It’s an ill wind …

Tim's Blog

Here’s a light-hearted little piece I wrote at Holmfirth Writers a while back.  I can’t remember what the exercise was, exactly, but the idea behind the piece was that there is no event so terrible that you can’t find somebody or other who has reason to be glad it happened.

I stress that this is a work of fiction and the views expressed are not those of the author!

Thank God for the sinking of the Titanic!  Don’t get me wrong – it was a terrible shame all those people had to drown – but if one of them in particular, the Honourable Archibald Crenshaw, had not made his unscheduled trip to the bottom of the Atlantic, my grandmother would certainly have married him and doubtless given birth to a brood of Etonians rather than the rather more down to earth litter she and my grandfather eventually produced.

Thanks are also due to Gavrilo Princip…

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Sounds Like a Riddle

An' de walls came tumblin' down

I think this was the first riddle I ever heard of the type I’m thinking of:

Brothers and sisters have I none, but this man is my father’s son.

Something David (other half) said recently reminded me of that. We were walking through the village of Aldbury at the start of a circular walk in the Chilterns. He said:

I know this place, but I’ve never been here.

Aldbury1The riddle was soon solved. The village was the setting for an episode of The Avengers, a weird crime series from the 1960s. The stories in this series couldn’t possibly have happened in real life, and that’s the charm of it. I’m not totally hooked, but I think I get it.

Aldbury4We looked up Aldbury, of course, and immediately discovered the episode in question: Murdersville, in which all the village residents are involved in regular murders. For this episode, the village was renamed Little Storping…

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Extreme Reading

Kathy Sharp

I have just finished reading James Treadwell’s Advent. I so much wanted to like this book; it has all the ingredients I usually enjoy and that lovely tagline ‘Magic is Rising’. Perfect, I thought.

I note that other reviewers have not been able to finish it, though, and I quite see why; it has one of the slowest starts I’ve ever encountered. 100 pages in, I was wondering whether to give up on it, too. But I’m made of sterner stuff, and I rarely give up on a book, so I ploughed on to the end.

I finished with mixed feelings. It’s a great story, but somehow it didn’t come to life for me. I found it hard to sympathise with the protagonists – indeed, I felt more sympathy for the ‘bad’ characters. By the end I’d lost patience with all of them.

Overall I found it an unsatisfying…

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Back Home

An' de walls came tumblin' down

Hello, lovely readers. I hope you’ve been happily occupied while I was away.

Yes, I’m back from a delightful nine-day trip to the UK, my almost-home. We visited friends and family, attended the book launch of The May Queen by fellow Crooked Cat author, Helen Irene Young, at Waterstones in Richmond, and did lots of walking.

TheMayQueenLaunch The May Queen is a great story. I know – I edited it.

I also attended a meeting of Crooked Cat authors. Although we’re all in regular contact online, it’s always good to meet up for an informal chat.

I returned yesterday morning to two special annual days and something that, I believe, is unique to Israel. Today is Remembrance Day: ‘Memorial Day for the Fallen Soldiers of Israel and Victims of Terrorism’. Yesterday evening and this morning, the nation stood still to mourn, and ceremonies are being held throughout the day. And tomorrow, starting…

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The Launch

An excerpt from the paperback launch of T E Taylor’s Revolution Day on Monday.

Tim's Blog

Well, the launch of the paperback of Revolution Day on Monday went quite well in the end after a bit of a chaotic start.

I’d prepared a slide show, with pictures of a bunch of historical dictators whose lives and careers inspired my fictional character Carlos Almanzor, but the person who was supposed to be sorting the projector didn’t turn up. In my introduction, I had to tell people to imagine a picture of Colonel Gaddafi or whoever instead.  But at least this got me a few laughs, and the readings seemed to go down very well – with the considerable help of my wife Rosa and friends Mary and Sue, who shared between them the excerpts that were in the voice of Carlos’ estranged wife Juanita.  There were lots of questions afterwards, and I sold quite a few books.  My hosts, the Friends of Holmfirth Library and Tourist Information Centre, laid on plenty of wine and other…

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