Posts tagged Writing

A Story From a “What If?” Moment

One evening in Crete, a couple of years ago, I saw something that made a lasting impression on me. A small boy, maybe eight or nine years old, sitting in front of a large green rubbish bin, with an accordion in his hands and a mournful-looking dog by his side. He wasn’t playing the accordion, but just holding it and gazing at nothing in particular. I felt compassion, of course. But I also felt that the scene had been highly orchestrated to produce exactly that response. I felt sorry for the… Read More

Creative block? It’s not about the time

It can be hard to find the time for things we want to do, whether it’s writing a book, completing artwork, learning to speak Russian, or anything else. Life is busy, we say. I don’t have time. The thing is, that’s not strictly true. In even the busiest lives, there are pockets of time in which extra things could be accomplished. But these are times when we’re either too stressed or too tired to do anything worthwhile. What’s missing is not the time, but the mental energy. For example, I… Read More

New Bitmead Bursary Winner Announced

Winning the Luke Bitmead Bursary back in 2008 changed my life in many ways, some of which I’ve detailed on the blog before. One thing I haven’t written about so much is the wonderful people it introduced me to, most notably Luke’s mother Elaine Hanson. Losing a son is one of the hardest things for a human being to experience, and losing that son to suicide at a young age must be even harder. Elaine has had the strength to create something wonderful from the wreckage: an annual prize that gives money and a… Read More

I’m back!

It’s been a great couple of weeks. Total silence really did me some good. I realised how much noise I have in my life, even though I live in quite a peaceful, rural location in Crete. Not talking or communicating in any way for ten days was fascinating. On the first day, my mind was all over the place, and I couldn’t meditate for more than a minute without following some ridiculous train of thought. But gradually, day by day, hour by hour, my mind cleared, and it became natural… Read More

Generalities are the enemy of good writing

That was quite a general statement, so let me explain. Good writing involves seeing something in a fresh way, and that means seeing it for itself, not for its category. I was sitting here writing this morning, and saw a fly land on my desk. I was about to swat it away, but then I stopped seeing it as a fly, and started to see it as an individual creature. I watched it closely. I watched it reach up and clean its wings with its back legs. I watched it… Read More

Interview with a writer (and his cat): James Higgerson

Check out this short interview I recorded the other day with James Higgerson, Manchester-based author of The Almost Lizard. In the interview, James tells us how he wrote the novel, what he wanted to communicate, and what most surprised him about getting published. He also gives us a sneak preview of his next novel, Kid Gloves, inspired by Britain’s tabloid-fuelled obsession with child protection. And watch out for some unscheduled guest appearances by his cat, Omar… For more information about The Almost Lizard, you can: Read the review I wrote on… Read More

A bit of nonsense

I was struggling with my writing this morning, and somehow ended up procrastinating by changing all of the words in the first paragraph of my novel A Virtual Love to the first option that came up on Word’s thesaurus function. This was the result: The timepiece marked noisily cutting-edge the still obverse area. We observed on him, consequently that we didn’t must toward appearance on all additional. The pointers of the timepiece remained altogether that enthused, separately after certain well atoms of powder whirling cutting-edge the motionless, sincere mid-air. I… Read More