Skin Diving. Chapter 3.

My New Novel (Serialised fortnightly on Fridays).

Chapter 3. Send Me A Girl.

The Story So Far: From the ‘Advanced Psychotherapeutic Facility' in upstate New York to which her father, Mack, has admitted her, Mel McIntyre mines family history and her own memory for details of a 20-year-old tragedy: the death of  baby sister, Tara.  Mel has reason to believe the mysterious circumstances of this death connect in some way to the recent suicide of her twin, Jamie. Previous Chapters Can be Read Here. Now Read On:

Ah the girl breaking out of the box. That classic image of the flamboyant 1920s: femininity dressed up as liberation.

When planning this scene to tickle Mack’s nostalgia bone, Scottie and Zelda had originally intended to deliver a cake. But they didn’t have the utensils to bake one big enough and they couldn't afford to pay a baker. (And what if it broke en route? And anyway, how did a girl get to breathe in there?)

It was Scottie who had the idea of using the

Read more

Skin Diving. Chapter 2.

My New Novel (Serialised fortnightly on Fridays).

Chapter 2. Gaining Entry.

Previous Chapters Can be Read Here. The Story So Far: Mel McIntyre has been delivered to an ‘Advanced Psychotherapeutic Facility' in upstate New York by her father, Mack. The mystery of her baby sister’s death twenty years ago in questionable circumstances has long haunted the McIntyre family and knowing the truth of what happened has become crucial for Mel. Now Read On:

The good doctor doesn’t know it but he has a tree growing out of his head. No, this isn’t what my mother likes to call ‘one of Mel’s phantasmagorias’. For Zelda, having a mad daughter is just another

Read more

Writing My New Novel Online

Do you like reading fiction? Over the next year or so, as I write my new novel, I'm going to be sharing it episode by episode here in the blog.

I'm really excited about this experiment — seeing how many of you choose to read along and seeing what effect writing it as a serial will have on the story. It's scary to write a long piece so publicly but exhiliarating too.

The big 19th century novelists – Thomas Hardy, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins, Arthur Conan Doyle and of course, the great Mr Dickens – did it this way. Which is why so many of their novels are

Read more

Henry Miller's Creative Commandments

In his writer's notebook, 1932-1933, Henry Miller, an author with a deep sense of process, laid down his ‘commandments' of writing. Here they are adapted to whatever it is you want to create:

  • Work on one thing at a time until finished.
  • Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
  • Work according to The Program (the timetable you've laid out for yourself) and not according to

    Read more

Eight Poems

The Writer's Call:
“…I work for you kind reader, dear,/who walks my words across the page,/who seeks clear ground in paths I’ve made…”

Speechless:
“…Kings will do/what kings do. Soldiers too./And if you don't want to know, I won’t keep you…”

A Reply & An Answer:
“…Soon, birds won’t be able to sing./Listen. Hear me. Our time is for turning…

Read more

Breaking Out Of The Box

When you need to be creative or innovative, try this simple break-the-box, mind-body bridging exercise from Dr Stanley H Block.  

Part 1: The Box.

1. Name the specific situation that makes you feel boxed in.

2. Take a piece of paper, write the situation in the middle of the page, and draw an oval around it.

3. Take 1-2 minutes to jot down around the oval whatever pops into your mind about that situation and your attempts to

Read more

Sunday Poem: Spinning Still

In the amber of a late October,creative intelligence leaf
altered by illness
and a mauling from friends, we have
come again to London, and come
one to the other,
in truth,
it seems, for the first time
in twenty-something years.

These are our days.

Above, white lines from Heathrow
streak the sky, an airplane flashing

Read more

Speechless

Her name? Her name is Generose, here is how her story flows: Alice Walker's Creative Intelligence

through the latest news of war
our ruler coming out to say
‘Bombs Again!' Though his minions'
mincing words, force-feeding what
‘we' need to do, and why, (with regret)
some evil people (and some others)
must die;

through the soldiers jumping to,
while I, and my kind, are left gasping
behind, holding a small stand somewhere
like this, appealing to someone
like you.

So…
Can you come with me
to a place far from here, where
four or five m– No. Let
me begin again. Let me start
with myself, with yesterday when I

Read more

Answering Back

One major inspiration of art and writing is… art and writing. I'm reading a brilliant anthology, creative intelligence sunny windowedited by Carol Ann Duffy, called Answering Back, with a simple, delightful concept: a living poet chooses a poem from the past that has touched them and writes a new poem in response.

It's a beautiful collection of calls and replies, echos and illuminations across centuries — and gives a vivid sense of how, through writing, language and human connection transcend time and place.

Here's a poem about art by WH Auden, chosen by Billy Collins and,

Read more

Be part of something great

Sign up for the latest news about my Gonne-Yeats novels and our Kickstarter campaign #StatueforMaudGonne

It's going to be epic. Create history with us.