He Looks Old | Creative Nonfiction

Photo of pink, wilting roses

Lit Up published my short creative nonfiction piece about losing my dad. It’s not the most cheerful thing I’ve ever written but we can’t write fun stories all the time, I guess!

His skin is too thin. Not papery — not that frail— but like the corners of a paperback that have been crumpled up and smoothed out one time too many. Each crease seems to be etched deeper than it was just twenty minutes ago. When the blood was still going round.

It’s my first foray into creative nonfiction and I’m really happy with how it turned out. Read it here.


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November Blog

Autumn woodland scene

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to a new and totally unoriginal feature that I’m calling MONTHLY BLOGS. The concept is simple; I will have a ramble once a month about my writing life, my reading life and my personal life. Nobody asked for this but it’s happening. You’re welcome.

What have I been writing?

Aside from the fiction I’ve been posting here and on Medium, I’ve been frantically working on a whole bunch of other stuff in hopes of making up for time lost during my mental health crisis (we’ll get onto that later).

First, I’ve been cracking on with what I hope will be a final round of edits for my novel. I plan to query it to literary agents again because, well, why not? I’ve made some pretty big changes to the opening and to the ending since my last round of submissions, and the story is certainly better for it. But I’m doubtful that it will get picked up, mainly because I want to keep my expectations low so that I’m not utterly crushed by inevitable rejection it’s kind of half way between the young adult market and the adult market and it’s hard to fit into a definitive genre. Basically, I don’t think it’s something that is ‘trendy’ enough in the traditional book biz right now. So when if I don’t get any bites from agents, I’m going to gear up to self-publish it next summer because I think it’s a good story, damn it. I’ve worked too long and too hard on this book to give up on it.

Continue reading “November Blog”

How To Become a Cat Person | Blog

Black and white cat on a green background

Are you a dog person? Do cats freak you out? Do you see the tiny face and giant eyes of a feline and feel a shudder run through you, as though you’ve gazed directly into the soul of the devil himself?

I used to be like you. A bite from a cat — a cat that had been purring beneath the gentle touch of my fingertips only seconds before it turned on me — put me securely in the ‘I Love Dogs’ camp when I was just eight years old. But now, twenty years on, I can say with hand on heart that I am both a dog and a cat person. Here’s how I did it.

Continue reading on Medium >

Photo by Manja Vitolic on Unsplash

Bye-Bye Book Reviews | Blog

Illustration of an owl sat on top of two books. "Bye Bye Book Reviews" blog

I’ve been posting book reviews here on a (mostly) weekly basis for around 15 months. Initially, I loved it. It was fun to have somewhere to recommend books that I fell in love with and I relished the process of digging into plots and characters and themes to figure out exactly what about the story made me tick. But over the past few months my love for writing reviews has dwindled and died. Continue reading “Bye-Bye Book Reviews | Blog”

Smell Ya Later | Blog

Cat packing suitcase illustration - "Smell Ya Later" blog

Just wanted to leave a wee note to say that I’m jetting off on my honeymoon today and will be happily ignoring everything internet and writing related for 10 glorious days.

I’m not deluded enough to think that folks will miss me during a measly 10-day absence but… just in case anyone does wonder where I am, know that I’m okay and not dead and I probably have a nice big glass of wine in my hand. The following gif is a fairly accurate representation of what I’ll be up to: Continue reading “Smell Ya Later | Blog”

I Refuse To Stop Reading Bad Books | Blog

Boy reading big book illustration - "I refuse to stop reading bad books" blog

I’m reading a book right now that just isn’t grabbing me. The premise is intriguing, it’s well-written, the characters are interesting, and judging by Goodreads and hype in the media, it’s a pretty popular novel. For some reason, though, I haven’t found the opening chapters compelling enough that I want to get really stuck into it.

Maybe it’s just not my cup of tea, maybe it’s not the type of book I’m in the mood for right now, or maybe I just haven’t been in the mood for reading at all recently. Whatever it is, I’ll get back to it eventually. I will finish the damn thing. Continue reading “I Refuse To Stop Reading Bad Books | Blog”