Curious habits and echoes of childhood

I've been doing a fair bit of driving around of late, which is a necessary chore of the day job, but I don't like to waste time so I try to put the hours of travelling to some good use.

Whilst ensuring I concentrate on the road at all times, naturally (quick aside - that sounds like one of those awful disclaimers so beloved of the legal profession; we can no way be held to account for anything whatsoever we do in any circumstances arising from anything at all etc...) I also like to do some thinking as I drive.... Read more


I'm feeling dangerously close to somewhere approaching the near proximity of possibly getting the hang of this new media lark.

Yesterday, being the beautiful day it was, I mused a little on Twitter about the season and was flattered by getting plenty of feedback about it.

For those of you who missed the Tweet in question, it went thus; "Sweet September, King of the Devon months. Summer's love lingers, the county becalmed, & seasonal yellow sunlight caresses autumn's colours."

Quick aside (as ever) - I'm not sure whether you're supposed to use quotation marks on your own words, but... Read more

Body and mind

An innovation in the Hall blogging field - this time I'll start with an aside, but an important one.

It's a big thanks to the very kind and dedicated people who organised the Budleigh Salterton Literary Festival.  I had a splendid time, felt very looked after, and hope the festival lives long and prospers, as they say in Star Trek.  It certainly deserves to.

Thanks also to those who came along to my talk, which is where this little musing arises from. One of the questions posed unto me was - are the characters or the plot more important in... Read more


I'm getting nervous, an impressive 36 hours before the event.

I don't do nerves particularly fetchingly.  Where some fortunate folk can show no visible effects at all, and others seem to manage to put on only a healthy and becoming glow, I flush and sweat in a manner which might best be described as looking like a beetroot which has been caught in a downpour.

I always get nervy before a performance, but some more so than others. For the smaller talks, perhaps to a group of 30 or so at a library, I'll give myself the grace of only... Read more

Literary recycling & my new old friend

I don't like waste, never have.  Even as a kid I hated to see anything go to waste, and that feeling has only intensified as I've (mostly) grown up.

I was reminded of this yesterday, and in a curious way.  You know how I sometimes (often? incessantly?!) say one of the greatest gifts of writing is how much you learn about yourself? Well, it happened again last night, as I was sitting in my study, looking out at the inspiration of an early autumn sunset, and thinking / working on some ideas for a new tvdetective plot.

Commonly, when I... Read more

Chasing thoughts

I've been thinking about thinking, following a curious mental quirk which visited me once more this week.

I mentioned in a previous post that I was writing a stage play, based on the tvdetective books?  Well, it's almost done - albeit after much sweating and swearing - but that's not what this little post is about.  Instead... 'tis this.

When I was on one of the play's key scenes, I was happily typing away, following the plan I'd set out in my notes when something stopped me. 

Exactly what it was is hard to say, but I'll do... Read more

My apprenticeship

A lot of rot is talked about writing, in my humble view. Amongst the largest of the dung-heaps is the oft-heard claim of someone being a "born writer".

I think it's quite true that some people have a natural aptitude for writing, as with so many areas of life.  But what narks your spleen-venting author is the assumption that those lucky enough to have a modest talent in a certain direction then go on to churn out wonderful works of literary art in the passage of almost no time, and with the expenditure of little, if any effort.


Time... Read more

Happy side effects

This foggy Friday morning finds me musing on the many benefits of writing.

I'm not just thinking about the straightforward ones here; the pleasure of seeing your scribbles published, the delight of getting to know more about yourself through such a simple act as setting down a few words, the satisfaction of capturing a thought or feeling on a page etc etc.

No, here I'm talking about the related benefits.  And in particular, there are two which have been engaging me of late.

The first is the teaching I've been doing.  I've mentioned before that in my younger years... Read more