Showing posts from February, 2016

Cut, Paste, File Away

I'm a bit of hoarder. It's a habit I inherited from my parents who lived through the second world war when the rule of thumb was 'make do and mend'. I hang onto things well past their useful date. Thankfully, necessity and several house moves have meant that I've had to let a lot of things go. The only area of my life that I have never de-cluttered is my writing.

I have diaries from my childhood up to adulthood, books and files of old writing, and a couple of novels that I wrote in the past and will one day revisit. That's just the writing that's been penned or printed out. There is a whole world of writing on my laptop and hard drive. Every scrap of writing that I have scribbled down, typed onto the note app on my mobile phone, or saved onto my laptop has been kept because I always have that niggling worry that I might just find a use for it all some day.

This habit has recently come in very handy while working on my novel, well, the novels that will come…

Something Useful for 2016 - Exercise No. 19

Years ago (decades), I took part in a production of Confusions by Alan Ayckbourn, a set of five interlinked plays that dealt with the concept of loneliness and miscommunication. I played Beryl in the final play, A Talk In the Park, where the five characters talked at (rather than to) each other as they sat on a series of park benches.

It's an interesting visual approach to use a bench, made for more than one, to discuss loneliness.

Humans are by nature gregarious. We like to be with others, to belong, to be part of a community (be that family, village, football supporters club or work force). It isn't surprising then that we fill our leisure spaces with seating made for more than one.
Think of a bench. It could be a park bench, a garden bench, or even a church pew. Add a cast to your bench of one or more. What would your bench story be?

Choice Words for February

I enjoy naming my characters, both in my plays and in the novel I'm working on. Some of them come ready-named, introducing themselves to me in a way that they could never be altered. Others take some time to work out. Hartley Keg was one of the former. So was Blessing Hawkes. Cormac Moran, on the other hand, went through several names before finding the right one.

In Naming your characters and settings, Roz Morris discusses the importance of name and how she finds them for her books.

Photo Inspiration for February

It's blustery here today. Storm Imogen is rattling our bones and hurrying us along. I'm sure that most people would prefer to stay indoors if they could, which made me think of this photo.

Hot chocolate and a croissant on a cold, rainy day. 
What does this inspire you to write?

What I'm doing this month - February

January seems to have flashed by in the  blink of a watery eye and suddenly February is here with its promise of spring. I feel like I've spent the month in a curious limbo, coming down after my birthday trip to Venice and reeling at the loss of so many icons.

First, there was David Bowie, such a wonderfully creative man, the brilliant actor Alan Rickman who I'll always remember as an irreverent angel, Glenn Frey from the Eagles, then finally the velvet tones and kindly ways of Terry Wogan. January seems to have left the world a little less colourful.

So February needs to be a new beginning, with fresh colour and creativity, and a renewed intent. That's how I'm treating it. Let's get this year started.


Novel 1 is still away with a handful of literary agents so I'm working on the next two novels. After eight rejections that all had much the same feedback (loved reading this, keep sending it out, but it's not for us), I posed the question to writer K…