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The Eleventh Film – Flash Fiction Serial Parts I & II


The Eleventh Film – A Flash Fiction Serial Part I Auguste and Louis Lumière put on the world’s first public film screening. It took place on December 28th 1895 at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. Eleven short films were on the bill that night. Only ten films are listed for posterity. The eleventh film was called The View of Pazuzu returning to the World. It was a desert scene, with a half-buried broken statue and a sandstorm. It ran for five-eighths of a second. It was not noticed by the audience. Part II It was actually Georges Méliès who first saw the angels and charted their progress as they moved like sainted bees. And ever since then we have tried to speak to them. But how can y...
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Is this post a nothingburger?

OED
Last month, the Oxford English Dictionary went through one of its regular updates – this time adding 350 new words to the English language. Words, that is, that have established themselves in the spoken language for long enough to be used widely, if infrequently, (or regularly among specific groups) but have not featured in the dictionary before. Many of these words reflect changes in three spheres: music, films, and politics. First, a new word in musical circles. Fam, which originally appeared in the English language in the sixteenth century as an abbreviation for family. Fam then fell into disuse other than as a colloquialism, had a brief resurgence in the 1990s as a slang term in American...
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New Release - The Journey from Death into Life


MillerWords is proud to announce the first new release of this holiday season! The Journey from Death into Life by Freida Edwards About the book: Nothing can prepare you for the profound grief and sorrow you will feel at the loss of a loved one. Only God can provide the help, comfort, and strength needed to recover and feel whole again. Through his serene words of consolation and reassurance, a spectacular transformation from heartbreak to peace and tranquility can heal your soul and change your life completely. About the author: Freida Edwards grew up in the small southern town of Mineral Springs, NC. She was a teacher for 31 years in the local school system. She was an avid caregiver to he...
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Names As Food For Thought?

Shoulder of lamb
What’s in a name? As Shakespeare said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” However, the growing number of vegetarians and vegans has given some pub and restaurant proprietors a little concern about what to call their establishments. The owners of the Shoulder of Mutton pub in York, for example, felt that name might be deterring non-meat-eaters, so have changed it to Heworth Inn. (I haven’t asked if trade has subsequently picked up or not). Using that logic Devil’s Beef Tub in Moffat, Scotland (named in reference to the cattle thieves who used to hide their stolen animals in the adjacent hollow in the hills) may want to consider a name change. Some meaty sounding place names are ...
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The Welcome Stranger – Flash Fiction


The Welcome Stranger [Barnaby Taylor, 2018] Two pints, says Mepham as he walks in the door. Billy is already there. And Stu. Make it three, Mepham says as he spots the boys playing pool. How’s it going, lads, he says as he walks over. Billy is lining up a shot. Red ball, centre pocket, he says though he doesn’t need to. Just hit it, says Stu. And hurry up. Stu is always in a bad mood. It doesn’t matter what you do, he always see the bad in things. Billy isn’t so bad. A couple of pints and he likes a laugh. But Stu can be wearing if you are not careful. Mepham stands next to Billy. He puts the pints on the ledge by the mirror. Mepham goes to light a cigarette. His phone lights up. The text me...
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Swimming in Circles.

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I like swimming. Next to taking the dog for a walk it is my most regular form of exercise – certainly way ahead of house-work and gardening. So I took more than a passing Ross Edgley swimming past the white cliffs of Dover, SE England interest in the adventures of Ross Edgley who recently swam round the whole of mainland Great Britain. This prompted features in some papers about him ‘circumnavigating’ the country. These articles subsequently prompted letters pointing out that he could not have circumnavigated the country unless he had been in a boat which required navigating skills. What he had achieved was the circumnatation of the country (Latin circa – around, natatatio – swimming). The u...
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Betrumped – a word, not a political move!

cat-caterwauling
Edward Allhusen likes words, particularly words that roll round in the mouth and have a quaint, unfamiliar ring to them. He is a retired publisher and has devoted years of his life to ‘rescuing’ words he feels have a special place in the English language, but are in danger of dying out through lack of use. In his recently published book Betrumped (which means cheated or deceived) he lists what he describes as a personal selection of now unfamiliar words, or words that have changed their meaning over the past few hundred years. Some of the words listed are words I still use occasionally. Defenestrate, for example, meaning the act of throwing someone out of the window (from the Latin, fenestra...
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VIRO Book Four – Work in Progress

