Sugar, sugar

English: Sugar cane harvest at Marburg Sugar M...
English: Sugar cane harvest at Marburg Sugar Mill. Workers on the top of the wagons of sugar cane at Marburg. Postcard made by the Queensland Goverment to promote Queensland at the Fronco-British Exhibition, 1908. ‘1,728,789 tons of sugar-cane were grown in Queensland during 1906.’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In 1704 only 760 tons of raw sugar was imported through Liverpool, but by 1785 this had risen to 16,600 tons, supplying a dozen sugar houses in the town. Sugar arrived from Barbados and Demerara as a dark sticky molasses; treacle, syrup, sugar loaves and granulated sugar were all stages in the evolution of the refining process.

Another snippet to plunder – such a massive explosion of industry, and such a sticky one at that, is worth investigating. Sugar, which has a high boiling point, produced fierce burns, and many of the sugar houses were run by Germans, willing to work with the dangerous stuff when Liverpudlians weren’t.

Of all the sugar bakers and refiners in the town, the most famous was Henry Tate, whose sugar money founded the Tate Gallery.

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The place to get inspiration for your writing

English: Collage of photos of authors
Collage of authors (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Where do you get your ideas?”

This is the question most asked of writers, at conferences, book launches, festivals – wherever authors meet would-be authors.

For those who spit out ideas without really trying, it’s a tough question to answer – the ideas just come, usually too many of them to use.

If you’re itching to have a go at a novel or a screenplay, but can’t find an idea to fire you up, it’s frustrating to be told that ideas are everywhere. But don’t be fooled by writers who tell you the ideas are flocking like ants around honey. Long-established, successful, famous authors hit blocks too. Think of the agonising pressure on a best-selling writer whose Muse has shoved off; facing the blank page when the publisher is thumping a desk shouting ‘deadline!’ and the advance has been spent already…

Blocks happen at any stage. The central idea for the new book before a word is written; part-way through the book when the story runs out of steam; a hero who won’t co-operate; no hint of an ending; a good main plot but no subplots; wooden characters; horrible dialogue… the bear pits lurk on every page.

This site is devoted to showing you how to release your imagination from its cage, unblock the flow of ideas, and touch a spark to the blue paper of your creativity.

Now the metaphors are nicely mixed, my work here is done.

Tell me what you need, what you don’t want to be told, where you’re stuck and I’ll try to address your particular problems as best I can.