Usually, I write short stories – sometimes they get published – and I love to talk about writing. There are also days when I’m not teaching other writers, or doing up my house, and I need a break. I might cycle to a ruin because nothing inspires me more than landscape and the past – I’ll be blogging a lot about that. Or, perhaps I decide to visit the local animal sanctuary and take a dog for a walk and suddenly find the two of us cornered by a herd of curious cows – having to back out of the situation through a bramble bush. Now, we’re both sitting in a wheat field, staring at each other. Thanks for remaining calm, I say. And when I get home, I feel like writing a story about it. That’s what you’ll find here: some history, a bit of fiction, and lots of writing advice; with me in there somewhere – travelling through.

Gabriela Blandy

Yeah, but how do you know that anyone’s going to read it? a friend asked when I mentioned I was starting a blog. I told her it didn’t matter. Posting these pieces is like, standing on a mountain – or probably a hill because I have more connections with hills. So, I’m standing on a large hill. A stream rushes by at my feet. Fields and forest stretch throughout the valley below. This quiet landscape travels right to the horizon, as uncluttered with houses as possible. I’m happy to stand here and drop whatever it is I have into this running water, watch it dance in the current. I have the sense my words will reach the sea one day. But even that isn’t a final destination – it’s simply a place where things become harder to observe because they are diffused into an enormous space. That’s what I love: that moment where things launch and spread and become.


Links to my fiction online

The Buck

The Courting

Pistachios for a lost mermaid

The screwball

Links to the MA Creative Writing Courses I teach on

Oxford University

City University

98 Responses to About

  1. Sonia Blandy says:

    I like the way you describe a landscape, because it makes me feel I am part of it, participating in the moment. Keep on going!

  2. gabriela – I like the way your blog is shaping up. We’re at similar points and I’m going to follow you and see how it goes. Keep writing! (Oh, and an observation in case it is at all helpful – a few photos might break up the text and help make things visually enjoyable.) All the best. Chris B

    • Hi Chris. Thanks for your support. That’s a good tip about the pictures. It’s certainly something I see and appreciate on other people’s pages. I have a friend who is a wonderful designer who might put some images together for the stories.

  3. Joyce says:

    I like the candidacy and honesty in your writing and your blog. It is refreshing to read about a writer who shares that about their self in their writing and work. I have found that the greatest pleasure in writing is finding a story in everything we see, visit or experience, then telling it in a way that relates to the reader out there. Thank you for visiting my blog.

    • Thanks so much for appreciation! I guess that’s what I enjoyed about your blog too – that honesty. I felt I was reading someone who had their voice and didn’t need to rely on writerly embelishments, and also someone who was thinking of their reader.

      • Joyce says:

        Thank you. I think there is always a way to relate to a reader, or another writer when we can use life’s situations and experiences to share how we handle (or might) the challenges as they present themselves.

  4. wordsburg says:

    What a beautiful explanation you have here about the act of creating. My blog is only a few months old at this point. I find myself thinking before I write a post that it will just be a waste of time. But when I turn that excuse off, I am right there with you on the hill, dropping droplets down on their way to the sea. Delightful description! I may even write my own “About” page someday 😉 Thank you and keep writing 🙂

    • Yeah, I noticed that you hadn’t got round to your ‘about’, which surprised me because your blog shows a lot of work with thoughtful posts and lovely photographs. If I have inspired you to get round to that, I’m honoured. This is what makes ‘posting’ worthwhile, and what I try to remember when I also have that voice that asks: are you really going to put this online? Thanks so much for reading – I look forward to seeing where your own blog journey takes you.

  5. “Yeah, but how do you know that anyone’s going to read it? a friend asked when I mentioned I was starting a blog.
    I told her it didn’t matter.”

    I loved this line in your About. When I started my blog, I had exactly the same attitude. I told 6 close friends about the fact that I had started one, but no one else.
    I find blogging liberating. It is a vehicle for expression to an unknown audience, if there is an audience at all and it is because of that, that it is such an uncensored experience. Essentially it is writing for yourself, and it is wonderful. It still surprises me when I get comments or likes. I wonder how people found it, I wonder what kept them looking and most of all I feel connected by the power of words and images.
    Your blog is wonderful. You have a very distinct voice.

  6. You’re absolutely right when you talk about this experience as ‘writing for yourself’. It might sound strange to those who don’t blog – seeing as we post our words on the net where they are available for anyone to read. But because you don’t know who those readers might be – and like you say, how they might find us – it’s impossible to focus on that external source, and therefore we have to take the drive from ourselves. I have found it hugely fun and liberating. Thanks for visiting – I’m glad you enjoyed your stay!

  7. letizia says:

    Thanks for following my blog- I love discovering new authors and your writing is so engaging! Looking forward to reading many new posts in the future!

