Post-Swanwick Boost

Last year after returning home from my first Swanwick experience I wrote about the post-Swanwick blues. I was bracing myself for the same deflated feeling this year but actually I’m feeling something else. The post-Swanwick boost. I did wonder whether attending again as a fully fledged delegate (after being privileged enough to receive a subsidisedContinue reading “Post-Swanwick Boost”

The importance of artists’ dates

Is Whitby the most inspirational place on Earth for artists? Well I think so… I love Julia Cameron’s concept of the ‘artist’s date’. A solo trip to somewhere that interests you to spark imagination, whimsy and play. She suggests doing it weekly. I need to buck my ideas up! But I have just returned fromContinue reading “The importance of artists’ dates”

My five star review of Three Sisters of Stone, a novella in flash by Stephanie Hutton

A few days ago I received Three Sisters of Stone by Stephanie Hutton in the post. I’d actually forgotten I’d ordered it. I had been meaning to, but it was a lovely surprise when it turned up on my doormat. I put the novel I’m reading to one side, started it immediately and was hookedContinue reading “My five star review of Three Sisters of Stone, a novella in flash by Stephanie Hutton”

Building up a regular writing habit

I realised I haven’t uploaded a blog at all in 2018. Whoops. But, rather than chastise myself I’m going to take it as a sort of positive, because it’s a reflection of the fact I’ve been focusing more on my creative writing. Woohoo. My writing year has got off to a positive start in aContinue reading “Building up a regular writing habit”

Help. I’ve run out of ideas. I’ll never write again.

I’ve just sat down to write a blog post about my recent tough writing patch. About how a busy work and life period has left me unable to scrape the barrel of my mind for any words or stories. Even writing this post seems like a daunting task right now. I know, maybe a profoundContinue reading “Help. I’ve run out of ideas. I’ll never write again.”

Post-Swanwick blues

We’ve all heard of the back-to-work blues. Well I’ve got a serious case of it. More specifically, the post-Swanwick blues. Until a few months ago I had never even heard of the Swanwick Writers’ Summer School. Fast forward to June and a lovely email arrived in my inbox to say I’d been accepted onto thisContinue reading “Post-Swanwick blues”

What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’

I can barely see the screen as I type this because I am sobbing. I am gasping for breath and sobbing…about fictional characters. I am crying because they were so deeply real to me. I have just finished watching a BBC series which was on earlier this year. Broken, starring Sean Bean and written byContinue reading “What TV can teach fiction writers – A masterclass in characters from BBC drama ‘Broken’”

Learning from the curiously charming writer, Phaedra Patrick

There’s nothing more motivating for fledgling writers than hearing from other writers who’ve been in the same position and have gone on to ‘make it’. I immediately warmed to author, Phaedra Patrick, at a Read Regional event earlier this week hosted by The Heatons library. She started off by talking about ‘those people’ for whomContinue reading “Learning from the curiously charming writer, Phaedra Patrick”

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?’”