22 May 2011


One of the things I was looking forward to while here in England was scanning the magazine racks for writing magazines.  I subscribe to one magazine, The New Writer, which is a combination of writing articles, short stories and poetry, and which I think is only available through subscription.  

In New Zealand book and magazine shops I sometimes see copies of Writers Forum and Writing Magazine, though these are usually a couple of months out of date, which is okay for the articles but not much use for competitions.  I guess I should subscribe to them - a job on my to do list!

Back to my original line of thought - I've looked around a number stores while here and am amazed that the only writing magazines I've seen are the two I mentioned in the paragraph above.   My plans of finding more great writing magazines to read blown away.

Why is this?

Writers write, so why aren't there more magazines for and by writers? 
There are shelves of railway and other type modelling magazines, heaps of fitness and sport magazines, a wall of women's interest topics, and don't get me started on the number of computer and electronic gadget magazines, but only two writing magazines.  Maybe a sign of the times I thought, recession and cutting back, but then why so many other types of magazines?

19 May 2011


At both Auckland and Heathrow airports I saw similar scenes - tears and hugs.  The goodbyes in the departure area were mostly sad, as opposed to the happy, sometimes ecstatic, scenes in the arrivals area.  
Those emotions are part of what makes us who we are, and if I take this back to writing, how our characters show their emotions can make them a memorable three-dimensional character, or a cardboard cut-out. 
I read a blog entry just before leaving Auckland which mentioned that a character shouldn't cry more than once in a novel because it became boring and trite, and as people we show emotions in multiple ways. 
Getting to know our characters means we know their particular traits and mannerisms as well as we do those of our close friends and family.

11 May 2011

Old Haunts

Over the past couple of days I've managed to visit a few places I haven't seen in a number of years.  This is useful as my current first draft WIP is set in England and I'm making full use of every author's constant companion - my notebook.  

It's interesting how different language is in various parts of the world, even those that supposedly speak the same one, and I've been busy noting down the differences I spot.   Language is also very generational (if there is such a word!) so I'm glad I'm not writing from a YA POV.  

I've been using my Kindle a lot, and while I still love print books, an e-reader is wonderful for travelling.  It's also a great talking point as people have asked me what I think of them compared to traditional books.

It's an exciting time to be a writer.     

07 May 2011

Time Travelling

About five minutes after my last posting I had an email telling me I hadn't been shortlisted in another competition I had entered. Obviously the universe making sure I don't get too bigheaded! 

Time and place are things we don't always think too much about (unless we're writing of course), we know where we are and sometimes we know what time it is.

Earlier this week I flew from New Zealand to England to visit family.  Two longhaul flights with only an hour's break at Singapore airport is enough to dull anyone's senses as to what day it is, which is why I started writing this thinking it was Friday morning, only to realise it was actually Saturday morning which makes it Saturday evening in New Zealand.  A long-winded apology for being late and a warning postings might be sporadic over the next couple of weeks.  I hope you hang in there with me.

02 May 2011


A wet and blustery day here in Auckland.  I love the word blustery, as it reminds me of Winnie the Pooh – though I’d prefer it not to be so wet.
I had good news today – one of my entries in the South Island Writers Association competition received a ‘Commended’.  Among the rejections I receive as a writer, it is lovely to have some good news, and to see my entry in the anthology.  Thanks to those who ran and judged the competition for their hard work. 
There was a 1,500-word short story competition, as well as a 100-word flash fiction.  I received the commended for an entry in the flash fiction.
Short stories are good to work on, almost as an antidote to writing a novel, as they are discrete pieces of work that don’t take the months, or years, that a novel requires.  Though I have to admit some of my short stories have been worked and reworked over a period of years. 
Flash fiction takes the skill of short story writing to another level altogether, but I get huge satisfaction is creating a mood, and telling a story in a few words.
I participated in reading some of my work at our local Borders store on Friday evening, with other local writers.  One of my extracts was a 48-word story I had published in a book several years ago.  The evening was good fun, and a chance to meet with other writers and readers.