Writing for childen as simple as bringing them up!

Ursula Le Guin book cover(Adapted from first post: April 25, 2012)

On Twitter … Nick Cook quotes fantasy and science fiction author Ursula Le Guin on writing for children: “Sure, it’s simple, writing for kids. Just as simple as bringing them up!”  I was minded to find the context for the comment. It was was new to me, and Rosemary did not have children, just her appallingly untrained dogs, but I imagined she would have agreed.

Mind you, Rosemary Sutcliff did firmly resist using the word ‘kids’ for children; a kid, she used to say to me, is a young goat.

Anyway, the context is this: Le Guin wrote in an essay first published in 1979.  Continue reading “Writing for childen as simple as bringing them up!”

Practice any art! | Kurt Vonnegut’s advice to some high school children

Wonderful advice from Kurt Vonnegut to some high school students is re-produced at the Liberal Amercia blog. Practice any art! I believe and feel that Rosemary Sutcliff would have concurred!

Kurt Vonnegut letter




Sir Andre Geim: ‘instant information about everything and everyone often allows an individual opinion to compete with consensus, and paranoia with evidence’

Andre Geim delivering his banquet speech
Sir Andre Geim delivering his banquet speech.
© The Nobel Foundation 2010 Photo: Orasisfoto

Today, I divert to science, for I was intrigued by BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs this morning, with Sir Andre Geim  as the guest. (Rosemary Sutcliff was a guest in the 1980s). [Desert Island Discs was created  in 1942 and continues today. The format is simple: a guest is invited by Kirsty Young to choose the eight records—as well as a luxury, and a book—they would take with them to a desert island].

I was intrigued by his music, his life and science, his views on students, and because he chose to take no particular book with him (since a whole library was not allowed), refused the bible, and was content just with the already-provided Complete Works of Shakespeare! I am intrigued now also by his address at the Banquet when he received his Nobel prize for research on graphene. Continue reading “Sir Andre Geim: ‘instant information about everything and everyone often allows an individual opinion to compete with consensus, and paranoia with evidence’”

Some of 10 Quotations from Writers about Writing at Interesting Literature blog

A few days ago, over at the blog Interesting Literature: A Library of Literary Interestingness (?!), these quotations in particular from  ‘10 Great Quotations from Writers about Writing’  appealed to me:

Being a writer is a very peculiar sort of a job: it’s always you versus a blank sheet of paper and quite often the blank piece of paper wins. (Neil Gaiman)

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. (Thomas Mann)

Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. (Cyril Connolly)

I think the hardest thing about writing is writing. (Nora Ephron)

I recall again here that, amongst many interesting comments about writing, Rosemary Sutcliff once said: “The only thing more frightful than writing is not writing”.

More quotes on this blog here



Japanese Film-maker Hayao Miyazaki’s Top 50 Children’s Books include Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth

Top 50 books including Rosemary SutcliffAt the Skunk & Burning Tires blog, author Ju-osh M. is – by his own admission – “far too old to be seeking the attention and approval of strangers”. Yet – to adapt a phrase of his – there he was, there I was and here you are. He thought “it would be fun” to revisit animated film-maker Hayao Miyazaki’s “fifty favourite children’s books”. (I am not sure of his source; nor do I know if this is in order of preference). As mentioned before on this site, books by Rosemary Sutcliff were amongst the stories Miyazaki loved.

1. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

2. Il Romanzo di Cipollino (The Adventures of the Little Onion)  by Gianni Rodari

3. The Rose and the Ring by William Makepeace Thackeray

4. The Little Bookroom  by Eleanor Farjeon

5. The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas

6. The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

7. Die Nibelungensage (The Treasure of the Nibelungs) by Gustav Schalk

8. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

9. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle

10. A Norwegian Farm  by Marie Hamsun

11. The Humpbacked Horse by Pyotr Pavlovich Yershov

12. Fabre’s Book of Insects by Jean-Henri Casimir Fabre

13. Toui Mukashi no Fushigina Hanashi-Nihon Reiiki by Tsutomu Minakami

14. Ivan the Fool by Leo Tolstoy

15. The Eagle of the Ninth Chronicles (Three books)  by Rosemary Sutcliff

16. Winnie the Pooh by A. A. Milne  Continue reading “Japanese Film-maker Hayao Miyazaki’s Top 50 Children’s Books include Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth”