Viewpoint: Where’s my inspiration gone? Lockdown has taken all my ideas away.
28 Thursday Jan 2021
28 Thursday Jan 2021
07 Monday Dec 2020
Why does it take three clicks to log out of one of my particular social media accounts?
When I’ve had enough of idly dribbling my way through dozens of posts, I give myself a mental jerk and want to log out immediately. But no. I have to click on my profile; then click to select ‘Log Out’; and finally click again to actually log out.
30 Wednesday Sep 2020
Writing for a living can sometimes feel a little like being a doctor.
Imagine meeting someone from the medical profession at a social event (imagine too that we’re allowed to have social events someday soon). Aren’t you even slightly tempted to tell them about your dodgy knees or the heartburn you think might be something more serious? Or you might have read about a cure for the common cold, and you use it as a conversational gambit because you know they’ll be interested.
23 Thursday Apr 2020
I should be asking what you’re reading at the moment. I should be enquiring how you feel about the latest bestseller. I should ask you to name your top ten summer reads. I should be posting pictures of a stack of books in my TBR pile.
I could even show a little video of me teasing you as I prepare to cut open a cardboard box with a pair of scissors to reveal – WAIT FOR IT – the paperback editions of my latest novel. Continue reading
26 Thursday Mar 2020
I wonder how many other writers, bloggers and reviewers are getting a tad fed up reading all those hints and tips about how to ‘survive working from home’.
A huge number of salary earners can no longer go to their offices so they’re forced to balance laptops on whatever table’s available, hold video conferencing calls instead of attending interminable meetings, and make their own sandwiches instead of popping into Pret’s at lunchtime. For many it’s the first time they’ve had to work like this – and sections of the media are going overboard with suggestions as to how to cope. Continue reading
13 Friday Mar 2020
Right. That’s it. That’s me done with Facebook and Twitter. Let this blog be a warning if you try to engage with social media.
Do you engage? Daft question – you’re reading this on Facebook or Twitter, so you’re engaging. But to what extent? Continue reading
01 Wednesday Jan 2020
First, a confession: this list is a steal – an idea borrowed from my friends John Jackson and Paul Smith, who recently posted similar records of achievement on Facebook.
It seemed such a lovely thing to do – so here, in no particular order, are my top ten moments from 2010-2020:
Meeting my granddaughter Iris for the first time
Sorry, I lied: this is definitely number one on my list.
Iris has enriched my life in ways I could never imagine, and it’s been an unexpected delight to watch my eldest daughter, Megan, blossom as a mum.
Travelling Down Under to visit my youngest daughter, Annie, during her gap year-and-a-half in Australia
Next time, I’ll fly business class and stay for longer than four weeks, but in all other respects, it was a wonderful holiday – although saying goodbye to Annie at the end of the trip was heart-breaking. Continue reading
07 Monday Oct 2019
You can hardly open a newspaper this month without there being articles featuring comments, opinions and stories by, from and about celebrities.
Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis on why she’s banned from wearing bright clothes on screen; David Cameron talking about his daughter asking if it’s true he was prime minister; former Radio 4 Today presenter John Humphrys accusing the BBC of bias…
And many more… But why now?
Easy: it’s literature festival time and these celebrities have been appearing at one or another – because they’ve got books to flog. Continue reading
26 Thursday Sep 2019
There have been lots of messages on Twitter and Facebook about when writers started to write fiction with the emphasis being on those who didn’t start ‘seriously’ until they’d given up full-time, paid employment.
It seems a remarkable number waited until they retired before feeling they had the time (and the financial resources) to take up writing – even if writing was something they’d wanted to do since they were young. Continue reading
06 Thursday Jun 2019
I’ve recently taken part in an academic research study looking at life for women in the media. I hesitated before agreeing to take part as I stopped working as a journalist five years ago and now write fiction.
But it got me thinking about what life was like for a young, female journalist in the 70s, 80s and 90s.