Detail from the author's bookcase
And The Buntings Flew, Reading and Books

What I Read in 2015 and My 2016 Reading Challenge

Firstly, I'd like to belatedly wish my readers and fellow bloggers a very happy, healthy, successful and productive New Year! I read a great post today by Donna at a little bird tweets about reading lists for this year and last; I decided that I need a similar challenge for 2016, so here's my list of what I did… Continue reading What I Read in 2015 and My 2016 Reading Challenge

Publishing and Self Publishing, Reading and Books, Writing, Writing Tools

How to Read Kindle Books without a Kindle

This post sort-of follows on from my last one (Are ebooks changing the way we read and write novels?) With apologies to those tech- With apologies to those tech-savy types for whom this is all old hat, I had a surprising conversation recently with a colleague who was asking how my book will be (eventually) published; when… Continue reading How to Read Kindle Books without a Kindle

Publishing and Self Publishing, Reading and Books, Writing

Are Ebooks changing the way we read and write novels?

As far back as I can recall, I've had an immoderate appetite for two things; sweets, and reading. One of my favourite childhood pastimes was to combine both; lying on my bed, or in the park, or lolling on the sofa with a large dog-eared paperback and a bag of American hard-gums, was my idea… Continue reading Are Ebooks changing the way we read and write novels?

Things growing in my garden
And The Buntings Flew, Writing, Writing Tools

Sowing the Seeds: What Being a Gardener Has Taught Me About Writing

"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson)   It's not an original idea,  just a homely little blog post, but I keep thinking about how becoming a gardener who can actually grow things is a useful metaphor for how I'm becoming a writer who… Continue reading Sowing the Seeds: What Being a Gardener Has Taught Me About Writing

And The Buntings Flew, Reading and Books

Novels That Explore Growing Up in Northern Ireland During The Troubles

I'm currently writing up chapter six of my novel, And The Buntings Flew, and its taking a long time; too long. I plan to end the chapter with the first major plot development, but I'm stuck on a descriptive section; something about what I was writing was bothering me, making progress slow. I've had to undertake quite a bit of research for this chapter, including remapping… Continue reading Novels That Explore Growing Up in Northern Ireland During The Troubles

And The Buntings Flew, My writing, Writing

It’s Been a While… News (And Micro Fiction Published!) Update

Dear Constant Reader, Firstly, apologies for this blog being a non-event recently; I'm only just recovering from a particularly long-winded chest infection during which writing of any form dwindled to nothing as my constant phlegmy cough precluded everything but itself. But I'm back in the saddle - I'm finishing off chapter 6 of And The… Continue reading It’s Been a While… News (And Micro Fiction Published!) Update

And The Buntings Flew, Grammar, Language & Dialect, Reading and Books, Writing

And it started with “And”

""And it stoned me"" (Van Morrison, 1970) The title of my novel in progress is And The Buntings Flew. It's a title I agonised over for a long time, so I'm not surprised when some people ask me, why does a self-confessed Grammar Prig have as the first word in the title of her first book, such… Continue reading And it started with “And”

And The Buntings Flew, Reading and Books, Writing, Writing Tools

How Low Can You Go? Novels, Novellas and The Renaissance in Short and Micro Fiction

"It had to mean something. And then I meant something, too. Yes, smaller than the smallest, I meant something, too. To God, there is no zero. I still exist!" (The Shrinking Man) I'm starting to flex my writing muscles now! As well as working on my novel, And The Buntings Flew, the past few months… Continue reading How Low Can You Go? Novels, Novellas and The Renaissance in Short and Micro Fiction

And The Buntings Flew, Reading and Books, Writing

My Name Is? Character and Place Names in Literary Fiction

I was introduced early on to the importance of names in literary fiction, being a young fan of Dickens - nearly all of Dickens' character names feel relevant, even if we can't place our feelings about some of them.  Compeyson, Magwitch, Pumblechook, Orlick - these names are all from one novel, Great Expectations. Other memorable… Continue reading My Name Is? Character and Place Names in Literary Fiction

And The Buntings Flew, Writing

Synopsis: And The Buntings Flew

It is 1975, and shy, thoughtful eight-year-old Purdey (short for Perdita) is a mongrel ....