Sunday, March 23, 2008

OK, I admit it!

OK, I admit it, sometimes there is a confusion between Sally Howe and me. I realise this on the rare occasions when I have an idea for a blog post and I can't decide whether to post it on this site, or whether Sally should post it on hers. Today was just such an occasion. I gave it to her, and she posted it.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Sally and Gus Again

An odd thing happened this morning. I was writing. I was writing a scene in the sequel to Plotting for Beginners, in which Sally and Gus have a big row. I was batting out the dialogue, hell for leather like I usually do, not worrying about quotation marks, or any other punctuation for that matter, just typing the lines as they came into my head, but then I had to stop. I was too upset by the row between these two characters that I'm so fond of, too upset by the rift that was opening up between them. These are fictional characters on my laptop screen: am I nuts?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Please help the people of Gaza

I try to restrict my blog to the subjects of writing and books, and assorted gentle musings, but I am so overwhelmed by the latest news about the suffering of the people of Gaza that I have to mention it.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is the worst it has been since Israel first occupied the territory in 1967. More than 80% of Palestinians in Gaza rely on humanitarian assistance; travel in and out of Gaza is all but impossible; and supplies of food and water, as well as sewage treatment and basic healthcare are severely restricted.

Between 25-30% of the population of the Gaza Strip do not receive running water at home because electricity is not available for pumping. About 30-40 million litres of sewage flows untreated into the sea every day.

Half the poulation in Gaza are children, and their education as well as their mental health is being damaged by the cumulative effects of the occupation, closures, poverty and violence. All of this is documented in a report drawn up by charities such as Save the Children, Amnesty International and Christian Aid. See this report on the BBC website.

In the short term you can help to improve the wellbeing of the Palestinian people by donating money to the UK-based charity, Medical Aid for Palestinians.

In the longer term, you can help by by writing to the foreign secretary and the prime minister, asking them to bring pressure to bear on Israel to abide by international law, and to find a just settlement for the Palestinian people.


I wrote the post above in March 2008 - when the siege was on but the bombing was not. I have written more up-to-date posts on the suffering of the people of Gaza and how you can help them.

Click here to start reading them.

Monday, March 03, 2008


I was falling apart with excitement the first time I held my brand new copy of Plotting for Beginners before publication day, two years ago. Last week, Anna (at Snowbooks) sent me the type set proofs for Zuzu's Petals and that was pretty nice, too. The hardback is out in May and the paperback is out on the 3rd July. It seems like an age to me, but then I am not renowned for my patience.