Tag Archives: #books

…Authors… how good ‘plants’ enrich yer scribbling masterpieces…

…readers, by and large, are clever, intelligent folks… they can also often be dismissive of shoddy WURK from an Author, regardless of how vaunted that writer’s celebrity may be… the basic mystery novel, and much of crime stories will frequently hold wee ‘pointers’ toward the eventual denouement of the plot… these are frequently contained in a ‘cluster’ of information/details rolled out as the book progresses, with further ‘clues’ developing as the narrative is unwrapped… what is not welcomed by the perceptive reader are ‘surprise’ revelations that ‘suddenly’ result in ‘solving’ the plot line… that kinda quill-scraping is to be avoided at all costs… however, I’d like to focus not so much on the ‘big’ clues technique mentioned above, but in the thinking writer’s art of ‘planting’ stuff throughout the story… fr’instance in my first Jack Calder crime thriller, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, one of the main characters gets hit by a coupla bullets, and ends up in a private room in hospital… the nurse is instructed to have the patient on ‘liquids only’ which takes the form of a large jug of water and a drinking glass parked on the stand beside his bed… a while later, an intruder attacks my guy (a former SAS officer)… his reaction to the attack is to reach out for the nearest ‘weapon’the drinking glass, which he smashes and thrusts into the throat of the assailant, thereby saving the day… the reader will accept the presence and proximity of the glass, having had it casually mentioned in passing just a while before… in other WURDS, there’s NUTHIN ‘plucked by chance from thin air’… a superb piece of ‘planting’ was used by the splendid Author, Tom Wolfe in his terrific ‘The Bonfire of the Vanities’...

bonfire

…his hero, by name Sherman, is involved in a fatal vehicle accident and taken to court… his female companion in the car is from ‘New Joisey’ and has the accent to match… before her evidence in the court scene, away from her hearing, a separate witness refers to someone calling the accused ‘Shoyman’… when the lady gives her evidence she also calls the guy ’Shoyman’, which proves to be the corroboratory clincher in getting him convicted… a great plant… so, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, go find yer literary seeds and start planting… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!… my planted novel, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY, is available below (do yeez see what I did there, Mabel?):

VMThe Violin Man’s Legacy:   http://amzn.to/10wnMXB

14 Comments

Filed under Scribbling & Stuff, Blether

…serious plea for help… I need a Dummy’s Guide To An Author’s SENSIBLE Use Of Goodreads… all suggestions welcome…

…Dear Aunty Helpline…

goodreads

…by this time, I should know already how best to maximise my participation in Goodreads… but… but… I can do the Rubik Cube… I’m a wizz at Sudoko… yer quadratic equations?... no problem… speak a blethering tongueful of languages… easy… but figure out how an Author is supposed to properly get mileage out of Goodreads? Nada!. Zilch!.. Brick Wall!… nil comprendre! …have any of yeez terrific quill-scrapers out there WURKED it out yet? care to share with this ol’ Jurassic scribbler a ‘Dummy’s Guide To…?’ my presence on a range of the SOSYAL NETWURKS has served me well over the past few years… I’ve even devised some amendments to how to use Twitter, by bending the ‘FF’ (‘Friday Followers’) mechanism into a more personalised outreach and aid to help other users to develop broader contact bases… on Facebook, the channels on the public and direct messaging stuff are excellent ‘chat waves’… and I’ve even managed to stay out of the Facebook Jail for over a year… time off for bad behaviour, I think that’s called… LinkedIn, Google+, Pocket, and Tumblr are added dimensions of that ‘outreach’ and so far so good with all of those… but, dear old Cousin Goodreads?

