Showing posts from August, 2021

Climbing the Giants' shoulders: N M Browne

  Recently someone asked what books I would recommend to someone intending to write fiction. I am a little ashamed to confess that I never read anything about writing before I started writing - it never occurred to me to do so. Looking back that seems both stupid and perverse and also entirely in character.  There is an awful lot to be said for standing on the shoulders of giants, but all my life I have specialised in grubbing around in the shadows at their feet  messing up and making do, attempting to reinvent the wheel by trial and error. I know this isn't an intelligent approach. I've never learned to cook either in spite of the fact that I do a lot of it. I hate following recipes so my cooking is hit or miss and not infrequently a bit of both in a curate's egg kind of way. I am at a loss to explain this idiocy even to myself. I could have saved so much time and my family so many terrible culinary experiences if only I'd taken the time to master a couple of basic tec

Doesn't It Just? -- by Kirsten Bett

Of course creativity matters. I mean what else can keep you sane in this mad world? I love the title of Wendy H Jones' new book and I am so proud I wrote about two of my own writing passions for this anthology. Yesterday my very own paperback copy arrived. Certain books work on my Kindle, others are better as a hard copy for me. Cooking books are one, poetry collections are another and, I can now add, books I have participated in. I want to leaf through the book. Check a bit of this then that until I can pick and choose the chapters I want to read in my own sequence  -- no offence, Wendy. And just like Wendy's social media graphic below, I will have a cuppa and pen (and notebook) right beside it. I will not write in the book itself. Promise.  I can't wait to find out which genres I'd like  to dip my pen in. You? Kirsten Bett  is writing her first book   My name is Wilma,  a personal fiction book from the point of view from her cat Wilma. Wilma em

Predicting a Number One Bestseller by Andrew Crofts

  We all know that the life of a writer is more often about rejection and disappointment than it is about triumph and dreams coming true, so here is a little beacon of hope to remind us all that every so often our faith in a particular project pays off. Earlier in the year Dr Emmanuel Taban's autobiography, “The Boy Who Never Gave Up”, was published, telling the story of how he walked out of South Sudan as a boy and eighteen eventful months later arrived as an ill-educated refugee in South Africa. His rise to eminence and subsequent role in the battle against Covid has been spectacular, and so has the path of the book. So spectacular has the success been, that his delightful publisher, Annie Olivier, at Jonathan Ball Publishing, has found herself moved to write the following: “The end of this dramatic week brings some good news related to the world of books. Four months after the release of Dr Emmanuel Taban's uplifting life story, THE BOY WHO NEVER GAVE UP, it is number 1

For the Sheer Love of Art

We had met as mothers, recently, at a Birthday party hosted by a mutual friend. Predictably, our conversation primarily centered round the children - of very different sizes - milling around us and what a challenge online schooling has been for all concerned. We had so much to rant that we almost forgot to talk about ourselves... until dinner was served. A wonderful, home-cooked chicken and fried rice with a salad. We had been served such an endless variety of snacks before that this simple meal came as a relief. An additional delight was the mango cake that was specially baked for the occasion - full of the freshness of the fruit, minimal cream and the softest of crusts. I hadn't tasted a cake like this before, and given my weakness for the dessert, shamelessly helped myself a second time. The person who baked it was in the party - a friend of my friend - who I was told did this, with utmost love, for the entire mom-gang of that building! (How I wished I lived there)! That she ran

Sticking in Pins -- Susan Price

Image My brothers put me on to Pinterest which, being artists and hooked on visuals, they are scrolling all the time. You probably know it yourself:- a website where people 'pin' images on 'pin-boards'. Some people keep their pins private, their principle purpose being to keep ideas for their kitchen refit or garden make-over in one easily accessible place. But others pin images connected to their hobby, or favourite place or interest, whether that's cooking, classic cars, scuba-diving or whatever and make them public. It's a pictorial blog. Creative types use it to share their latest art-work and writers set up boards for each of their books. A visual image is much more compelling than words, whether written or spoken. Sorry, writers, but it's true. I suppose that's why we try so hard to create a vivid visual image with words. If you want to remember a