I’ve been organising a writing competition for ten years on behalf of the writing group I belong to. Our first competition was a “toe in the water” and I personally guaranteed the prize money which amounted to £350, should we not receive enough entries. We made a small profit on the competition and since then have used any competition surplus to increase the following competition’s prize money.
Deciding to write, in principle, is straightforward enough, but the immediate hurdle to follow is deciding what to write about.
For many people, unfortunately, this is the one they stumble over so badly that they never get back up. For others, the choice is obvious; with particular interests and experience in one
There does seem to be a strong tendency in the British to dismiss an enjoyment in the discussion of the written word as pretentious, in this world intellectual is an insult.
It is very much linked to the view that science is either undertaken by otherworldly boffins or madman bent on creating something that the
There seems to be list for everything these days, many of them designed to make us feel inadequate. 1000 must-do’s before you die, 50 craps towns in Britain, 100 albums you must have in your music collection, the top 10 best cafés you should visit in Paris, the 5 must have pair of shoes for your summer collection, the 10 tropical diseases you should experience before you die.
I once took a New York City cab whose driver grew up with my mother.
My father once gave a ride to an elderly woman while on business in Italy, only to discover that 60 years earlier, she’d been one of his father’s girlfriends.
People ask me, “Where does your family find these stories? And how did you come up with the stories in your new book Eat Now; Talk Later: 52 True Tales of Family, Feasting and the American Dream?”
Last week I had the unfortunate experience of being lectured – sounds harsh and believe me she was, by a person who calls themselves a writer but who doesn’t actually write.
You know the sort, individuals who spout writing advice, give lots of opinions regarding what I should and shouldn’t do with my work and yet hasn’t committed a single creative
In four weeks’ time, I will be looking out over the sparkling waters of the Sound of Mull from a squishy sofa in the conservatory of a small Hebridean hotel.
I’ll have a notepad and pen in my hand and I’ll be lost in the colours and sounds of the sky wheeling with gulls and hopefully sunshine, or quite possibly rain. I won’t care which. This is time for me and for my writing.
If you were to ask me who my favourite author was, I’d probably stall for time before attempting to change the subject. I don’t do favourites. Some people make up lists of their top books, films, music, actors or pencil sharpeners and rank them in order. I’ve never been able to do that. For me, I either like something or I don’t. Trying to quantify them beyond that is hopeless. What I choose to do
Do you, like me, ever suffer from writers block? You know, those periods when you gaze, for what seems like hours, at a blank piece of paper or a blank, opened Word file on your computer screen. No matter how hard you try you can’t think of a thing to write and the more you try, the more hopeless it becomes. Yes, this is what’s affectionately known as Writer’s Block.
We’ve just moved house. It’s been quite an undertaking – hubbie and I have accumulated a lot of debris (aka, crap) in the two decades we’ve been together and, when you add kids to the mix, the stuff we have could fill the Albert Hall. Snowboards, tents, kites, George Forman grills – items we use irregularly but can’t get rid of, as well as the day-to-day clutter that comes with modern living. Play Stations. Wii’s. Gadgets galore.
But the thing that our hardy group of helpers complained about when assisting us with the move was the books. Boxes and boxes of them. Hubbie has a large collection of law books and tomes about gardening.
The kids have boxes of “Thomas” books, “Julia Donaldson” books, “Little Miss” books,