Sunday, July 29, 2018

Moniack Mhor and the YA SciFi/Fantasy Course

The YA SciFi/Fantasy course at Moniack Mhor last week was exceptional.  Every box you can think of was ticked - quality, camaraderie, quirkiness - weather and food - flexibility and gusto - and downright, upright, every which way fun.  So huge thanks to my fellow tutor Paul Magrs and every member of the crew of the Q.Q. Moniack Mhor.  Sail on!

(Veronica Lake)

(What's in a Writer's Toolbox?)

Saturday, July 21, 2018

The Book of 100 Days

I love being part of 26 projects, and their latest has been no exception.  In response to the 100th anniversary of Armistice Day, 100 writers have been asked to write 100 words (a centena) on someone who lived through World War I.  Here 's the brief:

Exactly 100 words long, with the first three words repeated as the piece’s conclusion, each centena will focus on an individual who was alive between 28 July 1914 (when Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia) and 11 November 1918 (Armistice Day) and reflect the myriad ways in which the ‘war to end all wars’ affected their lives. While the individual will be a real person, each centena will inevitably explore the borderlines between fact and fiction. Our goal is to represent every part of society in the UK and internationally and create a unique meditation on war and peace from as many different points of views as possible.

The online project starts on 5 August and will run for 100 days, finishing on 12 November.*  But the organisers felt that the project needed to exist in tangible book form as well, and are busily crowdfunding to make that happen.  If you would like to have a copy of what I think will be a moving and beautiful book, please visit the page here.

*My slot is 10 November.

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A Need for Dancing Chickens

With the world the way it is, sometimes you just need some dancing chickens -

Sandra Boyton, Michael Ford, Ira Baker, and the Bacon Brothers

Saturday, July 07, 2018

Run Throughing

I have two weeks left to finish my work-in-progress up to a level when I can send it to my agent for a first read.  (Then I'm teaching at Moniack Mhor for a week and then we head out to Jakarta for Jamie and Astrid's wedding ... my life is a master class in balance and sedate pacing.)  And, after a wodge of slough slogging and diminishing returns, I am using the start-at-the-beginning-and-take-a run-at-it technique - and it's working!  I'm on the second full run through now, and have a hope that maybe two more after that will do it!

Will I make my deadline? To encourage me, and anyone else out there in a similar situation, I give you two running horses - and now it's back to work!

Running Horse Lascaux (wiki commons)

Uffington Horse (wiki commons)

Sunday, July 01, 2018

A Generosity of Summer