The library is one large first floor open-plan space. At this end of it, in the reference section, six tables: four uniquely shaped allow pairing to make two octagonals; the other two – rectangles – form a square). Purple chairs surround all three arrangements. Purple is the theme here: chairs (soft and hard), shelf signs,… Read More In the Library
In the last week I have been struck by two almost throw-away comments made to me by friends. The first, in discussing the role of a writer – particularly when it comes to things like readings and Open Mics – was the statement that “our job is to entertain”. I confess I’ve always struggled a… Read More Sometimes someone says something…
Driving home the other day, unbeknownst to me the front passenger-side suspension spring broke on my car. I only realised the extent of the damage once I’d got home, when I saw the virtual zero clearance between tyre and wheel arch. Without doubt something nasty could have happened during those last few miles home… The… Read More Does our writing need a regular service?
when death comes knocking is it better to be prepared have an appointment so you can be packed and ready watch him as he saunters self-assured up the garden path or be taken by surprise the sudden rap at the door like an unexpected delivery you assume is a scam
Many years ago when I was studying at University, during holidays I used to work in a bookmakers. It was a wonderful experience for a young man learning about people and life. ‘Welshman’ is a short story based on those experiences, and whilst it is not a retelling of a specific event nor portraying real… Read More ‘Welshman’ – new podcast episode
Last week I had the great privilege of mentoring at another Writers’ Retreat. In addition to a couple of workshop sessions, at the core of my mentoring are 1-2-1 sessions with each of the attendees during which we discuss their current and future projects. Sometimes they arrived burdened with uncertainty over what to do next,… Read More Another great mentoring experience!
I like to add some variety to my working routine. Often – as this morning – I make my way first thing to the café in one of our local supermarkets. Usually first or second to be served (black Americano and an almond croissant), I plant myself at the far corner table and open my… Read More Working in ‘the office’…
06:55 – 13th May 2022 Another decent day yesterday with the majority of my time spent on editing ‘Reunion’. Some work on the Sonnets as I edge closer to drafting #80. Plus I started work on my Reviewers’ list by reestablishing control over my Goodreads author profile. I think I’ll be doing some work on… Read More Retreat – Day 3
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?
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…
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?
I thought I’d take you on a brief tour of my writing space: And in case you wondered where all the novels are – or some of them anyway…
I have decided to serialise episodes from my book “Shrapnel from a Writing Life” on my Walking Thru’ Fire podcast. I am making the first episode available here; the remainder will be posted on my podcast over the coming weeks. Walking Thru’ Fire is currently available on Amazon Music, Deezer, Spotify and – soon –… Read More “Shrapnel from a Writing Life” serialised
I have hurt my back. Yesterday, while stretching before going for a run, I managed to tweak it a little – and today I’m in agony. Ever since I damaged it a few years ago, my back has always been my weak spot. I suspect we all have them, somewhere that fails first and fastest… Read More The perils of sitting down
Does my not being a woman impact the way I respond to Elizabeth Gilbert’s “Eat, Pray. Love”? Surely it must. My paperback edition’s cover unashamedly pitches it as a work for women: “10 million women worldwide…” etc. etc. as if it were a Bible for life. Someone said to me “You’re reading that?”… It’s a… Read More “Eat, Pray, Love”
I feel inclined towards an adventure. Having now thrown myself wholeheartedly into my writing and publishing, 2022 seems destined to be a ‘big’ year. Make or break. And the elements that will define the year are already queuing up: at least three ‘writing retreats’ either as mentor or participant; four new works of my own… Read More Weighing up adventures
Elizabeth Barraclough was my wife’s aunt. 24 hours ago that ‘was’ would have been an ‘is’. Elizabeth was one of the most remarkable people I think I have ever met. For example, in the late fifties and early sixties she was a leading light in the computer department at Newcastle University – I know, a… Read More Elizabeth Barraclough