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I’ve been asked to take part in a Blog Tour, by my friend, the playwright, Tom Wentworth. ‘A Blog Tour?’ I hear some of you ask? ‘What’s that? Allow me to enlighten you!

This blog tour quizzes writers about their work and practice, and it’s throwing up some interesting answers to four simple questions. You can read Tom’s brilliant answers and follow links to other writers who have taken part.

So now it’s my turn to answer the four searching questions…  

1)    What am I working on? I’m still recovering from a busy twelve months completing my MA in Scriptwriting, but I’ve recently started to develop an idea for a TV series about some young people working at a motorway service station. It’s useful having adolescents around my house, bouncing ideas off them and eavesdropping on conversations (the best part of being a writer!). So far they haven’t twigged what I’m up to. I seem to spend most of my time, rewriting. Last month, the Writers Guild of Great Britain invited several industry professionals to a rehearsed reading of my play ‘Guilt’. I received some very helpful feedback, which I’m working over. It’s taking me a while because some of it’s contradictory. It’s up to me, at the end of the day, to decide how best to improve and rewrite the script. It takes many, many mugs of coffee.

2)    How does my work differ from others in this genre?  I’ve noticed that many of the characters in my work are old. Maybe that’s because I feel that older folk have more interesting things to say. And they also represent a greater proportion of our population, so why shouldn’t they see themselves reflected on the stage or screen? There is a wealth of wonderful, mature actors who are desperate for gritty, interesting roles so it’s good to write something different which bucks the trend. Edgy writing doesn’t have to mean young characters.

3)    Why do I write what I do? I’ve always been a daydreamer and I love to escape to the imaginary worlds I create. I can lose hours writing my scripts, listening to the conversations of the characters I’ve created. I suppose writing helps me make sense of the voices which continuously chitchat in my head. Most of these voices have a northern dialect, and they are always concerned with the domestic issues of life. Perhaps I’m trying to make sense of that, too.

4)    How does your writing process work? I usually start with a trip in the car. Driving allows me to work through an idea, so a two hour trip is ideal. Then I spend days working on my characters, getting to know them intimately. It’s only then that I get an idea of how my story is going to develop and its a slow process getting it right. Getting to the end of a script is a huge achievement. When the rewriting begins, I feel as though I’m physically wrestling with the issues, mentally rolling around the floor. It can be exhausting. Thankfully, a little nap often helps me come up with the best solutions.

Thanks, Tom, for nominating me to take part. This exercise has helped me focus on the writing ‘process’. I’m going to pass the Blog Tour baton on to my friend, Cath Barton who is a wonderful writer and photographer who lives in my part of Wales. You’ll be able to read her response to the questions at  shortly.

Me on International Women's Day


At last, all those writing deadlines are gone and I can settle down to catching up on all the stuff that’s being placed on hold for the last couple of months. I wish I could stick to my New Year resolution to deal with all emails on a daily basis, but it’s impossible, so far. I have this image of all the emails turned to paper, cascading over my head, each time I press the on button on my laptop. 

At least there’s going to be more time to visit the theatre in the next few weeks. I’m still buzzing from meeting all my favourite poets at the T S Eliot Prize readings, last weekend, down at the Royal Festival Hall. All the poetry giants were there – Carol Ann Duffy, Gillian Clarke… but I was especially excited to meet Julia Copus and Sharon Olds. Listening to them read their own work was quite an experience. I was not surprised that Sharon Olds won the prize, this time. Her poems about the break-up of her thirty year marriage were heart stopping. If you get the chance, read her latest collection Stag’s Leap.

Paul Farley succumbed to Dutch courage and was rather tipsy at the book signing, afterwards, hardly able to sign his name. It was also delightful to see Ian McMillan and Simon Armitage again. Both poets have awarded me first prize in poetry competitions in the last couple of years. It all makes me more determined to work on that poetry collection tucked away in the drawer. Perhaps that will be another New Year Resolution? To complete my anthology and look for a publisher. Hmm… better set myself a deadline!


You’ll be able to read my review of the T S Eliot 2012 Prize Shortlist Readings at http://www.WalesArtsReview.Org in the next few days.



I’ve been thinking about footpaths. The kind we suddenly lift our heads from, to find ourselves walking in unfamiliar country. How did I come to be here? This is not where I expected to be. And the question I am asking myself is this.

Am I lost or am I happy to be where I now happen to be?

Now this is a deep, question… I mean, really DEEP. And maybe I don’t want to think about deep stuff, right now. Deep stuff has a tendency to get dark.

So I’ll take the chocolate bar out of my pocket and just stand here a while. Take time to stand and stare. And look at the view from here.

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