Listening to George

Last week, I went on one of those creative roller-coasters that only happen occasionally.  It involved walking around the local park on a bright wintry day letting my thoughts follow their own course, beginning with how tired and low I was feeling, onto the Australian bush fires, then to reminding myself to look for theContinue reading “Listening to George”

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”

Café Culture for Creatives

I was sitting in a well-known coffee chain this week (the one that sells red velvet cake), drinking an americano and trying to write, but the inevitable happened and I was distracted by the conversations going on around me.  This is an occupational hazard for anyone with a caffeine addiction and fascination for other people’sContinue reading “Café Culture for Creatives”

How to Survive The Lifelong Learning Curve

It is a well known fact that writing is a long and slow process.  Writers have to be determined and resilient, as well as innovative and flexible, which is quite a high wire act to pull off over a long period of time.  You would hope that after writing five novels, three radio plays andContinue reading “How to Survive The Lifelong Learning Curve”

Paperclip Girl loses the plot (and her character)

This is the time of year when the high wire act of balancing teaching and writing becomes most tricky.  End-of-semester submissions have been handed in with another batch due at the beginning of May.  This means I’m going to be marking, immersed in other people’s writing, for around six weeks.  In addition to this, thereContinue reading “Paperclip Girl loses the plot (and her character)”

Living Amongst The People

I’ve been waiting to watch Silver Linings Playbook for a while now, and not just because it stars Bradley Cooper, honest.  This is a mainstream, successful Hollywood film that deals with the subject of mental illness.  It’s unusual, to say the least, to have a fetching male lead as well as the lovely Jennifer LawrenceContinue reading “Living Amongst The People”

Gifts from students

One of my all time favourite books (I’m talking top three here) was recommended to me by a student.  The book is ‘House of Leaves‘, by Mark Z. Danielewski and is hard to describe, it’s so complex and mind-bending.  All I can say is whenever I meet someone who’s read it (which is rare), weContinue reading “Gifts from students”

The things that scare you…

A couple of weeks ago I bumped into an ex-student at a seminar run by the Higher Education Academy.  I taught her as an undergraduate on a module where writing out of your comfort zone and experimentation was encouraged.  She told me I gave her two pieces of advice that she’s never forgotten and nowContinue reading “The things that scare you…”