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OUT OF THE STORM – a piece of flash fiction

A piece of flash fiction I wrote a while ago, experimenting with 500 word length – it seems appropriate for recent weather conditions! Somewhere, not too distant, a door bangs.  Stable, barn or shed, the dull and comfortable thud of wood against wood. Rose moves to the window, stares into the darkness, presses her face...

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THE PERILS OF THESE DASTARDLY FACE MASKS …

Who would have thought? Of all the subjects I imagined I could write about when I first embarked on writing a blog, face masks were not exactly at the forefront of my mind. But like those various other words and phrases that have entered our  common  day to day usage this year – think furlough,...

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MAKING THEM REAL …

Characters – the essential ingredients in any novelist’s store cupboard. In fact, for novels that are character rather than plot driven, these people form the foundation and structure of the whole business. For me, it’s where it all starts. Not with a high speed, complex and action driven scenario that will propel the thing from...

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A CELEBRATION OF LIBRARIES

This week, as most book lovers and avid readers will know, is LIBRARIES WEEK, and a chance to celebrate our wonderful, much-loved and treasured libraries that for many of us have been an essential part of our entire lives. In fact, it often feels as if libraries have been more formative and vital to me...

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MOTHERS AND SONS in LITERATURE

A child needs your love when he deserves it least – Lionel Shriver’s line from We Need to Talk about Kevin which sums things up so succinctly and entirely that it seems any other words written about mothers and their relationships with their children are redundant. But of course some of our most famous works...

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WHAT’S IN A NAME …?

Quite a lot, it seems. In a name, that is. Juliet might have thought, in the throes of youthful passionate love at first sight, that it didn’t matter what Romeo’s name was, but readers of novels often respond differently. And writers too, of course. In the recent live Facebook interview I did with Hillingdon libraries,...

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The Potency of Cheap Music …

In Crete, despite the face masks and near deserted streets and beaches, it was possible to shut out a certain awareness of our current situation. The absence of constant media intrusion determined to present a negative and pessimistic view was thankfully absent. After all, there were no glaring headlines on the White Mountains visible from...

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WAKING TO CICADA SOUNDS

It’s very early dawn, barely the first sign of light, when the noises start – Cock-A-Doodle-Doos from a few roosters anxious to get on with the business of their day.  But they are easy to ignore and I am quickly back to sleep. Then it’s the first goat bells ringing – a less intrusive sound...

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Another Audio Blog – Enjoy!

Going to Chesham to record Chiltern Voice with Antonia Honeywell brought back many memories – because Chesham was where I began my teaching career. My first job was at Chesham High School in 1978 – an utterly exhausting, draining year as all initial – or probationary, as we used to call them – years are...