Life Lessons in Lockdown, Introversion and Dreams of Springtime

In the week or so since I last wrote the world has shifted once more, with another layer of the UK’s Covid-19 response unfurling towards ‘lockdown.’ Citizens are restricted to a narrow range of activities, with outings from the home permissible only for work, obtaining food or medicines, helping the vulnerable or partaking in one…

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The March Moon, Cold Comfort and Being Astonished by the World

This week, I have found myself reflecting on the changing seasons as winter slowly turns to spring, and then back again, in the game of back and forth that so often characterises March in Caithness. Here and there, primroses peek out in cheerful colours, while on verges, daffodils open up like yellow, honeyed eyes. In…

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2020 – The Stories Hearts Tell

Hello, and happy 2020……! The sun has risen on a new decade, and as usual January brings with it a sense of expectation. Resolutions, plans for diet and lifestyle, pressure to overhaul just about everything in our lives. I don’t really go in for New Year resolutions, preferring instead to set goals throughout the year…

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2019: My Year in Numbers

At this point in December I like to emerge from my turkey-induced fog and write a few words to usher out the year that’s leaving us. Of course, this year, we’re ushering out a whole decade, and I’m excited about what’s to come in the ‘twenties’ (not least because we’ll finally have a decade we…

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2019 – Plans for Writing

I can’t believe we’re already half way through the month of February. Once January bites the bullet, the weeks always seem to quickly disappear. I’m not sure if it’s a sign of getting older, but these days I find weeks and months slipping by me like a river. One of the ways I try to keep focus…

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How to Write the First Draft of Your Novel

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to write a novel. In fact, as a teenager I started writing a very bad one (which never got further than the first chapter and thankfully has never seen the light of day). The fact that it was truly awful doesn’t really matter. The point…

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What Happens on a Writing Retreat – And What It Can Teach You

Last weekend I was fortunate enough to attend a residential women’s writing retreat run by WEA Women in the Highlands at Forse of Nature, near Latheron. Having never been to a writing retreat before, I was completely unsure of what to expect. Aside from the obvious, I was nervous about the 25-mile drive there (yes, really!)…

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