What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
— Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
Can patter out their hasty orisons.
No mockeries now for them; no prayers nor bells;
Nor any voice of mourning save the choirs,—
The shrill, demented choirs of wailing shells;
And bugles calling for them from sad shires.&nb... Continue reading
Writing is easy isn't it? You just put a lot of words together and come up with a masterpiece. Lets face it anyone can do it. An infinite amount of monkeys given an infinite amount of time would be able to come up with an award winning book, or so goes the myth. However we as writers know theres a lot more to writing than actually putting words on the page or screen.
First though we have to have an idea of what to write. Like lighting a fire, we need that initial spark to ignite the creative process. When people talk about writer's blo... Continue reading
It's amazing that a 'simple' children's drama can shape how we think and feel about the world. Admittedly this series that started out to educate children in the UK has been going for fifty years now. It's moved on over the years to be a phenomenon that is loved by both adults and children the world over. Through its clever scripts though, it makes us see the world differently. It makes us think 'outside' our comfort zone, challenging our comfy views of the world.
Even the old s... Continue reading
Harry's been with me my full life, well almost. From the moment that my dad read me that first book it seemed that Harry Potter was as much a part of my family as my sister. In fact early on I guess he was the brother I always wanted her to be. Harry and all his friends were what we played at in the playground, twigs making do for wands. We split ourselves into houses and staged mass battles across the asphalt and grass that was our Hogwarts. Fancy dress days meant hundreds of Harry Potters, all with glasses cloa... Continue reading
This last month we have found the real meaning of hatred. Following the attacks, designed to cause terror in our communities, we start to realise that there are people in our world who wish to impose their views and conditions on our society. We realise the lengths they will go to achieve their aims, the precious lives that they are willing to risk in pursuance of their ideals. It's brought home to us that radicalisation of members of our society encompasses all areas of the community.
The murder of Jo Cox and the terrible terrorist at... Continue reading
Queen seem to be one of those bands where everyone likes, a rare phenomenon in music. Universally accepted by old and young alike, their songs are anthemic, made to be sung in unison at huge events. 'We are the Champions' and 'We will Rock You' being two that spring to mind. Three greatest hit albums to their name and a wealth of albums to draw on until the tragic death of their lead vocalist Freddie Mercury. A Night at the Opera is an album I found recently when looking through the vinyl collection I'd inherited. Of course the fact i... Continue reading
It's not the done thing to listen to an album all the way through these days, but my dad told me that is what people always did. I guess there's always tracks on most albums that are meant to be skipped. Filler material designed to give you more for your money or to fill the gap between epic songs making them sound even better. Whatever, it means that most album... Continue reading
When someone attacks the values that your society cherishes, then the first action by most people is to want revenge for what has happened. We feel the need to hate. People feel the need to make someone pay for the actions of others. Some turn like animals and hit out on those who they think perpetrated the crime, wanting to make them suffer in the way that they... Continue reading
I've come to the conclusion that writing can't be for me. I like doing it, it helps me unburden my feelings, exercises the cells in my brain. I enjoy the art of constructing sentences, turning them into paragraphs and then into chapters. Finding the right words to encompass my emotions, the right time to use an extra adjective or place a bombshell in the storyli... Continue reading
I'm probably not the best person in the world to give writing tips, my writing isn't that sparkling. However I read a lot and know what makes a readable story, even if sometimes I lose myself in the writing and forget what I say ;) This is based on some basic errors that I noticed while reading hundreds of stories on Movellas over the past few months.
First the best advice I can give is never to give up, even when it appears that no one likes your stories. Remember why you writ... Continue reading
It's almost a month that I wrote a blog about Movellas. In that time I've kept reading a Movella a day, commenting and liking as I saw fit, trying to encourage others to do the same. I've now been at it for sixty days, give or take a day. It's really easy to do as well, takes a few minutes and I hope those whose stories I've read appreciate it as much as I do when someone comments on mine. In that time I've found some marvellous... Continue reading
Over the past month I've been stalking around the 'Just Published' section of Movellas. For those who don't haven't come across Movellas, then I should explain it's a site for young writers to leave their work, get feedback and in turn give feedback. I've been a member for almost four years and have experienced highs and lows during that time. Over the past year I've worried that rather than be the once welcoming place it once was, we as the users are becoming self centred. D... Continue reading
Sometimes I'm just in need of a quiet thoughtful album to intersperse my prog rock/metal tendencies. This morning Google Play once again served me up a list of new releases. The stand out so far is this albums by Frances. I love the simplicity of some of the tracks, a wonderful voice backed by just a keyboard that make an idea quiet start for the day. Lyrics are simple as well, music stripped back at times with a slick pop veneer laid over the top. A bit like Adele at times, this singer has great potential.
Starting with Don'... Continue reading
Once again famine threatens lives across East Africa. Up to sixteen million in danger of death through no fault of their own. Vast areas of South Sudan, Ethiopia, Somalia and Kenya laid waste through many years of civil war. Now the TV is full of images of starving babies, long queues of people waiting in the vain hope of avoiding death. How can a world stand by and let this happen? It's not as though it's crept up on us. DEC has been warning of this for months. Why do the developed countries turn their backs on... Continue reading
From a very young age I've been fascinated by Ancient Egypt. I remember getting the shiny egyptian souvenirs from museum shops, the bust of Tutankhamun and the ilk. Every time a new statue, they sat on a shelf in my bedroom for years. The bright gold and blue colours used to shine in the sun. It was as if they were alien structures left on earth by visitors from space, such was the difference between these and anything seen before and after. I also love Mars fiction, my interest started by the Epic Mars seri... Continue reading
Every so often a book crosses my path that makes me stop and turn those pages a little slower than normal. Last year the stand out book for me was "All the Birds in the Sky" by Charlie Jane Anders. Even though we're only into February this book may just have made this year's book of the year in my eyes. The way the story unfolds and told is so uplifting. It gives us all hope that somehow dark our lives may be that there is redemption for us even in our darkest moments.
Britain used to be a great country. It was a welcoming pot full of different views, of kind people who saw those in need and took them in giving them sanctuary from their persecutors. We used to champion those who bullied others without wanting something in return. Thousands of children and people sought refuge here during the rise of German fascism in the thirties. They were welcomed by the British and they became valued and respected people in our communities. Over the years our country has benefited from immig... Continue reading
Discrimination is an action that I don't like. The word is divisive splitting communities and harboring fears among people. At its lowest level it means those schisms in the playground between groups where someone is left out for whatever reason. It could be that their hairstyle is wrong, their clothes don't fit with the latest fashion or worse they are excluded for being a threat to the group leaders ego. Discrimination at this level is as wrong as it is at the top level.
... Continue reading
Life is certainly unpredictable. It throws up hurdles across the path so any times but yet it makes it interesting at times. I make no bones that last week was a pig of a week. Monday I picked up a slight infection and by Tuesday I was back in this sterile environment. The days passed with not really knowing much or really wanting to participate. Things now seem to be back under control and my temperature is back to normal levels.It leaves you weak and unsure what to do. There is a certain relief that I've surviv... Continue reading
Sixty-six years ago today, two new countries came into being brought into existence by the efforts of its people eager to escape the yoke of British oppression. It wasn't without it's violence but it could have been much worse except for the remarkable efforts of one human being, Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the true father of the Indian nation.
As a British citizen, I feel only sorrow for what my fellow men did to the people of India. The massacre at Amritsar was a tra... Continue reading
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