Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday Fun

Well, I've waited and waited, but Oddbox hasn't been posted yet (shame on you BBC). Nor have I been able to find any odd stories or comic ones that float my boat, so I guess it's just pictures today.

And on that note, I wish you a great weekend.  Adieu.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

A Day Out and Some Good Advice.

The writer's group had a day out as a reward for our hard work writing our books, getting them published and then raking in the rejections for other work.  We went to Avebury, walked round the stone circle, took lots of photos and recorded some video snippets for a book trailer for one of our authors.

Here's a selection of photos from the day.

The stones are not uniform in shape or size and many are missing.

One of the larger stones, but all have strange marks in them, mostly due to weathering and people touching/hugging them.

The root system under the wishing trees, three old trees planted close together at the top of a small hill.  What kind of story would this conjure up in your mind?

Looking up the side of one of the taller stones.  I'm 5'6" short and the stone is about 8' foot tall.  You'll have to excuse the water bottle in the bottom left.

You'll have to wait for the video as I have to transfer it from tape to DVD and then do some further editing for it to be worthwhile watching.  What we may do is show the video of Belle (the author) reading from the first draft of her novel on youtube and the website within the next few weeks.  The whole trailer will be available by November.

Now, I promised you some advice.  Writer Neil Gaiman gave the keynote address at the University of Arts in May this year in which he highlighted seven pieces of wisdom for everyone involved in creating artisitc work.  The full text is below the video if you haven't got time to listen to the whole 20 minutes.

With that, I bid you adieu and I shall see you on Friday.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Journeying With Abraham

Today's guest blogger is Joe Lenton, who talks about his latest book, Journeying With Abraham.


We are fascinated by other people’s stories, whether through TV programmes on celebrities’ ancestors, reading blogs and biographies or having a natter with our friends. The lives of others can take us outside our own for a while, provide distraction, food for our curiosity or an opportunity to learn.

This is not really a new thing, though - we’ve been doing it for thousands of years. The Bible, although it does provide information of historical interest, is a big book of people’s stories - stories about people struggling through life with each other and their God. It is a collection of biographies and reflections on life that has inspired generations.

During a time of crisis and uncertainty, the Jews went back to the beginning and retold the stories of their birth as a nation. Abraham was a key figure, the father of the Jewish race, and his story takes an important place early on in the narrative of God’s people. Hundreds of years after his death, they returned to Abraham and took inspiration, comfort and a sense of identity from immersing themselves in aspects of his life story. It is a narrative that can still hold great power for us today.

Abraham is not some super-pious, always holy, unmatchable figure. No, his story is told warts and all - he is a man we can relate to. In my new book “Journeying With Abraham”, I offer a fresh approach to help us walk alongside Abraham and learn something not just about him but about ourselves and our relationship with God and others.

The aim is not that we know lots about the text and its historical background but that we undergo a process of reflection and growth, inspired by Abraham. This means that we bring our own lives into a kind of dialogue with the texts. We engage our imaginations, emotions, experiences and analytical thinking to grasp something of what might have motivated not only Abraham but the countless generations since who have so valued these stories. Reflecting in this diverse way can shed light on our own stories, finding new angles and new ways of looking at things. It is a process that enables us to examine our motivations, aims, desires and more, facilitating the ongoing gradual transformation of our lives.

So, why not spend some time journeying with Abraham and see where it might lead you? You can work through the material alone or in groups from either a paperback, E-Book or Kindle version. Each chapter has a large variety of questions with a strong focus on practical application as well as suggestions for prayer drawing on themes found in the passage(s) studied.

For book reviews, please visit, where you will also find other resources including meditations and articles. Maybe it is time for you to revisit this classic story? You might not only lose yourself in the drama - you could find yourself too.


I shall see you on Wednesday.  Adieu

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Fun (and a free book)

Did I mention a free book?  I did.

From 23rd to 27th June, my short story ebook will be available for free on Amazon.  That's right, FREE!  But that still leaves you time you to have a chuckle at some one else's expense.

Oddbox isn't working this week, so I have no idea what's in it, but here's the link as the BBC are bound to fix it at some point.

Just to show how 'with it' I am, here's a history of the Catchpa, those annoying security words you have to type in on some blogs and sites.  On the subject of the weather (neat segue, eh) did you know the Inuit do NOT have 50 (or 100) words for snow, nor do the English have 50 words for rain.  What we do have, thanks to BBC website readers, is a scale of rain in England, similar to the Beaufort scale for wind.

And now for something completely the same as last week...Pictures.

(Laugh when you get the movie reference)

(Two words, song title)

On Monday I shall have another guest blogger, Joe Lenton, talking about his latest book.  Till then, have a great weekend and I bid you Adieu.