Murals, Belfast, 2016

I’ve previously written about my failed experiment with NaNoWriMo and why writing a 50,000 word novel to order in 30 days wasn’t for me. And yet, in a moment of madness and inspiration (I’ve just discovered Northern Irish poet John Hewitt), I’ve made a commitment to write a poem a day for the 30 days of April […]

I’ve been thinking about beginnings a lot, since, well, the beginning of this new year.  I’m currently reviewing my manuscript for And The Buntings Flew, having put it away for a few months; that distance allowed me to clean up what I’ve written to date, and forge on with the story. I’ve now got 35,000 […]

This month’s poem of the month came to me during a work meeting recently; it was a somewhat attenuated review of some annual targets, and the use of jargon and corporate buzz words led my gaze to fall from the screen and out of the window to the street below. Students from the nearby university […]

I’ve just created this new regular feature for 2019, after re-reading some of my favourite poems; it occurred to me that I’d discovered many of them by browsing around online on all sorts of sites, literary and otherwise. Some of these poems have become touchstones in my life,  and I revisit them regularly to refresh […]

Hi constant reader, I’m still here, in case you were wondering; I took a summer/autumn hiatus from all things writing; my creative outlets were limited to completing a drawing course, gardening, and some pre-Christmas knitting. I promised to read more (and more physical books – Kindle on a tablet makes it way too tempting to […]

Make voyages. Attempt them. There’s nothing else. – Tennessee Williams Sometimes, rather than peace coming to me “dropping slow“, it’s inspiration. The inspiration to realise my writing dreams waxes and wanes, given the daily grind of job, commute, and paying the bills. Waiting for inspiration doesn’t get things done, and it can be interminably slow […]

Today I received my copy of the first anthology from Reflex Fiction, titled “Barely Casting a Shadow”; my short piece “The Shore Road” made their summer 2017 flash fiction long list.  It’s great to see your words in print! If you get the chance, do check out the stories published at Reflex Fiction, there’s some really […]

I’m not going to list out all the famous authors who had to persist through dozens of rejections until their magnum opus was snapped up. And I’m not going to name that Decca manager who rejected the Beatles as a passé guitar group on their way out. I’m not even going to dwell on Stephen […]

I posted in January about the snow hanging around like an impervious, unwelcome house guest; this week we’ve just seen the back of the latest batch! Some gloomy forecasters predict the UK will have a white Easter; I choose to ignore these pessimists (with fingers crossed). It has been an unseasonably cold late winter and […]

Blessed Imbolc! The ancient Gaelic celebration of Imbolc, or its Christian equivalent Candlemas, is observed today (the date moves around, but it’s usually on the 1st or 2nd February), halfway between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  Imbolc heralds the start of Spring, and for (Irish) Christians it marks the feast day of St […]

I really enjoy this short mystery tale that I wrote for Goodread’s #MysteryWeek in May; the idea is to write a mystery story in no more than five sentences. I pushed the five-sentence rule to the absolute limits of credulity-twelve hundred words! – so I’ve edited the story to more reasonable sentence lengths while minimising […]

It’s been a few months since I’ve posted, even though in the interim I’ve had a couple of flash fiction stories published; my non-writing life got in the way, and family comes first. I hope you all had a great Christmas and New Year’s, constant reader; a gift I inadvertently gave myself for 2018 was […]

Felixstowe beach

May and June have been busy, momentous even, and I’ve struggled to find time to write and update the blog. I did, however, snatch the time for a quick trip to the seaside; we are pretty much in the centre of the landmass of England, and the coast is a long drive in every direction, […]

“The themes and tropes that interest, inspire or worry us are timeless” At her historical fiction blog, A Writer of History, author and blogger M.K.Tod (Mary) recently posed a series of questions to readers, and bloggers on the subject of what constitutes successful historical fiction. The questions posed by Mary were: What’s your definition of successful historical fiction? […]

It’s nearly May, and as well as hopes for warmer (or at least consistent) weather, my thoughts have turned to murder mysteries and crime; May 1st – 7th is Mystery Week on Goodreads, and I’m taking part this year! Goodreads have organised a raft of activities for mystery writers and readers between the 1st and […]

“Progress is not an illusion; it happens, but it is slow and invariably disappointing.” – George Orwell   (All photos © Margaret McGoverne 2017) So, dear reader, I’ve published my very first work of fiction  and the truth of the Orwell quote above has hit me hard. Writing the story is only the first step; I’m […]

I recently published my first work of fiction, an Alternate history/Sci-Fi novella, The Battle of Watling Street, using Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). This may turn into a short series of posts, but for now I want to limit the discussion to the technical/formatting challenges and benefits I discovered with KDP. Hopefully this will help […]

I am a published author of a historical/science fiction/alternate history novella! Yesterday was D-Day. After feverish last-minute formatting and some tiny revisions (how can I still find things to tweak after dozens of self-edits, software edits, beta readings and more edits?), I took the plunge and submitted my book to Kindle. I’ve entered Amazon’s Storyteller […]

I already have Pinterest specifically for my writing, with boards for my two novels-in-progress; you can view them here and here  – please do follow the boards if you like what you see, I do follow back! I’m slowly amassing followers on Pinterest, and it seems that with the very targeted appeal of each board, it could be a useful […]

(Edited to add spiffy new cover design!) At 3.30am this morning, while putting the finishing touches to the edited and expanded second draft of my first completed work of fiction, my laptop froze, and I lost 5,000 words of creative frenzy. Half an hour of despair followed until, predictably, a youngster rescued me and found […]