• strict warning: Declaration of FeedsImporter::copy() should be compatible with FeedsConfigurable::copy(FeedsConfigurable $configurable) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/includes/FeedsImporter.inc on line 94.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsNodeProcessor.inc on line 319.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsFeedNodeProcessor::setTargetElement() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::setTargetElement(&$target_item, $target_element, $value) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsFeedNodeProcessor.inc on line 227.
  • strict warning: Declaration of FeedsUserProcessor::map() should be compatible with FeedsProcessor::map($source_item, $target_item = NULL) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/feeds/plugins/FeedsUserProcessor.inc on line 195.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • warning: preg_replace(): Compilation failed: disallowed Unicode code point (>= 0xd800 && <= 0xdfff) at offset 1809 in /home/writezil/public_html/modules/search/search.module on line 334.
  • You must include at least one positive keyword with 3 characters or more.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display.inc on line 1877.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_display_block::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin_display::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_display_block.inc on line 193.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_field_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_field.inc on line 641.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_sort_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_sort.inc on line 82.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_validate() should be compatible with views_handler::options_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter::options_submit() should be compatible with views_handler::options_submit($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 585.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter.inc on line 609.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_filter_boolean_operator::value_validate() should be compatible with views_handler_filter::value_validate($form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_filter_boolean_operator.inc on line 128.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_style_default::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_style_default.inc on line 25.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_validate() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_validate(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_plugin_row::options_submit() should be compatible with views_plugin::options_submit(&$form, &$form_state) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/plugins/views_plugin_row.inc on line 135.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of content_handler_field::options() should be compatible with views_object::options() in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/cck/includes/views/handlers/content_handler_field.inc on line 208.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Non-static method view::load() should not be called statically in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/views.module on line 843.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument::init() should be compatible with views_handler::init(&$view, $options) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 745.
  • strict warning: Declaration of views_handler_argument_broken::ui_name() should be compatible with views_handler::ui_name($short = false) in /home/writezil/public_html/sites/all/modules/views/handlers/views_handler_argument.inc on line 770.

School’s Out!


We have a fairly heavy schedule coming up on VL over the next few months, so we’ve decided to take our summer break early this year.  We’re  leaving the site ticking over in neutral for the next fortnight  in order to recharge our batteries and give ourselves a bit of a breather.
Fear not though, because we – like General MacArthur – shall return.  In fact, we’ll return so fast, you probably won’t even notice that we’ve been gone.
Just to whet  your appetites, here’s a brief flavour of what’s in store for you over the summer and autumn . . .
Talking Books Week: After discussing it for over a year, we’ve finally got around to considering audiobooks.  Highlights of the week (still slightly subject to amendment) will include:

  • A reviews of T S Eliot’s Four Quartets read by Ralph Fiennes and Bernard Cornwall’s The Lords of the North read by Richard Armitage.
  • Publisher interviews with Nicolas Soames of Naxos Audiobooks and  Barnaby Edwards of the new-kid-on-the-block Textbook Stuff.
  • A question-and-answer session with as many of our popular actor-guests as we can round up about the technicalities and techniques of recording talking books.  Thus far, regular contributors Edward Petherbridge and Jay Benedict have both confirmed they’ll definitely be with us.

Shakespeare Week: Self-explanatory – A theme week dedicated to the man Ben Jonson called ‘the  Sweet Swan of Avon’.  The line up so far includes reviews, youthful memories of theatrical magic in the now-defunct Castle Theatre in Farnham,  and Edward Petherbridge – the original Guildenstern – on Tom Stoppard’s  ‘Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead’.
Trotsky Week: Revolution, war, passion and polemic … and a very* special guest star.  Trotsky Week has it all!
Unexpected Poetry Week: We’re going to be looking at poetry from unexpected directions and unexpected people – some good, some bad, all fascinating.  Expect women’s suffrage, the River Tiber foaming with much blood and Vogons.
In addition to all of that, of course, we’ll have our usual eclectic mix of book reviews, features and interviews.
Now do you understand why we need a bit of a lie-down first?
We’ll be resurfacing on Sunday the 18th of July with our usual ‘Coming Up post”.  In the meantime, try to be good and don’t run in the corridors.
*  This is NOT hyperbole – but we’re not going to tempt providence by telling you who it is until it’s done, dusted and gift wrapped.
—:oOo:—
(The ‘Gone Fishing’ image is courtesy of anujraj on Flickr, and is reproduced under a Creative Commons Licence.)

"There are three rules for writing the novel. Unfortunately, no one knows what they are."
W. Somerset Maugham

Random picks

  • In a review for The Rumpus, novelist Joseph Olsham once described writer Lynne Barrett as brimming with "original ideas, questions and philosophical musings," and her writing as possessing "a probing intelligence and a highly literate sensibility." Kelly Cherry says...
  • Dealing with everyday stress is like having an ailment. The only way to de-stress is to find a way to break the mundane activities and spice it up with something new. With the thousands of worthwhile activities around, one thing pops into mind whenever a form of relaxation comes to mind. Writing, but not just simply doodling with pen and paper - writing short stories.
  • My colleague Karl Moore, CEO of The WCCL Network (who sponsor my blog), is looking for a copywriter. In this topic on my forum, he writes:We require an enthusiastic copywriter to help write ~30 different mailout messages to our clients.You will need to have a lot of initiative, and be able to go running with a very lightweight specification!
  • The National Book Critics Circle invites its members to make submissions for the 2011 Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing. The award is given each year in honor of Nona Balakian, a founding member of the National Book Critics Circle, where she served as the board’s first secretary. The eminent critic and longtime editor at the New York Times Book Review also served on the Pulitzer Prize committee, the Board of Directors of PEN, and the Authors Guild board, was the author of Critical Encounters: Essays (1978), and co-wrote The Creative Present (1969) with Charles Simmons....
  • Not sure this counts as a story. It's more a thought piece, a question posed and answered. The rising arc in this case is one not of conflict, climax, and resolution but of mystery posed and mystery answered. But it's a form that can work just as well for flash or even for many a work of fiction. Keret here asks us to meditate on the contents of his pocket, on why he carries so much about. Alas, I carry most of these things myself, but not for the same reason, and unfortunately, in my forty-plus years, I've never had the kind of opportunity Keret's narrator dreams of having. Read the story...

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Fast fact about writing

Writing was developed independently in Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and among the Maya in Central America. There are some areas where the question as to whether writing was adopted or independently developed is in doubt, as at Easter Island.