Category Vocabulary

Flying by the pants

Today I’ve been designing our Tricycle Readers flyer and think it looks rather good. I’m not sending it out quite yet, however, as there’s bound to be a typo somewhere, or a sentence that can be shortened or improved. The nature of writing is that you keep going back and finding things wrong. It’s why […]

Shopping for a Publisher

I had a message over the holiday from a Facebook friend wanting a steer on getting poetry published. Alas, I was only able to offer the most basic advice, which is to shop around before you submit. Many brilliant first novels were rejected dozens of times before someone saw their potential. The work of JK […]

Heavens Forfend

Was my mother a robber in a past life? We grappled with this notion during a debate over lunch on the difference between destiny and karma.  I say they are polar opposites. Destiny is a belief in inevitability, in a grand scheme. Karma on the other hand, is a cycle of cause and effect: good […]

Water water everywhere

Water water everywhere nor any drop to drink…  It’s been a bit like the Rime of the Ancient Mariner in our house this week – outside is puddled and muddy and inside the water’s switched off. The Ancient Mariner is a hoary old sailor whose ship is cursed after he shoots dead an albatross. His […]

Our Tryst with Destiny

Walking through Central London last night, with many buildings in darkness commemorating the lamps going out all over Europe in 1914, I thought about the power of single lines. Consider: Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country (Kennedy); I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, […]

Unbuttoning the bad news

This afternoon, I’m going to the funeral of a dear friend. Her death last week was unexpected and everyone’s in shock, but it was hardly a surprise when death is an inevitability of life. Why then do so many people search for euphemisms around the subject: she passed away or passed over, has gone, has left […]

Big Words

I love learning new words even though, as I get older, I find I often can’t remember the most commonplace words. Recently, unable to name the table, I asked my daughter to put my bag on ‘that thing over there with four legs.’ It’s odd, isn’t it, how sometimes even simple language is hard to […]