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Nick Andrew Landscape Paintings –

A long but excellent essay. Introduced me to Langston Hughes’ formidable poem

Gift of the Raven – Catriona Troth

dreaming of books 1

Rather than a full book review, in these posts, I simply jot down a few lines on books I’ve enjoyed.

Gift of the Raven

Gift of the Raven by Catriona Troth

“The people of the Haida Gwaii tell the legend of the raven – the trickster who brings the gift of light into the world.”

An emotionally raw tale of an outcast, abused and orphaned boy, whose “hair is black like night, and [whose] skin is the colour of Auntie Jean’s strong tea” and his quest to find his father. “I’ve never seen anyone who looks like me but that’s okay because I belong here anyway”. This story about the budding relationship between a father and son touched a deep emotional chord for its sincerity and the delicacy of its prose. One of those books where the tears are never far from welling up, but a tremendously uplifting read.

Available from Amazon

The “Why Cheap Art Manifesto” by the Bread and Puppet Theater

A couple of days ago, I discovered this manifesto on cheap art put out by Vermont’s (formerly NY’s) Bread and Puppet Theater in 1984. While I’ve been aware of the B&P Theater’s work ever since my student actor days in Auckland, New Zealand, in the early eighties, this manifesto was a new find. I share it here as I think it chimes nicely with my own project, Barcelona Free Art, a guide to art you can see for free in Barcelona. It inspires me regarding why we produce art.

The Bread and Puppet Theater company, which this year is celebrating “50 years of sublime arse-kicking puppetry”, was established in the early sixties by Peter Schumann, a sculptor, dancer and baker recently emigrated from Germany, and his wife Elka (apologies if I quote liberally from their website, but the hour is late). Its aims were (and are) to highlight issues like “rents, rats, police, and other problems of the neighborhood”, and it has gone from strength to strength, creating bigger and braver productions over the years.

Anyway, without further ado, the manifesto:

Cheap Art Manifesto_Bread & Puppet Theater_lge

You can purchase your copy here.

Further info: 

The Morality of Language

Cody Delistraty

Does speaking in a second language make you a more moral person?

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“i like living, breathing better than working. my art is that of living.” –duchamp

With great shots of early #Cadaques to start, #Duchamp speaks on “avoiding the painting of the retina”, from his Impressionist beginnings to “Nude Descending Stairs”.

Get Dirty

Very inspiring! My mind is ticking over concerning my next novel.


I’m going to be dirty today.

As a kid, Mama often met me on the back stoop as I came in from playing outside. With a broom in her hand she’d have me slowly turn in a circle while she brushed dirt from my blue jeans. She wasn’t against sweeping my bare legs either if I happened to be wearing shorts.

“Don’t bring that mess in this house.” She’d say. “Did you plan to get dirty?”

Well no. I hadn’t planned to. I was a kid. There was dirt. We met and fell in love. The end.

I remembered that this morning as I thought about where to plant some things in the yard. I still love dirt. Not potting soil in shiny garden-center bags. I don’t care for the sterile smell of plastic and perlite. I love real dirt. Earth.

One of the finest smells of spring is that…

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Forty Indies Read at Chorleywood

Forty of the most amazing indie authors on the scene will be reading, signing, greeting, selling, laughing, sighing, crying, shrieking and otherwise emoting for your ultimate reading pleasure!

Forty of the most amazing indie authors on the scene will be reading, signing, greeting, selling, laughing, sighing, crying, shrieking and otherwise emoting for your ultimate reading pleasure!

Forty of the most amazing indie authors on the scene will be reading, signing, greeting, selling, laughing, sighing, crying, shrieking and otherwise emoting for your ultimate reading pleasure!

The Indie Author Fair, running from 2 – 5 pm on 16 November, is part of the Chorleywood Literary Festival. Organised by the Chorleywood Bookshop, Triskele Books and the Alliance of Independent Authors, forty authors will be on hand to talk to you about their books, sign copies, give readings, and I’m sure offer generous discounts. Some of the best writers on the Indie scene, including Carol Cooper, Jane Davis, Helena Halme, Dan Holloway, Rohan Quine and Orna Ross will be at the British Legion Hall in Chorleywood, 2 – 5 pm, Sunday 16 November.

During the fair, I will be reading an excerpt from my novel, “Celia’s Room”. It’s the last slot in the 15:30-15:45 bracket. Here’s the full list of readers:

14:30 – 14:45
1. Geoff Gudgion (thriller)
2. Jane Davis (literary)
3. Marisha Pink (contemporary – Southeast Asia)
4. JW Hicks (dystopia)

1. DJ Kelly (docu-fiction)
2. Liza Perrat (history)
3. Jane Turley (comedy)
4. Kevin Booth (contemporary – Spain)

1. Debbie Young (Flash fiction)
2. Rohan Quine (Literary)
3. JD Smith (history)
4. Ellie Stevenson (supernatural)

Come along, come along and join in the fun at the Indie Author Fair!

Indie Author Fair, in the British Legion Hall, Chorleywood, 2 – 5 pm on 16 November!

Best of San Telmo Street Art

¿Qué Sé Yo, Argentina?

San Telmo, the oldest barrio in Buenos Aires, is known for antique stores, milongas, cobblestone streets, traditional cafés and old school parrillas.  A barrio where the retro-cool hardcore kids live in their high ceiling, historic apartments.  My favorite thing about San Telmo? It houses some of the best street art in the city.  Ditch the crowded San Telmo Feria, flocking around the B-level Tango street performers, and check out the great street art.  Here are some of my faves….

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A Letter to Amazon

I love this and agree entirely! Though I publish through Amazon, their condescending, misquoting, factually incorrect letter inspired me to incorporate sell buttons onto my own site and prioritise the other online retailers I use like Kobo, B&N, iBooks, etc.

Amazon, writers tend not to be stupid, whether traditionally or independently published!

Lucy Blue Writes

librarianDear Mr. Bezos,

I was very excited to receive your Email request this morning, asking for my help in your battle against Hachette. Not since Carrie White got invited to the prom has a girl been more pleasantly shocked to be included. And you’re right; those big publisher types are just fuckers. I was a mid-list romance author for Pocket Books/Simon & Schuster all through the 2000s, and let me tell you—

Oh, right, sorry, you want to talk about your thing. No, yeah, of course; it’s totally fine. So anyway, okay, Hachette and its other big nasty “media conglomerate” friends have been being all hateful to you at Amazon about your e-books. I heard about the whole collusion thing – those bastards! You and the Supreme Court are so right; I don’t blame you one bit for being upset. I mean, I know in my heart that if you…

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