Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year everyone!

What will 2009 hold for us all, I wonder? Hopefully it will be a better one than 2008 - not that 2008 was a bad year for me. I got to see my work in print for the first time, I made a writing sale (yipee!), I got a job (several actually), so it was a good year in many ways. :)

Also over Christmas we heard good news - a new niece and nephew are on the way. Little Svetlana from Tula in (West) Russia is due in March to my brother and his wife, and hopefully by June little Michael Nikolai from Blagoveschenck (far East Russia, less than a km from China) will join my sister and her husband. The two little cousins will be close in age, and grow up almost next door to each other - so hopefully they will be friends!

Of course, the 2008 saw plenty of disappointments and sadness too for family and friends, but I am hopeful that 2009 will bring loads more happiness and (writing) success for us all!


Thursday, December 25, 2008

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


What is the most essential item to take on holidays other than tickets, passport & money? I think a good book comes next, and if I happen not to be currently devouring one, I turn to a few old favourites.

These usually are :
Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien (who couldn't love this masterpiece?)
The complete Fr. Brown short stories by GK Chesterton (brilliant, insightful & highly original)
Emma by Jane Austen (my favourite of her works).

Did you ever see the episode of 'Seinfeld' where George asks Jerry to get back some books of his that are in his ex's apartment. Jerry asks George if he has read them, and upon George's confirming that he has, Jerry says 'So what do you want them back for?' (Or words to that effect. If you don't know the show, I won't bore you with explanations).

Anyway, I have a number of favourite books, which I could easily read once a year with great pleasure, and any of the three above usually find their way into my suitcase. This time as I made a big effort to travel light, it was 'Emma'.

Which I enjoyed, yet again!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Back from Holidays

Back from 8 days in Tenerife, where I had a lovely relaxing holiday.

The island is very English - which means lots of plain food for me to eat. Usually I find it difficult to find somewhere nice but there was plenty of choice. The weather was not great - cloudy most of the time, but to enjoy 17 or 18 degrees in the middle of December is such a treat - I want to go every winter now! Of course, when I returned to work, I was informed that Tenerife was known as the Cloudy island...

I have a tendancy to bring bad weather with me whenever I go on holiday - be it New York, South Africa, France, Italy, Croatia, wherever - thunder and lightning usually follow. Some people, of course, talk about the earthquake in Assisi that happened after I visited, the fires in France, and numerous other things... It almost always rains on my holidays.

It didn't rain in Tenerife although the locals told me that it was really bad weather for there, so perhaps I really deserve my reputation!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Submission & Acceptance

Following Inkpot and her various submission competitions has made me recall the joy of getting accepted for the first time. It was such a high, I thought 'This is addictive - I want more!'. Although I have had several other acceptances, I have not put in much time in the last few months - in fact, I haven't submitted anything for ages.

Therefore when I return from holidays, I am going to be all motivated to do loads of writing. At least - at long last - my evening classes are over, so I don't have them hanging over me any more, which should help me get into my new writing routine (of at least an hour a day during the week, more at the weekend).

I think I will blog every day about how much or little I have done - just to embarrass myself into doing some work!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I really mean to blog at least once a week, hopefully twice. I would love to say daily but I don't think I'd manage that. It's amazing how much time blogging actually consumes - I can see why photos are used so often! (I know, they take time too).

I survived my first week in the new job, by starting late on Monday and leaving early Wednesday and Thursday for evening class. By Wednesday I also picked up a bad cough/chest infection, in bed all weekend and yesterday..anyway I got through it.

Tomorrow night is my last Wednesday night class, and Thursday is my last Thursday night class - I cannot wait. In fact, I'm celebrating by going on holiday to the sun. When I return to blogland, I will have my evenings back for writing, and I also intend to do some at lunch (once I'm settled in the job long enough to be my usual anti-social self).

How do people working by day find both time and energy to write, I wonder. Is it sheer self-discipline, and does anyone know where I can get some?

Saturday, November 22, 2008

New Job

On Monday I start a new job.

The good news - I shall be earning some money, a sad necessity for all people, even writers. The job also sounds very interesting, and the company, from what I've seen so far, seems excellent.

The downside - not so much time for writing.

