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bits and pieces on Brighton and thee beyond…..

Posts Tagged ‘fiction’

Brighton Shock

Posted by Sara on April 8, 2010

Last weekend the World Horror Convention 2010 came to Brighton – the first time the WHC has ever been held outside of the USA. For four days we found ourselves wandering the twisty turny passages embowelled deep within the Albion Hotel enjoying all things horror and literary.

We turned up Thursday afternoon to register and collect our big bag of freebies – including a fantastic souvenir anthology featuring contributions from attending guests of honour and illustrated by some of the genre’s major artists.  I was also most pleased with my complimentary Mammoth Book of Zombie Comics.

There was a lot to keep us busy throughout the weekend – with a programme packed full of  panel discussions, readings, art shows, interviews, parties, launches, workshops and more besides. Highlights included Ramsey Campbell’s late night ghost stories and the fabulous James Herbert being interviewed by surprise guest Neil Gaiman.

This was a great opportunity to listen and learn from all the great masters of the macabre in attendance, as well as a chance to check out some of the newer writers in horror. As usual though, I bought too many books and wish there had been more time!

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Dracula at The Brighton Little Theatre

Posted by Sara on December 18, 2009

Liz Lochhead’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic is a tale of tragedy and the madness that comes with desire and power. Lochhead brings this nightmare to life against a backdrop of the death of the 19th Century and a world  where the line between sanity and insanity is difficult to distinguish.

Tickets are still available for this cracking adaptation of Bram Stoker’s Dracula, written by Liz Lochhead and directed by Tess Gill, at the Brighton Little Theatre – but hurry, the last performance is tomorrow. As well as some fine writitng and acting, this play has  some genuinely chilling moments and loads of atmosphere. I loved it. And for extra seasonal splendidness, treat yourself to a delicious glass of mulled wine served at the festively festooned bar during the interval.

For more informaton click here: www.the-little.co.uk

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Mirabelle

Posted by Sara on August 27, 2009

A spookylicious new tale has just been added to our sister blog Shadowstime. Though feedback on this one has not been too good so far, I love this story. I have dusted her down and looked her over and still can’t bring myself to change a thing. So here she is as she always has been and always will be. I guess Love is blind after all.

mirabelle

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Mommy, what’s a Coccolithophore?

Posted by Sara on August 9, 2009

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Why dear, it’s a single-celled algae responsible for forming the chalk bed we now call the South Downs and the inspiration behind the lastest art installation at Fabrica. Called The Elephant Bed and created by John Grade, this sculpture consists of a series of beautifully crafted horn shaped cones suspended in the gallery, some of  which are left hanging over a pool, slowly disintgrating into the brackish water.

John Grade’s work is characterised by the crafting of sculptural objects which are then left outside to the mercy of the elements and Fabrica are running a series of events throughout the installation celebrating this sculpture’s ongoing decay and eventual destruction. Last Wednesday we attended a free Drawing to Film evening in the gallery. Hosted by artist Jane Fordham we were invited to draw our responses while watching the classic sci fi film The Day of the Triffids (1962 Dir Francis & Sekely)

fabmovieThis film is based on the John Wyndam novel and was chosen by John Grade specifically for the fact that those pesky Triffids were eventually destroyed by sea water, in much the same way his sculpture will be. The evening was free and all art materials supplied. It was a great fun and a wonderfully eerie location to watch a movie with the advantage that, being in the dark, you don’t even need to be able to draw too well! There will be another Drawing to Film event this Wednesday featuring The Creature from the Black Lagoon in glorious 3D no less, so that should inspire some interesting pictures too.

fabart

Fab Art

On the morning of August 31st the Elephant Bed will be laid to rest on the beach to dissolve forever into the sea. For more info on this beautiful, haunting piece of work and future events contact Fabrica.

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Books and books and books and….

Posted by Sara on August 6, 2009

I’ve not been writing too much this past week but that’s because I have been reading loads – as the Gods of all Gifts Secondhand have been smiling down on me with some remarkable finds in my local charity shops.

spiralFirst up was Spiral off Western road, one of my favourite places for a Saturday morning browse. Spread out over three adjoining rooms trailing down Bedford Place and a veritable Santa’s Grotto for knick knacks and furniture, Spiral has an eclectic range of books and magazines – including a vast collection of National Geographics I am slowly making my way through – all stacked in big bookcases along the walls, one of them hiding a beautiful scenic mosaic behind it which is worth a visit to the shop alone.

sjacksonDuring my last Saturday Spiral excursion I stumbled apon The Masterpieces of Shirley Jackson, published by Raven Books. With an introduction by Donna Tartt, this edition contains The Lottery, The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle. Shirley Jackson and Donna Tartt are two of my favourite authors so the introduction alone was worth the £1 the book cost me. There are some writers you just never ever find in charity shops and Shirley Jackson is one of them. I have just finished We have Always Lived in The Castle and it has affected me deeply – what an amazing story, so funny and sad, bizarre and so true all at the same time.

Then on to Oxfam, Western Road for not one, not two but three Ray Bradbury paperbacks, all at a bargain 99p each.

RayBradburyRay Bradbury writes beautifully and I love his prose. Something Wicked This Way Comes is one of my favourite books that I can read and reread time and time again. I’ve not read any of the stuff above but have just started on the short stories  compiled in Golden Apples of the Sun – two that stand out for me so far are The Great Wide World Over There and The Fruit at the Bottom of the Bowl.

