Blog

Rowing Down the World to Auckland by Ted Dunphy

Rowing Down the World to Auckland

I’m very excited that my friend Ted Dunphy has published a book! It’s called Rowing Down the World to Auckland. Read on to learn more about Ted, his writing and the things that inspire him. Continue reading

Music at Jaipur Literature Festival #JLFSOUTHBANK

I’ve never before been to a literature festival that began each day with live music, or one that ended with a massive musical bang!

Both Saturday and Sunday began with the beautiful voice of Saberi Misra, accompanied by Dhanraj Persaud on tabla and Prabhat Rao on harmonium. They are all students at the Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan, an Indian cultural institution teaching music, dance and languages as well as hosting other exhibitions and cultural programmes. Over 900 students attend the Bhavan. Continue reading

Street Food at Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 #JLFSOUTHBANK

Whenever anyone in or around the Southbank Centre needed food, there was a Kerb food market with lots of stalls selling South Asian street food, juice bars, a cocktail bar and a stall selling jelly coconuts that ran out of stock before the first day had ended. The glorious weather made it a pleasure to sit outdoors amidst the hustle and bustle of the market and people watch while eating lunch or taking a much needed drink.

Both food and drink in one shell!

Both food and drink in one shell!

Perfect for a warm day in May!

Perfect for a warm day in May!

On Saturday, I tucked in to a masala dosa washed down with coconut water straight from the coconut. On Sunday, it was a chicken wrap and a refreshing virgin mohito quenched my thirst, made specially for me as the cocktail stall didn’t sell non-alcoholic drinks.

 

Check out more about Kerb at  #KERBdoesAlchemy

Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 #JLFSOUTHBANK

I attended the Jaipur Literature Festival 2015 at the Southbank Centre, London on Saturday 16th and Sunday 17th May. It was a busy weekend packed with talks, panels, lively debate, a Foyles book stall, book signings, a multitude of writers, activists, politicians, businessmen and even a Bollywood movie star. As is always the case with literature festivals, there were so many sessions on offer at the same time it was inevitable that sacrifices had to be made and V.S. Naipaul was sacrificed for a discussion on the Partition. There was sadness and celebration for a life that had been snatched away as people remembered Sabeen Mahmud who had been murdered only weeks before.

Shabana Azmi, Urvashi Butalia and friend smile for the camera.

Shabana Azmi, Urvashi Butalia and friend smile for the camera.

 

My Guest Blog for Leila Rasheed, Writer Children’s Books

Image provided by Leila Rasheed.

Image provided by Leila Rasheed.

I wrote a guest blog about finding a character I could relate to for Leila Rasheed, who writes books for children. It’s about finding a character we can relate to, and one which stays in our memory long after reading the book.

I first met her when I was on the MA in Writing course at the University of Warwick, and met her recently at a Writer’s Networking event run by Writing West Midlands. We were discussing the lack of diversity of characters in books for children even today, as discussed in the Walter Dean Myers article. I told her about a character I had connected with when I was young because she was ‘someone like me’. But as an adult, I was afraid to re-read the book in case I was disappointed.

Leila invited me to write a guest blog for her about my experience of revisiting the book. If you would like to read it the whole of my blog, and the Q&A with Leila, you can find it in Leila’s blog.

Writing. Or Freedom from Deadlines

You may start with a blank page, a blank notebook, a blank post-it note, but filling it is as simple as beginning with a single word. Any word which gets you started.

You may start with a blank page, a blank notebook, a blank post-it note, but filling it is as simple as beginning with a single word. Any word which gets you started.

Freedom from deadlines isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. Having finished my uni work and handed in my assignments, I now feel as though I have no purpose. It’s not just for now. I always feel like this after hand-ins. So, I’ve been searching for things to do. I know I have a novel to work on, but I need a little break first before commiting myself to another large piece of writing. Continue reading

West of No East by Bobby Nayyar

Image courtesy of Bobby Nayyar at Limehouse Books

Image courtesy of Bobby Nayyar at Limehouse Books

West of No East by Bobby Nayyar packs into a small book many of the issues facing people in multicultural, contemporary Britain today. It tells of difficult relationships, be they marital, friendships, work or parental. Difficult economic times increase pressures on already fragile relationships. Clashing cultures add extra heat into the mix.

Continue reading

Black Country to Red Earth – Video Of Me Reading A Story

Last week, I attended a public lecture ‘Black Country to Red Earth’ given by Candi Miller in the International Centre, University of Wolverhampton on Thursday 19th April 2012.

Stories galore for telling and reading.

Stories galore for telling and reading.

It was a great evening of sharing information about The San Peoples of the Kalahari Desert, who are considered to be the oldest race in the world. Some of their storytellers were filmed telling stories, including Beesa Boo who told the story of The Spider Man. Continue reading