A Limerick, by Jane Jago

Who let that man have a phone?

He’s on it like Fido with a bone

He thinks it is neat

Bad crap to retweet

Can we not have him put in a home

Working Title Blogspot. Two women and some books. Hope you will check back daily for your ‘coffee break’ read, and please do let us know what you think.


7 Questions

You may have noticed that Newsnibbles has acquired a poet in residence – Jane Jago. Truth be told, she just turned up with a suitcase and a notepad, and no-one has been able to shift her, but she works for scones, and you lot seem to like her, so we thought we’d let you know a bit more…

1.How would you say poems differ from stories? Is it easier to make a point with a poem?

The two writing techniques are actually quite dissimilar. When I write a poem, from haiku and limerick to whatever, I am hearing a tune in my head. Stories are situations so the writing is more prosaic. While prose is shaped by character, verse is all atmosphere. If I have a point to make then my first port of call will be short verse, as that is where I feel my writing is snappiest.

2. Who is your favourite poet?

That’s a trick question, how does anybody have one favourite? But if you are intent on being mean I’d have to go for TS Eliot. Specifically Prufrock.

3. What are you working on right now?

Some Dai and Julia short stories, a detective novel, and….

4. What are you most proud of?

I can swear in five languages.

5. Pet couture, yes or no?

No. Never. Nohow. Contrariwise. If anybody was to put clothes on Dog he would probably bite their face off.

6. Describe your ideal sandwich.

Brown bread, peanut butter, banana and crisps.

7. Finish us off with a limerick about a badger.

There once was a Badger called Claire

Who found idiots got in her hair

When they talked all the time

Without reason or rhyme

Which made Badger as cross as a bear

And if you enjoyed this interview, you can find Jane all over the web on…


Monday Mystery Mime

It’s Monday again, and that means it’s time for Feathers and Toast to perform a mystery mime for you to guess. We know you just guess in your heads, that’s OK, we’re over it. If you wanted to guess in the comments, that’d be OK too, but no pressure, you do what you feel comfortable with…

Congratulations to last week’s winners, Richard Goldman, Deva Palmier, Linda Henderson Eubanks, Joe Prantaitis, Paul Uhler, Mairi Sim, Hadie Mansfield and Patricia Anne Payne, who all correctly guess Turkey being stuffed.

This week’s clue is “something that might get over used on Cyber Monday”. Now, go forth and guess. Or don’t. Whatever.

And this week’s #MemeMonday is brought to you by Angelika Rust, and the letter C for cake…


A Verse, by Jane Jago

It is sad when the whole of a nation

Is in need of one man’s resignation

It is not a fine hour

When a man’s lust for power

Leads to violence by procrastination

© jane jago 2017


To see the complete list of Jane Jago’s books go to:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Jago/e/B01CYLND2O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Monday Mystery Mime

Every Monday, our friends at Feathers and Toast perform a mystery mime for you to guess. The fact that you NEVER do, does not seem to perturb them, although it is starting to naff us right off. So, post a comment. Would it kill you? Seriously.

Anyway, no-one won last week, which was obviously, to anyone who was paying attention, a kite flying high and then getting stuck in a tree. So if you silently guessed that, well done. You don’t win a prize because you didn’t say anything.  The clue for this week is something to do with an American holiday. We are assuming Thanksgiving, if you lack interest in American holidays. Obviously the world orbits America, so we’re sure you knew that anyway.

So, here it is…


Monday Mystery Mime

Every week, our friends at Feathers and Toast produce a mysterious mime for you to guess. Well, not you, because you never guess, or if you do, you keep it to yourself, which we can only assume is because you do not need any accolade or self esteem boost. Well, good for you, carry on just as you are.

Those people who did take the time to guess, and guess correctly last week were Janet Martin and Deva Palmier, who both correctly guessed toothpaste being squeezed. Well done.

Here is this week’s mime. We will give you the answer next week so you can see if your silent guesses are correct, or, if you do need a little boost, pop a guess in the comments.


Guns – A Poem By Jane Jago

Guns don’t kill people, he said

With a wag of his hoary old head

Can’t we make him confess

That the deaths would be less

If he had knitting needles instead

© jane jago 2017

To see the complete list of Jane Jago’s books go to:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Jago/e/B01CYLND2O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Badger’s Next Batch of Book Reviews

I know, I’ve been quiet on the old book review front lately, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been reading, oh no. So here, for your viewing pleasure is my latest batch.  Since it’s been a while I’ll run through how my grading system works for those who might have forgotten. I grade out of ten, because I don’t believe that five is enough to represent the variety of books available. Because Amazon and Goodreads only give you an “out of five” option, some books which don’t get ten from me, will nonetheless get five on these sites, but I will explain how I come to my conclusion for each book. So, without further ado, the reviews!

