Photo by Seven Shooter on Unsplash I grew up before the internet (which makes me sound ancient, but I'm really not given that the internet rose to it's current status in the 2000s according to Wikipedia). Back then my author role models were Margaret Atwood, Suzannah Dunn, Philippa Gregory, Aimee Bender, Carol Shields, Chuck Palahniuk. … Continue reading The Big Question: does no one think of the reader??
It could have all been so different, couldn't it? We could have got along, we could have shared this beautiful home of ours and looked after it and listened to its needs. But we didn't. We came up with the idea that some people were better than others, that some should have more power than … Continue reading This little planet of ours
What do I mean, you ask? Just look over there ➡ ➡➡➡➡➡ Yep, the sidebar widgets have done something silly. Well, actually, I did something silly to them without realising. And now I've got lines and random spaces and I don't know how to fix it just yet. Update: I think I've fixed it!
I'm sure I wrote a blog post years ago about the benefits of saying Yes. At the time it referred to replying quickly to an email from the Guardian asking a few questions about my Costa Short Story Prize shortlisting. Because I acted quickly, I was the only writer from the six-person list to be … Continue reading I’m still saying yes!
I've got half an hour before I have to go out for my first haircut of the year - well, first haircut since the beginning of December - so here I am, wasting time. Although I don't actually have anything to say... I had to Google how long it would take to dig a six-foot … Continue reading Wasting time with Google
The house is quiet. Half of us are back to school today (teaching and being taught); the other half (including me) are still waiting for our jobs to re-open. Our local secondary school is having a phased return so all the kids can be tested before restarting their lessons, so the streets are still quiet. … Continue reading Past, present, future
We love a good bank holiday in the UK - New Year, Good Friday, Easter Monday, a couple in May, August, Christmas and Boxing Day. Today, I'm going to be writing because I've got a self-imposed deadline coming up, and spent the weekend reading. Fun, but not particularly useful for the competition submission I haven't … Continue reading August Bank Holiday!
It's that time of year, month, day again when I encourage you to use your local shops! Regular readers, Facebook followers, random strangers I grab in the street, will know I love local shops. I know I'm incredibly lucky. In my town, we have a greengrocer, several fantastic gift shops which are supplied by local … Continue reading High Five for Bookshops
2020 isn't being kind, is it? Do you remember the wildfires in Australia, and those terrible scenes of rescued koalas? Or that Brexit actually happened at the end of January? Harvey Weinstein's trial; Trump's impeachment and acquittal; tensions with Iran? Covid-19 has taken over every part of our lives - whether we're locked down or … Continue reading The bigger picture
Some bloggers excel at sharing with guests who bring their extensive knowledge with them, while others dive into the deep and meaningful, with carefully researched quotes to back up their argument. When I decided to start a blog, I had no contacts, no author friends at all - I was a complete writing loner - … Continue reading The nature of short stories