Blogs

Gil Scott Heron, B Movie

'What this country wants is nostalgia, they want to look back even if it's only as far as last week..looking to the closest thing we can find to John Wayne..show me a time when heroes weren't zeroes...selective amnesia. America, the Reagan era. Gil's smart words orchestrated to take the mood down lower jazz, his cool dude stage presence gets to the point. The point being the wholesale trickery of politicians, the way they pitch an image...

Elena Gorokhova (2010) A Mountain of Crumbs: a memoir, Growing Up Behind The Iron Curtain.

Here Elena describes her mother: ‘Born three years before Russia turned into the Soviet Union, my mother became the mirror image of my motherland: overbearing, protective, difficult to leave…A survivor of the famine, Stalin’s terror and the Great Patriotic War…’. Food features heavily in the account. They have a Dacha thirty miles from Leningrad. A property owner in a property-less state with no such thing as privacy. Her father had a chauffeur...

Excursiion Down Under- Part I

Excursion Down under April 2014 Wed. Mar. 26th, 2014- Bonita Springs, Florida We were up at 3:30 A.M to make final preparations for leaving. Our 4 A.M. taxi arrived promptly and we were off for the Southwest Florida International Airport. It was only 5 A.M. but there were already a goodly amount of people walking the airport concourses. We checked our bags into the U.S. Air counter and walked through the security gates without incident. A brief...

Nibfest, Tunisia, and Cork-Lined Rooms

For a moment there it looked like spring had sprung, but today the famed English weather has returned to London. Is it harder or easier to write when the sun is in? I am torn between the inspiration of the solitary, introverted winter's morning, seeing the cold dawn in with a steaming cup of coffee and my notebook before setting off for the office - and that totally different sort of pleasure when the mind is freed to dream up narratives while...

The First World War BBC 4, produced and directed by Corinna Stummer and based on Hew Strachan’s book.

I was a strange kid, there was nothing I liked more than The World at War . I even liked the music. There is no greater compliment than this ten-part series was just as good, if not better. Last night’s episode, ‘War Without End’ was another stonker. It started where it left off last time. Four-long years of war and no end in sight. The Germans had been on the offensive. They had broken the trench stalemate on the Western front and gained ground...

Doris Lessing (1994) Under My Skin: Volume One of My Autobiography to 1949.

Doris Lessing is one of those authors I kept meaning to read. Her father was an officer wounded in the Great War and her mother the nurse that nursed him, rather a romantic ideal, but reality often knocks spots off those kinds of notions. Her great love was killed before she could marry him and he’d lost a leg, well, they had each other. Then they’d a loan from the land bank and a failing farm in Southern Rhodesia. She was upwardly mobile,...

L'assommoir, by Emile Zola

Drink addiction does the working class no good. As true now as in the 19th Century when Zola wrote his tragi-comic epic, the title has sometimes been translated as The Pub or Dram Shop. Posh folks can also sometimes suffer from liver failure and permanent damage to the brain and motor system however they may be more able to get up in the afternoon without getting sacked. At the start of the story Gervaise and Coupeau are in love and have their...

Editing in the Hills, A New Competition and Easter

Happy Easter, all. I hope you’ve been enjoying the sun and a little extra time to your own devices. I’ve taken a few kilos of writing up into the Cumbrian hills with me, and have been alternating between editing other people’s work and trying to get my own notes and jottings and half-formed scenes into some kind of order. It’s a good weekend for resurrections. Michelangelo's take on an age-old theme If you haven’t heard the news, we’ve just made...

Introspection

I sporadically write a blog. It's often on writing topics, or my writing in general. This time I got a bit on the deep side. If you want to see past posts, you’ll find me at www.lisahinsley.weebly.com

100 Years On – An ABCtales Competition

I’m glad to make a call for entries to ABCtales’ latest prose and poetry competition, 100 Years On . 2014 marks the centennial of the First World War — and ABCtales will mark that occasion by inviting writers to incorporate the event into their work. There’s no set way that the war should be treated - pieces do not even need to be directly related to the war in any way - but we do ask that there is at least some mention made, however...

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