celticman's blog

Great Scottish Writers: Janice Galloway.

Janice Galloway’s autobiographies This is Not About Me and All Made Up begin in the same way: ‘This is my family’. Stylistically, she doesn’t use quotation marks. There’s no standard way of writing in the Scottish language and dialect. I was checking her work out to find some kind of consistency in my writing. Reaching for the musicality of speech mixed with social realism. She’s light-touch and mostly Standard English. Not into writing as we...

George Saunders, A Mastercraft in Writing and life in conversation with Max Porter.

https://soundcloud.com/5x15/george-saunders-and-max-porter-in-conversation Chop a Chekov story into pieces. Echo of class at Syracuse. Break up a story, a page at a time. Forces us to ask that question, why do I keep reading? If I read a paragraph I’m in a different place than before, where is it? Granular level. More irritating if the story is really good (cf, working with a shit story). Forcing the pause. Sit there for a few minutes asking,...

Storyville, Whirlybird-Live Above LA, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, director Mark Yoka.

Storyville, Whirlybird-Live Above LA, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, director Mark Yoka. https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000sc9j/storyville-whirlybird-live-above-la Bob and Marika Tur captured the police chase on the Los Angeles freeways and the arrest of O.J. Simpson as he parked up his Bronco. Streamed live, it was watched by over 80 million- largely-America viewers. They were at the peak of their power. They witnessed the highs and lows of the...

The Little Stranger (2018) Channel 4, based on a novel by Sarah Waters, adapted by Lucinda Coxon and directed by Lenny Abrahamson.

https://www.channel4.com/programmes/the-little-stranger All Gothic fiction requires a big house, a crumbling manor, think Dracula or Frankenstein with unruly peasants at the door with their torches. Before they’re invited in, of course, they’ve got to wipe their feet. Here we have Hundreds Hall, and like its master, second world war pilot, scarred and shambling Roderick Ayres (Will Poulter) the centre cannot hold and everything flies apart. He’s...

The Battersea Poltergeist, BBC Sounds, investigated by Danny Robins

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/brand/p0940193 An ornate key turns up on your pillow, it doesn’t fit anything in the house. You ask other members of your family. Nobody knows how it got there. Did it teleport from somewhere else? You hear knocking sounds. Your neighbours come to complain. It goes on all night. It goes on for weeks on end. Months. Who’s doing it and why? Your Irish granny says it’s the work of the devil. A young pretty girl is the...

Darren McGarvey’s Class War, Episode 1, Identity Crisis, BBC Scotland, BBC iPlayer, presented by Darren McGarvey.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000s7hd/darren-mcgarveys-class-wars-series-1-1-identity-crisis Darren McGarvey from Pollock admits he’s lucky, incredibly lucky. And he’s right to do so. He’s on a roll after Poverty Safari . The go-to man when the BBC, or any other media organisation, wants to signal that they’re doing the right thing. Giving the working class a voice. The equivalent of a black woman in the moron moron’s cabinet of his 45...

Circling a Fox, BBC Scotland, BBC iPlayer, Writer and Presenter Matthew Zajac, Director Brian Ross.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000s083/circling-a-fox Matthew Zajac is an actor. Acting is a precarious profession. The same old faces crop up with regularity. Trying to make a living from acting is akin to trying to make a living from writing. I’ve did a few shifts as an extra. I’ve no interest in being the next what-ever-you-call him/her. Writing, well, that’s a different story. Writing is my game. I don’t expect to make a living from...

All the President’s Men, BBC 4, BBC iPlayer, writer William Goldman and director Alan J. Paluka.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m000rgnx/all-the-presidents-men This is an old film, with impossibly young actors. But the same old story of corruption and cover-up, we’re more familiar with now. The 45 th Un-United States President could say with some justification that he could ‘stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone and not lose any votes’. He was partly right, and always wrong. Let’s leave the twice impeached President...

Craig Robertson (2018) The Photographer.

Craig Robertson publishes a novel every year, and the setting is Glasgow. Full of places I know and people that speak and think like me, it’s therefore much easier for me to like his work. Random , his debut novel, established him as a writer worth following. This is the second of his novels I’ve read and, like its predecessor, it’s a page turner. The setup is simple. There’s a bad guy out there. The Glasgow equivalent of John Worboys, the ‘...

How the world laughed when the moron’s morons’ foot-soldiers stormed the Congress buildings.

Captain America. 'But the price of freedom is high, it always has been. And it’s one I’m willing to pay. And if I’m the only one, so be it. But I’m willing to bet I’m not.' I was scared the moron’s moron would, inadvertently, take us into the Third World War (delayed). I’ve got a roof over my head, enough to eat, and quite like being alive. As Malcolm X said before he was murdered ‘the chickens have come home to roost’. The 45 th American...

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