Creative Writing Classes

I’m launching my first season of creative writing classes this winter.

I aim to start the classes around third week November, depending on numbers. The other way you can contact me to find out more is through my website contact form:
http://jakk1954.wix.com/johndodds#!contact/c1kcz

I will be covering: story creation, creating characters, dialogue, short and long forms of story, and more, plus elements of style for different genres – those who attend can choose their preferences. First season, 10 weeks. The objective is that everyone will complete at least one short story (2,500 to 5,000 words) and peer discussion on the work. I also aim to put the stories into an ebook anthology.

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A single-celled organism called Larry

Larry, a crew of cosplayers, a stray dog called Max and a bunch of insomniacs all feature in my new novel, out now for Amazon Kindle.

If you’re interested in reviewing, or rating and reviewing on Amazon and/or Goodreads, add a reply here and I will drop you a free copy.

Fcafe-insom-cover5ifty-something, struggling retro clothes shop owner Julie Bellwether has more than her fair share of problems. Not the least of them being insomnia. Still, she has the consolation of meeting kindred spirits in the Cafe Insomnia. Eccentrics, intellectuals, lovers, strangers, all converge here to find companionship, consolation or respite from their sleeplessness. But the Cafe proves to be a catalyst for a series of unstoppable events. Julie, a gamer geek, a homeless young woman, a judgemental best friend, a Rastafarian musical chef, and a unique stray dog called Max all collide in a serio-comic tale with shades of the The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, Calendar Girls, and perhaps even The Canterbury Tales. $3.10 / £1.99

Interview on Black Fox Literary Magazine

Black Fox MagazineA while back, Black Fox Literary Magazine got in touch to invite me for an interview. I was, of course, delighted that they had sought me out and asked such interesting questions. I especially enjoyed the one about whether any monkeys were involved.

You will find the interview on the Black Fox. I hope you will consider giving feedback, asking questions and generally supporting this excellent publication.

Under a Banner Rocks (or Folks)!

When I listened to Under a Banner’s free sampler, I felt I was hearing shades of The Smiths intermingled with Fairport Convention, The Saw Doctors and an indefinable other thing. In any case, I’m hooked by the music – which can be plangent or pumping, to suit different moods. I absolutely want to see them live.

The band, well known for their catchy and lyrical folkish rock anthems, have recently moved their sound into heavier territories.

“Our recent album Close to the Clouds hinted a bit at our more rocking direction”, remarks lead singer and guitarist Adam Broadhurst. “We’ve just gone that little step further this time.”

From the opening notes of the celtic-tinged Magic is Real to the Deep Purple-esque Leaving Here to the pumped up Foo-ish reinterpretation of fan favourite Summer Skies, every song is delivered with a drive, gusto and energy that is built for the live setting.

Get the sampler here. Better yet, go ahead an buy their albums.

 

 

Art Dolls an Italian experience

craftywoman

Travelling to Italy with doll making on my mind,

I stayed in a Magical Art House, my doll to find.

Butterfly exhibits, markets full of scarves,

Italian wine and cheese, Italians do nothing by halves.

Trip to Niki De Saint Phalle sculptures all around,

creativity, inspiration and the Empress crowned.

Now back in Scotland with an alchemists  haunt,

I place fabric and colour from my Italian jaunt.

Empress here she is The Empress of the park

Fountainlady on the mountainPENTAX ImageIMG_20150403_145439591_HDRIMG_20150404_104006754_HDRIMG_20150404_102726284IMG_20150404_102850106

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Between the Cracks: Interstitial Arts

InterIf, like me, you enjoy creative arts that fall between the cracks of conventions and genres, I’d like to recommend the Interstitial Arts Foundation, and their latest anthology, Interfictions 2.

The anthology showcases twenty-one writers from six countries.

From the Amazon book description: “Newcomers such as Alaya Dawn Johnson, Theodora Goss, and Alan DeNiro rub shoulders with established visionaries such as Jeffrey Ford (The Drowned Life), Brian Francis Slattery (Liberation), Nin Andrews (The Book of Orgasms), and M. Rickert (Map of Dreams). Also featured are works by Will Ludwigsen, Cecil Castellucci, Ray Vukcevich, Carlos Hernandez, Lavie Tidhar, Elizabeth Ziemska, Peter M. Ball, Camilla Bruce, Amelia Beamer, William Alexander, Shira Lipkin, Lionel Davoust, Stephanie Shaw, and David J. Schwartz. Colleen Mondor, of the well-known blog Chasing Ray, interviews the editors for the afterword. Henry Jenkins, ex-director of MIT’s Comparative Media Studies program and now a member of USC’s Annenberg School for Communication and School of Cinematic Arts, provides a fantastic introduction sure to set readers’ imaginations alight.”