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This Week
Category: Site News
Tags: writing blog monday muses

Similar to Crilly who published the ‘This Week’ last week, I’ve waited until Tuesday to allow me to comment accordingly on the blog and the muse. (It’s so early on Tuesday morning in Hong Kong, it’s still Monday in a lot of places!)

Thus far Alyson is the only one who has posted in The Bragging Stool in 2015 with ‘A Little Braggette’. Is January getting off to a slow start? I know it is for me. I do hope someone will have something to post up soon.

In the blog this week Jany writes about which books she didn’t read as a child. She writes that her parents’ and grandparents’ books were largely off limits. Her reading material came from libraries. I remember my (Dutch) grandmother’s bookshelves especially because all the covers were the same. The books had been ruined in a flood in Indonesia and rebound. My mum assures me that she read to me a lot when I was little and although I don’t remember it, she has passed on her love of reading to me. I hope that in turn I will pass it onto my children.

Three of Paola’s Monday Muses have been posted to help with the theme for the 2015 anthology: light, as well as one for non-fiction writers, so let’s get writing!

There was a formal chat on Sunday 25th January. Any title suggestions for the 2015 anthology?! The next informal chat is on Sunday 8th February.

Have a good (writing) week everyone. 

Not suitable!
Category: Writing
Tags: Reading children books

Tidying up my bookcase (as you have to when you're trying to put away the books you were given for Christmas, only to discover that not even the slimmest paper-back can be shoved in anywhere), I came across my Mum's copy of "Rebecca", bound in embroidered and faded pale pink silk, next to her battered copy of "Little Women". On another shelf was a rather dog-eared 1960s volume of "Pear's Encyclopaedia", a book of Dutch poetry by someone called de Geneset (who?) which used to belong to my Granddad, and my (Dutch) Dad's copy of "How to be an Alien". A lot is made these days of what books influence writers, esp. those they came into contact with as children, but did any of this help me on my way?   

Well, to begin with, I wasn`t allowed to read them. Certain pages were not considered "suitable" (esp. in the Pears). But my parents didn`t seem to pick them up very often either. These books were simply part of the furniture. They were packed up during the thirteen house moves I experienced and unpacked to be put on a new shelf somewhere, usually out of my reach.

Neither can I remember anyone reading to me, though I suppose they may have done, esp. my Dutch relatives, who were always eager to "educate and improve" me. My Opa would go to a local bookshop and carefully choose books with story lines designed to stretch my intellectual abilities and sometimes they even had pictures!

Then there were books I wasn't even allowed to touch, e.g. "Het Boek van de Arbeid", a Dutch tome which was my great-aunt's sacred possession. I knew enough Dutch to know it meant "The Book of Work" and remember as a little girl standing in front of her bookcase trying to figure out how one could write a book about work... What work? I now know it s something Socialist, as Auntie was a trade union woman. Then there were Opa`s huge picture books about Indonesia, where this supervised child had to use both hands (washed beforehand) to turn a page, with their coloured photos of jungles and canoes and exotic plants. 

Most of the books I actually read as a child or teenager were library books. I loved libraries: they were warm and peaceful, and the ladies who worked there let me make the tea and help sort the books. Every week I'd stagger out of there with my allotted five books. Mostly about animals. "Born Free" springs to mind, and anything by Gerald Durrell. I even considered becoming a librarian for a while, but that was in the days when lady librarians wore lyle stockings and tweed two-pieces, and I was a mini-skirted teenager in the 60s...

I wonder what memories other Writers Abroad members have of their family bookcases and what kind of relationship they had with books as children.

This Week 19th January 2015
Category: Site News

This Week – 19th January 2015

With our time differences, I waited until today to write this so I could comment accordingly on the blog and the muse. (It is early on a very wet Tuesday morning in Sydney right now)

The Bragging Stool has been quiet this past week. I searched through and could find nothing so if I am making some ghastly mistake and you have indeed accomplished something – please let me know. Whereupon, I will immediately make the correction then stand in the naughty corner in shame!

Doubtless, our Bragging Stool will be occupied again very soon.

The Monday Muses chosen this week by Rilla have something for everyone as always. A story or poem including death, divorce and marriage might produce something interesting. Or maybe Celebrating January will appeal– Rilla refers to January as a much maligned month whereas here it is revered. The kids are on their long summer holiday from school, the sun is shining and so-on. Plenty to choose from it seems.

This coming Sunday 25th January there is a formal meeting (for which the agenda has already been emailed out – thank you, Jo)

11am CET or 9pm down under and 7pm in Japan – Alyson is in the chair. Please put your thinking caps on regarding the title for the Anthology!

The blog this week has been written by Sally and she asks how, as women, do we achieve the gender jump and create male characters? In Glyn’s case of course, how does he manage the reverse?

Sally mentions the English writer Anita Brookner. Being familiar with only some of her work, I decided to look her up and find she never married and looked after her parents in their latter years. She won the Man Booker prize in 1984 for her ‘Hotel du Lac, ’and from this they produced a film of the same name.

To close I would like to share with you link to an interesting article about Anita Brookner published in the Telegraph last year,

Have a lovely, writing-full week. See you on Sunday. Crilly



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Monday, January 26, 2015
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Not suitable!
Posted by Jany

Tidying up my bookcase (as you have to when you're trying to put away the books you were given for Christmas, only to discover that...Read More

Sally's blog 19 January 2015
Posted by Sally Robinson


Are there any Anita Brookner fans out there? She’s one of my favourites. Mind you, I don’t think I’ve ever bought a new...Read More

Thief! (Blog for 12th January 2015)
Posted by John Eliot

Thief, unwittingly perhaps. But sorry, that’s no excuse.

While I was in Wales, away from my French home, a registered letter arrived at my...Read More

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