Showing posts from January, 2017

My 2017 Inspirations

In some previous years I’ve blogged at the end of the year about my favourite books of the year .  Last year, for various reasons, I didn’t quite get around to it, so instead I sat down at the start of 2017 to think about what I’d read (and watched and listened to) in 2016 that I thought would continue to interest and inspire me in the coming year.  My first inspiring choice is Mimi Thebo.  Mimi was one of my tutors on the MA course at Bath Spa University.  I’ve written before about the haiku exercise she gave us as part of the Exploration and Experiment module of the course, and since leaving Bath I’ve followed her career with interest.  She’s a perfect example of what she teaches: her oeuvre includes adult novels ( Welcome to Eudora recalls such beautiful American authors as Fannie Flagg, Patricia Gaffney and Barbara Kingsolver), children’s stories (Walker Books) and everything in between.  Dreaming the Bear , released in 2016, may possibly be my favourite book of hers so f

My Strictly Journey

I wonder how often those words have been uttered over the course of the 13 years that Strictly Come Dancing has been aired? The celebrities who speak them are usually referring to the intense roller-coaster ride of a single series, but those of us who have been fans from the start have travelled a much longer and more rambling route. When the show started in May 2004 I was an English graduate, ballroom dance lover and aspiring writer in my late twenties, living near London and working in market research.  Over the years, my Strictly journey and my writing journey have become intricately entwined, thanks to an idea I had as soon as I heard that there was going to be a competitive dancing show on TV again for the first time since Come Dancing hung up its dancing shoes.   I’d noticed at university that the dancing world was something of a hotbed of gossip and romance, and thought it would be fun to combine a dancing show with something more relationship-focused – think ‘Strictly meets Bl