Clear View

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After a ‘glorious’ week spent staring at spreadsheets, I’m in deperate need to get writing again… Off to the third of Jess Wortley’s workshops at the Lit and Phil tomorrow, and cannot wait to get thinking watery thoughts!

To get me in the mood, last night I dug out my favourite piece from her last workshop, on mountains, where I had Glencoe firmly in the front of my mind. Editing still needed, but it cheered me up!

Clear View

Sunshine doesn’t suit this place,
with skeletons of brick exposed
in their open graves -
slate grey, a blot, a stain,
on the technicolour tartan of the highlands.
Celedon, sage and sepia, the background,
dotted with violet, claret, mauve.
Blue and black wind together
along the valley floor,
dotted with herds of white,
ignorant of their own irony,
as they graze amongst the ruins.


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Two posts in one day!!

Back in February, I was involved in the recording of a podcast with other members of Victoria Watson’s Monday night creative writing group at Quilliam Brothers in Newcastle.

The final podcast can be found here. It is very strange, listening to yourself – like the ultimate “hearing your own answerphone message”, but it was a great experience, and I hope you enjoy the results…


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Disturbance-driven colony fragmentation
can occur anytime, anywhere,
whether man-made or natural in origin.
The separation of parent and child,
new colonies created from the old –
same make-up, new, varied locations,
depending on the flow of the tides.
The fragments’ survival and success
will depend on where they settle,
and the presence of favourable conditions.
Absence of storms and predators
will help colonies on their way
to successful integration
within their new environment.

Story Tyne 2014

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Story Tyne is North Tyneside Council’s free annual short story competition, and this year the theme is ‘The Great War’. To help people get inspired, Sheree Mack is running a set of free creative writing workshops throughout June and July (the first one was yesterday) – I just signed up for 17th July in North Shields.

I have managed, once, to write a half-decent short story, so hopefully this will help me try to explore something new… And given that so few competitions are free-entry these days, it has to be worth a shot!

Caught in the Middle

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Caught in the Middle

I am in the middle of trying to finish.
Or is it the middle of trying to start?
I am in the middle of so many things,
that I may remain permanently central.
I am in the middle of writing ‘middle’,
when I realise I have written ‘muddle’;
perhaps this is a sign.

So many middles, how can we know
when we reach the end’s beginning?
And then, on reaching that hallowed point,
what do we do, if we are still caught
in the middle of something else?

I am in the middle of writing this poem.

National Flash Fiction Day

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Happy National Flash Fiction Day 2014!

In celebration, Flash Flood Journal is going to be posting flash fiction all day, from a range of writers, which, very happily, includes me!

My story ‘Puzzled’ should be posted between 1900 and 2000 this evening, so please, hope on over and take a look, as well as reading all the other ‘flashes of inspiration’ (sorry, I got that in my head, and then really, really wanted to use it, however cheesy it may seem!).

Happy Reading!

Flash Flood!

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It’s your last chance today to submit flash fiction pieces to Flash Flood - I only submitted yesterday afternoon, and was delighted to hear that my piece will be posted online from 7-8pm on Saturday 21st June.

Submissions close midnight tonight!

And, um, if you feel inclinced to go read mine once it’s up, that would be lovely – the address will be posted!

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