confused

…hmmm… getting ‘connections’ and ‘friends’ is no problem on there.. and the occasional foray into discussion groups can be fun… but my innate Scottish scepticism leaves me feeling less than ‘maxed’ with it… which generally means I’ve missed sum’thing along the way on how sensibly to get an Author’s presence… yes, yes, Mabel, I know it’s GoodREADS and is meant for readers… but lots of readers want access to writers… p’raps yeez’ve noticed, but when I’m not being a reader, I’m also a writer… if emb’dy out there can offer serious guidance on this mystical bastion of literary communication, it would be a welcome addition to my scant knowledge… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

…Clueless, Abu Dhabi…

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

48 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…fine dining.. as ye’re (sum’times) allowed to have it…

…this ol’ Jurassic makes no secret of the fact that he LUVS good food… witness, a waistline prob’ly ‘a-hem’ inches tighter than it should be, and a weighing-scale marker sum’what higher than most GPs would recommend for an almost-iconic Author like me… my range of menu preference would do justice to the CV of both a gourmet and a gourmand… my palate has been tickled by cheffery in cuisineries as posh as the Dorchester Hotel’s range of eating establishments, with all the delicacies of the planet on offer… however, I’m not above indulging that most splendid of dishes—a double cheeseburger at McDonald’s, with extra fries and lashings of tomato ketchup, oh, and don’t forget the DIET Coke

burger

…fine dining a la fast food junk outlets at its best… a propos of NUTHIN, my mem’ry this morning flashed  back about thirty years to a remarkable episode in one of Europe’s best hotels… the Baur au Lac in Zurich , and more exactly to it’s famed Grill Room… an American colleague and I were on a business trip, and repaired to the restaurant to enjoy a good steak dinner… now, understand this, the Swiss can be just a tad particular about how they think food should be served… both of us ordered steaks… mine, medium to well-done, and his well-done (he is American, after all)… the waiter assigned to our table was a throwback from a nineteen-thirties silent movie… slicked and gelled black hair combed backward all the way from the temple to the rear of his skull, ending a quarter inch above his collar… his smart dark tuxedo suit legs seemed about five inches short, revealing startlingly white socks covering the lower part of his legs…oh, and the guy was about six feet six inches tall, contributing in large part to the ’trousers-flying-at-half-mast’ appearance…

waitterr

 

 

…the starters came and went, but when the steaks arrived, my pal prodded the meat with his fork, and it oozed a little red… certainly not ‘well-done’ as we would have defined it… he called our ‘Lurch’ to the table and asked for it to be taken back and made well-done… almost fifteen minutes elapsed whilst I tucked into my steak… when the recalcitrant meal re-appeared, held diffidently at arms-length by our server, he almost plonked it onto the table…it still wasn’t well-done, barely creeping into the medium/well-done range…

steak

…again my companion summoned the lad and said ’this isn’t ‘well-done’’... the priceless, unforgettable response,  delivered with almost a sneer was ‘Sir, THAT is how we do ‘well-done’ at Baur au Lac… and he flounced away… as my stunned dinner mate meekly cut into his steak, I could hardly eat my creme brûlée for fits of laughter… and I await with wild expectation the next time a McDonald’s employee tells me ’Sir, THAT is how we do double cheeseburger at McDonald’s’… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

7 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Vogue For Scottish Clansmen… or, if it’s good enuff for Braveheart, it’s good enuff for me…

kilt 2

…over on Facebook today, my great pal Authoress, Fiona Quinn asks a coupla questions about mens’ fashion, such as ‘mens’ purses’, ‘tight-fits-above-the-ankle wear’ and suchlike… to we common or garden, (or p’raps common or heather-laden moor) barbarians of North Britain the situation is never under doubt… yeez’ll be aware that yer average ‘Kiltie’ sports a sporran, nestling in front of his apparel… no need for a purse, nor even a wallet, (I won’t venture into the frequency or otherwise at which the wallet may or may not be prised open), as this manly pouch carries all that yer Caledonian gentleman requires… notes of the realm, bearing of course the picture of Her Royal Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the Second of Great Britain… a.k.a Queen Elizabeth the First of Scotland (look at yer history books, people)… bottle openers… plural… yeez never want to lose one and find yerself unable to take the top off yer locally-brewed MacEwans Ale lunch…

