It’s been quiet in here lately…

OK, I admit it. My 2015 (or was it 2016?) New Year’s resolution wasn’t one of my finest in terms of actually sticking to it, but watch this space… from October there will be more activity on this blog. I am delighted to be embarking on doctoral research at the University of Falmouth, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research … Read More

Start as you mean to continue

New Year…new resolutions. Towards the end of the Christmas and New Year break I was fortunate to spend a couple of days in complete solitude. I was a long way from home, in a beautiful place and, having celebrated the dawn of 2015 in good company and some style, I was alone again before flying home. It was bliss. It … Read More

Dear Santa

Santa is coming to my home village this evening to turn on the Christmas lights. We take this sort of thing very seriously in Cornwall, where villages and harbour towns raise funds all year to put on a colourful display. You people in Oxford Street do not know what you are missing; nothing beats the sight of coloured lights twinkling … Read More

A fairy tale in Bristol

Last weekend I was in Bristol (city of aggressive drivers and confusing road signs…), hosting the Level 1 Writing for Wellbeing course for the Orchard Foundation with my colleagues Fiona Hamilton and Pete Weinstock. We met at the Tobacco Factory in a room the colour of warm sage, with a gathering of participants who were interested in our theme for … Read More

Freedom to write

Does the sort of writing you do at work or ‘real life’ ever get you down? I am thinking of the things we have to write as part of the day job (if you have one), the forms we have to fill in, the lists we have to make and the records we have to keep. Thinking of my own … Read More

A week in the life

Have you ever wondered what a writer actually does with their time? I was talking to someone recently about running groups for writers and how that part of my work fits with other elements of what I do. I noticed a look of what I took to be confusion crossing her face. She had thought that the two hours I … Read More

Happy National Poetry Day

The world is awash with lists: ‘10 favourite books that have touched your life’ is the one going around Facebook at the moment. The idea is that you post your 10 titles and nominate two other friends to do the same; an endless chain of recommendations. When I did mine recently I struggled to stick to fiction. It made me … Read More

When does a writer write?

I love this time of year. Like spring, late summer is a time of year when we can feel the season shifting. We see it in the colours changing in the garden and hedgerows, we feel it in the cool evenings and we scent it in the damp morning air. Life has a ‘back to school’ feel to it, which … Read More

A retreat to tweet about

My friend Miriam Halahmy has been to stay, making my house seem like a mini writing retreat for the week. Miriam is a published author of novels for children and young adults (or YA). Her cycle of novels set on Hayling Island, Hidden, Illegal and Stuffed, is published by Albury Books. I recommend these novels to anyone who is into … Read More

An alternative to holiday reading

The papers are full of ‘what to read on your summer holidays’ lists. The format is ubiquitous; ask a range of writers, politicians and other media regulars what reading matter they are taking to the beach, up the mountain or into the back garden for their summer reading. The answers range from the light and frivolous to those that suggest … Read More