I’ve been doing some more critiquing of other people’s writing recently and it’s been an eye-opening experience. The quality of writing I’ve looked at has varied from publishable literary fiction quality down to buttock-clenchingly piss poor trash. I’m not going to name or quote anyone because that would be shitty behaviour and also against the … Continue reading Misunderstood writing advice part 1: “You don’t have to like a character”
This is going to be a long one. And when I say that at the start - instead of aiming for brevity and spawning a great verbose behemoth instead - you know it’s true. There’s also extremely personal and painful stuff in here, so there will be less snark than usual. Probably not no snark, … Continue reading Notes on Faith, Grief and Homophobia
Housekeeping first. I’m aware I tend towards lengthy silly end notes which you probably can’t be arsed to scroll down and up for. So I’m going to try putting them after the paragraph rather than at the end and we’ll see if that makes a big mess of things or if it’s better. OK disability … Continue reading Assholes, eyes, dogs and weddings
CW for griefhammers Soon after I started this blog, I wrote about my father-in-law, and about the pen he left to me when he died. I thought I’d write something similar about my mother-in-law, who died a week ago. So this is a bit fresh. It’s also a memoriam in the context of an object. … Continue reading My mother-in-law, her sewing machine, and my sewing machine (that she bought me).
By which I mean MY house, because any house I’m in is the Opera House. And you know, lockdown, so that we don’t all die. So far so good on that front, but if I develop a fever mid review I’ll let you know. I’m not going to talk about that in any great depth … Continue reading Diamine Inkvent: The View From the Opera House
Empathy is a bit of a sticking point in conversations about autism. It’s one of the most misunderstood elements of the spectrum and it tends to result in us being a bit spiky. There’s a lot of shouting that we’re more empathetic than neurotypical people, so fuck you, World of Allism. There are snarky Facebook … Continue reading Empathy is overrated
So let’s talk about blindness and books. This was actually just going to be another savage review but I thought I’d first write a bit about how NOT to include blindness, or disability generally, in a book. It all comes back to something that happened a few months ago, in a group for beta readers … Continue reading Blindness, writing, and a not very savage review of It’s Not What It Looks Like by Molly Burke
I’m coming to the conclusion that I don’t have time for wholeass novels that don’t pass the Bechdel test. I get that you might have a harder time making it happen if you’re writing a first person narrative with a male narrator, but… no, actually that’s not an excuse. Have a scene in which the … Continue reading Savage reviews: The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
OK people, I’m back. Inktober didn’t kill me. Actually I’ve been asked so many times now to self-publish my Inktober flash fic ramblings that I’m looking to do that. But I don’t want to charge money for a very small book that only contains things that are freely available on my blog, so I’m working … Continue reading What’s long, hard and full of crude?
The first time the children came to Ethel’s door, she was confused. Then she was irritated, partly at having to haul her aching bones out of her comfortable chair, and partly because she suspected the children had seen her confusion and misinterpreted it. “Harvest festival!” they chimed. “I’m sorry? What is this? Did you want … Continue reading Inktober 31/10/19: Ripe