The Unwritable

1.You want to write but you cannot write. Your body objects. Your shoulder throbs, the pain radiating down your arm to lodge in your elbow, across your shoulder to fizzle up your neck, itchy heat into your jaw, your gums, your ear. Your body is telling you to stop moving your fingers across the keyboard.Continue reading “The Unwritable”

Beginning Again

It has been five years and two months since my last post.  I try not to feel too bad about this, as I was drawn away by novel writing, working two teaching jobs, moving house a multitude of times and launching my children into the world of adulthood.  Still, I feel bad about it.  Continue reading “Beginning Again”

The Glitter of the Grade

It’s that time of year again.  The shops are full, the fairy lights are going up, and my students are handing in their submissions before going home for the holidays.  For the next couple of weeks writing may be low on the list of priorities, but when we come back in January, thoughts often turnContinue reading “The Glitter of the Grade”

A Satnav For Life

The last few months I’ve found myself wishing for some kind of device that will tell me the right path to take, some sort of satnav for life, if you like. Whatever you want to do career-wise there will be decisions to make, moments where the path ahead forks with no way of knowing whichContinue reading “A Satnav For Life”

Listen… Can You Hear The Stories?

As anyone who read last week’s post will know I have recently come back from three days at the MIX Conference, run by The Literary Platform and Bath Spa University and showcasing projects that combine writing and digital technology. I’m still in recovery and need some kind of post-conference rehab program to integrate me back intoContinue reading “Listen… Can You Hear The Stories?”

The Nature of Art and Words

What do you do when you’ve been working hard on a project and it feels like you’ve run out of words?  Do you persevere, force the words out from their dark hiding places however unformed and jumbled they seem to be, or is there another solution that doesn’t involve stick-your-fingers-in-your-eyesockets agony? Last weekend I decidedContinue reading “The Nature of Art and Words”

Under the Influence – Part Two

Following on from last week’s post I’ve been thinking about the books and writers that have affected my work, and my approach to writing. The very first influence has to be Conan Doyle’s The Short Stories of Sherlock Holmes.  I was lucky enough to study it for O’level and loved the brilliant mind of HolmesContinue reading “Under the Influence – Part Two”

Under the Influence – Part One

‘I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.’  Kurt Vonnegut. I am currently reading Slaughterhouse Five, arguably Vonnegut’s most famous novel about Billy Pilgrim, a time-travelling ex-soldier who claims he was abducted by aliens from the planet Tralfamadore.  If this is the result of significant amountsContinue reading “Under the Influence – Part One”

Economy with Words

The shortest short story is reputedly by Ernest Hemingway and it goes something like this: For Sale.  Baby Shoes.  Never worn. Now, you many argue that this isn’t a short story, that six words can’t possibly create a narrative.  But it does have a beginning, middle and an end.  It does raise questions and thereforeContinue reading “Economy with Words”

The Changing Landscape

This week saw my last day on campus for this academic year.  Assignments are handed in, marking is well under way, and I found a lovely thank you card from a third year student on my desk.  There was an unexpected bonus too.  I received a nomination for a teaching award, which felt particularly specialContinue reading “The Changing Landscape”