Of course, there are two comments I should make about this (before anyone else does) :

1. What have you done for the last two years, time you took out of the busy world to write? Okay, I've written a couple of books (in need of more work), a novella and had a few short stories published, but I have not been as productive as I thought I would be.

2. Working full time does not mean I cannot write - it just makes it a little harder. After all, loads of people work full-time and write at night/weekends, including some very successful writers.

I'm hoping of course that the routine of working daily will get me into the routine of doing a regular hour's writing every evening plus lunchtime and half a day at the weekend. Is this possible, ambitious or totally under-achieving?

Saturday, November 1, 2008


A new term to me!

Today is November 1st - All Saints Day. It also also the start of National Novel Writing Month (Nanowrimo).

This year Inkpot plans to publish her story on her blog, and invite contributions from the unsuspecting public (for some reason, either 'unsuspecting' or 'general' has to precede 'public').

So be sure to drop by her blog to have your say on the Blovel!

By the way, as is probably obvious to you, we survived last weekend's horror ordeal, but only just! We came close to extinction - too awful to tell you the details in case it ruins your repose for years to come!

Best of luck to all Nano participants this year!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Okay so it's not Hallow E'en yet but Inkpot, Pinkpot and I are celebrating it this weekend by endeavouring to scare ourselves to death!

If you never hear from me again, you will know that it worked!

I can't reveal what the plans are at this point in time, but I hope some of us will survive and live to tell the tale...

Happy Bank Holiday weekend to those that have one! Yes, I should be working, planning my classes, preparing for interviews, catching up on writing - but sometimes you have to throw all good intentions aside and just enjoy yourself!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Back in early September I got a job to deliver a training course, and although there was a syllabus, there was nothing else - in other words, I had to plan out every detail of the every day of the course, which started almost immediately. At the start of October, I took on two evening courses, also without any proper guidelines, notes, manuals or anything else.

Which has meant that I have been giving courses five days and two evenings a week and spending most of the rest of my time planning for the next day!! And when I haven't been planning or training, I've been too exhausted to do anything else.

So both writing and blogging have been suffering these last two months! of course, I have learned a lot from these jobs, not least how to type [slowly], and having some money is great! I will try to blog once a week from now on.

Monday, September 1, 2008


I've just noticed that Apollo's Lyre has published their August edition.

This excellent publication's last issue showcased Inkpot's 'The Sky Horse'.

The current issue has my micro-fiction tale 'Last'.

Still get that strange nervous feeling when something of mine is published!

Friday, August 29, 2008


Finally got my novella 'The Other Side of the Mirror' proofed, so it will be available very shortly.

I'm not sure what took me so long - except I had a few other things on.

Of course, I did suffer from what probably a lot of writers experience - the urge to edit and re-edit and re-edit.. In other words, never let it be finished! I can improve each version...forever...

Of course, I probably could continue to improve it, but at some point you have to let go of your creation, release it out into the big bad world for others to read and review and criticise or enjoy (hopefully the latter)

It's done now anyway!

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I didn't list them in the last post cos I try to keep my posts short and snappy (except when I rant about first person present tense..

Anyway for those who may be interested the books I bought are:

1. Christians in China AD 600 to 2000. I think China is a fascinating country so how could I resist this? Nearly 600 pages and small print!

2. Church and State in Early Christianity. As this is a much debated topic (debated is perhaps the wrong word: usually it is proponents of a certain type of separation of Church and State who speak loudly on the subject), I thought a look at early Church history would be interesting.

3. Milestones (Memoirs 1927:1977). This slim volume is the autobiography of Pope Benedict XVI, and relates his life up to 1977 (when I think he became a cardinal. The book was first published in 1977).

4. Architects of the Culture of Death. A look at the main thinkers who shaped and influenced the culture of death that is so prevalent in the world today.

5. Jesuit Missionaries to North America. The 8 missionaries in question all arrived in North America between 1632 and 1637, and their story is told mainly through letters they wrote back to their superiors in France.

These 5 books were ordered about a week ago from the States. The postage was more expensive than the books, and yet altogether the total cost was under €35!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I find it's generally one or the other.

It's nice to have a list of books waiting to be read but a lot of the time I find that I have nothing to read, or perhaps really I'm not in the mood to read anything piled up on my bedroom floor!

