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journal

journal

Little Duck Journey

Back on 30 June, Emma and I became foster-parents to a little rescue duck after he got brought in to the vets where Emma works when it got rescued from the jaws of a clients cat. Over the next three…

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journal

The price of publishing

In preparation for the release of Philip Pullman’s long-awaited La Belle Sauvage: The Book of Dust Volume One on the 19 October, I have been re-reading (should that be devouring?) the original His Dark Materials series. Aside from being awed yet again…

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Booker Prize: Selling my book 'strange and embarrassing'
journal, writing

The Dreams of a Writer

The Dreams of a Writer

What did I always want to be when I grew up? Well, aside from wanting to live like Peter Pan and never grow up – I founded CAGU, the Campaign for the Abolition of Growing Up – I wanted to…

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journal

Good Reasons for Writing by Hand

I originally wrote this post for the Alliance of Independent Authors‘ blog, where I explain why I choose to write by hand, tempting as it might be to jump aboard the latest technological bandwagon. Can I persuade you too to give it a…

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journal, writing

First Sense of the Season

First Sense of the Season Misty mornings of August days. Curled leaves lie in the gutter With fallen conkers, shells split Bunches of elderberries, squashed a cushed, fermented smell that lingers in the still, fresh, air. A day of muted…

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journal

Entrapped by story

Entrapped by story

Last night I began to reread Philip Pullman’s Northern Lights. Even though this is one of my favourite books I think I’ve only read it the once, and I can remember that time like yesterday. I can remember discovering the…

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journal, writing

The final push

The final push

So Wimbledon has been and gone, which is always a blessing and a disguise. I always feel that I haven’t made the most of it, and watched enough tennis. That said, it does mean that I might finally get back…

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journal

A Cathedral of Books

A Cathedral of Books
Today I have discovered my new favourite bookshop and it’s going to take some beating! For somewhere so local, it is criminal that I have never been to Banbury’s Books and Ink before – they’ve been there for 12 years… Continue reading
journal, writing

Ghosts in the Woods

Barney and Emily run, shrieking through the woodland. Plimsoled feet through the dry, leafy floor. Carol sits with her Sony Walkman under the tree with the initials and dates carved into its stretched sides. Hugo talks maths puzzles with the…

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journal, writing

Lion’s Mouth

Weep not for the mighty oak brought down by wind and rain, and the weathering of a long, full life now ended. The soul of the mighty oak though, lives on New trees grow from the rotting stump, and fauna…

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journal

10 Years On

Ten years ago, it was my last day working at Blackwell. A Monday. An odd day to have the last day, but when you’re being made redundant to be replaced by a machine… This means it’s also ten years since…

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journal

Giving Voice to the Silent

On Saturday I took part for the second time, as author and panellist, at the 3rd Hawkesbury Upton Literary Festival. I reprised my role from last year for the talk on Writing About Difference. This is a discussion that, just…

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journal

Pathways

I’ve always had a thing about paths and pathways, so when I saw on instagram that that my relatively new friend Laura was reading The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane and that it was a book all about ancient paths…

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journal

The day The End came

The day The End came

The outcome of the European Referendum on 23 June last year was a shock for me as it was for just about half of the population of my country. I am a child of the European Union. The United Kingdom…

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journal, writing

Mr Tumnal, Aspergers, and Me

Mr Tumnal, Aspergers, and Me

Today sees the start of World Autism Awareness Week. Autism and aspergers are hidden conditions. At their most pronounced autism is a condition that can isolate people from the world and make it hard for them to cope, but even…

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journal

Blustery times in the garden

Sunday. It was bright but blustery day today. As part of much-needed Emma-therapy I took her up breakfas in bed of cereal, white tea, and buttered hot cross buns and then settled down to a leisurely breakfast myself. Then I…

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journal, reviews

Adventures in poetry

Selected Poetry of John Clare by John Clare, edited by Jonathan Bate It’s been a perrennial ambition of mine to read more poetry. Unlike last year when I fulfilled an aim to read Tolstoy’s War & Peace, poetry is much…

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journal

Bang!

Wednesday started with a very large Bang! Possibly thanks to my very large sleep in on Saturday/Sunday night I have managed to get up to catch the earlier of two buses this week, and today was no exception. On the…

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