Blogs

How's your day going?

The story so far: Got up with the intention of attending a Body Balance class at the Leisure Centre. Arrived and found no parking spaces and vast numbers of cars arriving and disgorging children. (Many children.) Undaunted, I finally found a parking space and went in to join the class, around five minutes late. Turns out it's a 'bring your own yoga mat' class. I have no yoga mat. Undaunted, I find a space and start to take part. The reaching and...

Colson Whitehead (2021) Harlem Shuffle.

Colson Whitehead won the Pulitzer Prize for his novel about a magical underground railroad that took slaves from the South not to safety, but not to slavery either. Harlem Shuffle has no such tropes. Ray Carney is trying to get by selling furniture on 125 th Street. 1959, America is on the up and up. Not that you’d know if you were a black man. He needs to walk the line of being crooked enough to be straight. Everyone is on the take from the cop...

Roddy Doyle (2021) Life Without Children.

Roddy Doyle makes you smile. You just need to think of that line from The Commitments , ‘We are the black men of…’ whatever it was. I’m never very good at remembering. He wrote about the housing crisis in Dublin. Rosie ( https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/p09lk76z/rosie ). How letting the market sort things out is darkest doublethink, whilst helping take a hammer to poor people’s lives. What I’m building up to saying is aye, Roddy Doyle, but...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point 18th March 2022

As per usual, the stream of good material flows ever on. It cheers me up no end to know that – every day – there is something to read that is brilliant, beguiling, or brave,. Sometimes a piece is all three. Story of the W eek was a tough choice again this week. Rosalie Kempthorne produced several of her off-kilter, disturbing, yet believable pieces. Part one of the first of them is here Jack O’ Donnell (Celticman’s) fishermen’s tale ‘The Ten...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point 18th March 2022

As per usual, the stream of good material flows ever on. It cheers me up no end to know that – every day – there is something to read that is brilliant, beguiling, or brave,. Sometimes a piece is all three. Story of the W eek was a tough choice again this week. Rosalie Kempthorne produced several of her off-kilter, disturbing, yet believable pieces. Part one of the first of them is here Jack O’ Donnell (Celticman’s) fishermen’s tale ‘The Ten...

Some writing advice inspired by a chart intended one hopes for 14-year-olds (Not the chart I made for this post)

Not Writing : Read, that’s all. The more you read the better your writing will be. Read a (very) few books generally acknowledged to be bad writing. Work out why people say this about them. Read the books your parents and grandparents had to read at school and books by their writers’ contemporaries. (You may be offended, that’s fine. Learn to read with detachment, it’s a good skill to have). Make notes about what you read, or what has inspired...

Yes! Yes! UCS! Townsend Productions written by Neil Gore.

Oscar Wilde: ‘Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has ever read history, is a man’s original value.’ A writer’s job is to remember. The better the writer, the better we remember. I’d a day out at The Golden Friendship Club on Saturday. Jim McLaren performed two miracles—and perhaps there’ll be a play about that one day—buying the old Masonic Club and finding the money to renovate it. If he wants to hang a picture of his mum, Agnes, and...

Scratch Books

Short stories are having a bit of a moment, and I've been contacted by a new indy publisher - Scratch Books - the only one in the UK dedicated to the genre. Here's a link to an article on them: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2022/jan/30/tales-of-the-unexpected-th... They've offered to do some kind of collaboration with ABCTales, so watch this space, but in the meantime, see below for their first title which is out on March 17th - we get a...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Posted by airyfairy on Fri, 11 Mar 2022 Again this week we've had marvellous work on the site, some writers tackling head on the heartbreaking events of the last couple of weeks, others giving us some uplifting respite from the grim news. Poem of the Week is socialeaf's beautiful 'Then to Spring', which manages to do both, with its wonderful description of spring breaking through and its image of desperate escape from the thing 'raking at our...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

Again this week we've had marvellous work on the site, some writers tackling head on the heartbreaking events of the last couple of weeks, others giving us some uplifting respite from the grim news. Poem of the Week is socialeaf's beautiful 'Then to Spring', which manages to do both, with its wonderful description of spring breaking through and its image of desperate escape from the thing 'raking at our backs'. A remarkable piece of work. Then...

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