What would we do about paper?

Shopping lists, the medium for watercolour painting, books, toilet paper, wrapping paper, shopping bags, tickets for theatre in all its variety, train tickets, bus tickets, hard copies, wills, envelopes, newspapers, magazines; the uses are endless. Uses that are impossible to translate into other forms, or if they are, less comfortable or comforting. This is a […]

Is this a gardening blog?

There are toadstools popping up everywhere, spiders assuming ownership of every part of the garden, webs binding innocent passersby; and it’s the time for pruning, lifting and splitting, a month of putting it all to rest. And I have a short story which is spinning in my head, needing to be trapped, pruned, lifted and […]

Grim and harrowing choices

I read and hear on the news that the Booker shortlist announced today is ‘grimmer’ with choices which explore or relate ‘harrowing passages’, ‘a tremendous amount of violence’ with themes of abuse, brutality and the futility of life. As someone who might well be put off reading this ‘extraordinary range of approaches to fiction’, I […]

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 […]