A good day yesterday. Most of the creative effort went into editing “Reunion” plus some sonnet-dabbling. Had a snooze after lunch to try and catch-up on Tuesday’s poor night’s sleep, and another short walk before dinner for cobweb-blowing. The highlight was the ‘open mic’ though. I read my short story “Downsizing”, two sonnets – “Pilgrimage”… Read More Retreat – Day 2
07:15 – 10th May 2022 (Day 1) So what does today hold? A walk up to the station after lunch to remind myself of the genesis of ‘Degrees of Separation’. A certainty if it’s dry (it was damp yesterday eve and is gusty this morning – typical edge of Pennines/Cumbria weather). Options: start revision of… Read More Retreat – Day 1
~ a question centred on the concrete yet wrapped up to sound philosophical and therefore more meaningful. It’s one of those questions where we all instinctively think we know the answer – of course! – yet I suspect consistently fail to act on that basis. The ‘concrete’ is the beginning of a five-day writers’ retreat… Read More How important is tomorrow?
I have just added readings of a few selected poems from my collection First-Time Visions of Earth from Space to my podcast “Walking Thru Fire”. You can find this episode – and many others! – on Buzzsprout, and it should find its way onto other podcast platforms – such as Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music etc.… Read More New Podcast Episode
Often the challenge with ‘portmanteau’ novels such as Robert Seethaler’s “The Field” is one of maintaining a cohesive narrative thread throughout the work in order to prevent it from fragmenting into discrete and inadequately connected portraits. The premise behind “The Field” – the deceased, all buried in the same graveyard in a small European town,… Read More “The Field”
the old life in almost every kind of light his forearms mimic the skin of a snake about to slough or a paper-bag used too many times wrinkle-thin about to crack wide open yet it teases at a capacity for something else as if waiting to be filled with what all that’s left are memories… Read More the old life – a poem
Please check-out the latest update on our allotment project.
Three months ago I wrote a post describing how I used a tracker to measure my artistic endeavours – and how I used the log as a way to justify that I was working hard, making progress, being productive. All the numbers looked good. Clever me. The metrics were based on the number of projects… Read More Whatever you measure, make sure it’s the right thing…
It is difficult to like Jonathan Walker’s “The Angels of L19” – in the sense of the novel giving you a warm, comfortable, fuzzy feeling – but impossible not to admire it. Without doubt it is a real pressure-cooker of a book: intense, unrelenting, dark, ominous, ambiguous, challenging. Perhaps the latter most of all. Not… Read More “The Angels of L19”
Four-and-a-half years ago I attended my first Writers’ Retreat: best part of a week at the Garsdale Retreat in the Yorkshire Dales and on the edge of the Pennines. It proved to be a rewarding and productive experience, and one which – in many ways – succeeded in being something of a launchpad in terms… Read More To advance, Retreat..! – Part 2
For as long as I can remember, when it comes to my writing I have always found myself desperate for positive endorsement – both my own and from others. In the first instance we’re talking about self-esteem; in the second, about reviews, comments, feedback, sales. Actually in my case it’s about more than just endorsement;… Read More Imposter Syndrome – the worst possible thing for a Writer?
A small number of places remain on Writers’ Retreat UK’s June retreat in Lincolnshire. Having been on a number of retreats now, I know just how stimulating and rewarding – and productive! – such retreats can be. You can find details of the retreat here.
You know those TV programmes that are naturally about 45 minutes long but which, in order to fit them into a schedule, are padded out to fill an hour? Well, Dale Bailey’s “In the Night Wood” struck me as a little bit like that: it would perhaps have benefitted from being a little shorter, losing… Read More “In the Night Wood”
I have just added a reading of the first chapter of my 2019 novel, At Maunston Quay, to my podcast “Walking Thru Fire”. You can find the episode immediately on Buzzsprout, and it should find its way onto other podcast platforms – such as Spotify, Audible, Amazon Music etc. – in the next 24 hours… Read More New “Walking Thru Fire” Podcast Episode
I have been wondering how I would answer if someone asked me what I was up to – in a literary sense, of course! In the broadest sense I think I am trying to build something, firstly in relation to my own writing, and secondly with Coverstory books. In many respects the second is easier… Read More Trying to build something…
David Constantine’s collection of short stories, “The Dressing-Up Box”, is, in many ways, unlike any other volume of short stories I have ever come across. Many of the narratives are slightly surreal, other-worldly, and in some cases the stories fail to follow the beginning-middle-end convention – not that there’s any problem in that at all… Read More “The Dressing-Up Box”
Our first update of the year is here.
I have now published six episodes to my Walking Thru’ Fire podcast. Four of these comprise selected readings from some of my poetry collections: Walking Thru Fire (podcast introduction) Collected Poems, 1979-2016 Human Archaeology Punctuations from History There are also two extracts from my non-fiction work Shrapnel from a Writing Life. I plan to add… Read More “Walking Thru’ Fire” Podcast update
Well, I couldn’t not read it… After all, a poetry book winning the Costa Book of the Year..! When did a poet last win?! (ans. ’99 & ’96 Seamus Heaney, ’98 & ’97 Ted Hughes) I needed to know what all the fuss was about. Well, there are some great poems in Hannah Lowe’s “The… Read More “The Kids”
I have decided I need to reconsider my relationship to the ‘Open Mic’ i.e. to adjust not only my expectations of what I should expect to get from such events, but what I should contribute too. I might as well say it straight out: Open Mics have nothing to do with good writing. Don’t get… Read More About open mics…