…sum’times yeez just have to get out there… Life’s too short not to…

…today, I’m inspired by a blog piece I read this morning from my dear friend, Authoress, Sue Vincent… I re-blogged her offering as the post prior to this one, and I exhort yeez all to have a wee read and enjoy it… Sue describes her ‘leap of faith’ in venturing abroad as a young woman to be an English Nanny in France, with all the trepidation that a new venture entails… it brought me hurtling back to a similar episode in a much younger Master Gallacher’s existence… just a tad over fifty years or so ago… a half-century gone by, Mabel… five decades… was it really all that time back?… from time to time, I’ve touched on the fact that I left home in circumstances I’d have preferred to have been more positive… but, hey, Life is what it is… as the man says…deal with it!… at the all-growed-up age of fifteen and a half (as ever, that bluudy half is important!), I was as much a man then as ever I was going to be… like hundreds of thousands of families experienced back in those days, times in Dockland Govan in Glasgow were tough… frugality-and-living-so-close-to-the-poverty-line was a normal  daily trial for most of us…throw into that a father (Gawd bless him now, wherever his soul may have landed) whose alcoholism frequently manifested itself in violence and the nastier side of the human psyche… as the eldest sibling with three younger sisters, I invariably became the umbrella or shield for them against much of the vitriol… the details are no longer important, and I fully understand now, that my father’s alcoholism was an illness over which he had very little dictate… but things came to a head one day… the resultant argument boiled into a physical confrontation… in an effort to subdue his attack on me, I threw the most vicious of punches I’ve ever made in my life… all the built-up frustration and resentment against his past years of behaviour channeled into a single blow… one punch only struck this 225lb man directly on the chin… he went down immediately, crumpled to the carpet, out cold… I went to my room and collected my belongings, such as they were… my acoustic guitar, a duffle bag, a change of underwear

guitarbag

…no goodbyes to any of the family… not to my mother, nor to my sisters, not to the still-unconscious father… I went to the only place of refuge I knew at that time… the guy who ran the football team at the local Methodist Church of which I was a (nominal) member… by coincidence he knew well the Bank Manager of the Bank where I had started WURK a few months previously… the next thing I knew, I was on a train out of Glasgow up to Oban to catch the ferry to Tobermory on the Isle of Mull, where my career was to continue  with the Clydesdale & North of Scotland Bank

 

tobermory

…the rest is the stuff of biographies that few would believe, and will keep for another time… but I recall, as Sue did in her piece, the mixture of excitement, fear, anxiety, and wonderment at a whole new WURLD waiting for a young man leaving the slums for the first time… and I count my blessings… I’ll stop here, as some powerful emotions are flooding back, and I want a little time to myself over this… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!...

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When dreams come true…

Seumas Gallacher:

…this absolutely beautiful piece from my dear friend, Sue Vincent, takes me back fifty years ago to my own first venture into the outside WURLD… and inspires me to look at the core of this similar venture in my own life as the content for my own blog post later today …thank you for sharing this , Sue…mwaaaah

Originally posted on Daily Echo:

Night was falling as the train approached Paris. The noise of the carriage, the chatter of children and the rumble of the wheels had almost lulled me to sleep as the vision unfolded… a domed palace in the sky glowing white against the deepening blue. A dream perhaps… or a dream come true. I had seen it like this once before, almost a decade earlier and had never forgotten, cherishing a wish that one day I would go back…

And here I was. Incredibly, unbelievably…on my way to work there.

Tears pricked my eyelids as I was overwhelmed by a sense of homecoming that I could not have explained. I had dreamed of this for so many years, drawn to the city by the heartstrings.

The Byzantine curves seemed to float above the horizon… the Sacré-Cœur… Sacred Heart… it seemed fitting in so many ways. The Basilica stands on the…

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…okay, Authors… here’s why I think it’s good for yeez to do reviews…

typewriter

…every proper craftsman in the WURLD, ever since Noah, who did his Private Navy thing, has learned his trade as an apprentice… no, Mabel, not that guffy Apprentice program with the ‘look-how-tough-I-can-be-on-the-television-shouting-at-people’ executives… but sumb’dy who takes the time, usually a spread of years, to understand the nuances and intricacies of their chosen calling… and with the one-in-a-gazillion prodigy exception, that still remains the best way for yeez to acquire the credentials of yer vocation or profession… fr’instance, I’m a Luddite heathen regarding art…I wouldn’t know a palette from a paintbox… that takes talent… loadsa folks start with a chunk of raw material… the desire to follow a certain path… add the determination to better yerselves… watch and emulate yer accepted superior-skilled proponents… then practice, practice, practice… and when yeez’ve done that, yeez practice sum’more… it’s no different Lads and Lassies of Blog Land when yeez get that pull to join the diaspora of the virtual candle-lit garret-dwellers… we of the writing profession… we who have that unique ability to stare endlessly at an empty page, concentrating until blood seeps from our brow, and then we know we’re  ready to get our ideas onto paper or the laptop screen… part of that Authorial education is observing the masterpieces of others… of our own ilk…

