Five things I learned from a book I hated

I’m travelling at the moment and am using the time off to read and write as much as possible. Thank goodness we’re in a car so I could bring a stack of paperbacks with me. I’m making my way through books I’ve had on my list for a while. This included a YA novel whichContinue reading “Five things I learned from a book I hated”

Interviewing family members

A close relative of mine has Alzheimer’s and for a long while, I’ve had the longing to interview her. The way the disease is affecting her means she has virtually no short term recall, but her long-term memory, particularly of her childhood and youth, is intact. I’ve been surprised and delighted on many occasions byContinue reading “Interviewing family members”

How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’

I was on the phone today having a lovely chat, thinking nothing of it, when the person at the other end came out with; “You’re a writer, aren’t you?” I hesitated for a second. A few days ago my answer would’ve rolled off the tongue without a second thought. Something like; “Well, I’m trying toContinue reading “How to answer the question – ‘Are you a writer?’”

My writing is rubbish. What’s the point?

Some questions I have been asking myself recently… Is there any point? Will my work ever be as good as the stuff I love to read? Is writing a waste of time for me? Is that piece I submitted a few weeks ago actually any good? You get the gist… I’m led to believe thatContinue reading “My writing is rubbish. What’s the point?”

Review: My DIY Writing Retreat in Whitby

I’m sure you’ve seen the adverts for those dreamy sounding writing retreats in rural Cornwall or sunny Provence. Well, I wanted in on that. But unfortunately my budget and diary wouldn’t quite stretch. I wasn’t going to let a couple of minor details like that stand in my way, though. So, I decided to tryContinue reading “Review: My DIY Writing Retreat in Whitby”

Planning my DIY writing retreat

I keep fawning over adverts for writing retreats in beautiful remote places, dreaming of the escapism, the torrent of ideas I’d come up with and the pages of stunning prose I’d produce away from the daily grind. Whilst unfortunately I don’t have umpteen hundred pounds and unlimited days to spend researching and drafting, I haveContinue reading “Planning my DIY writing retreat”

How to write flash fiction

Earlier this month I had the pleasure of attending an inspiring workshop on flash fiction, led by the brilliant Linda Grierson Irish, whom I met on the Comma Press short story course. I have dabbled with the form before, naively assuming that because of short word counts, flash fiction pieces would be quicker and easierContinue reading “How to write flash fiction”

Revisiting old writing – ‘Waiting for Bill’

This is the first complete piece I ever wrote. I entered it for a competition organised by Liverpool writing group, The Poised Pen. They required flash inspired by the ‘Another Place’ sculptures at Crosby beach. I was absolutely flabbergasted when my name appeared on the long list. It was such an important confidence boost asContinue reading “Revisiting old writing – ‘Waiting for Bill’”

Falling off the writing wagon

  Ok, so my new year’s resolution was to write a post each week. Alas, this hasn’t happened. But I’m going to bypass the huge temptation to just shove the blog idea to one side after just three posts and treat it as a small pothole in the road. Every writer is super busy. ThereContinue reading “Falling off the writing wagon”

Short story ideas – headlines as prompts

Right? Someone tweeted this the other day and it resonated with me. A lot. I do feel like I have something to say, multiple things, but when it comes to sculpting them into a short story with a clear plot, that’s where I often come unstuck. I have several ideas  (which I take to beContinue reading “Short story ideas – headlines as prompts”