Monday, 28 March 2011

Whimsy 6

I made a small Kindle ebook with six of my flash Sci-Fi-ish stories and, just for the experience,  put it on Amazon for 99c / 71p.

Someone actually bought it and made some nice comments here.

If you have some flash stories, why not put them together in an ebook? Who knows, you might sell some.

Let me know what happens if you do.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

When sitting in circles was sitting in heaven

Uh oh. Another rant about the demise of British Libraries?

No.

Just a thought which came to me the other day as I sat in Richmond Library paging through the latest New Scientist.

A small, curly-haired blonde girl, her shoulders barely reached my knee, skipped past flushed with excitement. "When, mom? When?"

It turned out she was impatient for the start of story-time.

On further investigation - standing up and looking over a bookcase - I saw a dozen or so kids sat in eager circles around a lady squatting on a small plastic chair.

'My' little girl joined the group and the lady started to read from a large yellow book opened on her lap.

I was transported fifty-cough years back in time: the little wooden horse had collected quite a lot of money and stowed it away inside his hollow body when suddenly ...

I remember being completely transported, the words read to me made wonderful images in my mind, evoked real emotions. More than that, the sentences started to imprint patterns on my brain. Patterns representing communication, speech, the written word. I was being taught the more formal structure of written English and loving every second of it. And I was sharing the experience. I was learning the value of shared experiences.

If Richmond Library closes, if thousands of libraries throughout the United Kingdom close, where will these children go? What are we taking away from them by not letting them share this joy?

A library is not just a building from which books are borrowed.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Moving pictures

Please take a look at this YouTube video.

The guy collects old photos and explains why.

Flash stories that moved me.

You can find it here.

Reviewlette - May Contain Traces of Magic by Tom Holt

May Contain Traces of MagicMay Contain Traces of Magic by Tom Holt

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Chris, our friendly magic-goods salesman, lives in an England where magic, time travel and demons are the norm.

I enjoyed the read overall: humorous, interesting, puzzling. Though, too much retrospection and wondering what was going on for my taste.

A little more action and a little less thoughtful pondering would have added another star, in my view.

My first Tom Holt, and I will try another.

Read it. Let me know what you think.

Monday, 7 March 2011

"A virus ate my course work."

Lily: outmoded homework
destruction mechanism.

My son's English teacher is moaning at me because my son claims a virus ate his course work!

How cool is that?

In my day I had only the dog to blame. Oh, and on one memorable occasion, I claimed my neighbour's toddler had put my work in the oven and cooked it. Memorable because Mr Skinner - who thought he'd heard every excuse ever concocted by twenty years worth of errant school children - actually applauded. I'd come up with a new one it seems. I also recall he took the opportunity to give me a clip round the ear as I bowed in recognition of the applause. An action he'd probably be chalked, de-mortarboarded, and struck off for if carried out in 2011.

So, as I sit here, watching my son gloomily complete his assignment, all the while protesting his innocence and how sore his hands are and how hungry he is and how he feels a bit dizzy and his arms ache and he needs to pee again and is the light a bit dim and on and on … I'm wondering at the wonderful array of excuses modern technology has afforded our petite protégées in their quest to avoid homework. Viruses, flat batteries, wi fi that wouldn't wi or fi, forgetful memory sticks, and the combinations! … a veritable Rubik’s Cube of possibilities for the imaginative sprog.

But how many of their clever excuses could retrieve a stick, or make us laugh dragging its itchy butt over the carpet while mum shrieked in horror?

Oops. Have to go and crack the whip. Apparently his feet itch. Mine too. But for different reasons.