    • Thank you! It’s wonderful to have you following. I really appreciate what your site represents. Your posts are vivid both in the pictures but also the writing. I still have that toe of yours in my mind, dipping in the online waters, giving me that exact sense of the tentative, delicate way we put outselves forward and hope. I look forward to seeing you around 🙂

  8. pretzellogic says:

    “I’m happy to stand here and drop whatever it is I have into this running water, watch it dance in the current. I have the sense my words will reach the sea one day. But even that isn’t a final destination – it’s simply a place where things become harder to observe because they are diffused into an enormous space. That’s what I love: that moment where things launch and spread and become.” i love the way you write prose. “pristine” is the only way i can describe it.

    • I’m Honoured! I’ve never ever thought of my work as pristine, but it does make me think of how I sort through words, feeling each one, until I get a sense of which one works. Makes me think of those contraptions that people used when searching for gold in rivers, scooping up rocks and mud and then shaking them from side to side; always looking in amongst the grime for something that sparkles, and (on a good day!) reaching in and picking out that small nugget, knowing they’ve found gold! Thanks for visiting.

  9. pretzellogic says:

    hello gabriela! i know that you are already aware that I nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award at http://ngtolentino.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/if-blog-awards-are-chain-letters-then-they-are-chain-love-letters-4-awards/ just wanted to say thanks and congratulations! – neil

  10. Mashal says:

    “I told her it didn’t matter”. This just had the same effect on me as Khaled Hosseini’s, “For you, a thousand times over”.

  11. One thing I can’t find on your blog, is the thing to click so I can follow it, and receive warning when you write something new. Am I missing the obvious, or have you not activated that facility? Sorry to send you another techy question! (last one worked though)

    • Chris, I’m afraid that I’m not sure about this one. I know that my friends who follow get emails, but that’s because I sent them an email from the blog, which I’m happy to do for you. I certainly haven’t activated anything – I wouldn’t know how…

  12. What a lovely ‘about’ and a lovely world view. Good luck with your book. Regards Leanne

  13. Hi Gabriela I’ve nominated you for a Reader Appreciation Award

  14. eleanor lubbock says:

    Dearest Gabriela, I have just read the last two of your blogs and was totally absorbed and touched! …your own journey threading through other journeys so freshly felt and alive. The exchange of comments also so nourishing and grateful! Onwards to the freedom you are journeying towards! E

    • Eleanor! Thank you for your words, and for being with me on this adventure. There have been some lovely people visiting and commenting, and I am glad that you have got something out of that as well as my posts. I’m loving this little community as it grows, and am very grateful for my readers – people like you who stop by and make all this worthwhile. g x

  15. Joycelyn says:

    That’s what I love: that moment where things launch and spread and become. – ♥♥♥

  16. annotating60 says:

    I didn’t have the time that it deserves to give to reading this today, but it is very very good, controlled, it knows what’s around the next bend but it surprises the reader. I’ll be back!!!>KB

  17. Very nice. I like when you said, “That’s what I love: that moment where things launch and spread and become.” I understand that totally. I just started my blog – thanks for liking it! I’m still in the process of marketing my first book, but I miss writing so much that I thought a blog would tide me over! Keep writing, gal!

    • Writing a blog is a great way to take the vacuum out of being a writer – at least that’s what I have found. It’s such a pleasure to spend time on writing that people can read as soon as you’re done with it, and even better when they say they like it. Thanks for taking the time to let me know your thoughts.

  18. Diana says:

    Oh so-well put, my friend. May I quote you ? Thoughts like those about blogging, have been simmering below the surface, but not connecting to any words, (as usual), in my head for months.

    Thanks for visiting me 🙂

    • You’re welcome to quote me – I’m very flattered. It’s great to hear that the hours I have spent on my own, coming up with the right words that describe my experience, can also provide the words for someone else’s. Makes all the work worthwhile!

  19. gotasté says:

    Gabriela! I want to share this happy moment with you. I just nominated you for the Reality Blog Award. Take a look at my post if you are interested to accept or re-blog: http://gotaste.wordpress.com/2012/11/16/reality-blog-award/

    You know there is no way I can leave you out from my nomination list. No matter you want it or not. 🙂

    • Wow! Thanks so much. My weekend took a bit of a plunge so this has really picked me up. I am so thrilled that you would think of me for this award. I’ll take a look at the post and see what I have to do. I’ve sort of decided to group my awards – not that I have a huge amount!! But I thought I would mention them, and the lovely people that nominated me in early December for my last post this year. If you can wait that long!

