The Zen of Unemployment

  This is the button I’m definitely not going to push before, say, February’s rent is due. I’m puttering on with Volume 2  so that if/when the day to self-publish dawns I’ll have the convincing makings of a series. And when I’m not writing I’m keeping the hamster wheel of domesticity turning. The mending basket…

Read More

Displacement Activity

Displacement activity, definition: an unnecessary activity carried out to avoid a difficult or unpleasant scenario. Examples: A bird, faced with an ambiguous situation  –  should he fly away or hang around for some potentially nutritious crumbs?  –  will peck the ground.  A dog, unsure whether or not he’s in trouble, will scratch himself. A writer,…

Read More

Words for the Season

Like every English schoolgirl I learned Keats’s Ode to Autumn by heart and can still remember fragments of it now. Uplifting as that is, I wish the part of my brain that retains poetry would also hang on to some useful stuff, like PINs and phone numbers. Autumn is a rich seam for poetry readers.…

Read More

Something For the Weekend

Thanks, first, to readers who sent me words of encouragement in these dark days. I may be out in the publishing wilderness but I’m still writing and probably always will. My dying breath will likely be, ‘Quick, a pen…’ I received a lovely gift yesterday: two issues of Slightly Foxed, that most charming and readable…

Read More

On Being Binge-Read

As I wait, anxiously, for publishers to break through the security cordon screaming, ‘Me, me! Let me be the one to publish your next undoubtedly brilliant novel’, I try to keep my chins up by staying productive. So how hath this little busy bee improved each shining hour during the past week? I repaired a…

Read More

Words in Their Mouths

The lowlight of my recent visit to the UK was when the Yeoman Warder tour of the Tower of London which my granddaughter and I had so looked forward to was cancelled for reasons of health and safety (rain, basically). I guess even the Royal Palaces have to be risk-averse in these litigious times. But…

Read More

On the Road Again

The suitcase is out again. I’m off to England later this week to inspect some of my grandchildren, catch up with some friends and, most important of all, to meet some of my readers. The Hampshire Festival of Book Clubs takes place next week at Lord Wandsworth College. What a lovely place to go to…

Read More

Writer NOT at work?

Writers sometimes hit the buffers. Maybe the brilliant idea they thought they’d had turns out not to be so brilliant after all. Maybe there’s a basic structural fault in their construction. Or, they think they’re suffering from writer’s block. Years ago they’d sit slumped over the typewriter snivelling, ‘I’m blocked.’ Nowadays they can find reams…

Read More

Publication Day!

So it’s out!  Anyone for Seconds, now available in all good book shops and perhaps in some not so good ones. It’s my seventeenth novel  –  at least, the seventeenth I’ll admit to  – and I’m sorry to say that for me publication days aren’t what they used to be. They used to be a…

Read More

Back in Business

By which I mean, behold my spiffy new-look website. What’s changed? It’s less cluttered and it is small screen friendly. This, I’m told by those in the know, is very important these days when even grannies use mobile devices and anyone under the age of 45 has the attention span of a flea. I’m not,…

Read More