Having just finished the latest Odd Thomas book by Dean Koontz, I was given "The Pimpernell of the Vatican" - regarding the Irish priest Monsignor O'Flaherty who hid numerous escaped POWs, Jews, Italians, and in fact anyone who had fallen foul of the Nazis during their occupation of Rome (1943-44), and earlier helped those in need evade Mussolini's regime. At the same time, I was lent a recently written (though obviously not by Ian Fleming) James Bond novel. On top of that, I started to re-read that masterpiece "Black Rabbit Island" (written by me for Nanowrimo 2006) with a view to seeing if it could be polished up for publication.

I am enjoying all three books, despite their varied tales (zombies versus heroic priest versus secret agent). However today 5 books I ordered from Ignatius Press arrived - it's hard to resist starting one or two of them as well!

Monday, August 18, 2008


Recently I read a blog from Inkpot about keeping notes, and how she went through notes on stories she wrote years ago.

Although I too kept most of my notes and stories from way back (not that long ago, really!), I also have another problem which is not a good one. I tend to keep all versions of stories I write (now that I write on a pc). Therefore I have story X version 1, 2, 3.. and so on. I start a story, it's not going well so I re-start it from a different angle, yet I can't bring myself to scrap the first version.

I tend to be a hoarder anyway but I think this is pushing it!

Thursday, August 14, 2008


I was watching 'Frasier' the other night. At one point he advises a man who is contemplating writing his biography to use the present tense, that it added a sense of urgency.

Like the advice that Frasier gives out on his show, I think this gem stank. Maybe I am being unfair, I have a particular antipathy to the use of present tense, particularly when combined with a first person narrative.

I will now rant about this pet peeve of mine.

I think using the first person is generally done out of laziness. It saves the author having to describe the MC, or indeed anything at all as we can be shown through the MC's eyes instead of having to interpret descriptions. It is much easier to write but what does it add to the story? Usually when I read first person I hear the author's voice rather than the characters - and so often this ruins a perfectly good story where, for the example, the teenage boy/girl sounds like a middle-aged woman. I also think it takes from the story because we know the MC is going to survive (unless the author cheats).

Present tense - what does that add? Again I think this is done out of pure laziness, and I find it both irritating and boring. Irritating because it makes no sense - you can't tell a story in present tense because every action is immediately in the past. And what does it add? Does it truly make the story any more believable? Or urgent??? I find these stories boring because generally the less talented writers use this format (and if you can prove me wrong, please do so!)

First person present tense - arrgh what a combination! I shall say no more.

Seriously, I can think of few occasions when first person is used well. Wilkie Collins 'The Moonstone' is a brilliant exception where the first person narratives are done perfectly and each character is so diverse. I think first person narrative works well for Dean Koontz's Odd Thomas tales but I don't think I'd like to see him use it in his other books. Don't get me wrong - I have enjoyed many stories which have been told in first person (eg 'Rebecca' by D. DuMaurier, 'Laughing Gas' by PG Wodehouse) but I think I'd have preferred them written in the third person. (Quick aside: I understand writers like to experiment with different styles, so first person is not always written out of laziness!).

I can think of nothing written in the present tense that I could rate as a good read.

Please let me know of any books written in either/both first person and present tense that are good!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Congrats to Inkpot who has done it again!

Yes, Inkpot has won another writing competition - check out the details here!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Toffee and Honey

Honey, the new pup in the house, is settling in well, and playing lots of games of chase with Toffee.

The other day Toffee curled up in her basket for a rest, but Honey hopped in beside her.

It was, of course, a great photo op. Naturally both kept moving once the cameras came out, but here they are anyway:

Monday, August 4, 2008


I saw the proof copy at the weekend and it looks really good - the cover came out really well, and I really love the pocket size.

Had to do a few tweaks to the story so I'm now waiting on a second proof copy. Then it should be ready to go!

Thursday, July 31, 2008


This is the cover of my IDB novella The Other Side of the Mirror.

Designed by Iseult Murphy. Looks good, doesn't it?

Currently being proofed, my story should be available in the near future. I'll keep you posted!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008


I have just launched my website - .

Let me know what you think!

Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday was the International Day of Books, and also the 11th anniversary of the Disresponisble Nodpots. How did you spend it?

