100 Books of Me Part III

This is an interesting bunch. At a time when I was searching to find my own ‘voice’ in my  writing, I turned to as many varied authors and narrative perspectives as I could. From DeLillo to Atwood, from a story that explored the entire basis of christianity (The Good Man Jesus and the Scoundrel Christ) […]

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The Self-Conscious Writer (Review of The Blind Assassin)

Ah, I love the holidays. I’ve been putting off reading The Blind Assassin for ages, simply because I despaired at how long it would take me to read, never mind the extra weight it would add to my bag. A combination of relaxing holiday time, a six-hour train journey to France and a bad back […]

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Make Me Believe

At this time of year, I’m inclined to throw off my cynicism. There aren’t many times you can walk through a crowded train station and have a huge group of stressed passengers, simply smiling at each other as they listen to a band or a choir singing some carols. Giant flashing reindeer may not be […]

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Foraging for Ideas

In the last few months, I’ve found myself running around Hampstead Heath thinking ‘I need to find an idea for a short story.’ Thanks to sites like Creative Writing Ink, I’ve got a monthly alert of short story competitions and deadlines for magazine submissions, all laid out on my Google calendar. The problem is, I […]

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Steps

In February, the sun stoops low before your eyes have  fully widened, so it feels like you never wake up. I peered into the fading light, indistinguishable bodies cluttered in the street. Heels were a bad idea. They announced my arrival in sharp clicks, made it impossible to be a hidden observer. Even in tights, […]

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The View from the Other Side

I’m trying to write a book with a dual narrative. It seemed like a good idea at the time. When I found myself wading in a sea of post-its, spending three hours on a Thursday afternoon shuffling them around to try and figure out how to intersperse the two stories I’d written independently of each other, […]

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Office Politics

I’ve never worked in an office. I remember a teacher I used to work with swapping for a more ’normal’ job. She spoke of the euphoria she felt when she could go to the toilet, literally, whenever she wanted. Non-teachers don’t understand the true meaning of bladder control, that feeling when you look at your […]

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Writing the Unwriteable

So what’s your book about then? It’s the obvious question, once you’ve fessed up to what you spend a large chunk of your time doing. There are several options here. You can keep it vague, although you run the risk of sounding pretentious: It’s about gender identity. You can make it very specific, more about […]

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Myself and I

I’m reading Margaret Atwood On Writers and Writing. It’s lovely to read an author musing on being the very thing that they are without sounding too grandiose or other wordly. Long have we been exposed to the accepted narrative that The Writer operates on some higher and more noble plane than mere mortals, and it’s […]

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A Tricky Business

I have about two minutes to avert disaster. From her little piping voice to a spreading stain and another bout of hand washing clothes and disinfecting the sofa/car/my neighbour’s dog is about two hundred seconds. Although I will go through this another two times with my later children, at the moment, it’s my first attempt […]

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