Coffee with the Baybz

By Melanie Page

‘The time has come’, the walrus said
To talk of many things….

And talk we did. The BookBaybz all met up today for one of our working/ chatting/ planning gab-fests (oops, extremely productive, coffee-fuelled, brainstorming sessions). We had two ring-ins, fellow writers from the local area. And it was a salutary lesson about how much goes into all our writing. Continue reading “Coffee with the Baybz”

Mad, Bad and Dangerous

Mad, bad and dangerous to know – Byron, the ultimate regency rake.

George Gordon, Lord Byron died in 1824, but he lives on, not only in his poetry and as a national hero of the Greek War of Independence, but as an inspiration and a ‘type’ in romantic fiction, particularly regency romances. Continue reading “Mad, Bad and Dangerous”

Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare

By Melanie Page

Not marble nor the gilded monuments
Of princes shall outlive this powerful rhyme,
But you shall shine more bright in these contents
Than unswept stone besmeared with sluttish time.

When wasteful war shall statues overturn,
And broils root out the work of masonry,
Nor Mars his sword nor war’s quick fire shall burn
The living record of your memory.

’Gainst death and all-oblivious enmity
Shall you pace forth; your praise shall still find room
Even in the eyes of all posterity
That wear this world out to the ending doom.

So, till the Judgement that yourself arise,
You live in this, and dwell in lovers’ eyes.
By William Shakespeare

Sonnet 55 (above) could have been written to celebrate William Shakespeare and his deathless contribution to English language and literature. April 23rd is the day he was (probably) born, as well as the day he died. He was just 52 (my own impending age) and had written a collection of plays that are some of the most memorable texts in the English language.

When we were in England a couple of years ago, we had the opportunity to see a performance of ‘Macbeth’ at the reconstructed Globe Theatre in London. It was the highlight of my trip, a magical moment. I was absolutely mesmerised.
We sat on thin cushions, hired for the performance. We sat in the balcony, with a spectacular view of the stage. Each tiny section holds only a handful of seats, just three rows deep. The best word to describe it was ‘intimate’, even though the audience was about 2000 strong. The theatre itself is a work of love. It is a replica, as exact as they can make it, built entirely of wood, just as the real Globe was. To be there was to step into the past.

Literature is, for me, the gift that keeps on giving. It never gets old. There are always new ways of seeing the old stories, always new stories being told, that tell old tales, old truths in new ways. And the best thing is, that, even though I am no Shakespeare, I get to be a part of it, weaving stories out of skeins of words, knitting together tales to warm the human heart.

So Happy Birthday Mr Shakespeare! Thanks for all your wonderful words!

Hi, my name is Melanie and I’m a readaholic

Actually, these days, reading is something of a treat. I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole into a strange, hand-wringing, hair-pulling, wine-sculling, chocolate-scoffing world of writing and editing. There I was, blithely going about my own business when a series of events, much like a large and well-dressed white rabbit scurrying past, precipitated my fall. Continue reading “Hi, my name is Melanie and I’m a readaholic”

A Dark and Aussie Knight

By Melanie Page

“Gimme your money! Now!”

Carly took one look at the dude in the balaclava, some kind of thin, black handled knife in his hand. Sorry boss, my six week, ladies self-defence class isn’t up to it.

Another gust of frigid August misery came through the open door of the petrol station. Outside the rain was pelting down and visibility was stuffed. Quarter to four on a Sunday morning was pretty dead normally and tonight, no one wanted to be out. It was the perfect night for a burglary. Continue reading “A Dark and Aussie Knight”