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Shopping list for writing

Between the oats and the creme fraiche

falls the positive frame of mind.



Balter: to dance artlessly [the Wednesday Word]



BALTER – to dance artlessly, without skill, but with enjoyment.

Thanks to for today’s word, which I shall be shamelessly employing on Saturday at my friend’s wedding, after singing the Olivia Newton John part on You’re the One that I Want (stitch-on leather costume still under construction.


Murderous Harrogate

The seventeen smartest things I heard at Harrogate Crime Festival 2014


Worse Things Happen at Home, wise panel, wittily run by NJ Cooper, with Helen FitzGerald, Cath Staincliffe, Julia Crouch and Chris Ewan.


If killers are born and not made, are they less guilty or more guilty?

Is intent an essential part of guilt?


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Mnemonism & Astonishment – Peter Brook’s Valley of Astonishment

Mnemonism. Synaesthesia. Proprioception. The Valley of Astonishment at the Young Vic was a delight. I have followed Peter Brook’s work since I was a student, discovering him through The Empty Space, a seminal text for playwrights and actors who seek that magic of the unfamiliar that theatre can offer, a magic often obscured by hype, staging, acting. I shall never forget his

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Tall ships, tall stories. Portsmouth Fairy Tales authors as interviewed, viewed and askewed by the talents of Elysium Eight.

Portsmouth Fairy Tales Documentary from Elysium Eight on Vimeo.


More about this collection of fairy tales for grown-ups containing dark tales, historical fiction, sci-fi, comedy, fantasy, crime, memoir and surreal fiction, all set around

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Every so often, an author must google themselves. Not from pure narcissism (not just), but in order to fill in applications, cvs, author bios. This can produce unnerving results: I recall the Wilkie Collins Society describing my characters as cardboard and my plot as flimsy. So it’s nice to find this review by Louise about a story I wrote

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Black Hole Spaghetti

Great talk for the Portsmouth Festivities by the multi-talented Lucy Hawking, not just an author but an engaging performer. I might have been daunted at presenting my book to the school hall full of children at Mayfield School, Portsmouth. Not so Lucy, who wowed them with science and charmed them with stories.

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I give you the USB typewriter. I’ve gone back  to typewriting. On my typewriter. I know, I know. This affectation has puzzled friends and given my wife a rattling in the ears. But I keep finding new reasons to pursue it:

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Epic Zella Tales – and a dusty guitar under his bed

Epic Fairy Tales & Mysteries at Our Own Doors, 21 June

– how to write an epic fairy tale (for grown-ups) – how to write your life story (or fib about it)

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Storehouse: stories that we tell ourselves

A morning pages poem: the stories that we tell ourselves.

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