Glass Ceilings

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by John Siddique

Well here we are at that time of the year again, soon we’ll be resolving to try and write a bit more each week, or maybe even to read some poetry every now and then. We’ll make our resolutions and dig out that old copy of The Writer’s Handbook, re-read how to send our poetry off into the big bad world, then flip to the publishers and poetry magazine addresses pages… and maybe this year we will do it.

What is it that we want from this burgeoning activity? Will this set of poems bring us ‘the book deal’, will that book deal bring us the fame we crave? We can already see ourselves talking intelligently on couch of the BBC review show. We’ll show them, we won’t end up smug and dancing to their tune.


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Kirie Pedersen

An emerald-green pyramid rises above Directora’s office at the center of the complex. The windows are darkened. Heath sees a shrouded figure moving around inside. She waited three weeks before she met him. As they stand outside her office door, Flores lets him know he should not speak. Her desk spans the entire room, separating her from them. She wears a bizarre two-piece outfit with a gold faux fur collar. Heath does not mention the bodies that show up outside his apartment or in the nearby river.
    Everyone here has an escape plan.

* * *

    “Do you want to make out?”
    Heath’s sister Janet was twelve, two years younger than Heath. Heath’s attic room had a single, tiny window. One wall held a plywood base on which Heath constructed mountains, trees, houses, and roads. His model cars were lined up along one end in perfect precision.
    “My friends and I practice all the time,” Janet said.
    “I once did something very terrible.”

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Charles Dickens Reviews The Grease Monkey's Tale

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The Grease Monkey's Tale
by Paul Burman
Publisher: Paperbooks

I have endeavoured in this little book review to a literary comment, which shall not put our readers out of humour with themselves, with each other, with the season, or with me.

My review will be honest and true for although a skillful flatterer is a most delightful companion if you have him all to yourself, his taste becomes very doubtful when he takes to complimenting other people.

Cars are my passion. What I have ever sighed for has been to retreat to a Top Gear hanger, and live entirely surrounded by cars - and books. And rest assured it will be a real book, electric communication will never be a substitute for the feel and smell of paper which lifts the soul and encourages another person to be brave and true.

Paul's book will sit by me in my Top Gear hanger as it is a literary creation, the whole difference between construction and creation is exactly this: that a thing constructed can only be loved after it is constructed; but a thing created is loved before it exists. It is this love that settles on each page and delights the reader. There are books of which the backs and covers are by far the best parts, this is not one of those, indeed The Grease Monkey's Tale is a far, far better thing that I could do, indeed that I have ever done; it is infact the best novel I have ever known. Paul brings his literary flourish and mixes it with a world of action, with no moping and droning in like a Dan Brown novel.

Paul, once a gentleman, always a gentleman is a writer with dignity, and even holiness too and his waistcoats are rather finer than some people imagine.

So happy, happy Christmas, to a novel that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the reader back to his own fireside and quiet home! May Paul Burman's book grace their houses pleasantly, and no one wish to lay it down.

God bless us every one.

Editors note : Paul's Xmas stocking filling book can be found here.

Multiplexed ? The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets' Nest

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Well December had arrived and the end of the journey was in sight. The last of the film adaptations of Stieg Larsson’s ‘Millennium’ trilogy was soon to arrive ... but not at a cinema near me anytime soon. My home town’s multiplex doesn’t do that (at least not for another couple of months). But to my delight there was another in its ‘chain’ of multi screens located an hour’s bus drive away in the land called Milton Keynes. And on a cold morning, I set out.

I arrived at the cinema which is located in a shopping centre/artificial snow slope (no I’m not making it up). At the top of the escalator is the ticket office with its bank of film times including the six screens set aside for Harry Potter 7 pt1 (folks, Harry needs our help to get his money back, please give generously). The reception at first sight was very similar in many ways to my home town’s cinema. So far, so multiplex.

The Basics of Drawing

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This is an introduction to a three-part guide about the basics of drawing. The first part concerns form, the second part concerns composition and the third part concerns lighting.

I feel that anyone can draw, and anyone can draw well… It is just down to practice (and sometimes being taught the right techniques).

The best way to practise drawing is to draw from life. You can also draw from photographs but it is harder to grasp the dynamics of an object from a photo so I would recommend drawing from life until you understand the concepts of light, shadow and distance between objects.

World Book Night: The Usual Suspects

Reader Logo by Annette Green

Now don’t misunderstand me. Any event that seeks to celebrate books and encourage people to read is prima facie A Good Thing. But there are ways of doing it and ways of doing it. World Book Night – a national (rather than global, but never mind) giveaway of one million books – is going to be a highly visible and heavily publicised occasion. Launched on December 2nd on BBC2’s Culture Show and covered on March 5th next year also on the BBC, it enjoys the endorsement of a staggering range of celebrities, including writers, actors, artists and pop stars. It is already starting to look as morally unquestionable as Live Aid.

Garth Stein in new issue of The View From Here Out Now!

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Interview with Garth Stein author of the New York Times best selling literary novel, The Art of Racing in the Rain.

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