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
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
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.
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
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.
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.
In February 2013 I was invited to do a two hour session at Broseley Primary School as part of their Years 3 & 4 work on India. I have to confess, the thought of working with so many little children terrified me! Continue reading
If you’re stuck for something to write, or something to write about, why not try this prompt?
Take a small notebook and go and sit in a café. Write about anything which attracts your attention.
For example, why not try people watching? What do the other people in the café look like? What are they wearing? What do they order? How do they eat/drink? What can you smell – the aroma of the coffee you’re drinking? Does your tea look like dishwater? Is anyone watching you – if so, are they staring at you or watching you when they think you can’t see them? Don’t leave until you’ve filled at least one page of your notebook.
A fellow writer called Joseph W. Richardson gave me this tip. I’ve written several pages each time Ive gone out for a cup of tea. If it doesn’t work for you, then at least you managed to get out of the house and enjoyed a drink!
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 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.
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