Tag Archives: literature

And then finally, the Obituarist happened…

In a shock development, The Obituarist has now been published as an ebook.

You can download it from Smashwords here or from Amazon here and the cover looks like this…

I fiddled around with various design packages until the incomparable Clem said: “Here, wait a minute. What if I just do this, and then this and then… Ta Dah!” See him? See computers? And guitars. And keyboards. Smashing.

At the moment The Obituarist can be downloaded (from here)  for various devices, including kindles, or just your normal computer. But it’s not on Amazon yet, though I’m working on it. It’s on Amazon here.

What I really want to do is just frolic around smiling away to myself and getting the next one ready.

But your feedback would be welcome Continue reading

26 Comments

Filed under My Writing, Obituarist

Reasons to be cheerful – Part Two

There’s a hawthorn tree in there. No really.

Coincidentally, I was feeling cheerful this time last year. This is why I’m in a good mood now.

1. I planted a hawthorn tree. Few things are better than planting a tree. Putting down roots. Engaging with nature. Creating a legacy that will last till…  Well, I hope it’s still there. I haven’t looked since the weekend. Better check it tomorrow. It’s tucked away in a corner between the village recreation ground and the allotments.

2. I encountered someone who has changed her mind and admitted she was wrong. She’s discovered she can’t wipe away what she wrote. But she’s apologising and rejecting the wrong. I find that refreshing. Good on you Nadia.

OK, I admit it. Some people’s hole digging productivity was a lot higher than mine. But surely that’s what Scouts are good at?

3. It may take a while, but given time and a fair wind, even a writer who it seemed had been written off, can get a publishing deal Continue reading

23 Comments

Filed under D - Loose Bloggers Consortium, In the village

Two faces of London

These two faces of London are both trying their best to make the city and the people therein more grounded, more aware and more connected with each other – for which I salute both Christopher West and Emeka Egbuonu.

1. Christopher West brings London’ s history back to life in the persona of Charles Dickens – or perhaps it’s the great man’s ghost. I’ve seen this ghost in action and he’s a lively recreation. And topical given that it would have been Charles Dickens’s 200th birthday today (7th February). The Charles Dickens London blog is here. You can invite him to give a talk – in character and Dickensian outfit – at your gathering. For a sample – check out his appearance in this Voice of America news report by correspondent Dominic Laurie.

My favourite Dickens character? The villain Pecksniff from Martin Chuzzlewit. From Pecksniff we derive Pecksniffian – sanctimonious, hypocritical. (Do you have a favourite – good-hearted or malign?)

And what’s your Dickensian name? To find out take a first name from a great grandparent and add on the name or street name of your primary school (but leave out the “Saint” part to allow variety). Which makes me something along the lines of Charlie Derryvolgie – which has a good ring to it, I think.

Emeka Egbuonu

2. Emeka Egbuonu arrived in east London from Nigeria aged seven, and survived the blows and temptations of teenage violence, to become an anti-gang intervention worker. He runs a scheme called  Consequences – Breaking the Negative Cycle which aims to awaken young people to the alternative possibilities their lives can offer once they take responsibility for their actions. Continue reading

36 Comments

Filed under friends

Three crime writers spill the beans

Deep inside the perfect secondhand bookshop, the sign above an enticing locked door says Mysteries. Above that again are crime novels and a Thompson sub machine gun. You cant beat Westsider Books on Manhattans Upper West Side for atmosphere.

I shouldn’t really be telling you this, because I’m about to flit the country again and I’m unprepared. But SamHenry from On My Watch insisted. So here goes.

The other night I sat down with three award-winning or nominated crime writers who opened up (in a non-machine gun way) about their trade. Among the secrets they laid bare were:

1. What’s the point of crime writing?
2. The difference between crime writing and literary fiction?
3. Crime writing v. noir?
4. Does crime writing change anything?
5. Does it work in colonial or post-colonial societies?
6. Can you have a whodunnit in a developing economy?
7. Should put your friends and neighbours into the story?
8. Is there too much graphic violence against women?
9. Is Nordic Noir for wimps?
10. And – What they think you should read next (apart from themselves)?

The three writers were Continue reading

7 Comments

Filed under art, What I'm Reading

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

Charles “Disappointing” Dickens v. the Panda

Dickens showing off his trousers. Scroll down for the intimidating panda.

The closing paragraphs of A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens had my eyes tearing up. The final sentence is iconic.

It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to, than I have ever known.

I won’t spoil it by explaining why it’s such a tearjerker. You should read the book yourself. But don’t be deterred by the disappointing opening sentence. Continue reading

11 Comments

Filed under art, What I'm Reading

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