Thursday, 23 April 2015

If you go down to the woods today - #Bluebells #poetry #video pic.twitter.com/kq9vFPaOJP

Oh to be in England
Now that April's there.....

So begins the famous poem Home Thoughts, From Abroad  by Robert Browning, written in 1845 when he was feeling homesick in Italy. It is a lovely poem and I have always taken pleasure from poems of Nature. One of the few "arty" things I learned at school was the poem "Daffodils" by William WordsworthIn later life as a wannabee poet I discovered the words of John Clare and wept with frustration at my dullness. These days what poetry I have I secrete in my novels like a pinch of mono-sodium glutamate among the stir fried bean sprouts of new love. (Guess what I've been cooking for dinner?)

It was a release to get away from the office and go to the Bluebell woods at Mottisfont in Hampshire. I took my camera and tried to capture the crushing fragility of such beauty. All I could think of was the poem by Oscar Sparrow entitled simply "Bluebells"So much of our longing as humans comes down to a need to hold on and endure. Humble flowers with their immense beauty and perfume fade before our eyes and we cannot hold them any more than we can hold ourselves on the shingle shores of Time. And yet in poetry we can pass on a few moments that in the act itself of sharing, flower over and over as seeds, roll over and over as waves, kiss over and over as innocent lovers: as if no bloom before had offered such beauty or no lips before had ever known the joy of the kiss.

These were my feelings when I first read Oscar Sparrow's poem. Putting away all the bawdy splash and dash of selling the stuff and beating the drum which is a novelist's/publisher's life, I was in those woods - trying to hold back Time, trying to breathe in the blue. 

Emma thinx: Memory is your portrait. Select your poses to paint you







Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Putting Some #Free Love And Sex On Your Tablet pic.twitter.com/QP68aAdQV #romance




Cop on the cover - definitely NOT undercover!


I could not believe my ears. I was driving along listening to "Woman's Hour " on the BBC radio. The presenter announced the result of the latest official sex survey in the UK. People are having less and less sex! They are having less sex than in Victorian times which was before evolution had provided polite ladies with any orgasmic bits. (Didn't they have hands or curiosity?)

 The official reason is that the tablet and the smart phone are our true love mates. We even play with them in bed. The result is that on average folk are doing it THREE TIMES A MONTH. 

Now, without shocking you with my domestic survey stats I feel I can speak as an active writer of Romantica. The production process requires a fair bit of imaginative role play. Serious academic literary critics call this unashamed erotic fantasy. You can imagine the state of me at the end of a hard day. Three times a month wouldn't get me through a couple of scrappy chapters of drugs, crime and car chases. I've always wondered why writing about sex makes me feel sexy but writing about burglary doesn't make me want to steal other people's televisions.

At once I realised something had to be done. I had to save the British nation from further decline. I knew it would be impossible to convince lovers not to take their digital devices to bed. Of course the answer was simple; supply everyone with a free copy of  Passion Patrol 2. It wouldn't be long before the manhood of Britain would rise up and the ladies would lie back and think of England as they did in the time of sexy Queen Victoria. 

And, if you believe the reviews it's a thumping good tale of action, crime, love and sexual pleasure set in the crucible of race, class and wealth of modern Britain.



Emma Thinx: The idea of free love is for those who've never loved.






Thursday, 16 April 2015

French Resistance - a nation of #bookshops against the world

A book shop - a true symbol of modern French Resistance
In France there are book shops.  In England a few still cling on but they are hard to find. Whilst the French have embraced much of the out of town retail centre/shopping mall culture, the book trade is still in independent hands. The sale of books online lags far behind the UK and The USA. A few Parisian sophistogauls possess Kindles but I suspect even they read e books about propagating chic organic cucumbers in their attics.

Eventually I plucked up courage to enter my local "librairie". After all, I am Anglaise and so are my books. I imagined they would not be impressed by some Femme Franglaise swaggering in to anounce myself as the only International Number One Best Seller of female fantasm in the village. So - I took in some respectable material - my series of children's books and of course some serious poetry which I publish at Gallo-Romano media. I met a wonderful French lady.

