Category Archives: Artists

Teaching kids to fall in love with science (a different kind of love for Valentine’s day); and things to do with rubbish

I was noodling around on the internet wondering what I was going to post about this month when I discovered Arvind Gupta. He won the Padma Shree on 26 January (India’s Republic Day) for his work in literature and in education, … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Design, News, Science, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Chaos & Creativity; and Beautiful Bookshops

I dislike hate chaos. Very much. Who doesn’t? But it’s an essential state if you want to write fiction. Messiness of the mind is the sine qua non for writers. But, when a piece is finished, it looks so orderly that … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Bookshops, Creativity, Fiction, Psychology, Writers, Writing | Comments Off on Chaos & Creativity; and Beautiful Bookshops

Words on Writing, and Pass on a Poem

There are hundreds of thousands of words written about writing fiction: how to write, why we write, what to do when we can’t write and on and on so that, sometimes, I feel as if I’m adrift on a sea … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Death and Dying, Fiction, Literary Prizes, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Women, Writers, Writing | Comments Off on Words on Writing, and Pass on a Poem

Spring in London, and The Kid Stays in the Picture

Spring in London is an astonishing thing: blossom among the grey buildings and pavements; green and blue and pink and white making us look up at it and then at each other and smile, us Londoners who spend most of our … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Spring, Theatre, Things I'd Love to Have Made | Comments Off on Spring in London, and The Kid Stays in the Picture

Anselm Kiefer and Heywood Hill

On the weekend we went to the Anselm Kiefer Exhibition at the White Cube in Bermondsey. It’s just closed, but if there’s any of his work anywhere near you do go and see it. He is the most imaginative of … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Fiction, Things I'd Love to Have Made | Comments Off on Anselm Kiefer and Heywood Hill

John Berger, Ways of Seeing … and PEN International

John Berger, who died aged 90 on January 2nd, was a critic, novelist, playwright, screenwriter and poet and well-known to many. Occasionally, in his early writings according to this Guardian obituary, Berger’s ‘Marxist dialectic did force him into uncomfortable contortions’, but whenever I heard him … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Equality, Women, Writers | Comments Off on John Berger, Ways of Seeing … and PEN International

Dare Always Dare, and Guerilla Grafters

A friend pointed out to me a week or so ago that this: DARE ALWAYS DARE is written in neon above the foyer entrance to the Old Vic Theatre (no idea why I’d never noticed it before): And so we should, if … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Gardening, Things I'd Love to Have Made | Comments Off on Dare Always Dare, and Guerilla Grafters

Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata and Dioni Mazaraki’s silver jewellery

I’ve read all Rose Tremain‘s novels and I love the fact that they fail to fit neatly into any particular category (except the category of beautifully written stories about the way we are and how we become). They’re always and essentially different, one from … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Design, Fiction, Places, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers | Comments Off on Rose Tremain’s The Gustav Sonata and Dioni Mazaraki’s silver jewellery

The UK Referendum, Brexit, and Meike Ziervogel on the importance of listening to other people’s stories

On 1 July Meike Ziervogel, founder and publisher at Peirene Press, published this: Translation is Europe’s only common language. Umberto Eco It’s a thoughtful and thought-provoking piece about the UK referendum, Brexit, and the importance of listening to other people’s … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Equality, Love, Psychology, Storytelling, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writing | Comments Off on The UK Referendum, Brexit, and Meike Ziervogel on the importance of listening to other people’s stories

Why Readers Stop Reading; Lisa McInerney’s 2016 Bailey’s win, and Penicillin

An interesting survey on why readers stop reading: There’s more here. It’s published by Lit World Interviews (I found it on a TLC facebook post.) The conclusions are mostly what you’d expect to put readers off (although I particularly loved Unexpected Sex as a deterrent to reading on). But … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Literary Prizes, Storytelling, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers, Writing | 2 Comments

