All posts filed under: Notes on writing

Anthony Burgess

Tools of the trade

In the extract above, Anthony Burgess is talking about his his trusty manual typewriter when he talks about ‘Qwert Yuiop’. Burgess was writing in 1986, before advent of the mass-produced, general-purpose personal computer, but a time when special-purpose word processors were beginning to edge out the typewriter.

Brick Lane film still

Sod authenticity

The writer Monica Ali said in a recent interview that the critical reaction to her 2011 novel Untold Story tipped her into ten years of depression. Critics apparently thought she had strayed too far from the subject matter that made her name and that gave her writing voice ‘authenticity’.

World map Gerard van Schagen

Hello world

One of the simple pleasures of having your own website is seeing which countries in the world its visitors come from. My These Islands site reached its fifth birthday this year but it still amazes me to see the global reach of what is really an obscure personal project.

Diversity icons

Sensitive skein

I try to keep up with the modern world, I really do. I read the news headlines every morning, I read a newspaper most days, I subscribe to a few of the weekly magazines, I listen to podcasts. Even so, stuff passes me by.