Category: writing

Women’s History Month – guest, Kelly Gardiner

On Emma Donoghue’s queer histories ‘Stories are a different kind of true,’ Ma tells five year-old Jack, in Emma Donoghue’s award-winning Room. This urban contemporary thriller was a global bestseller, won numerous awards, and was adapted by Donoghue into a 2015 film for which Brie Larson won an Oscar, Golden Globe and BAFTA awards for …

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Women’s History Month – guest, Irene Radford

I know and love both of these women, which is why this post is today’s. The last few days have been quiet and frantic and what has got me through them is what often does: female friends and community. It’s a common factor that (until recently) was not seen as a critical part of historical …

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Women’s History Month – Rosemary Hayes

Rosemary Hayes has kindly written us another piece that helps explain the lives of women writers. In fact, Rosemary kindly wrote it for me last year, following last year’s theme, but last year I was not-quite-well and this year it works wonderfully to help us understand a more complex picture. The Highs, Lows and Bits …

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Women’s History Month guest – Adele Geras, writing about Dorothy Whipple

‘Dorothy Whipple was a popular novelist of the 1930s and 1940s whose prose and content absolutely defeated us.’ Thus Carmen Callil in an article in the Guardian celebrating the Virago 40th anniversary in 2008. My immediate reaction to this was: ‘Have Carmen C and I been reading the same books?’ I couldn’t imagine why she …

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Women’s History Month guest – Sharyn Lilley

I knew Sharyn first as a science fiction fan, an editor, and as a writer. She edited Life Through Cellophane (now Ms Cellophane) and a short storyof mine. I asked Sharyn for this, then, for the world is full of incipient irony, I was raced off to hospital myself. Most of this month will be …

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I need help thinking…

I’m world building the impending novel with a protagonist who has chronic illness, and life (and my own illnesses) intervened. I wanted to do this through looking at technical analyses, but it’s not going to be possible. So I sat down and thought “What’s the impact of these elements of the world? How precisely am …

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Some thoughts on cultural exclusion

Right now, the results of my research are forcing me to reassess the world around me. It’s giving remarkably clear indications of how perfectly nice and thoughtful people help set up a complex culture in which bigots can source their hate. Now that I know a bit more about where it comes from, I need …

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Creating culture

The world faces so many problems right now, and they’re all underpinned by a virtuous normalcy. People who expect that life will be generous and take it for granted, so don’t see or deal with what’s blocking and hurting the lives of others. I’ve seen this happen in areas where people dedicate their lives to …

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On writing what I know, or, “How do I know things? Let me count the ways.”

This week is a little busy. By Monday morning, I need to have finished all the non-fiction (articles, essays and two conference papers) due until 10 September. That’s over twenty thousand words. I’m part way through and on a roll and all I have to do is work steadily and somewhat obsessively and I’ll make …

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Discussion – novel where the main character is woman with a chronic illness (or two)

I was thinking about writing another novel about another kind of invisibility, to balance Ms Cellophane and The Time of the Ghosts. I deal with chronic illnesses every day of my life. I’m very much not the only one. Yet this kind of life with all its oddity and excitement seldom makes it into novels. …

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