Featured Articles

Remembering Yemen...

I never did make it to Syria unfortunately, but I did visit Yemen in 2008, which I'm thinking about now in the midst of this ...

Read More

Christmas in Prague...

I just got back from Prague - another new city for me. I love nothing more than heading off to a new place and just ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: Getting my Groupon...

Shamus's profile shots scrolled like some kind of Action Man calendar. In one photo the 39-year-old Irish-Canadian was hugging a goat on what looked like ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: Tempur-Pedic promises...

And another Tinder Diary for you, this one's also from last year in Vancouver.  Tempur-Pedic promises... 'I got you a drink!!!' the text message yelled at me. ...

Read More

Tinder Diaries: The Burner In The Park

In trawling through folders on my laptop for some old work I've just come across some diaries I wrote about Tinder dating last year in ...

Read More

I go to the gym a lot. And other things I never thought I'd say...

Once in Sydney I joined a yoga studio for $350 a year and went once. In New York I spent close to $600 and went to ...

Read More

Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask? Honestly. I can't even really tell you yet, and it's been three weeks. But I'll try. As a ...

Read More

11 things you only ever say on WhatsApp when you're going to Burning Man...

I LEAVE TOMORROW!! Am I ready? Probably not.  I'm what's known as a Virgin, (this will be my first time at Burning Man) and in ...

Read More

Thoughts about rainbows...

I cycled home tonight right under a rainbow - the kind of rainbow that smiles across the sky in every colour, and then more colours ...

Read More

How to tell when you travel too much (and when you should stop)

Yup. That's how. That's a screenshot my friend just sent me, when I told her to add my new phone number in Amsterdam. "Another one?!" "Yeah, but I'm ...

Read More

…Best Of...

It started with a boy called Matt: why I'm going to Burning Man (in 2 weeks!!!)

Going to Burning Man has been pretty high on the bucket list for years... ever since I started chatting to an American guy online back in 2003, who ...

Read More

The Royal's idea of 'Indian street kids' is not quite right

I know I shouldn't read the Daily Mail because it always annoys me... but today THIS was ridiculous. Honestly. Been to India? Yeah, so have I. Met ...

Read More

How to write a novel: 25 rules

This post is so inspiring, just had to share! Thanks to Matt Haig, who posted it originally. Sometimes us writers really need to read cool stuff ...

Read More

Amsterdam, I love you! See you again soon.

I've decided to move to Amsterdam. Maybe not forever but definitely for a little bit, because, well.... this. And this: And this:  OK maybe not the last one... ...

Read More

Free tsunami romance for Valentine's Day...

Winner of the TBC (The Book Club) award for best non-fiction, 2016.  Hey guys, I'm giving away The Day Of The Wave over Valentine's weekend in ...

Read More

How to Create Titles to Hook Your Readers

This post is written BY JUDITH BRILES posted on February 10, 2016 on The Book Designer Are you sometimes stuck when it comes to adding a title to ...

Read More

Yay, I won an award!

It's a super duper awesome start to the new year, because after a long hiatus during which I've been working reeeeeeally hard and not blogging ...

Read More

Who's the Mills and Boon Man Of The Year 2016? Get your face on a book cover!

Here ye, all you amazing men - and women who know amazing men! Thought I'd spread the word about this. Mills & Boon are launching ...

Read More

Pills that make you poop glitter...

Oh my! We should give these to ALL the pigeons in London until the whole city is a sparkly rainbow! Granted we'd be covered in shit, ...

Read More

Know your strengths...

I'm sitting in the cafe. It's just me, two loud ladies who sound like they're from Essex, and a blonde with her boyfriend. An Essex ...

Read More

Humans of Iceland...

This is Sverrir and the replica of his great grandfather, who was once the pastor of the pretty and remote herring fishing town, Siglufjörður. He was ...

Read More

Adventures in Iceland (in brief because I'm VERY remote right now and WIFI is scarce)...

It started when we flew Fokker. Yes, Fokker. Oh come on, tell me I'm not the only child who finds this funny? It wasn't long before ...

