Blogs

Heather Christle (2020) The Crying Book.

The Crying Book doesn’t really have a beginning or end. Heather Christle explains: ‘This book began five years ago with an idle idea about what it might look like to make a map of every place I’d ever cried…’ So it’s an ongoing conversation like making a rug of your experiences, tagging it onto another strip. Crying with friends. Crying alone. Crying for god’s sake. ‘I suppose some people can weep softly and become more beautiful, but after a...

Story and Poem of the Month

Our Story and Poem for the month of March have been chosen by airyfairy: It's been the oddest of times, but even before the lockdown started it was shaping up to be an extraordinary month on ABC Tales. The variety and quality of writing on the site has been amazing. It's been a pleasure to read, but really hard to make choices for the Picks. It's customary to have some Honourable Mentions each month - again, not easy! For the prose, I've been...

Hobbs and Dobbs

Let’s go back oh five million years or so to the moment when the first alpha monkey learned to voluntarily contract the small muscles at the base of his hair follicles which caused the first intentional, political piloererction. His hair stood on end which made him appear a lot bigger than he actually was. After the bristle, he went semi-berserk and started making threatening moves towards every other monk in his immediate vicinity. The male...

What happens after Covid-19?

20 Jan 2020 - USA has first confirmed imported case - From China. 20 Jan 2020 - COVID-19 included in Statutory Report of Class B Infectious Diseases and Border Health Quarantine Infectious Diseases in China - Measures to Curtail: Temperature Checks, Health Care Declarations, Quarantines - Instituted at Transportation Depots - Laws of China - Wildlife Markets Closed - Captive-Breeding Facilities Cordoned Off. 22/23 Jan 2020 - WHO decides not to...

Nicky Nicholls & Elizabeth Sheppard (2018) Not a Proper Child.

Graham Greene’s whisky priest in The Power and the Glory doesn’t drink whisky, but damnation. Author, Nicky Nicholls also drunk of damnation. She drunk so much she found it her only salvation. ‘Needing to drink like I needed to breathe air. A craving so total that there’s no space around it.’ Nicky Nicholls (aided by Elizabeth Sheppard) has all the elements needed to create a successful misery memoir or a work of fiction. In my unpublished novel...

Pandemic Publication

Well, this whole thing is real after all. I got my author's copy sent to me yesterday. Yup there's something magical about getting the publication in your hands rather than e format. My daughter and I had to learn how to do this from scratch and that's what I love most about it. For many, many years people have been telling me that I should get this story published or that essay published. I've had many letters to various editors published and...

COVID-19

From full lockdown here in South Africa, wishing you all well. Hope the time of quiet, and option for stillness, brings great meaning, purpose, creativity and understanding that is filled with peace in your hearts. Take care of yourselves awesome ABC community. You rock. Cyber hugs, Shannan

Celeste Ng (2017) Little Fires Everywhere.

Author Celeste Ng’s Little Fires Everywhere was published in 2017 to critical acclaim and is still a number one bestseller in Amazon in 2020. It terms of book sales, the author has produced the literary equivalent of Meatloaf’s Bat out of Hell . Being a writer that never writes much now, I thought I’d take a look. It’s a page turner were the end begins at the beginning. I liked it. The review should end here with recognition of that neat trick...

Jawbone (2017) BBC 2, BBC iPlayer, director Thomas Napper.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000gx8n/jawbone Writer Johnny Harris takes the central role of Jimmy McCabe in this smashing film with a boxing background. We’re all familiar with the Rocky theme tune playing in the background and the stereotypical rags to riches story. We know there’ll be a fight and our hero will win. Johnny Harris gives it a bit of twist, his fight is with the booze. He can still shift, but his better days are gone. He...

Boris Pahor (2020) Necroplis. Translated by Michael Biggins, introduction by Alan Yentob.

Boris Pahor (2020) Necroplis. Translated by Michael Biggins, introduction by Alan Yentob. With most of the world in lockdown now is perhaps a good time to spend reading about Boris Pahor in the land of the crematoria. Spare a thought for those in refugee camps and prisons. Necropolis is a story not about them, but about us, common humanity. Pahor writes about his life not in the past, but in the present and also the future, when he’ll be like so...

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