The Memory of Place

For the last 21 years I have holidayed at the same beach on the Coromandel (a peninsula in New Zealand’s upper North Island, beloved by Kiwis for its beaches and holiday homes and summer activities). Eighteen of those summers were spent with my ex-partner and his family, with my daughter added to the mix when […]

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The Pantser and The Second Act Sag (Or, more things I have learnt writing a novel)

I’ve finished my first novel, and plans are underway to publish it. As I bask in the afterglow (AKA the thank-feck-that’s-over, Netflix-saturated, crap-magazine-reading malaise), I’ve been reflecting on the novel-writing process and what more it has taught me (You may also want to read my earlier post, Ten things I have learnt writing a novel). […]

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Escaping Ourselves

“But if these years have taught me anything it is this: you can never run away. Not ever. The only way out is in.”–Junot Díaz, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao If you’ve pottered around my site for long enough you will know that I’ve been writing a novel. It’s finished now, and I’m in the […]

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Ten things I have learnt writing a novel

I’m giving my manuscript a final proofread before submitting it to a potential publisher later this month. It’s been years in the making, this novel. It has sat, untouched, for months at a time. Life has gotten in the way, including setting up my own editing business, raising my daughter, becoming single, rebuilding a life, […]

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Left Brain, Right Brain – can you be an editor and a writer?

I’ve just launched a new Facebook page – one dedicated to my creative writing. It’s called Patricia A Bell, Author (@thebellbirdwrites). I’ve decided I need to separate my creative writing and publishing from my proofreading and editing business, and build my author platform. I used to write a blog post here and then post it […]

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Endings

Today I’d like to say a brief word about endings. We hear a lot about beginnings, and how difficult/important they are. “A journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.” (Lao Tzu) “The beginning is the most important part of the work.” (Plato) “Every moment is a fresh beginning.” (T.S. Eliot) “For fucksake […]

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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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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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The Magic Thread

My last post, A Letter to my Daughter, got me thinking about the connection between parents and their children, and how it never truly breaks, even when tested by conflict or emotional damage or grief or fear or numerous other challenges – and even when either or both parties think it has been irreparably damaged. […]

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