Back to School

This arrived by courier this morning: It’s my “So you Want to be a Student Again Starter Pack”. (Where’s the scarf and cheap booze?) Actually, it’s my textbooks and first two tutorials for the year-long correspondence course I have enrolled in – Proofreading and Editing. The massive grey folder at the bottom will gradually fill […]

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Of Grief and Naked Bottoms

I’ve just been published in a New Zealand literary journal called JAAM. The 2013 issue, JAAM 31, was officially launched on Friday night. For those of you new to my blog who may not have trawled through all my fiction yet, I’m going to post the story here again. I edited it quite a bit before […]

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That “Aha!” Moment

I’ve just had an “Aha!” moment. It was one of those moments we writers live for, when a sudden flash of elucidation sets your writing morning on fire, reminding you why you’re sitting at your desk sweating blood, struggling to get your story down on the page. This particularly sweet “Aha!” moment came as a […]

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The Paperback Collective

A few months ago a very enterprising young woman called Jayde-Ashe (you can visit her lovely blog right here) had an idea. She wanted to establish a monthly online magazine of creative talent, showcasing stories, essays, poems, articles and photographs from contributors around the world. So she did it. And I’m in Issue Four, which you […]

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Grammar – Its important

I am a Grammar Nazi. I am one of those infuriating people who can’t help pointing out the redundant commas, misplaced apostrophes and spelling mistakes in any written document. Some of the authors are appreciative. Others immediately cross me off their Christmas party invite list (I’d point out all the errors on the invitation, for […]

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How to Write a Successful Media Release

A bit of practical writing advice today gleaned from my years working first as a journalist and then in PR and Marketing. Perhaps you work for a community organisation and you want your local newspaper to publish stories about your work. Maybe you are a member of your local theatre / kindergarten association / sports club […]

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A Posy of Poems

It’s been a while, but here I am at last. Some time ago I wrote a post listing some of my favourite books. I badly need to update it and will do so before too long. But today, given it is National Poetry Day here in NZ, I want to talk poetry. I love reading poetry […]

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The Bank of Words

Robert Southey said: “It is with words as with sunbeams. The more they are condensed, the deeper they burn.” Short fiction – good short fiction – can have an emotional impact and resonance not found in quite the same way in longer fiction. That is why I love it. The trouble is, it’s fecking hard […]

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A Short Short Story

As I have previously pointed out, I love writing short fiction. Perhaps still high on my success in the 2013 Reader’s Digest 100-word story competition (I came runner-up), I’ve just entered the BNZ (Bank of New Zealand) Literary Awards, in the Short Short Story category (150 words). As long as your story is deemed eligible, it’s published […]

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Throat Clearing

I adore short fiction. I adore reading and writing it, and I suspect it may be where I eventually take up permanent residence in the writing universe. (For the moment I’m just peripatetically dabbling.) Here’s a gem from a Short Story workshop I attended at the Auckland Writers and Readers Festival yesterday. The teacher, Australian writer […]

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