Friday 28 March 2014

The Cephalopod Coffeehouse: March 2014


The Armchair Squid says: 

Welcome one and all to the Cephalopod Coffeehouse, a cozy gathering of book lovers, meeting to discuss their thoughts regarding the tomes they enjoyed most over the previous month.  Pull up a chair, order your cappuccino and join in the fun.  If you wish to add your own review to the conversation, please sign on to the link list at the end of my post.
Also, next month will be the twelfth for the Coffeehouse, a full year of book loving under our belts.  It's a good time for reflection.  I'm quite happy about the way things have gone but I welcome thoughts on how I might improve upon the concept.  So please give forth in the comments section below.  Growth and evolution are good things.

This is the book I would recommend this month - the story has received a lot of publicity as the film has recently been released, I haven't seen the film yet but will do in the near future.

12 Years A Slave

Solomon Northup

154 pages

A True Story

Solomon Northup was born a freeman but is kidnapped into slavery and spends 12 years trying to escape and regain his freedom.  This is a true story detailing those 12 years from 1841 – 1853.

It is a harrowing memoir of slavery in Louisiana and Solomon’s quest to regain his right to freedom which should never have been taken away from him. 

The style of writing is of the era but it is very readable and I was pleasantly surprised at how well it is written.
In this day and age we are appalled by the behaviour of people at that time and although it took a long time for slavery to be abolished we still need to work on lots of things regarding human rights in this day and age.

Coincidentally, if you believe in coincidences or eerie and weird if you don't, as I  started to read the book on my Kindle the book was also serialised each morning in 15 minutes slots as the book of the week on Radio 4 ( which made the book even more poignant.  

This is the blurb from the BBC that accompanied it:

Solomon Northup, the son of an emancipated slave, was a free man who lived with his wife and children in New York, working as a carpenter and violinist. In 1841, two circus promoters offered Northup a high-paying job and he travelled south with them to Washington D.C. Soon after arriving in the capital, he was drugged, beaten and sold into slavery. Threatened with murder should he ever reveal what had happened, he spent the next twelve years of his life in captivity in Louisiana.
After his rescue, Northup was reunited with his family and went on to publish this eloquent and important memoir. It was an immediate bestseller.

It was brilliantly narrated by Rhashan Stone an American born English actor who is currently playing a London fire-fighter in a Sky 1 series called The Smoke.  

Having read the book and listened to the book narrated on the radio I will now gear myself up to watch the film.

Wednesday 26 March 2014


Write…Edit…Publish, is the home of the monthly bloghop of the same name. You are welcome to submit any of the following – flash fiction, poetry, non-fiction or playscripts to a word count of 1,000 words – artwork and photographs accompanied by your written inspiration in creating your work/s.



What comes to mind for the March WEP challenge - Through the eyes of a child? Rewriting a passage from a child's POV? A montage of images through the eyes of a child? A poignant or exhilarating poem? A non-fiction piece told from a child's POV? The possibilities are limitless!

READ as many entries as you can. SPREAD THE WORD!

If you have any problems please contact our lovely host Denise at:

Here are my thoughts on our theme this month THROUGH THE EYES OF A CHILD.


Her eyes shot open and slowly things began to come in to focus.  She was aware of moving shapes above her head slowly twirling and glinting as sunlight started to stream in through a net curtained window.

She moved her arms and flexed her fingers in front of her face and gave a little murmur as she tried kicking her trapped legs out from underneath bindings that wrapped around her. 

Her head turned and she glimpsed the cream coloured bars.  She reached out her hand to grab on to the wooden pole, grunting as she pulled her weight across the softness she was lying on, using her left hand to steady herself. 

Gradually she managed to pull herself first in to a crouching position and then, using her growing strength, she reached further forwards up into a standing position.
She started to pull against the bars that kept her enclosed and opening her mouth started calling out.

‘Mmmm, mmmm.’

The door opened, in the threshold a huge shadowy figure appeared that advanced quickly towards her, arms outstretched. 

‘It’s about time you learnt to say Daddy,’ the loving voice said picking her up and cuddling her into his strong body. 


He is perched safe and secure on his daddy’s knees

As the flames flickered before his baby blue eyes

The glowing effect mesmerising his young mind

Colours wavering, patterns dancing, shapes undefined

Tongues of flames the same colour as his red hair

With its copper tints, shining golden hues and sunshine flair

The crackles and pops and hisses as the heat ignites

Nuggets of coals, the smell of the firewood, sparkling firelight

Father and son’s love sealed at this moment in time

Generation to generation in times to come

A treasured relic of their shared history

A homespun fire to make the loveliest memory


Flowers as tall as me

Enticing smells, I’ll break free

I’ll just have to climb this big step

One, two, up and up

‘Kathryn,’ my name is called out

I turn and look, an innocent shout

I smile sweetly at my mum

As I land on my bum.

An innocent look back, a crinkle of the eyes, a mischievous glance as she turns in reply to the call of her mother.  The flowers were beckoning her, the pretty colours and the tantalising smells, she didn't know the seasons and she didn't wear many clothes but she kept the hat on her head.

Bright colours on a summer’s day

Gorgeous aromas beckoned her

Entranced as she was by each flower
Stems as tall as her miniature form

The flowers would grow and bloom

As the woman she becomes some years hence

But today she was free, there was no fence


I’ve splashed and splashed

I’ve even been washed

I have bubbles everywhere

A big blob in my hair

Bath time is such fun

When I am under one

A precursor to my bed time routine

I’ll be sleepy when I’ve drunk my Ovaltine.