Saturday, 26 April 2008

Bookshop Browsing and Looking at Art on Diagon Alley

Diagon Alley 5
Originally uploaded by John Siddique

Cecil Court in London really but apparently is used in the harry Potter Films as Diagon Alley.. but look at the books

Saturday Morning Walk

Saturday Morning Walk - 3
Originally uploaded by John Siddique

have holed up in London for a while to focus on the novel, catch up with friends and do some going out, art, dancing.. y'know..

Out for early walk after a night with dreams of Buffy.. yes I am that sad, it has been years since I had one, but last night dinner and nookie in the land of nod with SMG.. must have been something I ate.. ahem..

anyway came across these tulips in Russell Square this morning..

now how do you set a dream to repeat?.. anyone?

Friday, 25 April 2008

recording of Dulce et Decorum Est

I have posted my recording of wilfred owen's 'dulce et decorum est,' on the video & resources page at

I recorded it after many requests to do so after I included it in a recent public reading of some of my favourite poems. To me this poem still resonates about what war is more than any other representation of it I have come across, and yet it is so moving as well.

Please take a listen



Monday, 21 April 2008


"Sadhana is the path you follow in the work with yourself. To be able to experience and work consciously with yourself, to be relaxed and at the same time concentrated, to seek without demanding." 
Swami Janakananda 

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Pictures from Wirral BookFest 2008

John Siddique at Wirral BookFest
John Siddique at Wirral BookFest 2

John Siddique at Wirral BookFest 3

Pics by Bob Warwick

reflected yorkshire from the lancashire border

Originally uploaded by
John Siddique

Bought myself a new camera, so I'm trying it out, and getting to know it. I much prefer using my Nikon DSLR to anything else, just find it so natural and easy to use, but sometimes carrying it and lenses etc is just too much, so I needed a good 'little' camera, and this is the first real shot taken with it.

Taking photos keeps me feeling poetic when I'm not writing, I find it triggers my reflexive mind in a similar way to being in the writing state.

This photo is taken at the beginning of a drive to Birmingham where I'm off to teach creative writing for a couple of days. Have more teaching this week, and I don't know about you but if I'm tutoring I find it hard to write. The next couple of weeks I've set aside to get back on with the creating of text...

Hello my lovelies in Vienna..have a great festival - it is Vienna Lit this weekend, and I'm not able to be there, missing my friends and all the cool literature, in my favourite city on the planet

if you get a chance to attend..have a good time and think of me back in England

Friday, 18 April 2008

leaves of grass

all week I've been having quotes from Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass,' arising as if out of nowhere. saying bit aloud.. it's been years since I read it, it is very odd, as if I'm kind of channeling Whitman...

Perhaps it is time to read it again


Have you reckon'd a thousand acres much? have you reckon'd
     the earth much?
Have you practis'd so long to learn to read?
Have you felt so proud to get at the meaning of poems?

Stop this day and night with me and you shall possess the
     origin of all poems,
You shall possess the good of the earth and sun, (there are
     millions of suns left,)
You shall no longer take things at second or third hand, nor
     look through the eyes of the dead, nor feed on the
     spectres in books,
You shall not look through my eyes either, nor take things
     from me,
You shall listen to all sides and filter them from your self.

Thursday, 17 April 2008



Sorry am in full on geek mode here, just heard that Amy Acker has been added to the cast of Joss Whedon's new show 'Dollhouse.' Joss is probably my favourite writer of anything, and Amy is just such a damn fine actress, and it gets me all nostalgic for her playing Fred in Angel..

Sunday, 6 April 2008



Being creative is about being in the moment, they tell me, sometimes though all this moment to moment living makes it hard to see direction, how does one align hope, practicality, creation, and movement?

Is this a rhetorical question.... no, I'd love to hear how you do this, it is something I've been wrestling with for a while, and would welcome anecdotes, stories and thoughts on the subject.

Friday, 4 April 2008



'Every novel is an equal collaboration between the writer and the reader and it is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy.'

Paul Auster

Failing Better

‘Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.’

Samuel Beckett

Gathering News

I find myself watching the BBC News, or looking at the BBC website more and more these days as if it had become the State Press, you know just like The Herald in Zimbabwe, or how things used to be, and maybe still are when reported by the Russian or Chinese News Services. I used to think the BBC was impartial, but over the last while, maybe since the Andrew Gilligan affair, I see things appear and happen, then they are simply not there, or changed round to fit a very particular view. two examples, when Gordon Brown made statements about Tibet two weeks ago, and China slapped him down it was placed way down the news, and did not even feature on the BBC News website. This week we have The Lords so called immigration report, and instead of a balanced view, the centre right strings are played by instantly putting it on the Have your say section, where the send them home, we hate foreigners brigade do their lurking, and then the actual reporting of the piece colludes entirely with its premise. what they don’t do is ask if any of it is true, look at the history of the country, of how it has been built and rebuilt by waves of immigrants.

as a writer I need the news, it is an essential part of my diet, good clear inquisitive reportage is needed, not what do the chavs think? have your say, tell me how you feel, all hyperbole and emotion, I want the news. so partially i have gone back to newspapers, but they are not so great, perhaps the Independent comes out best, but I red the read tops and the mail too, it is good to know your enemy. (Just remember The Mail supported Hitler, and still actively engages in the ‘Goldstein’ effect.) ITN news wants to be popular and misses the point - at least Julie whatshername? is lovely to look at. And channel 4 news and Newsnight just do the argumentative for the sake of it, well at least its fun watching Paxman eat politicians alive. What I also do is use the web, and I think I may have a balance, I look at 3 sites, the BBC, The New York Times and Al Jazerra, and somewhere in between all that, there may be some semblance of the news.