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 […]

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 […]

Murals, Belfast, 2016

““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 a […]

“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 […]

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 […]

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

NaNoWriMo is a fantastic concept for the budding novelist – the National Novel Writing Month which takes place annually in November saw more than 300,000 budding writers take up the challenge of writing a 50,000 novel in 30 days for the 2013 contest. I signed up in 2013, like so many others thinking this would […]

At work I may have many names unknown to me, but one I do know and revel in is “Excel Queen”. I just love spreadsheets; when used properly they have so many uses aside from bean counting and graphs. Excel permeates every aspect of my life, probably because I am a list person, chart your […]

I’ve written and publish a dozen or so non fiction (heath, well-being and spirituality) articles, but I decided a long time ago that I wanted to be a novelist. Wanting to be and getting on with it are very different things, and although I’ve been gathering material, carrying out research and messing about with names […]