Showing posts from February, 2012


Today is Leap Day - that extra twenty four hours that we get every four years. A couple of days ago, my seven year old son asked what it meant.

"What can you do on Leap Day?"
"Well, women can propose marriage to men."
"Oh." For a moment, he looked rather disappointed then with a cheeky smile, he said "I could have an extra birthday on leap years."

Leap Day has always been a bit of a non event for me. It comes and goes without celebration or cake. We think 'oh, it's Leap Day this year' and then we pass back into our normal lives, but maybe that's ok. Maybe we don't need to add special meanings and traditions to it. Perhaps it's just there as a reminder that not everything needs to be planned. Sometimes we just need to take a leap.

I don't mean a safe little skip from one steady rock to another. To me, taking a leap suggests jumping out of our safety net or comfort zone without the reassurance that we're heading fo…

More Writerly Advice

I do like it when inspirational gems drop into my email account. These three articles tackle different aspects of writing - dialogue, painting and animating 'pictures' in your novel, and distraction. Enjoy.

Bubble Cow on Dialogue Beats

Writers aren't Painters, they're Magicians by Nathan Bransford

Distracted? by Write It Sideways

Photo inspiration

I can feel it setting in. The greyness of the season is slowly creeping into my bones. I need colour, and plenty of it.

Discoveries on the way

I've been rather quiet on here this week. It's half term and my husband is off work too (voluntarily - kind of - he caved to pressure to spend quality time with the family) so a lot of my time has been taken up with family trips and board games.

Progress on my novel has been slow but I have managed a couple of hours and I've come to a conclusion. There are some things you just can't plan before you write. However in depth your chapter plan and character outline may be, your literary friends will still hang onto their secrets until they think the time has come to have a quiet word with you.

My writing this week has brought me just such a revelation. A character who has been with me since I first came up with the idea for this novel decided to tap me on the shoulder and say, "By the way, did you know I could do this?" I didn't know before that moment but now it all makes sense.

Make up your plans, by all means, but don't forget to also converse with yo…

Happy Birthday Charles Dickens


Monday Moments

Unlike much of the UK, we don't have snow. We have rain, the kind that doesn't appear very heavy but gradually drenches you. The sky is grey. The garden is muddy. Everyone is walking round staring at their boots, grumbling at their children and generally rushing through life to get out of the weather.

It's easy to join the herd on a day like this, hood pulled over your eyes, mind on the day's to-do list, but why not take the other, more writerly path? Look up, look round, just look. That's what I did today. Here's what I found.

Looking from my kitchen window around 7.00 am, I saw a black cat sat on a ledge staring into a bedroom window. It stayed there for about ten minutes before jumping down to the ground. When I returned from the school run, the cat was back in its place, continuing its vigil.I first heard the chattering call and then saw two hefty magpies chasing each other around the branches of a tree which swayed in response.Two twins, probably around fo…

Writerly Advice

I'm a sucker for subscribing to emailed newsletters from writing related sites. The resulting mail is often disappointingly filled with comments on posts or requests to buy things but on occasion, a real gem wings its way to me so I thought I'd share a few with you.
From the Write For Your Life blog, an interview with Nicola Morgan on how to write a great synopsis.From the Write It Sideways site, a guest post by Susan Bearman, 'Embracing the (Whole) Writing Process'.From the She Writes community, a guest post by Eugenia Kim, 'Romance of the Writing Life and Where the Writing Happens'. Have a wonderful weekend.