Tag Archives: #books

…to all yeez Scots and emb’dy else who likes the haunting beauty of Celtic music… enjoy…

…yeez’ve seen me post stuff like this before… so if yeez don’t wish to listen, just click and move along, folks, NUTHIN to see or trouble yeez here… every quill-scraper has favourite things that oft-times propel them into ‘the mood’ for certain passages of their scribbling… call it yer Muse if yeez like… when this ol’ Jurassic feels the pull toward reflectiveness, it’s the haunting Celtic music that effortlessly transports me there every time… particularly the ‘pipes…and even more particularly, the slow, pibroch laments or ‘yearnings’… there’s a special ‘resonance’ in that music that hits deep into my soul, and I’d hazard a thought that p’raps many more of yeez out there of a certain age feel the same ‘stirrings’… yeez get it with tunes like ‘Amazing Grace’… another is ‘The Flowers of the Forest’… and of late, the current Poppy Appeal features a special favourite of mine, ‘The Green Fields of France’, which I’ve also appended below… the top of the post has a beautiful bagpiper rendering The Dark Island, a tune I learned in English and in Gaelic (the lyrical tongue of the Gods) during my time in the glorious Hebridean island of Mull… whether yeez be authors or not… whether yeez be Scots or not… whether yeez boast Celtdom in your lineage or not… if yeez appreciate music that invites yer slowing down for a wee while and savouring the grace-note skirling of an instrument yeez either LUV or loathe (there’s NUTHIN in between, Mabel), this listen is humbly presented and I ask yeez to join me in stopping the rest of this daft WURLD for a few minutes and just enjoy!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…Glasgow Dockland Govan’s version of Rudolph Valentino…

valentino

Rudolph Valentino

…I can pinpoint for yeez almost to the hour when this ol’ Jurassic sashayed from the innocence of youth to the angst-strewn teenage-recognition that GURLS, creatures of the opposite gender, may have sum’thing about them more interesting than pigtails to pull… barely out of short trousers and severe short-back-and-sides haircuts, I became aware of THEM… females… non-football-players… non-collectors-of-frogs-to-stick-in-cleaned-out-jamjars… and certainly not-members-of-our-secret-gangs-with-very-original-codewords-like-‘Geronimo’… of course, at infant school parties, there were the usual ‘Postman’s Knock’ games which often involved being highly embarrassed by getting kissed by a GURL… the ultimate Russian Roulette version of a five-year-old’s boy’s nightmares… imagine then the confusion when it struck home, that a GURL yeez know is taking 100% of yer thinking time… usually chatterbox personified, ye’re reduced to a tongue-chewing babbler when confronting the target of yer youthful fantasies… back then tradition was paramount in such affairs… yeez had to ask the GURL if she wanted to be yer GURLfriend… heaven forfend yeez should even think of asking her in front of any of yer mates, in case yeez get the infamous rejection… the gem of my eye at the time rejoiced in the name of ‘Ruby’, a charming young lady… she even had ‘lumps in her jersey’… a-hem… and she was ‘G.A.’… ‘Geographically Acceptable’, as she lived about fifty yards away in the same tenement block as this young wannabe Rudy Valentino… I remember the setting as if it were yesterday… on the first floor landing, halfway up the tenement stairwell in her ‘close’… violins in the background, red roses and candle-bedecked candlebra were not in attendance… but that mattered not a jot… Romeo could not have pitched it better than I…

romeo

…‘Wull yeez be ma GURLfriend?’… a momentary hesitation from the lass, during which the urge to turn on my heel and get the hell outa there as fast as possible was ended with her response, worthy of any romantic novelist’s best—‘Aye, awright!’… thus began, properly, an everlasting affinity for THEMGURLS… they make the WURLD spin round… and just to top it  all, The Rolling Stones at the time launched ‘Ruby Tuesday’.. I can’t recall if I asked her on a Tuesday, but I remember the liaison lasted an entire summer, until our family moved away from the district and ‘l’affaire-de coeur’ withered on the vine of distance… subsequently when I hear the great cover version below by Melanie Safka, my thoughts inevitably turn to ‘lumps-in-a-jersey’… sum’things never change… see yeez later …LUV YEEZ!

