Writing prompts from a game of consequences

Soz in advance for quality of post. I have tons of drafts but can’t seem to finish any of them. Hence this sorry attempt at something light. Literary allusion is fun. Jane Austen was catapulted into modern-day Britain with ITV’s Lost in Austen; and War and Peace’s Prince Andrej makes an appearance in Italo Calvino’s Il Barone rampante to great comic effect. Wouldn’t it be fun … Continue reading Writing prompts from a game of consequences

Playing at virtue in Mansfield Park

One of the first events of interest in Mansfield Park is the attempted production of the play Lovers’ Vows, put on by the Bertram youngsters, Crawford siblings, and their friend Mr Yates. The play is a shocker by Regency standards, featuring as it does an illegitimate love-child, and improper declarations of feeling from ladies. The idea that gentlefolk should have to utter the compromising lines of the … Continue reading Playing at virtue in Mansfield Park

[1-year Blogiversary]

What a year of thought-provoking reflections, hilarity, and insightful commentary it’s been. I’ve enjoyed thinking about interesting stuff, being a tiny bit controversial, arguing with other writers, researching history, failing at social media marketing, and cultivating a nice-looking patch of internet with which to express myself. In honour of the occasion, here are my top 10 click-generators, top 5 undervalued articles, and a sneak preview … Continue reading [1-year Blogiversary]

How to Write Right

It’s 2016; content has long been our despotic monarch and it’s no longer news that a person can squeeze a multi-million-dollar film franchise bonanza out of the average PDF – sorry, eBook – they put up on the Kindle store. The age of the self-published writer-blogger-speaker-lifecoach-consultant-social-media-marketing-guru is here. Yet even though it is sort of my dream to become an authorpreneur™, I’m not without misgivings … Continue reading How to Write Right

Midsummer jollity at the Globe

I first encountered A Midsummer Night’s Dream while reading Ballet Shoes as a child. The three Fossil sisters are enrolled at stage school, where reluctant actress Petrova is nearly fired from her role as the fairy Mustard-Seed in the play, after repeatedly struggling to intone correctly the very simple line ‘And I’. Yesterday I saw a hilarious and mad production of the play at the Globe. It … Continue reading Midsummer jollity at the Globe

Bad taste & good art

“I just don’t get why you want to keep me away from her, though?!” “Alright, I’ll tell ya! I slept with her, din’t I?” Dum, dum, dum dum dum dum-dum-dum-dum – And the Eastenders credits roll down on yet another cliff-hanger. There’s something in the overly dramatic ending that causes a little cringe. It’s the same, sometimes, in books: At the sudden knock on the … Continue reading Bad taste & good art

Thoughts on D’Annunzio (hint: he’s really annoying)

I recently finished an irritating book called L’Innocente (The Victim/The Intruder in English) by Gabriele D’Annunzio. I wouldn’t recommend it to you, so I don’t feel bad telling you what happens, with no spoiler alert: A man (Tullio) is repeatedly unfaithful to his wife (Giuliana). Since she’s so lovely and forgiving of that fact, they almost reconcile, until he discovers she too was unfaithful and … Continue reading Thoughts on D’Annunzio (hint: he’s really annoying)

23 Life Lessons from the Classics

Here are the life lessons I’ve extracted from five favourite classics. Beware of spoilers. You’re very much welcome. North and South Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Plot: Country girl Margaret forced to move to industrial city after her dissident father leaves the church. Encounters poverty and crosses swords with mill owner Mr Thornton. Three bereavements, a strike and an unexpected inheritance later, it’s second time lucky for … Continue reading 23 Life Lessons from the Classics