Standing in the corner of my grandma’s hallway in my disgrace, the stolen shortbread still melting on my tongue, I placed my hands on the walls, closed my eyes and saw Grandad.
Aah, a nice, warm breeze, a beautiful view and starlings swooping up to their annual nest in the corner. Perfect. Cheers Australia!
A lot of fiction writers find music a real distraction when writing, but here’s why I find it a real help…
So, I’ve been experimenting because there was an expanse of shiny whiteness on my office wall with scribbles on it like ‘Get milk’, ‘Weed the garden (again)’ and ‘***Don’t rescue another cat; you have enough now***’.
But it would be so much better if it said things like:
Chapter 5 – Whenever he smells apples, he is overcome with a murderous rage.
OR, Chapter 12 – Astonishing mid-plot twist: The monkey was never meant to be there, but only the nun knew.
Everyone has that book, or series of books, that defines their childhood and influences their future lives in some way. This is mine. What’s yours, and why?
When I first discovered ‘Flambards’ by K.M Peyton, I devoured the whole series, and returned to them again and again. They had everything; a strong heroine who was so real to me she was like a best friend, a hero who had his weaknesses but it still gives me pangs when I think of his sad fate, and a First World War setting – not on the front line, but on the home front – which pits the rise of automobiles and airplanes against the decline of horses and cavalry, and delves into women’s rights and the crumbling of social divisions. Cleverly, the house – ‘Flambards’ – is a mirror that reflects this era of change in Britain. Its fate is directly affected by all that is going on around it, and yet it is also a symbol for everything the heroine is experiencing. She is tied to it. It becomes her heart.
Flambards taught me, like no other books I read in my childhood, that
In which Jo gets to look after a bookshop for a whole blinking day!
Well, remember yesterday, when I wrote about the exciting news of a Bristol academic cracking the code to the Oddest Book in the World…?
“I experienced a series of ‘eureka’ moments whilst deciphering the code, followed by a sense of disbelief and excitement when I realised the magnitude of the achievement…”
Writers crave good reviews even more than they crave chocolate cake or a really fantastic pen. This is the first one I got, dug up from the archives…
After years of sticking rigidly to that long term goal, I started saying yes instead of no to those wonderful, fleeting opportunities on the periphery, and this is what happened…
I listened to Tim Minchin’s inspirational address, ‘Nine Life Lessons’, again a few weeks ago, and keep coming back to one thing in particular (and those of you who know me won’t be surprised that it wasn’t the ‘do more exercise’ one :-D)
It was concerning goals, and the realisation that his words didn’t strike a chord with me the first time I heard the speech, years ago. And that’s because of things that have happened between now and then to make me realise he’s absolutely right. Here’s what he said: