Monthly Archives: December 2015

Seasons greetings

Leaving the last word to Mrs Claus, Cockburn’s Eclectics is now taking its customary retail season break. It will return, somewhat poorer and probably fatter, in early January. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Posted in Notification

Mrs Claus

“If there was any justice, there really would be a Santa Claus so he could give you the lump of coal you deserve,” said Mary. “My dear,” said Henry,” I am seventy-three years old. I have been married to you

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Creativity and mental illness

A recent study found that creative people have more genetic markers for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder than everyone else. The media overstated the findings, which only show very weak associations. There is no association between depression and creativity. There is

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Posted in Wednesday Pontification

Voice of experience: 5 things that established authors would tell new writers

Originally posted on Nail Your Novel:
A few weeks ago, a bunch of authors gathered for Books Are My Bag day at Barton’s bookshop in Leatherhead, Surrey. Inevitably, some customers asked for advice on writing and publishing. These were the…

Posted in Uncategorized

The Cruellest Season

Winter is the cruellest season. Malcolm scribbled the words on to a napkin. He’d been staring through the middle of the ‘A’ of the Starbucks logon on the window for as long as it took him to drink a gingerbread

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Book review: Six Degrees by Mark Lynas

This is the most frightening book I’ve ever read. I mean that as a resounding endorsement. Six Degrees summarises the likely consequences of global warming into a form that an interested layman like me can digest without being overwhelmed. The

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Posted in Book review: non-fiction

Circle in the Snow

It took me a few moments to notice the pattern. At first, it just looked like a line in the snow between me and the dead tree I was walking past. If I hadn’t noticed another line running toward the

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Dialogue Like White Elephants

In Hills Like White Elephants, Hemingway shows the characters through dialogue. Very little of the dialogue refers directly to the conflict between them. The indirect approach is more powerful than a simple discussion would be. The dialogue is only as

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Posted in Writing
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