“Oh, the twerks of being a writer- literary tweaking.” To use a famous philosopher’s words: “I get knocked down But I get up again..” (…Or then again, was that Chumbawamba?) Writing a novel is hard. It’s scary. On a par with having children, with slight variations. Creating a baby takes timing, similar to the Goldilocks […]
My Book Review: Notes on a Scandal By Zoe Heller
Title: Notes On A Scandal Author: Zoe Heller Published: May 2009 Publisher: Penguin Pages: 256 Pages Genre: Fiction RRP: £8.99 Rating: Five Stars About the book From the first day that the beguiling Sheba Hart joins the staff of St George’s history teacher Barbara Covett is convinced she has found a kindred spirit. Barbara’s loyalty to her new friend is passionate […]
My Book Review: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves By Karen Joy Fowler
Title: We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves Author: Karen Joy Fowler Published: June 2014 Publisher: Serpent’s Tail Pages: 336 Pages Genre: Fiction RRP: £6.49 Rating: Three Stars About the book Rosemary’s young, just at college, and she’s decided not to tell anyone a thing about her family. So we’re not going to tell you too much either: you’ll […]
My #Bookreview: Letter to Louis by Alison White
Title: Letter to Louis Author: Alison White Published: January 2018 Publisher: Faber & Faber Pages: 352 Pages Genre: Memoir RRP: £10.78 Rating: Five Stars About the book This is a memoir about hope – hope in others, hope in systems, and hope for the future. I’ve never quite known where to begin when someone asks me what […]
My #Bookreview of I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell.
Title: I am, I am, I am Author: Maggie O’Farrell Published: 22 August 2017 Publisher: Tinder Press Pages: 304 Pages Genre: Memoir RRP: £12.99 About the book A childhood illness she was not expected to survive. A teenage yearning to escape that nearly ended in disaster. A terrifying encounter on a remote […]
My #Bookreview: My Name is Lucy Barton by Elizabeth Strout.
Title: My Name is Lucy Barton Author: Elizabeth Strout Published: March 2017 Publisher: Viking Pages: 208 Pages Genre: Literary Fiction RRP: £12.99 Rating: Five Stars About the book Lucy is recovering from an operation in a New York hospital when she wakes to find her estranged mother sitting by her bed. They have not seen one another in […]
Skilbey’s Book Review: A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow
Title: A Hundred Tiny Threads Author: Judith Barrow Published: 17 August 2017 Publisher: Hono Welsh Women’s Press Pages: 320 pages Genre: Historical fiction RRP: £8.99 Rating: 5 Stars Don’t forget, it’s Welsh Books Councils Book Of The Month in January 2018: http://www.gwales.com/ecat/?sf_ecat_id=520&session_timeout=1 A little about the book Winifred is a determined young woman eager for […]
Skilbey’s Book Review: A Hundred Tiny Threads by Judith Barrow
Title: A Hundred Tiny Threads Author: Judith Barrow Published: 17 August 2017 Publisher: Hono Welsh Women’s Press Pages: 320 pages Genre: Historical fiction RRP: £8.99 Rating: 5 Stars Welsh Books Councils Book Of The Month in January 2018: http://www.gwales.com/ecat/?sf_ecat_id=520&session_timeout=1 About the book Winifred is a determined young woman eager for new experiences, for a […]
2018 New Year Hopes
Raising a toast to the year ahead. Pick a 2018 Fortune Cookie. If you visualise the year ahead with an element of doom and gloom then, Happy New Year, Pessimisto Maestro, it may be a pleasant uphill for you from here on. If you’re trying to visualise the year ahead in the best possible light […]
Alive enough to have the strength to die. Skilbey Blogs
It’s a frightening thought and it looks like it may be true. In a nutshell, the rising CO2 levels in our atmosphere accelerating food growth and hence production could also be threatening our own survival. Recent research has revealed that the nutrient content found in a food source grown where there were high CO2 […]
Throwing the book at you.
It’s been a while since I’ve blogged. I’ve been catching up with what I neglected while preparing for the Festival of Writing, York, last month. You can read about my experiences here http://www.skilbey.com/my-time-at-the-festival-of-writing-york/ It’s funny. As a writer, I love unpicking the peculiar minds of my characters and I love characters that are flawed or damaged, […]
My time at the Festival of Writing, York.
Wow, the Festival of Writing was a mighty fine event. http://www.writersworkshop.co.uk/Booking-Festival.html It brings together the very best industry experts; book doctors, editors, publishers and agents and successful authors, all wanting to share their experiences and their sound advice. All there, waiting to give feedback on your writing project, whatever the stage you are at. Held on […]
It’s off to the York Festival of Writing
Gosh, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Hello to you all. I haven’t actually taken early retirement from the blogosphere. I’ve just spent the past few weeks – well, much more really – polishing up my manuscript, ready to take to the York Festival of Writing next weekend. Next weekend. Yikes. I’ve been buoyed […]
Do You Wince At The Sound Of Your Voice? This Might Be Why.
