About Me

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Tokyo, Japan
In 2011 I graduated with 1st class honours in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University. I lived in China for nearly two and a half years, where I was working as an English teacher. I just moved to Tokyo where I will be spending my time teaching and writing. This blog is about my experiences of TEFL teaching and living abroad.

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Editing the novel

Hello! Just a quick one here.
I've been editing the novel this week - done about 3/4 chapters so far. At the moment I'm in my bulking up phase - each time I edit a chapter, I come away with it at about 500/1000 words longer, which is great news. I think I'll have to do this phase twice - so, edit it all, bulking it up, then do the same again before I can think about properly editing it down. Phew! But it's going well :)
Been writing one or two book reviews, which are ok. I'm currently looking for somewhere to do a frequent feature, so trying to get a stock of them ready.
In July I'll be away lots - but I will indeed still be writing away. The next project is writing about my mission work in Uganda - I have a brand new notebook ready and waiting. So I'm excited to see where that takes me. So excited, only a week to go then I'm off - so trying to get lots done now so I'm not behind when I get back!

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Happy Fathers Day

Hello all, I hope you are having a nice fathers day and that, wherever you are, the sun is shining :)

George's War is all typed up and I have started editing, though I think I'll move onto something else for a little while so I can come back to it with a fresh mind. On the whole I think it's pretty decent. The diary format is always a little bit difficult; I often wonder, would the protagonist really write this in their diary? But, as ever, artistic licence is coming in handy. Just trying to look for somewhere to submit it now. A 10,000 word piece is too long for most short stories publishers, and a little too short to be a novella. So at the moment, I have a novellette on the fairly specific topic of the occupation of Guernsey in WW2...hmmm. Any ideas?

I entered the Wasafiri New Writing Competition with a life writing piece that I wrote as part of my university course. I'm pretty confident that this is a good contender; I worked really hard on it and I think it has a unique flair to it. But we'll see :) I do like submitting to something at least once a month. Recently been branching out and trying new competitions (even ones you need to pay for. I know! Me, a student, giving away monies!) so we'll see what comes of that.

Been reading lots of poetry. Just finished the collection of Sylvia Plath's work as put together by Ted Hughes, which I loved. I have resolved that, whenever I want to write poetry, I should read poetry first as it really inspires me, especially Plath's work that is so lyrical and beautiful to read. Also reading Nick Laird's 'To a Fault' which I am less impressed with, but that is usually the case with contemporary poets.

I've recently been reading about this bookshop in Paris called 'Shakespeare and Company'. They allow emerging writers to stay in the shop for free, provided they help out on the tills during the day. Isn't that a fantastic idea? I'd love to do that - I'm going to Paris this summer for a bit, so I will probably have a gander and check it out for future travelling, because it does indeed sound very awesome. What book worm wouldn't want to live in a bookshop?

That's it for toady :) More news soon!

Friday, 4 June 2010


Good day! Isn't it glorious to be able to look out the window and say..."Hooray! It's sunny!" So where am I? Indoors of course. My laptop doesn't do well outdoors! Never the mind, there will be plenty of time relax now that...
...I have finished typing the novel! *Victory Dance*. I'm looking forward to actually reading it now. Then onwards with editing of epic proportions. The word count is still quite low, so bulking up is going to be number one on my list for the redrafts. Oh and I need to think of a title...
Next thing to type up is 'George's War'. I really like this piece. It's very emotive. A few times, while writing it, I found I was getting a little tearful. Sadly not tears of joy due to the absolute awesomeness of my writing, but because I had just finished reading that book about the occupation, so it was all still a bit raw. Although the book isn't based on true events, many of the events I have fabricated are inspired by true happenings. Which is still a shock every time I remember it.
Just had a fab new idea for a non-fiction book...so watch this space!

Tuesday, 1 June 2010

George's War

Hello everyone, isn't the year just flying by? Crazy times - I've been out of Uni for nearly three weeks now, and what do I have to show for it? Well, quite a lot actually...
I've recently been reading a book about the occupation of the channel islands during the second world war. As a Guernsey girl myself, I found this fascinating, so many things I didn't have a clue about. So of course, as always happens: when I read, I write.
So that's what 'George's War' is about. A short story (though, glancing over the pages in my notebook, I don't doubt it's a good few thousand) about George Carre and his struggles, not only because of the war, but also just growing up. A lot of the facts are based on the research I red in the book, and the case of the Anne-Frank-esque secret lodger, though fabricated, it entirely plausible for the time. I love to think that things like that really happened, but we just don't know about it. Like Anne Frank, I bet there are loads of other people who have similar stories to tell, but for one reason or another we've just never got wind of it. Are those stories even meant to be told? Who knows.
So yes... still typing up the novel, got a few chapters to go but doing well, then onwards with redrafting. I kind of want to take a break from it, but I'm so enthusiastic about getting it actually finished I know I can't afford to take a break - woe is me!
So, that's the situation.
Oh...and in October, I shall be meeting STEPHEN FRY.

Life. Is. Awesome. Over and out.