VIRO Book Four
Hi Everyone I thought I would give you all an update on the VIRO series. What started as a few scratchy notes while I was on holiday two years in Portugal has now become a fascinating experiment in independent publishing. Book One was launched in March 2018 and has been at Number One in the Amazon chart since May. It is currently free for download for Kindle and this has been an enormous help in getting the book some attention. Book One has currently been downloaded from Amazon 766 times. This is very encouraging. Book One is also currently available for download at Smashwords as well and 84 copies have been dowloaded to date. Book Two was launched in May 2018 and has been very well received...
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Where did the term Music Hall come from?

music hall 2
I can remember watching ‘The Good Old Days’ on my grandparents’ back and white TV, later upgraded to colour. This was a programme of popular songs from the nineteenth and early twentieth century, screened in front of a live audience, who arrived dressed up in Edwardian clothes and were encouraged to join in. Joining in the singing was part of the old music hall tradition, a tradition that started in the public houses of the 1850s. Around this time landlords – always on the look-out for ways to sell more drinks – started to notice that on the evenings when certain singers came into the pub more drinkers would choose that evening to come in as well, so that they got a drink and a bit of entert...
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Remembering the First World War.

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It’s a hundred years ago today that the First World War ended, and there are memorials taking place around the world to mark this. Many families were affected by the death or serious injuries (mental and physical) of the young men who fought for King and Country. The traditional role of women was also changed by the war as they left their homes to support the war effort, and brought up families single-handed. True, they were expected to meekly return to the kitchen once the men came home, but the genie was out of the bottle, and the vote and greater independence – both socially and in work –  followed. Language was changed too, and phrases coined by the men at the front came into common usag...
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The Entry Word (2018) – Flash Fiction

glitch 1
Not you too, Paul Hewson, I said to myself.  The images were grainy. The glasses gave him away. It was snowing in the footage. The garage forecourt was empty. Bono was talking on what looked like a Mobira Cityman 900. 183 x 43 x 79 mm. Those things have a total weight of 760g. They were nicknamed ‘Gorba’ in Finland because Mikhail Gorbachev used one during a press conference in 1987. Who would be on the other end of a phone like that? And what would be said? I could only imagine. Original link
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The Origins of English

Early man
Where did the English language come from, and why do we mostly  speak English in the UK and the USA? I can’t answer the last question, but here is a brief summary of how English evolved from an unknown group of speakers living somewhere unspecified over 15,000 years ago.  Around 14-15,000 years ago, their language evolved into three: distinct versions: New Guinea; Sino-Tibetan (which gave rise to Chinese), and Nostratic. Nostratic carried on evolving in different regions and, about 10,000 years ago, became what have been termed Afro-Asiatic (Hebrew and Arabic), Dravidian, and Eurasiatic. Fast (?) forward around another 5,000 years and we have Eurasiatic dividing into Altaic, Uralic (the sour...
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VIRO Book Three NOW available in paperback and for download

9781999633240
Hello Everyone I am thrilled to announce that Book Three in the VIRo series has recently been launched and is available for purchase online and in all good bookshops. The series is going from strength to strength and as of this morning the Kindle version of Book One is still Number One in the Amazon chart. If you want to see what all the fuss is about then why not get your FREE copy of Book One  here .   Original link
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Life in the Margins.

Dracula 1
We’re marking Halloween, and things that go bump in the night, in this blog today, albeit in a literary fashion. Whilst the kids are out tricking and treating, grown-ups might prefer to curl up in the warm with a good, scary, book. And none better than Bram Stoker’s Dracula. In the 1890s, Stoker was the manager of the Lyceum Theatre in London. He liked writing in his spare time, but most of his writing was un-researched, spur of the moment, stuff that was regarded as unreadable by any who saw his manuscripts. It was different with Dracula. For this book he regularly popped round to the London Library and ended up reading about forty books before putting pen to paper. We know this because he ...
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Marmite – Spread the Word!

