Sunday, August 18, 2019

It's All Words, I Guess

This is what I will not be doing next February:


Pekka Halonen Washing on the Ice 1900
(wiki commons)

I applied for a writing residency in Finland and didn't get it.  (To be fair, there was no mention of washing clothes outdoors, but I did like the painting.)  So now, I'm writing more applications for more residencies that I have since discovered.  Writing applications is hard work.  I'd rather be writing a novel.  But, as it says in the title, it's all words, I guess.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Ruins on XZ5 and Writing About Writer's Block

Current tasks: continuing on with the new novel about archaeology on an empty alien planet and finishing an article for Vox on Writer's Block.

Not surprisingly, Wiki Commons doesn't have any images I can use for a story that so far doesn't exist outside my fevered brain and slightly warm computer, so I'm offering this instead: 


Ta Phrom (Angkor Wat complex) 
(wiki commons)

Sunday, August 04, 2019

Writing About How I Write

This week I have a 500-word piece to write for the RLF Vox series on How I Write.

I would like to say that my writing process looks like this:


Volkan Yuksel (wiki commons)

But really it's a lot more like this:


J.E.H. MacDonald The Tangled Garden 1916 
(wiki commons)

Well, needs must.  I'm going in.  Here's hoping I've packed enough snacks ... 

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Ribburta and the Run-Ragged Babysitting Adventure


Sometimes procrastination throws up surprising results. I stumbled across a short story I wrote for Spider Magazine back in 2013 which has been given a new life as a book!  You can find it on iTunes on the Apple Store here.  Apparently been there since April Fool's Day 2019, which could make you wonder, but no, it really is a thing.  

It's not easy for a frog to be a phoenix, but Ribburta and the Run-Ragged Babysitting Adventure has managed just that!

(Don't forget another reincarnation - Ribburta and the Rootintootin' Highfalutin' Ballet Extravaganza which started out in Spider Magazine in 2010, can also be found in Spider Presents: Short Stories, Big Laughs (2011).  You can't keep a good frog down!)


Saturday, July 20, 2019

Itis and the Labyrinth

Last month, Arvon launched a free 5-Day Poetry Challenge.  Poet Jen Hadfield provided the 1400 of us who signed up with a daily prompt.  At the end of the challenge, we would have a poem about a part of the body.  Then, if we wanted to, we could submit our poem to a competition.  As I was in the not-so-loving arms of labyrinthitis at the time, I wrote about the inner ear ...  Really pleased to get an email saying I'd won third prize, and now the winning poems are up on the Arvon website.


Thank you, Arvon!


Right human membranous labyrinth, removed from its bony enclosure 
and viewed from the antero-lateral aspect. 
Henry Vandyke Carter (illustrator 1831-1897)
from Gray's Anatomy
(wiki commons)

My third prize poem "Itis and the Labyrinth" can be read here.
Jill Munro's first prize piece "Iris Pupil" can be read here
Jo Matthews won second prize for her poem "Lonely" and you can read it here.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

When is a Tree Not a Tree?

When it's a banana.  

I'm working on a new 26 project called 26 Trees.  I am in the "Explore" group which was encouraged to look at trees outside the UK.  When I was in Jakarta, and fell in love with a banana tree, it was disappointing to discover the banana tree isn't technically a tree at all.  Tall as a tree, looks like a tree, everybody calls it a tree - close but still, er, no bananas.  (It is, in fact, a herbaceous plant.)  I pleaded for being able to write about my banana "tree" anyway, and my editor gave me permission.  The result will be unveiled later this year, but in the meantime, have some photos -










Saturday, July 06, 2019

The Log Driver's Waltz

Over on The History Girls, I've posted about the Canadian Log Driver's Waltz.  Join me for a little of what pleases girls completely.


Log drivers 
(wiki commons)
(they're Swedish, but the technology is the same)