Showing posts from March, 2015

Ladies, Gentlemen and a League of Liars

Last night, I had my first experience of Liars' League Leeds.  Until a few weeks ago, I had never even heard of it.  In fact, when I first read the call-out for stories, I thought it sounded like a Yorkshire Locke Lamora! It turns out there are Liars' Leagues in Leeds, London and New York- at least.  The premise is simple.  Writers write.  Actors read.  Audience listens.  Everybody wins.  Every month or two, the Liars' League gives a call-out for stories on a particular theme.  Five or so are chosen.  They are then read out by actors on the night.  It's like being on the radio.  Only live.   The theme for this particular night was "Ladies and Gentlemen".  The stories chosen were nicely varied, and covered a variety of settings and moods.  It was interesting how many of the other writers had taken the typical showman's announcement as a starting point.  (That approach to the theme hadn't even occurred to me).  There was the moving tale of a conjoined tw

Cards on the Table...

This week, when working on my current work-in-progress, I decided that my characters should be playing a game of cards.  I eventually decided on scopa, an Italian game with a long history.  I downloaded an app so I could learn how to play - and have some idea what I was writing about!  It is a fun game, which involves capturing cards with other cards of the same value.  You can score extra points by clearing the table and by possessing certain special cards. What makes it especially fun for me is that it is played with a different set of cards from the one I am used to.  Before I started researching this week, I didn't know that different European countries have their own traditional packs of cards.  Traditional Italian cards are divided into cups, swords, coins and clubs (batons), the numbers go up to seven, and the three picture cards are all male.  Traditional German cards are divided into hearts, acorns, bells and leaves.  (I love that one!) Readers of different backgrounds to