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Aww! Bless! --- by Susan Price

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After Rembrandt - Wikimedi a  In recent months, several Authors Electrics have written about growing old. I grow old also and, in recent years, have been increasingly met with a particular attitude from younger people, and I wondered if fellow Electrics were also familiar with it. I first fell foul of it when I was a mere slip of a thing of 60. I went to the dentist, where I was treated by a very likeable and friendly dentist and nurse. The conversation (when my mouth wasn't full of implements) was perfectly normal. The kind you might have with any adult person in the world. I can't remember the details of the treatment -- it was some kind of filling or tooth-repair. As I was collecting my things to leave, the dentist apologised because the repair would only last about twenty years. Oh, that's okay, I said. It will probably see me out. Oh no, she said. In another twenty years, it would have to be done again. She was sorry about it, but that was the best she could do. Well,

A TALE MOST TRAGICAL by Joy Margetts

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  Last month I had a week where I felt decidedly ‘under the weather’. I had no energy or capacity to write, or to do much else, so I turned to binge watching on Netflix. I wanted to watch something that was comforting and reassuring and just ‘nice’, and found myself drawn to Netflix’s dramatization of Anne of Green Gables : ‘Anne with an E’. It is beautifully shot and the lead actors are well cast, especially Geraldine James as Marilla Cuthbert, and for the first episode I smiled with contentment as the story unfolded in line with my memory of the book, introducing us to the feisty, imaginative, and irritatingly verbose red -haired heroine. Soon, however, I was dismayed to find characters being introduced that I had no memory of, themes and storylines being woven in that were definitely not consistent with the period and tone of the original book. For example, Gilbert Blythe has a year out (age 16!) to travel the world employed as a stoker on a steam boat, where he meets, befriends a

Coming for a Walk? by Mari Howard

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  For July, writing in what we call a heat wave here in the UK, I’ll take you around a nice cool nature walk. We going to the Nature Reserve very near to where I am busy writing, with the Venetian blind pulled down, almost obscuring the sun outside baking the garden in its midday heat. Entering the nature reserve, we turn to the left, and ducking under the low branches of several hazel trees, approach the pond. Today I am hoping to see that the swan pair, who sadly lost their eggs, probably due to unseasonal snowfall in late April, have not only returned but decided to stay.   White feathers float on the surface of the pond today, which might look alarming but is completely normal, indicating that it is the Swans’ seasonal moulting time. And there they both are, paddling around towards the back of the pond. As we emerge from the shade of the trees onto the flat, dry, muddy preening place, we hear the chirping sound of small ducks, and the call of a Moorhen. On the shore stands a brown

Mongolian Books for Girls - Katherine Roberts

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Mention fiction about Genghis Khan, and you're probably thinking fierce Mongolian horseman, bloodthirsty battles, and books for boys along the lines of Conn Iggulden's acclaimed 'Conqueror' series. But that would only be half the story. The saying "behind every great man there is a great woman" is as true of the Mongol people who roamed the steppe in Genghis Khan's time, as has so often been proved true throughout history. So where are all the books about these great women? In September, author Starr Z Davies launches a brand new saga starting with the powerful story of Mandukhai, blood of Genghis Khan, forced into marriage with a man she does not love in an attempt to restore the Khan's great empire, which has fractured during the 200 years following his death. But when she falls passionately in love with one of her husband's young warriors, how long can her head rule her heart? For adult readers. Daughter of the Yellow Dragon (Fractured Empire Bo

Bugs producing poems by Sandra Horn

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  Once, years ago, we were at a party which seemed to have more than its fair share of irritating people. I had been working in a special unit for people with what would now be called severe learning disability (assuming I’ve caught up with current thinking). A woman asked me what I did and when I told her, responded with ‘Oh, I couldn’t do that. I’m far too sensitive.’ Major tooth-grinding!   Tight-lipped response from me: ‘In fact, I think one has to have a degree of sensitivity to do this work.’   Then a step away and   a mad avoiding-her shuffle all evening in the overcrowded room. Then there was this man who kept creeping into conversations with ‘I wrote a poem about that.’ – ‘That’ being anything from the price of eggs to existential angst. We laughed, not kindly, about him for years. ‘I wrote a poem about that’ was a silly catch-phrase we often used. Well, it has all caught up with me now. Serves me right (my mother used to say, ‘serves you glad’, which is odd but satisfying,

Character -v- Plot by Allison Symes

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Image Credit:  Images created in Book Brush using Pixabay photos. In the character -v- plot debate, I’m on the side of the characters. Characters trigger plots. If I’m writing a pompous character, I’m almost always going to put them in a humorous tale and set them up for a well-deserved fall. Laughing is the best thing to do with pomposity.   A great plot can be let down if it is served by “weak” characters. Conversely, a strong character can “lift” a weak plot. (Naturally you aim for a great character and a terrific plot but I’ve found knowing my characters well enough to write their stories is the logical starting point for me).   An intriguing character keeps me reading. I struggled with Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Fanny Price is easily her worst heroine - far too insipid. Had this been by any other author, I wouldn’t have finished reading it.    I must care about the characters to want to read their stories. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice is the kind of character I l

A Ramble around Anaesthetics, by Elizabeth Kay

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There’s nothing quite like having a procedure you haven’t had for over forty years to make you realise how different things are today from what you once knew. This may even determine whether you set your book in the present or the past!           Going to the dentist as a child was the ultimate horror experience. I don’t remember ever having an injection – although cocaine was involved somewhere along the line, so to speak. A filling was a lengthy and painful procedure. What you did get for a tooth extraction was a general anaesthetic through a mask. I don’t remember anyone other than the dentist being present for this, but I do remember having weird dreams, one of which consisted of a series of treble clefs doing some sort of circular dance. I liked general anaesthetics, which came in pretty handy in later life when they didn’t frighten me in the slightest. A few months ago I had a broken molar removed, and this was done with the aid of several injections. The extraction didn’t hurt a