Believe Me: You Can Be Young, Wise and Free

The most satisfying part of being a writer is the freedom. I’m so glad I ignored the well-meaning, but flawed advice to, “stick to an ordinary job.” Of course, I earn money through a range of freelance projects, but my main priority in life is to create. ‘Ordinary’ just doesn’t fit with my values. Developing…

What Happens When Powerful People Get Complete Freedom?

The following essay featured in NUHA’s blogging competition. NUHA stands for Nurturing Human Activity. In essence, working creatively to enrich the lives of others. “Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power” – Abraham Lincoln I agree: there is no bigger test of integrity, moral…

Hidden Sorrow: What Happened When I Found ‘The Place’?

I don’t know what possessed me – to leave my house one bitingly cold night in a summer’s dress without shoes and to wander out into the landscape, alone, without telling anyone where I was going. Down the cobbles of the lane, past the final few lamp-lit houses on the periphery of the sleeping village…

Sex, Swearing, Violence and God: The Best Way To Ban A Book

From 2000 to 2009, nearly 5,100 challenges were reported to the Office for Intellectual Freedom concerning the content of fiction books. Before we get to the fun bit, let’s have the fascinating bit. Here’s the breakdown of themes challenged: 1,577 were challenged due to “sexually explicit” material; 1,291 for “offensive language”; 989 owing to materials…

Curious About Danger: Why I Love To Be Inspired By Darkness

What strikes me as curious about the stories I’ve written so far is how much symbolism from my own life has sneaked its way in without me even being aware of it. I don’t add anything deliberately, so the only conclusion I can come to is that this must happen by the magic of a…