…monkey business of the delightful kind… meet Author pal, Marianne Jones… #TBSU…

…every now and then I get to read posts which just make me chuckle… my Guest Blogger today is the LUVLY Marianne Jones… I’ve learned a wee bit about her…. y’see, I do DO my research, so yeez all don’t have to dig for it…

…Marianne’s an eclectic writer of an award-winning poetry book, a children’s picture book, a fantasy novel for young readers and a soon-to-be published cozy mystery set in her home town of Thunder Bay, Ontario… her interests include theatre-y stuff, writing (of course), family, and her two gorgeous granddaughters… she’s a retired elementary teacher, actor, director and playwright… now get this, here’s a photo of the lassie next to the stone bench in Thunder Bay that has one of her poems carved in it!… beat that, Edgar Allen Poe!…



…now back to the chuckle-raiser…..enjoy…

…Curious George is 70

IMG_0007 (2)My two-year-old granddaughter is obsessed with monkeys. She has a monkey mask which she requires adult family members to wear while she leads them about on a rope. At other times, wearing a crocodile mask and nothing else, she chases her hapless monkey victim through the house.

Of course, the great thing about being two is that the story line is fluid. I have some great video footage, which I am saving for blackmail material, of my son in law bounding down the hall after her, making monkey noises while she runs away and screams in delight. I have promised not to post it on YouTube. Yet.

Grandmothers get a gentler treatment. On a recent visit I was required to be Sick Monkey, which involved lying on the couch with the mask while she wrapped me in bandages and examined me with her doctor kit. Dressed in a crocodile mask and nothing else, the doctor’s bedside manner seemed a bit unorthodox, but the patient was cooperative, and appears to have made a complete recovery.

This preoccupation with primates began with Curious George, who, as everyone knows, was a good little monkey, but always curious. Since I remember reading about George and his friend, The Man in the Yellow Hat, when I was a child, I became curious myself in just how long this story has been around. According to Wikipedia, Hans Augusto Rey and Margret Rey, fled Paris in 1940, carrying the Curious George manuscript with them. The books have been in print continuously for seven decades. That’s impressive longevity, even for a monkey!

When my granddaughter is a bit older, I will tell her about the squirrel monkey my Dad won in a poker game and brought home to his awestruck family. The four of us kids crowded around the cage to gaze in fascination at his tiny hands and his ugly little face permanently creased in a sorrowful expression, like a sad clown. For reasons that are unclear to me even now, we christened him “Toivo.” Our status among the neighbour kids had just shot up by ten points.

He was a terrible pet. Mean, spiteful and vindictive, he would fly at my younger brother in a rage and bite his face whenever he got the chance. Not that I didn’t often feel the same impulse myself, but my parents took a dim view of that sort of thing in our pets. He did take a kind of liking to my older brother, which meant that he bit him less often.

He wasn’t completely incapable of affection. He often crept toward my mother when she was sitting on the couch and nestled onto her shoulder. She would be touched by this display, until she felt a dampness trickling down her arm. She would take a swipe at him, but he was too fast.

On another occasion a friend of my father’s came to visit with his pet Weimaraner. In case you’ve never seen one, a Weimaraner is a variety of hunting dog that is as big as a house. The dog was wild with curiosity about the strange little creature in a cage, and was sniffing in a not-unfriendly way when a skinny little arm reached through the bars and grabbed him by the nose. According to my father, the dog “leaped ten feet in the air” and came down beside himself.

The rest is a blur of memories. Toivo stepping in my little brothers tomato soup and leaving tiny red footprints on the kitchen table while my brother wailed. Toivo eating the new blooms on the tulip plant that was my older brother’s science fair project, and my older brother weeping. My Dad chasing Toivo up and down the stairs (we knew better than to laugh). Memories of us crying hysterically when my father in an expression of rage-fuelled hyperbole threatened to flush the monkey down the toilet. The neighbour kids calling out, “The Hamilton’s monkey escaped again.” All the usual things.

On a trip to Mexico a few years ago, I saw a man with a squirrel monkey. I hadn’t seen one since Toivo. I felt awash in nostalgic affection, and had to have my picture taken with the tiny creature.

Those were different times. Nowadays we know that trying to make pets of wild animals is unfair to the animals. George and his friend The Man in the Yellow Hat belong between the covers of a book, where children can enjoy their fantasy world to their hearts’ content.


…Mariane’s website is www.mariannejones.ca.

…her Amazon Author page is amazon.com/author/jonesmarianne.

