Inspired by Those Horse Stories

When I was little and attempting to write something, gazing thoughtfully at a notebook, Grandma asked where I get my ideas from. I replied, ‘From books.’

She laughed.

Yeah…that wasn’t the right response, apparently! I hadn’t communicated effectively. She thought I meant specific ideas; I meant inspiration.

Books inspire me. Stories inspire me – prose, plays, films, verbal storytelling etc. All of it.

At the time when Grandma asked me that question, I was working my way through a box of books leant to me by a family friend – all stories about horses. I devoured them. I was obsessed with the idea of horses generally, even though I had never ridden one and tended to be too scared to even Continue reading

Reading: Depth or Breadth?

I have three big piles of books waiting to be read. I would get through them more quickly if I hadn’t recently started re-reading some of my favourites.

I don’t find it very easy to read novels. When I start a new book, I get stressed trying to remember characters’ names and plot information, which means I read slowly and benefit from re-reading them. This isn’t a bad thing. There’s little point in whizzing through hundreds of books in a frenzy – it’s particularly important from a writer’s perspective to examine the prose carefully.

However, if I constantly Continue reading

These Are a Few of My Favourite Words

I love words. That won’t surprise anyone, so let’s move on.

Here is a list of some of my favourites, in no particular order. Some I like because of their meanings (‘petrichor’: a pleasant smell that frequently accompanies the first rain after a long period of warm, dry weather), and with others it’s the way they sound, or how they feel when spoken (guzzle, guzzle, guzzle).

Do you have any favourite words? Do you like them because of their meanings or their sound/feel? Or is it a combination?




Zephyr Continue reading

I Can’t Read Late at Night Anymore

One of my favourite hobbies as a child has been spoilt by becoming a writer: I can no longer read in bed before I fall asleep.

I doubt I’m the only one who used to snuggle up in their duvet, say goodnight to their parents, and have an illegal date with a torch and one of Enid Blyton’s creations. I read obsessively. I admit, my range was limited, because I loved to reread my favourite books. Still, it was wonderful.

I almost feel guilty that I can’t do it anymore. Have I broken some writerly rule by admitting this? What has changed? Continue reading