Line(s) of the Day #VincentvanGogh

Van Gogh self portrait

I don’t know anything with certainty, but seeing the stars makes me dream.

One of the all-time great painters Vincent van Gogh (1853 – 1890), whose love of stars was reflected in some of his most famous paintings, as well as other quotes like this.

Line(s) of the Day #EdgarAllanPoe

Edgar Allan Poe sketch

From childhood’s hour I have not been
As others were; I have not seen
As others saw; I could not bring
My passions from a common spring.
From the same source I have not taken
My sorrow; I could not awaken
My heart to joy at the same tone;
And all I loved, I loved alone.

The opening lines of the poem Alone (1829), written by tortured Gothic genius Edgar Allan Poe when he was 20 years old.

Line(s) of the Day #Freakonomics

Freakonomics book covers

Morality, it could be argued, represents the way that people would like the world to work, wheareas economics represents how it actually does work.

The highly analytical and detailed book, Freakonomics (2005) by University of Chicago economist Steven Levitt and New York Times journalist Stephen J. Dubne. Among the many controversial issues it has a financial and statistical take on are abortion, the Ku Klux Klan and drug gangs.

Gr8at: Autumn Mist Photographs

I don’t normally post two Gr8ats concurrently, but I saw a article on the BBC website that really caught my eye. BBC Autumnwatch asked the public to send in their photographs of Autumn Mist and they put them on their website here. The eight photographs below are my favourite. Is there one that stands out to you? Is Autumn the season you like most?

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Gr8at – Great British Bake Off bakes sent in by the public

The 2015 Great Bake Off may have just finished, but it has certainly left a big impact on its viewers. Would be bakers have been sending in their own efforts throughout the series to the official website. The eight below are my favourites. Do you bake? What character or item would you most like to design? Even if you don’t watch the show, feel free to tell me your ideas.

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Creative: Lies and Secrets (short story)

One of the joys of this blog has been able to share the things that interest me and that have grabbed my attention. It’s also been great to have shown you some of my creative works with you in the past, including my poetry and writing process.  So I thought why not put up one of my short stories, one I’ve always had a soft spot for.

To give a bit of context. I wrote Lies and Secrets in college (the photo would have been taken a year or two later – I’m on the right) and even won some book vouchers when I entered it into a local competition. At the time I was writing lots of short stories and was even part of a weekly writing group. What with Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, it hasn’t dated well but I still feel an attachment for it. Do you like it? I’d welcome any feedback so please let me know what you think.

very very old pic

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Line(s) of the Day #NoWomanNoCry

No Woman No Cry

Good friends we have, oh, good friends we have lost
Along the way, yeah!
In this great future, you can’t forget your past

Taken from the highly nostalgic and frequently covered song No Woman, No Cry by Bob Marley and the Wailers, from the studio album Natty Dread (1974).

Line(s) of the Day #Invictus

William Ernest Henley

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll.
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

The final stanza from the poem Invictus (Latin for unconquered) by English poet William Ernest Henley. It has had many famous fans, including Winston Churchill, Nelson Mandela and C.S. Lewis.

Line(s) of the Day #TheWinnerTakesItAll

ABBA Winner takes it all

I don’t wanna talk
About things we’ve gone through
Though it’s hurting me
Now it’s history.
I’ve played all my cards
And that’s what you’ve done too
Nothing more to say
No more ace to play

Taken from the incredibly powerful ballad The Winner Takes it All by Swedish group Abba, from their seventh studio album Super Trouper. Although denied by its songwriter Björn Ulvaeus, the emotive lyrics are widely believed to reflect the break up of his marriage to fellow band member Agnetha Fältskog.

Gr8at: Impressive Foreign Language Songs

After my recent Songs to Lighten your Mood and Make you Smile post, I thought I’d highlight my love of songs sung in a different language. My fluency in Spanish is clearly reflected, but there are others from different languages too and all have been carefully chosen. Even if you don’t translate the lyrics, you should definitely listen to them to appreciate their skills in rhythm, tone and melody. Is there one that stands out most for you? What artists do you like that sing in a non-English language?

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