• Home
  • /Posts Tagged ' Writing '


Trends of one sort or another

Another short list: for my first and probably only ghost story, which bears the peculiar title ‘Potter, Dimity, Lilies.’ When they announced this news, Spooky Tales/What the Dickens? Magazine promised an ebook anthology and – how lovely! – a paper edition as well. Several months and emails later I have discovered that the anthology has ... Read More

Think Week: Myth and Discovery.

What’s unique about human beings?  Not tool-making, not language, not solving physics problems. Storytelling. It’s Think Week in Oxford. A week’s worth of challenging (and free) events. The one that might be of most interest to readers of this blog was a lecture by Gregory Currie, Professor of Philosophy at York:’The Human Mind and the ... Read More

‘Ups and downs’ or ‘You can’t win ’em all’

Got over-excited after an agent ‘called  in’ my whole novel and a chapter breakdown. But they didn’t take me on.   I should have known it would be tears before bed time.  But I’m glad to say I actually enjoy the feeling of hope and confidence that sweeps over me when I press the send button ... Read More

What it’s like to make news

Over the last three days I’ve experienced at second hand what it is like to be sought after by the media. It’s been exciting. My friend Nora Crook, Professor Emerita at Anglia Ruskin University and a noted Shelley scholar, has discovered some Mary Shelley letters in the Essex Record Office and the news ‘broke’ while ... Read More

Too short for a novel. Too long for a novella. Shall I send my protagonist to a godless assembly? and other questions.

Someone who knows what she is talking about told me that I’d be wasting my time approaching agents with a novel of only 60,000 words. Unless I’m Julian Barnes or Heinrich von Kleist. Perhaps it isn’t ‘fully realised’ ? That’s the posh way of saying skimpy and trivial. What’s to be done? I hate long ... Read More

Too much to tell

You’ll probably recognise the problem: if you delay writing to  your friends with your news, the news builds up and the challenge  of producing a catch-up becomes very daunting. In January I began a University of East Anglia/Guardian part-time course at UEA’s London campus. Two things drew me: the tutor is Adam Foulds whose novel ... Read More

Spring comes to Oxford

(Wrote this in February but didn’t publish it. So I thought I might as well. In fact, spring didn’t really come to Oxford till this week. I’ll try and do a catch-up piece soon.) It’s sunny and the Thames is sparkling. My writing this morning isn’t. On St Valentines Day I got no cards or ... Read More