Posts Tagged ‘writers’

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.  (more…)

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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




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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. (more…)

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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



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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  (more…)

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Author Joanne Harris ( @Joannechocolat on Twitter) this morning tweeted a lovely story (#storytime) involving a rocking-horse. It put me in mind of Rosemary Sutcliff’s horse Troubador – made for her by a rocking-horse maker in Sussex – which prances still in our hall. And of Rosemary’s story for children, The Roundabout Horse.

Rosemary Sutcliff’s rocking-horse Troubador



The full story, extracted from the stream of Tweets this morning, follows: (more…)

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I was very happy this past weekend to find that two of my granddaughters, too young yet to be reading independently, are such good listeners they can recite their favourite books by heart. I particularly enjoyed joining in with Audrey’s rendition of Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy, although I don’t know that she approved of my doing it with a Kelvinside accent. Two year olds often prefer a vanilla delivery.

Listening is a dying art, especially for children growing up in homes with several TV sets. Watching is an entirely different skill. It’s hard to imagine them rushing to tune in to the radio as my generation did in the Fifties, eager for the next episode of Rosemary Sutcliff’s The Eagle of the Ninth. There was no spin-off DVD. You had to imagine the scene for yourself.

Source: Listen Up | Laurie Graham

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