Blogs

Literary Sneakers and our Latest London Get-Together

Next Wednesday is our London get-together - and I hope a lot of you will come out. It's shaping up to be one of the best we’ve had in a long while. There's nothing like long summer nights mixed with good literature, and on Wednesday we'll be featuring a long list of some of the best authors on the site – as well as a reading from Shaun Attwood , the very engaging (and entertaining) author of the books Party Time and Prison Time. We’ll also be...

Maleficent - Film PG Fantasy

Disney 2014 has flown eons beyond 'everything for the mouse.' Two kingdoms, ours and the land of fairies and strange creatures. Angelina Jolie is Maleficent. How did she become a meanie? Thwarted love, wounded pride, peace becoming humungous inter kingdom warfare. Can she act? I never noticed, I was swept up in the story and the 3D. You must see it in 3D, distance, speed, flight, monsters, forests, flora and fauna that shrink and grow and dive...

ABC Reading and Publication Party Next Wednesday

Our next ABCtales get-together is almost upon us - we'll be meeting next Wednesday , June 18th upstairs at the Wheatsheaf pub in Bloomsbury (25 Rathbone Place, W1T 1JB) from 7pm . The writers we'll be featuring this month include Grover, John Shade, RJF, MJG and Peter Kennedy - along with several of the authors included in My Baby Shot Me Down - the recent all-women collection of ABCtales writers out now with Blinding Books. We'll take a moment...

How to write and where to write to write like Alexander Pope

I’ve had my knuckles down and writing all week this week – and while making some progress on the novel I’ve also made a parallel effort to optimise my working conditions (mostly as an exercise in procrastination – and a very effective one). I’ve let it get to a slightly obsessive state – everything is considered, from the location of the chair relative to the window (light coming in but no opportunity to look out), to the position of the two...

Robert Graves - Collected Poems

Weird stuff this, legends, ballads, horrors, ghosts. Robert makes it up as he goes along. His first poems were published in 1926, his last in 1975. Darkness of title and topic, 'Warning to Children' 'One Hard Look'. 'Alice' is a crisply rhymed wonderland of kittens and queens. 'The Cool Web' illustrates how we can employ words to calm us and control our fears. Until words fly off the handle and madden us on our deathbed. Some poems rhyme some...

Jane Ashfelt (2014) Saltwater.

Jane wrote a few stories on Abctales. Here is a link to one http://www.abctales.com/story/ashb/boat-trip-3 Needless to say, after getting a coveted cherry she went on to win numerous awards and to have her short-story Saltwater Project published. The theme is water. I’ll not give the plot away, but in her first story in the collection Róisín, the younger sister of the narrator, follows up with her own story, about growing up in an Irish...

Vesna Maric (2010) Bluebird.

The title comes from the old Vera Lynn number: ‘There’ll be bluebirds over/ The white cliffs of Dover,/ Tomorrow, just you wait and see.’ Somehow Vesna associated that song with England, a country she knew little about, but knew vaguely through obsessing over old and new songs. This gave her a bridge into learning English, which was to prove useful in later life, because at the beginning of this memoir, she is a normal sixteen-year-old girl...

Bugsy Malone, St. Peter’s The Apostle Secondary.

I don’t usually go to stage plays. I can count on one finger the number of plays I go to, especially if they’re musicals. Musicals and I have got an understanding. I don’t bother them and they don’t bother me. But this was one of those ones were my sister got tickets and told me I was going. Never argue with your big sister and never pay for your ticket. Pressganged, because her son was playing Fat Sam, even though he’s not fat and his name is...

Interview with Cristina Henriquez

This week we spoke with Cristina Henriquez, a brilliant American novelist who’s been called one of "Fiction's New Luminaries" by the Virginia Quarterly Review. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Glimmer Train, and Ploughshares, and her second novel (her first in the UK), The Book of Unknown Americans , publishes this Thursday, the 5th of June, with Canongate. It’s a deeply moving tale of one family’s determination to cope...

What does India MODIfied mean to me?

The last three weeks or so, India has been regarded for all positive reasons besides the stormy unvarying news that do appear every day, be it chauvinism, discrimination or messiness. Like many Indians, the recent vote cast was a dignity for that India needed to come out of all the ill-traits exploited by the erstwhile government during the last decade. Now why and how would one think of Modi, the new-fangled, spirited Prime Minister of India...

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