Urrgh! Hearing the sound of my own voice always brings me out in a sweat and makes me cringe on a scale I never knew existed. I know I am not alone here. Friends feel the same way about hearing their own voices and many working in jobs such as broadcasting, acting, and voice over […]
The York Festival of Writing Beckons. I Have My Ticket. #FoW17
Not good at waxing lyrical about how best to write a novel. Many blogging novelists and novelists in the making embrace this art in their blogs. They have this covered. Where do I start with describing my process? Many bloggers out there seem to have this covered too and I’m not sure I can make […]
I was tickled by a feature on Radio 4’s Saturday Live (24 June) http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08tvjr4 presented by Aasmah Mir and the Reverend Richard Coles, previously one-half of the British pop duo, The Communards. Their brilliant morning show which sadly I now rarely catch is always filled with eclectic conversation, with the most unusual stories being the pull for […]
Mr Bastard of a Cat
I have a soft spot for cats. There is no cure. Through my eyes, they can do no wrong (or rather I choose to ignore their wrong doings). I have strong and similar feelings towards goats, having kept a couple in the past. I can confirm that these adorable creatures are boundary blind, reckless hooligans […]
Spirits Watching Earth Nation Street. Episode: Now
I wonder if when we die, whether there is such a thing as a spirit world, and whether these spirits are watching the living as if watching a TV drama being played out. Apparently, spirits are able to see the bigger picture and know exactly what’s going down on Earth Nation Street. They don’t have to wait […]
A Little World With The Very Best Of You.
Wouldn’t it be lovely if you had a little world that you could call your own which you could step into from time to time? Your little world would fuel and balm you by reminding you of all the lovely things that have brought out the best in you or have inspired you. Here, your […]
Slowly Does It. Does It?
Ok, for a long time I never understood why elite athletes when coming to the end of their race would slow down considerably on approach to the finishing line. Yes, I know exhaustion plays a part but sometimes, they just don’t look exhausted. I understand now that it is because there are financial incentives for […]
Every Home Should Have An Eeyore.
Every Home Should Have An Eeyore. Life is full of contrasts and in order to fully appreciate and celebrate light and its hues, we need to acknowledge its many shades. And isn’t shade refreshing after some time spent in the heat of the sun? When we get it. This appreciation of shade can be heightened by […]
Reassured By A Black Hole Choking On Stardust
There is something very grounding and reassuring about the recent discovery of a black hole choking on stardust. http://news.mit.edu/2017/black-hole-choking-stardust-0315 “In essence, this black hole has not had much to feed on for a while, and suddenly along comes an unlucky star full of matter,” says Dheeraj Pasham, the paper’s first author and a postdoc in […]
Comes Down To Perspectives – Whichever Way You look At It.
As a writer, it goes without saying that it is important to have an appreciation of other perspectives- even if you are not entirely in tune with how things may look from different standpoints; the characters we write about are not always likable, even for us. I smiled at a sobering reality check and exchange […]
“Besides the lies and the mud slinging, is there anything she’s done to personally upset you?”
I had the pleasure and the misfortune of watching a few episodes of “The Housewives of…” just recently. It was unavoidable as I had promised my daughter that I would be her hairdresser that day and she had the remote for the Zombie box and it was her chosen poison that morning. It became a […]
Any Soul Plumbers Out There?
So, let me get this straight. When we die, we go to Soul Heaven. Here, we know everything and know it all at once; what has passed, what is passing, what is still to pass. Time plays to a different kind of dimension. Apparently, we understand everything here. We become a soul puzzle that slots […]
A Lack Of The Zombie. Skilbey Blogs
We didn’t have a licence. I used to live right bang in the centre of London, where life was far, far more interesting than investing in and switching on a Zombie Box. So that never happened. However, from time to time we would receive a buzz on the intercom to our almost top floor flat, […]
Art, For Dog Sake. Skilbey Blogs
Variety is very much alive and kicking. You can have alive, any way you want. You can have it as an ‘exuberant life force’ or perhaps have it just as ‘alive enough to have the strength to die’. Flat lining is also a choice. That’s a kind of pulse, just without the interruptions. You didn’t […]
Fat On The Inside, Thin On The Outside. Skilbey Blogs
I’m fat on the inside and thin on the outside and will be sick if I see another tinsel- still plucking strands out from between my teeth after having it shoved down the throat from Halloween onwards and well before any ghoul had had a chance to return stone cold and graveyard dead, pulling its […]
How Do I Own Thee? Let Me Count The Proprietorial Ways.
‘My name is Kaminicha.’ ‘Kami…what? I’m going to call you Kam.’ Casting a nickname onto someone or attempting to shorten another person’s name without their consent can certainly be seen as a proprietorial act, along with other behaviours involving subtle or not so subtle body movements such as placing an uninvited arm around the back […]
Five ‘Inspirational’ Quotes That Irritate. Skilbey Blogs
Just five. I could go on but… Don’t get me wrong, some popular quotes do exactly what they say on the tin and are indeed inspirational. However, there are some that read much like a listen-in to Billie The Bullshitter. The content is empty. But Billie likes the sound of his/her voice, likes the style […]
Getting Ready For The 511 Challenge?
A reminder to all lovely readers and to let those that are new to my site know that on 1st December, I hit the benchmark of one year since starting my website and blogs. I am chuffed – so chuffed that I have remained true to my goals to keep it going and to sharpen writing […]
Politeness- A Very British Affair. Skilbey Blogs
You know the story. You are about to purchase something. Let’s stick to food as an example. This is where the heinous act is usually committed. You buy food. Let’s call it Yum. You buy a little extra than is necessary. You know ‘X’ likes it. There’s enough for seconds. You get back and ‘X’ […]