Writing small

I posted this wonderful quote on my Instagram account today. (bellbirdwords). This is so important, and it’s an issue I help many of my clients with. It’s closely related to the “show, don’t tell” rule; another vital principle of good writing that I’m often reiterating to beginner writers. It’s tempting to think you have to […]

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Dandelion Clocks

It’s nearly spring; my favourite time of year. I wrote this story after I had witnessed my precious cat Lucy being run over in front of me. I wanted to commemorate her in some way, and I also wanted to reflect on the immense power that throwaway words and small gestures can have, particularly when […]

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Mother

I take your hand as we prepare to cross the road. You sigh into the safety of me, and I grip tighter to tell you that I love you. I kiss your forehead as you sleep and as you breathe in, breathe out, your face free from pain in loose and dreamy folds I straighten […]

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When You Are 50

When You Are 50 When you are 50, you are reborn. The same skin, the same face, the same body, but different. You are in the next half, now. You cannot waste a moment. When you are 50, you love this face, this skin you’re in. You love that quick temper, that wild laugh, those […]

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The Lost One

Last year was a year of endings and new beginnings for me. Heartbreak competed with hope and a new sense of freedom. This is the first story I have written for quite some time. I scatter pieces of someone else’s imaginary life in front of me. It has been expertly broken. It is up to […]

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A Letter to my Daughter

To my daughter, This is your last week of primary school. I couldn’t let it go by without writing to you. It’s what I do to process my thoughts and feelings; to line things up in my mind until they make sense and form some sort of pattern; to express what sometimes cannot be said […]

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Never Too Late

After a difficult year during which I felt no creative impulses whatsoever, I have started work on my novel again, rewriting and editing my way through a second draft. It had been sitting in a drawer for over two years. I’m excited, if a little rusty. I feel very out of practice and I have […]

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It’s OK to be Slack. Really.

  There is so much pressure today to be better, quicker, faster, more efficient, more creative, and to be constantly doing something “worthy”. (Oh, how I hate that word.) For writers, the pressure is on to write every day, to consistently be inspired and enthusiastic, to produce work on a regular basis, to be observant […]

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Spring

Tomorrow is the start of spring in my part of the world. I would like to share two poems that herald the arrival of my favourite season. One is my own, and one is by the English poet Philip Larkin. Both hold sadness and hope in equal measure. Nothing is either this, or that. Even […]

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Building Bridges

A friend sent me a much-needed text yesterday. Earlier in the day we had walked together and I had updated her on the very difficult period I was going through. Here is an edited extract: Darling, I’m so so sorry that your heart is so heavy. You’ll get through this…Keep thinking and living in baby […]

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