Showing posts from May, 2019

Rubbish or recycling? N M Browne

One of the many things I worry about these days is recycling. I do hate waste. I   buy more second  hand clothes and books ( but still buy new too) and   I laboriously separate my rubbish. It is galling to realise that even this small attempt at being a greener citizen may be a waste of time. I am writing this listening to a radio report on recycling which reveals the British ‘recycling’ is often just shipped off to some poorer country, circulating round the world wasting even more resources and dumped as rubbish. I fear the same thing happens to ideas.   Nonetheless, I hang on to the notion that recycling is a good thing so here is a recycled but subtly repurposed ideas from January 2013 published on an ‘An Awfully Big Blog Adventure.’   It is still true, in the irritating idiom of the day ‘Nothing has changed:’ it is up to you to decide if it is recirculating rubbish. From the window of my study I can see the top of a horse chestnut tree. (Actually that’s a

Re-reading, Re- writing, and an Endless Convalescence, by Enid Richemont

Here is my annual garden surprise - the poppy we planted years ago, and which, once it's made its grandiose statement, dies back completely to near-invisibility until the following year. This was how it looked last year, but it doesn't look much different now. The difference is in me, because I can't yet risk walking round to the place where it grows in order to photograph it, due to what feels like a never-ending convalescence from ankle replacement surgery back in February. I never expected it to take so long to get back to normality. It was major surgery, so I knew the deal - two weeks in bed with a heavy leg cast, followed by six weeks in a much lighter cast, then the dreaded boot, and then, at last, the thrill of being able to walk to the shops. Yes, the website said it would be a year before things would be really approaching that stage, but I didn't take that too seriously. My health was good, I wasn't sedentary, I ate properly, so hey! after the longest th

The Moment of Maximum Anticipation and Optimism - Andrew Crofts

By the time I write my next Authors Electric blog my latest novel “What Lies Around Us” will be out, so at the time of writing I am watching as the publisher, (Red Door) and PR company, (Emma Finnigan), build up a head of steam. The book has started to exist in the on-line world. If you google the title it comes up for sale in any number of different outlets, even though it is not out officially until June 13 th . The cover art pops up at the click of a button and advance copies have gone out to book bloggers, reviewers and all the rest. What Lies Around Us by Andrew Crofts Early reviews have started to appear on Goodreads already, so I am able to start extracting the juiciest phrases for the website, (and below) - and for future use on paperbacks etc. I love this moment in the process when anticipation and optimism are high, before the backlash arrives. Comments on Goodreads “The ultimate summer thriller” “Insights into the p

The Walled Orchard: A Review --- Susan Price

The only real regret I have about growing so old is the fact that I shan't live long enough to read the scathing dismemberment of the clowns who presently infest our public life by a historian who has access to all the evidence and can expose every lie, reveal the source of every pay-off and back-hander, can trace the cause and effect of every stupid blunder. But then, if I could last long enough to read the book, the rage induced by it would certainly finish me off. I've been taking refuge in historical novels. I enjoy them. I enjoy trying to imagine myself in a world different to mine in almost every way, and understanding that world from a different mind-set. Tom Holt is best known for writing comic fantasies -- a Rhine Maiden twisting modern men around her little finger, a modern international company being managed by a dwarf from the Nibelungenlied. If you want to read a darkly comic satire on office politics and how they're merely a pale reflection of the true p

Who cares if I've never seen Game of Thrones? Jo Carroll

Ah ... Game of Thrones. It's an excitement that has passed me by. Why? Well, it's not on Freeview, and that's the only television I watch. And even that is only turned on before nine in the evening if it's something special. 'Think what you're missing,' I hear you cry. 'It costs next to nothing to pay for Sky, or Virgin, or Netflix ... all gateways to a world of wonderfulness.' 'But,' I reply, 'I spend enough time with screens. I write on a screen. I do a lot of my research on a screen. I catch up with the News on a screen. I drop by social media occasionally. And when that is done I want to look up from the screen and read a book, or go for a walk, or simply sit on my balcony and listen to the birds sing.' Does this exclude me from the mainstream? Possibly. It reminds me of my schooldays. Unlike almost everyone else in my class, we didn't have a television until I was 16. This meant I felt shut out of vital discu

Lev Butts Lists the Best of Self Publishing IX

For the last year or so, I have been listing examples of books that prove that self-publishing does not necessarily mean low-quality, lazy writing. Over the past year a few things have happened that prove my point. In response to the Georgia Writers Association deciding to no longer accept self-published books  for their Author of the Year Award (despite their once being praised for doing so ),  The Southern Pen Bookshop  of Monroe, Georgia, decided to sponsor its own award: The Georgia Independent Author of the Year Award, geared to writers of self-published and small press books, as the capstone event to their first annual writer's conference  geared mainly for independent writers. The conference was held this past weekend in Monroe, and I was proud to present a workshop on creating effective antagonists (adapted from  this earlier blog post ). The conference was very informative, covering topics ranging from writing to marketing to legal issues. I was particularly sur

A Listening Project: Ali Bacon finds her audio book a bit too relaxing

Ali Bacon out and about Time was when I regularly listened to audio books  that was when I had a part-time job involving a half-hour commute - perfect for picking up a story and letting go of home or work preoccupations. This was some time ago, of course and my audio books were on cassette - sets of tapes encased in big library boxes and taking several hours of listening. For some reason after I left that job,  and even though I still spent considerable periods driving, I somehow lost the habit of audio books. Possibly this was because I had started writing and spent most journeys worrying over my own characters. Remember these? I do remember the pleasure of those journeys and how the narrat out and aboutor was as important as the book. I discovered a penchant for a quiet American voice, perhaps because I also like quiet American books. and particularly remember losing myself in the cult hit of the time The Bridges of Madison County, to the extent of arriving at work a bit h