Category Archives: Scribbling & Stuff

…Author Blog behaviour… ‘not in my back yard’…

…when this ol’ Jurassic was at infant school along with Methuselah and Co., primary sources of reading amusement were the comic cuts… in the UK, these included ‘the Dandy’, ‘the Beano’, and ‘the Topper’…

dandybeanotopper

…and unforgettably, the characters populated within their covers ranged from Dennis the Menace, Beryl the Peril, Desperate Dan, and the Bash Street Kids… as role models for modern-day children, I s’pose they  would be frowned on, as the naughtier their exploits, the funnier, and therefore more interesting to us wee readers, they became… but survive they all did, week after week, scrape after scrape, mischief after mischief… now here’s the thing… much as their behaviour may have pulled a tut-tut or three from their comic long-suffering parents and exasperated schoolmasters, NUTHIN they did was too outrageous… they were fun, entertaining, and truth be known, they provided another means of adding to our junior propensity to read…

kids

…the authors of these evergreen cartoon characters and stories knew the limits of propriety… I think there’s a strong pointer there, for me at least, as to what is ‘appropriate’ content in my own scribblings here in my blog… as an Author, my novels hopefully will carry my ‘Author’s Voice’, a recognisable pattern and style of writing… but, the Blog, for me, is the vehicle that carries my ‘Author’s Brand’… how readers perceive the person behind the quill-scraping… of course, it will never replace face-to-face, frequent interaction with people… but, y’know, Mabel, maybe that’s not such a bad thing… among the fabulous friendships I’ve been fortunate enuff to garner across the SOSYAL NETWURKS, I have impressions in my own head of the personalities with whom I engage online regularly… and unlike non-virtual relationships, if I feel disinclined to continue to engage because of ‘bad vibes’, a simple click of the mouse solves the issue… which reinforces for me that I have to take care to protect my own Author’s Brand… by not indulging tasteless Author Blog behaviour… ‘not in my back yard’ kinda stuff… I’d be interested to hear if yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land out there share this view?… are yeez conscious of yer own Author’s Brand?... see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…a dedication to all the fallen, and particularly to Cpl Nathan Cirillo in the face of the recent madness…

…I don’’t often cut and paste my Facebook posts as blog pieces, but so many people have asked me to do so with the post I made on there yesterday, in the hope that the message may go viral… if yeez wish to share it, please do so… LUV YEEZ!… here’s the post:

 

…the older I become, the less rational the world appears… I care not for the arguments and posturing that dress themselves as nationalistic, religious, political or downright greed… when a young man standing HONOUR GUARD in memory of those fallen in horrendous global conflicts around the planet is gunned down under some pretence of a deluded fanatic’s ‘righteousness’, my soul screams out, ‘Enough’! ….how present are the words of the song that ask ‘when will they ever learn?’ ..the ‘they’ being all of the creeds, nutters, even well-meaning hawks of all nationalities… last year, I unashamedly admit I was reduced to tears watching the televised Remembrance Service at London’s Cenotaph… getting older myself, I have an increasing awareness of just how precious life is… some of that emotion returned in spades yesterday with the symbolism of the War Memorial next to which a young man’s life was needlessly taken… I want to reprint here, before the whole swathe of November 11th’s internet stuff swamps the Web, the poem I wrote last year watching that service, and humbly dedicate it to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo:

TELL ME, JOHN, LET ME HEAR IT ONCE

Tell me, John, let me hear it once

From beyond the grave wherein you lie.

Tell me once, that I may know

Why the Hell did you have to die?

Now that I myself am growing old

As you were not allowed to do,

When your country went to War,

Killing them, and us, and you.

Is Humanity so bereft

Of sense and sensibility?

That murder dressed as War

Is the tip of Man’s ability?

Yes, my dear, I understand

There’s times to right the wrong

When Nation pits at Nation

To prove which one is strong.

But feel each mother’s loss

The angst, the grief, the pain

It’s no use telling them,

‘Let them not have died in vain’.

For every priceless child that’s gone,

Every precious son and daughter,

There can ne’er be salve enough

To ease the cost of slaughter.

So, yes, let us remember,

Not the glory, nor the killing

Nor the rant of politicians

Sending us to do their willing.

Yes, please,

Tell me, John, let me hear it once

From beyond the grave wherein you lie.

Tell me once, that I may know

Why the Hell did you have to die?

