A different type of shellac

Aug 17, 2014 by

I bought my first Elvis 78 RPM records from a jumble sale when I was about 11 or 12 years old for not very much. My father’s eyes developed pound signs when he saw them but his plans for millionairedom were soon thwarted; the records weren’t worth much because they’re made of shellac (not the fancy modern day nail polish, I may add) and played at 78 RPM, hardly anyone had a record player that played 78s even in 1980s (though I always have); so people didn’t want them.

I bought some more 78s from the junk shop up the road from where I live now about 15 yrs ago, the chap who ran the place thought he had a goldmine on his hands also, only to be disappointed too. I’ve now got a nice stack of Elvis 78s as a result, and I’m glad they’re not worth much money because that means they get to live in my house, with me.

Looking at this HMV one now, it’s got a Heritage Plaque look about it:

my baby


I often think how excited the original buyer of my 78s would have been, and reflect they’ve never been more loved than they are now.

@cathbore

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The loveliness of James Garner

Aug 10, 2014 by

Watching episodes of The Rockford Files over the weekend, I couldn’t help but think if it was made today James Garner would be seen as too old to be cast in the leading role – or they’d make him have a tummy tuck/force him into a stomach corset/wipe his face of its character with chemical peels of some sort. When all the time he was wonderful and talented and handsome all on his own.

Jim Rockford

I wrote a short story WE ALL HAVE STANDARDS from the women’s perspective of how we’re expected to make changes to our natural selves before we’re deemed respectable. It is published on Female First and you can read it here.

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We All Have Standards

Aug 8, 2014 by

I’ve got a new short story out today, published over on Female First.

I wrote it after I saw/heard/read repsonses to the Hairy Legs Club blog, where women are encouraged to post pictures of their unshaved legs.  My own philosophy on female body is hair is keep it or get shut, it’s your choice and no one else’s beeswax. The appalled/disgusted/OH MY GOD! responses to the Hairy legs Club way outweighed anything positive though and that annoyed me, hence my story WE ALL HAVE STANDARDS. Despite my irritation the story is lighter in tone than my usual writing,  I hope you enjoy it.

You can read WE ALL HAVE STANDARDS on Female First here.

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Shadows and Light

Aug 4, 2014 by

Paperback cover for SHADOWS & LIGHT

My short story LITTLE BROTHER is included in SHADOWS AND LIGHT, a charity anthology for Women’s Aid. Edited by Andrew Scorah, it is available as an ebook now and will be released shortly in paperback through Ansco Press.

 

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Paperback

 

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Big Society The Musical to be screened as part of Liverpool International Music Festival

Aug 4, 2014 by

The Liverpool film I co-wrote, BIG SOCIETY THE MUSICAL, is to get a hometown screening at the city’s FACT,  part of this month’s Liverpool International Music Festival.

I am co-writer...and an  extra in the film!

I co-wrote the film…and was an extra in it too!

Big Society The Musical at FACT, Wood St, Liverpool on 17th August 2014, 6.30pm. Ticket info here.

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Charity shop trauma

Aug 3, 2014 by

nun 1

 

I went on a charity shop trawl yesterday and have no book or record goodies to report, but Scope offered a doll for sale. Dressed as a nun she sat on a shelf, her legs akimbo. I’m happily atheist and was never a Catholic anyway but still felt the appropriate guilt and knew dolly judged me as I walked away and left her there.

@cathbore

 

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Twisted Tales 2014 anthology news

Jul 30, 2014 by

raging aad

I’m cock-a-hoop that my short story THE SHORT GOODBYE is to be included in the TWISTED TEALES 2014 anthology (Raging Aardvark Publishing), out later this year via ebook  and physically printed format. It’s been quite a long process getting to this point, initially the story was longlisted then shortlisted and now at last  the final stories are selected.

I’m very pleased, and congratulations to everyone else whose stories are included in the book,  listed on the Raging Aardvark website here.

 

@cathbore

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The First Night

Jul 29, 2014 by

dew leaves

I make two stories in the afternoon so get up in the early hours to play with them, too excited to sleep. The stories live and breathe on their own, branching out and stretching wide and I respect that, but I sing similes to each, sweet talk metaphors, thickening slender shoots with my words water, them with praise. We spend the hours getting to know each other over this night-morning, it’s a time of give and take, just me and them and the moon. Eventually the sun wakes up and stretches, throwing light into hidden corners. This is good; my stories hide things and I find them, like a game.

I’m starting to flag a little now, I need new air. I leave my stories inside; they’re not ready for people to meet them as yet. An early morning breeze sets up, leaves rustling like a lullaby, softened by the dew wetting my stories heads.

 

@cathbore

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Perfect Skin

Jul 27, 2014 by

My short story PERFECT SKIN is in GEEKED MAGAZINE’s Sexy Issue, available now. When the editor Sam Langsdale accepted the story she said she hoped I’d be pleased with the art created to go with it. My imagination went into overdrive after that and I’ve been excited to see what they come up with.

perfect skin

The Sexy Issue is now out and I really love the  illustration by the talented Lily-Rose Beardshaw, so thanks to her for all her hard work, art director Sofia Hericson and all at GEEKED.

You can read GEEKED MAGAZINE (and PERFECT SKIN) here.

