Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Sad Demolition of the King’s Head, Old Vine and Windmill

The Angel  is partly set in an outwardly idyllic English country pub — thatched roof, low beams, flagstoned floors and looking out through its mullioned windows on to the village green with its cricket pitch and duck pond. It’s a … Continue reading

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Subscribe to MacNovel

Look to the sidebar on the right and see an exciting development — something that this blog’s been missing that I’ve now hopefully remedied. It’s a ‘follow this blog’ mailing list. To be alerted whenever a new post is added … Continue reading

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Bonkers

While ‘unbelievable’ seemed to be the word applied an unbelievable number of times to British sporting achievements, ‘bonkers’ seems the  most appropriate description to apply to the cultural and social impact of the Olympics – especially after that closing ceremony. … Continue reading

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Love Art London and the Catlin Prize

The last post dwelt on art at the celebrity and ‘major gallery spaces’ level  (as Time Out describes them). But my novel is about an artist trying to make a living, someone who doesn’t have the reputation of Picasso or Hirst nor … Continue reading

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A Most Critical Two Weeks?

Anyone who read the post from a couple of weeks ago ‘Out of the Chaos — A Manuscript’ might be wondering, in the style of a minor cliffhanger, what was the verdict on the 174,000 words that I believed I’d pieced together … Continue reading

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The Zeitgeist of the Segnits

I wandered into Waterstone’s in Staines (of past Ali G fame) a couple of weeks ago and was magnetically drawn to a book called Pub Walks in Underhill Country by Nat Segnit, which had the good fortune for a debut novel, … Continue reading

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Why The Permit To Travel Machine Was Dead As A Dormouse

…because it was inhabited by a family of them. The Metro today plus the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail have a story featuring Little Kimble station, which I can see across the fields out of our back windows. A family … Continue reading

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A Tense Debate

There’s an interesting post by Richard Lea on the Guardian books blog about Philip Pullman’s recently reported comments about the growing use of the present tense in novels — reflected by half the Man Booker shortlist being written in the … Continue reading

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Would You Buy This Book?

City financial wizard and cookery TV show contestant James puts his ex-employer’s ‘Dealing Positively with Negativity’ training course into practice by sinking his redundancy money into transforming his run-down Chilterns village local into a gastropub. But was it a smart … Continue reading

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MA in Creative Writing

I was looking up online MAs in Creative Writing and came across this — worth reading as some aspects seem quite true to life.

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‘Is It Any Good?’

I would guess anyone who doesn’t ask themselves this during the course of writing a novel is not going to produce a very good one. What’s probably not such a good idea is to include this angst in comments accompanying … Continue reading

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A Meeting with ‘God’

Last Wednesday, as mentioned in a previous post below we had a visit from a real-life commissioning editor — Francesca Main from Simon and Schuster. I think I’d been expecting a visitor from ‘an editor’ so was quite awestruck when … Continue reading

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The Eve of St. Agnes

I bought a copy of the latest Magma poetry magazine when I was in London last week. Its cover article was ‘Favourite Erotic Poetry’. I was interested to see how I poem I took along to the March meeting of … Continue reading

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‘Sweat Me Garlicky’

We had to take along a published poem (by someone else) to Metroland Poets last night on the theme of ‘Poems to Read Aloud’. There was a very varied and entertaining selection ranging from ballads by Walter Scott to Edwin … Continue reading

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A Couple of Points About the Site

I’ve added an RSS link to The Guardian’s Book Blog site. I was looking at this site earlier today and there are plenty of interesting articles referenced from the blog — not just the latest three that pop up in … Continue reading

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First Extract Sent Off

I was hoping to write something brand new for the reading in the class on Saturday but got a bit bogged down. I’m still hoping to write something on the new novel, even if it is a collection of fragments, … Continue reading

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John Banville’s Character

Just watched another old episode of ‘The Book Show’. This one had an interview with Man Booker prize winning author, John Banville. He was asked about a literary character that intrigued him and he chose Cheeta from ‘Me Cheeta’ — which … Continue reading

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A Useful Resource for Novelists?

“Most of the time I just lie there and make lists in my head. I grunt once in a while so he knows I’m awake, and then I tell him how great it was when it’s over.” I was watching … Continue reading

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Two Sections of ‘Burying Bad News’ to Read

 Here are the fruits of my labours of approximately the past six weeks — about 12,300 words in two sections. That’s about 12-15% of a whole novel by a rough estimation so I’m reasonably pleased with the amount I’ve done. The … Continue reading

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Working on Synopses

I have a one-to-one session with Emily on Wednesday about the synopsis for my novel. The finished synopsis needs to be no more than 500 words, which is a very small number to recount the plot, introduce the main characters … Continue reading

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