Seumas Gallacher

11.00 am, November 10th, 2013

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..an Author’s lot… and wond’rin’ why we do what we do…

gambling2

… there’s an old Gamblers Prayer which goes, ‘Please, God— let me break even— I need the money’… there’s plenty of yeez out there amongst the Lads and Lassies of Blog Land who all know that feeling well… when yeez find there’s too much month left over at the end of yer salary… or at the end of yer royalties payments… or worse still, at the end of a combination of both… when yeez get the feeling that p’raps yer Muse would be better employed bringing in some moolah, rather than pitching Nobel Prize-winning Literary ideas at yeez… when endless hours and days, weeks and months even, are ploughed into sculpting yer masterpieces… when yer very blood, sweat, and swearing has been expended in the birth of yer next WURLD-shattering epic… and still yer notion of ‘fine dining’ is a shared cheeseburger at Mcdonalds (but with extra fries, mind)… from whence, then, comes the motivation to continue scribbling into the ‘hour of the wolf’, clambering into yer hammock as the dawn breaks, yet again?…

pad

…the old ‘just one more chapter to write… one more paragraph to get done, and then I’ll sleep’ syndrome takes over so often, that yeez get to wond’rin’, ‘why do we do it?’… it’s quite simple, really… it only takes one reader to tell us they LUV our WURK… a single wee squiggle on the Amazon sales page signifying another purchase made… a solitary review—good, bad or indifferent, showing at least sumb’dy cared enuff to give some feedback on our labours… the other answer, of course, which I find kinda hard to refute, relating to myself, is that I’m just plain nuts!… daft as a tuppenny watch… crazier than a tub full o’ monkeys… it’s akin to the loneliness of the long-distance runner… burning the midnight oil when all else is abed, asleep… but, truth be known, we LUV IT!… coz it’s there, Mabel, the as-yet-to-be-published-novel-of-the-century home run… and p’raps even Granny’ll like it… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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…that gleam yeez see is a gem of a Guest Post from LUVLY Author pal, Pamela Wight…

…I’ve said it to yeez so many times before, what a privilege it is to host Guest Bloggers on this wee Web page… today’s Guest is Author Pamela Wight, with a beautifully uplifting offering… the photography just knocks yer eyes out… enjoy…

pam-picture

 

More Than a Wooden Shoe by Pamela S. Wight

wooden-shoe

I walk the strangely silent town at 7 a.m. The sun is practically blazing this time of year, when the egrets rise with the golden orb at 6:30 a.m. and the hummingbirds still flit around our feeder as the light fades past 6:00 p.m.

egret-and-the-cc-Pamela Wight

Most of the humans, however, are still blearily eyeing their cups of caffeine.

So I’m almost alone this morning with the seals and the pelicans and the few pedestrians here and there, breathing in the fresh air, enjoying the satisfying strain of muscle, but also trying to fling away the worries swarming my brain like a bunch of bees.

I want to eradicate the bees.

So I walk faster, humming softly, trying to forget my cares and worries and just seize the day – carpe diem.carpe-diem1

On a crooked street near the center of town, I come upon an older man, mid-80s, wearing a straw hat and walking jauntily in the alleyway. He peers up at me over his glasses and exclaims, “I’m so glad I’m alive!”

He’s so joyous that I laugh out loud. What gratitude.

 

My bees buzz away, and I smile the rest of my solitary walk as I focus more on the gratefulness of all that surrounds me. Friendship. Love. Family.

 

Then I remember a video I took of my 5-year-old granddaughter when she stayed with us this summer, her first week away from her parents. Here’s a photograph from the video:

girl

 

And I shout out to the cool early morning air: “I love you more than a wooden shoe!”

During this fall season, I wish for you gratefulness and love and joyous songs that help you keep the worry-bees away.

 

…thanks, Pamela… there! I told yeez that would delight yeez, didn’t I?

Pamela writes fast flashes of life as well as stories of fiction and lore. Her blog emphasizes those flashes of life’s joy, as well as her publishing joys – books of romance and suspense offered as a wonderful escape into worlds that are very real. Her two latest books are The Right Wrong Man (in paperback and e-book) and Twin Desires (e-book).

The right wrong manTwin desires

Pamela teaches creative writing for fun – calling it Rough Writing. Her students have renamed her class ROUGH WIGHTING.

…yeez can follow this LUVLY Lady thus:

 @pamelawight

 Roughwighting Blog

 Roughwighting Facebook

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

 

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…super Historian of the Old West, good pal, Tom Rizzo, carries me into his Storyteller’s 7 feature…

…there can be few, if any, more knowledgable people around telling the unknown stories of the Old Wild West than Tom Rizzo… his webpage, TomRizzo.com has fascinating insights into how things really happened back in the developing days of the outlaws and good guys who trail-blazed across America… in the modern day, Tom also features Guest pieces from quill-scrapers like myself, with a wide range of subject matter… he has a feature called Storyteller’s 7, where he pitches seven questions at his invitees… here’s my post with him today:

STORYTELLER’S 7: SEUMAS GALLACHER’S RISING SOCIAL MEDIA STAR

 

Seumas Gallacher writes crime thrillers. Rather than wait for potential readers to find him, this successful self-published novelist finds them through an aggressive strategy aimed at creating and maintaining his visibility.

