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Showing posts from April, 2012

Help cyclists

The owner of Addison Lee minicab company, John Griffin, this week made inflammatory comments regarding cyclists on our roads. He offered to pay the fines of his thousands of minicab drivers to drive in the bus lanes illegally, thereby putting cyclists in increased danger, so that he could add to his already deep coffers.

He is lobbying the present government - having donated to the Tories - to allow minicabs to use bus lanes, which will defy their very purpose, become a greater hindrance to the buses, cyclists and the highly regulated, trained and self-employed black taxi drivers.

This is clearly a man who thinks that he can throw money at the powers that be in order to create far more for himself.

about it on Friday, and Beth Anderson, another cyclist, set up a Die In, which is taking place outside the AL offices at 6pm tomorrow (please do join the group on Facebook). I also put forward the cyclists case on yesterday's Radio 4 PM programme, in which Griffin seemed to backtrack …

Writing-free days

By the time I get in from work, go for a run, have dinner, have bath, mooch around on Facebook, there's no time left for writing, hence not adding words to the page this evening. There's always tomorrows commute, though. Fragments of Horror is, though, turning into one of those things that needs frequent binges, frequent space, so having writing free days is healthy. I was a bit surprised (can one be a bit surprised?) though to discover that no work of fiction was awarded a Pulitzer this year, announced today. I had been looking forward to being introduced to maybe another Tinkers (I still love that book - I must re-read it). Or maybe I'll have to stop depending on waiting for prize winners to be announced and find my own winners! I took a module in Prizes and Politics on my BA in English Lit whilst I was at Westminster. I can't really remember what I learnt - something about the politics of prize, ergo module title! Ok, I'm rambling now. I tell you what I would li…


By midnight last night I had reached 13,000 words on my current project. It is provisionally titled 'Fragments of Horror'. I feel it is ok to say that now, although if anything goes wrong with it between now and the continuance of this, the first draft 'spewing out' stage I shall blame this blog post! When is it ever a safe time to 'talk' about stuff one is writing? Even if something manages publication the author's words can damage the always precarious relationship between herself and the words she has delivered herself through a bloody birth by her own hand. Before that there were the pains of contraction as she wondered when full term would finally allow the first sighting of those head of words. Name/title may have been there all along or may only make itself known once momma has seen the full shape of her offspring. Me, I only ever declare provisional titles. Fragments of Horror was the title scrawled as I first began to spew out what are fragments. O…


I have just broken through the 5,000 word mark on the first draft of my new project. It feels like a proper beginning, but I dare not wonder about how many more words, how many more scenes, need to be excavated and examined. It is not fiction, which makes it harder - perhaps easier; I don't know. It's like a memoir. Fragments. I wrote it all in longhand. I had spent £17 on a small notebook especially. I do that. But then there's the typing up, which I've now done, hence the word count. Despite this I'm also reading. Following Victor Lodato's P.E. I bought the kindle version of Mathilda Savitch, his first novel. There is not a word wasted - the descriptions are full and concise. It is the perspective of a thirteen year old girl grieving the death, suicide, of her older sister. I'm also meant to be reading State of Wonder by Anne Pratchett, though I've barely begun; it's for my reading group.


Victor Lodato

The short fiction in this week's (2nd April) New Yorker is a must-read. 'P.E' by Victor Lodato brilliantly captures comic poignancy in the life of, and relationship between, an estranged alcoholic father and his adult, obese son. The father visits the son in Tucson, where he hopes to lay to rest some of the tragic ghosts of the past. It's pitch perfect. Intrigued by Lodato I looked up his debut novel, Mathilda Savitch, which I am now reading on kindle. It is more of a crossover book, but one that has crystal clear observations and the frozen grief of Mathilda who struggles to find a way to her teacher parents in the aftermath of the (another) tragic death of Helene, Mathilda's older sister. I'm racing through it.



I recently reviewed a book simply titled 'Evil' (Polity Press) for new review site 'review31'. The author aims to study evil on the sociological plane, taking it from the hitherto theological. You can read it here.

Location:Train to Kew