Blogs

Janine Galloway (2011) All Made Up.

All Made Up is a play on words. In what can be described as a follow up to This is not about me , which took Galloway to the cusp of adolescence and won her Scottish Book of the Year. For me it was a shocking discovery, somebody that could write and was more gifted than Alice Munro—and was Scottish. Play the bagpipe music and wheel on the shortcake. The ‘villain’ was Cora, Janice’s sister, who is twenty years older than her, and I use that word...

The Miners’ Strike and Me, written and directed by Stuart Ramsay, STV 11.05 pm

It’s a year of anniversaries. One hundred years since the First World War and thirty years since the miners’ strike. Great Britain, an island nation, built on coal. Remember them, coal miners? Quaint little people that used to black up and work in coal mines. Seems hard to believe they existed. 84 000 of them and they had wives and families. Seventy pits. Arthur Scargill the NUM leader said the government had a hit list. The media proclaimed it...

The Cheltenham Festival

Something wonderful happens today. At thirty minutes past one this afternoon, a massive spine - tingling roar will be heard throughout the country. Yep, it's the start of the Cheltenham Festival. Now I can hear some of you thinking, it’s just horse racing, it’s just another meeting, what’s so important? In the next few hundred words, I will do my best to explain. Whatever sport you follow, there are always the big events. In Athletics you have...

Christine Hamill on ABCtales, Breast Cancer and Getting Published

So, ABCers – as of today I am a published author! My book B is for Breast Cancer is actually in the shops today and it started right here… I wrote the book when I was undergoing treatment for breast cancer. Five years ago, aged 45, I found myself diagnosed with the disease and my first thought was for my ten-year-old son. Then I worried about how my poor old mother would cope with the news. And then, and I’m not kidding, I thought – what about...

07.03.14 Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

A weekend of unseasonably warm weather is upon us lucky few down in the England's southern portion, and not a moment too soon. I hope you all get a chance to enjoy some of it, to take in a little nature and maybe follow in the footsteps of the romantics (that’s what this week’s IP is about: http://www.abctales.com/inspiration-point-ip ), but even if you’re stuck somewhere that's still obeying traditional seasonal rules, take a moment to breathe...

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) directed by Milos Forman BBC 2. 11.10pm

This is one of the few films that trump the book, in this case Ken Kessey’s, and was a critical and box office success. I’ve seen it a few times and the script and the performances still shine. It’s a simple premise: Randle Patrick (Mac)McMurphy (Jack Nicholson) takes on the world, which is quite a mouthful, but he’s got quite a mouth. He’s inside for the statutory rape of a fifteen-year-old girl and other offenses, none of which he found...

28.02.14 Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

It's the last day of February, and we're already sliding into something like spring - although it's still wetter and colder and darker than any kind of spring I want any part of. But it keeps bringing us stories and poems, more and more of them. There's enough good writing on ABCtales, I realise, to keep a man happily reading all day every day, like old Prince Carlos of Viana. We have some good news, as ABCer Akanbi - Samuel Aina - publishes his...

Janice Galloway (2008) This is not about me.

The problem with autobiographical books is the writer appears before the procurator fiscal of memory and cheerfully admits to everything. Oh, that was me. Oh, that was me too. Yep, I was guilty of that. Convenient fictions become facts. Galloway uses old photos to ground her memories. She grew up in postwar Saltcoats a seaside town popular with holidaymakers in 1950s Scotland. Her mother thought it was the menopause, but it was Janice. Her...

22.02.14 Story, Poem and Inspiration Point of the Week

Well we have some fantastic picks for you this week! Our story of the week is an ABC debut, from new author TFH. ‘The Late Bus’ is a sophisticated and psychologically charged story about a middle-aged autistic man taking his aging mother on a trip to Lancaster. When she dies he is unable to feel any emotion – and the work that results is a fascinated window into a different kind of mind. An outstanding debut and the first, I hope of many: http...

Kate Millett (1990) The Loony Bin Trip.

Kate Millett wrote The Loony Bin Trip at the rue de Seine between 1982 and 1985. She questioned whether ‘they were right after all. My own mind was too dangerous.’ They are the medical establishment, the pharmaceutical companies, the police, the government, all the outsiders. But what makes it tragic was the collusion of all the insiders too. She follows in the path of R.D Laing Madness comes from the family and Thomas Szasz, madness is...

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