Monday, February 24, 2014

Just five words

There's a writing contest on Radio 2 at the moment for under 13s. It's called 500 words - but it closes at 7pm on Wednesday. However, during one of the announcements about it on the radio this morning the stand-in DJ (Chris Evans is away) said: "But for the over 13s here's challenge. Give us a story in five words."

So I had a go in the car, as I was driving along.

Best I came up with was:
Never wrestle with a gorilla.

And there was:
Then he smiled at me.

I'm sure I can come up with more, but the best I heard on the radio was:
Getting a new prosthetic leg.

Beat that!


Thursday, February 20, 2014

Thursday extracts: Keeping a diary

The diary was Renee's idea. She ran across it last week and decided on the spot that it was time for me to start writing things down. That evening over dinner she made such a solemn ceremony out of giving it to me that I felt like Moses on Mount Sinai. Since then so help me she hasn't stopped peeping at me sideways, watching my every move, waiting breathlessly for the muse to strike.

I probably shouldn't start until my period is over, just to keep the pissing and moaning to a minimum, but Renee says that's exactly the time I should be writing. Some journal expert she saw on Oprah says all the important stuff happens while you're feeling like a piece of shit; you just don't realise it until later.

Maybe the Moon
Armistead Maupin

Monday, February 03, 2014

Reading, more reading and stuff

After I posted the review yesterday I realised that I used to be much more prolific on this blog. To be fair, I used to be more prolific on all my blogs (I have a few) so I guess it's not out of the ordinary. It's just that, I used to find time to do much more reading than I currently do. I also used to write more often. Poems, short stories, doggerel, whatever. I am being creative in the 'art' sense, but I seem to have abandoned my wordcraft at the moment.
5 out of 10. Must try harder.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The Cricket in Times Square

A Connecticut cricket called Chester is accidentally trapped in a picnic basket and finds himself transported by train to the metropolis of New York City. In Times Square subway station he meets Harry Cat and Tucker Mouse, and the three begin a series of adventures.

Written in 1960, The Cricket in Times Square is very much a product of its era, but the tales it tells and the lessons it teaches are timeless: reasons to learn about other cultures; the importance of keeping a level head in a crisis; and perhaps most important of all, that fame and fortune do not always bring happiness. Aimed at children, it is still charming enough to delight adults.

Chester is adopted as a pet by young Mario Bellini, whose parents run a not especially successful news stand at the station. But he and the three animals, through innocence and good intentions, help to change its fortunes.

George Sedden's book sometimes turns up in second-hand shops (and can be downloaded for e-readers). If you find one, snap it up, if only for Garth Williams's wonderful illustrations. You won't regret it.