Read More

NOW FREE ON AMAZON: The Day Of The Wave

A moving, emotional romance based on real-life events. NOW FREE ON AMAZON! The Day Of The Wave follows Isla and Ben in the wake of surviving ...

Read More

***FREELANCE PHOTO - POSTMEDIA NETWORK USE ONLY*** VANCOUVER, BC.:JUNE 24, 2014-- Pedestrian traffic in front of Canna Clinic on Commercial Drive, in Vancouver, BC, June 24, 2014.  Canna Clinic at 2223 Commercial Drive, has a doctor from 5 to 8 p.m. every day. Locals can get certified by an in-house  naturopath, and pick up some pot.  (PHOTOS by Don MacKinnon)

Comedy night at the Canna Clinic...

Today I learnt two things. The first is that penguins have knees inside their bodies. Yes. Knees. Inside. I'm not even kidding. The second is that ...

Read More

Spalding School Reunion is Imminent...

I got a message today about a school reunion for the class of 96. My first thought was JEEEEESUS, did I really leave school 19 ...

Read More

Best things to see on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. OK, maybe not the best...

I was just eating my sushi on a restaurant patio last night when a man seemingly dressed as a Mario Brother climbed a nearby tree ...

Read More

Oh Canada, how I LOVE being in you...

And I think these photos prove why! I'm so inspired the more time I spend here, which is Vancouver right now, in case you were ...

Read More

Fun on the Natchez Trace - recreating scenes from a novel in real life!

Yesterday a friend and I drove from Nashville, out past the famous Loveless Cafe (where we stopped to pick up some Peach Preserve) and onto ...

Read More

Read and review 'Before He Was Gone' and get a FREE copy!

The New Adult Book Club on Goodreads are reading Before He Was Gone to review. Sign up if you want your free copy to review! "Sometimes, ...

Read More

RIP Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran (an excerpt featuring their great work, from Balilicious)

How fuggin AWFUL to hear about the executions of these two men, and the others who were wiped out needlessly today in Indonesia. Don't people ...

Read More

Boxing Day Tsunami book trailer (The Day of the Wave)

I made this today! One day I will give up trying to be a filmmaker (maybe), but it's SO satisfying when it uploads and I'm ...

Read More

The Day of the Wave - Playlist

This is probably the most fun I’ve ever had putting a playlist together for a book. There were just so many great artists who inspired ...

Read More

Aliens in the White House...

Just got a newsflash on my phone: 'Small one-person helicopter lands at White House West Lawn. Pilot in custody.' I know I should click on it ...

Read More

Boxing Day Tsunami romance excerpt: (The Day of The Wave)

This is an excerpt from my latest new adult romance, coming May 2015. In brief... "Isla and Ben were just sixteen when the Boxing Day ...

Read More

Uber in Nashville is interesting...

Me: 'So, what's the craziest thing that's happened to you since you started driving for Uber?' Him: 'Are you a shy girl?' Me: 'Er, I don't think ...

Read More

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar Store yet?

Have I mentioned the Family Dollar store yet? It's my new favorite place here in Nashville. Contrary to the name, not everything inside costs a dollar, ...

Read More

Lavenders, motorcycles and a feeling of deep uncool at Nashville's Barista Parlor...

There are some places in this world that will just serve to make you feel deeply uncool, no matter how young and awesome you previously ...

Read More

Why Craigslist in Nashville is killing me...

Here's what this guy just wrote in reply to my post about looking for a room to rent in Nashville: "We are seeking a FEMALE caring nanny/care giver. ...

Read More

Observation of the day...

Ubud cafes were full of middle aged women writing books on macs. Nashville cafes are full of cute young guys making music on macs. I know where ...

Read More

Before He Was A Secret (Starstruck #3) Playlist...

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLmhXXflqDQPAxUHvBiWosmLHWTd6sBM4Z I can't write a word without being inspired by every sound in the air around me, and I turned to music more than ever with ...