      • gotasté says:

        You are most welcome! Sad to know your weekend did not work out fine. Hope all is good now. Take your time on the awards. I will always have time for you. Keep smiling 🙂

  20. Gabriela, I just nominated you for the Liebster Blog Award. You can find out more about the award and why I nominated you in my latest post at http://deborahbrasket.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/the-beauty-of-blogging-a-tribute-to-fellow-bloggers-and-followers/

    • Deborah! How lovely. I shall go and have a look. Just to let you know – I might not respond to this until early December. I thought I would cover my readers, the blogs that have inspired me etc in my last post of the year. I hope you can wait until then.
      Until then, thanks so much for your appreciation.

  21. You sound really wonderful. Usually I take a quick peek at those who “like” my blog posts but I find your utterly similar to mine and of the same tone. Your blog pulled me in really quickly and I appreciate you reading my blog 🙂 You can be sure I’ll follow this blog!

  22. If you haven’t read I have given you an Award – I don’t know if you are into these or not, but it is there is you wish to take it up.

    • Oh, now that comment you made the other day makes sense. Bit silly of me really not to have worked it out. Shows you where my head is at. You wrote ‘aware’ and I was looking in a hurry and didn’t really think. There must be something wrong with my feed from your blog anyway, perhaps since I updated my browser, I don’t know, but I haven’t been notified of your new posts. I shall check it out. And, oh, of course, thanks so much! I am certainly in to my readers showing their appreciation!!

  23. Olivia Wolfe says:

    Heloo. I nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award. Please stop by and check it out here: http://oliviawolfe.wordpress.com/2012/12/09/count-my-blessings/

  24. Sandy says:

    Gabriela, I’ve nominated you for the “Blog of the Year” Award. To see the nomination, visit the post: anotherlovelyday.wordpress.com/2012/12/26/thank-you/. I hope you have a wonderful new year!
    ~ Sandy

  25. Greetings Gabriela,
    Your thoughts make total sense to me. Expressing oneself from the heart and talking about something that is real based on life experience is much more enjoyable and thought provoking then the superficial “World of Hollywood”. I encourage you you to live your passion and keep on writing “from the heart”. 🙂
    God bless

  26. Diana says:

    It doesn’t matter- I too am quite happy to drop it and watch it dance in the current. And look- we’re dancing together now !
    Thanks for liking/following/ visiting. 🙂

  27. the Bllu Room says:

    Hi Gabriela, this is my first day to follow the few people who’ve looked at and liked my blog “the Bllu Room” so far, and I’m delighted that you somehow ambled my way. Thanks so much for reading.
    To start one of these web logs with honest intent and ambition can make me a little light-headed. I feel like i’m on the threshold of some important trek, excited but equally afraid i’ll fail. I’m trying to keep my hopes low. Just write once a week. Post. Hope someone out there will find me–someday. The craft and honesty your show in your blog inspire me. The many comments you’ve gotten give me guideposts; I can connect to those like-minded people too. Well, I hope you’ll visit me again and like my posts. I’ll look forward to following your journey. cheers, bllu

    • Hi Bllu. Thanks for stopping by. It sounds like you are on the right track, writing once a week, posting. As you said in your blog when you couldn’t sleep – the artist has to be fearless. And then on those days that you do feel afraid, go carefully, be good to yourself, and you will emerge stronger – glad for having stuck at it. See you around 😉

  28. laurasmess says:

    Gabriela, this is my first visit to your blog, and I’m quite excited to have stumbled upon something so honest, beautiful and inspiring. I’m also a closet writer… I have an unfinished novel stored in my computer from a couple of years back, alongside several short stories and poems. My mother feels a sense of disappointment that I never achieved my ‘calling’ in life; rather, I followed what seemed to be a practical career and I’ve always regretted it (argh, why is it that everything creative never seems to be the ‘sensible’ option??). Thanks for providing a bit of inspiration, in regards to the fact that creativity is fluid, evolving, sometimes imperfect but often beautiful in spite of the imperfections. I’ll be checking back in with you whilst you continue on your journey. Thanks so much.

    • Hi Laura! I’ve just been updating this page and noticed I didn’t reply to this. I went straight over to your site and got sidetracked by the food 😉
      Sounds like you need to come out about your writing!
      And do come back and ask me anything you want.

  29. sarahkkaracs says:

    Gabriela, thanks for your comments! Am reading your short stories now – I love your style.