beer

…photographs (optional) of yer first-ever LUV, the baby bagpipes yeez played as a two-year-old… a wee cross-language dictionary of Scottish-English/Glasgow-English in the event yeez ever have to visit the great metropolis where the almost-iconic, Legend-In-His-Own-Lunchtime Author, Master Gallacher was born… apart from the sporran, other mandatory fashion accessories for yer Clansman of the Year is yer sgian dubh… an ornate dagger, semi-secreted, tucked into yer right-hand sock…

sgian dubh

…useful when discussions turn a bit sour and yeez need a bit of backup persuasion with yer arguments… as to tight-fit or otherwise above the ankles, much of that will depend entirely on the girth of the wearer… although it has been remarked in the past that a ‘good solid arse’ will help yeez ‘carry’ the kilt with more swagger than those capable of modelling for beanpoles… it must be stated, however that the notion of ‘zero-size’ derrieres among Scots males is as likely as finding an honest politician… right, I’m off now, I have to go press my kilt pleats for another of my celebrity opening at McDonalds… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

8 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

..in Memoriam, Miss Kerr… Born 18 ? ?— Died 1962…

..a wee change of pace from my usual content, and I’ll ask yeez to bear with it, and read it through to the end… when Master Gallacher was all of fourteen years old, most of the non-school hours were spent playing football with my pals on the spare ground close to our home in Glasgow… an open piece of grass on which our pitched jackets served as goalposts, was bounded by tenement buildings… overlooking the area, one of these  buildings was tenanted exclusively by older folks… single, either spinsters or widowed individuals, well beyond even the age that I’m now skirting with… one day I heard a call from a third floor small balcony… a petite, white-haired lady beckoned me to come up… I did so, and met for the first time Ms Kerr… she needed some help and asked if I would be kind enuff to carry her wee terrier dog with her and go on the bus a few stops down the estate to the veterinary surgeon’s office…

dog

…the dog was obviously quite sick… it’s name was Vikki… we wrapped Vikki in an old piece of blanket to keep it warm, and off we went… she talked non-stop with the animal, assuring it that the doctor would make it well again soon… I carried Vikki into the Vet. who was as caring a gentleman as I’ve ever seen… he acknowledged how much the dog meant to Ms Kerr… in as caring a way as humanly possible he tried to explain that her dog was dying, and didn’t have much longer to live… he asked if she would like him to ‘look after it’ in a humane way… Ms Kerr was having none of that… she was firm in that way that old people can be… stubborn, resolved, determined… we brought Vikki back to the one-room apartment in the care building… a few days later while I was playing football again, she reappeared on her balcony and summoned me… this time she wanted me to go for some medicine for her pet… I looked at the dog, which she had wrapped in the same blanket, and tucked into her bed… she had been sleeping beside it… the smell was strong… Vikki was already dead… I tried to tell her that the dog wasn’t gonna make it, but she refused to accept that and said, ‘look, her ears are moving… we just need some medicine for her’… I left and sought out the caretaker, who also came and saw the dog had died… she still wouldn’t listen… we called the R.S.P.C.A. shelter and they arrived about half an hour later…the officer was excellent with Ms Kerr… he appeased her by saying that Vikki was very sick, and he would take her to the hospital to get her well… at the same time, the sanitation people arrived to fumigate the place while we took Ms Kerr to lunch… of course, Vikki was never coming back… Ms Kerr had lost the most important companion in her life… I didn’t hear anything for a week and went back to see how she was doing… my knocking on the door was unanswered, and I sought out the caretaker once more… he shook his head and told me, ‘very sad… Ms Kerr passed away two days ago’

cross

…why am I telling yeez this so long after this event, more than fifty years back?… at any time of year, but particularly at this Season, may I suggest if there are any older people living alone near yeez, p’raps make an excuse to go and just say hello… for Ms Kerr, and for me… it may save a life.. and one day, it may be yer own…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

