Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Grey Skies and Cottages - Sophie Harding

This is 'Grey Skies and Cottages' by Sophie Harding.
I absolutely love Sophie's paintings, they have inspired so much of my recent writing and none more so than the Christmas novella I'm currently working on.
It doesn't matter if these paintings aren't Cornwall because to me they remind me of everything I love about the village where I currently live, especially at this time of year where autumn seems so prominent, and who knows, we might even get a little that would be nice.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Puppy Love by Orla Kiely

I love this dress by Orla Kiely.
The Puppy Love Sweatshirt dress.

I've put it on my Christmas list!

Monday, 13 October 2014

White Converse Pumps

My love affair with the Converse pump started way back in 1988 during my heady Newquay days as a young teenager.  It's fair to say since then I've owed many pairs, but now this affair seems to have taken on a new guise - inspiration for my current writing, and this time it's a HE who's wearing them - white pumps with jeans.

As has been the case with my writing for the last 5 years the story is set in Cornwall, and this time it is based in the Village where I currently live. A pretty rural area that remains close to the sea.

Anyway, last week when I was picking the kids up from school I saw just the look I'd been after for 'my man' - a guy wearing white Cons and jeans and it was a done deal - 14 year old me was very happy...

I guess this is where my new male character has been hiding for all these years - in the depth of an angst teenagers brain, but very cool all the same!

Anais, Sylvia, Daphne & Me

Karen Roderick - 'Hope & Jump' publicity (2012)
I've always loved photos, painitings and illustrations of writers - whether they are well known and famous writers or just models posing. I like the idea that the geek who spends every spare minute writing (or thinking about writing!) being someone who is also cool and unassuming, I've even tried it myself a couple of times! (see above and below)
Karen Roderick - 'A Love That Makes Life Drunk' (2008)
But the most striking pictures for me are my favourite writers with the tools we just can't write without.
Anais Nin in her infamous 'High Place' where she wrote,
Sylvia Plath with her typewriter,
and Daphne Du Maurier at Menabilly, Cornwall.
I like the idea writing can be perecived as glamorous because for those of us who do write it can be lonely and frustrating with hours dedicated to prefecting our creativity - perfection which often doesn't come! 

Friday, 10 October 2014

The English Writer

I love this picture. It says a lot. I like it so much I'm using it as my Author page on Facebook.
I like this too,
and this,
and this,
and this - because anyone who has ever written a book will know this feeling!

Monday, 15 September 2014

Friday, 20 June 2014

I Love Blake Nelson (in a bookworm way)

OK, so 2012 was quite late discovering U.S Young Adult author Blake Nelson (the novel was 'Girl'), but since then he has remained one of my favourite writers. He writes the kind of books that when you've finished it you have to either read it all over again, or try and find one of his books you haven't read just to get more.

For me, he is a modern day J.D Salinger (gasp!). I love his cool complex characters, I love the stories they tell, and I love the American backdrop (when I was a teen I wanted the whole American thing. England seemed so boring in comparison). I also love how easy his work is to read. OK, it's Young Adult I know, but having read a fair few of Blake Nelson's books, I know adults can get just as much out of his stories as Y.A. (I am qualified to say this since I am now 40 and have been reading (and writing) books for a long time).
Anyway, enough gushing, I have just finished Chapter One of his new novel 'The Prince of Venice Beach' and already I'm excited.
OK, so I probably could have sold him much better than I have, but honestly, he's a brilliant writer and story teller, and I love him (in a bookworm way).
*'The Prince of Venice Beach' is out now in hardback *

Monday, 2 June 2014


When I was about 12 years old my parents bought me my first and only typewriter. It was a chunky thing with a blue protective cover and I loved it.
Yes, changing the ribbon was a hassle, and yes it was a bind when correcting, and anyone who writes will appreciate the importance of a flowing train of thought, but then this was the era when even PC's didn't exist.
However, now after years of using a PC and laptop, and before that, the good old fashioned pen and paper, I do wonder how it would feel to use a typewriter again.

I recently found an article by a Journalist giving 5 reasons to still use a typewriter and 3 of the reasons I definitely agreed with - To be cool (let's face it, the old ones are the best), No electricity needed (messing about with printers etc) Aesthetics (I do love the typed font).

But really, could I be bothered to change that ribbon, make those corrections, no spell check and no back up? And what about painstakingly editing a 90,000 plus word manuscript?
I think my love affair with the Typewriter is a romantic one. I am a victim of the 21st Century yet I love the idea of my literary idols bent over an Imperial smoking endless cigarettes tortured as they try to write the next classic novel, but I am honest enough to put my hand up and say it is not something I could do, but my characters...well that's a different matter entirely.

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Jake Bugg - a man to quote?

Quote of the Day - Jake Bugg Q&A: The Guardian (July 2013) -
How often do you have sex?

"It can vary from place to place. Being on the road a lot, sometimes it's more than necessary in a week and the next week it might not be so much."
I can feel this quote creeping in somewhere in my new book.

Monday, 19 May 2014

Cornish Pasty anyone?

While out and about in sunny St Ives yesterday I dropped into Poppy Treffry's shop on Fore Street and fell in love with the above print - one, because we all love a Pasty, and second, because it kind of sums up for me those early days of visiting Cornwall as a child.
Anyway, we've been living in Cornwall for 5 years now, my kids were only 3 and 1 years old at the time so to them this beautiful County is all they have really known, and that includes the Cornish Pasty, which I'm happy to say as a family we have embraced whole heartedly!
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