Archives for December 2014


Books: Windows on the World

I’m sure anyone who has been following my blog for a while will know reading has always been one of my life’s delights. I’ve shared some of that joy through blog posts such as Widdershins, Holding the Centre, Revisiting BridesheadThe Book Thief, or Audiobooks, E-books and Old Friends

My First BooksI don’t remember the process of learning to read. But I actually do remember not being able to read. And I have the evidence! :)

Two of the books on my laden bookshelves are the very first two books I ever owned. One is a collection of nursery rhymes, with gorgeous illustrations by Hilda Boswell. The other is a book of stories about a family of teddy bears: The Teddy Bears’ Picnic, with images by Dutch illustrator Willy Schermelé.

I still have a very clear memory of only seeing the pictures . Large slabs of each page (the text) meant nothing to me. But the illustrations – Hilda Boswell’s in particular – were a wonder-filled world to explore while the nursery rhymes or stories were read aloud to me. I can actually remember that time when I needed an adult’s voice to interpret and share the stories that went with the pictures. [Read more…]


Price-Sticker Pain

Old or new, the only sign I always try to rid my books of (usually with little success) is the price-sticker that malignant booksellers attach to the backs. These evil white scabs rip off with difficulty, leaving leprous wounds and traces of slime to which adhere the dust and fluff of ages, making me wish for a special gummy hell to which the inventor of these stickers would be condemned.
Alberto Manguel, The Library at Night


Summery Festive Greetings!

Happy Holidays


Shocking Signage

Pet Shop SignThis sign was spotted in a local pet shop window.

Surely I’m not the only person horrified by it?

And no, on this occasion it wasn’t about mourning for lost trees – even if they are being recycled.

Nor was it wondering whether the cute wee puppies in the window came from a caring breeder or possibly one of those horrific ‘puppy farms’.

It could have been either of these things … but it wasn’t.

So what was it that made me groan so loudly I startled three other people who were cooing over the puppies? [Read more…]


Advice on Writing …

Pen and paperRemember to never split an infinitive.

The passive voice should never be used.

Do not put statements in the negative form.

Proofread carefully to see if you words out.

If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be by rereading and editing.

A writer must not shift your point of view. [Read more…]