Insta Bellbird

Who knew Instagram could be such a useful platform for a writer/editor? For a long time I discounted it, thinking that I was a words and ideas person, not a pictures person. But eventually, with the help of my daughter, I succumbed. And I’ve been surprised at how useful and interesting it has been. I […]

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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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Choosing a Title

A short thought today on titles – specifically, choosing one for your story or novel or poem. Each time I start a new post here I am invited to fill in the “Title” section at the top. I used to struggle with this. I tried to come up with something creative and intriguing and clever, […]

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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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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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The Book Exchange

I’ve achieved some rather major literary goals this year, and last night I celebrated with two lovely women. There’s me in the middle. (Those holes in my top are a design feature, not a result of drunken undressing in the dark. I wish.) On the right is Joanna, and to the left is Sara: the […]

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How to Avoid Huge Ships

I want to share with you a marvellous book I was gifted earlier this year. I’m the first to admit I am a little anally retentive. That’s one of the reasons being a proofreader is the perfect profession for me – I love finding mistakes and correcting them. (Friends and acquaintances reading this: you may now scrape […]

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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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Employing a Professional Proofreader

This is an article I wrote for NZ Business and Management Magazine. It’s in the November issue, which is out now. You’re a business that prides itself on communicating effectively to its clients and prospects. You produce brochures, flyers and other written marketing material. Your website is a major component of your communications plan. Your company produces […]

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