August 12, 2020

As many of you know, the Weald & Downland museum in Singleton is one of my favourite haunts. It's such a special place, great for a tranquil Wilde Walk with Raine. So when I was approached by the museum to judge a short story competition, I just had to get involved. 

Th...

May 24, 2020

Easy for me, I hear you say. Authors don't get out much, anyway, and spend the day in pyjamas. All true, in my own case. But if you've ever suffered from depression (I have) you also develop strategies to avoid the black hole, even if both times it was grief that kicke...

February 5, 2020

 This photo was shared with me last week by one of my first loyal readers. Her son drew it for her birthday and it was typically witty of him and generous of her. All authors will appreciate the wry humour. Thank you, Maurice, aged 9.

January 22, 2020

Yesterday I was thrilled to see this post on Twitter.

Fascinating reading, on Medium, with a quote from Sir Ernest Shackleton. Regular readers will know why I love that! Bera gets an amazing feature from John, here is an excerpt.

"Moreover, the overarching theme of all t...

December 23, 2019

Duty visit, pre-Christmas. My mother stands at the sink with her back to me, rinsing out a duster. Beyond her, sleet fizzes against the large sash window that keeps the kitchen icy. I am shivering at the small grey Formica-topped table on one of the two stools that use...

November 25, 2019

This Autumn Richard, Raine and I went (briefly) to Crickhowell Literary Festival. I had no idea we were in such a rich area for Welsh mythology, which has become part of our consciousness and literature. It's random finds like this that keep my imagination lively: I re...

September 16, 2019

On Saturday I went back to the school where I taught English for the longest, and happiest, time. Perhaps you've done this too, as staff or pupil. Did you dread it? I almost didn't go, but then I was also excited. What surprised me was the number of pupils who said I h...

September 1, 2019

I was about to interview the owners of independent bookshops to try and help support them. Towns stay alive as long as they are going strong, along with libraries and post offices. Then I recently met several authors who also run bookshops. It seemed to me to be a bril...

August 26, 2019

I've been asked a lot this summer about where the slightly archaic words come from that I use in The Book of Bera as vernacular Old Norse. Well, here's one of the speakers. Nana was born in Wales and died soon after this photo was taken, when many of her phrases seemed...

July 20, 2019

On 20 July 1969, like so many people then, my family clustered round a television set and peered at a dusty moon. But what I remember most is the colour poster on my bedroom wall of Earthrise. Only now do I realise this is what I describe in Obsidian, published 50 year...

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