Welcome to justthoughtsnstuff

I started posting to jtns on 20 February 2010 with just one word, 'Mosaic'. This seemed an appropriate introduction to a blog that would juxtapose fragments of memoir and life-writing. Since 1996, I'd been coming to terms with the consequences of emotional and economic abuse that had begun in childhood, and which, amongst other things, had sought to stifle self-expression. While I'd explored some aspects of my life through fiction and, to a lesser extent, journalism, it was only in 2010 that I felt confident enough to write openly about myself. I believed this was an important part of the healing process. Yet within weeks, the final scenes of my family's fifty-year nightmare started to play themselves out and the purpose of the blog became one of survival through writing. Although some posts are about my family's suffering - most explicitly, Life-Writing Talk, with Reference to Trust: A family story - the majority are about happier subjects (including, rural west Oxfordshire, where I live, Oxford, where I work, the seasons and the countryside, walking and cycling) and I hope that these, together with their accompanying photos, are enjoyable and positive. In February 2020, jtns will be ten years old and there will be no further posts. It will then become a contained work of life-writing about me and the past ten years of my life. Frank, December 2019

Saturday, 18 March 2017

facing the strange launch, sb sweeney, roger ashton-griffiths, david rowland's rendering of the west's awake, great barrington walks, the fox







Really enjoyed seeing everyone at the launch of Facing the Strange by SB Sweeney at Blackwell's on Thursday evening. The author's video reading was terrific! This was followed by a reading of the opening scene in the novel by Roger Ashton-Griffiths (Mace Tyrell in Game of Thrones) - brilliant - and a great rendering of the Irish ballad, The West's Awake, (which features in the book) by David Rowland.

A fantastic way to celebrate the novel!

As I said in my opening remarks:

"Facing the Strange. In some ways it’s uncompromising, tough. It deals with difficult subjects – alcoholism, drugs, family breakdown, murder. But there's also humour and insight into people. Above all it's about people – and no matter how these men and women in the book are – whether they are at their best or at their worst, they are written about with compassion and humanity. What underpins the novel are real human values – chief of which is love.

"It's a story of places – Preston, London, Ireland, North Yorkshire, Somerset. It's a novel of polyphony – of a wide range of beautifully rendered voices."

A day off yesterday. A lovely walk on the Great Barrington estate and a pint at the Fox.

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