"No one buys poetry or children's books," she said, selecting instead the crime soaked oversexed romance which is my more worldly genre. "There are many English in the region - this is the stuff they like," she assured me. Obviously  she knows what appeals to the daring fantasy follicles of the Anglo Saxon lady.

The bookshop "Le Passage des Heures" is a little marvel. Books on The Forgotten Vegetables of France lounge casually on the shoulder of Emile Zola. The place is adorable for a book groupie like me. We talked about the price of my books. I mentioned Amazon. A Gallic eyebrow shot out the roof of the building. Seemingly, the affairs of Amazon are of no interest. 

"We resist!" said the lady. 


A Corner of a foreign fenetre that is whatever Emma
Indeed they do. France is still a very foreign country - no matter where you are from. Being French is a talent and I will never be equal to it. Generally they understand how awful it is to be foreign and are very kind. As a result there is a bookshop in Saint Savinien with my books in the window. Merci beaucoup.  Eat your heart out Waterstone's. 


Emma Thinx: Foreign - a land of fear, spice and possibility. 











Friday, 10 April 2015

Give A #Dog A #Free Home - http://t.co/bWCW8z7aMy 11-13th April Amazon Worldwide

You can't drive a better bargain than free!
There is a long tradition of novelists taking real characters and turning them into literary figures. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond, Severus Snape, Indiana Jones, Dorian Gray and Alf The Workshop Dog were all based on real people .....and a dog of course. 

If you want to check out the real Alf  FOR FREE you will able to see him live by using the interactive features in Alf The Workshop Dog which goes free on 11th, 12th and 13th April.

In the story Alf the homeless mutt helps out at a Bus depot workshop by finding tools and sniffing out waste food on a fleet of buses. Do I hear you saying "Aah - poor thing".  Well, here's your chance to give a dog a home and learn the whole story. 


Emma thinx: Police dogs work on leads.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Crows' Feet And Pasta - a menu for #Spring pic.twitter.com/2bhpJQYJ6n

Prima Rosa - yes the first rose. It is indeed the Spring and where there was nothing, suddenly there are primroses. Suddenly I draw them in through my senses and into my pagan soul. The crows fight savagely over sticks with which to build their nests. I get up at dawn to boil pasta to provide my noble scavengers with a romantic novelist's breakfast. I love these birds. I think I worship them. In my children's story Alf The Workshop Dog, all the wisdom of the world is stored in the crows. They are the default battery  on the motherboard of consciousness. (Did you ever wonder if digital language just has to reflect inescapable symmetries by way of metaphor and semi conductor?)

My friend H.B.
They have watched our futile struggles from the high trees since the dawn of conscious time. They have the DNA of dinosaurs, the politics of parliaments, the sheen of pimps, the stab of spike and claw, the stamp of merciless truth. Regular readers will recognise the photo of HB, my court favourite. Last week he showed up for breakfast bedraggled and desperate with hunger, only able to half hop on one leg. The others crows attacked him - such is the nature of the universe. I moved in close and for a moment he looked me in the eye. The other birds retreated or flapped off. He held my gaze and ate on. I circled keeping the others at bay. Finally he had eaten his fill. He took off back to his nest and fed some food to his mate. 

For the next two days he came, limping but stronger. He flew close by me before landing almost at my feet. Rivals moved in and he seemed to check me out for complicity. The others stayed away while he ate his Walmart fusilli and dog meat mash. Oooh, I'm a right cordon bleu you know!


Stark, stark. My kind has watched your species and bared your bones
Yesterday and today he has stayed up in his nest. He seems to be feeding on some agricultural land to the south of me. He has always been one to avoid the crush and shemozzle.  I watch him. He sat on my TV aerial while I hung out some washing. He watches me. He is still a bit lame but coping. He seems to have eggs in the nest. This universe has no mercy but it does support intelligence and the will to survive. Maybe just this once I have made a tiny tiny difference. Just maybe, beyond all the falseness of words and the dynamics of physics, some glue of friendship has some moral gravity or some value.

Emma Thinx: Friendship is an island. Ditch the swimming lesson.