43 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…I think… therefore I think, I think…

…in some of my more lucid passages, (not many of them, admittedly, Mabel), the wee grey cells wander off into little private cerebral pockets, capable of producing some oblique lines of thought… fr’instance, think of the WURD, ‘melancholy’… a coupla definitions for it are— ‘sadness or depression of the spirits; gloom’, and—‘pensive reflection or contemplation’

rodin

…I s’pose it’s kinda tricky separating these elements, but my experience tells me that all of them contribute toward the ‘mood’ of ‘melancholy’… and it can be a most powerful emotion… for yeez quill-scrapers, much of the better writing yeez do, in my not-so-‘umble opinion, comes out of the sense of emotion yeez impart in yer scribbling… my own delving into the dark arts of authorship spin around the crime thriller JONGGR… not much room for emotion there, yeez may say… I plead to differ… sum’where along the way, a few instances of raw feelings managed to creep into my books (even my tough-guy characters often tend to go off and do their own thing, including having emotions, despite my  determination that they shouldn’t have them ..sheeesh!)… so, back to ‘melancholy’… in ‘melancholy’, which I hasten to say, I don’t indulge regularly, there can be a freedom of thinking… an avenue to explore that leads my mind at least, to think tangentially away from the  standard… fr’example, people frequently drop the trite phrase ’think outside of the box’, my reaction is ‘finish thinking inside the box first’… and in the artsy arena, I claim to have eyes that can follow a picture no matter where I am in a room… and I produce writing that abstract painters read and say ‘what on earth is this supposed to be?’

more egg

 

…yeez get my drift?… my wee nudge intent here for yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, if ever yeez find yerselves in that ‘pensive reflection or contemplation’ state, enjoy it… yes, enjoy it… and here’s another thing about it… ‘melancholy’ is a non-group sport… it’s yer own… enjoy!…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

9 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…from all we Authors… to readers, new and established… can’t live without you… thank yeez dearly…

thanks

Authorship…I guess it’s one of the few businesses where it’s really difficult, if not well nigh impossible to claim that ye’re ‘self-made’… moguls in other industries may rejoice in that label… captains of commerce, and others through the ages, have come forth to demonstrate the strength of character to build themselves into that designation, ‘self-made’… but for we quill-scrapers, let’s ‘fess up… no matter how exalted yer opinion of yer own WURK… regardless of the beauty of yer expression… the finesse in WURD-smithing yeez may possess… none of it amounts to a hill of beans unless sumb’dy else likes yer production… I wrote on here a while ago, that the beauty of a writer’s WURK is in the eye of his/her readership… whether yer sales accrue in onesies and twosies… or come tumbling in by the thousands… if yer wee masterpieces grace the New York Times Bestseller Lists… and if that lofty almost airless atmosphere of the Nobel Literature Awards sniffs yer book… precious little of it is down to yerself as the scribbler… written WURK requires readers… humility is a wondrous menu item… but taken in modest enuff doses, the taste of that elusive deceiver, ‘success’, can be reached… and should that pinnacle ever be attained, and yeez are asked, a la Oscar Awards, to stand up and thank yer this, and thank yer that… in all honesty yer thanks list would have to be in the thousands of names… of names of each and every person who deigned to pick up yer wee babies and peruse them… of emb’dy who felt inclined and gracious enuff to pen a review for yeez on places like the Great God Amazon’s pages… of Agents and Publishers (whatever they might be in real life!) who trusted yer stuff and helped to get it into more pairs of hands and seen by more pairs of eyes than yeez could ever have achieved going solo… Master Nilsson sums it up neatly for me, and yeez can enjoy him by clicking below:  

…from all we Authors… readers, new and established…  can’t live without you… thank yeez dearly… 

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

19 Comments

Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff