Why I’m quitting writing

I texted my friend, today. Why do I get so much pleasure out of cooking corned beef? No reply required. My apologies if you’re vegan or vego. But. Corned beef! I use Stephanie Alexander’s recipe. I love poking the cloves down into the onions. Chopping the carrots, real rough. And the celery. Tossing in the…

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How archetypal energy is helping me transition into my ‘new’ self

I was talking to my spiritual counsellor the other night. She’s in the UK. We meet via Skype. We talk fast. There’s always a lot to say. I’m in transition. Have been for a few years. Slowly but surely, I’m moving from one stage of life, love and passions, into a new stage of life,…

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My Depth Year, 2019

My Depth Year is about noticing the everyday and acknowledging what goes on. This afternoon in the space of ten minutes, I saved a lizard from drowning in my watering can, buried a dead bird in the fairy garden and planted a row of black hollyhocks at the foot of a fallen mulberry tree. So…

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Part Three. My Year in Review: Work and biz, the flops and the favourites

Here’s Part Three of the trilogy, my love! Talk about a saga. Let’s start with This Writing Life. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly! The Good Truly Tan: Baffled! (that’s book seven) came out in October (in paperback and in audio). The series continues to delight old fans and gather new recruits. This year…

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Three problems I see with backstory

Remember that song by The Waterboys? The Whole of the Moon. ‘You know how it feels to get too high, too far, too soon… Whatevs I’m dickin’ around. Here are three backstory problems as I see them: 1 Too much backstory  Are you trying to tell your reader too much, too soon? Are your opening scenes…

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The winning stories in our Scribbles Creative Writing Awards. A rundown on each!

What a finale! The judging in the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards is over and our beautiful certificates are winging their way to our winners and highly commended. Other prizes are also being dished out! Sheesh. We don’t just give you a certificate and send you on your way! That is so NOT the Scribbly way!…

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Four ways to eat your writing

If your writing was a breakfast cereal, what would it be? No, seriously! Stick with me here! If you likened your writing (or your story) to a breakfast cereal, you might have some astonishing insights. You might even discover a fun and effective way to self-edit or rewrite. Step back from your work and try…

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Why do we care so much about shortlists?

Someone recently asked, what’s the big deal about a shortlist? What’s the big deal? A shortlist groups together the best!  It acknowledges the most accomplished of a long and always healthy collection of entries. It’s also how we make competitions like the Scribbles Creative Writing Awards, manageable — both for the judges and for the competitors. Imagine if we only…

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Creative writers: Two things you must have that I can’t give you

I’ve been thinking about teaching. I think about it a lot. You see, I’ve been gathering notes for another tutorial to add to the girl & duck Institute. This one’s about voice. Voice is one of my FAVOURITE topics. It should be every author’s favourite topic. Well. Top five at least. By the way… Do…

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Creative Writing Awards and a fantastic FLASH sale! (Plus Elsie’s ongoing makeover.)

Okay. So. I’m writing this while someone drills the outside walls of the studio. Not sure what they’re doing. It’s like there’s a giant dentist outside trying to break in. A painting just fell off the wall, knocked a cup of tea flying and tipped over a Peace Lily. Aside from that, it’s business as…

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