His tireless efforts paid off big, thanks to his adept use of Social Media.

Based in Abu Dhabi, Seumas connects to and engages with an estimated 17,500 contacts on a daily basis. He stays in touch with them through various Social Media channels, including:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Linkedin
  • Goodreads
  • Google Plus
  • Pinterest
  • Blog
  • eMail

This  day-to-day, multi-faceted strategy to develop brand loyalty resulted in at least 75,000 downloads of his popular action-packed adventures, The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black, and Savage Payback.

Seumas, who spent nearly five decades in the financial arena, is witty, introspective, and a talented writer and businessman who knows and practices the art of staying in touch.

 

StoryTeller’s 7

1.  You’re a self-publisher with over 75,000 downloads of your crime thrillers. How did you achieve such sales success?

Serendipity for the most part. When I had just finished my first novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, six years ago, as a neophyte in the self-publishing game, someone introduced me to the Amazon Kindle channel, of which I knew nothing then.

It also coincided with reading about how writing should be a ‘business’ from beginning to end, with the actual writing being the comparatively easy part.

Seumas Gallacher Crime Thrillers

The rest entails ‘getting it out there’, so I became a fast learner on the social networks, as they apply to an author. Developing a focused network of like-minded people from the readers, writers, and publishers universe became a daily mantra with me.

The last cog in the wheel was doing an almost daily blog and connecting the posts on that to all these other outlets. All of that together constitutes a program for attaining the necessary visibility to succeed.

I wrote a small guide to share my experience with this, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES, which is also doing well on Amazon Kindle.

2.  Social networking represents a key component of your success. Rank what you’ve found to be the most successful social network channels.

There are so many channels to get involved with, but realistically I only have so many hours in a day to give them proper ‘business’ focus, so I chose the ‘usual suspects’, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads, and LinkedIn as well as my blog.

Others I’ve added along the way include Google+, StumbleUpon, Pocket, Tumblr and Pinterest.

3. You “escaped” – as you phrased it – from the world of finance after five decades. Can you recall the moment when you chose the fork in the road that brought you to where you are today? What triggered your desire to write?

I was walking one evening along the seafront Corniche in Abu Dhabi, and it occurred to me, that it was ‘just time’ to write ‘that book’ we all supposedly have in us.

From there it has taken a life of its own. I wish I had started 30 years earlier. I still have my own firm, doing corporate turnaround and restructuring engagements, which keeps my ‘business’ mind active.

4.  Tell us something about your work habits. Walk us through your approach to the storytelling process.

As I write crime thrillers, it’s easy to get themes. Just watch the daily cable news channels and change the names to protect the guilty!

I work at my writing daily, and find the early part of the day the most productive. I like to have a rough ending to the book in my head before I begin the drafting, and usually let the action and the characters drive the narrative.

That generally throws many surprises at me, and I‘ve found it beneficial to the storytelling to allow that to happen. Editing I do almost every day. Although some may frown on that, it works for me, and then I do a few overall edits when it’s done.

5.  Publishing has undergone such dramatic changes. Writers don’t need anyone’s approval or permission to get something into the marketplace. What downsides do you see in self-publishing?

Seumas GallacherThe same downsides as exist in any form of publication exist in self-publishing.

Badly edited manuscripts, lazy storytelling, lack of plot balance and formatting impact the novels/books themselves.

On the ‘post-written’ side, finding readership, either through the Amazon and/or other eBook linkages is often difficult because of the omission to ‘build the platform’ of a following.

Self-delusions of adequacy can creep in without external eyes and literary brains to critique the work, so I feel these are essential.

6.  What advice do you have for writers faced with finding a balance between developing a compelling story and the need to implement an effective marketing plan to let everyone know about it?

It’s a fine balance as ever. Each person may have a different approach to this. Mine has been constant.

I invest a lot of time in maintaining social networking linkups, which can be hugely rewarding on a relationship basis, with many of my own counterparties having become great pals and supporters.

However, I do separate the focus when it comes to the actual writing of the novels. That has to be 100 percent concentration, no distractions, otherwise the work will come out half-baked in my opinion.

7.  To this point, what has been your most memorable author moment, something that stands heads-and-shoulders above all others?

