Max Ernst & Carol Ann Duffy

Carol Ann Duffy The Virgin Punishing the Infant after the painting by Max Ernst He spoke early. Not the goo goo goo of infancy, but I am God. Joseph kept away, carving himself a silent Pinocchio out in the workshed. He said he was a simple man and hadn’t dreamed of this. She grew anxiousContinue reading “Max Ernst & Carol Ann Duffy”

Fear and the Writer

Writing can be scary. It can terrify the writer into complete inaction. It is scary because we are investing so much into it; our time and energy, our hopes, our ego. There is so much that can go wrong, not just with the writing itself, but the countless other things that we sometimes feel areContinue reading “Fear and the Writer”

The Gleaners – Jean-François Millet & Economy – Henry David Thoreau

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements ofContinue reading “The Gleaners – Jean-François Millet & Economy – Henry David Thoreau”

Children’s classic fiction – the favourites, part 2

Following on from my previous post on my favourite classic children’s authors, here’s part 2. Last time I looked at E. Nesbit, Philippa Pearce, Catherine Storr, L.M. Montgomery and Lucy M. Boston, and here to round it off are my final five with my favourite of their books. Mary Norton – The Borrowers. Chances are,Continue reading “Children’s classic fiction – the favourites, part 2”

Bonjour Tristesse and the ever shrinking author

Bonjour Tristesse (that’s “Hello Sadness”) was published in 1954, when the author was only 18. “I dreamt of being a writer once I started to read. I started to write ‘Bonjour Tristesse’ in bistros around the Sorbonne. I finished it, I sent it to editors. It was accepted.” Isn’t that delightfully bohemian? If this were notContinue reading “Bonjour Tristesse and the ever shrinking author”

No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.

Today, I wanted to post a selection of Alices as dreamed up by various illustrators. Some are familiar, some I’d never seen before, but all are decidedly lovely. Famous for its ‘nonsense’ play on words and the shifting, dream-like plot Alice has become a classic, inspiring numerous films, live productions and even comic book adaptations.Continue reading “No good fish goes anywhere without a porpoise.”

Children’s classic fiction – the favourites, part 1

Today, in light of my recent post on the Vintage Children’s Reading Challenge, I want to do a whistle-stop tour of some of my favourite classic books and their authors. Just thinking back to these wonderful childhood reads got me all misty-eyed and nostalgic. Some of these books might be new to you but someContinue reading “Children’s classic fiction – the favourites, part 1”

World Poetry Day

In 1999 UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) declared March 21 to be World Poetry Day, a day now celebrated in hundreds of countries around the world, most especially in classrooms where children are encouraged to take an interest in the form. All too often there are complaints that no-one reads poetry anyContinue reading “World Poetry Day”

Thought of the Day

“It was such a lovely day I thought it a pity to get up.” W. Somerset Maugham “Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast.” Oscar Wilde How do you deal with mornings? Find it easy to get up or are you throwing on your clothes as you gulp down a coffee in a desperate attemptContinue reading “Thought of the Day”

Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge 2013

Following on from my previous post about missing out on reading Tove Jansson as a child I came across this challenge on my fellow blogger Kayleigh’s post a world of words. Now I’m not usually the sort of person to rush into things but, being book related (and children’s book related at that), I rushedContinue reading “Vintage Children’s Literature Reading Challenge 2013”

Don’t worry Be happy

All around the UK there are signs of life! Daffodil leaves are poking up through the grass and there’s even the occasional day of sunshine. But how can we stay happy even in the bad weather? (It’s still snowing every other day here in the midlands!) Well of course, your state of mind plays aContinue reading “Don’t worry Be happy”

Parce Domine by Adolphe Willette

  Have been meaning to post this beautiful picture by Adolphe Willette (30 July 1857– 4 February 1926), a French painter, illustrator, caricaturist, and lithographer, which I found at http://steelthistles.blogspot.co.uk/ Isn’t it divine? It’s a Parisian scene (notice the Montmartre windmill) depicting what looks to be a wild game of follow-the-leader. The picture is on display at the Musee de Montmartre if you’re lucky enough toContinue reading “Parce Domine by Adolphe Willette”

Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror

On my reading table at the moment is Chris Priestley’s highly entertaining and spooky read Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror. I’ve been meaning to get round to reading this one for a while, too long really as there are now more in the series to catch up with. The book can be read as aContinue reading “Uncle Montague’s Tales of Terror”

Tove Jansson

In terms of embarrassing confessions how does the fact that I completely missed Tove Jansson as a child rate? Pretty highly I would think, a bit like saying that you never ate a rusk before or never painted a finger-painting, but there you are. I came across a BBC programme about her a short while ago and apart fromContinue reading “Tove Jansson”

Evertrue – An Underworld Fairytale

Here’s a little taste of my latest book Evertrue An Underworld Fairytale for you to enjoy. Please feel free to leave me any thoughts and comments below. Early one hot and sunny morning, Franz the tax collector arrived in the hilltop town of Preznova on an urgent matter of business. Everywhere he went people ducked downContinue reading “Evertrue – An Underworld Fairytale”