My imaginary pet bird

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This Christmas I got an early present from my boyfriend, a little bird to go on our tree. He bought it for me because I’d previously mentioned a similar tree decoration that I’d had as a kid. It was a similar sized little bird with wire on its feet to attach it to the tree, but the decoration I remember from my childhood was a robin (as far as I can tell this new bird is an as yet undiscovered species – my bird book doesn’t have any promising leads either). Continue readingMy imaginary pet bird

On starting a new literary magazine

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Image by Wendi Dunlap

As part of my MA in Writing, Nature and Place, I had to do a publishing module. My fellow course mates and I edited, designed, typeset and distributed a literary magazine called Peninsula (you can read the magazine online). I absolutely loved the experience – contacting possible contributors, editing the submissions, the frenzied editorial meetings, and holding the final product in my hands. Continue readingOn starting a new literary magazine

How being less afraid has made me a better writer

I want to write about my year of being less afraid and how it has helped me become a better writer, but it is hard to write about fear. It is hard because fear is so close to the bone. When you start writing about fear you also run the risk of sounding like a self-help book. But I suppose that is a line all writers have to tread. The best writing is not just written, but felt, and that brings with it the possibility of clich├ęs. Continue readingHow being less afraid has made me a better writer

Is nature writing a form of escapism?

It’s been unbearably warm all day – too warm to go outside – so I have been sat by an open window, reading and moving as little as possible. We decided, once it started to cool down in the evening, to go for a cycle ride to Attenborough – down to the river.

There is something romantic about summer evenings and the idea of going down to the water. Perhaps because of a youth spent listening to Bruce Springsteen sing plaintively about a river. I sang that song to myself as we cycled along, cooling off in the evening air. Continue readingIs nature writing a form of escapism?