Blogs

ABCtales Critiquing Service - good reports!

Over the years many of you have asked for a critiquing service and it has taken a long time to find (a) someone good enough to do it well and (b) someone who will charge what we regard as a reasonable fee. Finally, we've done it! Lorraine Mace is a freelance writer, columnist and tutor for the Writers Bureau. Winner of the Petra Kenney International Poetry Competition (comic verse category), Lorraine's fiction, features and humour have appeared...

Andrew Miller (1992) Ingenious Pain.

When you are asked to review books, a number of prompts are translated into numbers. For example, you are asked to award a mark out of ten for literary merit. I often cheat here. If I like a book, it gets nearer ten than one. After all, even the ingredients on the label of a brown sauce bottle have enough literary merit to get five. Ingenious Pain gets a ten, because his sentences sing and you can get your teeth into them. His characters have a...

The Investing Game

$5K - 52 Weeks - 20 Penny Stocks One Winner!! Current Status ( -$3,366.54 ) Week - 30 & 31 Go Birds! ------------- E-A-G-L-E-S… EAGLES!!!!!! --------------------------------- That’s right, football is back, life is good and all is as it should be in the world. Big impressive win for the Eagles as they soundly dispatched the hapless, hopeless Falcons. Sadly however, the market missed the memo and did not follow suit. Ah well, this weekend’s...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point 17 September 2021

Chosen by Ewan. Difficult as always to choose just one of each. Story of the Week. I really enjoyed Mitzi 44’s ‘ Busmar Astral ’ which was tender, funny and ultimately uplifting. Equally good, but very different was houghtonrick83’s Isolated . However, this week's story of the week is Marandina’s moving With or Without You. Poem of the Week Di_Hard’s ‘ preserving time ’ was as sweet and lovely as no doubt the jam was and I enjoyed that the title...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point 17 September 2021

Difficult as always to choose just one of each. Story of the Week. I really enjoyed Mitzi 44’s ‘ Busmar Astral ’ which was tender, funny and ultimately uplifting. Equally good, but very different was houghtonrick83’s Isolated . However, this week's story of the week is Marandina’s moving With or Without You. Poem of the Week Di_Hard’s ‘ preserving time ’ was as sweet and lovely as no doubt the jam was and I enjoyed that the title might be taken...

The Man In The Bar II

To further explain the genesis of The Man In The Bar' idea. It dawned on me that, as a new State Pensioner, this might be a suitable new profession. Similar to a court jester or writer in residence. As mentioned yesterday, the U.K. government's decision to do away with proper experts meant that the role might now be more onerous than I at first calculated. I certainly can not explain the 'Benefits of Brexit' and related topics. If you can,...

The Man In The Bar

Apologies. This is really not much of a blog. I'm in Morocco at the moment celebrating the first anniversary of a corrective operation which brought to an end 3.5 years of medical cock-ups. The aftermath of which was kidney stones, in May. I came out here as a retreat, a place to recoup my energies and to write whatever came my way. A story I'd been scoping was the idea of 'The Man in The Pub'. in the days when we could afford to go to pubs...

Cathy Rentzenbrink (2015) The Last Act of Love.

Everybody has a cat or dog story. I’ve also read one about horses. Cathy Rentzenbrink is a reader like me, well, probably better than me. She read a book a day, sometimes two, after her brother died. She did a lot of boozing. Went a little mad, finished her degree and got married to a man she loved. Then she got divorced, but, hey, nobody’s perfect. Her brother, Matthew, was perfect, but never lived long enough to unperfect himself. He was born...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Many thanks, once again, for all the wonderful things that you've posted this week. Please keep them coming. It's rare that we would choose the same writer two weeks running, but that's how good The Long and Spectacular Life of Agnes Magnusdottir is! It's our Story of the Week again - big congratulations to drew_gummerson. Poem of the Week is Ed Crane's Be Careful What You Wish For which takes catasrophising to a whole new level and which I...

Matt Haig (2020) The Midnight Library.

An easy read. Like picking a magazine from a rack. Fling in a bit of philosophy. Sprinkle with maxims. Challenge yourself to live the best reading life you can. Jean-Paul Sartre: Life begins on the other side of despair. ‘Every life contains many millions of decisions. Some big, some small. But every time one decision is taken over another the outcomes differ. An irreversible variation occurs, which in turn leads to other variations.’ Aristotle...

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