Blog

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Writing in More Than One Genre

Conventional writing wisdom states you should pick a genre and stick to it. Typically this would be the genre you enjoy most. Love reading fantasy? Write fantasy. Adore romance? Pen a love story. 

 

Thoughts on Being Judged by Others

I have people talking inside my head. They’re real to me. I made them. Sounds nuts, right? But that’s what writers do; we walk around day in, day out, with fictitious characters muttering inside our minds. I have conversations with my characters so I can get to know them, and yes, sometimes it’s out loud.

 

Wasting Writing Time

When I have a story idea in my head, if someone asked me what I would like most in the world, I would give a selfish answer:

To magically have enough money appear in my bank account every month so I could spend my days researching, writing, and editing without having to worry about how the bills would be paid.

 

Reading in Dreams – a creative’s super power

According to sleep scientists, humans are not supposed to be able to comprehend meaningful text while dreaming. We might see letters or numbers, but they will not make sense even if you feel you understand. The parts of our brain responsible for that kind of activity, such as Broca’s area, are typically less active while sleeping. This means written words will be as jumble of meaningless rubbish. See links at the end of the blog.

 

 

British Agents and Women Warriors of WWII

I’m in the research stage of putting together an archaeological action/adventure novella series with a lesfic and paranormal twist. Research is my favourite part of the writing process. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy creating characters and bringing them to life; indeed, the characters for this series came to me years ago. But a large part of writing is knowing the context of the time, place, and circumstance in which your characters live. 

 

Creative Dreaming Recipe

Sometimes I can’t wait to go to bed just so I can dream. 

My dreams have always been vivid: full colour, surround sound, tactile, smell-o-vision, IMAX-quality 3D. I’m a fly on the wall watching a movie or I am one of the characters. 

 

Book Photography and Curious Cats

Over the weekend I started pottering about with the portable photographic studio I picked up the other day.

 

Shibden Hall Photo Blog

The weekend before last, I took off into West Yorkshire and spent an afternoon at Shibden Hall, near Halifax. The Hall dates to the early 1400s and was the home of early 18th Century landowner, business woman, diarist and lover of women, Anne Lister.

 

Sharing My Writing Craft Book List

I enjoy helping people, especially new writers, so I’ve added a section to my web site just for writers.

At the moment it includes the writing prompts that are posted on this blog and also a list of books I own on writing craft that have helped me improve my writing skills. I’ve included a summary for each book from the back matter. Most are available from Amazon if you think they may be useful to you.

 

I’m So Excited!

Firstly, I apologise for the exclamation mark.

Secondly, I’m so excited!

Recently, I’ve become tired of grabbing all my images from Pixabay. I want to make my own images.

 

How Do You Measure Your Success?

By some accounts, I’ve failed at life. I don’t own a house or a car. I don’t even drive. I’m in my forties and childless. I’m not married. I don’t have a massive amount of money in the bank. 

 

How Writing Poetry Helps Me Improve My Prose

A lot of you already know I write short horror stories with dark and twisty themes. What you don’t know, is that I sometimes I write poetry and it helps me improve my prose.

 

Book Review: Gentleman Jack – The Real Anne Lister

I’ve known about Anne Lister and her diaries for around fifteen years and have always found them fascinating, so I jump on any new Anne Lister related material. This book was designed to complement the BBC Drama aired also on the American HBO Network. It does its job very well. 

 

The Only 2 Things A New Writer Needs To Know

I’m in my mid-forties, so I’m a little old school. While I listen to podcasts, watch YouTube channels on writing, follow people on Instagram, like them on Facebook and review them on Goodreads, I’ve still found no better advice. It goes back to the dawn of story, and it boils down to this:

 

Book Review: Premature Burial and How It May Be Prevented

I bought this for research purposes as I’m currently writing a short story that features a Waiting Mortuary. I had actually read the original 1896 and 1905 publications in .pdf format back in 2017, but I wanted a hard copy for my bookshelf as easy reference. My research collection always freaks visitors out.

 

My Disability Sneaked Up on Me and Affected My Writing Life

Yesterday, my cousin and I had a meeting with a Councillor who also happens to a Minister of Parliament to pitch a proposed project for my day job. I’ve not done anything like that before, even though I’ve taught at University and led tours of archaeological sites.

 

My Latest Book Haul

I went on a book buying spree a few days ago for interest, research, and writing craft. If any one is interested in any of the titles I list them below the image, left to right. I purchased them from Amazon.

 

5 Ways To Avoid Being A D*ck on Facebook Writing Groups

Lots of people join Facebook writing groups to improve and share their writing. Others join to help newbie writers. I’m a member of three groups, all of which have large numbers of members. I might be preaching to the converted here, but there are some things that bug me. I see plenty of people helping others, but I also see some pretty bad behaviour, most of which stems from ignorance and assumption. What follows is based on some of the things I’ve seen, seriously.

 

Friends and Family Poisoning Your Passion for Writing?

  • I asked my friend to read my story and they said yes, but it’s been six months and they haven’t said anything.
  • My father said he would read my story, but all he said was, ‘Yeah, I read it.’ That doesn’t tell me anything!

 

 

What Did I Really Learn About Punctuation and Grammar at School?

The quick answer is: not a lot. But that doesn’t make for much of a blog post. I read a post earlier this morning about the semi-colon; it was a good read. But it got me thinking (this may turn into a rant-ish post), I could not remember being taught about semi-colons at school.

 

5 Things My Cats Do to Stop Me Writing

Since 2007, I’ve become mother to seven rescue cats. I love them to bits, but sometimes they drive me mad, especially when I am trying to write.

 

Writing – Accent Exercise

I like dialects and I like accents, particularly regional English accents because you can travel twenty miles down the road and find people speaking differently. I was born in Australia, but my father is from Nottingham, so I was used to a Midlands accent before I moved to the UK eighteen years ago. I live in South Yorkshire, and while only a forty-five minute drive away from where my father was born, the language is different. I have arguments with my step mother over whether it’s a bread cake or a cob (that’s a bread roll for all you normal people).

 

My Notebook Fetish

I am sure I am not the first writer to blog about their notebook. But I might be the first to write a first draft in my notebook while lying in bed at eight minutes past midnight covered in cats. Meh, who am I kidding?

 

Feeding Creativity

A bit of back story. Publishing my first collection of short horror stories has coincided nicely with my father and step-mother making the trip over to England from Australia so I could take a bit of a break. When they come over, they like to drive around and see all the green that is England rather than the drought riddled countryside of Australia.

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