Only a dog

For all you dog lovers out there, my poem about an old friend - 'Only a Dog'. Rain-printed marks on the kitchen floor; Out of sheer habit, I open the door To empty space, surprised to find he isn't there. He isn't there where he used to stand As if dressed in a grey...

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in the sea

I live in one of the most beautiful counties in England, Dorset; and one of the things I love most is being able to swim in the sea, especially when its very cold. Now, where does this insane fetish come from, I wonder? Because I absolutely hate being cold. In fact...

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A.E. Housman

I'm reading Norman Page's biography of Housman at the moment and I reached a quotation of the poet: 'Existence is not itself a good thing that we should spend a lifetime securing its necessities: a life spent, however victoriously, in securing the necessaries of life...

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Work in progress

I’d already had three books published when a friend told me ‘I never think of what you do as work.’ When I’d wiped the ironic smile off my face, I gave her the grudging benefit of the doubt. Writing isn’t road sweeping. It’s not plumbing. It’s not mountain rescue. In...

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Do you dream in colour?

The senses are so important when writing – working them into the book. The taste of salt, or fear, or the dry mouth of shock; the sound of a voice. The subdued longing in a touch or the latent aggression in a clasped hand; the brush of wet grass against the skin. The...

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There is no unique picture of reality

Stephen Hawking said this. When novelists sit down to produce a story, do they reproduce reality? No. For a start, everyone’s version of ‘reality’ is different (see above). Which works well, because that gives writers scope to produce their own. When you and I, for...

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