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Showing posts from May, 2013

The Lost Boy, the Doodlebug and the Mysterious Number 80

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Just finished reading my first romance novel, recommended by a friend. Before anyone thinks I've gone totally soft in the head and started reading Mills & Boon, rest assured that this was somewhat different from the usual tepid bodice-ripper. The Lost Boy is a gay romance that combines elements of Doctor Who with Tales of the City. The city in question is London and, much like Maupin's rolling saga, this endeavours to incorporate a fair swathe of gay history since the War ~ from furtive repression to drug-fuelled clubbing to the inevitable spectre of AIDS. Like so much gay fiction, tragedy looms large and very few of the characters actually have happy lives. The Who element comes in part from time travel, as one half of the romance gets thrown forwards and backwards in time, and partly from the fact that said character is a stunningly handsome RAF officer (Captain Jack, where art thou?).
Romance develops between two contrasting characters, one a stiff-upper lipped, virgin…

Happy news

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The cover of my next book has just been made up by the designer ~ I am sooo pleased! If anyone feels like pre-ordering then you can do so through any bookshop. The ISBN is 978-1-78279-211-6. It will also available as an eBook  but I am clueless as to how people can go about getting copies of that.
If you missed the earlier post, this one is a collection of short stories, all historical murder mysteries set in different periods starting with the ancient druids and working into the present day. All the stories are united by themes of paganism, magic, faith and the supernatural.
You can even get smatterings of philosophy, Ipswich history and spiritual meanderings amidst the whodunits. When it comes out I want to get some feedback as to which sleuths are the more popular with readers, so I can focus future fictional writing accordingly. Some characters are intended as one-offs with no intention of being revisited, but others I hope will interest people enough to get support for future ad…

The Name

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A life long devotee of Doctor Who, I have watched the final episode ('The Name of the Doctor') twice now and have all sorts of ideas whizzing round the Space-Time Continuum that passes for my mind. I am making concerted efforts not to give away any spoilers lest my reader not have seen it yet, however I was quite struck by a throwaway line towards the end of the episode in which the Doctor states that a name is a promise, a commitment (talking about choosing to call himself Doctor, rather than whatever name he was born with).
Whilst there was quite a lot of Christian imagery in the show during Russell T Davies' reign (rather odd, considering he is an atheist), there has been and remains a certain amount of pagan imagery in the show ~ the living sun in '42' for example, and if 'Love and Monsters' wasn't based on a pagan moot then I don't know what it was based on.
In many ancient cultures it was common for people to be given (or sometimes chose for …

The Druid's Banquet

Saturday evening at the Oddfellows Hall will be the IPC's celebration of Celtic mythology at an Iron Age style banquet replete with bardic stories, poems, riddles, music and other such entertainment. I'll be doing a few of the stories and poems myself, along with fellow performers.
Looking forward to this, as it will be a chance to catch up with assorted friends as well as for hamming it up with some tales by candle light.
Tickets are £3 members/£4 guests, you can buy on the door ~ bring food and drink to share. Any profits left after hall hire will go towards subsidising future IPC events. The performers will be in historical costume, feel free to either come as you are or dress for Ancient Britain!

Gloriously Other

On the afternoon of July 6th I will be joining a group of other people at the LGBT Network (97 Fore Street) for poetry recitations ~ I'll be reading some of my and some by favourite poets. The event is free and, whilst primarily aimed at the LGBT community, it is also open to friends/family and anyone who'd be happy to sit and listen. There may not be enough seating to go round, so the organisers encourage people to bring a cushion to sit on!
Once I've written my own contributions, I'll put them up here on the blog. More details to follow shortly, as the organisers confirm them.

Words are cheap

Teaching both literacy and psychology sometimes brings collisions of thought. In English emotions are treated as abstract nouns, states of being in and of themselves... which may possibly be an accurate assessment of emotions as internalised experiences. However, would it be more constructive to consider emotions as verbs, that is to say actions?
The English are stereotypically stilted in their expression of emotions, and maybe in part this is because of how we conceive of emotions in the first place. It's all well and good saying you love someone, but does this express itself through loving action? What do you actually do to make your love more than just a word in your head? If an emotion never leaves the realm of the abstract, is it really worth much of anything? Clearly a mental state may develop over a long period of time before culminating in action ~ probably few rapists go out and commit their crimes after a mere 5 minutes of considering them. Most have likely indulged in v…

Eisteddfod 2013

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Our fourth annual Eisteddfod will be held at West Stow Anglo-Saxon Village on Sunday 7th July. I will be hosting, telling some stories and running a workshop or two. More importantly, we need entrants for both the Storytelling Chair and the Poetry Chair.
If you are feeling confident and dynamic, details of how to enter can be found at www.suffolkskald.webs.com ~ spread the word to any performers you know who might fancy a go. Last year's two winners will be sitting as judges over this year's contest.
The theme for poems (as chosen by Beverley) is DEATH, whilst the unusual theme for the stories (as chosen by Fiona) is SURPRISED HEROINES.
The village also welcomes any traders in re-enactment goods or related object d'art if you would like to book a pitch, or know someone who might.