If that wasn’t enough bargain busting for one day I wander down to the Lanes where I spy this hardback in the window of Sandpiper books:

lordofavisibleworldOk so this isn’t secondhand but at £6.99 is a bargain none the less. Sandpiper specialise in remainder and bargain books with loads of those big coffee table type tomes, so fun to flick through on rainy afternoons, choc full of photos of anything and everything from arty sailors to modern architecture and antique charm bracelets to Andalusian equines. They also stock a wide range of books in specialist subjects and are always worth a browse. I’ve not seen this one much cheaper than £20 secondhand so to find it new for £6.99 is a treat indeed. They still have copies in stock last time I looked so get there quick if you want one.

Though HP Lovecraft is another one of my favourite authors and was a prolific letter writer, I’ve avoided reading much of his personal correspondence as the less you know about your heroes the better I think. But since being given his biography for Christmas my curiousity has been piqued; a lot of people who know much better than I do rate his life as having been a pretty tragic one whereas it didn’t sound too bad at all to me. Seems he enjoyed a sheltered, secluded life living off the missus and a small family inheritence, fuelled by strong cheese and coffee, free from the vicissitudes of regular employment – an introverts dream no less! Maybe learning more about his life in his own words will add insight so I am looking forward to tackling this selection of his letters and essays, some of which have never been published before.

Just a couple of doors away from Sandpiper is another Oxfam, this one selling nothing but books and records and guaranteed Werewolfofparisto have something worth buying, though their prices can be a little steep – but what the hey, it’s all for charidee. I spotted this – The Werewolf of Paris by Guy Endore and, though I didn’t know anything about this book or the writer, I have a thing for pictures of teeth so I had to buy it just for the cover – even though it was kind of pricey at £1.99.

One thing I love about secondhand books is the pieces of paper you find in them and there is a library type slip glued into the inside cover of this one from a place called Reads + Beads, Sant Bartomeu, Sitges. It appears to be some kind of book rental  co-operative and coincidently the last date stamped for this book to be due back is my birthday!

grimscribe

Well if that wasn’t enough for a fun filled afternoon shopping what did I spy when made my way to pay at the counter? Holy Guacamole Batman can this be true? For £1.50?!

I guess this makes up for the time I spotted Teattro Grottesco in the very same shop tucked away in the foreign language section but decided not to buy it as I had a copy borrowed from the library and hadn’t made up my mind whether I wanted one to keep all to myself or not. So I left it there, foolishly thinking it would be safe for a week or two but alas by the time I realised how fine the stories were it had gone….

Ho Hum – too many books, too little time – I feel a poem coming on.

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Phoenix Art Junky Indoor Market

Posted by Sara on July 14, 2009

Art-Junky-frontSunday June 28th – Still trying to fill the Sunday morning browsing gap left by the relocation of our beloved boot fair it was fun checking out the one day flea market down at Phoenix Brighton. This summer bazaar brought together a variety of affordable art and jewellery made by local artists as well an eclectic mix of stalls selling books, badges, buttons an’ bows and all things arty and junkalicious in between. With loads of interesting stalls to look through, some yummy home made refreshments on offer and all indoors so sheltered from the British summer, this ticked all the right boxes in the rummaging stakes.

artjunkyBest buy was this beautiful bracelet made by Lux & Love. Check out her web page for more precious jewels, voodoo gems, vintage and reclaimed jewellery.

House Pics 079And speaking of all things gorgeously Mexican, Voodoo and Gothic, check out Brighton artist Mahni Dare’s awesome props, puppetry and much more at Mahni-Monsta.com.

mahnimonsta

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Glassed

Posted by Sara on July 12, 2009

A new story has been added to our sister blog Shadows Time for the month of July. Called Glassed, this started out as an attempt at writing Flash Fiction but at 1,300+ words is still a little long winded.

I’ve also added some links to other stuff that’s been good to read lately. So enjoy!

glass

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Severn Beach

Posted by Sara on May 17, 2009

Even more desolate than a seaside town out of season is a seaside town that’s never in season, and the poem below about Severn Beach, once a popular seaside resort – alas no more – captures that sense of forsaken melancholy perfectly. This rather pensive piece of prose comes from our amazing Dominic – who has branched out with a blog of his own so check out: Poetry Shelf for more poems and discussion on all things lyrical.

Out on Severn Beach

Out on Severn Beach

The shingle feels the rain

set upon forgotten earth

away from all that’s sane,

the sky frustrates the light

dictating moods below

the bridges’ shadow casts across

that takes away the glow,

voices pass through the air

then descend in to the sea

nothing lasts to tell a soul

nor pass the words to me,

pity takes the evening

when the dormant sleep

for pity stalks the coastal path

where it earns its keep.

Dominic

 

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Rain

Posted by Sara on April 19, 2009

Rain falls upon us

the ground soaked beneath our feet;

lets hope the sun comes up.

by Dominic

rainbird

 

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Tuesday’s Child

Posted by Sara on March 24, 2009

tuesday1 It’s all getting a bit Night Gallery here at Thee Nook as we welcome all you art lovers to our next painting to introduce our next story…….

This little lady was painted about a year ago, on a canvas I had found on a skip -which I just started throwing ink at until her face appeared. I love the contrast of her beatific expression against the slashing violence of the ink splashes. I wanted to do the same with words and Tuesday’s Child was the result. Not sure I succeeded but I’m pleased with this story nonetheless. To read it visit our sister blog: Shadows Time.

closeup

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