The proof copy of 'The Other Side of the Mirror' has not yet arrived from the printers. It has been shipped and it would have been nice to have read it at least on the big day but it was not to be.

Instead a new arrival joined the family, a cute 9 week old Cavalier King Charles ruby pup called Honey. It was great fun meeting this cheeky little thing, and it didn't take her long to feel at home.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Yes, indeed, July 27th approaches!

I got the final edit done to my chapbook (although it is quite long and may really be classified as a novella), approved the brilliant cover design, and am now waiting for the printers to ship me a copy.

I have to say that I'm really looking forward to seeing it. I hope people will enjoy the story - it's always difficult to judge your own work, so I have no idea whether the tale will bore, bemuse or exasperate people! Naturally I hope it will entertain and amuse them - amuse as in an engaging story, rather than humorous laugh-out-loud, because it's actually meant to be a horror story.

Anyway it's called 'The Other Side of the Mirror', and it will be available soon to the general public. I will also be launching my own website in the near future, which will have all the details about my book and the other IDB chapbooks.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Double congratulations, really.

In the first place, she has her first non-fiction piece accepted for publication - see here for details.

Secondly she has launched her own website - Check it out!

Well done for both achievements, Inky!

Monday, June 30, 2008


The 27th July is fast approaching and where is my chap book?

Well, I've been neglecting it these last few weeks (evil job-hunting!). I have a few changes to make, and I started on them yesterday. Still a bit to go, but I really need it finished in the next day or two to get it done on time!

Monday, June 23, 2008


Don't forget to keep notes of all your ideas - write or record them as they come to you. It is all to easy to have a great idea only to forget it a short while later.

This has often happened to me. Although sometimes I remember the thought - for instance, I have two ideas from yesterday that I have yet to write down but at this moment I recall them - more often than not I lose them because I don't have a pen or paper or voice recorder to hand. Those wonderful dreams that fade as you wake, the burst of inspiration in the shower (get waterproof ink for that one, or an indelible pen to write on the tiles) or as you sit in traffic.

Em, what were my two ideas again?

Friday, June 20, 2008


I was going to say 'Failing memories...' but I don't really mean that.

I was looking at some notes I did for a story only a few months ago. I have a sentence about people being attacked by a pack of squealing flesh-eating pig like things. I have absolutely no memory of writing this (was it even me?). Not sure if I even want to claim them but it is strange to have no recollection whatever about it, especially when it is so recent!

Inkpot blogged about this recently - but at least she was talking about stuff she had written years ago!

Sunday, June 15, 2008


Well, I never made the 6th submission for May...

However, two for June already (okay, both resubmissions).

My productivity has not being great recently as I attempt to find a job by day and do my MOS exams by night... :)

The good news so far is that I have finally completed the first draft of my chapbook for International Day of Books.

I find it really difficult to judge my work - I can't read it as a story, but see instead an array of errors, poor character development, weak plot, dull prose... I have sent it to Inkpot for a sneak preview and I hope she will be brutally honest about it. I would hate my entry to be below standard.

If anyone has any useful tips for learning to judge your work, I would be grateful if you would share them. Thanks!

Thursday, May 29, 2008


May has not been a bad month for me.

One acceptance - I suppose I could call that only one acceptance, but I'm happy that I got one. My productivity during April and May is quite low but at least it's a million times better than before.

For example:

May 2008 : 5 submissions so far (and I'd love to get a 6th on in by the weekend). 2 new, 3 re-submissions. 2 rejections and 1 acceptance.

April 2008: 7 submissions. 1 was a re-submission. 3 acceptances. 3 rejections.

February 2008: 1 submission - which was accepted in March.

January 2008: 1 submission (subsequently rejected).

Prior to 2008: 4 short stories submitted (plus 1 book submitted many times!).

I have spent a lot of time recently either studying or applying for jobs. I would love to think that I could continue with 1 submission a week. More would be better but I have to stay realistic here! Of course, I would like 1 new submission every week!

At the moment I have a 40% acceptance rating with Duotrope - which, they tell me, is higher than average for all users of their website over the last 12 months - I'd like to keep that level!

Monday, May 26, 2008


Every year it seems to get more and more difficult to break into the publishing world (unless, perhaps you're a celebrity).

Now however unpublished authors have a chance to get into print and promote some chapbooks, both theirs and their fellow unpublished authors, on July 27th.

