In My Wildest Dreams: Adventures in Children's Fiction

Lucky 13: Premises that underpin my writing.

  1. It is not a competition. The only person who can defeat you is yourself.
  2. Success is not measured in money; or by being traditionally published.
  3. Don’t expect to make a living out of it; the world doesn't owe you one.
  4. Have a story to tell.
  5. You don’t have to enjoy writing, but it helps if the balance is at least 60/40 in favour of happiness.
  6. Social media is not writing; turn it off when you are working.
  7. Every blank page has a story to tell. Write and it will speak to you.
  8. Read widely and often.
  9. What you have written is your legacy.
  10. A writer who doesn’t write is lazy.
  11. Keep a notebook; you can work on more than one project at a time.
  12. Like food & exercise, little and often is best.
  13. REMEMBER: Everything you write will burn up one day in one sun or another.


Why writing is all Snakes & Ladders.

I am pleased to say I have just finished adding the final touches to my new book (Title remains a secret). I can now have a break. In just over a month's time I shall have one last look at it and then send it off to agents.

I shall then have to go back and look at the first draft of a book I finished this time last year. (Title remains a secret) When I'll look again at The Key to Finlac, I am not quite sure. I have a long version, and most of a shorter version ready.

Why do titles remain a secret? I guess because until I send a book off, I have not quite settled on it and don't want to give too much away.

So how do I feel about my progress towards being published again? Sanguine I guess. I have written at least 40,000 words a year for the past three, so something might happen in the end. I know I am a good writer. So much depends on the market... and getting past the intern at the door!

In October, I shall start a new project. I know exactly what it is. At least for the moment, I am at the top of another ladder!

House Martin - The Bringer of Stories.

The other day I stopped on the way to my destination and stood stock still for ten minutes. A group of House Martins were feeding over a wild patch of water, bog plants and reeds close to the path. Flying fast at shoulder level they spiralled around me. To them I could have been any inanimate object. For me it was as close to airborne birds as I am ever likely to come. I could have looked them in the eye if they hadn't been moving so fast.

The air is light, the sunshine warm. Following small speeding bodies in flight with only one's eyes, the bright background a wash of colour, is disembodying. Such is the lightness of being. Gone is the weight of the world. And so is time. For a moment. This is close to flying.


How to tell of this? Find the right words and pictures to release something in the imagination. This is why children need to learn to love language and illustration from an early age through picture books, songs, poems and nursery rhymes. It is why children need to read and be told stories, and it is why it is beholden upon us to encourage them to enjoy the written word as they grow older.

Seeing a House Martin is one thing, being able to tell someone about the joy of it is another.