Pass the Tissues!

It’s been a long time since I scrabbled about in the East End of London’s filthy gutters. In those days, a lifetime ago when Ronnie and Reggie, the Kray twins, ruled, I was well on my way to be being a tough-minded copper in an urban battlefield of crime.

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Finding the voice

I was sitting on the back deck with a cup of tea when the bell rang at the nearby school. The interesting thing is that I referred to it as a bell in my mind despite the fact that it was, in fact, a loud, electronic boing boing, similar to the generic doorbells we have all over the place.

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Slow down Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Slow down, you’re going too fast!

I found myself reading a book the other day. Speed reading it actually. And then I suddenly realised the absurdity of what I was doing. No, delete ‘absurdity’ and insert ‘stupidity’—it fits, as you’ll see.

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Small Word Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

One small word

One word can make all the difference in writing—particularly where law is concerned.

Recent legislation, hastily drafted and rushed through parliament to combat outlaw motorcycle gangs in Queensland, has been found to be on shaky ground due to the use of ‘is’  instead of ‘was’.

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Alcoholic Brilliance Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Alcoholic Brilliance

A recent client told me that it was impossible for her to write creatively unless she was drinking alcohol at a steady and (to me) frightening rate. I knew she was fairly pissed during her writing spells because she would call me in an extremely slurred fashion to let me know.

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Sucking the life out of words

I’ve been engaged on a couple of major projects over the last three months, diverting my attention from bloggy matters, so I’m going to post the start of one of Marc Ensign’s articles here.

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Writing Therapy Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Writing Therapy

The more people I’ve helped to write, the more obvious it’s become to me that writing about oneself is enormously therapeutic. “Well, brilliant, Watson,” you may snort. “That’s a well-worn fact and everyone knows it.”

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Clients on the today show Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Clients on the Today Show

It was great to see Kate and Kristina talking about the book I coached them on appearing on TV this week.


Ever thought ‘Why can’t I shed those extra kilos?’

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Punctuation Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Sloppy punctuation may cost you

Everything is fast these days. Fast downloads, rapid exchanges of text—delivered at lightning speed—and messages written and read on the run.

All that convenience, or pain in the arse in-your-faceness—depending on how you look at life—comes with a hidden cost.

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What’s in a name?

In my last article we looked at how much fiction was based on real life experiences. Since then my wife, Jane Teresa, wrote a blog about A Nightmare on Elm Street, a theme she had been asked about on a radio talk-back show.

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Michael Collins Memoirs and writing

Believe it, or not!

How much of our fiction writing is drawn from real life? How often do we base our characters on people we know? And are those places we invent actually drawn from childhood memories, or somewhere we’ve once visited, or a bit of both?

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