Blogs

My working weekends at Embercombe Farm

I first went mid-December. I arrived in the farm minibus to darkness. I did not know I would be sharing a yurt. The yurt stove would not light, the matches provided were soggy. Sunday was torrential rain. After my first night I loved every second! Such a blissful getaway from all the commercial baloney of the build up to Dec 25th. I was back last weekend. It was brilliant again. The deal is you pay £26.50, help with the farm chores, taking a T-...

Competition results

Anyone seen them?

How to kill a poem

As a species it comes naturally to us: the taking apart of things in order to see how they work. And we are ruthless at it. Hardly anything has escaped our curiosity. The atom. Plants. Laboratory animals. Insects. Old pocket watches. We do it to everything. Our forbears even stole cadavers to slake their thirst for what makes things tick. It should come as no surprise that we do this to poetry as well. I remember long, dreary afternoons with...

The Butcher

People often ask me what its like to be a butcher. Words can't describe it. But this small youtube video captures it brilliantly. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rd9UDKCU47M Its hilarious. Sorry about the language!

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...

Pages