…and follow her on Twitter at @Mariann36863659  (she could use a bit of Twitter Follower LUVVIN… pile in Lads and Lassies of Blog Land)

…thanks for visiting, Marianne… see yeez later…




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…the poisoned chalice?…or ambrosia-filled goblet of the gods?… the Manchester United Manager’s job… #TBSU…


…I feel a certain sadness on the employment demise of David Moyes this morning as Manager of Manchester United Football Club… oh, for sure, the man will walk away with enuff folding spending stuff in his training bag to keep him from starvation for about a squillion years… it’s no secret that the WURLD of ‘sport’ in many aspects has succumbed to the madness of moolah millions… the once-upon-a-time-restricted-to-American-companies quarterly financial reporting disease has migrated with ease to major sports… the need for immediate and sustained commercial success prevails… ‘long-term planning’ stretches to about the middle-of-next-week… and success is further measured in rankings of being either number one, or number one… so, who would step up as next in line for the Manchester United Manager’s job?… is it a case of the poisoned chalice?… or ambrosia-filled goblet of the gods?… by all accounts it needs sumb’dy who’s a cross between the Pope and Hannibal the Hun… if yeez ask me nicely, I could consider the post for a coupla weeks, just to help out, mind… and if really pressed, I think I could find my old football boots stinking away in an old cupboard sum’where… ‘player/manager’ has a nice cachet to it… and prob’ly a nice cash to it as well… okay, Mabel, get on to Manchester… tell them I can be there by the end of the  week… got a blog to finish first… priorities, yeez’ll understand… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

football…I’m the good-looking one in the bowler hat at the right… my boots were away being mended the day they took this picture …


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…offensive stuff on the SOSYAL NETWURKS a complete NO-NO!… everything else is fair game… #TBSU…

…it’s a nice doctrine to follow if yeez can… ‘live and let live…’ …I won’t pretend to exhibiting inordinate amounts of tolerance in my own past… as a somewhat exuberant football player in my distant youth, I was often red-carded for ‘retaliating first’ in numerous on-field fracas (plural. ‘fracii’?)… I’ve well-documented on these blog pages the incendiary encounters with the ‘can’t-read-can’t-count’ basket-laden, non-cash-carryng bozos at the ‘Up to 10 items, and Cash-Only’ supermarket checkout lanes… and don’t get me started on the wannabe look-down-their-noses-at–’inferior-people’-snobs… but generally, p’raps the onset of a coupla more decades has visited a modicum of temperance to my temper… I spend prob’ly far too much time on SOSYAL NETWURKS than is proper (go on, name me five million people who don’t!), but I enjoy it… seems, however many do not enjoy it… fr’example, on Master Zuckerberg’s planet Facebook I notice innumerable folks having a rant at other people’s posts… now, having yer own rant at the WURLD at large is perfectly okay in my view, but to have a go at sumb’dy else’s opinion seems a tad weird to me… of course, there are tons of things on Facebook and other SOSYAL MEDYA with which I don’t agree, but I accept there are bits I also put on there which aren’t gonna gel with everyone else’s notions of perfect… I have to remember, most of these channels are public fora… blatantly offensive stuff, I agree is a complete NO-NO!… but seriously, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, everything else is fair game… my comedic God, Billy Connolly, used to say to people who didn’t like his language or material on television, ‘all yeez have to do is move yer thumb and switch it off!’... same applies on Facebook and the other outlets… if yeez don’t like it, ignore it… yeez can even block stuff… immerse yerselves in the material yeez like, and dump the rest… easy-peasy… see yeez later, I’ve got some thumb-movement to execute… LUV YEEZ!



…the great Billy Connolly… ‘all yeez have to do is move yer thumb and switch it off!’…


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Infinite patience and a good sense of humour

Seumas Gallacher:

…excellent post from Susan M.Toy on the need for patience in this great writing business of ours …

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

Dennis has always said that if you want to build a house and live on Bequia – successfully – what you really require are infinite patience and a good sense of humour. And we’ve discovered over these past 20 years that he’s correct.

Since ePublishing and printing my own novel, and after many years spent working with authors and publishers on promoting and selling their books, I’ve come to the realization that these are precisely the same qualities we all need in order to be able to write and publish – successfully. Especially lots of that first bit, I find, goes a long way towards achieving some of the ultra-success part in our careers.

