Wagons – and falling off

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images

The Queen smiles as she greets Archbishop of York, John Sentamu as she arrives for Maundy Thursday Service at York Minster Chris Jackson/Getty Images via Daily Telegraph.

This Lent I tried to give up two of my psychological props with rather mixed success. This Maundy Thursday, I’m reflecting on how it’s gone so far. Continue reading

Flights of Fancy

WellingtonRetreatThere’s a great deal of cruelty in the news right now. It’s one of the reasons behind my Lenten retreat from social media. Still I can’t escape it altogether. A dear friend has been deeply affected by a child murder close to where she lives. Reality insists on being seen – so why on earth do I chose to write fantasy, to make impossible things up? Continue reading

Monsters – not just for fantasy writers


Geek Sphinx by Mage Cat

Last week I considered metamorphosis – prompted by listening  to Dame Marina Warner at The Sussex Centre for Folklore, Fairytale and Fantasy. Whilst I was pondering unnerving transformations, images of many strange mythical hybrid creatures came to mind (some prompted by this month’s Mslexia.)  What is their attraction – and what does it matter to modern storytelling? Continue reading


Kafka-by-octothorpopusMention metamorphosis and two contrasting ideas flit into my mind. On the Humanities side there’s Kafka’s story of Gregor Samsa waking up to find himself a beetle, and Ovid with his tales of Greek legends. In contrast, amongst the Science stacks of the L-space in my brain, I recall Lepidoptera and Amphibians. All are to do with transformation. What influence has metamorphosis had on stories?

Continue reading

Books for all

LentI am having a Lenten break from social media at the moment – but just as I closed my apps on Shrove Tuesday, I noted a thread on audiences at school being segregated by gender. I goggled at the concept of saying only girls could attend a female writer – or vice versa. Those of you who know me or my blog posts can imagine my reaction to that… Continue reading



Tonight I attend ‘More of Me’ Book Launch II for my dear friend Kathryn Evans – a special for the inhabitants of Chichester and its hinterland. If I have time after I return from the dentists in the afternoon, I shall wear an outrageous green dress. I have heard that green dresses are unlucky – green being the colour of the fair folk – but I have no wish to bring ill-fortune to my colleague. Rather  a dusting of lucky fairy dust…

Cover design by Hannah Cobley at Usborne

Continue reading



Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper

Apparently, an interregnum is the period between two reigns. In English History, it can refer to the time between Charles I ‘s execution and the arrival of Charles II, whilst we had a Republic (30 January 1649 – 29 May 1660)

Metaphorically, it can mean any suspension of government from the end of one regime to the beginning of another. I rather feel  I am in one… Continue reading