This week’s short story challenge is a photo I took of crowds at the 2016 art deco festival in Napier, New Zealand. Use the photo to inspire a 150-200 word super-short story – a proper one, with beginning, middle, end and punchline (all super-short stories gotta have a punchline) – and post it on your blog,… More This week’s short story challenge
It’s Anzac day today – the day New Zealand and Australia remember the dead of all their wars. In a way it’s timing is odd. Many nations, certainly Britain and around her former Empire, mark the moment on 11 November, the day in 1918 when the guns finally fell silent on the First World War.… More It’s a century since the first Anzac Day services
I got involved in a discussion the other day about book pricing, covers and marketing profile. In the process it seemed clear to me that there are many misconceptions about how books actually sell. The idea being argued was that if a particular book got a better cover and the price was dropped – maybe… More ‘Free’ doesn’t sell books – and here’s what does
There are over a million individual words in English. Most of them are quite obscure and deserve better attention than they get. This week’s is salicional. This is a specific tone colour (‘stop’) on a pipe organ with a softer, ‘willowy’ sound. From 19th century German salix (‘willow’). Your challenge? Write a sentence (or two)… More The obscure word of the week is salicional
I posted the other day about the way Germany nearly won the First World War in spring 1918. If Erich von Ludendorff’s gigantic offensive of March-June 1918 had succeeded, Germany would have dominated Europe on land – and with all combatants exhausted by years of fighting, it’s highly likely the Allies would have sought terms.… More What if Germany won the First World War? Would we have avoided Hitler?
It’s New Zealand’s national memorial day next week – and a century ago the New Zealand Division was fighting in Flanders. This week’s writing challenge revolves around a photo I took of the aid post at Essex Farm, Flanders, where John McRae penned his immortal poem In Flanders’ Fields in 1915. It was a moving… More This week’s short story challenge
I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because Trek gave us Spock. That’s it, really. But let me explain some more. When Lucas developed Star Wars (by which I mean the original 1977 movie) he deliberately wrote a story that spoke to our deepest senses of mythic self –for… More I like Trek ‘the original series’ way better than Star Wars ‘Part IV’ because…