A Certain Confusion

Thoughts of a writer of sorts

Month: October, 2011

Stars to Story

In loving memory’s decay

A picture of two headstones leaning at different angles

Two headstones

On an unexpectedly beautiful autumn’s day, I took a walk through Abney Park Cemetery, the “first wholly non-denominational garden cemetery in Europe”.

I was recently reminded of a curious evening I spent in this cemetery doing a two-hour performance of Collagen in ten minutes, a piece I made with Jeremy Hardingham which was performed only twice.

So I decided to walk through the cemetery today and was taken with how many signs of decay – beyond the obvious – there were. I took some pictures (see below). Read the rest of this entry »


Listen to this…

After giving our talks to the shortlisted writers for the Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize on Wednesday, the lovely Stephen Curry and I had a little chat about science writing in the Guardian’s in-house studio. The resulting conversation is included in the latest Guardian Science Weekly podcast (the science writing prize is the final item, starting around 25′, and Stephen and I pop up around 30′).

It’s my first ever media ‘appearance’ (other than articles ghost-written for other people)! Not sure it’ll prove to be the first of many; much fun, though….

Space to Spring

The Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize winners were announced this week. The ceremony was rather fun, with interesting and entertaining talks from Mark Walport, Alan Rusbridger and Dara O Briain, plenty of earnest discussions with science writers old and new, and all oiled with free drinks and canapes.

Earlier in the day, I had given my talk to the Science Writing Prize shortlist. My presentation style veers strongly away from slick but I like to think this is all part of my roguish charm…. Read the rest of this entry »

Sleep to Songs

I have to give a little talk on Wednesday about ‘science writing’. What is there to say? I am nearing the point of my first set of features being published at work, alongside the various blog posts etc that I’ve been working on in the three months since I started. But does this make me any more of an authority to talk about what science writing is and how it is done? No, of course not, but I do not have to entertain them with my authoritarian vision of the craft – instead, I can entertain them with the existential angst of being a writer – any kind of writer, I imagine – coupled to the would-be unique condition of science-writing.

Read the rest of this entry »