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Everyone has heard of Marmite – everyone in the UK, that is. I’m not sure if it is so popular elsewhere in the world. For those who aren’t in the know, Marmite is a yeast and vegetable extract that is used as a spread in sandwiches or on toast. It can also be added to stews etc. for extra flavouring. What people, including those in the UK, may not realise is that the word comes from marmite – a large cooking pot, or the soup cooked within such a pot. (Marmite is French for casserole, or pot). Presumably – and I’m guessing here – the soup was full of vegetables and very flavoursome. Hence its adoption as the name for the spread. I quite like the taste of Marmite, but I don’t have very strong ...
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‘The Eleventh Film’ – Netflix Pitch #1

devil 1
What does the silver screen screen? It screens me from the world it holds – that is, makes me invisible. And it screens that world from me – that is, screens its existence from me. Stanley Cavell, The World Viewed   The Eleventh Film The first public film screening organised by Auguste and Louis Lumière took place on December 28th 1895 at the Salon Indien du Grand Café in Paris. Eleven short films were on the bill that night. Each film was 17 meters long, which, when hand cranked through a projector, ran approximately 50 seconds. Only ten films are listed for posterity. La Sortie de L’Usine Lumière à Lyon (Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory ) (46 seconds)Le Jardinier (L’Arroseur Arrosé) (Th...
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Meet author – Debbie De Louise

debbie
Debbie De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a public library on Long Island. She is a member of International Thriller Writers, Sisters-in-Crime, the Long Island Authors Group, and the Cat Writer’s Association. She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long Island University. Her novels include the three books of the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series published by Solstice Publishing: A Stone’s Throw , Between a Rock and a Hard Place *** , and Written in Stone . Debbie has also published a romantic comedy novella featuring a jewel heist caper, When Jack Trumps Ace , a paranormal romance, Cloudy Rainbow , and has written articles and short stories fo...
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One up for the apostrophe!

Cornwall
We have discussed the use and misuse of the apostrophe before on this blog. In brief, is should generally be used to show possession or a missing letter, and it should not be used to show that a word is plural or between a date and an ‘s’ – as (not) in ‘during the 1980’s, mobile phone’s were almost unheard of.’) The use and misuse of apostrophes keeps grammarians in a constant state of alert, if not agitation – see Simon Griffin’s book F***ing Apostrophes. But they don’t usually attract the attention of local politicians, going about their official business. Unless that is, they are hoping to represent one of the newly formed districts in Cornwall UK. Ninety minutes were put aside for counci...
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VIRO Book Three available NOW – ‘an apocalyptic Famous Five’


VIRO – The Trilogy now available A virus has destroyed the world. Families are torn apart. Will Jake find his missing mum? Or will he just become another VIRO? REVIEWS FOR THE VIRO SERIES ‘Powerful and poignant, VIRO packs a punch.’ ‘Sad and haunting, VIRO is a new take on the zombie genre.’ ‘Absolutely thrilling. I loved every page more than the previous, to the point that I couldn’t stop reading.’ ‘Highly recommend this series to anyone who enjoys zombie stories.’ ‘I was left on the edge of my seat when I finished the book with a thirst for more adventure!’ ‘ Having Read Falcon Boy and VIRO, it was with eager anticipation that I started to read VIRO II. Barnaby Taylor has a daring and rich...
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Meet Author – Donna Alice Patton

donna-alice-patton-1
 Donna Alice Patton is a gardening enthusiast from the Midwest who has won numerous trophies and ribbons for her flowers and vegetables. In the winter, when she can’t play in the dirt, she soothes her creativity by writing instead. She’s the author of five books for children including: Saddle Up!  – based on a real-life California horse camp, and a finalist in the 2017 Silver Spur Awards from the Western Writers of America, as well as Snipped in the Bud: A Tale from the Garden of Mysteries.  What is the title of your latest book? The Mystery in the Maze – Book Two in the Maggie and Em series. When a friend tells them about an overgrown maze and a missing treasure in gold coins, the twins are...
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