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Becoming a Writer
Becoming a Writer
by Dorothea Brande
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Writing Habits, 22 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Becoming a Writer (Paperback)
I'm a writer. Although I love to watch films and TV, listen to music, go the the theatre and read widely, I do find it hard to write with other people's words still in my head. A bit of space is necessary between the activities for my own words to arrive.

Picking up Dorothea Brande's book, 'Becoming a Writer' which I haven't looked at for years, I opened it randomly at page 133 and under the heading Wordless Recreation, her words were;

"If you want to stimulate yourself into writing, amuse yourself in a wordless way. Instead of going to a theater, hear a symphony orchestra, or go by yourself to a museum; go alone for long walks, or ride by yourself on a bus top."

I realised that she's absolutely right. When I do any of these things they do very often stimulate my writing, even although this is not the reason I'm doing them. Ok I don't go to listen to symphony orchestras. My musical tastes are more in folk, rock and blues music and I acknowledge that passionate lyrics can interfere with my own creativity.

On the other hand I find visiting museums and galleries by myself hugely exciting. I can look at exactly what I like and spend an hour on the minutiae of one exhibit if I want to, without boring anyone else to death or having to follow them to the toilet/cafe/shop every five minutes. And going on journeys alone, whether on foot, train, bus, car, boat or plane takes me into other worlds, where my imagination is freed.

Dorothea Brande's book is full of great insights like this. When it was first recommended to me I nearly didn't bother to read it because it was written so long ago. I felt she couldn't possibly tell me anything relevant to my generation and my writing. She'd never even seen a computer, for heavens' sake! But I did read it and from her wise and totally unpretentious words I realised that I had already become a writer and she also showed me how to carry on being a writer.

So, have you given up on all those starry-eyed, pseudo-spiritual books on writing which appear everywhere? Are you even more fed up with the 'How to Write a Best-Seller in Six Days/Six Chapters/Six Websites' genre, then I can recommend going back to basics with Dorothea Brande. It doesn't matter what you are trying to write: fiction, poetry, journalism, scripts, memoir or even academic theses. She can help remind you of how the process of writing works in your own mind. She really can!

by Billy Cowie
Edition: Hardcover

4.0 out of 5 stars Milan's musical sister, 18 Oct. 2012
This review is from: Passenger (Hardcover)
Milan is a musician, a violinist in a orchestra. His new relationship with flautist Karen becomes diverted by a passenger, who lives inside him. The extraordinary existence of his conjoined twin is entirely new to Milan. He names her Roma, begins to communicate with her through music and realises she is a sentient and intelligent human being, not just a medical curiosity. The press and the medical professions are fascinated and Milan is tempted to bow to their fascination and to disregard his and Roma's real needs.

The story wastes no words, the writer's musical knowledge enhances without becoming intrusive. Passenger is well written and sympathetic whilst managing to steer well clear of the maudlin. The tragic end is unexpectedly abrupt and very moving.

Billie Cowie is an installation artist, choreographer and theatre writer. This accomplished foray into fiction writing is his only published novel so far.

Bad to the Bone (Original Fiction in Paperback)
Bad to the Bone (Original Fiction in Paperback)
by James Waddington
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars Yet another Tour de France Scandal!, 17 Oct. 2012
The news about the controversy over several times Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong makes this seem a good time to review Jame's Waddington's rather extrordinary novel about professional cycling. The story races tumultuosly through an imagined Tour de France race with its own peculiar doping scandal. The author is a cyclist and one feels he understands somewhat of what he speaks. The twists and turns of race and story are comic, dark and bizarre. Well written and well worth a read even for non-cyclists!

Viceroybedding Luxurious 3cm Visco Memory Foam Mattress Topper DOUBLE Bed With Removeable and Washable Protector Cover, ***Now Includes An Anti-Bacterial Protector / Cover ***
Viceroybedding Luxurious 3cm Visco Memory Foam Mattress Topper DOUBLE Bed With Removeable and Washable Protector Cover, ***Now Includes An Anti-Bacterial Protector / Cover ***
Offered by Viceroy Bedding
Price: £30.50

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Comfortable and warm, good value., 3 Mar. 2012
We already liked memory foam and have had a memory foam combination mattress on our bed for several years. It is deightfully comfortable. We bought this memory foam mattress topper to be used on an airbed which we would be sleping on in February, in my mother's unheated conservatory. We were worried about the cold and the memory foam topper worked very well both with its predictable comfort and the hoped for insulation properties. We slept well and the topper will be used again and again. Only criticism, the protector cover did not fit very well and kept coming off the corners of the mattress. Even so, good value for money.

No Title Available

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quick and quiet air pump, 3 Mar. 2012
The Sidewinder airpump, although named after a snake is neither slippery nor poisonous. It inflates a double airbed very fast, a huge advantage late at night, and is a bit quieter than cheaper electric models we have used, it's well worth the money. I wish we had had one years ago when driving and camping across Europe with three children, four airbeds and one footpump!

Intex Double Size Classic Downy Airbed
Intex Double Size Classic Downy Airbed
Price: £20.45

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Does exactly what I expect of an airbed., 3 Mar. 2012
This review is from: Intex Classic Airbed Full (Sports)
The Intex double airbed is a bargain at the price. It does what you would expect of a double airbed, it allows two people to have a night's comfortable sleep without ending up on the floor. What else do you need, a chandelier? Then go to a hotel!

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