Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tae think again

Many observers find the idea of starting a brand new printed newspaper in this digital age counter-intuitive. 'The newspaper that supports an independent Scotland' in the strap-line below th masthead of The National. Surely the real folly would have been to forget that 45% of the September votes were in favour of independence, to forget that political issues had suddenly become exciting and motivating an impressively large proportion of the country's electorate, including the supposedly apolitical youth..

It seems to me certain, now, that the newspaper will be a further voice eloquently reminding the rest of Britain that there is still a real need for us all tae think again.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

Reading matters

Open Season (Joe Gunther #1)Open Season by Archer Mayor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I had my sister to thank for the suggestion that I might find the Joe Gunther series to my liking. She knows well that I am addicted to 'seriality', never happier than when I can binge-read one book after another. remaining in the company of 'novel-inhabiting persons' who over time become... if not friends... at the very least familiar acquaintances.

Mayor Archer introduces us to his protagonist in the depths of a Vermont winter. The agonizing cold and the white-out blizzards assume almost the role of major actors in the narrative, malign and potentially threatening. Both my sister and I must inevitably recall the exigiencies of such winters from the couple of years when we lived across the border in the state of Maine.

The 'body count' in this first story is quite high, although the writer never leaves us with the impression that gratuitous fatalities have been added simply for shock effect. The structure is that of a police procedural and when I finished the book I imagined Archer satisfied that the plotting he had presumably outlined in detail had been satisfactorily expanded to deliver (for me) four evenings of enjoyable reading.

But then I read his introduction to the second volume in the series, "Borderlines", and it appears that the writer is not a great believer in advance outlining. This I find atone and the same time both alarming and comforting. I have never had the courage to attempt a procedural, feeling happier simply letting my chaaracters tell me their story as the pages mount up... surely not a method which lends itself to tje intricate plotting that a polic procedural calls for.

I must think further about this as I follow the subsequent adventures of Joe Gunther.

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Saturday, November 15, 2014

Sign of the times?

Might this augur well for a certain continuity? They seem to have used the same typeface for the new Brasserie Schwabing sign, even if it is now longer centred above the entrance door. The next two questions may soon be answered, too,

  • Will the seating inside be sufficiently comfortable for an old man whose fleshly upholstery is unsuited to wooden chairs?
  • Will I still be able to afford my beer-and-espresso (where in former and more prosperous times I used to order a hot dinner dish as a matter of course. Ehueu fugaces!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Writing matters

Forwards! There’s no going back! I am coming to the end of yet another edit of my "Chance of Reign" manuscript. Further fact-checking of trivia for the year 1936 in Germany was no chore, given that I love doing research. There were sentences I had written which hinted that I have been living perhaps too long among the Hun. The edit was an opportunity to consider word choices, to make sure that none of the dialogue sounded too jarringly modern.

I must admit that there is a temptation to undertake yet another edit, but it would be for the wrong reason. Basically I think I am putting off the upload to Amazon. The Kindle Direct Publishing platform will allow me to add "Chance of Reign" to the other 2.5 million ebooks up there in that cloud. And in that mysterious place there is every chance it will remain as undiscovered as my other titles. This I find rather depressing, since this is my most ambitious project to date and I am more or less pleased with the end product. I really want the story to find readers.

I guess the moment will come when I feel able to let it go forward. But maybe it won't be tomorrow! 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Reading matters

Blindsided (The Detective Jane Candiotti Series, #2)Blindsided by Clyde Phillips
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Back in March I read "Fall From Grace" by Clyde Phillips with great pleasure. First and foremost it is a scrupulously structured police procedural and it came as no surprise to learn that the writer's background includes stints as executive producer of acclaimed television series. But his stories featuring Jane Candiotti and Kenny Marks stand out, too, for the way that a very credible romance sub-plot is developed without any dilution of the conventions of the fast-paced thriller genre. The Candiotti family angle is managed with a result which can only be called heart-warming and wonderfully sentimental.

All of the foregoing holds good for Jane and Kenny's second outing in "Blindsided".

It is a joy to find myself simply enjoying the reading experience after struggling of late with ebooks which were something of a struggle... on a variety of levels.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Lest we forget