Date Archives June 2009

Monday Morning Inspiration #11

I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day. But sometimes when I was started on a new story and I could not get going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of… Read More

“The Color Purple” by Alice Walker

This is a deeply religious book, in a couple of different senses. First of all, the main character, Celie, narrates the book through letters she writes to God. She is trapped in abusive relationships, first with Pa and then with her husband Albert, referred to by her as Mr ______. She writes to God because she has nobody else to talk to after her sister Nettie disappears, believed dead. Gradually, through her relationship with Shug Avery and piecing together the truth about her past, she rids herself of the traditional… Read More

Monday Morning Inspiration #10

“Central to natural writing is an attitude of wonder.” – Gabriele Lusser Rico Please share any quotes that inspire you, on writing or other topics, either by commenting on this post or by posting on your own blog and linking back (feel free to use the icon if you want). With luck, I’ll accumulate enough inspiration to get me through the week without any bouts of doubt and self-sabotage.

Good movies

I don’t normally review film on this site, and don’t plan to start. But I rent regularly from (for those of you reading in America, it’s a British version of Netflix), and have had a run of several really good films that I wanted to share with you: Our Daily Bread The Lives of Others Black Gold Vodka Lemon Our Daily Bread is hard to describe without making it sound like what it’s not. I could call it a documentary about industrial food production, but it’s absolutely nothing like… Read More

New publication: Quarter Passed

I’ve got an essay included in the new book Quarter Passed, published in the USA by Twenty Stories Publishing. It’s a compilation of stories, essays, poems and photographs by twenty-somethings from around the world (27 countries to be precise). I wrote the piece back in 2006 when I first moved back to England, when I’d just made the decision to give up my job as a reporter at the Wall Street Journal and put all my energy into fiction writing. I was feeling very insecure, with no real prospect of… Read More

Tonight on the Holloway Road

I’m gettin ready for a talk at Islington North library, just off the Holloway Road, tonight at 6:30pm. I’m a bit nervous to be meeting people who probably know the Holloway Road a lot better than I do. Hope I got it right!

London, Glamour and Grime

I’ve been asked to judge a short story contest run by the London Bridge Festival. Entry is free, word limit is 1,000 words and the theme is “London, Glamour and Grime”. More details and entry requirements available here.

Monday Morning Inspiration #9

“The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.” Friedrich Nietzsche Please share your own quotes with me if you’d like to, either by commenting here or posting on your own blog and linking back.