Blogs

Storyville. Murder in the Bush: Cold Case Hammarskjöld, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, director Mads Brügger.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000bpkm/storyville-murder-in-the-bush-cold-case-hammarskjold Mads Brügger and private investigator Göran Björkdahl try to solve the cold case, the death of United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961. His plane crashed in the Congo killing the Secretary-General and all passengers. Brügger plays the role of amiable fool as he guides the viewer through a number of conspiracy theories of...

Too difficult?

As you get older the spring of optimism gives way to the winter of pessimism. You know that no matter how hard you try you will never play for Celtic, especially given the fact that you couldn’t get a game for your pub team. Surplus to requirements. Your bullshit detector, however, gets more refined with age. The charlatan that is Boris Johnson gets short-shrift for everything he says and everything he stands for, for being Boris Johnson,...

Visiting Time. Poems, essays and stories from behind the walls of HMP Shotts (2019) various authors.

I’m well-disposed to liking this book, as Pat McDaid will tell you. The judge said I was ‘an educated man’ but a ‘danger to society’. I’d never been called educated before. I was pretty chuffed and my mind jumped to that Tobias Wolff short story when the guy laughs at the bank robbers with guns because they keep talking in clichés. Snobbish, I know. I admitted I was a danger because I kept losing my sobriety and finding my car keys. The judge...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Posted by airyfairy on Fri, 22 Nov 2019 Once again a big thank-you this week to all those who came to the Reading Event last Saturday. It was splendid, there was so much good stuff to listen to, and some highly enjoyable socialising afterwards. Here's to the next one! Our Poem of the Week was one of the pieces that was read out, 'Mars' by lavadis. It was a treat to hear the author read it, and it's as much of a treat to see it on the page: https...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Once again a big thank-you this week to all those who came to the Reading Event last Saturday. It was splendid, there was so much good stuff to listen to, and some highly enjoyable socialising afterwards. Here's to the next one! Our Poem of the Week was one of the pieces that was read out, 'Mars' by lavadis. It was a treat to hear the author read it, and it's as much of a treat to see it on the page: https://www.abctales.com/story/lavadis/mars...

Writing is a waste of time? Discuss.

Photo by Jeremy Avery on Unsplash The networker, John Naughton, Observer, Artificial Intelligence is making literary leaps. https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/nov/02/ai-artificial-intelligence-language-openai-cpt2-release I write stuff nobody much reads. Think of a number below ten and don’t multiply it. There’s a large hole in my idea of normality. I imagine someday, someone, somewhere will pay for my writing and I’ll be in the...

Donations to ABC Tales

Many, many thanks to everyone who has contributed to ABC Tales via Just Giving this year. We literally wouldn't be here without you! Just Giving no longer provide us with names of donors unless they leave a message with their donation. We could obtain the list of names but we would have to pay a monthly fee of £15 for that, and it would eat into ABC's funds. So, if you donate, please do leave a message on our Just Giving site, or email jane@...

The Apostle

'The Lamb that was Slain'

Storyville: One Child Nation, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, director Nanfu Wang and Jialing Zhang.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000bh0j/storyville-one-child-nation I’ve been pondering the difference between affect and effect. The former is a verb. The latter is a noun and verb. The etymology of affect suggests it has its roots in ‘a little like love’. The effect of China’s implementation of a one-child policy for couples, men and women, in the early 1980s was nothing like love. It was a top-down, Communist Party, misogynistic policy...

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