Tag Archives: literature

Of literature, pelican crossings and escort girls in Liverpool!

I spent the Christmas period with my mum, her partner and my sister in Liverpool. Following a very enjoyable week with my family, I returned to London on Friday 27 December.

As my mum, her Partner and I stood at the pelican crossing outside Liverpool Central station, waiting to cross and make our way to Lime Street in order that I could catch my train back to London, my mum’s partner commented on a sticker affixed to the pelican, advertising the services of escort girls which (my mum added) had been rendered illegible by someone with a thick black marker pen)!

The above incident reminded me of my short story “Samantha”, which tells the story of an upper-class young woman forced into prostitution in the city of Liverpool, https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00BL3CNHI/. “Samantha” has received a number of great reviews, including the below 4 star review by Paul S:

Samantha

“I downloaded this short novel when it was being offered free on Amazon Kindle and I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was. It had a gripping plot, good characterisation and plenty of ‘atmosphere’; things that can be lacking in short stories. I think there may be a couple of formatting issues as I found I had to re-read a couple of paragraphs as they initially seemed out of place, possibly due to a missing carriage return instruction or perhaps because I was reading the story too quickly as I wanted to find out what happened next!
I won’t expand upon the plot as I do not want to create any spoilers but I suggest that you give this short novel a look if you enjoy atmospheric crime thrillers that have an element of romance, a gripping story line, some really nasty villains and a quite dramatic, action packed, climax”. To read the review on Amazon please follow this link, https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R2YUTS78WBRB01/.

Hitman

He steaddied the rifle against the window ledge and, gazing along the barrel saw the target, on the beach far below.

Just another hit, he thought, as he watched the living dead hand in hand with a petite blonde. She was not his wife, he knew as much. That did not, of course bother him in the slightest. Other people’s sex lives where a matter of complete indifference to him. What was of concern to the hitman was the £20,000 he would receive once the target was neutralised.

She was pretty that blonde. He wouldn’t mind having her between his sheets, he thought as he lined up the rifle on the target.

The sea, far below roared and a gull walked, casually along the crumbling cliff edge.

It had been a stroke of luck finding this house abandoned at the top of the cliff path, he thought as his finger tightened on the trigger.

The man below bent to kiss the blonde, just as the finger of the hitman squeezed tight on the Trigger.

The report of the gun was, as he knew it would be, lost in the roar of the sea and the crying of the gulls.

As lips touched below, the bullet sailed high above the target’s head. Then the roar of the sea and the crying of the gulls was joined by another louder roar as the cliff, long the subject of erosion by wind and sea gave way, taking the house so precariously balanced at the cliff edge with it. The report had been the final straw that had broken the camel’s back, bringing house and hitman crashing down to the unforgiving waves below.

“Christ”, that was a near thing, the target said, as he gazed at the fallen rocks only some hundred yards from where he and his petite mistress stood, horror struck on the beach below.

The end

My review of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill

This review is of Poem Reader, an Alexa skill which can be accessed using the Amazon Echo.

Amazon’s website describes Poem Reader as:
“Poem Reader is a random collection of poems for the whole family. Enable the skill to ask for today’s poem or the daily rhyme. Alexa will say the poem, not sing it. This skill is meant to help teach you the words to some popular poems and rhymes.”

Having used Poem Reader, it is, in my view more of a vehicle for having nursery rhymes recited than a means of accessing poetry more generally. Each time I asked Poem Reader for a poem and/or rhyme, it produced a rhyme more suited to young children than the family as a whole.

Amongst the rhymes voiced by Alexa was Hickory Dickory Dock, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Little miss Muffet and Goosey Goosey Gander.

This skill does, perhaps possess the potential to amuse young children and those with an interest in nursery rhymes. However, from my use of Poem Reader, I believe that the description is somewhat misleading in that it implies a broad selection of rhymes/poems, when what is in fact included is largely (perhaps exclusively) a collection of nursery rhymes.

For anyone interested in checking out Poem Reader, it can be found here, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Poem-Reader-Poems-for-Everyone/dp/B01LFXD2LY/.

My review of the British Poetry Alexa skill

Being the owner of an Amazon Echo and a lover of poetry, I recently enabled the Alexa skill of the same name, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Adam-Krell-British-Poetry/dp/B07B269592.

The British Poetry Alexa skill enables the user of an Echo to ask that a poem is read. There is also the opportunity to play a game to test your knowledge of British poetry.

Turning first to the read a poem feature, I found this rather hit and miss. For example on asking for a poem by the famous composer of humorous verse, Edward Lear, a poem by Sir Thomas Wyatt was voiced by Alexa. Just how Edward Lear can be equated with Sir Thomas Wyatt astounds me! I had more luck when requesting that a poem by Shakespeare, Wordsworth or William Blake be read. Had British Poetry not found the latter poets I would have disabled the British Poetry skill.

I previously favourably reviewed the My Poems Alexa skill, https://kmorrispoet.com/2019/10/31/my-review-of-my-poems-an-alexa-skill-enabling-the-amazon-echo-user-to-listen-to-poetry/. In that review I commend the fact that the poetry in My Poems is voiced by human actors. Unfortunately this is not the case with the British Poetry Alexa skill.

As regards the facility enabling the user of British Poetry to play a game, I enjoyed using this aspect of the app. The player is read the first few lines of a poem and then asked to say who the poet in question is. There are 3 options to choose from and I must confess to having crossed my fingers on several occasions and made a wild guess as to who the poet in question was!

Whilst (as mentioned above), the facility enabling the user to request that a particular poem is read is rather hit and miss, I did enjoy the game aspect of the British Poetry Alexa skill, and I shall return to play another day. However the My Poems app is, I believe of much more value to the lover of poetry.

Kevin

In Defence of “Said”\

A spirited defence of the use of the word “said”, for which I have considerable sympathy, https://theimaginativeconservative.org/2019/10/literary-value-ten-cent-word-maura-roan-mckeegan.html.

Whilst it is, of course, good practice to use alternative words for “said” where appropriate, in many instances this simple, 4 letter word is the best choice for writers.

As always, I would be interested in the views of my readers.

Kevin

Free book promotion!

My book ‘Streetwalker and other stories’ will be free in the Amazon Kindle Store, from the 11th – 15th October.

In this collection of flash fiction we meet a variety of characters, many of whom have been deeply damaged by life. The stories range from a young prostitute who walks the dangerous streets of London to tales of vengeance and comeuppance. Serious issues of abuse of power are touched upon. Anyone who is looking for a comfortable read should avoid this book.

‘Streetwalker and other stories’ is available here for the UK and here for the US.

 

Poet Kevin Morris holding a copy of his recently published Selected Poems.

My thanks to my friend Shanelle for taking the below photographs, which show me holding a copy of my recently released Selected Poems. For anyone who is visually impaired, the front cover shows a close up image of bluebells in Spa Woods, a wooded area close to the poets home in Upper Norwood. Spa Woods was once part of The Great North Wood, and contains many ancient oaks. The back cover is also shown, and displays a picture of the poet at the entrance to Spa Woods, close to an historic house.

The Selected Poems of K Morris are available in ebook and Paperback here for the UK and here for the US.