Review: A Hologram For The King by Dave Eggers
Eggers’ latest offering, A Hologram for the King, is a strange book. It is deceptively simple in sentence and story and yet it packs a significant punch as it peels back the scabs of the body beneath. The body is America and the book is a postmortem for the American dream. This is a post-manufacturing, post-American imperial, post-2008 state of the national soul and its search for meaning and...
Diary: Heathrow international Departures Nov 2012
The Departure halls at Heathrow are positively crawling with Handsome Men in Good Fabric. Watching them roam free n their natural environment bring a tear to this girl’s eye. Italian management consultants in the WH Smiths, American’s with Republican hair in duty free, Germans in the coffee shop. Goodness me; my safari holiday adventure has started early. I observe the German’s the longest,...
Review: CANADA - Richard Ford
First, I’ll tell about the robbery our parents committed. Then about the murders, which happened later. The robbery is the more important part, since it served to set my and my sister’s lives on the courses they eventually followed. Nothing would make complete sense without that being told first. So opens Richard Ford’s Canada. The story, narrated by a sixty-something Dell Parsons, looking back...
50 Shades of Dismay
Book review 50 Shades of Grey - EL James A diligent reviewer would start with a brief precis of the plot. Alas this one is so thin that there is nothing to offer suffice to say the characters are based on those in Twilight, supplant Anastasia for Bella, Christian for Edward and some BDSM for all that naughty vampire stuff. Edward lives in an apartment, which, from the description, he bought from...
An Experiment in Creativity...
I recently moved home and in all the accompanying chaos, my effort to get my digital TV subscription was repeatedly postponed. The same was true for my internet connection for at least a month. I decided not to renew my TV subscription and cancelled my TV license. After some initial anxiety which manifested as a near pathological restlessness something interesting happened. Having nothing...
Top 10 Rules of Writing from Roddy Doyle
These rules were first published in The Guardian. They are extremely sensible- enjoy them… 1 Do not place a photograph of your favourite author on your desk, especially if the author is one of the famous ones who committed suicide. 2 Do be kind to yourself. Fill pages as quickly as possible; double space, or write on every second line. Regard every new page as a small triumph – 3 Until...
The Muse is a "basement kind of guy."
“There is a muse, but he’s not going to come fluttering down into your writing room and scatter creative fairy-dust all over your typewriter or computer. He lives in the ground. He’s a basement kind of guy. You have to descend to his level, and once you get down there you have to furnish an apartment for him to live in. You have to do all the grunt labor, in other words, while...
A Room of One's Own
I recently moved home. The new house is light, much more spacious than the previous and the garden ends in a small woodland which current hosts an owl, song birds, a carpet of flowers and any number of other friendly creatures. The most important addition to my life in the new cottage has been a small study. It is as wide as a dining table and only just longer. It has a large bright window at...
Meditate in a Market place
Writing is often lonely and introspective. Just managing to sitting on one’s own and commit to the page is often the biggest challenge we face. This is particularly true when we are starting out and trying and commit to a daily writing practice. Wrestling with the page means we are often wrestling with ourselves. The inability to sit down and commit to writing is often a resistance to...
Writing Exercise : Body Language
Write a “conversation” in which no words are said. This exercise is meant to challenge you to work with gesture, body language and all the things we convey to each other without words. We often learn more about characters in stories from the things they do with their hands than from what they say. It might be best to have some stranger observe this conversation, rather than showing us the...