Nevil Shute: a Study in Impeccable Writing

The Knitted Curiosity Cabinet


I read a lot of Nevil Shute as a youngster – growing up in New Zealand, it was natural that his books should be in the library. I enjoyed them; he writes a good yarn, with plenty of action and interesting storylines, and his characters are strong and memorable, particularly the women. But it’s decades since I last read him, and the one I’m reading now I have never read before.

Requiem for a Wren is an exemplar of Shute’s work, and in particular his skill in purveying vast amounts of background through a few terse sentences. He’s a master at providing information without the reader being at all conscious that he’s doing so.

In the first paragraph of Requiem nothing much is happening. The narrator is an airline passenger, and the plane is beginning to descend. But look at how much information he packs into the first two sentences.

View original post 542 more words

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

A day in the life of a part-time writer…

The alarm clock goes off. 5.30 a.m. I really need another 10 more minutes of sleep (well at least a couple more hours to be honest). I struggle to peep open my eyes and not to fall back into slumber again. Somehow, I loosen myself from the warm bed covers and reach for my housecoat as I fumble to put my slippers on in the dark. I make my way down the dark corridor and amaze myself on a daily basis that, up until now at least, I manage to make my way down the darkened stairs in my sleep-like trance without tripping and landing headfirst on the marble floor (carpet would at least cushion my landing, but I live in Southern Spain where you only have a carpet on the floor if it’s red and have royalty coming).




Posted in Blog | Leave a comment


A 500 word story from CC author T E Taylor

Tim's Blog

Here’s another of the little stories I write now and again – this one at Holmfirth Writers, I think.

The little boy had been staring out of the window for some time.

“I want to go outside,” he shouted. “I want to touch the trees, to smell the flowers, to walk up the mountains. Why do you keep me in here all the time? It’s not fair.”

“You know very well why we keep you inside,” his mother replied. “Outside there are germs in the air that would kill you if you breathed them in. When the Great Plague came, people came out in horrible lumps all over their bodies and they went blind. Their lungs filled with water and they died. That’s what will happen to you if you go outside. In here we are safe, and we have all we need.”

“But look,” said the boy, “there are…

View original post 364 more words

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

How to unwind on holiday…

Now this is a good question! Any tips would be greatly appreciated because I’ve just been on holiday and this has been my attempt at de-stressing…
Day 1:
I love going for an early morning run, I know this might sound a bit crazy, especially when you’re on holiday, a lie in would probably be the most popular option, and in hindsight, probably the wisest. But I find waking up early and stepping outside with the early morning breeze caressing my face almost therapeutic. It’s just me and the open country lanes. As I run, the early sun’s rays gently kiss my skin, I feel free and my legs are light on the tracks. I leave my phone and everything else that ties me to social media and modern technology behind. It’s just me and mother nature. No music blaring into my eardrums, just the rustle of the leaves as the soft breeze gently shakes them awake. I breathe in deeply, my blood now pulsing through my veins and I feel peace.
It lasts for about ten minutes as I’m suddenly aware that there is a wild horse galloping towards me, kicking up a cloud of dust and I wonder if I can reach the nearest tree first and if I’d still have enough energy in me to climb it. But of course I remind myself, trying to keep calm, that it’s bulls that charge, not horses. Or is it?



Posted in Blog | Leave a comment

Blog Tour, Stage 2

An' de walls came tumblin' down

The lovely Sue Barnard has posted the next installment of my blog tour. Sue has been such a support over the years. A wonderful editor, too.




Val Penny

2 August, 2017

Book Review: The Mill River Recluse

Sue Barnard

10 August, 2017

How I Discovered What I Had


The post is mostly about another friend – Gill Downs. Without her, none of what followed would have been possible.

Social Anxiety Revealed is released on Tuesday August 22, 2017.


View original post

Posted in Blog | Leave a comment