Thursday 26 March 2015

Crows' Feet And Pasta - a menu for #Spring

Prima Rosa - yes the first rose. It is indeed the Spring and where there was nothing, suddenly there are primroses. Suddenly I draw them in through my senses and into my pagan soul. The crows fight savagely over sticks with which to build their nests. I get up at dawn to boil pasta to provide my noble scavengers with a romantic novelist's breakfast. I love these birds. I think I worship them. In my children's story Alf The Workshop Dog, all the wisdom of the world is stored in the crows. They are the default battery  on the motherboard of consciousness. (Did you ever wonder if digital language just has to reflect inescapable symmetries by way of metaphor and semi conductor?)

My friend H.B.
They have watched our futile struggles from the high trees since the dawn of conscious time. They have the DNA of dinosaurs, the politics of parliaments, the sheen of pimps, the stab of spike and claw, the stamp of merciless truth. Regular readers will recognise the photo of HB, my court favourite. Last week he showed up for breakfast bedraggled and desperate with hunger, only able to half hop on one leg. The others crows attacked him - such is the nature of the universe. I moved in close and for a moment he looked me in the eye. The other birds retreated or flapped off. He held my gaze and ate on. I circled keeping the others at bay. Finally he had eaten his fill. He took off back to his nest and fed some food to his mate. 

For the next two days he came, limping but stronger. He flew close by me before landing almost at my feet. Rivals moved in and he seemed to check me out for complicity. The others stayed away while he ate his Walmart fusilli and dog meat mash. Oooh, I'm a right cordon bleu you know!

Stark, stark. My kind has watched your species and bared your bones
Yesterday and today he has stayed up in his nest. He seems to be feeding on some agricultural land to the south of me. He has always been one to avoid the crush and shemozzle.  I watch him. He sat on my TV aerial while I hung out some washing. He watches me. He is still a bit lame but coping. He seems to have eggs in the nest. This universe has no mercy but it does support intelligence and the will to survive. Maybe just this once I have made a tiny tiny difference. Just maybe, beyond all the falseness of words and the dynamics of physics, some glue of friendship has some moral gravity or some value.

Emma Thinx: Friendship is an island. Ditch the swimming lesson.

Thursday 19 March 2015

Breath In #Venice - The Living Flesh Of Imagination In Stone #minibreak

There's no place like Dome

Venice. Yes, that one word says it all. If only I had words to say what that one word says. Maybe I'll just put up some pictures. Let me explain.
Main Street

I went to Venice - just popped over. You see there are people in Cybersales who know about me and watch me. They know the swivel of my eyes and the recycle bin shameful lusts of my browser history. I should be worried about surveillance and privacy shouldn't I? Someone out there in the ethos of commercial ether knew that if they sent me an e mail offer of a couple of nights in Venice for the price of a B&B with a pint of warm beer in Grimethorpe, I'd be the sort of lush, decadent credit abusing floozy who'd sign up. So, I got out the plastic fantastic, explained to airport security that there was indeed a terrorist's dream of
Venice  in night time perspective

metal support in my bra and uplifted myself to a place where I'd only ever been in my books. It just didn't seem fair that Earl Spencer and hot cop Shannon had shared Venetian love in Passion Patrol 2 and I had not!

Many of you will have been there. If you have, you are still there at any moment the name comes back to you. If you have not, then it will be Disneyed away in your helpless dreams. Of course there is the sadness that it could all be swept away. The Mose project is nearly ready to provide gates to hold back the sea. The quaysides are being raised. Collectively as a world we cannot let this go. Moses, Noah, King Canute and I will not allow it!

The above is a short clip of my coffee at the borrowed edge of time. Oh thank you credit card limit. Thank you Venice. Thank you spirit of magic that inspired this place.

Emma Thinx: The hardest thing about the possible is to imagine it.

Sunday 15 March 2015

Date with The Devil: London,Venice, Paris, Milan, New York...SWANSEA! @SwanseaOpera #Opera

The devil is in the coat tails
If you can't do it big - then do it close. After a lifetime of trying to come up with some sort of artistic philosophy, the past week presented me with this vital truth ready wrapped. Should I get the chance to be a movie director, I now have a plan - or at least something to say in my oscar acceptance speech.

I got back from Venice in the early hours of Friday morning. Although exhausted I was still floating on water and the magical performance by "La Musica A Palazzo" of Grand Opera love duets  in the splendid setting of the Palazzo Barbarigio-MinottoIn essence the rooms of the palazzo become the stage and the audience gets to share the love up close. Well, how else would you want it?