I’ve shared this many times. The feeling of euphoria the first time I typed the last sentence of the first novel was indescribably fabulous.

I thought it wouldn’t happen again, but, the same sense of ‘pink-cloud’ delight was there on subsequent novel-endings.

 For more on Seumas:

 

- See more at: http://tomrizzo.com/storytellers-7-seumas-gallachers-rising-social-media-star/#comment-15325

 

…many thanks,Tom, for allowing me space on your terrific blog…

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…txtg nd riting n d mdern way is hrd… I’m 2 old 4 dis sht…

…it’s a given that each successive generation as it ages has occasion to shake its communal head and mutter, ‘wasn’t like that when we were growing up’…  or other such epithets… the continuous search for the elusive ‘balance’ between ‘progress’ and retention of the ‘old and trusted ways of doing things’ is never going away… Twitter and the advent of mobile communication devices have spawned a whole new generation with a language all of its own… textese… the art of crucifying the English spoken WURD on a wee screen…

spelling

…the almost virtual obliteration of the vowel has made it clearly an endangered species… interchanging numerals for real phrases and WURDS is sum’thing that used to appear only on gimmicky quiz shows decades ago… acronyms replace entire paragraphs… and I dare say at some stage ‘War and Peace’ will be reduced to a couple of hundred squiggly characters on some Blackberry genius’ hands… intelligible only to those who have grown up with the art of decimating our speech skills… it certainly defies my wee grey cells… so, I’m wond’ring… have I also become part of an endangered species?… the instilled teaching methods of 50 and 60 years ago rammed the three ‘R’s into my brain, and try as I may, I find it very difficult (read ‘impossible’) to ditch the learning of a lifetime… oh, I know, Mabel, I sum’times mess about with WURDS on the blog here, but I’m still a happy slave to putting full spelling of my messages on tweets and text messages… and don’t forget, full stops and capital letters for new sentences, too… and while I’m at it… what bluudy mastermind thought that equipping school kids with pocket calculators would improve their numeric talents?…

calculator

…I’ve lost count of the number of times when, for example, I’ve handed a ten-denomination banknote to a store check-out clerk for a purchase of, say five, and watch them tap into the till to calculate the change back… whatever happened to the ability to do fractions and decimals via mental arithmetic?…txtg nd riting nd nmbrs n d mdern way is 2 hrd… I’m 2 old 4 dis sht… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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….laff?… nearly passed me blogs round…

laff

…there’s only about a squillion gazillion blog posts thrown onto the Web every nanosecond… so, when yeez become ‘a blogger of intent’ (my phrase, Mabel… bound to be quoted soon in Wikipedia, I’m sure), there’s a wee bit of competition for eyeball attraction for yer own posts… the advent of the ‘net’ has exacerbated what I term ‘the newspaper cartoon strip attention span’… if a reader doesn’t get ‘hooked’ by the blog’s heading, first sentence, or opening phrasing, yeez’ve lost them already… pretty much like we quill-scrapers attempting to produce a knockout, ‘pull-‘em’-in’ opening page in yer novels and other masterpieces… I s’pose offering money or other favours may have its attractions, but as most of us are not possessed of massive funds to ‘persuade’ folks monetarily to pick up our off’rings, resort to literary technique is the order of the day… from this ol’ Jurassic’s perspective, among the myriad plethoric blogging cornucopias (what a bluudy phrase,that is, eh, Mabel?) that swim across my ken, I most enjoy those which follow my ‘E’s ROOL… those which Educate, Elucidate, Encourage, Entertain, Elaborate, Extend-my-knowledge, and which I Enjoy-for-their-own-sake… having a good laff is always to be applauded… sum’times as a scribbler, I can be tempted to take myself too seriously (heaven forfend)… so laffing at myself first of all, takes pride of place… taking the p*ss out of those whose delusions of adequacy tumble before them is also right up there… when in need of the occasional cheerful fillip, I resort to clips of my lifetime comedic God, Master Billy Connolly, or old reruns of Tommy Cooper… never fails to improve my mood… sum’times it’s Celtic music (which I’ve shared with yeez ad inforeverum), or the pick of superb voices blasting from the past… whatever raises the spirit has to be in yer favourites… I exhort yeez to find a few of these ‘happy triggers’ for yerselves, then share them from time to time with yer followers.. here’s yet another slice of Master Connolly for yeez to enjoy (with Tom Cruise in there for good measure, too) … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

ALL MY BLOG POSTS ARE FREE TO SHARE/RE-BLOG SHOULD YOU SO WISH—BE MY GUEST!

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