Read More

Musings on a Nashville snow day...

No one told me flying south for the winter would take me somewhere colder than England. Then again, there's something so peaceful about walking alone down ...

Read More

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me…

Fight your way through! A message to writers like me...

...and other creative souls no doubt! Someone sent me this video today by the amazingly inspiring Ira Glass, which I found very interesting. I can relate ...

Read More

The difference a motorised bike makes...

I miss my bike in Bali so much that today I actually hovered outside someone's house in South Harrow contemplating whether I could justify spending ...

Read More

Proving my roots: The nonsense that is taking the IELTS test in London...

"PUT YOUR PENCILS DOWN! PENCILS DOWN, NOW!!!" Dumbledore boomed. I almost jumped out of my plastic chair, nerves shot to sh*t. I have a problem ...

Read More

There's nothing more sexist than The Sun pulling Page 3 Girls...

Yes... SEXIST. If only for what's being said around the decision to drop this whole thing! "Instead of bare breasts, the pictures will now show scantily-clad ...

Read More

I SURVIVED: The Freak British Tornado (and the suspect still running loose)

A mini-tornado hit north west London this afternoon - causing damage to homes and cars. I think I summoned it. I was thinking very dark ...

Read More

It's cover reveal day for Before He Was A Secret. Exclusive excerpt here...

Today's the day, whoo hoooooo! I can finally reveal another amazing cover by designer Jeanine Henning, for the third standalone romance in my Starstruck Series, ...

Read More

The night Emma Watson stole my toothbrush...

WARNING!!! I feel like I should say something. I've been quiet for way too long... almost an hour actually, but about an hour ago I ...

Read More

Vaginal smoking and the benefits of yoni egg insertions (note: there are many)...

I have recently become quite fascinated with vaginal treatments. The fascination began when I saw this tempting advertisement on a board outside a spa in ...

Read More

The truth about 'Ecstatic Dancing' at The Yoga Barn in Ubud, Bali... (warning, this post may smell)

Everyone in Ubud knows the Yoga Barn. It's a sort of second home for eager expats, all of whom are quite happy to spend an ...

Read More

Go to Bali for less than a quid! Balilicious is 99p, starting today.

Becky Wicks lifted the burqa on Dubai In BURQALICIOUS. Now she turns her attention to Bali as she hilariously navigates life as an adopted Balinese ...

Read More

How do you handle negative reviews for your book on Amazon and Goodreads? And are readers actively LOOKING for bad books?

What didn't make me smile throughout my recent and ultimately successful free book campaign on Amazon KDP (and I'll tell you this, seeing as we're ...

Read More

Before He Was A Secret Blog tour sign ups are live. I'm looking for bloggers to join in (and get a free copy!)

Once again I'm having a blog tour with the amazing Xpresso Reads for the third in my Starstruck Series, which is coming out in March ...

Read More

A new, FREE short story to make you go awwww....

There's nothing like a freebie, so I wrote a little quickie (ahem) to melt your hearts. It's set in Alaska and it's only 6000 words, ...

Read More

Things you should probably know before going to Burning Man

14316725_10157553940975160_4768312591263856006_n

So, Burning Man. Hmm. How was it, you ask?

Honestly. I can’t even really tell you yet, and it’s been three weeks. But I’ll try. As a virgin burner no more, here are a few things I learned at Black Rock City in 2016. And what YOU should remember if you’re going.

14333000_10157553939960160_7728471708783534900_nThere are NEVER enough wet wipes

So you went to Walmart. You bought everything on your list, from your planet-friendly organic vegan shampoo, to the tennis ball for propping your bike on in the dust (aren’t you clever), to the crossword puzzle book you might want to look at when you get bored. (One of those was a lie). But did you get enough wet wipes? Like fuck you did. You’ll be needing more wet wipes than a newborn baby with diarrhoea, and probably more after that. You’ll need wet wipes for your hands five minutes after you’ve washed them; for your privates, now apparently funnelling sand backwards (this could also be the drugs); for your nostrils, to banish those playa-dust boogers. For wiping the final dregs of your dignity away, after the Orgy Dome. You think you won’t need them. But you will. Buy more wet wipes.

