12 Books in 12 Months

writing books and blogging about it



Weekly Photo Challenge: Illumination

I had a few ideas for this, but then I forgot to do them sooo… Here is what I came up with for ‘illumination’ in my flat this evening!  Click here to see posts from other persons.


‘There is nothing,’ she said, ‘as wondrous to me

As sitting with you, and a nice cup of tea!’

But when they broke up, a year or so after

Her booby trapped cup gave him hours of laughter.

Should I Take A Writing Class?

Found this by googling ’30 Rock Teapot’… From

Although I’ve written stories since I was a kid, I’ve never felt the need to take a course in writing.

I studied English until second year of university, and there were elements of creative writing throughout school, but the main focus was always on work by other people.

This was never really an issue for me because I’ve always maintained that you learn by doing, so I spend a lot of my time reading, writing and then reading and writing a bit more.  Then watching fifteen episodes of 30 Rock back to back with a pot of tea.

Continue reading “Should I Take A Writing Class?”

A Man Drinks Tea – August’s Pictonaut Challenge

Happy first birthday to the Rogue Verbumancer’s Pictonaut Challenge!  Over this year I haven’t always posted mine by the end of the month (or at all, last month), but it ain’t midnight till the fat lady sings so WHOOMP, here it is.  (NB Since knocking this out on Write or Die about an hour ago, I have read that the picture was intended to inspire something beautiful and literary.  Sorry, Glempy… My bad.)

Continue reading “A Man Drinks Tea – August’s Pictonaut Challenge”

Ode to Coffee

I have written about the relative merits of tea and coffee before, as part of the readers Q&A series.  Back in May I informed The Rogue Verbumancer that I saw tea as my staple writing drink, although I tend to kick-start the day with coffee.

It was a pretty riveting post.

Anyhoo, whilst this remains true, I tend to regard coffee as my rent-paying-job drink (journalism/writing is not my main income yet, but I’m working on it).  This is because when I am conducting assorted administrative tasks in an office environment, I need to sporadically re-kick-start myself several times a day as opposed to the once or twice required when penning glorious fictions.  I find the immediate caffeine boost of coffee sharpens my focus on envelope stuffing and email-replying better than tea – maybe because over the years I’ve imbibed tea more often and have immunised myself against its effects. 

Continue reading “Ode to Coffee”

An Age Old Question, Answered

Another question from @Glempy, aka The Rogue Verbumancer.

I think I’ve probably saved the biggest and most important question until last. It’s a divisive question that splits the opinions of many. I’ve seen it cause full on brawls; I’ve seen it ruin friendships and shake empires. There is without doubt no single question that carries such great weight, especially in the arena of writing. So:


Or Coffee?

What is your chosen fuel when it comes to writing?

Ah, the age old question.

I have to come down on the side of tea, although I do have a coffee first thing.  And I try to drink loads of water when I’m working as well, mainly just due to a vague notion that it’s probably a good thing to do.  But plain old breakfast tea with a bit of milk is very much the beverage of choice for me.

I came across an article a while ago which I linked to in a previous post, about the different rituals of various authors.  It claims that Balzac drank between 50 and 300 cups of coffee a day, which seems incredible.  Maybe I’ll try following his example when I write my shockingly realistic book about the French Revolution…

image from

#WIP – An Incident

My wife would’ve had me to call the polis in a situation like this.  She’d have been awake now, quivering with indignation on my behalf.  She’d head to the kitchen, ranting and raving about speaking to that boy’s parents and him being a bad influence on all the other kids in the neighbourhood, especially Julie.  She’d fix us a cup of tea – or something stronger – and start drafting a letter to our local councillor, whoever that was.

I did none of those things.

Instead, shaking my head in confusion, I climbed back in to bed and reopened my copy of Riders of the Purple Sage.  This would never have happened in Zane Grey’s Wild West.  If someone wanted to call you out, they would have just gone ahead and done it.

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