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…Written Acts of Kindness Award : Susan Toy…

kindness

…yeez all know very well there are Awards, and then there are AWARDS… Blog Land has plenty of them… and long may they continue to proliferate… the majority are great fun, and usually always a pleasure to receive, especially when they come from yer fellow quill-scrapers… yesterday, I was the proud, and very humbled (yes, Mabel, even me… humbled) recipient of an AWARD I’d never seen before… the Written Acts of Kindness Award… it will take prominent pride of place on my virtual mantelpiece… the LUVLY and ever-generous Cate Russell-Cole saw fit to bring a seldom-seen blush to my wan complexion by naming me as an Awardee… in my turn, I have decided to initiate a few of these over time… as it happens, off the top of my head I could think of a least a dozen worthies for the Award, but will start off with one today… the magnificent Susan Toy

susan

…on a personal basis, Susan has been one of my staunchest supporters, encouragers, and a downright great pal over the past year or so… but it doesn’t stop there… this fine Lady bangs the literary drum for many and varied authors, covering a massively broad range of genres… her blog islandeditions.wordpress.com is a joy to read… recently, in the Caribbean, Susan was afflicted by a nasty local illness, chikungunya, which is as malevolent as it sounds… notwithstanding that, her stream of profiling for other writers continued unabated on her Reading Recommendations page… for me, Susan is the equivalent of the Dame of the Literary Empire… thank you for you, m’Lady… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

Blog                    : islandeditions.wordpress.com

Twitter              : @SusanMToy

Facebook          : http://www.facebook/susantoy

…Susan, 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.

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…a Soccer Club Manager’s eyesight skills… the Eighth WUNDER of the modern WURLD…

 

…if yeez ever come back as a housefly, yeez’ll apparently have about a gazillion ‘windows’ in yer eyes… that’s one of the things that make them so bluudy difficult to swat… they see everything… the only other creature on the planet that shares this phenomenal vision trait is the Modern Soccer Club Manager…

tactician

…this particular creature of the Animal Kingdom is seemingly imbued with a similar propensity to spot things the rest of we humans do not… I’m a self-confessed couch potato when football is screened on television and LUV IT!… the broadcasting people generally have anything up to a dozen or more cameras covering any specific match in the English Premier League… which, by the way, is a cross sometimes between posses of athletes who can bounce off walls, and groups of ballet dancers so frail that the wind knocks them over…

player

…at the end of each match, the Managers of the competing teams are obliged to be interviewed live about the game… that’s when the ‘suspension of disbelief’ creeps in… I’ve heard more credible science fiction fantasy accounts… it would appear that these Managers have the ability to see and instantly analyse events 100 yards distance from where they sit, which a referee standing a mere two yards away always misses…

ref

…the most dismal performances by their own super-star-subjects-of-mega-billions-of-transfer-fee-deals are transformed in their vision to the best displays ever seen on a football pitch… the ‘bad luck’… the ‘misfortune’… the ‘undeserved defeats’… are all products of their view of the preceding 90 minutes play… I can only surmise that a Soccer Club Manager’s eyesight skills are the Eighth WUNDER of the modern WURLD… by the way, NUTHIN is ever mentioned of the possibility that p’raps their ‘boys’ weren’t good enuff to win, or even snatch a ‘well-earned’ draw… that maybe their own man-management skills aren’t up to scratch… or p’raps the confession that they themselves are frequent visitors to SpecSavers… be whatever it may, this ol’ Jurassic is envious of the depth of ‘acuity’ and ‘perception’ they possess… I think they’d have a great second career as fiction writers… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…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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