It is the off-stage characters which hook the writer.

I was watching Clare Balding's interesting documentary on C4 about Emily Wilding Davison and it was the story of the jockey which took me off. Summarised in a couple of sentences; apparently he never rode to his previous standard and was haunted by EWD's face, so much so that he committed suicide in 1951. Thirty-eight years later? Now that's a tale to tweak at the curiosity.


I went to hear a talk today about sculpture given by Andrew Clay, Director of Woodend (creative industries centre - www.woodendcreative.co.uk). He was looking at continuity and discontinuity in the history of sculpture in Britain especially around WWI and the work of Henry Moore and Barbara Hepworth. It was very good, entertaining and informative.

I find it interesting to reflect on my chosen art form - writing - in comparison to others. Andrew pointed to the cataclysmic effect of the 'Great War' on sculpture which finds echoes in the history of literary arts. We were no longer so innocent, perhaps, so optimistic; the sentimental, the fluffy held less appeal.

Sculptors have always experimented with materials, and continued to do so into the 20th century, engaging with the new substances of the time, such as Perspex. That made me think about the stuff of writing and how our material - words & language - has hardly changed since its beginnings. I wonder what our equivalent of Perspex is?


Late greening of trees,
cold blown blossom speaks of loss,
May, our cruellest month.


How wonderful, a hot bank holiday. I have avoided the crowds down on the beach and thronging the front by sitting in our verdant garden gazing at the dull-gold dandelions, smelling the lavender and listening to the bees.

I have also been indulging in what I love to do - writing outside. I have been working on my second draft of the 'Scarborough Consequences' story and have been typing on a lap top whilst being warmed by the sun. How pleasurable.

The story is shaping up well. I have decided to stick to the epistolary style/genre, so everything is told through letter, email, tweet or text. There is a danger that this can exaggerate the artifice of all story-telling, but I think I've managed to keep the right side of believable. I have used the ideas given in the missives submitted at the Lit Fest for the plot lines and also some of the wording given by my 'collaborators' in this project. This has helped, I think, in creating distinctive voices for the different characters. Since creating distinctive character voices - and ones that aren't always echoes of your own - is a challenge for writers, this could be a useful technique: asking others to write or be recorded talking about a subject. It is akin, I suppose, to another writerly technique: ear-wigging on people's conversations in cafes. Although it could, perhaps, offer more control to the author.