14316831_10157553940510160_8992286120223876154_nThe weirdest thing you can imagine, will get weirder

So you got caught in a sandstorm, took shelter in a giant teapot, started snuggling with a man in a fur coat who was basically the lovechild of Big Foot and The Cookie Monster, and then you had your Akashic records read by an Aussie who called you ‘a trapped woodland elf’, and… by the way… you’re still in the teapot. You climbed down and had your butt spanked as you stuck your face in a glory hole, then sat pointlessly in a tiny box of mirrors on your own, as a lady shook you to the point of passing out.  You attended a workshop on the importance of female empowerment, in which EVERYONE cried and hit grown men about the face… and by the way… is it only 10am? Do you still have any concept of time? No? (This could also be the drugs).

Processed with Snapseed.

You will fall in love

You think you won’t, but you will. You will fall in love at Burning Man, either with your camp and the way everyone is ‘the family you always wanted’, or with the man you met five minutes ago who ‘just sees into your soul’, or with yourself. Fuck, you will love yourself SO much at Burning Man. Because you are being you. You are being crazy, and filthy, and wild, and free, and childlike and honest and kind. (This too, could be the drugs). You are picking up shit from the floor with the kind of pride reserved for diamond hunters in the darkest depths of Australian mines because you CARE ABOUT THE WORLD. And you are now reborn.

14317614_10157553967580160_1261915132478169668_n

Cuddle puddles are EVERYTHING

Now, if you don’t know what a cuddle puddle is, let me tell you, it’s the thing you’ve been missing in your sad, miserable, furry-cushion-free life. Imagine the biggest, most glorious hug you’ve never had and never knew you needed. It’s soft and giggly and squishy and fuzzy and strokey and all kinds of scrumptiousness and there are usually lots of people involved. And as your limbs all tangle in a sea of delicious wantedness (I’m making that a word) you feel all that’s wrong with the world suddenly shrink to nothingness. (This could also be the drugs).

fullsizerender

You should never be a darktard

A darktard is a stupid burner. I’m reluctant to say there are stupid burners, because the playa is perfection – a lunar landscape of loveliness on which the people can do no wrong. (This could also be the drugs). But a darktard is a burner who fails to adhere to the rules when it comes to glowing at night. At night you should sparkle and shine like a nocturnal rainbow intent on waking up the world to your glory. You should flicker, flash and damn-near blind people as you blaze across the desert like a star. Otherwise, you WILL be steamrolled by an art car.

14344283_10157553939835160_5350816690404593531_n

You will get lost and find yourself

I met a guy on my first day who’d been separated from his friends the night before and could not for the life of him remember where the FUCK he set up camp. He was tired and dusty, sipping on free coffee in a Turkish camp run by an Israeli man who looked like George Clooney (this was not the drugs). Two days later I saw him again, at our camp’s party. He was even more tired and even more dusty. He had still not found his camp. Or friends. I gave him toothpaste and wet wipes, poured him some water, and as we headed back to the party he bumped into his friends. What were the odds? Pretty strong actually; the playa provides. The point is, at Burning Man, you will get lost. But you will find yourself. Or something like that. Maybe the point is, remember where the fuck you set up your camp, OK?

There are so many more things I could say. But I’ll leave it here for now. Oh, but I did write this article recently for GQ on the topic, which I’ll admit was written the day after I got back to San Fransisco. It doesn’t quite cover it (I was still high).

Check out this video too. Every year a crew asks Burners to wear a red nose for a new video, and I made it into this one – huzzah! (Still  no idea ‘why the nose’). Can anyone enlighten me?

If you’re going to Black Rock City next year, please let me know. I have many more useful tips. If you care.

Other posts you may like:

Comments

  1. Nice Post!

    and Why the nose?… Well http://whythenose.com/ 😉

    Big dusty hug from another virgin burner no more