Asides

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Mermaids #books #readingforpleasure

Mermaids are magical. And spurred on by some book titles which flittered across my social media channels thought I’d share the TSL books which mention mermaids.

To start, a mermaid to lure you into Warm and Wet by Philip Philmar
Army of Angels in Sai-Ko by Gabriela Harding
Lucifer’s Child by Gideon Masters
The Dream Speaks Back by Sue Hampton, Leslie Tate and Cy Henty
Family are the Friends you Choose by Marthe Kiley-Worthington
The Ballad of Crookback and Shakespeare by Clive Greenwood and Jason Wing
Ravelled by Sue Hampton
And the Mermaid Theatre, London features in Big Name Hunting by Arnie Wilson

And the books which influenced this post:
The Mermaid of Black Conch by Monique Roffey (thanks to St Ives Bookshop which supports The Green Man and the Raven’s Quest)
The Girl from the Sea by Molly Knox Osterley

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Authors and Writers #review #writingadvice

Keep remembering that you can please some of the readers some of the time, and some of the readers most of the time, but sometimes you will please only yourself, and you can never please all of the readers all of the time.

(p216)

Good advice from Jane Smiley in 13 Ways of looking at the Novel.

This has been a long read, not only because the book itself is long but because I took a break to focus on other things. My engagement with the book started soon after I started a local book group and felt the need to engage with novels beyond my historical themed interest.

Jane’s take on the novel and how it engages with the reader spoke to me, the relationship between author, paper and reader continuing to do so. Significantly, so does the quote above. This echoes with the advice I regularly give new writers – write the book you would like to read (unless you’re only out to make money, then read and follow the ‘how to write a novel’ books).

Jane’s analysis of the novel and how readers engage together with the little gems she imparts such as that quoted above make it a text I would recommend to new writers looking for guidance on what and how to write.

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Review: The Fever Trail – In search of the cure for Malaria by Mark Honigsbaum

Review: The Fever Trail – In search of the cure for Malaria by Mark Honigsbaum

For those who know me, I am not a fan of anti-malarials and will do anything to avoid having to take them. But I am also aware of the dangers of contracting malaria based on my research on World War 1 Africa and having heard some more recent horror stories.

Growing up in South Africa where there are areas which are malarial there was also conflicting advice about whether to take anti-malarials or not – was masking the parasite worse than trying to prevent the disease? And then, what to believe in the press everytime they pronounce there’s a cure?

Somewhere, I discovered this ‘little’ book charting the history of the cure for malaria. Rather surprisingly, it took me into South America. I naturally assumed, given my experiences, that the book would talk about Africa. No, it’s South America and it goes back to the late 1700s, early 1800s – ‘way before my time’.

Being a time traveller and stepping out of my usual time zones was eye-opening. I had no idea malaria had impacted on the world to the extent it did and for as long as it has. Connections with dinasours! And I’m rather disappointed to say, I have a new respect for this parasite which has survived so long, finding ways to mutate as it has. I almost feel guilty for thinking (desiring) its host should be eradicated. I will also tread gingerly next time I’m walking down Gower Street so as not to disturb the little critters underground (although Mark reassures readers that they are not infected mosquitoes in the cellars underground, they’re research assistants).

This is a fascinating accessible read which takes the reader on a journey over mountains, through civil wars, across lakes and seas, from earliest times to 2002 with a little bit of humour thrown in. I now understand this insect a little better – hard to believe it’s the third biggest killer on earth. Has it convinced me to take anti-malarials? Not really, but I will make sure I have my mosquito net with me.

And for those with an East Africa World War 1 interest, there are three almost passing mentions of the campaign and the challenges of malaria.

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TSL author videos #Video #Creative #Insights

Some TSL authors have created videos related to their books. Click on the image to purchase the book(s).

Book titleAuthorVideo link
Francis Beckett

(video features TSL author, Clive Greenwood)
A Youtube taster of my play A Modest Little Man, with @greenwood_clive
as the king, Roger Rose as Clem Attlee, and Lynne O'Sullivan as Violet Attlee.
Mavis Pachtervideo
Ezra WilliamsRadio Interview
Part 1
Part 2
Intros to ...
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Margaret L Moorevideo
Robbie CheadleRobbie's son Greg has captured some videos of Robbie and Michael baking showing you how to make their various creations. Alongside the videos on TSL, Greg and Robbie now have their own channel
Melville Lovatt, Theatre, MonologueMelville LovattThe Wall’ and ‘The Teddy Bear’ from his collection Standing Alone are on YouTube by East Lane Theatre Company
Dave RobsonIntro
Part 2
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Inspired by 3AM

Inspired by 3AM

Whilst reading 3AM edited by Angela Kingston, the following came to mind:

Discovering that white nights (nuit blanche) refers to a night without sleep, I immediately thought of White Nights (the 1985 movie but I see there are others)

Books:
Dressing up: Leslie Tate’s Heaven’s Rage
Shapeshifters: Sam Riverbanks’ Duelling Worlds
Night cleanses day: John Samson’s Reading Lady Chatterley in Africa and Powerless