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A Happy Fail

I've often wondered if it's possible to have time off as a writer. 

Even when you're not actually sitting at the keyboard, or researching, you tend to be thinking about your work. 

But I've had a very busy year, so I resolved to take a break this Christmas with at least a day away from writing.

Guess what? 

I failed. Totally and hopelessly. 

It's Christmas Day and here I am, writing a blog. 

After having done some editing on my young adults book, that is. And writing a writing tweet as well. 

I'd call that failing with style!

Usually, I... Read more

Writing Relationships

A writer is at the centre of a whole lot of relationships - 

With your readers, agent, publishers, characters, publicity people, and more. But for me one of the most important relationships, however quirky, is with...

Your pen. 

Like many relationships in life, these don't last forever. They can be beautiful and fleeting, they might be practical and longer lasting. Sometimes, you can be lucky enough to get both. 

But they're vital, whatever. 

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By my bed, I have a whole load of pens, ready to spring into action. But the only one I use at... Read more

Problems, pressure and privileges

There are two ways to look at the last week in the life of this humble scribbler - 

A big pile of pressure, or an incredibly privileged position. 

Call me a hopeless optimist, but I tend to the latter. It's the usual explanation you've heard me go on about time and again in these musings. 

You get just the one life... go live it... seize the moment... explore it... all that stuff. 

This is real pressure; hungry mouths to feed, all relying on you - 

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(See how I spotted the opportunity to slip in a... Read more

Thought Triggers

I'm often asked - what's the most important quality you need to be a writer?

Many potential answers bounce into mind. A hard work ethic, persistence, an observer's eye, great vanity, even greater stupidity...

But probably top of the list comes imagination. 

Without the mind doing its wonderful random pinball ricocheting thing, there's no creativity and innovation, no insights and understandings. 

I spotted a simple but delightful sight this week which set my imagination firing...

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Who was on the bench? Not partners I thought, as they were sitting too far apart. 

Unless they'd had a tiff.

... Read more