Apparently, joy is the new bleak

In fashion, this winter, they say it’s beige, but in writing, the current theme that’s kicking out ‘bleak’ for 2022 is ‘joy’

Perhaps we don’t think that writing follows trends, but according to @thebookseller (yes, I’m gradually getting my head around the twittertariat) the zeitgeist is moving towards joy. Agents and publishers are looking for manuscripts that deal with that particular emotion. Certainly we could all use some more of that, couldn’t we! Well, that’s handy, then, since I’ve just launched a new participatory blog: which celebrates life and feelings, with a special emphasis on rural joy.

But, as the long tagline of the blog notes, many roads may lead to happiness, but most travel through perseverance and despair. I’ve been stimulated, energised even, by the participatory monthly anthology at which curates some 100 pieces submitted from writers around the world, in response to an image. In the January ’22 issue, for example, one of my poems is published (at #12) which references some great folk nights back in the day.

So I thought, why don’t I create a platform for a shared experience, showcasing musings, memoirs, stories and poems, to which people working along on their own road, especially those of us who share the deeply rural lifestyle, could submit some sense of their own journey. And then I had to think of a name that might embrace the concept. I thought, this could be a bit like, but without the factoids. Concentrating on feelings. I don’t, yet, have any thoughts on creating a hold-in-your-hand book. But after thinking about words (and puns!) the title gradually settled neatly in my mind, and the was born.

Anyway, now that the more journalistic diary is an archive, it could be great fun to help develop a dynamic relationship between readers and writers, and that’s where the Roads To Joy blog is heading. You can see what the blog is all about, check out the first few entries, subscribe with the button through the blog link and receive a bit of joy in your mailbox with every entry. And then, what a delight if you yourself would consider contributing a piece for public consumption! Joy experienced is joy shared! I’m working to promote this new blog rather farther and wider than I managed with the diary.

The best way to send anything through is by email, direct to me ( or and I will do my best to apply a light editing touch, if I think it can be served on the blog and if it’s useful. I want to put the very best writing that we can into this new and developing service. Can’t promise it will be daily, but I’m pretty sure it will be regular.

all best wishes

Larry (an archive of a year in the daily life of a Northumbrian community) (a writer’s journey through process and discipline) (a regular blog celebrating life and feelings experienced along a rural way)


  1. What a wonderful idea, Larry! Great blog name too. Wishing you well and looking forward to following everyone’s posts

    1. Thanks Val, and I hope some intriguing local submissions come in too! I’m about to post a first story on the blog (well, a link, anyway) over this weekend, but I’m sure there are lots of memoirs, musings, poems and stories out there just waiting to be released and revealed. On the title, I was surprised that nobody according to Google had used it before (there’s Road to Joy, but not Roads, which really is more apropos, I think!). Best wishes to you too!

    1. Many odes make a concert, is all I can think really 🙂 but I was sort of thinking, ‘Country Roads’ and that fits rather with tomorrow’s post . . . ‘take me home’

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