Writing tools; emotions

emotionsI stumbled upon a lovely Guardian article this week by Tiffany Watt Smith, which gave a wonderful take on everyday emotions such as anger and nostalgia, reminded me of less commonly felt emotions, such as shadenfreude (when we feel happy at someone else’s misfortune) and introduced me to emotions I didn’t realise had a name (like awumbuk, the emptiness you feel after visitors depart). A real joy for writers and a perfect complement to the Colour Thesaurus.

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Who are our little girls reading?


girls (1)I read something disturbing recently. A blog post on truth-out.org reported that in 2014, only 12% of the top grossing US movies included female protagonists. It also made me realise how few superheroes in film are women – something I don’t think about too often! – but as I raise a little girl, it’s a wider issue that bothers me. Particularly when it sometimes feels that her choice of role models is limited to ridiculous juveniles from Disney or simpering princesses at the toy shop. Thankfully she’s not crazy about either, but it got me thinking, who are our new girl heroes? The best girl crushes? Who do our little girls aspire to be?Continue Reading

The Girl On The Train; unreliable narrators make for great stories

girl on trainMy rating: 4 stars (out of 5)

A lot has been said about The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins, particularly in comparison to Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. Both are thrillers with unreliable narrators at the centre and both have stuff to say about women and modern relationships. I love them equally – it doesn’t have to be a choice, does it? This isn’t Desert Island Discs – but I think the main conceit is better in Train than Gone Girl.

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E-readers; not finishing a book is now a public act of shame


mark 2Technology is definitely changing the way we read and I often listen to audio books as I go about my daily life but I hadn’t given a second thought about the ramifications of this; that data from our reading habits can now be transmitted back to authors and publishers.Continue Reading