Who’s not afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Who’s not afraid of Virginia Woolf?
Readers who’ve been following our adventures through our travel blog will know that husband Peter and I have recently returned from six weeks haring round Europe on our trusty motorbike. What with finishing off the account of that long trip through twelve countries, unpacking, washing, ruefully surveying our moribund garden, and generally catching up, I expected to find myself at a loss for this latest writing blog post.
Then the topic of this blog arose on its own, and I felt I must write a little about a subject that I frequently ponder. In a way, it’s that eternal question: What is literature? Or, better put in my mind, What makes a story a story?

Continue reading “Who’s not afraid of Virginia Woolf?”

Just One Damned Bestseller After Another!

Just One Damned Bestseller After Another!

If, like me, you’re already a fan of the wonderful Bristolian novelist Jodi Taylor, you’ll get my reference to one of her St Mary’s Chronicles series. St Mary’s is a research institution where historians research historical events in contemporary time. Yes, they time-travel. Although as Jodi cheerfully admits, she has no idea how the time travel pods actually work.

Jodi is busy launching the ninth and latest in this series, An Argumentation of Historiansand together with her lovely publisher Hazel came up with the splendid idea of Prosecco and afternoon tea at Octavo’s Book Cafe in Cardiff. Jodi, bubbles and scones – what’s not to love? Continue reading “Just One Damned Bestseller After Another!”

Murder in Deepest Devon

Murder in Deepest Devon

I’ve come a long way from the Malverns to conduct a bloodbath. My home for this week is the The Court in the tiny village of Sheepwash, Devon. Lovely hosts Debbie and Wendy run Retreats for You in this beautiful sixteenth century townhouse, mainly for writers, but anyone in need of utter peace can enjoy their splendid hospitality and the deep rural peace here.

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The other side of the hill

The other side of the hill

This blog is usually about my writing, or other authors I love. In case you’re steeling yourself for the crushing disappointment of not hearing about my latest publication, relax.  There will be links to my new anthology at the end.

We writers tend to live in a fantasy world of our own creation much of the time. But at times in any writer’s life,  reality doesn’t just intrude: it bangs open the door, shouts loudly to attract attention, and continues to be demanding and exhausting for as long as it can get away with. A bit like a teenager.

Continue reading “The other side of the hill”

Rediscovering Alice

Rediscovering Alice

I first read Nevil Shute’s A Town Like Alice as a teenager. At the time I found it a gripping story, combining adventure, romance, war and an unparalleled portrayal of life in the Australian outback. I have since re-read this slim masterpiece many times, most recently this week. The Rider and I have been holidaying in Malaysia after a hot busy fortnight in Hà Nội, Vietnam [long story featuring two weddings and many family visits – see my other blog].

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Poor little lost souls

Poor little lost souls

I’m really quite an organised person; or as my beloved suggests, I’ll do any form of prevarication to avoid actual writing. So I keep a detailed record – using fab writers’ tool Duotrope – of all my stories and their current whereabouts.

Now please don’t be picturing the bereft little creatures,  dispatched shoeless and alone, doomed to wander forever in the big bad world.
I’m not that cruel, and I truly love every story I write (even if a surprising majority of publishers and competition judges don’t agree.) So I track each submission carefully, anxiously monitoring the progress of my small creations and weeping a little whenever they are rejected and sent back to Mummy unpublished. Continue reading “Poor little lost souls”

Banish the New Year resolutions!

Banish the New Year resolutions!

The turkey’s all eaten, the Christmas decorations packed away in the loft, and 2016 securely seen out amidst much maudlin remembering of auld acquaintance.

Goodbye 2016, hello 2017. It’s New Year, the annual opportunity to turn over a new leaf and generally plan to live a fitter, happier and more productive life.

New Year, New Me. Time to change my life.
I’ll lose those twenty pounds, take up virtual boxing, learn Vietnamese, and create tofu cuisine. Just like January 1st last year, when I committed to learn German, enrol in spinning classes, eat more mackerel … and, er, lose those twenty pounds. Continue reading “Banish the New Year resolutions!”