A Valentine to Fear; and Visual Verse

In Elizabeth Gilbert‘s brilliant new book Big Magic (I reviewed it here) she acknowledges that we need fear in our lives, otherwise we’d be: Straight-up sociopaths … [or an] exceptionally reckless three-year-old … . But you do not need your fear in the realm of … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers, Writing | Comments Off on A Valentine to Fear; and Visual Verse

Mindfulness; 18 things creative people do differently and the ever-magical Elizabeth Gilbert

Mindfulness, according to The Mindfulness Project in London, is: A simple and very powerful practice of training our attention. It’s … about paying attention to what’s happening here and now (sensations, thoughts, emotions) in a non-judgemental way. It can interrupt the habit … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Creativity, Mindfulness and mental health, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers, Writing | Comments Off on Mindfulness; 18 things creative people do differently and the ever-magical Elizabeth Gilbert

Men and Embroidery, and a belated apology

Inspired by this post about John Craske and his delicate life and delicate embroidery in a new book by Julia Blackburn, at dovegreyreader earlier this week, I’ve begun thinking about men and embroidery. My grandfather sewed: tapestry, I think, for chair … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Design, Things I'd Love to Have Made | 4 Comments

The Brain in Love; and Jim Burge’s Burgeoning Promotional Videos for writers and artists

Dr Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University, studies the brain, in love. She gave a glorious TED talk about it, here. I particularly loved Walt Whitman: Oh, I would stake all for you. and Emily Dickinson: Parting is all we need to know of Hell. … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Dance of Love, The, Love, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers | Comments Off on The Brain in Love; and Jim Burge’s Burgeoning Promotional Videos for writers and artists

Je Suis Charlie …

… one week on, what else is there to say but Je Suis Charlie and to stand with the murdered at Charlie Hebdo? Except Je Suis Ahmed.

Posted in Artists, Death and Dying, Design, Love | Comments Off on Je Suis Charlie …

Haworth Parsonage, Richard Flanagan and Anselm Keifer

In September we holidayed in England: we travelled north-west to Stratford (and saw a wonderful production of The Roaring Girl, a play about Mary Frith, an astonishing sixteenth-century woman who lived and dressed as a man, partly in defiance of … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Literary Prizes, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers, Writing | Comments Off on Haworth Parsonage, Richard Flanagan and Anselm Keifer

The Launch of The Dance of Love, History of the Rain, and Emily Young’s Kew Gardens angel video

The DANCE of LOVE was launched at the wonderful Barnes Bookshop last Thursday: I wrote about on Robert Hale’s blog – the book’s publishers – here. It was a happy family affair: my whole family was there: my two younger sisters smuggled … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Dance of Love, The, Design, Places, Reviews, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers, Writing | Tagged | 2 Comments

The Bookbag’s Top Ten Self-Published Books of 2013, and Visitation, a haunting image by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

I’ve just heard that the Bookbag has included Speaking of Love in its Top Ten Self-Published Books for 2013. Very exciting. Thank you, Bookbag. And a couple of weeks ago, at ENO‘s miraculous Magic Flute, directed by the ever-inventive Simon McBurney I saw, inside the programme, … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Speaking of Love, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Third Novel | Tagged | Comments Off on The Bookbag’s Top Ten Self-Published Books of 2013, and Visitation, a haunting image by Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison

Second novel, and Cornelia Parker

I’ve just delivered my second novel to my agent for submission to publishers … and I’m about to plunge back into my third. It’s an exciting full-of-possibilities time and I wish the novel well out there in the real world. … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Dance of Love, The, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Writers | Tagged | 2 Comments

And now for the third novel …

… which I’ve just begun. Its working title is FOR THE LOVE OF LIFE. That’s to say I’ve begun thinking about it, dreaming on it, planning it and writing a chapter or two (mostly because the writers’ group I belong to … Continue reading

Posted in Artists, Things I'd Love to Have Made, Third Novel | Tagged | 2 Comments