in various parts of London and was to be auctioned off at a later date in order to raise money for a charity. †

A fair number of defunct phone boxes have been converted to hold ATM cash machines, a much more attractive housing than a bank wall.†

Many have found their way into private gardens and one resourceful chap converted his phone box into an outside loo. One hopes he made some effort to block the view of the interior.

One kiosk is home to Scotlandís smallest internet cafť. Visitors can make themselves a cup of tea or coffee and use the internet.†

During recent years, many libraries have closed their services.† Numerous localities have transformed phone boxes into book exchanges.† A kiosk can house well over 100 books.† Locals bring along books they no longer wish to keep, pop them on the shelves and help themselves to others.† One advantage over traditional libraries is that they are open 24 hours a day, 365 days per year.† If you are privileged to live where thereís a local red telephone box book exchange/library, youíre never stuck for a read, even in the middle of the night, though you will need to take a short stroll in the dark.

As a writer, if you live in a village running one of these mini libraries itís perhaps a great way to get your work and your name noticed.† Pop a few copies of your latest novel into the kiosks around the locality and wait for feedback from the locals.

Get Ready to Nano
Category: Writing
Tags: writing nano

Itís that time of year again. Nano is fast approaching, and we must decide if weíre going to participate and what we plan on writing.

So how do we prepare for this yearly ritual? This will be my seventh year of nanoing and by now Iíve (sort of) worked out what works best for me. Unfortunately, that doesnít mean thatís the way Iíll do things, but hereís what I think needs to happenÖ

First of all, convince yourself that 50000 words isnít actually that many. You have a whole month to write them. Thatís only 1667 words a day. Keep telling yourself that. Iím a really slow typist, strictly two fingers, and I can do that in two hours. Most people type much faster than me. So less than two hours a day. You can do it!

Next: decide what to write Ė always the hard part for me Ė Iím still not sure what this yearís nano story will be. Iíd better make up my mind fast!

Plot that story before the 1st November. Iím a total plotter Ė Iíve tried plotting and pantsing, and the latter just doesnít work for me. Plotting is especially important if you want to write fast. If you know whatís going to happen next, you donít have to keep stopping to try and work it out. Or going back because what youíve written isnít getting you where you need to go. So, even if itís just the beginning, end, and a few turning pointsóplot that story.

Most important rule: donít edit, just write. †Thereís a freedom when you decide not to edit, when you accept, and even embrace, the idea that your words are rubbish. It liberates your mind to just write and get immersed in the story. I read a very interesting article by Kazuo Ishiguro recently, about how he essentially wrote the first draft of The Remains of the Day in four weeks. You can read it here:

If itís good enough for a noble prize winner, itís good enough for me.

And finally, remember: winning isnít everything. If you donít make itójust be pleased that you got some words down (thatís presuming you did get some words and didnít give up before you started.)

And just a last word Ė itís not over at the end of November. Get ready for editing!

If youíve not participated before, hereís the site link. Thereís usually lots of great inspirational writing posts throughout the month.

So which of you are joining me? Iím Nikki C on the site so make sure you buddy me up.

This Week 23rd October 2017
Category: Site News
Tags: This week. Site news

This Week Ė Monday 23rd October 2017

Firstly, my apologies for being so absent recently. This has been largely due to an intensive regime of physio for my new hip which has taken up a lot of my week. It is paying off and I am pretty much back to normal (whatever that is!) Three more weeks of physio and I will be running about like a ten-year-old!

Monday Muse†† Chris N has given us some very ĎHalloweenyí topics along with a couple of great photos. I can almost hear the owls hooting along with the swish of broomsticks.

The Blog††† Will be written this week by Nicola and will give us plenty to think about, Iím sure.

The Bragging Stool ††††Alyson won the Mags4Dorset competition Ė congratulations once again and great they were so prompt with the prize money!

I have scrolled through the Forums site and think this is the only brag this week so Alyson, please enjoy that comfy velvet cushion aloft! (and if Iíve left someone out, please let me know)

October Challenges††† There are plenty it seems. I counted ten, so no shortage of choice, my friends. Something for everyone.

WA Magazine. Jo has sent (by email) the final proof of Issue No 7 and it looks great. She is asking everyone to look through and get back to her if any problems are spotted. The magazine will be on the agenda for Sundayís meeting.

The Formal Meeting is this Sunday 29th October at 4pm CET and Sue will be in the chair. Please ensure your apologies are in if you canít attend.

The Poetry Project is this Friday October 27th at 3pm.

NaNoWriMo is around the corner Öany takers this year?

I am leaving you with this quote from Anton Chekhov (following on the Halloween theme perhaps!)

Donít tell me the moon is shining

Show me the glint of light on broken glass.

Happy Writing Everyone.

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