Creativity

Lifting the barriers to writing: the writers’ log

June 17, 2013

On and off, over the years, I’ve thought about keeping a journal to reflect on my writing process.  I think the motivation for this lay partly in the excuse to buy another notebook: something with a pretty cover or smooth, cream paper which would contain all my brilliant insights into creativity.   Tweet

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What stops you writing?

June 1, 2013

My friend Bec Evans is researching the habits of writers.   She’s not interested in whether their beverage of choice might be Earl Grey or espresso (though personally, perhaps because I’m nosy, I always find those details fascinating!  You can find out my preferences for such things in a Quirky Q&A on the Newbooks site here).  […]

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The Next Big Thing

January 9, 2013

I’ve been tagged by two writers, Emily Midorikawa and Alison Taft, to take part in the blog meme, ‘The Next Big Thing’ – a sort of virtual chain mail interview passed from author to author, in which they give an insight into their works in progress.  I thought I’d buck the trend and talk about my radio […]

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Meet play laugh learn grow…and write

November 25, 2012

Last Monday I attended my first ever Women’s Institute meeting.  I must admit, I was intrigued.  For me, the WI always conjured up images of conservative, grey-haired ladies in twin sets and pearls.  But the WI seems to have had an overhaul of its image recently.  There isn’t anything remotely conservative about the Hebden Bridge […]

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Re-storying

August 6, 2012

I’m back home from a summer break in Scotland, part of which I spent in Eshieshields, a small estate in Annandale hidden amongst lush woodland and populated by red squirrels and hares.  My friends Em and Dougs live there in a tied cottage, raising their children, tending the land, keeping chickens and practising their art […]

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The glint from the corner of the eye

June 26, 2012

One of the pleasures of working for the Arvon Foundation is being visited regularly by the extraordinary and talented writers we book as tutors and guests.  Our guest reader last week was the poet Paul Farley.  As his latest collection The Dark Film attests, his work covers a breadth of cultural reference points – childhood […]

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Connectedness and seeing the shape of the whole

June 12, 2012

Yesterday was my birthday, a good day if ever there was one to go and see a film.  In my town there’s a wonderful independent cinema, which serves homemade cake and Fairtrade tea and coffee.  Sometimes the film is incidental – it’s more about the cake and coffee and being out with friends than it […]

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Homecomings and gateways

August 7, 2011

It’s a poignant thing, coming home.  There is familiarity mixed with the distance of estrangement.  The house smells like itself, like it does always, but you’ve forgotten and the time away reminds you.  The place feels bigger, or smaller maybe.  It’s changed irrevocably since you were last there because of the things you’ve done in the meantime, the places you’ve been, […]

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Escape

July 22, 2011

It’s time for a holiday. I’m looking forward to spending two weeks in one of my favourite parts of the world, surrounded by water and woods and far away from any internet access. There’s mobile phone coverage, but only if I walk a little way up the rise and the wind is coming from the […]

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Dreaming stories into being

April 6, 2011

I’ve always been prone to dreaming.  I’m the kind of person who wanders down the street staring into windows, fantasising about the lives of the inhabitants.  During a spell as a hotel chambermaid I used to wonder about the person whose room I was cleaning, inventing for them a career path or relationship struggles.  It […]

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