The answers to all your writing questions!

This section of the website will gradually build up to provide the answer to all those difficult writing questions, such as: How do you set up a home office? How do you conduct a successful interview? How can you boost your online presence? How can you improve your chances of winning writing contests? How can you gain your first paid writing job?

The first of these posts goes live first thing tomorrow, so look out for it!

More Water Than Land

untitled cr Katy Webster

For the Totterdown Front Room Art Trail 2011, I coordinated a group of writers to collaborate with artists across the trail, producing pieces inspired by some of the artwork.

I wrote this poem in response to Katy Webster’s abstract painting shown here. Curiously enough, when I showed the written piece to Katy, she mentioned that she’d had the idea for the painting while on a train journey. You can see more of Katy’s work at www.katywebster.com.

More Water Than Land

If she half-closes her eyes, the world blurs against the window,
hills and fields transforming
into a view that seems more water than land.

The scene is so familiar she almost inhales the sweet,
damp smell of crops soaking up rain; puddles mirroring
the fading sheen of the twi-lit blue.

Daylight has already begun to ebb, inviting night
to creep in, and her own reflection to supersede the countryside
of memories she journeys through.

Something tightens in her gut at the thought that not long after
her face becomes an apparition haunting the glass,
she’ll arrive back in the place she once called home.

She closes her eyes fully, blocks out the rain-smudged scenery,
feeling only the thud-ah-thud, thud-ah-thud
of the train rushing her on.

Tackling the issue

Boat ride, toesEver noticed that during November more men than usual are suddenly sporting upper-lip fluff? It’s all down to Movember, a charity that raises funds and awareness for and of prostate cancer and testicular cancer.

James in poolA while back my hubla, James, fought, and won, a battle with testicular cancer. 

Two years ago I wrote a feature about it for Women’s World magazine, which they have kindly agreed to allow me to re-publish here. Continue reading

Madeira – Island of Romance

View from Monte Palace Tropical Gardens, MadeiraA longer version of this feature was originally published by Portugal Magazine in 2007.

Much loved by British holidaymakers, Madeira is an island of exotic flowers, friendly locals, and more than its fair share of luxury hotels. An evocative, mountainous landscape is a constant reminder of the Madeira’s volcanic origins, while the Atlantic Ocean is visible from every terrace and balcony. Reputedly first discovered by an eloping couple shipwrecked on its shores, the island whispers legends from its valleys to its peaks, making it the ideal location for a romantic holiday.

Continue reading