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Limits

Wasn’t it the Austrian-Jewish-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein who said ‘whereof you cannot speak, thereof you must be silent’? Well I never fully understood Wittgenstein beyond loving his idea that we can prove the existence of other people by the existence

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Posted in censorship, criticism, feminism, literature, Poetry, women, Writing

Maggots. The gift that keeps on giving. From my mother-in-law.

My mother-in-law may not have realised it when she gave me maggots for Christmas, but they were just what I needed most in my life. Maggots. Lots of them. All dead. Just before I opened her present, she did warn

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Posted in Christmas, feedback, irony, life writing, women

What not to do in Poetry Class

Bollocks. Why do I take these risks? I forget that the stakes are quite high in these places and that it matters, or at least it does to me, how I feel when I go out the door. I’m talking

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Posted in creativity, criticism, feedback, feminism, life writing, literature, Poetry, reading, women, Writing

Fifty Shades of Nonsense and why I love E.L James (with adult content)

The stink of envy hangs around a lot of what’s being written and said about E.L James’s blockbuster. Take this on twitter: ‘Write a fanfic based on an already bad book and then change the names. #badwritingtips’ I have to

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Posted in feminism, women, Writing, writing novels

DO throw the baby out with the bathwater, or at least ALL his clothes

Once upon a time I threw Standpipe’s clothes out of the window. It was Friday night, we had one child and we were having friends round. I didn’t need help cooking but in my mind I had pencilled him in

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Posted in characters, creativity, feedback, friendship, grooming, life writing, literature, women, Writing, writing novels

The self-cleaning loo and the origins of creativity

When we had just one baby, more than a decade ago, a book was published saying – again – that despite the gains of feminism, women were still doing far more cooking and cleaning at home than men. I heard

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Posted in creativity, feminism, life writing, literature, reading, Uncategorized, women, Writing

Dull and lifeless? How some Dutch verbal can help

We were on holiday and having a drink before supper in a hotel. My friend Amphora and I were discussing our hair. ‘I should have washed mine,’ I said. ‘Stop worrying,’ said Amphora, just as her partner Schmutter joined us.

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Posted in characters, feedback, friendship, life writing, literature, reading, Uncategorized, women, Writing, writing novels

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