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It’s complex to work with archive material in this way. Too easy to jump to easy conclusions about what is ‘right’. Too easy to polarise. Every piece of material has sensitive claims. We do not and cannot ever know the personal histories of those captured in these photographs.

Source material: Grenfall, Main Fleet to Singapore

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Murder your darlings

Variously attributed to Steven King, William Faulkner, it’s probably Arthur Quiller-Couch (1863–1944) who did the dirty on the darlings. He also suggested –

Style, for example, is not—can never be—extraneous Ornament. 

On the Art of Writing, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch
Extraneous Ornament, June 2020
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Guess the word

What part of confidante has that poor _______ played ever since the kindly plant was introduced among us! Why myriads of women have cried over it to be sure! What sickbeds has it smoked by! What fevered lips have received refreshment from it!

(William Thackeray, 1811-63)

Groups the fancy may conjure up: June 2020

Answer: teapot

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The art of being obscure

Rod Judkins writes:

“If you feel overlooked, that no one is interested in what you’re doing, enjoy the moment. Obscurity is a creative place: you are free to experiment and fail…success bring the weight of expectations, and pressure that can do far more harm than good.”

(pp.113-114, The Art of Creative Thinking)

A wise thought. It feels similar to enjoying the rain when you’re tucked up safely inside. It’s difficult to experiment if everyone is watching you, and we know when we are on show.