Saturday, 26 July 2008


Sheri at One of the Best Things posted this (two quotes about writing and ideas).

Which inspired me to post, in a comment, Goethe's wonderful words:

Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
And then I thought I'd post them here too, for double inspiration.

Friday, 18 July 2008

Six Random Things ...

... I was tagged by A Work in Progress at the beginning of May (yes, that's the beginning of May) to do this meme which I've only just seen. My excuse is (and it's a good one) that I've been head-down in planning (yes, that is planning) my second novel so I haven't been reading many blogs or writing much on this blog.

That'll be the case for some time to come ... but for a bit of light relief from planning, here are six random things about me:

1 I write fiction. It is the thing I've always wanted to do and now that I'm doing it - even if it's going horribly wrong - I'm a much nicer person than I was when I desperately wanted to write and couldn't find the courage to begin. (The thing about writing that isn't talked about much is that you need a job that both pays you enough to live on and gives you enough time to write. I edit and proofread freelance and it more or less works.)

2 I love blue ... once upon sometime ago, when I was the Economist's first personnel manager, I had a blue office, even though the corporate colour was, and still is, red. I learned to edit and proofread at the Economist, thank you Economist.

3 I love How to Eat by Nigella Lawson (and, of course, Nigella Express). The thing is she's a wonderful cook AND a wonderful writer which is an irresistible combination.

4 I used to be jealous of the successes of other writers, but now that I know how long it takes to write a novel and how difficult it can be to get a novel out into the world, I find myself not only free of all jealousy, but full of admiration for other writers. There's a wonderful freedom in that.

5 My grandmother once told me that my handwriting is 'quite beautiful and utterly illegible'. (Interesting, for a writer, don't you think?)

6 I have fallen in love late in life and that is a gift beyond description (or expectation).

Here are the rules for this meme:
Link to the person who tagged you
Post the rules somewhere in your meme
Write the six random things
Tag six people in your post
Let the tagees know they’ve been chosen by leaving a comment on their blog
Let the tagger know your entry is posted

I haven't tagged anyone ... but if you'd like to do this meme do let me know that you've done it because I'd love to read your six random things.

Monday, 14 July 2008

BBC National Short Story Award: the winner

Congratulations to Clare Wigfall who's just won the BBC National Short Story Award 2008 for her story The Numbers from her collection The Loudest Sound and Nothing.

The shortlist is here; a couple of blogs about Clare Wigfall are here (and see the Faber website link from her name, above) and you can listen again to her story, The Numbers, here until Wednesday 16 July.

May she write many many more.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

The BBC National Short Story Award

The shortlist is:

Richard Beard Guidelines for Measures to Cope with Disgraceful and Other Events
Jane Gardam The People on Privilege Hill
Erin Soros Surge
Adam Thorpe The Names
Clare Wigfall The Numbers

The stories are being read on Radio Four all this week, you can listen, or listen again, here, and the winning story and the story that runs up will be announced on 14 July on the Today programme, here.

The prizes are severely financially worthwhile ... so hooray for the BBC, Prospect, the Arts Councils and the Book Trusts who've made it happen.