“Writing is easy. You just sit down at the typewriter and open a vein.” —Red Smith (On reflection, not sure if this is inspirational or scary. But I like the quote.)
Archive | August, 2010
As a follow-up to my recent post about the threatened cuts to the Public Lending Right, I was happy to get an email this afternoon from the Society of Authors telling me about a petition they’ve organised with other groups to defend PLR from cuts. I’ve signed the petition and would urge other writers, or [...]
“I write a little every day, without hope and without despair.” —Isak Dinesen (For this quote, and a few others I’ve used recently, thanks to Crazyhorse Journal)
This is a book of two halves: part memoir, part writing advice. When I first read it, about ten years ago, I think I was so desperate for someone to tell me how to be a writer that I skipped all the memoir stuff and just went straight for the advice. The only part that [...]
This is an interesting book about a conflict that has been going for decades and yet rarely grabs the headlines. When Western Sahara won its independence from Spain in 1975, Morocco laid claim to the land and sent thousands of settlers. Since then, an organisation called the Polisario has been fighting against Moroccan occupation. This [...]
“The writer operates at a peculiar crossroads where time and place and eternity somehow meet. His problem is to find that location.” —Flannery O’Connor
In a way, the plot of Last Orders is very simple: a group of friends drive to the coast to scatter the ashes of their friend Jack. Yes, that’s it. Along the way they have arguments and fights and endless pints of beer, but none of that is really the point. The real action of [...]
What I liked about this book was the complexity of its characters. It tells the story of a former Communist dictator being put on trial by the new democratic government. In another author’s hands, it could have been unbearable. The Cold War is often viewed in simplistic terms: we won, they lost, democracy=good, communism=evil. It [...]
“I only write when I feel the inspiration. Fortunately, inspiration strikes at 10:00 o’clock every day.” —William Faulkner
Greenpeace recently held a competition to design a more appropriate logo for BP, a company responsible for massive environmental destruction. I like the winning entry – here’s the explanation from the designer, Laurent Hunziker: The silhouette shape comes from a very moving picture I saw of this poor bird in panic, glued in oil… His [...]
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