I can’t count the number of writers who have deep-sixed all their writing and publishing efforts by being too impatient with the entire process. The world does not care that you have a personal deadline to…

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…open invitation to Authors… come show yer wares here… #TBSU…

…yesterday I re-blogged a superb post by my good pal, Susan M. Toy… in it she espoused much of my own sentiments about ‘paying it forward’… giving a leg up to other scribblers, indies or traditional… arguments may rage in other quarters about the supposed ‘battle’ ‘twixt self-publishing and traditional publishing… to me, that discussion matters not one jot… the essential thing is that all we quill-scrapers share a common bond… we write to be read… the emergence of the Great God Amazon Kindle and other ePublishing channels has produced an eruption of wannabe Nobel Literary Prize aspirants… the proliferation of new titles is an awesome readers’ tsunami… the discussion on ‘free books’ versus ‘paid tomes’ online is also a bit of a red herring too… I believe that discerning readers have no reluctance to pay for books… but good books, interesting books, well-written books, entertaining books... many of yeez have shared with this ol’ Jurassic that yeez think the basic ROOLS of the industry have changed… I’m not so convinced… the need for promotional activity remains the same… the requirement to have yer masterpieces readily available is constant… appropriate pricing relevance doesn’t go away… the fact is that traditional publishing has covered all these elements for a squillion years already… ePublishing has the same demands… what has changed is the quantum of yer masterpieces hitting the virtual bookstores and online libraries… which makes the promotional activity even more relevant… I’m not saying yeez have to spam yer stuff… very much the opposite… yeez really have to be discerning in how yeez come to yer marketplace… writing is a business… the whole nine yards from laptop to reader’s bedside table… yer competition is not versus yer fellow writers… it’s about being heard above the clamour on the virtual airwaves… I suggest yeez have to adapt to the modern reality… SOSYAL NETWURKIN… and blogs are part of that… sharing other Authors’ WURK is part of that… adding daily to yer circle of web pals is part of that… being present and accounted for, Suh! is part of that… I LUV having Guests on this blog… frankly it helps me, and I trust it also helps them broaden the audience… so, again… here’s my open invitation to Authors… come show yer wares here… my blog door is wide open, welcome… email material to seumasgallacher@yahoo.com …see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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Here, let me help you with that promotion …

Seumas Gallacher:

…Susan M. Toy gets it spot on, m’Lady … re-bloggingthis one too :)

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

“Get someone else to blow your horn and the sound will carry twice as far.” — Will Rogers

There is nothing worse – and I mean NOTHING!! – than an author who over-self-promotes!

Now I didn’t say just “self-promotes” but qualified it with “over”, because we all need to do a little bit of promoting, within reason, to get the word out about what we’ve written. Even traditionally published authors need to promote themselves, because many publishers just don’t have the financial wherewithall to deal individually with each author on their list. And you authors already know who your personal and professional contacts are, anyway, so you have a better chance of attracting attention by approaching those people personally.

But what happens when you run out of those initial contacts and begin preaching to the converted, so to speak? How do you attract new readers to yourself and your work…

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…a million-copies best-selling Author starts with just ONE copy sale… #TBSU…

wall copy 2

…yes, Mabel, I know, I know… sum’times I’m the master of stating the bluudy obvious… so why throw that blog post header in here?… our old Chinese pal, Lao Tzu, may not have been much of a librarian, but he’s one of prob’ly hundreds of Ancients who supposedly uttered the other indisputable truism, ‘…the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’… the similarities are relevant… reaching the destination of Bestsellerville parallels much of the long-distance trudger… initial freshness lapses into boredom at times, downright ennui at others, and excruciating draginess toward the finishing line… this ol’ Jurassic’s had to learn about paceabout patience… and most importantly, about relishing the simple, small victories… as a scribbler, of course I wanna see gazillions of downloads… and sales… and readers… and reviews… and… and… and… well… yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land know what I mean… there’s also that other sneaky element… luck… it plays a part, too… but for that, I hark back to one of the best golfers of a previous era, Gary Player, who often said, ‘…the harder I WURK and practice, the luckier I get…’ …it’s the same with yer quill-scraping…. WURDS don’t usually appear by magic… plot twists and knock-’em-for-six narratives take a lot of toil… the added, constant labour for the independent, self-publishing legions these days is the ubiquitous requirement to tramp the SOSYAL NETWURK paths… no rest for the wicked, and, sorry to say, no rest for the righteous either… yeez have to do it day by day… a million-copies best-selling Author starts with just ONE copy sale… go slay ‘em!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ... oh, and show folks yer masterpieces, like this:





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