It Has Been a Long Week

A long week but, mostly, a good one. I ran four workshops in three days, two locally, two not so locally and I enjoyed them all very much. And I had a really wide range of ages, which keeps things interesting and fun. I taught children (7 to 11 years old), I taught young adults at college, and I taught retired people. And it was fun.

And speaking of children, here’s the display that the library have put up showing the work from last year’s junior writers.

juniordisplay1 Juniordisplay2


And this just popped into my google alerts. A nice mention and an excellent collection. Definitely worth a look. Go, see, folks.

Another Busy One

Another busy week for me, mostly dealing with things that only proper grown-ups should have to deal with. But we plod on, don’t we?

I had my first session with the next group of junior writers yesterday and it was brilliant. I’m lucky that I’ve got another great bunch of children with such brilliantj1 ideas. And, I think, one of the best things about it all is seeing how willing they all are to help each other. I’ve often said that writing’s often a collaboration (be it between writer and reader, or editor or illustrator) so seeing it in action, and so naturally, left me feeling happy.

After that I toddled over to my local radio station where my adult writing group recorded some of their stories. They’ll be broadcast soon and I’ll let you have the details and times as soon as I know what they are.

And I think that’s about it for now. I have edits to get back to. And ironing.

One Week In

So we’re one working week into the new year and last week was definitely a work-heavy one. Writing happened and stories were worked on. I wrapped up a big project with someone I’ve been mentoring and I’ve been assembling stories from my writing group for them to read on local radio here (more on that and how to listen, if you’d like to, nearer the time). I even got my hair cut and made soup.

Tomorrow, as long as books arrive, I’ll be finishing off a display in my local library of what my junior writing group produced and getting organised for the next group which,  I think, will start the following week.

And a story of mine – a brand new one that’s never been seen before, will published in March. Again, more on that nearer the time.

All in all, it’s not been a bad start to the year. Hope it’s been kind to you too.

And here’s a song



So it’s here, is 2015. Hello there! And it already feels a little different to last year, which is probably a good thing. For starters, it started, for me somewhere other than where I live. I took a holiday of sorts – my first in years – and it was wonderful and I feel so much better for it. I think it’s easy to get into a rut when you do what I do for a living (I’m guessing most self-employed people will share this) and breaking that rut, putting work to one side for a little while in favour of other important things, is important. So I did and I’m glad I did. I wandered and I ate great food and helped to cook. I read to people and I listened to other people read, I watched fireworks over a city skyline, watched films, and found happiness and it was good.

And now I’m back at my desk, and I’m missing that but feeling positive, and still happy, and feeling like this year could be a good one if I get the balance right. I’ve come back to a couple of new stories that need working on too, which is good. I’m working on those now.

Wishing everyone here all the best over the coming months. Let’s do good good stuff.

Happy New Year

Just a quick post (I’m not really at my desk at the moment, I’m taking a couple of days for me) to wish everyone a very happy new year.

And a huge thanks to everyone who’s read this little blog this year, who’s visited, who’s read or bought or lent or recommended my books, who’s supported me, published me, who’s been on my course, put up with me teaching, mentoring, sat through a workshop, or who’s just been a friend, old or new. Thank you, it means a lot.

Hoping the next year brings you at least a massive chunk of what you want.

Much love. Now, go! Have fun. Smile. Be happy. Look forward to something.

Hot Off The Press

So, on Tuesday I spent an hour with the children I’ve been working with over the past couple of months who’ve been coming along to my junior writing group. And it was fun, and it was a bit special, because that’s when they received their actual books. They’ve been writing and illustrating their stories brilliantly, and once they were done, thanks to the fab Bookimbo, I was able to turn them into actual little paperbacks. And they looked brilliant. The children read from them, people who had nothing to do with the group listened and it was fab. I’ll be running the same course starting mid January, so if anyone’s interested then do give me a shout.

A big thanks to all who came. It’s been an awful lot of fun and I’m seriously proud of what everyone’s achieved. Great work, folks!

And here are some pictures…The Booksgroup1 group2 junior1 junior2 junior3 junior4 junior5

Christmas Offer

So, as it’s almost that time of year again I thought I’d mention that all of my books can be ordered as presents. Only £10 each, signed and with a personal dedication with postage Cover 180x180-2OBBY DVDincluded. Let me know (you can use the form here) if you’d like any.

And while I’m talking of special offers, my online short fiction course is still only £89.NSPcovercropped

Paper Talk

One of my lovely neighbours caught me in the entrance hall yesterday to tell me I’d been mentioned in the local paper. The article’s not really about me at all of course, it’s about Jenny Martin, a writer I’ve taught for a little while now. More importantly it’s about her brilliant collection of war poems, Aftermath (click here to buy) with a foreword by the magic Dame Vera Lynn. And here’s the article. Apologies for the poor quality.



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