Blog Archives

Exorcising Honesty

Here’s what’s been holding you all back: that demon called honesty. You spent your whole life being told it’s a virtue, so now it’s time to face the truth. We’re gonna put truth in this chair, right here on this

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

The Cheltenham Gambit

Carrie hated conferences. She could just about cope with dozing through presentations, but she dreaded the evening socials. Looking cheerful while surrounded by strangers had never been in her job description. She could stand in a corner with a glass

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Fiction Review: Get Shorty by Elmore Leonard

When Elmore Leonard wrote his ten rules of writing, he opened with: Never open a book with weather. Yet eleven years earlier, he had opened one of his better-known novels with: When Chili first came to Miami Beach twelve years

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Posted in Book review: fiction, Wednesday Pontification


“My dear Senator, you look most red in the face. Have you come far?” “From the city, Speaker.” “At some speed, I see. Pray take a moment to catch your breath and then tell me why. I hope you were

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

Greater Minds: Ronald Knox and the prankster’s rules of the detective story

In 1929, Ronald Knox published ‘decalogue’: ten rules of writing a detective story. Knox was a priest, a crime writer and a satirist. He’d already invented retcon and caused a national panic with a parody radio broadcast. Knox probably didn’t

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Greater Minds: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s take on Melania Trump

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie satirised Donald Trump in her short story, The Arrangements. Her perspective on Trump’s wife, Melania, pays homage to Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway. Both Mrs Dalloway and Adichie’s Melania struggle with unrealised lesbian desires. The title refers to

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Posted in Greater minds, Wednesday Pontification

Prime Minister Johnson

“I have the briefing on the North Korea situation here, Prime Minister,” said Janet to the back of his head. The Prime Minister didn’t look around. “Not now, Beth. Can’t you see I’m having my hair done?” “Yes, Prime Minister,

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Posted in Saturday Hooptedoodle

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

Europa’s Debtor

“I don’t care if you’re a Greek god. You had your fun and now you owe me for it. Come out of there or I’ll…” Europa looked around the dining hall of Olympus. It was more spartan than she’d expected.

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Posted in Current affairs, Saturday Hooptedoodle
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