Pets and their owners

I have had a number of pets during my life but never really been sure why I wanted to share my house or garden with what is basically a wild animal. I’ve never been convinced that anyone ‘owns’ a pet and I’ve never seen a caged bird that looks happy. Some pets, I’m sure, don’tContinue reading “Pets and their owners”

How my life is shaped by ASD

This is how I have coped with life. It may or may not help others. Having only been diagnosed in later life as being affected by Autism Spectrum Disorder, I am now reluctant to mention it to friends as reactions range from disbelief to dismissal. I missed the window to be diagnosed with Asperger’s SyndromeContinue reading “How my life is shaped by ASD”

The Six Colours of a Rainbow

We’ve seen a lot of beautifully drawn rainbows recently but what colours should you use. It’s a simple matter of physics, but not everyone has seen rainbows the same way, and when Sir Isaac Newton got it wrong we all followed. This is a potted history of how rainbows have been described over millennia. HomerAboutContinue reading “The Six Colours of a Rainbow”

I used to draw postcards

It feels like a different life when we didn’t have cameras on our phones, or not even mobile phones. In those distant days people would send a postcard to friends and family whilst on holiday. Sometimes the postcards even arrived before they returned home. Somehow I started drawing cartoons for holiday postcards. It was onlyContinue reading “I used to draw postcards”

Three Reasons to Write

Behind every author, professional or amateur, is a reason they started and continue to write. I have fumbled for words when asked ‘Why do you write?’, especially as I would be classified as commercially unsuccessful (no agent or publisher). But I have spoken to and listened to a lot of authors in my life, fromContinue reading “Three Reasons to Write”

Where it feels right to write

After a lifetime of working freelance as an illustrator, graphic designer, copywriter and cartoonist, I have an established working routine and a quiet studio with forty years history embedded in every dust mote – or I did have until we moved house a few years ago. I now have a smaller studio, but much ofContinue reading “Where it feels right to write”

The Parracombe Prize

Last autumn a small group of writers in Parracombe, both amateur and professional, decided to launch a short story competition. The village is unusual in that a population of less than 300 inhabitants has held an active book group for over twenty years and has several people involved in writing or in publishing services. WeContinue reading “The Parracombe Prize”

How I didn’t find a Literary Agent

A quick check on Google confirmed my worst fears. There are almost half a billion returns for ‘unicorn’ and only 168 for ‘literary agents’. Does that mean that getting into a conversation with a unicorn is more likely than getting a literary agent to consider my latest novel? This was how I approached the process.Continue reading “How I didn’t find a Literary Agent”

Illusions Made From Paper

I have, most of my life, been puzzled by the imagined reality of money. Society started by trading food, goods and services. Then currency was invented. In the world today we don’t have very much real money, we operate almost entirely on promises. You may imagine that the statement you get from a bank guaranteesContinue reading “Illusions Made From Paper”

Three Impending Disasters

Early in 2019 I started to write Hope Island, it was completed that year and published in January 2020. It is set one hundred years in the future but it is not a dystopian fantasy. The premise was how three recognised impending disasters might shape our future. The first we are now experiencing, although soContinue reading “Three Impending Disasters”