Blogs

Rio at Ludlow

So much for putting him away for a few months! That was the plan but the stable is in great form so we decided to give him a run out today at Ludlow. Where is Ludlow? I hear you ask. Well, imagine the end of the world and then a bit farther than that! It's in Shropshire and close to Wales. From London the train takes over 3 hours and then theres a short cab ride. To be honest for a race that lasts a few minutes its not worth it. Even though I...

Picks of the Year 2013

Tony and I have spent the past few weeks reading and rereading the best content from 2013 — trawling through the awards and the pieces we had squirreled away on folders on our desktop. It’s been a fabulous year in more ways than one, but the thing that is most astonishing to me, as a new member of the ABC community, is the quantity of truly excellent work on the site. Over and over again I’ve come across poems that have stopped me in my tracks,...

Ruth Ozeki (2013) A Tale For The Time Being.

Sometimes you pick a book and sometimes a book picks you. I’d looked at this book, read a little and put it down again, read a little and put it down again. It looked to be one of those books I tend to specialise in writing that nobody ever reads and fades from memory quicker than a cuttlefish. You might not know what a cuttlefish is and neither might I, but somewhere in the world someone does, and that’s enough guff. The sign of a good book is...

John Boyne (2007) The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas

This book is described as a fable, a conceit, a what if? It’s I’d guess aimed at children or adolescents, although, of course books like the Northern Lights series, Harry Potter, Little Women or Treasure Island were also read and enjoyed by those that can be described as being more adult. I can’t say I enjoyed The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas much, but maybe that proves I’ve finally grown up and become more mature. It’s quite a simple tale. Nine-...

10.1.14 Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

Hi all, Tony and I have been hard at work reading competition entries this week (as well as whittling down a shortlist for Picks of the Year, 2013), so look forward to a few big announcements very soon. And though so much time and talent went into writing for the competition, there were still plenty of fantastic pieces on the site this week. One of those is our poem of the week, Hoalarg's Night Piece, a simple, evocative poem that captures that...

James Lee Burke (2013) Light of the World

I’ve read a few of Burke’s books. He’s a bit like Stephen King, so prolific, it’s difficult to keep up with him. I could tell you which ones I’ve read, and what happens. I know there were some bad guys that needed sorting and there’s a yearning, a wisful longing, in Burke’s books for a better world. In his narratives good triumphs over evil. That’s a given and allowed me to read only the first 150 pages of this and the last 100 pages. The Light...

God’s Cadets: Joining the Salvation Army, BBC 4 9pm, directed and produced by Nick Poytnz.

I’ve an admission to make I was once a member of the Sally Army. I wasn’t a cadet more a lowly conscript. A Sherrif’s Office told me to join them or go to that other blasted place. So I’m not neutral about this, I was saved and the meals we served were very cheap and nutritious too. So in a way I’m family. William Booth, the Methodist minister, started it all off in 1865 and quickly recruited his wife and eighteen children into his ready made...

All Quiet on the Western Front (1996 [1929]) Erich Maria Remarque, tranlated by Brian Murdoch.

There is no end to war and in 2014 there will be a lot of political shuffling and looking back at The Great War to end all wars. Remarrque shows the landscape and futility of life on the front line. Paul Baumer is the first-person narrator, and the book is structred so that it moves only to the impersonal third person in the last paragraph: He fell in October 1918, on a day that was so still and quiet along the entire front line that the army...

Entry to ABC's Winter Competition Closes on Monday!

This is the final call for submissions to our Winter competition! All entries must be in by midnight Greenwich Mean Time on this coming Monday, January the sixth. So if you’ve registered but haven’t submitted your story yet, get writing , and if you haven’t registered, sign up via Paypal below! Rules: The theme of the competition is loosely based around ‘Winter,’ but feel free to incorporate the theme as much or as little as you’d like. This is...

3.1.14 Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

Happy New Year to you all! It's been a year of substantial changes for ABC, ranging from a new website design to a host of outstanding new members, and we've come out of 2013 stronger and with more energy than ever before. We'll be continuing to build and promoting the website into the new year—but thanks are due to you all, because its you and your writing that makes ABCtales what it is! At the cusp of the new year we have a couple outstanding...

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