Blog Archives


I’ve written about fear before I think, even if only on twitter. Fear drives me to the kettle n hundred times a day. Fear leads me to write poetry instead of my novel. That’s quite a productive use of fear.

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Posted in Writing

Taking chances

I am quite a cautious person. I like rules. I like to research the rules and then implement them. Teachers love me. But recently I’ve got bored with that and I’ve done a couple of things on instinct. I’ve enjoyed

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Posted in characters, creativity, criticism, feedback, film, friendship, Poetry, reading

Definitely NOT safe for work: Kim Hyesoon continued

Having decided not to reproduce the poem that everyone in my poetry class hated on this blog, I’ve now changed my mind. I’ve been worrying that it’s actually not fair on my tutor and the rest of the class, not

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Posted in Writing

What I’m reading now

Well, I am taking a few of my ten minutes (almost a month) for a holiday from England. I am going to the back of beyond to play Treasure Island and Swiss Family Robinson on the west coast of Ireland.

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Posted in characters, criticism, James Kelman, literature, narration, reading, Writing, writing novels

Me, Usain Bolt, French tarts and the Olympics of Fear

I have always thought of myself as intrepid. Equal to anything. Resilient. A brilliant bouncer-back. A great survivor. Finding myself unhappily between careers, I picked myself up, dusted myself down and thought I’d try my hand as a patissière. Yes.

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Posted in creativity, criticism, feedback, Writing

Ridgeway Cycle #1

I love the Ridgeway. I love to walk on it, to ride my bike on it, to think on it. It’s a very ancient road and summons a small part of me which is not allowed out very often and

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Posted in Writing

Mobile words of consolation. Poetry Parnassus at the Royal Festival Hall

Poetic patterning bumped up against a mechanical metre yesterday. I went to London’s Royal Festival Hall to hear Seamus Heaney, Kay Ryan, Wole Soyinka and four other world-class poets read their work. Half way through  Soyinka’s reading, someone’s mobile phone

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Posted in Poetry, Writing

GUEST POST: Justin Bog, self-published e-author and soon to be in print too!

First a few words from under the pile of literary criticism books: This is what it’s all about. A real life book with a real life cover. This one’s by my friend Justin Bog, as you can see. On twitter

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Posted in Writing

Guest post: Amanda Saint on Pitching, Panicking and the Big Boys and Girls in Publishing

This week, as I cram my head full of as many literary crit., techniques as it will hold, ahead of my exam on June 12, the talented and hardworking Amanda Saint, my fellow blogger and friend in cyber-space, gives us

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Posted in Writing

Tom Bradby on a perfect relationship: novels, the news and an award-winning screenplay

Some of you may recognise this man from television: No, he’s not a dodgy bank manager off Crimewatch, he’s ITV‘s Political Editor which makes him one of the most senior political broadcasters in the UK. He’s also a novelist, screenwriter

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Posted in Writing

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