I guess I should have expected something tremendous from the person who wrote "The English Patient", and "Warlight" is exactly that; a tremendously evocative and well-written story from Michael Ondaatje. It evokes the murky and dangerous post-war world where people are still coming to terms with what freedom means - and what freedom cost. Someone... Continue Reading →

La Rochelle (2)

A week ago I started work on a little idea that had popped into my head. The first draft of my latest novel completed, I found myself free to embark on something different, fresh. In my last post I made reference to 'a new story' that seemed to be writing itself. All week I have... Continue Reading →

La Rochelle (1)

Having spent a large chunk of last night 'imagining' the beginning of a new story, I was up at 7 this morning and 70 minutes later had drafted 1,877 words. They may end up being nothing material of course, but boy was I in the groove! It's at times like that when the act of... Continue Reading →

I may have finished…

I may have finished the draft of my latest novel..! I had two further chapters pencilled in, but the one I have just completed reached such a conclusion that any more work may could prove to be nothing but repetition. Let's call it done for now! It needs to be left alone for a while... Continue Reading →

“The Lost Sailors”

"The Lost Sailors" is an interesting one. About half-way through or so, I was really enjoying Jean-Claude Izzo's book; it seemed to be a really thoughtful and probing examination of sailors marooned in both a physical and emotional sense. Not that much had happened in terms of action, but that seemed to fit the theme... Continue Reading →

Getting published is easy; it’s getting read that’s hard…

Someone's moved the goal posts. The Holy Grail has shifted. It used to be that writers dreamed of being published, because 'being published' meant something. Now, thanks to Indie Publishing and services likes Amazon's KDP, lulu, IngramSpark etc., getting published is a piece of cake; having your words turned to into real physical books (or... Continue Reading →

Just write! It can be that easy…

Occasionally you come across posts from people who are struggling to write, either because they say they can't find a subject, or because they are waiting for 'the Muse' / inspiration to hit them. But in a way, writing is no different from almost any other endeavour. Take golf. When once teased about how much... Continue Reading →

“Hand & Skull”

In some places Zoë Brigley's collection "Hand & Skull" is remarkable. Indeed, in many of the pieces she manages to convey, with alacrity, what it means to be a woman - and what some men can represent to women, not all of it positive. I can't recall reading a female poet who has put me... Continue Reading →

When you’re not sure what to say…

Today, even though I managed to write a few hundred words (my writing diary), I allowed myself to be distracted by meandering through a few WordPress sites. I had entered "writing" and later "literature" into the 'search' function just to see what came up. Not surprisingly there was a great deal. Which is fantastic, of... Continue Reading →

The difficulty with juggling…

I have always liked to have multiple projects on the go: poetry and prose; differing themes and styles. I like to think the variety keeps things fresh. There comes a time, however, when striking a workable balance, juggling more than one thing, simply doesn't work - and that happens when I'm getting close to finishing... Continue Reading →

This is what writing’s all about…

Sometimes, as a writer, you get those moments when you are bowled over by what you have written. It's almost as if it had come from someone else. Those moments can be as a result of modest things - a line in a poem, perhaps - or something much larger - a paragraph or even... Continue Reading →

Kindle ebook offers!

Check out my Author page on Amazon. Over the next two weeks there are various offers on a number of my books: "An Infinity of Mirrors" - my largest and most ambitious novel, 18th-25th July, just $0.99! "Degrees of Separation" - short stories, 19th-22nd July, FREE! "At Maunston Quay" - my latest novel, 18th-25th July,... Continue Reading →

Free book offer

I would like to offer a free ebook copy of my collection of short stories "Secrets & Wisdom". Unfortunately I cannot embed an ebook file into the site, only a pdf which is not great. But the offer stands. So if you would like a copy of "Secrets & Wisdom" please let me have an... Continue Reading →

It’s OK it’s not a Masterpiece…

I currently run a monthly poetry group in the Midlands; a 'Stanza' group affiliated to the Poetry Society. Each month members bring along a piece of their own work for a gentle but often incisive critique by others in the group. I emphasise to the group each month that it's important to bring along something... Continue Reading →

On the process of writing poetry

Years ago - but maybe not so many years ago - my process of writing poetry was relatively straightforward. And immensely naïve. I used to think (subconsciously at least) that the first words written had some kind of 'sacred' quality to them; that because they had come first, were the outpourings of 'the Muse', had... Continue Reading →

When is a ‘diary’ not…

If anyone happened to stray onto the "My Writing Diary" page of this site, they would think I was a lazy so-and-so. I've just checked: the last entry there was 10 months ago! Since then, I have finished the novel I was working on at that time, and published a collection of poetry. Not only... Continue Reading →

“Secrets & Wisdom”

"My friends call me Angel." It had been her favourite line, delivered with a slight tilt of the head and playful smile intended to lay bare the lie, to seed the notion that she was - if they played their cards right - anything but angelic. She had stood before her bathroom mirror and rehearsed,... Continue Reading →

“Deaf Republic”

If one of the prime objectives of poetry is to communicate - and through that communication to enthral, entertain, stimulate, challenge and so on - then Ilya Kaminsky's "Deaf Republic" is a success. It isn't poetry in any traditional sense, and seems to bestride the line that divides verse and the short story. Indeed, it... Continue Reading →

“Degrees of Separation”

It was a cursory glance; the kind of sweeping, superficial look designed to absorb as much as possible in one movement, as if the most critical thing was to use one’s eyes efficiently. He established the approximate size and scale of the room, its tone, an overall sense of feeling. The walls were part-panelled and... Continue Reading →


A great deal in Rees-Jones' "Erato" is prose, plain and simple. Some of it may be very lyrical and 'poetic', but it's still prose. And it looks like prose; and you read it like prose. There are also some good poems too, the quality of some of the imagery unquestionable. And because of that -... Continue Reading →

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