Does reading make me happy?

I’ve just read a fascinating article by Ceriden Dovey. The author writes of having been given a series of sessions with a bibliotherapist as a gift. Being offered specific texts to read on ‘prescription’ did not appeal to her at first but she settled in to find intrigue and satisfaction in this method. The article made […]

Again, it is that time of year

There’s only so much space inside my head and at times two different compartments are manifest, and they cannot function at the same time. Being contracted to read and evaluate other people’s work to strict deadlines (exam papers to be more precise), blots out all other thought. My own work, having ideas, writing, rewriting, scribbles for reworking, […]

Prevarication or priorities

We all do it; avoid tasks because to start one is to put off the other. Or is that just another excuse? There is the redraft of the new, recently finished novel which needs a comprehensive redraft. Here there’s a lot to sort out, large portions of time to think through changes and additions. They’re all there fizzing […]

Thoughts on style

@HilaryMantel ‘A Place of Greater Safety’, Camille thought: ‘… there’s nothing in this breathing world so gratifying as an artfully placed semi-colon.’ And I gleefully have to agree. At risk of being accused of being a pedant and also of, at times, getting it wrong, correct punctuation, the placing of and enclosing of clauses, brings order […]

An ending, a resolution

Months in the writing and it now has an ending. Begun in August 2012, ‘Incident on the Line’ is finished, there is a resolution to the plot. Although there is redrafting aplenty to come, with many changes, major and minor adjustments, I know where it has to end, how it will finish. I always want to […]

Hang spring-cleaning

Mole in ‘The Wind in the Willows’ was always my favourite. I identified with his timidity, his delight in finding a friend in Ratty, his fear of the wild wood, and his awe on meeting Badger. With spring springing, sun shining and the earth willing to be tiffled, I am like Mole, wanting to drop […]

Images real and imagined

Sorting through photo albums, reassigning, rescuing and preserving memories, took on a more urgent task on hearing that present technology will be superseded leaving our store of images backed up in computers, unobtainable. And though many on photographic paper have blurred with, surpisingly or not, the black and white, maintaining a better definition, they are […]

Taking control – that’s a joke!

I believe it is suggested that one reason authors write is to take control of someone else’s life, be the mastermind or god figure in a way that is not possible in their own. As I watch builders taking apart a roof which I can view from my writing perch, fixing weatherproof material, fastening swathes […]

Rain, wind, cold and doppelgängers

Is this best time of year for reading and writing? Out there is uninviting; even my visit to the exhibition of Rembrandt’s Late Works was hampered by rain, the dismal thought of battling through a downpour, arriving with wet clothes. An excuse for a treat of coffee and praline Danish at Le Pain Quotidien and to […]

Gaining an audience

The Angel Child is gaining an audience; I say ‘audience’ although others will talk of ‘readers’. Or is this an exaggeration? An audience is associated with theatre; a play where there is a visual ensemble. The scene or scenes are presented through someone else’s imagination. The characters are played by actors, entering the emotions, the dynamics of […]