A pretty decent Death Star Birthday Cake

First, let me point out that I am in no way a professional baker. The fact that this worked in any way makes me very happy, even if, compared to other Death Star cakes on image search, it’s a bit crummy 😉 But, I’ll try anything. This was fun.

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Prezi, and Steve the Skydiver: how to analyse poetry

I’ve discovered Prezi, a new way of creating presentations that appear more interactive and, well, ‘swishy’.

It’s not that much different from Powerpoint, despite it wanting to be, but it’s very user-friendly and, for teachers like me, there are already lots of ‘prezis’ on the short stories and poems that make up some of my taught courses, all done by students, demonstrating both their understanding and the platform’s usability.

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Backstage Pass: assistant-directing the school play

I’ve just completed a week as Assistant Director on the school play, this year the 40s/50s-set musical, ‘Guys and Dolls’.

Backstage
Backstage

In a theatre, this means taking extra rehearsals, doing the Director’s admin, corralling the cast and crew, and liaising with technical staff to work out how to both make this an excellent production and keep the director happy.

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Cover#4: Adelaide’s Pop Psychology from ‘Guys and Dolls’

Our school play (musical) is ‘Guys and Dolls’, which is a darling of a show with incredibly upbeat numbers and period styling as it’s set in the 50s, and is one I produced back at University … unfortunately in the days just before social media and digital cameras.
One of the two pairs of romantic leads is Adelaide, the ‘comedy’ female lead. She has a brilliant number called, rather unimaginitively, ‘Adelaide’s Lament’, where she is reading a pop psychology book that explains that her constant cold is actually a psychosomatic response to having been engaged for fourteen years but not actually getting anywhere near the altar. This is clearly a sore point for her, despite her comically chirpy outlook, as she’s already written to her mother about her five kids and her husband’s promotion. The lyrics are a delight: here’s a version of it (at 6.18) with the scene leading up to it beforehand…

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How to make an ‘old book’ cover for your Kindle (or, a guide to how to accept a Kindle into your heart)

I am reblogging this old post from my old blog, http://booknewsatblackboardfiction.wordpress.com (yes, what a huge mouthful, and how content-specific, hence this new blog), which I originally posted on 26th December 2011 – Boxing Day. This was a delightful Boxing Day pursuit, as you will see. I thought it best to move it seeing as people keep asking me for it, and it’s far too time consuming to give them the old blog address 😉

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So… I got a Kindle for Christmas. My darling and savvy other half decided that, as I’m in the business, you know, actually publishing for Kindle, I should actually have one.

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