C17: Days 1 & 2 – Brush calligraphy

January 2, 2017

My year of being creative every day got off to a slightly time-shifted start. I sat down on New Years Eve for my first session of brush calligraphy, because I knew that yesterday I would spend literally all day in a car, driving from just north of Dallas to northern Illinois, and so it was. […]

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Wishing you a creative 2017

December 29, 2016

No doubt, 2016 has been a bit of a weird one, and it’s been hard to remember that fun things have happened in my life because of all the crap that’s gone on in the wider world. It’s been emotionally draining, and it’s far too easy to focus on exactly the wrong sort of thing […]

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Open Letter to People Who Regret Voting Leave: You Have My Sympathy

June 25, 2016

Dear Regretful Leave Voter, I want to open this letter firstly by apologising to you for the way that the UK has let you down. You were openly and repeatedly lied to by the Leave campaign and by the right-wing media, and no one seemed to have the will or the authority to do anything […]

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Advice for readers reading writers’ writing advice

April 26, 2016

If there’s anything writers love more than having written, it seems, it’s giving advice on how to write. It’s a nice way to feel helpful and useful and, for those who sell consultancy or editorial services, it’s a good way to build relationships with your future clients and be seen to be relevant. But so […]

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The winter that will not die

April 10, 2016

Technically, it is Spring. The Spring Equinox was Sunday 20 March, so there can be no doubt about it. But meteorologically, here in the Midwest, it’s definitely still winter. It snowed all day yesterday, and although the pavement (sidewalk) and road (pavement) were too warm for the snow to accumulate, the grass and the roofs […]

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Why you should (probably) binge-watch Lucifer

March 5, 2016

It seems I can only be prompted to blog during bouts of strong emotion these days, writing in midst of white hot anger, extreme smug or, in this case, intense over-excitement. Maybe it’s because, after 14 years, the dynamic of blogging has radically changed, moving from the urgent confessional towards a more self-conscious performance. (Or maybe […]

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Restoring a plaster frame

January 19, 2016

Back in 2011, I bought a plaster mirror off eBay for £26. It was badly packed by the seller, however, and arrive with several cracks and chips. I was gutted, but kept it anyway. In 2013, it got shipped over to the US, during which process our moving company broke it even further. When I […]

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Labour’s already dead, but who killed them?

July 21, 2015

Journalist Simon Ricketts wrote an excellent piece about Labour in which he argues that because there’s no real way that Labour can win the next election, they need to get a hold of the narrative and own it. They need to actually move the debate to the left, to be seen to stand up for what’s […]

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The single most important thing you need to know about Go Set A Watchman

July 16, 2015

There has been, and will continue to be, a lot written about the publication of Harper Lee’s Go Set A Watchman by HarperCollins over the months since the announcement of its discovery. There are many questions remaining over how and when it was discovered, and over the decision to publish it, but right now the […]

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The stealth feminism of San Andreas

July 11, 2015

Kevin and I went to see San Andreas last Sunday, a film that I nearly missed because I was in the UK whilst it was running at our local cinema, but which I was so eager to see that I made Kevin drive for an hour so we could catch the closest showing we could […]

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On Amazon’s new KU payment system, shit books and open loops

June 30, 2015

Amazon has changed the way that it pays authors for books that readers borrow via Kindle Unlimited from a per book payment to a per page read payment. This has, obviously, caused uproar, which I’ve mostly ignored because I still loathe Amazon, am no longer self-publishing (though still writing), and don’t have a snail in […]

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With great power comes great responsibility

June 22, 2015

With great power comes great responsibility. Whilst we mostly associate these words with Spider-Man, the notion that power is necessarily bound to responsibility goes back hundreds, if not thousands, of years and it is no less true today. A less well-known quote, spoken by Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society, is also true: No matter […]

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Why Mad Max: Fury Road may be even more feminist and awesome that it looks

May 28, 2015

Warning: Spoilers abound in this post, so if such things bother you, I seriously suggest you bookmark this and come back to it when you’ve seen Fury Road.

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Dear fellow lefties

May 8, 2015

It is 2:41am as I begin this blog post, and I’ve been awake since 1am. I cannot begin to describe how I feel about this election, but I know now how American lefties must have felt when Bush got in for a second term back in 2004, and my, doesn’t that feel like a long […]

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For the love of typewriters

February 27, 2015

My creative writing process has changed a lot over the years. Back in 2001 when I was commuting between Reading and London on a daily basis, I was doing most of my writing on a Philips Velo, a delightful little device that was a bit bigger than a PDA, had a full keyboard, but was […]

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