Monthly Archives: April 2016

Spirit of the Valley

‘The spirit of the valley is without end’. I nodded at the sign over the bar. “What’s that mean, then?” The pub landlord was straight out of central casting. Ruddy cheeks, a mop of grey hair and a West Country

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: Stephen King’s opening sentences

The first sentence turns a potential reader into a concentrating reader. Stephen King’s first sentences hook the reader with tension and introduce his voice. If the first sentence doesn’t do its job, later sentences won’t be read. King says, ‘to

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

That One Story by Vanessa Fogg

‘Every writer has That One Story,’ says Vanessa Fogg. Me too, I thought. The difference is that she’s brave enough to be honest about what happened next. I’d recommend her post to anyone who has ever felt a rejection as

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Posted in Reblog, Writing

Windblown Circumstance

Windblown circumstance is the power that changes our lives. We may think we are the masters of our destiny but when circumstance wraps itself around us, it blots out the world. We re-emerge, convinced we fought our way back through

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Lessons in storytelling from Little Red Riding Hood

Little Red Riding Hood is one of many versions of a similar tale found around the world. Many of the details vary, but someone always gets eaten by a predator disguised as their grandmother. Anthropologist Jamshid Tehrani suggests that the

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Posted in Inspirations, Writing

Cameron’s Dad

“It weren’t me, it were me dad.” Miss Stern glared at the chubby boy. “Your father hasn’t been a pupil at this school for thirty years, Cameron. It was your locker that was stuffed full of…of…adult magazines. Not his. He

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Fugee by Hawa Jande Golakai

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you’ll know how I love to pontificate. Yesterday, I found a short memoir so powerful that all I have to say about it are two words: read it. It opens:

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Posted in Reblog

Fiction Review: We by Yevgeny Zamyatin

I’ve consider myself something of a connoisseur of science fiction, so I raised my eyebrow when a friend insisted a novel I’d never even heard of is seminal to the genre. Naturally, I had no choice but to dash off

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Posted in Book review: fiction, Wednesday Pontification

Jack Liberty’s Son

A long publication drought has recently broken when Jack Liberty’s Son was published in Space and Time 125. Now I feel like an author again as well as a writer! Many thanks to the editor, Hildy Silverman, for taking on Jack’s

Posted in Uncategorized


We’ve all done it. You know, when you go to the pub with a bunch of people who don’t really know each other. You’re hoping for a bit of a break. A chat about something about something other than how

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle
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