I used to 🙂 them but now I’m 🤔

I was sending a text to someone the other day, and it got me thinking. This person had let me down and I was feeling a little put out, but not enough to be harbouring any resentment. She texted, “Are we all OK?”, in response to which I sent back the word “Yep.” At least, […]

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Me and my big mouth

It’s interesting what you do if you just have to. I’ve been having some ongoing shoulder issues, so I’ve been learning some hard lessons about slowing down and adjusting my work habits. I won’t bore you with the details, but I had a steroid injection in my right shoulder on Monday and I’m having to rest it […]

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Writing prompts: useful or not?

Some people swear by writing prompts: exercises designed to give the writing process a bit of a kickstart when you’re stuck. Personally, I find them a little prescriptive. I prefer to fly by the seat of my pants. I might have an inkling of an idea, so I set it down on paper. Then I […]

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Ten tips to beat writer’s block

This is an extension of my last post (Writing tips: come and get ’em). It repeats some of the tips, but I’ve added five more, and some other new stuff. Keep reading. “Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.” – […]

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Writing tips: come and get ’em

I’ve just added a new string to my bow: as part of my business I now offer a Writing Advice service as well as proofreading, editing and writing assistance. Check out the services I offer here. This came about because in the course of proofreading and editing book manuscripts and other documents, I found I was spending […]

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Show, don’t tell

“Don’t tell me the moon is shining; show me the glint of light on broken glass.” This quote by Chekhov may be familiar to some of you. It encapsulates perfectly one of the rules of good fiction writing: Show, don’t tell. Even my eight-year-old daughter knows what it means – they’re taught it at school. […]

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A trio of poems

In honour of World Poetry Day (which was actually yesterday), I thought I would re-publish three of my own poems – poems that are dear to me in very different ways. The first I wrote for my daughter, the most precious thing in my life. It tries to capture those moments in the wee small hours […]

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Show Business for Shy People

Lee Child once said that “writing is show business for shy people”. This quote resonates with me, particularly at the moment, as I am performing in The Phantom of the Opera at the famous Civic Theatre in Auckland. I’ve been doing musical theatre for many years, but a year or two ago I pulled back from […]

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10 things I learned from writing a novel

After six years, I have a manuscript. It’s not perfect. I have no doubt that a professional assessment will highlight a number of areas I still need to work on. But I’ve got a complete story, and I love it. The last few years have been quite a ride. Here are ten things I have […]

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It Is Finished

Well, well, well. What could that intriguing pile of paper be? Looks like a book manuscript to me. Looks like the blood, sweat and tears of 6 long years poured out on 187 pristine white pages and printed off today. It looks like the finished* manuscript of my first novel. Excuse me while I pop […]

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