open book

…I do not for a nano-second advocate plagiarism… far from it… but style is an acquired attribute… and by first looking, then seeing, and ultimately observing the best of breed from yer peers, yeez segue into yer own Author’s Voice… it’s the kinda thing that everybody knows exists, but is often difficult to describe, but yeez’ll know when yeez get it… it’s yer own individual stamp, that readers begin to recognise as ‘the way yeez write’… doing reviews is one of the best tools this ol’ Jurassic has discovered to ‘hear’ the Authors’ Voices of those whose WURK I admire… apart from that, I’ve shared here before, I try to download at least one new title each week onto my Kindle, particularly by a new, preferably self-published scribbler, and ultimately if the WURK so merits, put a 4- or 5-star review on to the Great God Amazon pages (less than 4-star, I do not publish)…

review

…this is my small way for me to ‘give back’ to the writing phenomenon which has already given me so much over the last short 6 years… 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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27 Author Recommendations for Holiday Gift-Giving …

Seumas Gallacher:

re-blogging , ‘coz… well, yeez’ll read why :):) enjoy :) and may I be the first to wish yeez all a Happy Thanksgiving 2015 … ye’re welcome! :):)

Originally posted on Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing:

No, wait! I didn’t mean you should wrap up an Author and give THEM to your friends, although I’m sure any of us mentioned below are flattered for having been considered gift-worthy … Let’s start over.

What could be better than giving or receiving A BOOK (or several) – at any time of the year and for any occasion? If you’re stumped as to what to give people on your list, or if you’re looking for something new for your own reading pleasure, please allow me to make a few suggestions …

I highly recommend the writing and books published by the following six Authors who have previously been featured on my other blog, Reading Recommendations:

Tim Baker and another book (featuring contributions from 6 Reading Recommendations Authors, including ME!)
Kevin Brennan and another book
Seumas Gallacher
Dylan Hearn and another book
Rebecca Heishman
S.K. Nicholls

But wait! There’s…

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…Written Acts of Kindness Award… my good friend, Author, Billy Kravitz…

Written Acts of Kindness Award

…the friendships yeez build on the Web are astonishing sum’times… yeez get thrown into such a broad, eclectic mix of wunnerful folks… and none more praiseworthy than my recipient today for the Written Acts of Kindness Award… vampire tales creator extraordinaire, Author, Billy KravitzBilly is an amazingly prolific quill-scraper, producing a daily journal of the goings-on of Tomas, who lurks and lives in all the dark places yeez would image any self-respecting vampire to be… however, diarising the escapades of Tomas, doesn’t prevent Billy from a constant support of others in the non-vampira Kingdom… the regular promptings from his pen exhort others to focus on scribblers such as yours truly, this ol’ Jurassic… Master Kravitz is one of so many unsung heroes of all that is good about ‘paying it forward’, go have a look at his stuff, yeez’ll find him around here:

Billy

Twitter              : @wilkravitz

Blog                 : http://vampirewonderland.blogspot.com

Facebook        : https://www.facebook.com/billy.kravitz.7?fref=ts

Billy, the rules for passing this Award on are very simple:

  1. You are welcome to give it out as many times as you like, but it is only to be given to a maximum of one person per blog post. If you wish to give multiple rewards, please space the blog posts so the sincerity is maintained.
  2. Introduce the person; say how they encourage, help or inspire you; then link to their work and/or social media profiles. There may be a specific post you wish to link to which helped you. It’s up to you.
  3. Please publicise your award post to Twitter or Google Plus using the hashtag #writtenkindness so that others can find and follow the award winners.

This award is open to anyone to use. You don’t have to receive it, in order to be able to give it. Once you have received it, it isn’t obligatory that you must pass it on.

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

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…truly, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, yeez are The Wind Beneath My Wings…

…the phrase is more often true than not, ’there are lies, damn lies, and statistics’… but in this instance, I’m gonna sit with the reality of a statistic that swam before my eyes today… my WordPress Site Stats tell me there have now been more than 50,000 views for this wee blog… for this ol’ Jurassic, that’s simply mind-boggling… and this mind o’ mine has been boggled plenty of times in the past, so I recognise a boggling when I see one…

 

Wordpress

 

…only as recently as in May 2012, after much exhortation from scribbling friends on the Internet, I yielded to their insistence, that any quill-scraper worth their ink should have a blog presence… at first it was a bit of a ‘stab in the light’, ‘coz many others were doing it… easy enuff to copy them for a while… a coupla blogs a week… then I found the taste for it… the pleasure of hitting the blank page on a regular basis became almost addictive… it is so much bluudy fun!… unlike the crime thriller masterpieces I produce, where a certain sobriety of narrative is de rigueur, with the blog, almost anything goes… being a quill-scraper, and a newly-come self-publishing novice at that, the central core of the content generally spins around the business of authorship… the whole nine yards, and then some… after a while, other snippets started to creep in… I was able to please myself (now, ain’t that a clue as to why it’s so much fun?) and free to add comments and opinions on matters that affect the Big Bad WURLD not one jot… but what the heck… it was getting to be even more pleasurable… interaction built up with so many of yeez…. cementing great friendships.. empathy with like-minded writing spirits… and humour by the barrow-loads… now I wouldn’t give it up for quids… yer support and comments are precious… truly, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, yeez are The Wind Beneath My Wings… here’s Ms Midler to endorse that (but don’t let Master Andrew Peters hear it…he adores her singing so much, he’ll cry for hours)… 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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…Barb Taub… an Authoress with a ton of heart…

