Writing

LBF Masterclasses Part 1 – 17th April 2010

Events, Writing By April 17, 2010 Tags: , , No Comments

I rarely start my days at 5am. In fact, I’m much more likely to be finishing them at that time. However, for my second trip to the London Book Fair Masterclasses (the first was in 2006) I decided to make the effort, get up at Stupid o’clock (that’s 5am to you) and sleep on the Megabus from Cardiff – if…

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Writers’ Day at Ceridwen – 13th March 2010

Events, Writing By March 14, 2010 Tags: , , , , , , , 3 Comments

According to Welsh medieval legend, Ceridwen was an enchantress, who used her magic cauldron to cook up a potent potion that imparted wisdom and poetic inspiration.

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A new Chapter

Events, Poetry By February 4, 2010 1 Comment

After being thwarted by the freakishly heavy snowfalls and equally freakish (for I am never sick) illness of January, I decided that, with the advent of February, the time had come to get out there and try another literary event and network some more. My first attempt in December had gone reasonably well and I’d come home buzzing with ideas…

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Snow day

Writing By January 13, 2010 No Comments

I have discovered a downside to working from home. When it snows, you can’t really justify not working because – well, you’re already at the office. It’s not as if you can’t make it down the hall or stairs to wherever your office happens to be. (I’m assuming that roof leakage is not an issue here and you don’t have…

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Poetry and Mince Pies

Events, Poetry By December 16, 2009 No Comments

I am buzzing from having been among such talented and varied voices for the evening and don’t think that I’ll be able to sleep for quite some time to come. Maybe I should seize the moment, pour myself a glass of amaretto and put pen to paper? To launch the Women’s edition of Roundyhouse poetry magazine, there was an evening…

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A Novel in a Month?

Writing By December 1, 2009 1 Comment

I don’t know what you’re talking about. I’m sorry, NaNoWhat? Oh, that. Curses, you remember. Yes,okay, confession time. I did mention that I was considering signing up for NaNoWriMo – that stands for saying goodbye to your life for a month in order to write a novel, or, at least, 50,000 words of one. When I said that I was…

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The Dust Diaries by Owen Sheers

Book reviews, Books, Prose By November 14, 2009 No Comments

This is a beautifully written book that vividly imagines the extraordinary life of a remarkable man.

Owen Sheers finds a book in his father’s study which puts him on the trail of one of his distant relations, Arthur Shearly Cripps, also a poet. The journey takes him from the Rhodes Library in Oxford to modern-day Zimbabwe to London as he traces the life of his missionary ancestor, who left England at the turn of the twentieth century for what was then Southern Rhodesia.

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Armistice Day

Poetry By November 11, 2009 No Comments

In July 2008, on the way back from Italy, I visited the Becourt Military Cemetery, Becordel-Becourt, near Albert in northern France. Years earlier, my mother had made a promise to her own mother that she would make the trip and find the grave of one of my cousins, Private W S MacKay of the Seaforth Highlanders, who died there on 14th September 1915 aged 19.

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Der Vater eines Mörders (The Father of a Murderer) by Alfred Andersch

Book reviews, Books, Prose By November 9, 2009 No Comments

At first sight this looks like a lightweight school story about a single 45-minute Greek class at a German Gymnasium in 1928.

The school director comes into the classroom and takes over from the usual teacher, Kandelbinder. He proceeds to test, torment and humiliate not only the students but also Kandelbinder.

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Poetry on the Border

Events, Poetry By November 7, 2009 No Comments

One of the reasons I like listening to writers read their work is so that afterwards, when I’m reading it myself, I can hear their voice in my head. (It keeps the others company. – just kidding!) What it does is help give me a feel for the rhythm of their writing, which, in turn, enhances my own reading of…

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