Saturday, 28 August 2010


The last few weeks have been hectic--not just because I've been putting the finishing touches to the StreetBooks paperback and Kindle editions of Invisible and coping with the family's ups and downs but also because I've been doing various library tasks in advance so that I can take a short holiday.

Btw the StreetBooks cover design for Invisible is the work of fellow member of Writers in Oxford and designer Andrew Chapman ( Thanks so much for that, Andrew.  It's terrific.

You can find out more about both editions at

Two interesting articles about the effect of digital books, one from Boyd Tonkin in the Independent and the other from Ursula Mackenzie, chair of the Trade Publishers Council, The Publishers Association, writing in the Guardian.

I liked BT's suggestion that universities should be planning joint degrees--landscape gardening and literary fiction, for example--to prepare writers for the need to develop a portfolio of parallel careers in the new post-Kindle world. Having said that, I think many writers (the majority, perhaps) have been doing this for years anyway.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

reading nature

I'm due at the Oxford creative writing summer school later this morning. I'll be reading from both The Lock and Invisible and choosing the extracts has been fun.

Meanwhile, I'm hoping the Oxford bus will be on time so I can get off at Summertown and walk along the canal into Jericho. The wild plants along the water's edge are a mad tangle of leaf and stem and tendrils of elegantly ensnaring bindweed.

It is a moment of insane overreaching before inevitable collapse. It is also a strangely beautiful time of profuse weirdly-shaped fruits and flowers.

Monday, 2 August 2010

crack up

The roads in west Oxfordshire are bad but this is ridiculous. Seen yesterday near Aston when cycling. I wonder what happened.

Meanwhile, dark clouds teased us yesterday from time to time but apart from a few spots, no rain.