    • Sarah – I hope you enjoy/ed them. As for my style, more and more as I work on my collection, I’m trying to make my stories a bit like the reader is just looking through the window at something going on. I always come back to that intention and so far it’s got me over the hurdles. Thanks for visiting 😉

  30. supernova says:

    Hi Gabriela, glad to have found your blog and I’m looking forward to going through you posts. I am very interested in what you have to say about your writing and how you see it. I think you have a great understanding of all that writing needs to be. Trouble is, people look but don’t see! Thank you and my best wishes, James 🙂

  31. Pingback: 50-Word Tales #99 | boy with a hat

  32. laurasmess says:

    Gabriela. I’ve done something incredibly… uh, corny? I’ve accepted some blogging awards that I felt rather skeptical about but hey… it’s nice to be appreciated I guess. There’s one that I wanted to pass on to you, because it’s all about quality writing and fleeting moments captured in prose. Well… that’s how I interpreted it, anyway. It’s right here if you want to check out your nomination. Yep, you’re my blog-writer-guru. http://laurasmess.me/2013/03/15/awards-and-acknowledgements/

    • Hi Laura. I hope you didn’t think I was ignoring you because you were corny. I have actually been travelling this last month, and I am only now back and getting back to writing business. Your nomination is very lovely – thank you so much! Now I can walk around and call myself a guru thanks to you 😉

  33. Nina says:

    Hi!!! I’m nominating you for the Best Moment Award, because, well, what can I say, I have some my best moments looking through your blog, lol. Well enjoy and congratulations! Check out the details here: http://wordsthatflowlikewater.wordpress.com/2013/03/22/blog-awards-best-moment-award/

    • Nina! You star. So sorry to be slow at responding to this, but I have been travelling this last month and I am now just getting back to the blog. This is so thoughtful of you, and what an honour. Thanks so much.

      • Nina says:

        🙂 It’s no problem! As long as you received the nomination, I’m all smiles :). I think you have a lovely blog and I really enjoy it. Travelling sounds like it was fun! Well Happy Blogging! And congratulations !

  34. inourstars23 says:

    You have a lovely blog and a beautiful way of expressing your self and I know simply by reading this that ill find true light and enjoyment. 🙂

    • Flammel, I’m so pleased that you have stopped by, and that my intentions for this blog resonate with you. It’s always lovely to meet like-minded people. I look forward to your thoughts as a new follower!

  35. cherylmoore says:

    Hi Gabriela, your travels, accompanied by your photography, are very addictive so I’ve nominated you for a Sunshine Award. http://cherylmoore.wordpress.com/friends-and-links/ All the best, Cheryl

  36. Gabs my darling I have nominated you for – Best Moment Award

    • Thanks, Jen! A little late in replying to this – have I already replied?!?! It’s good to be back anyway. Look forward to coming over to yours and seeing what words you’ve been conjuring xx

  37. Ellen says:

    Hi Gabriela,
    I’m loving your blog and sense of journey: ) All the best along the way~

    • Hi Ellen. Sorry to reply so slowly to this – I’ve had an internet holiday, which was needed and has left me very refreshed! Thanks for your comment – I really appreciate the visit.

  38. Hey Gabs, just letting you know I nominated you for the Always Here if you Need Me award. No obligations, of course. 🙂

    • Phillip! You are such a star. I love the sound of this award – it’s not one that I’ve heard of, but I feel like I should be giving it to you – because I’ve really had a sense (with you contacting me through twitter) that you’ve been there for me!! Anyway, just gearing up to get back online with lots of new exciting developments, which I shall reveal in time. Look forward to visiting you and seeing what you’re up to.

  39. I love short stories. Good luck!

  40. iamyourme says:

    Ooh sounds lovely! I’m unable to get out and about..got two kids on my hips! But you know what, you have just inspired me to view my environment a bit more romantically for inspiration. Thank you! 🙂

  41. limseemin says:

    Love yr blog very much. Inspire me! Visit mine too! DOn’t forget to follow. Haha 🙂

  42. Rina Singh says:

    Great workshop on 30June — really helpful in the process of getting over the “inner judge”.
    Will try to incorporate it for my looming deadline, otherwise for sure as I continue writing…

  43. Seth Langner says:

    Thanks for following and sharing your work. Impressive.

    All Blessings,

  44. Insung says:

    I am glad that I have found another great blog!! Thanks for sharing your thoughts! oh and I enjoyed your stories 🙂

  45. I would so LOVE to have a cup of coffee with you!

  46. Hello hello!

    Loving your blog! Very happy I found it, and I look forward to following!


  47. Pushpita says:

    Beautifully explained….As a beginner its Very inspiring for me….Anyways thanks for stopping by my blog……Your comments and likes will help me improve and will motivate and encourage.

  48. Prasad says:

    You have got a beautiful blog running here. Your vision and thoughts are indeed a revelation. Great work. Keep blogging. I will definitely hang around here a lot savouring the perfect cocktail of words that you offer.

  49. Vincent Mars says:

    Hello Oxonian,

    I hope you have returned from your journey safe and sound.

    If you’re not too busy, I’d like to talk to you about Oliver.

    Do you still use that email you’ve given me some time ago? Or do you have a primary one?


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