For my nature writer's blog I work quickly. Home from an excursion, I edit images, write a journal, post it. A journal in the literal sense: of the day and on the day. Perhaps it doesn't capture the essence of the experience so I return to it and make whatever changes I choose. I can go back as often as I wish.
For a book, what's the story that unifies and drives it? And who is it for? Writing a book takes time, time for thoughts to mature, time to reflect on themes that recur and unify the whole, to think about structure. Exploring locations, I go in deep, through the seasons, over the years. In Cumbrian Contrasts I took great care in the placing of word and image, so they should read as one. As for imagery, I like similes and metaphors from the natural world, organic. I like imagery to illuminate and enhance. I love the writer's craft. Simplicity is the goal, prose that is lucid and succinct. Once you send a book off to your publisher you cannot change anything so you have to be accurate.
Atlantic Odyssey is a short book. It's inspired by time spent on the Armada coast of County Mayo in 2013, and by many earlier visits to that Atlantic coast. I was nineteen when I came upon the coral strand of Manin Bay. The story of those Armada shipwrecks is haunting. And Homer's Odyssey and Odysseus' ten year journey home to Ithaca after the Trojan War has long had hold of my imagination.
Read Atlantic Odyssey and you will discover an even more remarkable Odyssey in the natural world. Remarkable and unfathomable - for hundreds of years this epic journey was a mystery. All this and simplicity too. Try it and see what you think.
During 2018 I'll be returning to A Lakeland Experience to present sequences from Langdale and Ullswater. Let me know what you think and you may influence what appears .