Posted in Poetry, plays, etc., Re-blog

Completions and communions

To spend a year reading the entire works of Shakespeare is an extraordinary feat, of endurance if nothing else. And yet, this person did; and then wrote about what he learnt, how he felt, and how the task affected him.

A great blog, and besides we share the same favourite Shakespeare quote…

Shakespeare Confidential

Not long after I finished the complete works, I popped into a bookstore. I knew exactly where to find him. He has his own section. He always has his own section.

I strutted straight over. Shakespeare.

Top to bottom, shelf by shelf, I eyed all the Macbeth’s and Much Ado About Nothing’s, all the Romeo and Juliet’s and Richard III’s. I puffed out my chest. I cocked back my chin.

Think your so tough? I said to myself. I read you. I pointed to Hamlet. I read you. I pointed to The Tempest. I read you and you and you. I even read you, singling out a copy of Cymbeline I was surprised, and impressed, to see stocked. Whatcha got on me?    

Wait. I stepped off.

What do you got on me, Shakespeare?

What did I…

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Posted in Poetry, plays, etc., Re-blog

One Step At A Time (Part One)

My friend’s walk to Santiago, one step at a time.

Cabreza da Vaca

Santiago photo

Walking To Santiago

We start a journey without ever knowing

Where the road will end,

Or what we there may find;

The land rolls out and shapes with every step

A novel contour

In the heart and mind.

I am a shell, but know not what I hold,

Until the winding path reveals

Myself unto myself;

Uncovering the fault lines of the man

I think I am, or hope to be:

In the shadow lies the wealth.

We walk, and hope, and persevere;

We ache and sweat,

And shed familiar skin;

And all we know encompassed by

One foot in front, and then the other,

Safely gathered in

The swinging incense, soaring voice

Crown the heavy miles

With sacred sound and smell;

The journey has unfolded of itself

A gift to me,

And all again is well..

When one walks with intent, towards a goal, then the unexpected can happen…

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Posted in France, Re-blog

Eric Ravilious and 20th century British Art

Some lovely and captivating paintings. (I like the alliterative rant halfway down too!)

Blog-sur-Aude

img_20161128_085926I found this painting in a junk shop in Birmingham. It was filthy; but oil paintings are tough and almost always clean up well.

Even in that condition I could see the strong composition, colour & form.

It’s unsigned (unusual if it’s by an “amateur”) An unsigned work is more often that of an artist who is working prolifically, but is not of celebrity status and so doesn’t have to think about provenance later down the line!

This is by someone who understands classical painting and has been classically taught ( it’s sketched out in Prussian blue, and quite right too, my old Art tutors would have lynched the class of 71-74 for using the colour black ANYWHERE!)

My junk shop painting here has the colours, the look and the feel of  1920’s-30’s British Art, a taste of which is currently celebrated at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings UK. www.

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CTG Interviews KJ Howe about The Freedom Broker

I’m amazed at the lengths the authors go to research their stories. I know that Crime Thriller Girl (CTG) is a qualified bounty hunter, for example! I also particularly like the advice from David Morrell, KJ Howe’s mentor: ‘Be a first rate version of yourself, not a second rate version of someone else’.

crime thriller girl

image003While I was at the Theakston Old Peculier Crime Writing Festival at Harrogate I met up with fellow debut novelist KJ Howe to chat about her fabulous thriller THE FREEDOM BROKER. Over coffee, we talked research, writing process, and how she created the kick-ass action heroine Thea Paris…

Thea Paris is such an authentic all-action female lead – what inspired you to create her as a character?

I always wanted to write a strong female protagonist. As part of my research I went out to the Phoenix desert and trained in hand-to-hand combat, knife fighting and more. I’m a big believer of if you’re going to write about it you should have experienced it. I’ve got this rolodex of Special Forces guys I can call on – they read the book – and wanted to bring an authenticity to the page. I would have loved to have been a spy!…

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