A Writer’s Five Greatest Horrors

There are things we’re all afraid of and there are things some of us are afraid of while others enjoy, such as, say, snakes. And then there are work-specific horrors like client briefs or, I don’t know, oil price updates. And then there are the horrors of writing. While I’m nowhere near a representative sample I have been communicating with other writers. We tend to be great big whiners but some things truly scare us and with good reason. Continue reading A Writer’s Five Greatest Horrors

We Want to Invest in Your Book

Anyone who’s had any experience whatsoever with publishing, even with a single short story or a poem, must have acquired the kind of uneasy feeling that this is a sea full of sharks and other life forms that do not exactly have your best interests at heart. Sadly, it seems that sooner or later most of us run into these life forms. Continue reading We Want to Invest in Your Book

The Beta Reader Conundrum

How do you know your book is good? You ask someone to read it and tell you what they think. Or several someones, if you’re feeling brave. Continue reading The Beta Reader Conundrum

Write Them Real, Write Them True

There’s a topic that has been nagging me for quite a while, demanding attention and asking that my opinion on it be shared with the world. My usual response has been “Shut up and go sit in the corner, you’re too politicised as it is” but a recent chat with a fellow writer sort of convinced me it was possible to write about it without enraging armies or even your discussion partner. The nagging topic is about men writing female characters and, gasp, women writing male characters. Continue reading Write Them Real, Write Them True

One Word: Discipline

I’ve been having trouble getting up in the morning. The waking up part is easy enough but the getting out of bed part is giving me trouble. So I use the magic words: “That thing won’t write itself, you know.” Works like a charm. And I’ve got lots of magic words. Continue reading One Word: Discipline

The Accidental Cake

I woke up with an itch to make a coconut cake on December 27 or 28. With everything overflowing with food because of the holidays I decided to postpone the cake, not least because I’d probably be the only one eating it. I have the mixed fortune of living with people for whom “Cake I like” rhymes with “Chocolate” and while they would pay their respects to my coconut creation that would be as far as they’d go. Continue reading The Accidental Cake

Persimmon Jam and a Goat

I failed to make any resolutions for the new year this, that is last, year. I had no time. Unlike 2018, when I had time for as many as nineteen NY resolutions, in 2019 I turned out to be too busy. Also, I decided that NY resolutions are stupid. Of course I never kept all of those nineteen resolutions in made for 2019. But I have plans for the new year. I have plans all right. Continue reading Persimmon Jam and a Goat