This is the brainchild of Iseult Murphy, who also offers assistance to would-be published authors with both artwork and editorial help (Sounds like a lot of work). Check out the International Day of Books website for more details.

Although in its inaugural year, I can see this taking off big time in the next few years.

Saturday, May 24, 2008


Apollo's Lyre - that wonderful publication - has accepted my micro-fiction tale "Last". It will appear in their August edition.

This magazine, an award winning site, incidentally, earlier this year showed great taste by accepting Inkpot's brilliant tale "The Sky Horse", which will be in the May edition.

At this point, Inkpot and I share three publications - Alienskin, Necrotic Tissue and now Apollo's Lyre!

Thursday, May 8, 2008


Rejection is always very hard to take. If you receive feedback at the same time, that's great. Otherwise it's hard to know why the story was rejected - useless story or blind editor? I thought this was a good analysis of why stories get rejected.

The reason i mention this is - yes, rejected again (but speedily). In one way, I'm not surprised - I like the story but maybe it needs more polish. Perhaps the main character isn't likable (or dislikable) enough. I will re-read and amend before I send out again.

A couple of weeks ago my % acceptance in Duotrope was 75% - now it's 37.5%!!

Perseverance is key to success, I think.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


It would be great if may proved to be as successful writing-wise as April. I don't just mean in terms of work being accepted or published: I'm talking as much - if not, more - in terms of volume of writing.

I was quite pleased with how the month started - I made the deadline for an anthology, although I was not very happy with my submission. Neither were the editors - who promptly (but nicely) rejected it.

The necessity of gaining employment this month is looming very large so my time spent on writing will be severly limited. Despite this, I want to write and submit a short story every week, and also to finish my chapbook this month (or first draft of it).

I hope this strikes the right level of ambition - within reach but requiring me to exert myself.

Time will tell!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


April has been a great month for me.

First of my micro-tale appeared in Alienskin magazine - it was wonderful to see my name in print at last!

Then my micro-tale appeared in MicroHorror, and finally sold my first piece of fiction to Necrotic Tissue.

Even better, Inkpot sold her first short story, as well as selling a micro-fiction, and having another micro-fiction accepted for publication.

Things are looking up!

I also have 4 tales doing the rounds at the moment, so I'm hopeful some one will be mad enough to snap them up!

Monday, April 28, 2008


Currently my objective for 2008 (other than get my book published and earn/win enough to live on for the year) is to become a member of the Horror Writers Association.

To become an affiliate (okay that's as far as I aim this year) I have to earn $25 (done) for a horror story of 500 words or greater (not done, 100 words paid, 150 words unpaid - can I add them together?).

So a bit to go yet. :)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


I started this post on Sunday last - well, didn't do anything other than give it a title, but it was to remind me to write about this great topic during the week.

Then Inkpot beat me to it. :)

However, I will absolutely agree with what she has said.

First of all, there seems to be a huge market for horror/dark speculative fiction. Maybe this has always been the case, and I've only noticed since I've started looking at markets in the last month, but certainly markets for this genre seems to outnumber sci-fi and fantasy. Of course, there is an overlap between them.

I guess the cinema has always loved to horror - think countless Dracula films, werewolf etc (I've seen loads made in the 1930's and '40s). In recent decades horror was not so prevalent - sure, you got the B movies, often great films, but it's only fairly recently that we are seeing big budget horror movies.

Finally from a lot of websites and blogs I read, there seems to be a consensus that horror is in. I particularly like those wonderful people in Necrotic Tissue who maintain that as the 1950's & 1960's saw the golden age of science fiction, we are now entering the golden age of horror.

I really hope they are right.

When I was a child, I always liked horror - sinister Vincent Price in the waxworks, Bela Lugosi as Dracs, Phantom of the Opera, and - the stuff of nightmares - THEM. (Actually the Hammer House of Horror version of Dracula scared me the most. For a long time I had a cross made of blu-tack stuck on the wall beside my pillow).

When I grew older, horrors seemed to degenerate into slasher movies and serial killers. I never bothered watching them - maybe I should? But recent years films have seen an improvement, with some great horror flicks, including zombie movies (Shaun of The Dead being my favourite) and other scary tales (Descent for example, though the claustrophobia nearly got me there). Is Pitch Black, one of my all-time favourite films, not considered horror? There are loads more but I won't list them now, as I didn't mean to take this tangent.