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Sisters Born, Sisters Found

Jul 20, 2014 by

I have an essay in a forthcoming book Sisters Born, Sisters Found: A Diversity of Voices on Sisterhood, out in November (2014) in the US. The publisher is accepting pre-orders now.

 

sisters born

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Open mics are the new black

Jul 7, 2014 by

Open mics are nothing new in themselves, people have always got up at poetry nights and folk clubs and done a well-rehearsed turn. The old circuit was small but predictable, regular faces with songs rarely their own, usually a Ralph McTell or Bob Dylan, performances perfect duplicates of the record everyone attending would have on 7” and be eager to compare accordingly. Guitarists coveted the Hummingbirds of others but openly doubted the best year of manufacture and recommended a different gauge and make of string. There were horror stories of bands refusing to leave the stage after a handful of songs and dragging out a full set, leaving an audience weary-hearted, the room empty and the musicians themselves as bitter as stewed coffee. Poets brought self-penned poems guaranteed of a laugh, mouthed and chortled along to in the right places, but duly slagged off in the bar afterwards.

cath open mice

Not so much now. Spoken word events are changing, the literary salon label slapped on and given respectability. Multi-disciplinary open mics pull in kids in their early teens anxious to tuck beneath their belts a debut performance in front of an adult audience. People come along to have a go, perhaps try new poems and songs to gauge the audience response. Events are well attended and not just by those in hope of hogging the mic.

Why? I don’t know. Can we blame The Voice? Britain’s Got Talent? I’m not sure. Last month, a former teacher at the open mic I host read out letters her eleven year old pupils wrote back in 1970s about the Second World War. Her words brought the house down, much like the impromptu verse written on the night read out after her appearance, and the traditional African folk tale given a 2014 twist following that.

That’s not to say open mics are quite there yet. The sweet spot is elusive, still.

‘I’ve forgotten my guitar. Can I borrow yo-’

NO.

‘Do you pay expenses?’

Ha ha ha ha ha. FRIGGING NO.

 

@cathbore

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Old Faithful

Jul 6, 2014 by

There comes a point in every denim jacket’s life where it reaches the Status Quo stage of distress, a determined fade from brave navy to white as pale as poverty. Oh, Old Faithful! The washing machine did its job too well and bleached the life out of you. Life itself did the job even better. You’re old and tired like a loose memory, so it’s time, Old Faithful, to give way.

Ta-ra, then. We’ve had some laughs, haven’t we? The readings (mine and others), writing festivals, open mics, radio shows, gigs by the hundred, anti-cuts demos, Reclaiming the Night and Bringing Back Our Girls.

dj

Oh, fuck it. I’m keeping you. Call me sentimental but we’ve been everywhere together. You’ll hang in the wardrobe and I’ll tell everyone how great you were and if they don’t believe me I’ll show them the photo album. Don’t worry, I’ll Photoshop the more recent pics.

Hello though New Faithful! Ebay’s a gem. If I squint and tilt my head, you remind me of someone.

 

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Do you miss someone that you never met?

Jul 2, 2014 by

Last week in Manchester I saw a gaggle of women on a hen night dressed as the Bay City Rollers. A small but significant part of me felt like joining them as they looked to be having that much fun but I had another event to go to, on my way as I was to the Deaf Institute to see Edwyn Collins and Colorama perform. The Deaf Institute is one of my favourite small venues in the UK, small enough to be intimate but not a toilet. Speaking of toilets, the ladies’ facilities at Deaf Institute has the best wallpaper, an eyeball-burning pink homage to Dolly Parton. Visible from space, no doubt.

dolly wallpaper

I like Colorama a lot and the new album Temari is a favourite at the moment. When you buy Temari (because you really should) please listen to the words of all the songs but especially Me & My Sister. We hear about the grief from parents’ perspective after the loss of a child and quite right too, but it’s rare we link into the pain of a sibling not yet born. It’s an artist/creative’s task if you will, to look at things from a different angle and always ask “what if?” to uncover the hidden. This song does this so simply, beautifully, sadly.

Do you miss someone that you never met?

It hurts my heart just to think about it.

 

@cathbore

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It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice

Jun 29, 2014 by

Bobby Womack

Bobby Womack

I was sad to hear that soul singer, songwriter and musician Bobby Womack died. My initial response was one of sadness before my mouth curved into a smile. The smile happened involuntarily; I interviewed Bobby Womack for a magazine once and he was so charming and lovely. When we met he grinned wide and happily like it was the most amazing moment of his life EVER, “Oh my God, Cath! Is That REALLY you? The guys have been telling me all day I was going to meet you but I didn’t believe them.” He made this unimportant regional music writer feel very special indeed. Of course he used precisely the same line on every woman on the junket but I didn’t mind one bit. He was true class, and from the “it’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice” school of how to treat people.  Everybody should go there.

@cathbore

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Shadows & Light anthology

Jun 25, 2014 by

I’m really pleased that my short story LITTLE BROTHER is to be included in the forthcoming anthology SHADOWS AND LIGHT. Edited by Andrew Scorah, the book will raise funds for  Women’s Aid, the national UK charity working to end domestic violence.

SHADOWS AND LIGHT will be out in on 2nd August, in the meantime here is the very powerful and striking cover:

Paperback cover for SHADOWS & LIGHT

More details and links to purchase the book once I have them!

@cathbore

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