Blogs

Emile Zola (1885 [2004]) Germinal.

Coal miners lives were nasty, brutish and short - that was only in the good years. In his preface Zola tells his reader that all authors are liars, but there is something like the truth between these pages that still holds true. Zola shows how the Company makes profit from wage slavery of men, women and children. The Maheu family, for example, live in Village 240, Block 2, house Number 16. The Company owns the houses they live in. It allows a...

Age ratings for films, do they make sense?

U, PG, 12A, 15 and 18; it's a hotly debated topic at my work (I do more than one thing but cleaning my local cinema is an essential part of my income), and I've no idea what the public makes of it. U is obvious, a U movie is deemed suitable for a child of four. PG, well I bust the rules slightly and took my daughter when she was four to Jurassic Park, PG is considered safe viewing for 8 and over, as did many others. No problems and I think most...

Journally

Awoke terrorised by an injured crow with loud-hailer outside the window. On closer inspection, it turned out to be a refuse lorry reversing into a nursing home. Still a little unsettling. Over breakfast, considered the day ahead and tried to recall the lyrics to "It's All Over Now Baby Blue". It's still not daylight as I head down the hill to the station. Daylight may not make it today. What is rain, but an opportunity to unfold my Parisienne...

Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

It's such a privilege to be one of the co-editors of ABCtales and to be in a position of reviewing all the wonderful work that piles in every week. This week in particular has been excellent in terms of new talent and the work that they have brought to the site. The newbies made it a very tough job of making the choices for the picks of the week but the accolades go to Silver Spun Sand for her fantastic poem Albatross: http://www.abctales.com/...

At The Risk Of Being Tedious

Please please please support our final books on Unbound. If you haven't done so yet, then now is the time to do it! Celticman is lagging behind and badly needs your help. He's done so much for this site and helped so many of you - now is the time to give him something back: http://unbound.co.uk/books/lily-poole And Ewan is so nearly there - just a few more of you and he'll be over the line. Go, give him a boost: http://unbound.co.uk/books/...

Opportunity Knocks!

Hi everyone, I want to alert members to a forthcoming and prestigious poetry competition. It's a collaboration between the RSPB and The Rialto magazine based on the theme 'Nature'. The cost of entry is £6 for a single submission with subsequent submissions costing £3 each thereafter. A maximum of six poems are allowed in any one batch per individual entrant. Generous cash prizes are on offer with £1000 for the winner, £500 for the runner-up and...

I am now a Slam Artist

Slam poetry is a contest with rules, so my shot at the Bike Shed theatre in Exeter is probably the same set up as anytown. You get 3 minutes and get scored by 3 judges out of 20 on the poem, performance and intensity of audience response. The bad news is that scoring is public. The good news is that all the poets were good and I would enjoy hearing any of them again. There were about 70 in the audience they seemed friendly if a little bland; a...

Linda Tirado (2014) Hand To Mouth. The Truth About Being Poor in a Wealthy World.

I’ve been thinking of writing a book about poverty, and the cancerous growth of agencies as middlemen that add nothing but misery, leaving the rest of us to deal with the hidden costs. It’s too big a subject. You start getting lost in minutiae. What does it mean in a changing world, for example, to be working class? What does it mean to be poor? These are relative concepts. I once asked my former best mate Liam what the girl he got off with the...

Vincent Deary (2014) How to Live, 1. How we are

Every day is All Fools Day when you’re just being yourself. Same beginning. Then two trillion -or more- cells later, we come apart. In between we acquire a repertoire of habits. Vincent Deary’s ‘How we are’, the first in his trilogy of How to Live, picks apart what makes us ourselves. In essence, a person and their reality, make up their personality. That’s me speaking, not Deary (and what a wonderful name for a pseudo-philosopher). I was...

Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

Congratulations this week go to Mark Brown for one of the best pieces of flash fiction I've read and to Ewan for his wonderfully dark poem: http://www.abctales.com/story/markbrown/those-we-leave-behind http://www.abctales.com/story/ewan/light-gibbous-moon This week's Inspiration Point is poetry or prose on the theme of moving - and you can interpret that any way you want. Don't forget if you have an idea for the Inspiration Point we'd love to...

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