Killing the Writing Fraud

There are times when we all think that we will be discovered. That the game will be up. Surely anyone can write? Yes, the old adage that everyone has a novel in them dilutes a vocation that takes years to perfect and a lifetime to develop. No one ever says, ‘You know, everyone has a…

Let’s Talk About Submitting Fiction

You may have reached the stage where you have written your stories, shown your friends, family and strangers at parties; you have gone to a writers’ group and may have thought one of the following: (A) what a lovely, supportive bunch, (B) what a lovely bunch of back stabbing bastards, and; (C) c**nts. Either way,…

A Year of Writing: Days 171-180

Day 171 of #ayearofwriting and ideas come like buses, I note them down and marvel at the fact that when you are about to go to sleep something sparks in your mind. I have learnt over the years that it will not wait until tomorrow, a note book, a pen, a note on your phone will stop…

Living With Spinal Problems

The other night I watched Salma Hayek in Frida, a biopic of the life and death of Frida Kahlo, and though the film did not cover everything about Frida’s life and infidelities; I also found it disturbing that some of the facts were altered to make Frida seem more of a nice person but that is…

A Year of Writing: Days 161-170

Day 161 of #ayearofwriting and I come across the killings after Katrina and one gentleman called Roland J. Bourgeois Jr. and the murders he committed, the bodies left on the streets which had bullet holes in them and did not die from the floods. The people sent in to help them, killing them because they were desperate….

A Year of Writing: Days 151-160

Day 151 of #ayearofwriting and the great thing about later drafts in writing is that you are really hammering the word count down. Everything that is superfluous to the story is cut, every little aside, every little image, every little thing that brings nothing to pushing the story forward is cut. It is like sewing two pieces…

Alteration Over Adaptation

I lie in the bath, the water laps each curve, each roll of fat; I am considering my shape and I think about what is real, what is not. The fat is a product of generations of bad diet, from aristocracy to penury in my family. Even my heart is a cocktail of drugs, without…

Living With Saul for Nearly 100 days

The good thing about keeping a record of what I have done at each writing session is to realise how some stories come easier than others. Where Late the Cicada Sings, which to some extent I wrote in memory of the late Kate Wilhelm, has taken a long time. Katie corresponded with me on and off for…

A Year of Writing: Days 141-150

Day 141 of #ayearofwriting an I am under 10,000 words and have the Bridport firmly in my sight. I am cutting and stripping away everything that brings nothing to the story. The myth like quality of Saul’s past is therefore magnified in this process and Alphin and Alder stomp through his dreams. Day 142 of #ayearofwriting and the work…

The Heartache & The Keyboard

One of my student’s last week watched me typing and sighed, he said, ‘I wish I could type that fast. How did you learn it?’ I have never really taken much note of how fast I type, I am not a traditionally taught typist. Typing was not offered to boys when I went to school…

A Year of Writing: Days 131-140

Day 131 of #ayearofwriting and it is often hard to balance family, work and writing but as a writer you have to be a little selfish, set aside time to write, even if it is in a corner of a wedding reception. Writers like all people have many masks, and we have dilemmas too, more about that…

A Year of Writing: Day 121-130

Day 121 of #ayearofwriting and William Blake creeps into my story, as the people cling to his patriotic nature of Jerusalem, getting Blake wrong as so many have. Not the radical but the Nationalist. Saul is torn between the present and the past, and we see what he did, what he carries with him and that his…