Tattling A Greek Matinee March


Ψ 2022 March 28 At each check for current definition of Contemporary Fiction Literary Fiction Genre I find they subtlety change. And change country-to-country. I thought my ms Contemporary Fiction but I may be mistaken. The story is not set WorldWarII-ish. It’s set 2016. A Greek Matinée is contemporaneous with Greece’s 2016 economic difficulties, aftermath of the failed military-coup in Turkey, war in Syria and arrest of xxxxx xxxx xxxxx – no, I won’t give you a spoiler!

*But imagine my astonishment when this happened while I was on Greek soil! – I’d already plotted this into the story months and months before!

Nor is A Greek Matinée popcorn. And it’s not formulaic. Characters drive the story… And now I twitter.

And I’m holed-up trying to whittle 113,310 words to 110,000

Jump to main Manuscript Tattlings where you’ll find random Tattlings, The Romance, A Writer’s Prescription and A Surprise Discovery


Heavy Reading & Marshmallow

The Devil has all the best tricks

Today I was told I do some heavy reading. That made me pause. I suppose I do. Well, just look at the stuff in previous posts. But also I do marshmallow, as my daughter calls it and heaps between.

books heavy 400

This slither represents some of my books in the dining room. In the lounge and my “library” many, many more march on long shelves while others sprout up in stacks here and there.

Some of my favourite reads are Delia Owens Where the Crawdads Sing which made me cry, The Day Lasts More than a Hundred Years by Chingiz Aitmatov, of course Ioana Pârvulescu‘s Life Begins on Friday, Ovid’s Tristia and Ex Ponto… Oh gosh, I could go on. But, if I were relegated to a deserted island, these four books I would smuggle with me. I wonder if I could also slip in Péter Esterházy‘s books and Fyodor Dostoevsky‘s? I’d need several trunks me thinks.

Ahead of me I have heaps of reading recommended by several people who have kindly left comments (Thank You again) and from my own list. At present it’s a battle with reading, writing and pulling out weeds from my garden as heat and humidity make them think they should turn my yard into an impregnable jungle! The sea is too rough to even walk along the beach today.

Did I mention before Jack Faust (The Devil has all the best tricks…) by Michael Swanwick. As William Gibson says it’s “Madly ambitious and brilliantly executed, recasting the entire history of science in a wholly original version of our culture’s central myth of knowledge, power, and sorrow.”


SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome by Mary Beard (2015) – 2

This article by Simon of Books & Boots made me sit up. Some time ago, despite my deep interest in ancient history, I’d stopped watching documentaries presented by MB. Oddly, they’d left me somewhat irritated. Now I see that may well be due to points Simon has raised. Have you read or watched her work? What are your thoughts on this? Of course though, watching her programmes can provoke people to look more deeply into the subjects presented. And that’s a good thing.


Books & Boots

As I explained in my review of the introduction to SPQR, Beard is not very scholarly or intellectual. By not very scholarly I mean she sometimes mentions the scholarly debate over various issues but doesn’t take us into any detail (unlike Richard Miles in his history of Carthage who can’t come across a scholarly crux without explaining it at length, accompanied by copious, and often very interesting, footnotes and extensive references).

By not very intellectual I mean her book has few if any ideas, and no conceptual framework of analysis. She is addicted to asking lots of rhetorical questions, but that doesn’t make her an intellectual, it makes her a standard teacher using a standard teaching technique.

How far is it useful to see Roman history in terms of imperial biographies or to divide the story of empire into emperor-sized (or dynasty-sized) chunks? How accurate are the standard images…

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Expanding Our Brains Menu

Brain work and plunging into the deep with Aristophanes

 Expanding Our Brains  – bright fruit, leafy greens, walk and Aristophanes

 Expanding Our Brains iiMeta-Tags and the Ocean

 Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs Aristophanes Frogs Βάτραχοι. Don’t you just love him? – Brain Food

 Expanding Our Brains iv Ken  – a puzzle

 ♦ Jumping with Hoopsoh those Meta-Tags and Keywords – learning computer stuff

and of course there’s reading BOOKS    Book Hop

and learning to read Egyptian Hieroglyphs or a foreign language particularly with unfamiliar script like Greek, or translating books by Ioana Pârvulescu or Dostoevesky or Ovid!

So where does  Anna and Freg, and Saving My Olive in a Gale fit?

What are you doing to keep those little brain cells jumping?


My Genre

Identifying my Fiction Genre challenged me. Why? Had Computer Tags confused me such that a Cross-Over could be considered?


Literary Agents, Publishers, Retailers and Libraries (seem to) prefer one elected Genre although I note in earlier years often a book was catalogued with several Categories

I love the smell of books, the feel of them in my hands. And I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I marked with a satin ribbon.

Is multiple-cataloguing unique to non-fiction like Byron Akyanoglu’s The Taste of Honey, Peter Thompson’s Pacific Fury, Sandra Lee’s The Promise?

But Rafik Schami’s fiction, The Calligrapher’s Secret, lists four Categories.

p38 4bks BA PF SL RF

I suppose that came with reading mountains of non-fiction. And then, coming to grips with Tags for Posts!

For A Greek Matinée, I had chosen Contemporary Fiction as the Genre (noted in my post Contemporary Fiction, Genre – A Perspective, and considering A Greek Matinée ) while I was immersed in early stages of creating my manuscript. Then I changed it to include sub-categories! Now I’m back to Contemporary Fiction. Keep it simple! However, A Greek Matinée is Literary Fiction.

The story is set in contemporary times with characters who are thrown together on a journey, swivelling through personal and social problems. Boundaries were extended as the main character became enthralled by mythology and legends. To her the figures and creatures are very real so as she sees them, those ancient characters face their own difficulties and complications.

