Spoiling Christmas


Christmas ice cream. try it, you’ll love it.

Been ages eh?

I bet you thought this blog was over with but I’ve just been a tad overwhelmed with other stuff. Why does writing always feel like the last thing you should be doing.

Anyway, here’s a festive ramble…a bit of a rant to exorcise a Yuletide ghost or few…


‘You’ve spoiled my Christmas,’ he said.

I was distraught. How could I have been so cruel? Christmas was clearly a lot more important than I’d ever realised. I’d grown up a Jewish kid, I just didn’t know this stuff. Clearly spoiling Christmas was a big deal, I vowed never to do it again.

I asked what other festive rules I needed to learn. I’d accidentally spoiled that first should-have-been-special Christmas by being too tired to go to a party on Christmas Eve. Who knew they were compulsory?

I tried a lot harder the following year.… Read on...

Broadening the mind?

After interviewing the famous and fabulous Martin Crosbie recently, I realised that he was the second Scot-transplanted-to-Canada to feature in a podcast. Then there’s me, a Londoner in Ontario. You may recall, I asked him if he thought the whole emigration thing had contributed to his writing, and we mused about outsiderness for a while. Intrigued, I went to the other blog I write for regularly, Indies Unlimted, and perused the other staff writers on the Indies Bio Page.  I realised that about half of us have moved from somewhere to somewhere else.

Not a scientific survey I’ll grant you but I wondered about the connection and decided to write about it. I asked some of the minions, “Did you become a writer because you travelled, or did you travel because you’re a writer?”
and “Writers often consider themselves to be outsiders, observing life. Did learning to adapt to new cultures foster this aspect of your personality?”

 You can read the resulting Indies Itchy Feet Vox Pop here.Read on...

Only your Mum will read it…

Well, you may have noticed a brief hiatus, in the review/interview schedule. Life got in the way somewhat, and the whole voice-losing thing has been a bit inconvenient for podcasting. I will introduce you shortly to the amazing lady who wrote about setting up women’s clinics in Afghanistan, shortly before the rise of the Taliban, she’s one gutsy lady.

But in the meantime, I’m going to reprint a post originally written for the peerless Indies Unlimited, a blog by writers for writers. I’m not sure why I feel the need to defend non-fiction in general and memoirs in particular, but I do, and here’s my take…

Oh and by the way, if you fancy winning a paperback copy of TIE, the Goodreads Giveaway is open until May 10th!

 A version of this article first appeared on Indies Unlimited on Dec 12 2012

Why do people write non-fiction? I don’t mean the dry sort that people who ‘don’t have time for fiction’ read.… Read on...