…settle down, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, and listen carefully… yes, that means the lot of yeez at the back there as well… my good pal, Authoress, Barb Taub carries a timely message for yeez here, and at the same time, lets yeez know about some of her terrific wee masterpieces… I’ll shut up, and let her tell yeez about it:

BArb and Peri

BARB TAUB

Christmas in Austria is not for the faint hearted. While a familiar St. Nicholas does make the rounds, in many Germanic traditions he’s accompanied by a terrifying beast called the Krampus whose job is to punish – and even take away – naughty children. With his curling horns, long red tongue, and tail, the Krampus is enough to chill any heart.

Krampus

[Krampus and St. Nicholas visit a Viennese home in 1896 photo credit: public domain]

As the villain of Don’t Touch, the Krampus is a monster who literally feasts on the fear and terror he inspires in children. The demon who threatens Stefan and Lette is a cornered beast, an anachronism whose ever-diminishing influence only makes him more desperately dangerous.

The other inspiration for this story is the image of Rapunzel. But in Don’t Touch, Lette isn’t the helpless girl awaiting rescue by her prince. Instead, I go back to the origins of the folk story in sources such as Giambattista Basile’s Tale of Tales  from 1616, where she is actually the hero who rescues herself and her children, and then saves her lover. Like her earliest predecessors, Lette is a tough, self-reliant young woman who tells her would-be prince, “If I need rescuing, I’ll do it myself.”

Hope flares each morning in the tiny flash of a second before Lette touches that first thing. And destroys it. Her online journal spans a decade, beginning with the day a thirteen-year-old inherits an extreme form of the family “gift.” Every day whatever she touches converts into something new: bunnies, bubbles, bombs, and everything in between. Lette’s search for a cure leads her to Stefan, whose fairy-tale looks hide a monstrous legacy, and to Rag, an arrogant, crabby ex-angel with boundary issues. The three face an army led by St. Nicholas’ legendary dark shadow, the Krampus, who feeds on children’s fear. But it’s their own inner demons they must defeat first.

Don'T Touch

 

My final message in Don’t Touch is that we build our own towers. They can provide safety; they can even be gorgeous and appealing, but if they keep us from truly living our lives or cut us off from others, they are still our prisons. I think that’s one of the things I love the most about the holiday season. No matter how often we hear them, those messages of peace and goodwill just keep reminding us of our connections to each other. More sophisticated folk can turn up noses at the consumerism and the crowds, but I believe the reason we all come back for more every year is that basic gift of hope and belief.

It’s that belief that inspires my holiday appeal to you. In most of my stories, an animal companion plays a prominent role—from George, the grumpy cat in Don’t Touch to Bygul, the bitchy feline goddess of Payback is a Witch. My own life has been immeasurably enriched by my dog Peri who came from a shelter in eastern Washington State, and by the friends (feline, canine, and the occasional rodent) rescued by the dedicated members of many shelters.

In thanks, therefore, I will donate all royalties on sales between now and January 1, 2015 from Don’t Touch as well as the newly released set (Payback is a Witch and Just For The Spell Of It) to the following wonderful organizations:

  • USANo Kill Advocacy Center. Headed up by Nathan Winograd, the No Kill Advocacy Center movement is revolutionizing shelters across America.
  • United KingdomDogsTrust. Active since 1891, this no-kill shelter rehomed almost 15,000 dogs last year.

 

As a special incentive, both Don’t Touch and the brand new release set, Tales From Null City (containing Payback is a Witch and Just For The Spell Of It), will be listed at the sale price of $0.99 in the USA, and £0.77 in the UK.

Just for the spell of itPayback is a witch

Both make wonderful holiday reads, while at the same time supporting the work of the no-kill shelter movement. Please help ensure that animals are not left unsheltered during the very difficult winter months to come. To help, please order a book by selecting one of the following links:

Claire Danielsen is a young witch whose goddess is house cat of unusual size. Peter Oshiro is a Warden policing a delicate truce between those who are human and those who… aren’t. It just would have been nice if someone told them the angels were all on the other side.

Liam is an ungodly soccer-playing card sharp on a mission from God. Eirie is a beautiful punk fairy princess with her own daytime radio talk show. They’ve worked cases for the Accords Agency before, but with war between realms looming and her baby sister as the bargaining chip, partnering just got personal.

Contact Barb: blog | twitter | facebook

…many thanks to Barb, for her contribution…it’s always nice to see yet another one of our own quill-scrapers with a ton of heart… 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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