Life

On the Loss of Touch

This week, I missed my grandmother’s touch. I didn’t hug my mum or kiss my dad’s cheek. I didn’t invite my auntie to come in for a cup of tea. I didn’t lean in to touch a friend who is hurting. I didn’t visit grieving family friends. Have we ever needed the solace of touch… Read More On the Loss of Touch

Life

The Lost Months

Six months since I was last at my desk in a quiet house. Six months since the pandemic drove the world to close borders and ground planes and shut people in their homes. Six months during which close to a million people globally have died from coronavirus. And now, in England, a tightening of lockdown… Read More The Lost Months

Creativity

Isolation and Writing

I’m sitting here in our library, with the clothes dryer whirring next to me. This room is no longer the domain of the kids’ toys and our books. It’s a temporary kitchen now, too, during lockdown, while our building work has been paused. We could have moved the books upstairs but this room would have… Read More Isolation and Writing

Life

Lockdown

We’re completing the third week of lockdown in England due to Covid-19. Historians suggest we jot down our thoughts during this time for future generations. This is a letter to myself. How quickly this new normality descended. How suddenly cities quietened: trains empty, playgrounds taped off, motorways deserted, tourist spots barren, churches shut, flights grounded,… Read More Lockdown

Creativity

My Favourite Writing Tools

Susan Kaye Quinn–all-round superstar, speculative fiction writer and scientist–often inspires me with her Facebook posts. She recently shared the writing tools she uses, which prompted me to update an old post of mine. I hope you’ll find some new and useful tools here. Please share in the comments any tools you use to make your writing… Read More My Favourite Writing Tools

Personal

My Wishes for You

Happy new year to you all!  I hope the coming decade is kind to you: that you grow wiser and softer, that you enjoy good health, long walks and wonderful books, that joy and comfort never leave your side, that long-buried dreams find the light and you always find your way through storms.  If you… Read More My Wishes for You

Life

In Pursuit of Perfection

Do you remember that classic answer to the interview question: what is your biggest flaw? The answer that still does the rounds and is intended to impress: I’m a perfectionist. Although, perfection is not a goal I chase nowadays. It has taken years to understand that perfection takes a toll. It breaks backs and spirits.… Read More In Pursuit of Perfection

Poetry

Death Spiral

Look out, another election looms to anoint a leader supreme Deals made in boozy backrooms Slippery beasts swimming upstream Raised with silver spoons Flaws as wide as a trench Every whim pandered to by fools Headed for the front bench Destroyers of democracy in cocaine-crusted mansions Steeped in oodles of hypocrisy Pushing murky transactions A… Read More Death Spiral

Personal, Poetry

In 2019, Just Be

It’s the start of a new year. We leave behind a year that many of us won’t miss, a year which seemed relentless with global news and human meanness.  I realise now, there is a limit to our control. We can stand up for our beliefs, we can make art, and treat others with kindness… Read More In 2019, Just Be