I was always odd, the resident freak or weirdo in any situation. And then I became a sound engineer. As a woman, that makes me exceptional. There aren’t many of us, so when I heard about Laura Marling’s latest project, Reversal of the Muse, I gave a cheer. It’s about time there were more ladies… Continue reading The Only Girl: the search for female sound engineers
“I traffic in fiction. I do not traffic in lies.” Alan Moore reminds me of an Old English Sheepdog with a wry twinkle in his eye. You just know he’s got a juicy bone hidden somewhere. He’s best known for his comics, like Watchmen and V for Vendetta, and for the fact that he hates… Continue reading Alan Moore on the magic of fiction and imagination
I know the exact day I became a writer. It was Friday 23rd April 2004 and I was walking to work. As I dodged the rush hour traffic, a story unspooled into my mind that was so compelling I knew I must write it down. I arrived at work, grabbed some paper and scribbled down… Continue reading Why Do Writers Write?
Here’s a randomly generated short story I created using Plot Generator – a site that lets you input various details and then creates a random story with your settings. You can use it to get inspiration or just to mess about and have a laugh. The results are proof that creative writing involves a little… Continue reading Proof that robots will never be authors
Riding free as air he buoyantly comes home through evening mists in wide straw-hat and cape. Wherever he may go he creates a fresh breeze, while in his heart profound tranquillity prevails. This Ox requires not a blade of grass. Now you’re starting to get the hang of this awakening business – but don’t get… Continue reading Ox Herding Pictures: Riding the Ox Home
“Every single time you sit down to write – a story, a poem, an essay, a novel – it will be a brand-new experience. No formula works. The mystery that solved your previous story doesn’t speak the same language as your current story. The key that unlocked the sonnet of yesterday won’t work today. Accept… Continue reading Writing Isn’t Like Making a Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich
There’s a new mindfulness craze sweeping the nation: colouring books for adults. It’s supposed to help you relax and be more mindful, but does it work? The idea is that keeping your hands occupied allows the mind to become still. If you struggle with normal meditation, where you have to sit and do nothing but… Continue reading Colouring Books: Art Therapy or Mindless Money-spinner?
“I keep remembering this strange little story I heard in Sunday school when I was about the size of a fire hydrant. It takes place in China or Korea or someplace like that. It seems there was this old farmer outside a village in the hill country who worked his farm with only his son… Continue reading David Foster Wallace on Writing & an old Chinese Tale
This writing exercise is a way to challenge yourself and have fun at the same time. The idea is to pick three random words, the more disconnected from each other the better, and then add an emotion. Then you write for ten minutes and incorporate all the words in a way that conveys the emotion… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Random Story Generator
Another writing exercise to get the juices flowing! This time we’ll explore five of our favourite words – these could be any word you like or whatever is rattling around inside your head at the moment. Try to choose words that are concrete rather than abstract, words that point to something real, not an idea.… Continue reading Writing Exercise: Five Favourite Words
I’m preparing to rewrite my second novel (again) so thought I’d limber up with some writing exercises, get the old fiction juices flowing. I’ll share the instructions for each exercise and the results, and you can ‘write along’ with me, if you like. Note: I’m doing these exercises longhand and then typing them up –… Continue reading Writing Exercise: What’s in a Word?
Where there is light, there is darkness, but hidden within the dark are the seeds of creation and the key to finding the light. In the last two posts we met the predator and discovered how he works in the story of Bluebeard. It’s time to get our hands dirty and jump into the viper’s… Continue reading Sympathy for the Devil: the Nature of Evil