In the Thick of It

With one week to go, the nature of our trip has changed a lot. We’ve gone from itinerant dwellers and lone travellers to cohabiters with a group of four others in a flat in LA for an entire week. No more quiet meals and being in bed by 9pm. We’ve been chatting around the table […]

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Winding Down

This week marked an important event – we booked the very last accommodation we’ll need until we leave. No more trawling through listings every few days, no more comparing prices and amenities and weighing up the best option. Looking back over our trip, we’ve stayed in eighteen AirBnbs and twelve hotels. That’s quite a lot of […]

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Big Moments, Little Moments

Moments of consequence only become so after they have passed. Once you have enough distance to appreciate their magnitude. Sitting on a plane, the world shrunk to a line of glass circles, the only thing I have in my head is a string of lyrics to an inane pop song. At some point I will […]

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Where Have You Been?

For regular readers, you may have noticed a little gap in my posting. That was down to the small matter of having given birth and then spent the last few months trying to figure out the communication clues of a tiny person, as well as napping whenever possible. After 11 weeks we have gained a […]

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Non-Fiction (like pie) is your Friend

My shelf is in danger of falling down. We put it up to replace the bedside tables, so it hovers above our heads, laden with all the stuff I used to cram into those drawers. A basket filled with far too many tubes of half-finished hand cream, assorted earphones, toe separators, the tiny glass pig […]

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What Does Progress Look Like?

Everyone loves to feel like they’re progressing. The problem is, for some things, outcomes are not quite as tangible as we’d like. If I were an aspiring baker, I’d continue to work on my crumb texture, or perfect the proving of my bread (I only know these words because of Bake Off). As a runner, […]

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All Change (Shift Your Focus to Re-Energise Writing)

The leaves on the tree outside my window are dying. But they are so beautiful in their death. Near the top, they still have green hearts, tinged with an acid-bright red. Towards the bottom, they’ve faded to yellow, as if dipped in custard. Every year this tree stands for months with naked branches. Not until […]

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The Dangers of Over-Plotting

The results are in. After months of worrying over the impact the new English GCSE would have on our students, we’ve found that, thankfully, they’ve done about as well as we expected. Look a little closer, and you could see the particular issues this new system has thrown up. Unsurprisingly, in English Language, the question […]

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Give Yourself Credit

I’ll be honest, it hasn’t been a great summer for the word count. Finding myself at the end of a mammoth edit for one novel and fiddling around with ideas for a new one has not exactly led to an outpouring of sentences. Always a bit of a ‘should-er,’ I find myself getting a little […]

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When Writing Seems Impossible

One of my favourite reactions to the question ‘why do you write’ came from Lisa McInerney when I saw her at the Emerald Street Literary Festival last year. She’d just won the Bailey’s Prize for fiction (you can see my thoughts on the book here), so she had reasons to be cheerful. Her answer was […]

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