Blogs

Darren McGarvey (2017) Poverty Safari.

Darren McGarvey was talking about his book in Dalmuir library on Wednesday. He spoke with passion, without notes, for over an hour. That takes some doing. I said to him I knew before I’d read his book I’d probably agree with what he was saying. He’s one of us. There is different names for it. He calls it ‘the underclass’. It’s in the title. Poverty Safari: Understanding the anger of Britain’s underclass. Words matter. I’d just call it working...

The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed (quote me)

When words live off a page the last thing you do is paraphrase. The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed, quote me! '"Thing is," says Rosina, "people don't want to hear anything that'll make their lives more difficult, even if it's the truth. People hate having to change the way they see things. So instead of admitting the world is ugly, they shit on the messenger for telling them about it."' 'People know what boys with Asperger's look like, or at least...

Castle Pillock's Guide To Emergency Departments

Castle Pillock is a bit of a connoisseur of hospital emergency departments. I am always incredulous to hear that some people, people who have reached a fine age and who have had children, and parents, have never seen the inside of A&E. On the one hand I envy them. On the other – when you do end up in one, there’s nothing like knowing your way around. I have an inbuilt advantage at our local hospital, because I also used to work there. In...

Letter to AF

These days we're alike. Two calm old tabbies. Hope you are, I've not seen you for over thirty years but I hope you are alive and well in Basingstoke or London. I rejected you when I was 25, thought I was a forest cat with acres of adventure ahead. I called you an 'ignorant Scottish git', it was meant as a joke but it hurt, I never knew where to stop with my catty humour. These days I know I was the ignorant one. Ignorant, a word with two...

No Good Deed Update

Posted by Ewan on Sun, 13 May 2018 First of all, many thanks to all of you who have dropped by No Good Deed(link is external) 's (AKA the Gibbous House sequel's) page, especially those of you who have pre-ordered, pledged for or patron-ised the book. The crowd-funding campaign has reached 26% of its target. The campaign has another 2 months to run, but if you do the sums it is a little behind the drag curve. That's only to be expected with a...

No Good Deed Update

One month in... 26%. What that means.

The World Cup

May The Best Team Win

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point.

It's been a great week for writing on the site - plenty of good reads to catch up on in the spring sun over the weekend. It's very hard to choose but I've gone for two pieces about twovery different places. Story of the week goes to harveyjones35 with his evocative, Lima-or-after-jungle: https://www.abctales.com/story/harveyjones35/lima-or-after-jungle Poem of the week goes to Alfie Shoyger's gritty portrait of urban life: https://www.abctales...

Hillbilly Elegy by J D Vance

'You picked a Fine Time to leave me Lucille' - but where's Lucille's song? That's how I feel about Hillbilly Elegy, it's one-sided. JD Vance is an escaped hillbilly. He left Mamaw, Papaw and Ma to their drinking, drug addiction and fighting and escaped to Harvard Law School and wrote Hillbilly Elegy when 31. Well done JD - but he assumes everyone in Appalachia has the same family life that he did. There must be some hillbillies out there who get...

Going On Fifty

Birthday Boy - 14th May

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