Dying to be Roman, by Jane Jago and E.M. Swift-Hook

I loved the concept of this before I read it. Alternative history which explores the concept of “what if the Romans never left”.  The world created here is intricate and has many neat touches, like still having the Colosseum, and gladiatorial displays, lions and more!  The problem for me was that I felt the world building was done at the expense of character development, and whilst the characters clearly had complex histories, these histories were revealed in a very short space of time in a way that wouldn’t naturally occur in normal relationships or conversation.  Equally I felt that the relationship was rather forced along, because that was what was supposed to happen, and I failed to feel any chemistry between the two main characters or see how they were attracted to one another.  That said, the crime solving in a different reality was a fun idea, and we met some interesting characters that I hope to learn more about in future books.

In conclusion, a good idea that would have benefited from more development of characters and plot, but definitely a world I will revisit in the sequel. This gets seven out of ten, or three out of five.


Syncopated Rhythm by Erik Schubach 

I won an audio copy on this in a competition in a Facebook group, and as I never win anything, it was very exciting.  I haven’t done audible before, and I downloaded an app and everything, it was all very high tech.  I won the book after reading an interview with Erik, and I remember thinking he is writing for all the right reasons, but being dubious as to whether he would be able to write convincing queer women.  I am pleased to say that he does a bang up job, and I did not question the characters or their motives once.  The story skipped along nicely, never once leaving me bored, and the narrator did a great job differentiating all of the characters.  I had to smile at how much of a concerted effort was made to diversify ALL of the characters, but I did think he did a great job reflecting all genders, sexualities and disabilities.  There were typos and repeated words, which I noticed through the narration, but that didn’t grate me as much as they would have had I been reading it, as it is hard to turn off your editor head.

So, in short, I liked the concept, and the story as a bit of escapism.  Not great literature but good entertainment, and for that and a decent narrator who deserves a nod for a good performance it gets eight out of ten, or four out of five.


Batwoman Volume 1: Hydrology TP by J H Williams III

I quite enjoy a graphic novel every now and again (I may have mentioned already) and Batwoman was downright brilliant, actually.  Not many of you know this, as I keep it to myself, but I am actually Batman.  Without any of the gear, money, dashing good looks or sidekicks, but in spirit at least, but Batman has such a long history, it just seems a bit daunting to know where to begin.  Batwoman is new, and I can start at the beginning and follow her journey.

The artwork was fantastic, the story compelling.  I loved all the subplots and twists they managed to squeeze into a short book.  I read it in two sittings and it left me wanting to know what happens next. My only criticism is that it was too short!

So, that’s nine out of ten for this, or five out of five.

The Rose Thief by Claire Buss

This is a brilliantly clever book that had me gripped from the beginning.  It is an homage to Terry Pratchett in its witty writing style, yet so utterly unique in story that you will wonder where on earth (or beyond) the writer found her inspiration.  The world is so intricately built that you can visualise every step the characters take on their journey, and the very British humour had me laughing out loud in places.  This is another one where I felt that the romance could have spent more time developing, as it struck me as a bit sudden, but the characters all had such unique and cleverly drawn personalities that I was just enjoying them for what they were.  If you like Pratchett you won’t be disappointed, this was a fabulous read and gets nine out of ten, or five out of five.


Monday Mystery Mime

Every week our friends at Feathers and Toast perform a mystery mime for you to guess.  We announce the answers and the winners the following week.  The winners are never you lot, because you don’t enter. We know you’re there, lurking, so why don’t you just have a go? Ah, what’s the point.

Last week’s mime was a bubbling cauldron. Hadie Mansfield, Paul Uhler, Melissa Spors Hubbard and Linda Henderson Eubanks all guessed correctly, so well done to them.

The clue for this week’s mime is something you squeeze a couple times a day, like that’ll help. Anyway, it’s below.

And Feathers and Toast also provided our #MemeMonday meme this week. It’s like they’re taking over!


A Monday Poem

I must tell you there is no surprise

When big men touch other folks’ thighs

If parliament is shocked

We should just say: oh f**k

It’s been happening under your eyes

© jane jago 2017


To see the complete list of Jane Jago’s books go to:  https://www.amazon.co.uk/Jane-Jago/e/B01CYLND2O/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0