Tag Archives: book

Confession time: I deface books

C.mon, who can resist adding a moustache and specs? (From - Wreck My Journal)It’s a cardinal sin to scribble in a book – for some people. I used to feel this way, but now I see them (the ones I own) as more interactive templates. I’m allowed to take notes, highlight, dog ear the pages if I find something wonderful.

Mark Twain, Walt Whitman and Jane Austen did it too. They annotated, or engaged in marginalia. Often gossip it seems in the case of Twain. But also comment on the text.

I’d want to read that marginalia. But it won’t exist in future once/if e-books kill off paper copies.

You see? You see! Bet you didn’t think of that in your headlong rush to the future all you developers. (Unless you in fact have already developed features to let us carry on with our marginal doodlings after all. In which case, drat, you’ve outsmarted me again.)

The defaced page, by the way, is from Lari Fari‘s charming and imaginative Wreck My Journal idea.

Here’s an excerpt from the New York Times article by Dirk Johnson on the romance of marginalia:

Some lovers of literature even conjure dreamy notions about those who have left marginalia for them to find. In his poem “Marginalia,” Billy Collins, the former American poet laureate, wrote about how a previous reader had stirred the passions of a boy just beginning high school and reading “The Catcher in the Rye.”

As the poem describes it, he noticed “a few greasy smears in the margin” and a message that was written “in soft pencil — by a beautiful girl, I could tell.” It read, “Pardon the egg salad stains, but I’m in love.” Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under art, life, media

Beware of the goat

I’m all for innovation. Finding ways round problems. Flexibility. Work rounds. Not being defeated by seemingly insurmountable problems. So I should approve of what they’ve done on the island of Fuerteventura. Continue reading

10 Comments

Filed under life

The era of the heavy schoolbag is almost at an end

The era of the heavy schoolbag is almost at an end. That’s according to one of my neighbourhood primary schools. In a letter home to parents, the headteacher noted that more and more pupils were bringing kindles and other electronic readers into class. Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under life, media

Your route through the creative writing maze

If only there was a set of instructions on how to get through the labyrinth of creative process, getting a book agent, a publishing deal, published, critical acclaim and airport bestsellerdom… What’s that? You say there are loads of such guides out there?

Well… That’s not the point. I mean, I’m a man. I never read instructions – duh. I could maybe glance at a one page diagram. Preferably one using the image of a pickup truck to represent me.

Oh – lookee here. This could work.

Thanks to the Subnormality Sphinx up there, aka Winston Rowntree, aka Virus Comix, we can all benefit from this handy map. Hurrah – writing success is assured for all! All who can read teeny tiny writing. As for the rest of you… Is this any better?    (Still looks a bit squeezed – click on the picture for an even bigger version – and then come back and tell me if any parts of the route look familiar from your own experience.)

13 Comments

Filed under art

Blame… a) Canada? b)it on the boogie? c)a moment of madness?

The most unlikely thing happened this week. I know you’ll find this really hard to credit.

There’s a word in Ireland for it – and that word is GUBU. Continue reading

5 Comments

Filed under My Writing

The Truth About Pandas

Finally - the truth about pandas. All these years the Chinese have been fooling us. According to Fuxing Man they're really just dogs in disguise. Click on the pic for more.

Got a letter yesterday. Personal, important looking. But not a bill. Could it be… a book response? Too small to contain a returned manuscript. Good news? Bad news? Palpitations… Continue reading

6 Comments

Filed under art, Film, life, Music, My Writing

Shot Through the Sacred Heart

If anyone can find an image that better matches the title of this blog post, preferably something with Jesus in it, please put a link to it in the comments.

I have an identity crisis looming.

It’s all my mate Andrie’s fault.

She says I should consider changing the name of the book.

Panic!

But am I over-reacting?

.

The case for the prosecution: Continue reading

12 Comments

Filed under art, friends, Music, My Writing

Count Zero or Stephen Hero?

I’m torn. I don’t know which way to turn.

This...

...or this?

16 Comments

Filed under art, Influences, My Writing

Gossip and grenades

I based a character in my book Blackwatertown on a friend I used to work with. Actually, that’s not quite accurate. I just used his name and nickname. But Tom (who becomes Tomas) Greenard is now far away in Australia, so he is at my mercy.

His nickname was Tom Grenade. I never did find out why.

Tom, you’ll be pleased to hear that your alter ego lives up to your nickname in the book. Though I cannot promise that he survives to feature in the sequel.

Tom – in Australia sends this uplifting story:

Sócrates

Keep this in mind the next time you are about to repeat a rumour or spread gossip.In ancient Greece (469 – 399 BC), Socrates was widely lauded for his wisdom.

One day an acquaintance ran up to him excitedly and said, “Socrates, do you know what I just heard about Diogenes?” Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under friends, history, Music, My Writing

Missing Words

Sometimes losing letters works well.

I’ve had some big downs and big ups over the past few days, and one intriguing piece of literary gossip.

1. Some fool Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under art, In the village, My Writing