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Ode to Online Literary Festivals

This summer has been one of festivals. Of meeting new friends and connecting with old ones; of discovering books and authors; of learning about the process and craft of writing. It’s been a whirlwind and an inspiration.

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I write: therefore I am (a writer)

Back in the early days of lockdown, I joined thousands of others wondering exactly how I – a full-time freelance writer, editor, creative writing tutor – would stretch my already limited budget to feed myself and the 9 year old.

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Letter to a woman I (am supposed to miss) during lockdown...

Hey you,

It’s the thing at the moment, isn’t it, to talk about what we’re all missing. You know: where we’ll going, what we’ll eat, and who will get that very first hug on the day lockdown is over. On the down-days, anyway. On the up-ones, we’re all lavish Facebook posts, boasting about nurturing our mental health, our children, our house-plants, our sourdough starters…Go on, admit it!

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A Hundred Years (Or More) Of Reading

I’ve long been aware that my nine year thinks I’m ancient, but today his attempt to be more specific was, ‘You were born in the old days, weren’t you, mum, between dinosaurs and World War Two?’ My first school photograph, aged five, and a quick look-up of my 1970s village primary school went some way in convincing him I didn’t carry a gas mask and live in a cave. It came about at bedtime when I was reading aloud our nightly extract from The Borrowers – carried over from school; his teacher reads daily to the class – and mentioned I’d read the book at his age, but found it quite tricky to read out loud (complex sentence structures, mostly) and he agreed that Miss Ford read it better (Miss Ford does everything better, and she’s got two horses; she’s genuinely amazing). ‘Did your teacher read it to you?’ he asked....
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Livres et Lockdown

Yep ... as well as lurching from day to day without actually knowing what day it is, I’ve spent the last six weeks brushing up on my French.

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