Lockdown reading: 21 April – 20 May

Some reading recommendations from The Learning Professor.


North York Moors


James Baldwin, The Devil Finds Work

Mike Dennis, The Stasi: Myth and reality

William Atkins, The Moor: Lives, landscape, literature


Alice Munro, The View from Castle Rock

Antti Tuomainen, The Man who Died

Graham Greene, Stamboul Train

Sujata Massey, Die Tote im Badehaus

Doris Lessing, Landlocked

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Common Fiction Writing Mistakes

If you want to write fiction, try to avoid making these mistakes!

Nicholas C. Rossis

Writing Passion | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

I came across a nice thread on Quora (here and here) about common mistakes in fiction. I am sharing here the ones that I agreed with. I found particularly interesting to see which mistakes different people mentioned, as many of them contradicted each other. This makes perfect sense to me: reading is a highly personal experience. That’s why I agree with Mary Gentle that there is only one sign that a novel is bad:

You’re reading the novel. You put it down. Somehow, you never pick it up again.

That’s it.

But it’s a highly personal thing and we can’t generalize. There are books that have made all the mistakes below and I’d still enjoy reading.

Having said all that, here are some of the most common mistakes mentioned:

Info dump

This is most common in fantasy and sci-fi. Just dumping enormous amounts of facts and history on…

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Colette McCormick is my Uncomplicated Guest Author

Four books to check out from a County Durham author.

Jane Risdon

Please welcome fellow Headline Accent author Colette McCormick author of An Uncomplicated Man and three other wonderful books, as my delightful guest.

Let’s find out about Colette and her life:

Colette was born and bred in Sheffield but now calls Co Durham home after living there for almost four decades. As well as writing books, Colette has worked as a retail manager in the charity sector for almost twenty years, firstly with Cancer Research UK and currently with Barnardo’s.

As well as writing, Colette loves cooking, gardening, and taking long walks in the gorgeous countryside that surrounds the village she lives in. She has been married for almost forty years, has two grown-up sons and a daft dog.

And now to the nitty-gritty – her writing in her ownwords:

Dream job? Not really.

As a child who enjoyed writing and had a dream of having just one published, you’d…

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The Droving (2020): A Simmering Start to Sizzling Summer Cinema

As I have a personal interest in this film I am very happy to share this excellent review!

Christine's Cinema Corner

(Theatrical Poster from Rubicon Films/IMDb)

With everything that is going on nowadays, we all wish that there was a sense of normalcy in our lives: visiting friends, hanging out in shopping malls, eating out, and–what I miss the most–going to the movies, especially to watch the upcoming summer blockbuster season! However, as we are all adjusting (or have completely settled LOL) our lives to watch movies through streaming sites, I would like to suggest that you give The Droving (2020) a moment of your time to start off your summer horror movie vibes.

I personally thank Rubicon Films for reaching out to me to review their wonderful, indie film production! You guys did a fabulous job on this film and I look forward to seeing more of your works in the future! #SupportIndieFilm

My Quick Summary

Martin (Daniel Oldroyd) is a military family man. He especially cherishes his bond with…

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Is Ingram-Lightning the Future of Publishing?

Will Covid-19 make print on demand even more attractive for publishers?

Nicholas C. Rossis

The other day, I came across an eye-opening article through The Passive Guy. Veteran publishing consultant Mike Shatzkin was describing the ways that the Coronavirus is changing the publishing industry. Among his main takeaways is that supply chains have been so disrupted by the Coronavirus that main publishers are turning to Print-On-Demand (POD) printers like Ingram-Lightning to ensure delivery of their titles.

Print on Demand | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books

Is Print-On-Demand (POD) the future of publishing?

The Coronavirus simply speeds up a trend that had been ongoing for years. There are many reasons why publishers may find POD solutions cost-effective and efficient.

Think of all the costs including the salaries and benefits of staff associated with:

  1. printing,
  2. order-taking,
  3. shipping to a warehouse,
  4. warehousing,
  5. order fulfillment,
  6. shipping orders from the warehouse to store,
  7. shipping and restocking
  8. costs of returns,
  9. crediting and paying bookstores for returns,
  10. bookstore and bookchain bankruptcies,
  11. dealing with stock involved in the…

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Rise Up! : Sign Language Version

Reblogging for a blogging friend, beetleypete.


My step-daughter Emma works here in Norfolk in a school for children with special educational needs. Because of Coronavirus, she is currently working from home on teaching projects. She decided to use her sign language skills to help and inspire the kids at the school, many of whom have great problems with communication. She worked hard to create a sign language version of the popular and inspiring song, ‘Rise Up!’

I don’t normally make such requests, but on this occasion I am asking all of you, wherever you live, to share this blog post on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and on any other social media platform you are a member of.

Sign language is international. and so many people trapped at home during the current lockdown may be thrilled and inspired by Emma’s video. Let them know it will all be over soon, and that one day they will ‘Rise Up’…

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The Farmers Market

A sensible approach to shopping has been adopted in Tasmania.

Tasmanian Discoveries

Every Sunday morning hundreds, if not thousands, of people descend on Bathurst St in the centre of Hobart at the Farm Gate Market where local producers from small holdings bring their freshly picked or caught produce.

However, with the constraints of the Corona virus, there was a moment when the market might be closed down permanently. Obviously this would penalise growers, meat producers and fishermen and it would penalise members of the community who like their food to be local (carbon emissions reduction) and like their food grown without pesticides and fungicides, and grown with love and care. After the Easter Sunday market was cancelled, it was reinstated the following Sunday with many new procedures in place.

That day I walked from the eastern shore into the city and, as I passed along Bathurst St heading towards the market, I could see a couple of blocks in the distance, a…

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