Ways with words

A jolly good question arrived in my inbox a couple of weeks ago, and 'twas this - why do I write the tvdetective books in a sparse and factual style?

The answer - and prepare yourself for a shock here - is that it's no accident of chance, but actually planned and intended.  Stop laughing, it is I tell you!  I do occasionally, sometimes, just now and then come somewhere close to having a deliberate plan for some parts of this curious phenomenon called life.

The reason is straightforward, perhaps even (ready for another shock?) logical.  I thought as I... Read more

Words and the weather

Ever the most British of fascinations, the weather is even more so at the moment.  I suspect it's because Autumn turned up so tardily that when it finally arrived it came as a shock.

I was thinking a little about the part the weather plays in the tvdetective books, and the world of words in general.  I defy just about any English author not to mention the weather on repeated occasions - we're programmed to do so! - but equally you've got to be careful not to let it become a cliche.

How many times is the denouement of a... Read more

The joy of animals

I had a curious conversation this week (first aside of the blog - in fact, I tend to have many in most weeks, but whether that's just me or the two strange professions I pursue I leave to you to decide), which I thought worth musing about, as it's central to the tvdetective books and also the lives of many of us.

'tis this - the wisdom of animals. 

I'm not quite sure how the conversation started, but a friend was arguing that the most intelligent birds she knew were chickens.

How so? asked I.  Did you once come... Read more

Stretching mind and body

Something interesting has happened (it occasionally does to me). 

I had a straightforward and simple title for this little musing - just the one word - but hesitated when I went to write it, as I thought the original version would put many people off from reading onwards.

I suppose that's because the word is very divisive, some people loving it and being almost addicts, others immediately shutting down their ears the moment it's aired.

Anyway, all that's a new record in itself, a digression to begin a blog, instead of at least having the decency to wait until... Read more

Socks, scarves and other follies of fashion..

I've been having trouble with my socks of late, as those lucky folk who follow me on Twitter and Facebook will know.  First one of my favourite pair splits, and that on a Monday morning too - what an inauspicious start to the week! - and then I can't find a matching pair anywhere in the whole drawer.

Which all got me thinking about the broader issue of fashion, both in the tvdetective books, and the rest of my life.

The following confession will come as little surprise to anyone who knows me, and it's thus; I don't think I... Read more

A basic human fear

I had the pleasure of talking to the Hampshire Writers' Society last night, and one subject came up aplenty and guided me to today's subject for musing.

It's something which strikes at the heart of we fragile human things, and which dominates many of our fears. In a word, it's rejection.

My first memory of the dreaded feeling was from age about five or six.  There was a singing lesson at school, and some of the class were selected to be recorded warbling Christmas carols.  The teacher went around listening to the various children and picked them out, one by... Read more

Reflections of time

If you're wondering what I'm going to write after such a grand title for an entry, then I fear I may be joining you in that.  However...

What I was thinking of is how we use our time and how much of it we waste. 

The reason for today's musing is this - another fine question has arrived in my inbox, and it asks in essence; "How do I come up with some of the strange tweets I post?" 

In truth I've edited the inquiry a little, there was a suggestion some were more than a tad strange,... Read more

A simple pleasure of inspiration

I haven't answered a question for a while, being the naughty writer type chap I am - it's part of the job description not to play by the rules! - so I thought this morning may be a good time to rectify that omission. 

An email arrived a couple of weeks ago with the simple inquiry - what inspires me?

As with so many apparently straightforward questions, it's much more complex than it first sounds and there are a host of possible answers.  But one has been nudging me to talk about it, so I'll choose that boisterous candidate.

... Read more

Fighting a modern-day dragon

Every day, I partake of a practice which I thought - until recently - was perfectly normal, but have come to realise through conversations with friends and those members of the wider world, that it very much isn't.

First aside of this blog - and so rapidly! - I can sense you're starting to worry what I'm going to say here, and indeed whether it's safe to carry on... Fear not, it's nothing offensive.  Just, apparently, unusual.

I might as well get on with it, so here's the confesssion which it seems puts me out of step with much... Read more