The Blog Tour
In The Blog Tour the writer responds on their blog to three questions about their writing – then links to three other writers who do the same the following week. I was introduced to this idea by Jean Atkin. She’s an amazing poet and children’s writer who lives in the heart of Ludlow in Shropshire. Jean’s answers to these questions is on her blog and are full of practical wisdom and great poetry. Her take on a sense of place and on bike rides is worth a blog on its own!
Here are mine:
What are you working on? I’m about a third of the way through writing a novel about a community that’s set up in a country house. In the novel the house belongs to the son of a rich businessman who’s spoilt and gullible. He’s pulled in different directions and has almost given up trying to make the place work until Flora arrives. It takes (more…)
Haiku is not a kind of tag wrestling, as all creative writers know. It isn’t Sumo.
It’s a poetic form which originated in Japan. I won’t say any more than that for fear of being set upon by Haiku experts, but it’s short – which is nice in all sorts of ways – and there are some stunning examples. Some of the ones on this postcard are pretty good – Seamus Heaney’s of course, and John Cooper Clarke’s observation on the belief some have that Haikus have to be 17 syllables in total. You see, for some people it almost is a religion. It has ‘beliefs’. (more…)
Always liked postcards… well, I know nobody sends them these days, but they’re still good to get.
In the 1980s we used to receive these from a friend who was working as an architect in Nepal. I stuck them in my album and here they are. The women on these cards always had cigarettes in their hands and from what I remember the sight of them dropping through our letterbox used to traumatise our kids. I think they believed the women themselves had sent them and would soon be knocking on the door asking for a light or wanting to buy a cigarette off us.
The Poetry of Shropshire
Coming next week (November 2013) is a new anthology of The Poetry of Shropshire. It will be available from bookshops and other outlets at £7.99 or direct from Offa’s Press . I’ve had the pleasure of co-editing it with Simon Fletcher, manager at Offa’s Press. (more…)
Wellington Literary Festival
I’ll be at Wellington Literary Festival on the evening of Tuesday 8th October talking about my books, poetry and writing. This is a great free festival in Shropshire. Please do support it.
Rubery Book Award
This year again I’m one of the judges for The International Rubery Book Award along with Clare Morrall and Ann Evans. It’s a growing competition for independently published and self-published books with prizes of £1000, £200 and £75. (more…)
Spring in the air
Looks like a pleasant spring with plenty to keep me busy.
I’ll be at City Voices, City Bar, Wolverhampton on Tuesday 12th February 2013 reading from the short story (more…)
Residential writing courses
Not everyone likes the idea of spending a week with complete strangers learning how to be a better poet or playwright or novelist – but I’ve always enjoyed it. The surroundings are inspiring – and the food is usually good. So when I saw a request from Irish writing website writing.ie for experiences of residential writing courses I thought I’d give it a go. You can see the result at http://www.writing.ie/resources/gathering-inspiration-some-thoughts-on-residential-writing-courses/
Seven Minute Stories
Delighted to be at the Copthorne Hotel in Birmingham on Tuesday 20th November as part of the showcase of six commissioned writers, who had been working (more…)
Readers’ Group stories
In spring I was commissioned by West Midlands Readers’ Network to visit a readers’ group, talk to them about what they did and where they operated, and to write a short story based on what they’d told me.