A visit to the zoo today has inspired this post!

So … what kind of writing animal are you?

Panda – you’re a showy writer and refuse to be hurried, but don’t let time run out on you.

Meerkat – you’re too busy studying the market and watching everyone else to actually sit down and write!

Koala – you’re too spaced out to write, man.

Albino wallaby – you write because you’re unique. You have something really different to say.

Rhino – you charge into writing without thinking and so  you’re always rewriting and revising and never quite getting there.

Orang Utan – you’re too laid back to write, man.

Alligator – you’re snappy and aggressive and you’re gonna destroy the opposition.

Porcupine – you’re too prickly to take advice or criticism about your writing from anyone.

Exotic bird – you’re only writing a book to show off to friends and family.

Penguin – you write because it’s the in-thing to do. You want to be like everyone else.

Snake – you’re inscrutable so no one knows why you write.

Giraffe – you write because you love it and it makes you feel great. You feel ten feet tall – if not more!

Or are you another writing animal altogether?

 

A Cultural Paradox: Fun in Mathematics by Jeffrey A Zilahy is a great book. It’s unique and it’s very well done. And the title turns out to be true – mathematics actually is fun. Well, at least in this author’s hands. He has an engaging style of writing and a great sense of humour. We have several pages of maths jokes, and a photo of Kurt Gödel, who contributed greatly to removing uncertainty from mathematics, is labelled as ‘Probably a photo of Kurt Gödel’. Even the publication date is given in binary code! Each chapter is a brief conversation on a certain topic, such as pi, probability, statistics, the birthday paradox, the New Kind of Science, various mathematicians, zero and binary numbers. We also look at the mathematics of spaghetti and meet undercover mathematicians such as Art Garfunkel and Brian May.

Many people are at worst scared and at best suspicious of advanced maths and maths theories. This books shows us in a very approachable style what they’re really about and how they’re not actually as awful as they sound. They’re put into a familiar context and explained in ways we can understand. The book is well laid out and the subject matter clearly presented. It makes for a fascinating and educational read. My only complaint, as a European, is that it’s very much slanted to the American market. A Cultural Paradox is quirky, entertaining, well explained and interesting. And it has an index, which is something very non-fiction book should. 11 cheers for the author (that’s three in binary!).

You can download it for free here http://www.free-ebooks.net/ebook/A-Cultural-Paradox-Fun-in-Mathematics

Who Put the Eye in the Pumpkin Pie? by Stephanie Dagg

It was Halloween, about half past three,

We were sitting down to have some tea.

Mum had made a big, plump pumpkin pie,

But when she cut it open, she found … an eye!

Now as you might guess, that spoilt the meal

And gave it a very creepy feel.

Suddenly no one wanted to eat

That yummy, scrummy Halloween treat.

Mum went mad, she totally freaked,

She roared, she screamed, she yelled, she squeaked!

She glared at us all to try and see

Who had shoved an eyeball into the tea.

But none of us there had an empty socket

Or eye-gouging tools hidden in a pocket.

We weren’t the culprits, we weren’t to blame.

Was this just some ghastly, ghoulish game?

We wondered quite where to begin,

When the door burst wide and a witch flew in.

She was hunched and so bristly it made you itch,

It was Wicked Wanda, the One-Eyed Witch!

She swooped and shrieked. “What’s this I spy?

You guys have got an extra eye!”

She grabbed it and poked it into place

In her warped and wrinkled witchy face.

No sooner had she left the room

Than a mummy stepped in, fresh from the tomb.

He was followed by bats, a frog and toad,

And the mad professor from down the road.

“Has anyone seen my eyeball bomb?”

He asked. ”The wretched thing has gone!”

As we opened our mouths to tell the truth,

We heard a loud bang from the roof.

We rushed outside, and crikey! Jiminy!

Witch Wanda’s remains were stuck to the chimney!

As her tattered hat floated to the ground

We grimly, glumly gathered round.

So the moral of this tale, my dears,

Is that Halloween can end in tears.

So do be warned, please be advised,

To stay clear of eyes in pumpkin pies!

 

I was going to  jump on the bandwagon and blog about the French Kindle store being open now. This is great news! Finally I can get 99 cent books for 99 cents, and not $3.44. There won’t be quite as many English language books available as on amazon.com but probably enough to keep me going for a while!

This afternoon I got another book up on Smashwords. The Witch’s Dog is available for free from here. I’m delighted to say it’s already had one 5-star review. It’s for 5 to 10 year olds, roughly. It’s a non-scary, happy, fun witchy story. No ensuing nightmares, I promise!

I hope you like the cover. I did this one! Caiti is rather busy with homework at weekends at the moment, so it was up to me. I wanted to get this book out for Halloween. I’ve left it rather late as it is…

The dog is our Nessie. I took loads of photos of her, but since she kept rolling over, this was the only one that worked!