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Migration made me

What would I be like if there’d been no migration into the places I’ve lived? I wouldn’t have played with children from homes with utterly different ways of doing things, some of which impressed me. I might not have asked myself why things happened as they did in my home, noticed what we were doing and tried to understand why. I wouldn’t have learnt early that people give different explanations for this world, and all with equal sincerity. I might not have needed to find out more. I might not have seen the possibility of drawing my own conclusions. I wouldn’t have spent time with young people who viewed education and ambition with so much optimism that there was enough for me to borrow. I mi

Can't write by numbers

'Creative process' is an oxymoron, in my experience. The creative part of my brain doesn't care for sensible steps, defies common sense. It is reckless and utterly ungovernable. I have decided it should have its own name, and that name should be Gonzo. For months, ideas have been gluing themselves together in my mind, shaping themselves into the outline of a new novel. They made a protagonist I was excited to be with and an antagonist I wanted to slap, plus a banging plot and an agreeably odd setting. I helped them along with research and prep, until I could smell and taste locations, name the contents of characters’ pockets, draw the twisted arc for plot/people/place (with colour-coded anno

Learn as if you were to live forever

‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’ Here are a few things I think I might have learned this week. 1.Gandhi didn’t say many of the things he famously said. He is often given credit for the aphorism above, but he didn’t say it. It was a Dark Ages bishop, or a medieval one, or a medieval theologian, none of whose names you are going to see on a T-shirt anytime soon. 2.Saturn changes colour every now and again. Lucky. 3. Seems obvious, but I hadn’t noticed: almost everyone’s an artist now. Art and literature is no longer made by a floppy-fringed few, most of us seek to participate in them in some way. I’m not just talking about the zillions of self-publis

The Edwardian time traveller and a book that made me

On Romney Marsh I saw a sign for E.Nesbit’s grave. I remembered her name on the shiny dustcover of a childhood treasure, and that this name, with its mysterious initial, was one I once held in the highest esteem. With the usual help from Mr Google, I found The Story of the Amulet. The title is stilled filled with magical possibility for me. It is a beginning. This is the book that, when I was about eight, made me desperate to visit the past, and began a fascination with time travel which I have no desire to shake. It was published in 1906, so reading Nesbit’s book took me first to Edwardian London, before travelling with the children to Babylon and ancient Cornwall, Roman Gaul and The Future

Making work work

I have a rent-paying job to go back to. That means less writing time. Huff. It is no longer a surprise to me that being cross doesn't help. With wrinkled nose, I remind myself how marvelous my job is: To get to work, I go outside. Outside is a fascinating place. At work, I talk to people (real ones). Talking to people is generally considered a good thing. How else will I hear new jokes or maintain my tenuous connection with popular culture? This job teaches me new things. They have nothing to do with creative writing but, in a universe filled with bizarre coincidences, they might one day be useful. At my desk, somebody needs me to do the stuff I’m doing, they even say thanks. Only me and my

 
 
 
About

Reading, writing and smiling

I live in Sussex by the sea, writing stories and novels which are speculative, historical and literary. I blog and tweet about inspiration, happy writing and delicious words. My goal is to share a little everyday magic.

 

You can find my work in the NonBinary Review, Write Like You're AliveTrue Tales from the Old Hill , Hysteria 6, Everyday Epics, Stories for Homes, and Every Day Fiction.

There are also some tiny fictions on this site which I hope you enjoy.

 
 
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Book Reviews

My book reviews are over on Goodreads. I'm always delighted to receive requests from authors. If your book appeals to me I'll buy it, read it and review it. I'd love to hear from you.

 
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