Thursday, 19 March 2015

Breath In #Venice - The Living Flesh Of Imagination In Stone pic.twitter.com/ulZHBV9B5K #minibreak

There's no place like Dome

Venice. Yes, that one word says it all. If only I had words to say what that one word says. Maybe I'll just put up some pictures. Let me explain.
Main Street

I went to Venice - just popped over. You see there are people in Cybersales who know about me and watch me. They know the swivel of my eyes and the recycle bin shameful lusts of my browser history. I should be worried about surveillance and privacy shouldn't I? Someone out there in the ethos of commercial ether knew that if they sent me an e mail offer of a couple of nights in Venice for the price of a B&B with a pint of warm beer in Grimethorpe, I'd be the sort of lush, decadent credit abusing floozy who'd sign up. So, I got out the plastic fantastic, explained to airport security that there was indeed a terrorist's dream of
Venice  in night time perspective

metal support in my bra and uplifted myself to a place where I'd only ever been in my books. It just didn't seem fair that Earl Spencer and hot cop Shannon had shared Venetian love in Passion Patrol 2 and I had not!

Many of you will have been there. If you have, you are still there at any moment the name comes back to you. If you have not, then it will be Disneyed away in your helpless dreams. Of course there is the sadness that it could all be swept away. The Mose project is nearly ready to provide gates to hold back the sea. The quaysides are being raised. Collectively as a world we cannot let this go. Moses, Noah, King Canute and I will not allow it!

The above is a short clip of my coffee at the borrowed edge of time. Oh thank you credit card limit. Thank you Venice. Thank you spirit of magic that inspired this place.

Emma Thinx: The hardest thing about the possible is to imagine it.








Sunday, 15 March 2015

Date with The Devil: London,Venice, Paris, Milan, New York...SWANSEA! pic.twitter.com/79xO0Qfrww @SwanseaOpera #Opera


The devil is in the coat tails
If you can't do it big - then do it close. After a lifetime of trying to come up with some sort of artistic philosophy, the past week presented me with this vital truth ready wrapped. Should I get the chance to be a movie director, I now have a plan - or at least something to say in my oscar acceptance speech.

I got back from Venice in the early hours of Friday morning. Although exhausted I was still floating on water and the magical performance by "La Musica A Palazzo" of Grand Opera love duets  in the splendid setting of the Palazzo Barbarigio-MinottoIn essence the rooms of the palazzo become the stage and the audience gets to share the love up close. Well, how else would you want it?

I was in Venice following in the footsteps of Spencer and Shannon from Passion Patrol 2. As I crank up the keyboard on Passion Patrol 3 I wanted to recapture the mood. I'm still not sure where our hot cop lovers will find the romance button. It's possible it could be Swansea.

So, with Venice just a few ripples behind my Ryan Air bus ride, I was at the Theatre Royal in Winchester, Hampshire, UK. The occasion was the performance of "Faust" by the Swansea City Opera. Wow! Wow! what a show it was. Of course there are famous massive productions by Covent Garden, New York Met' and the Opéra National de Paris. 

As a travelling show in often smaller venues the stars are already philosophically closer to the audience. The Theatre Royal is a gorgeously intimate space. The cast filled the evening with drama, melody and music; experienced as a fellow mortal rather than an audience. I'm not a music critic but to me the harmonies and pacing were fabulous. Everyone gave it full power and maximum stagecraft - you sure don't always get that in opera. Méphistophélès was disturbingly appealing. (Hah! As if you could tempt me with  youth and worldly pleasure?). Mind you, Hakan Vramsmo who
 http://www.guyharrop.com/
played the part of Valentin, could inspire a handsome hero in my next Passion Patrol novel. It's pure talent to be a hunk when you're on the floor dying and singing. 


At the end I was up on my feet. Two days later I'm still alive with the buzz of it. The show is out on tour now. Click here for dates and venues. Go on - do whatever you have to do to get a seat, even if it means doing a deal with the devil. The pleasure will be worth it.


Emma thinx: If the devil is buying you, keep things familiar. Offer him a pay day loan.