This blog has two heads.
Firstly, it is a writer’s blog. I’m writing a novel about the Stoic philosopher Posidonius’s travels in France and Britain around 100 BCE. It is inspired by two interests of mine, in Stoic philosophy, and in the European iron age and it’s my first novel. In my own estimation, I have no natural talent as a writer, but I know I have a good story to tell. To try to improve my writing skills I’ve attended several courses in the last three years. In fact I’ve become a writing course/group/retreat/workshop junky. I very much enjoy meeting other writers and listening to or reading their work. I’m a founder member of the Second Tuesday Writers in Edmonton Alberta, and a member of the Canadian Authors’ Association, and the Writer’s Guild of Alberta.
Secondly it is a stoic blog. I’ve been a practising Stoic for several years, but until now it has been a purely private activity. I’ve decided to ‘come out’ because of the exciting work being done at Exeter University. I missed the Stoic week in December, but I’m looking forward to taking part in the Stoic fortnight in March.
What do I mean by ‘practising Stoic’? Well, firstly I read the Stoics — Marcus Aurelius, Seneca and Epictetus. I try to apply their ethics in my own life. I use Stoicism to help me deal with physical pain and with depression. What I don’t mean is that I believe in the world as they saw it, in which the pneuma (“the breathe of life”) is present in everything from human beings to the rocks under the earth, any more than most Christians nowadays believe the earth was created in seven days.