Category Tricycle Readers

Show and Tell

Storytelling is the key to all good communication. If you give an audience context and evidence within a clearly structured narrative, they are more likely to engage emotionally with the particulars, the person, the product, the politics, or the policy embodied within that story.  They will think about what they’ve heard, finding markers with which […]

You’re Bookered

Many years ago I was on a theatre awards panel. The judges had to see around 90 West End productions across 12 months. Even when a play was truly awful, there was the possibility of an award winning performance. Then there were the costumes, the lighting, the set, the sound, the direction… After a while, […]

Only Connects

Too often we overlook how important word placement is in the simplest of sentences. There are words that imply the same thing, but are differently nuanced. I am in a hurry, is slightly less frenetic than I am in a rush. Writers will agonise over word placement. Graham Greene wrote only 500 words a day […]

Causley for Thought

Last week, posting Derek Walcott’s The Schooner Flight on our blog, I linked to an audio of him reading aloud. Hearing a poet’s voice – the tone, the pace, the intonation, the inflection – can enrich appreciation of their work.  At other times it’s disastrous. Each year the Today Programme on Radio 4 invites finalists for […]

Face Values

On Monday, Tricycle Readers analysed a story by Salman Rushdie. After the reading, one of the group admitted she’d struggled to listen because she doesn’t like Rushdie: ‘He has a mean face. He doesn’t look a nice man’.  I was taken aback but not in a position to challenge her as, the previous night in […]

Fundamentals

Until recently the Royal Literary Fund’s website was, like the organisation, discreet and traditional. The pages were the colour of parchment, like leaves from leather-bound books found on second-hand stalls at Sunday markets; like the 1970s newspaper cuttings that fall from my mother’s cookery books – forgotten recipes for avocado mousse or ten tricks with red salmon. […]

Rhythm Sticks

Yesterday at our first Tricycle Readers meeting, we touched on the importance of punctuation. Punctuation supports and highlights meaning. The jacket of Lyn Truss’s book on English grammar shows a hand holding a smoking gun. It is titled, Eats, Shoots and Leaves. If you remove the comma – Eats Shoots and Leaves – we’re discussing the […]

Grape Expectations

At a wine tasting last night, I was discomfited by my clear lack of sophistication. Others smelt figs and melons, fire and grass. All I could smell was grape. The Chablis grape was so acidic, I got a sour taste in my mouth just on raising the glass to my nose. The Riesling, apparently, was redolent […]

Mew and Cry

Like a lot of people, I struggle to retain poetry. While writers like Simon Armitage are retelling epic poems, those that we most commonly encounter recall a single scene or a feeling, a thought or sensation, and there isn’t a full narrative that we can take away and discuss over dinner with friends in the […]

Flying by the pants

Today I’ve been designing our Tricycle Readers flyer and think it looks rather good. I’m not sending it out quite yet, however, as there’s bound to be a typo somewhere, or a sentence that can be shortened or improved. The nature of writing is that you keep going back and finding things wrong. It’s why […]