Computerisation? Tags? Meta-tags? Reading a book on a luminous screen? Every day life becomes more complicated. Eyes glue to screens. Bums get bigger. Sadly hours spent browsing in sizeable establishments with books shelved floor to ceiling are fast becoming a thing of the past. But,

I love the smell of books. The feel of them in my hands.

I can turn pages back to a great turn of phrase or idea I’d marked with a satin ribbon; keep my finger where a map clearly shows where the story has moved to like in Harry Sidebottom’s Warrior of Rome (“a rollicking page-turner”), Christian Cameron’s Tyrant series (great action story) and Giles Milton’s White Gold– all great reads and the non-fiction Along the Enchanted Way by William Blacker.

p38b 4bks HS CC GM WB

But soon, I’ll enter a magical bookshop in Romania, Cărturești Carusel (http://carturesticarusel.ro) located in the Old Town (Strada Lipscani 55, București 030033) — “The prettiest bookshop in Romania”   — a restored 19th Century building confiscated during the Communist Period but in 1990 returned to the Chrissoveloni family who were in  possession of it in 1903. The bookshop spreads over six levels totaling 1000sqm. It is open 1000-2200. What a great idea the late closing hour for booklovers! That’ll be when the world recovers from the present crisis. I was booked to go early 2020. Then all flights and stuff of course were postponed.

Keep safe everybody. Love and respect is key.

And now it’s 2021. Still the world trembles and we’re not permitted overseas travel. We’re, rightly for our protection, locked in our state. Oh yes, we can travel to NSW or Victoria where their cases of the dread disease are skyrocketing, but we will not be able to get back into Queensland our home – without rare special permits, lengthy delays, seemingly never… and if we are lucky to cross borders, we’re whipped, rightly, into quarantine. Those southerners are not allowed in. How lovely for us to go to a restaurant, meet with friends. Sip coffee together. Walk on the beach.

December 17 2021. Border with NSW opens. I don’t think this a good idea. We’ve been so lucky to be relatively free of the problems down south.

2022 January. Now we too are stressed, overstretched, masked and trying to keep safe. How long can we hold our breath? And extraordinary weather events beset us – as is happening in the northern hemisphere. Has Earth finally reached the end of it’s tether? Retaliating for our not looking after it better?


Expanding Our Brains iv Ken

No swimming today. Instead, banana with a Ken challenge: 1 to 6. I found this scribbled on a scrap of paper from yonks ago. Can you master it? Given number with operator is the result of your input within heavy outlined cell group; each full line / column must contain 1 to 6 in any order with no repeats.

Ken 1-6

Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs

Aristophanes Frogs Βάτραχοι. Don’t you just love him? A daily dose of his wit and humour, and trying to digest Kenneth Dover’s commentary on his lines surely is Brain-Expanding – especially taking in explanations and finer points of some translations. I’ve tried to learn to read Ancient Greek but a mighty big brain expansion has to manifest for me to do so with any fluidity. So it’s back into the ocean I’ll go and eat apples, oranges and choy sum. And my Brain Food: bananas.

Expanding Our Brains ii

Ah! Perhaps today my brain truly is expanding! After a lovely swim in the ocean…

Ah! Perhaps today my brain truly is expanding! After a lovely swim in the ocean, I tried to digest about meta-tags. They’re those secret words in the html code specifically designed for search engines. I do wonder however, if I’ve got them right! But I had a great swim. The ocean’s calmed. And today, absolutely heavenly. I even managed fifty strokes against the current and easy fifty with it. Backstroke: I have to keep my eyes peeled in case the Hydra – `Υδρα – comes, you know, that nine-headed water-serpent monster-offspring of Poseidon and Ekhidne; in case Herakles’ penance has not been entirely detailed, his penance for killing his wife and children in a fit of madness conspired by the vengeful queen of heaven, Great Goddess, Hera, wife and sister of mighty Zeus. But hey, the water was gorgeous with good breaks between waves which I tried to body-surf – except for the ones kids screamed, yelled and bellowed out (depending on age), ‘No! No! (scream) Under! Under!’ Gulp. Plunge. Crest high. True fun in the sun.

Expanding Our Brains

Brain work and plunging into the deep with Aristophanes

How many times are we told to Expand Our Brain? Exercise, eat a balanced diet, exercise, eat brightly coloured fruit, leafy greens, walk….. Walk? Not run? Yes, walk, and under right load: small backpack with water, sunscreen and an apple. That’s good for the bones, I’m admonished. But walk? Not run as if training for a marathon, er, even half-marathon as my daughter does. You see, I’m not young. In fact my doc graciously tells me, ‘You have to face it, you’re old.’

Oh, I see. But hey, I can plunge into the ocean and do battle with “cheeky remnants of cyclones” and two days later in “hairy conditions – don’t go beyond waist-deep.” Good God! On Thursday I was bowled out for a six by sand-papered backwashes only thigh high – no hiding in white trousers there. Scrambled to my feet, gamely I plunged through and on dumpers which sent teenagers screaming. Surely that was brain expanding! beyond shrinking in fright! Then I too took flight away from rolling monsters bent on ripping off an arm or my head….. and just in case that expansion was zapped, I munched a bright red apple and read another chapter about Aristophanes Frogs.

PS: and now 2020, my daughter does Ultra-Marathons!

Expanding Our Brains ii    Expanding Our Brains iii Frogs   Expanding Our Brains iv Ken   Time for a Cuppa    Welcome Winter – a Poem!    Spiders Chasing

And what about trying this yummy-fluffy: Recipe Moussaka


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