Blogs

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

It’s getting ever closer to winter and our Poem of the Week is a beautiful reminder of the season to come - Thoughts of an Oak Tree’s Spirit by skinner_jennifer. You can read it here: https://www.abctales.com/story/skinnerjennifer/thoughts-oak-trees-spirit Story of the Week is the very powerful and brilliantly written story, Wednesday Club, by celticman. You can read it here: https://www.abctales.com/story/celticman/wednesday-club This week’s...

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...

James Robertson (2021) News of the Dead.

The cover of James Robertson’s latest novel, News of the Dead , has a blurb from Ali Smith: ‘A marvellous novelist’. I spend much of my time looking at marketing techniques, when I should be reading, or even writing. Get a big hitter, preferably Scottish, like Ali Smith to say something nice about your writing and copy and paste it to all of your other books. It doesn’t need to be a novelist or writer. Billy Connolly’s good press (Jane Godley...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Posted by airyfairy on Fri, 26 Nov 2021 As always, really tough to make choices. Not surprisingly, the political situation here in the UK has moved several ABCtalers to put finger to keyboard. And opinions have differed. It's what writers do. Our Story of the Week is one such piece, Terrence Oblong's 'I Stayed Up For Portillo'. For non-UK readers, the announcement that MP Michael Portillo had lost his seat was the moment the nation realised the...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

As always, really tough to make choices. Not surprisingly, the political situation here in the UK has moved several ABCtalers to put finger to keyboard. And opinions have differed. It's what writers do. Our Story of the Week is one such piece, Terrence Oblong's 'I Stayed Up For Portillo'. For non-UK readers, the announcement that MP Michael Portillo had lost his seat was the moment the nation realised the government had lost the 1997 general...

Heather Morris (2021) three SISTERS.

I’m a reader. When I open a book magic happens. Or in Heather Morris’s case magic doesn’t happen. When God said to Moses, you cannot look—directly—at me, but when I pass you might see my glory. When I read a book if I don’t see God’s face, I’m not too disappointed. After all, even international and bestselling authors are only human. I’ll wait for the glory to pass. And I don’t go very many places. The best writers transport you. Where are we?...

Ophelia, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, Writers Lisa Klein and Semi Chellas, Director Claire McCarthy

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0011pn4/ophelia Ophelia , based on a book by Lisa Klein, who is also a screenwriter here (my guess that gave her leverage to adapt her novel for cinema/television) tells the story of Shakespeare’s Hamlet from a woman’s perspective, in much the same way Tom Stoppard put centre stage other peripheral figures in the play, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead . I’m not read Lisa Klein’s novel. And I’m not a...

My Name is Why (2019) Lemn Sissay

Lemn Sissay writes his memoir from a position of power. On the back cover, he lists some of his awards: BAFTA nominated, honorary doctorates, an MBE for services to literature, Chancellor of the University of Manchester. The last line is the killer. ‘He is British and Ethiopian.’ In other words, he’s a black man. He was the illegitimate son of twenty-one-year-old Yemarshet Sissy, a student at a Baptist Bible College in England, and he was born...

Vice, BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, Writer and Director Adam McKay.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0011p18/vice Described as comedy-drama, a biographical film about former US vice-president Dick Cheney. Christian Bale won a Golden Globe and was nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the most powerful vice-president in modern history. There is a contemporary joke that nobody is ever called Dick, but that’s about it. There is nothing funny about Vice . At a push, I could probably name most of...

Portrait of a Lady on Fire, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, Writer and Director Celine Sciamma.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m0011f0c/portrait-of-a-lady-on-fire French with English subtitles. Writer and Director Celine Sciamma creates a beautiful vision. I struggle to speak English, and growl at anybody that suggests I’m not working class. Yet the channels I watch most are BBC 4 and BBC 2. Academics in the late 1960s tried to cobble together a theory that showed an erosion of working-class values with a more affluent class of car...

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