Blogs

No Good Deed Update (Comp)

All you lovely people who have pledged for No Good Deed are entitled to enter this competition to receive a bundle of No Good Deed goodies. Competition runs for one week here

Shaun Bythell (2017) The Diary of a Bookseller.

Remember them, booksellers before Amazon? On 1 st Septmeber 1962, 250 000 Glaswegians gathered in the driving rain to pay homage to the last run of the tram cars. Who will honour our booksellers? Shaun Bythwell likes being his own boss. He is the owner of The Bookstore in Wigtown, which he bought in November 2001. His employees like him too, which makes him one of the good guys. Amazingly I’ve heard of the Wigtown Book Festival. His bookstore is...

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Celebrating excellence in Poetry and Short Fiction , the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award , hosted by the international art and culture publication, supports and nurtures new writing talent, presenting a fantastic opportunity for writers to further their involvement in the literary world. Creative Writing Award Prizes include: £1,000 for each winner (Poetry and Short Fiction) Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology Consultation...

John Banville (2014 [1998])  The Book of Evidence.

I picked this book up to have a quick look. I was more than likely to just put it down again. As a younger self I had picked up John Banville’s prize-winning novel The Sea rolled my eyes and went under. I didn’t get beyond the first chapter. The Book of Evidence has redeemed John Banville. I’m sure there’ll be fireworks in writers’ heaven and he’ll be glad another reader has seen the light. Now I’ve read one and a bit of his books I intend to...

Story and Poem of the Week and Inspiration Point

This week's choices are two wonderful and totally different examples of how an assured voice and an eye for detail can bring a place and time alive. Story of the Week is proudwing's And He Called It The Devil (Part 1). Rich, evocative and distinctly malevolent. Note to author: hurry up with Part 2! https://www.abctales.com/story/proudwing/and-he-called-it-devil-part-1 Poem of the Week is Histories Of A Small Town In Ontario by Agnosticnun. A...

A Simple Lever

the power of a simple concept

Sleights of Mind: What the Neuroscience of Magic Reveals About Our Everyday Deception (quote me)

Read this at your own risk. "Magic tricks work because humans have a hardwired process of attention and awareness that is hackable. By understanding how magicians hack our brains, we can better understand how the same cognitive tricks are at work in advertising strategy, business negotiations, and all varieties of interpersonal relations. When we understand how magic is in the mind of the spectator, we will have unveiled the neural bases of...

Damon Young (2017) The Art of Reading.

It seems a bit stupid to call reading an art. I was going to write counterintuitive, but that’s a kind of wanky word. Reading is just something I do. We can stick art as descriptive tag before most words and phrases and somehow make it seem erudite. Try it at home. The Art of the Blowsy Blonde. The Art of the Bicycle. The Art of the Mug. The Art of the Article. But as Damon Young shows reading, if done properly, really is an art form. And if you...

Timothy Snyder (2017) On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons From the Twentieth Century.

On the eve of President Trump’s ‘working visit’ to the United Kingdom this is a handy book to read. President Trump features more than Putin, or other twenty-first century despots. I guess this short book is a riposte to that shock election result, which wasn’t a shock to Snyder. Depots don’t read books. And Trump doesn’t read. His library consists of stored Tweets. Snyder’s lessons On Tyranny shifted through the sands of the mass killings of...

Artistic Display

An artistic display in Canterbury cathedral. It’s made up of clothes and shoes discarded by refugees on the Greek island of Lesbos and in the camps in northern France. The child’s top with the logo, ‘Mummy’s super cool dude’ obviously catches the eye. I hope the little dude was lucky enough to find a safe sanctuary where he can grow up in a nurturing environment which will hopefully help him to live a fulfilled life.

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