I was in Venice following in the footsteps of Spencer and Shannon from Passion Patrol 2. As I crank up the keyboard on Passion Patrol 3 I wanted to recapture the mood. I'm still not sure where our hot cop lovers will find the romance button. It's possible it could be Swansea.

So, with Venice just a few ripples behind my Ryan Air bus ride, I was at the Theatre Royal in Winchester, Hampshire, UK. The occasion was the performance of "Faust" by the Swansea City Opera. Wow! Wow! what a show it was. Of course there are famous massive productions by Covent Garden, New York Met' and the Opéra National de Paris. 

As a travelling show in often smaller venues the stars are already philosophically closer to the audience. The Theatre Royal is a gorgeously intimate space. The cast filled the evening with drama, melody and music; experienced as a fellow mortal rather than an audience. I'm not a music critic but to me the harmonies and pacing were fabulous. Everyone gave it full power and maximum stagecraft - you sure don't always get that in opera. Méphistophélès was disturbingly appealing. (Hah! As if you could tempt me with  youth and worldly pleasure?). Mind you, Hakan Vramsmo who
played the part of Valentin, could inspire a handsome hero in my next Passion Patrol novel. It's pure talent to be a hunk when you're on the floor dying and singing. 

At the end I was up on my feet. Two days later I'm still alive with the buzz of it. The show is out on tour now. Click here for dates and venues. Go on - do whatever you have to do to get a seat, even if it means doing a deal with the devil. The pleasure will be worth it.

Emma thinx: If the devil is buying you, keep things familiar. Offer him a pay day loan.


Monday 9 March 2015

Some Things Are Meant To Be. Craig Jefferson does Elvis

See, See See Rider

 You just can't help believing can you? Wise men say that there are now 85,000 Elvis impersonators in the world. This must be an underestimate since there can be up to four in my house alone. Elvis is surely the one image that is capable of uniting the world. Many fine academic brains have tried to analyze the essential oils of Elvis juice. All I know is that just one drop would make me ten times more talented than I am.

So it was that on Friday evening I went out to  The Plaza  theatre in the country town of Romsey in Hampshire UK. Elvis was sung and acted by the very talented Craig Jefferson. This guy has a powerful authentic sound and if you close
In The Glen Miller big band mood with the style of the KING
your eyes you are truly in the presence of the King. I would not describe him as an impersonator. To me he was a spirit guide - somehow linking the audience to the sheer showbiz aura of Presley. The big band support was provided by the Romsey Area Youth Jazz Orchestra conducted by Alex Needham who also did the arragments. Wow! These guys were hot. Thanks guys for a wonderful show - I'm still singing along.

I've tried to work out what it is about Elvis that grabs me and many folk far younger who were never part of his generation. Undoubtedly his image is no less hype than any other star. For all that, he stood out front, alone before his audience, a true Shakespearean flawed hero slowly revealing his own tragedy and mortality. I wonder what he would make of the helpless tears still shed by the likes of me at his memory.

Emma Thinx: Tinsel has not the weight of silver. It can fly higher.

Thursday 5 March 2015

Cops And Slobbers #relaunch the #romance!

Today is World Book Day. I know this because I've seen lines of dressing up costumes in ASDA for parents to buy for their children. My guess is that more costumes will be sold than books. Seemingly the idea is that kids dress up as their literary heroes. Most of them seem to be characters from "Frozen"which as far as I know, is a Disney film. I've also spotted a couple of Hagrids, several Harry Potters and a sprinkling of geek girls. Thinking about it they may have been just regular modern girls.

What I have not seen is hordes of women dressed in police uniform spiced up with checkered garters, high heels and fishnets. That's because I've only just relaunched two of my novels with covers bearing this image. "Knockout" and "Shannon's Law" have been re-born as "Passion Patrol 1" and "Passion Patrol 2". All subsequent members of this crime busting oversexed family will be similarly named. I'd love to tell you that I modelled the legs on the cover myself....well, I might have done mightn't I? Next year it will be the must have costume. Buy early to avoid disappointment.

Both books feature London Metropolitan Police girls. They don't just get their own man - they scoop the bad guys on the way. I've been delighted by the critical response to both books since they launched in their original forms. This could be the biggest marketing event since the UK re launch of the Mars Marathon bar as "Snickers". What a name - they must have been nuts! OK - you can groan but it's late and I need a glass of Bordeaux.

Emma Thinx: The face that launched a thousand ships was mythology in books. Relaunching is mythology on Face book.