Words of wisdom

This week I’m returning to my novel. I’ve been away from it for almost three months. It was critiqued by my writers’ group, then came Christmas, then I got ill, then I wrote a proposal for a PhD. Now, we’re into January, the application has been submitted and I’m starting to crave my imagined world […]

All that glitters

During the past two weeks I’ve been sleeping in a tent in a field on the south coast of Cornwall, in the place where my third novel is set. I’ve been holidaying with friends and family, and writing, and all the time making mental notes of the subtle changes in weather, the habits of local birds; […]

A room of one’s own

Every morning over the past week I have stood on the edge of the land, so steep that if I stumbled it would give me up to the sea. On one side is a tumbling promontory that looks like a sleeping dragon, with its curved spine, ridged tail and ribs on either side. The sea […]

Finishing touches

I have been at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre for a week putting finishing touches to my second novel. I’ve had my bottom firmly on a desk chair for 12-hour stretches each day, and I now have what I officially call ‘writer’s back’ which is compression in the lower back and a pain between my shoulder […]

Writers and their ghosts

Last year I discovered a brilliant writers’ and artists’ retreat – so special, in fact, that I am tempted to keep it secret, but then I wouldn’t be able to write about it, so… I have been on numerous Arvon Foundation courses and retreats over the years, and went to the Hurst in January 2012 […]