January 24, 2017
OK, I’ll admit to a little self interest here, but bear with me.
I’m involved with publishing. You’re reading it. Blogs have unequivocally levelled the playing field when it comes to getting one’s thoughts out there for others to see at little or no cost. There is something unspeakably cool, however, about seeing your words printed and bound, and self publishing is on the rise. Read the rest of this entry »
January 20, 2017
When I first read Harry Potter, Hermione was white. Well, she was in my head because I’m not particularly inventive and I was much more interested in the story than painting a picture of every character in the book.
Now, she isn’t. Or rather, she doesn’t have to be. Likewise, Biggles the pilot of Sopwith Camels in the Great War didn’t strike me as being either particularly gay or straight and yet apparently his orientation has been the subject of speculation. Read the rest of this entry »
December 7, 2016
I’m writing a story. So far it has only a few hundred words, but already I want to find out what the characters in it do next. In fact, that’s the most exciting bit about writing so far. I have some idea about the general scheme of the story and what I want to be “true” for the world I’m weaving, but as it evolves gently before my eyes I’m still constantly in awe of the ease with which I can conjure and construct whatever suits my needs. Read the rest of this entry »
March 3, 2016
It’s World Book Day. Hurrah! I love reading and I love books.
I’m not on either side of the Kindle debate, having both more books than I should comfortably fit on the available bookshelves and also an e-reader with more to enjoy. But I am a keen advocate of recommendations. And lists of personal favourites. Read the rest of this entry »
July 27, 2015
I’m almost a published poet. I’ve been added to a collective effort celebrating Walsall wordsmiths in the form of a curated blog.
100 Walsall Poems is now live, and has been for a little while. My effort is included and I’m rather flattered to have been involved. I met the project curator Peace the Poet this afternoon on my walk from the office to the car.
He’s a pleasant chap with a positive disposition, and well known in the borough as a performer and poet.
By all means have a look at the project, and also check out the other things he is doing. It’s all about community and collaboration.
September 5, 2014
In the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed posts on Facebook about ten books. Here is mine:
With sufficient respect to Nigel for asking, and in the hope people may find it interesting, here are my ten books. Books that have stuck with me for one reason or another. Read them all.
1. Equations of Life, Simon Morden
2. Rock and Roll is Dead, Steve Lawson
3. Jingo (and Guards! Guards!, Men at Arms and Thud!), Terry Pratchett
4. The Horse and his Boy, CS Lewis
5. The Crow Road, Iain Banks
6. Poetics of Music, Igor Stravinsky (translation from the original French)
7. And now let’s move into a time of nonsense, Nick Page
8. Sharpe’s Waterloo, Bernard Cornwell
9. Pigeon Post, Arthur Ransome
10. The White Cat. I’m not even sure who wrote this but it was my boyhood favourite bedtime story. “There once was a King who had three sons… we shall see what we shall see.”
Please do feel free to share your ten. I’m not going to nominate anybody. It’s been quite fascinating reading other people’s though.
And beneath, in the comments, Nigel was kind enough to wonder how and why these books have a hold. So I decided the best way to address his interest would be via the blog. Here again are my top ten books in no particular order, this time with a little about each. Read the rest of this entry »
March 25, 2014
How many independent book retailers are there in Walsall? Not many I can think of, although I’m certain there are some somewhere. That’s the trouble if I’m honest about this. I don’t have the time to go looking for shops unless I know they’re there, and I usually just look up a book on Amazon if I want it. I’m not given to browsing through shelves of books. It’s a dying art when my phone can tell me everything about the book (well, the bits that make it to Wikipedia, anyway).
Great news for people like me who are bookish but not bookshoppish. A NEW ONE IS COMING! Read the rest of this entry »
September 26, 2013
Samuil Petrovitch, a Russian scientist living in what remains of London, makes a life changing decision one morning. Faced with a choice to act or not, he acts. In that one moment a chain of events is set in motion which will leave scars etched into the landscape. Sam loses the life he had. He loses the anonymity he had carefully cultivated, and worst of all, he loses his heart.
Samuil Petrovitch saves the girl. This isn’t the end of the story, you understand, but only the beginning. Read the rest of this entry »