Raw - Coping with loss

On Good Friday we lost our dear old Labrador, Teddy. This photo was taken ten minutes before he lost the use of his back legs. He was my rock and always had my back. I never managed to have babies so I can understand people thinking dogs are my children: but they are more like extra body parts, so when one dies I am thrown off-balance. Dogs define who I am and how I live. Our beloved Maud had six puppies in August 2007 and I lived with them in a shed at the bottom of the garden for their first three weeks. That’s a close bond. Teddy never changed throughout his eleven years and people who knew him have all said the same things when they heard he had died: sweet, steady, loving, a gentleman,

The inspiration of Dragonglass

Risky substance, apparently, dragonglass. I only found out yesterday that George RR Martin's black stone, forged in a dragon's stomach, is obsidian. It's so deadly, it might kill the White Walkers, apparently. I make a different, no less dangerous use of it, in my book. Will you miss Game of Thrones when this series is over? Until The Book of Bera trilogy is finished I’m not going near these books or tv series so what a treat I have in store! Why leave it, then? ‘There are no new ideas under the sun and it’s the way you tell the story that counts.’ Agreed ... and yet. Because writers are like sponges and we soak up everything. Ideas come in and out of fashion and it would look like copying t

Iceland Writers Retreat 2019

Iceland Writers Retreat 2019 was as good as my first time and more than I hoped for, in a second visit. I can see why some writers go every year. The faculty included writers of quality who also happen to be excellent teachers, like Priya Basil, Louis de Bernieres, Tessa Hadley, Ann Hood, Lina Meruane, Sarah Moss, Chigozie Obioma and Paul Yoon. I did a class with the outstanding Ivan Coyote who has performed live for the past 27 years and is generous enough to pass it on. "Knowledge is power but does not grow less if shared." Icelandic authors and poets are always included and delegates from over twenty countries. You can make friends for life, as I did back in 2014. And then there is Icelan

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