27 tiny paper disks

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The world being what it is, I’ve found in a drawer 26 tiny paper disks – well, 27 if you count the debatable one… Less than an inch wide, not all of them perfect circles, each bearing a tiny – and often rather cryptic – note in orange or blue ink. Continue reading

A story of time capsules

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Ah, but I do love the Soane Museum!

They are doing works in Sir John’s drawing office, and they find a hollow space at the base of a column, containing three small objects that, judging by their combination, and the way they are arranged, look like a time capsule… Continue reading

The Puccini moment

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Last Sunday we had the second – and last – performance of the school play for the Third – and last – Course. It went really well, and I’m truly happy and proud of ‘my’ pupils and the work we’ve done together. The’re a fine group. I’ll miss them.

That said, of the whole hectic, glittering week, there is one moment that I want to remember, the sort of thing that, when it happens, makes you stop and think that “Oh, how book-like!” Continue reading

Form and substance

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It mostly comes in two flavours.

Flavour the first: now and then, when I hyperventilate over some (more or less) minute detail gone wrong in a play, a story, a talk, or whatnot, some sympathetic soul will try to convince me that it was a negligible hitch in the form – but the substance was there, and substance is what truly matters…

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Life as a mystery writer

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Because I’m busy tweaking things, and filling gaps, and this sort of things in TW2*, yesterday I up and asked my mother’s physiotherapist what the best entry point would be for a stab wound in the back.

“I want it to quickly give the victim breathing trouble,” I explained – and, having spent half the morning poring over medical journals, even spouted that I probably wanted a bad case of tension pneumothorax… Continue reading

Burning the midnight oil…

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Midnight – and rather later, in fact, because it was half past three in the morning when I added the last word to Draft 1 of ATP, Tom Walsingham’s second foray into espionage and sleuthing. Hooray!

And then it wasn’t really the last word, of course. You all know how it is: as soon as I’d saved the thing and done a back-up, I had to open it again and add one more little paragraph, and then a little later an idea occurred to me, and I jotted it down in the notebook, and by then I was wide awake anyway, far too excited to sleep, so I could have gone another hour without great difficulty – but the fact was, Draft 1 was finished, and it was well past four, so I went to bed, and found that I could sleep after all… Continue reading