Thursday, 5 March 2015

Hope for the Future...



14-year-old’s reversible poem takes web by storm…



When this poem is read from start to finish, it paints a pessimistic picture about a world where a generation is obsessed with money and power.
But by following the instruction at the end – “read from bottom to top now” – the meaning – like the poem – is reversed.
The flipped poem paints an optimistic picture about hope for the future and paints a very poignant message – even more poignant because of the author’s age.
After gaining attention for his younger brother’s poem, Derek Nichols said the poem took Jordan just half an hour to compose and said: “I don't get how he's so smart”.
“His poem is nowhere near making this world a better place, but it's a step in the right direction,” he added.
Here is the poem when read from top to bottom.
Our generation will be known for nothing.
Never will anybody say,
We were the peak of mankind.
That is wrong, the truth is
Our generation was a failure.
Thinking that
We actually succeeded
Is a waste. And we know
Living only for money and power
Is the way to go.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is a dumb thing to do.
Forgetting about that time,
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Changing our world for the better
Is something we never did.
Giving up
Was how we handled our problems.
Working hard
Was a joke.
We knew that
People thought we couldn’t come back
That might be true,
Unless we turn things around
(Read from bottom to top now)
And here it is reversed – with a completely different meaning.
Unless we turn things around
That might be true,
People thought we couldn’t come back
We knew that
Was a joke.
Working hard
Was how we handled our problems.
Giving up
Is something we never did.
Changing our world for the better
Will not be easy, but we will try.
Forgetting about that time,
Is a dumb thing to do.
Being loving, respectful, and kind
Is the way to go.
Living only for money and power
Is a waste. And we know
We actually succeeded
Thinking that
Our generation was a failure.
That is wrong, the truth is
We were the peak of mankind.
Never will anybody say,
Our generation will be known for nothing.
                         ~~~
There may be hope for the next generation, after all…
See you all next week…



Thursday, 26 February 2015

Review for Blind Cupid...






Blind Cupid   by Max Brandt

‘Blind love, blind stupid promises. Borne of despair so deep to be unimaginable…’


I have never been much of a fan of crime/mystery fiction, preferring to read Stephen King, Dean Koontz and the like. Then my sister-in-law, Jaye Marie finished writing her first book, and you’ve guessed it, it was a crime/mystery!
She didn’t intend to write in that genre, but her characters had other ideas. She ended up enjoying it, and when I read it, so did I. So much that we have been reading more of the same ever since.




Max Brandt is another first time author, but you would never guess from reading his book. Blind Cupid is an intelligently written crime thriller, a harrowing story about a serial killer of children and not for the fainthearted. Written with care, with believable characters that are not what they seem; and a set of circumstances too horrible to believe.

One of the characters completely fooled me, the authors early depiction was utterly convincing… the story twisted and turned, leaving me clueless until right at the end.
I really liked the clever ploy of using allegory to compare Greek legend and Dickens with different scenarios; it lifted this fascinating story into a higher intellectual realm.
A very visual story, painfully dark, but highlighting the real need for better care and supervision for vulnerable children.

 I think a good book should do more than entertain or horrify. I found myself wondering why he chose to write it, and discovered that Max worked for ten years as a social worker. This says more about the system than I ever could.

Towards the end of the book, the detective in charge contemplates the case, calling it “the most bizarre, sickening and, ultimately tragic tale…” and he never said a truer word…


About the Author
Max has been writing for many years (books, plays, songs, rants!) but has only recently had the time to concentrate fully on his writing. He spent twenty plus years fronting a rock band, many more doing all sorts of things (including running pubs and driving large lorries) and spent ten years working as a Residential Social Worker and Support Worker for Looked-After Young People. His experiences in that field were just one of the motivating forces behind this first book.

He is already working on the follow-up to 'Blind Cupid' - provisionally entitled 'The Blood-Dimmed Tide' (Yeats and Shakespeare are a couple of his passions) - and he tries manfully to write a blog (maxbrandtwriter.blogspot.com) which will remind him that, even after nearly forty years of trying to get published, it's all worth it in the end! It might also help other writers to avoid some of the pitfalls and keep them hacking away at the coal-face; it really is the most satisfying thing, to see your book out there.
Theatre is another in the long list of Max's passions and he is Co-Artistic Director of Theatre Hub, who are a Devon-based company that are in the process of bringing a county-wide production of 'Macbeth' to the theatre-going public in 2016, to remember Shakespeare and the 400th anniversary of his passing.

If you would like more information, please contact him at mailto:max13brandt@gmail.com. 
He is more than happy to travel to your location to speak about the book, the play, Lyme Literary Festival, Magic Oxygen, rock music, Shakespeare or anything else that piques your interest!
                                                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
See you lovely people next week...



Thursday, 19 February 2015

Review for Sue Hampton...





I found this book when I visited the Magic Oxygen Literary Festival at Lyme Regis in Dorset last Saturday. There were many interesting authors and their books there, but this one was the first one I picked up...



 
The Dreamer   by Sue Hampton

       “I have missed you,” he’d say, as he told me once before,
            “like I miss the blue the sky forgets…”

A magical fairy story, brilliantly and imaginatively written, this story is not just for children.

Everyone should read this story, and more than once. Sue’s words keep the child in you alive, and as I have often told my own children and grandchildren, there are no grown-ups, only older children.

I was glad to be reminded that the hidden child in all of us can be your best friend. Sue herself has said that she believes in the power of stories, and I believe as passionately about the power of words too, having felt their strength many times.

Sue certainly knows how to use words. Reading The Dreamer was better than a good meal.  I must eat and sleep before reading The Dreamer again, and would love to get inside Sue’s head to steal her next few hundred words and claim them as my own.


The Author

Sue Hampton is proud to be an ambassador for Alopecia UK. She is also an ex-teacher who was inspired to write by the stories of Michael Morpurgo, because she witnessed their emotional power over young readers.
Like him, she aims to write deep, compelling novels that will make people think and feel - and like him, she has many adult fans.

Now a full-time author, Sue visits schools of all kinds and works with young people of all ages. Many of her passions can be detected in her novels, which are all different, (some historical, one futuristic, one magical and funny) but have in common themes like love, courage, freedom and our right to be different. Sue herself looks a little different from most women because she has alopecia, having lost all her hair in 1981.

After writing THE WATERHOUSE GIRL about a girl with alopecia, she began going bareheaded and feels strangely liberated even though it is not easy. As a result of a feature in The Big Issue, Sue has met several young people who have lost their hair and done an interview for a girls' magazine in Australia.
Sue also lectures on the importance of fiction in school.

Describe Sue in three adjectives? Passionate, individual and idealistic.
Describe her novels in three adjectives? Powerful, "beautifully written" (says Michael Morpurgo of THE WATERHOUSE GIRL) and challenging. TRACES made the top three in The People's Book Prize 2012 and FRANK won bronze in The Wishing Shelf award 2013.