What I meant to say was with a horror story you can get an exciting tale, characters you care about, fascinating themes, and everything else you want for a satisfying read. In fact, in some ways (like sci-fi) you are more at liberty to discuss the big topics - life and death, redemption and salvation, love and despair, what it means to be human. Even if you don't get the greater depth, at least you can have an exciting tale that will keep on edge for hours/days.

So it's great news. Especially for those of us who like to dabble in horror.

Monday, April 21, 2008


Since writing the above, I've just heard back about one of my micro-fiction tales - and it's good news!

My story 'Reflections' has been accepted by Necrotic Tissue, and will appear in their January 2008 issue.

This is my first paid fiction, and it's pretty exciting.

I don't think I've blogged really about Necrotic Tissue but they are a wonderful publication, their great taste and high standard goes without saying, but I do admire them because they really encourage new writers, and particularly want to help them to attain membership of the HWA (Horror Writers Association) - which I too would love to join!


For the last few months I have been sending my children's fantasy story out to agents. I always quail when I see them ask for my writing biography. If I could only boast of my mother's five published books or my award-winning sibling - but I know they're not interested. Nor can I mention my fiction featured in school magazines (okay, I know that was a long time ago but still -!) or the holiday report published in the magazine of my former employers.

I did have an article accepted a few months ago (my first and only article submitted so far!), but it has yet to be published. Still, I throw it into my letter, hoping it will wow the agent into reading and loving my work.

Strangely enough, it doesn't seem to work. So I have changed my plan - build up a writing CV first and then re-submit my novel once I have reached an acceptable level of success. This blog - I hope! - will chart my success!

Therefore I started off submitting a micro-fiction piece to Alienskin Magazine, which was accepted for publication. You can view it here on-line until the end of May. I subsequently was published by Microhorror - read it here. And my paparazzi report on Toffee appeared in My Weekly of April 19th (I'm counting this as publication success for this blog only as I had hoped to get paid £25 for it. It won't make it onto my writing CV).

I have two short stories and three micro-horror out searching for homes at the moment. I want to continue to submit at least one piece of fiction a week (inspired by the success of Inkpot, who has received three acceptances in the last week and a half! Long may it continue!)

Friday, April 18, 2008


This is a recent discovery for me.

Micro fiction is a really short story, much shorter than flash fiction, and typically under 200 words. I've seen lengths vary - Alienskin Magazine look for stories of exactly 150 words (excluding title) while Necrotic Tissue request 100 words exactly including story title.

It's more difficult than it sounds to compress an interesting story or idea into such a tight word limit, and yet somehow leave the impression of a much bigger tale. Even more of a challenge when you have to meet an exact word count (you might have to add words as much as edit them!). It's fun though, takes less time to polish than a longer story, and there seem to be quite a few markets out there.

So have a go!

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Thanks to Inkpot, I have now signed up to this wonderful writing resource - Duotrope.

It's an up-to-date list of writers markets, with a good search facility to help you to identify markets of your chosen genre, length, payment, etc. It also provides statistics on the min, max and average response time, plus on the likelihood of acceptances. These stats come from writers who register with them and record details of what they send where, when they submitted and heard back, and whether they were accepted or rejected.

Not only is the information provided very useful for writers but their submission tracker is excellent - making it easy to you to keep an eye on all your stories currently doing the rounds - I highly recommend it.

Currently it's free so if you're a writer, please consider donating to it to keep it this way!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Last October I attended a writers conference. The theme was 'The Fight to Write'. The talks encompassed dealing with rejection, turning negatives into positives, using humour in writing, and the joys of writing, and even of re-writing.

I decided to take this theme for my blog because I constantly struggle with writing . Sometimes a story doesn't go well, I can't transcribe my idea to the page for some reason, no matter how clear the mood, tone and atmosphere in my head - it ends up as dull prose. So I get disheartened and throw it away. At other times, ideas fail to materialise, and at the thought of sitting down and writing anything a hundred other things to do turn up.

Of course, the other big fight - which most, if not all, writers experience - is the fight to get published. Sometimes it seems an impossible task.

Though always worth fighting for.