Sunday, 24 June 2012


So many shades of green!
Normal service has been resumed.

It was nicer than I expected.  Our cottage was near the loch side so you could walk from the front door down to the water where it was so peaceful, apart from the lilting burn (which was pretty full - we got our fair share of rain although the sun shone more than I dared hope),  the only other sounds the meh-ing of sheep in the nearby field and birdsong.  We discovered a colony of lizards in the rockery and one evening I spotted the barn owl, an eerily silent figure flitting through the orchard.

And midges.  Of course.  I got a good crop of bites - by the way, why is it always me who gets eaten alive and not OH?  Is his blood less tasty?

And it turned out we had wifi which I didn't expect so I've been lurking about the internet after all.  So much for my good intentions.

Anyway I feel relaxed and spaced out now so it's ironed out a few of my wrinkles.  Here are a few snaps to give you an idea.

At the loch side

looking towards Schiehallion

Me & Theo with OH and son Scott

Saturday, 16 June 2012


Well, it's finally arrived.  My long anticipated holiday is here at last.  In a few hours I'll be zooming up the motorway to the Perthshire wilderness for a week of solitude, pub grub and no internet.

It's odd but the prospect fills me with a kind of giddy panic.  It's so easy to go online I'm hardly off it these days - not that that's a good thing - but I'm hoping its absence will help me get my head together on one or two projects.  

I'm taking a minimum of writerly paraphernalia, basically notebook and pen. It's so long since I didn't type it will be interesting to see if I can still write longhand.  I might end up pulling something and having to wear a splint.

This being Scotland there's a good amount of rain forecast, so I might even drown!

Anyway, before I go here's an interesting blog post I spotted this week that might be worth your attention.  

Be good!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

This and That

A miscellany for you this week.

I'm not a fan of writing rules, as you know, but this list from legendary film makers Pixar hits the spot.

And speaking of legends, master novelist Ray Bradbury passed away this week.  Here is a lecture he gave in 2001 to new writers.  Enjoy!

Saturday, 2 June 2012

The Joy of Editing

I'm heavily into editing this week.  It's tough going but I think I'm making headway.  One thing I'm discovering as I go along is whenever I hit that wall - you know the feeling where you catch yourself procrastinating and can't get then energy to drag yourself back to work?  Well, whenever that happens I'm finding there's something fundamentally wrong with the scene itself, either it's not needed at all or it's the wrong viewpoint.  Often times the whole scene is redundant.  I find that in the early stages of writing a story you write a lot of stuff that turns out to be unnecessary, it's part of the process of discovering the characters and exploring the story world.  I'm trying to trust my instincts in this edit.  If my heart isn't in it, that's a sign that something radical needs to change.

What about you?  Do you have any tell tale signs that signal a need for radical editing?