Tag Archives: humour

…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…



More Than a Wooden Shoe by Pamela S. Wight


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:



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:


 Roughwighting Blog

 Roughwighting Facebook

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…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:



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…



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…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…


…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?…


…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!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

….laff?… nearly passed me blogs round…


…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!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

… ‘LOOKING FOR A REASON’..? …then seek no further… my Guest Blogger today is great Authoress, Frances di Plino…enjoy!…

Lorraine Mace, Frances di Plino

…one of the great ‘buzzes’ yeez get from being part of the universal quill-scraper family is to acquire marvellous new pals… and they just happen to be wunnerful scribblers into the bargain… today’s Guest Blogger is high on my ‘favs’ charts… meet Authoress, Frances di Plino… she has a new title launching on October 28th… LOOKING FOR A REASON

LFAR front cover-2

…it’s the fourth in the Detective Inspector Paolo Storey series… the courageous Ms di Plino (p’raps foolishly) agreed to allow me to throw a few kinda ‘wobbler-type’ questions her way… if D.I. Paolo is able to react as ably as she has done, we’re all in safe hands… here’s the gig:

Hi, Frances,

  1. Your main character, Inspector Paolo Storey is a highly credible personality. Is he crafted on anybody (or anybodies) in real life?

He is a composite of several men I have cared deeply about over the years – which is why I’m more than half in love with the man.

  1. Your novels are gripping and psychological in certain aspects. On a scale of 1 (low) to 10, how unhinged are you? Reasons for your answer?

I would say I’m about a 15 or thereabouts. I always tell my husband as long as I’m writing crime he doesn’t need to worry, but the moment I hang up my keyboard he should run and never look back.

  1. What was the first book you ever disliked as a read?

I can’t remember the title, but it was one of Georgette Heyer’s detective novels. I’d devoured her entire Regency and historical list and discovered she also wrote detective fiction, so bought one and was really looking forward to it. I hated it – one of the few books I couldn’t finish.

  1. Do you see the eBook phenomenon as the Big Baddie or a Heaven-sent development for you as an authoress?

As a writer, I think it’s a wonderful invention as the vast bulk of my sales are in that form. The only downside would be if I couldn’t sign copies and interact with readers out there in the real world, which is why I’m really pleased Crooked Cat Publishing also has my novels in paperback.

As a reader, I love my kindle, but there are still a few authors where I buy the paperbacks.

  1. The 64-trillion dollar question—how much balance do you give to the actual writing of your works versus activity on the social networks?

I probably don’t do anywhere near enough promotion on social networks – mainly because I find it hard to shout out about myself. I find it much easier to help other authors with their promotions. So, to answer your question, I would say it’s 80% writing and rewriting and only 20% social network activity. Must try harder!

  1. How long between finishing your first novel until publication? Any teeth-gnashing or hair-tearing-out during that process?

Bad Moon Rising, the first in the D.I. Paolo Storey series, was finished in 2009 and made it as far as the acquisitions stage in a publishing house before it was rejected. I then submitted to Crooked Cat Publishing in 2011 where it was accepted almost immediately and published in 2012. So, no, I think I had a fairly easy ride on that one.

My children’s novel, Vlad the Inhaler, was a completely different story. Finished in 2005, eventually found an agent in 2008, had near misses with the top houses for the next few years, went almost bald from tearing out hair on a daily basis, parted company with agent in 2011, submitted to US publisher in 2012, accepted in 2013 and published in 2014.

  1. What are the most difficult areas in doing a ‘series’, and the easiest?

For me, the most difficult aspect is feeding in the backstory of the characters and events from the earlier books without giving away any important plot points. I hate it if I read a book in a series out of sequence and I find out stuff that spoils the earlier books for me.

The easiest part is character development. The more I write in my series, the better I get to know the characters – what they will and won’t do or say. I know exactly how each of them would react in any given situation. They are very real to me and seem to be to my readers as well, judging by the feedback I get.

  1. How often do you catch yourself talking to your characters in public?

See question 2! It’s one of the reasons I’m a 15 on the madness scale. I talk to them, they talk to me All. The. Bloody. Time. The buggers won’t shut up!

I once wrote in my Writing Magazine column about an experience I had in France talking to some frozen peas about the best way to cut up a body. I looked up to find I was being observed by a nervous looking woman on the other side of the frozen food aisle. Fortunately, I don’t think she understood English. Had she done so, I would now be in a nice padded cell parlez-vousing to the walls.

  1. How do you define ‘being successful’ with respect to your writing.

Having people tell me they enjoyed the books. I was at a business event last night and a delegate came up to me to say she’d bought the first in the series for a friend, who’d finished it in two days and was raving about how good it was (or maybe she was just raving). Anyway, that kind of feedback is how I measure my success.

Of course I want to earn megabucks (so please buy my books) but it is genuinely more important to me that readers love the series.

10. Your first television series detective you can recall? What traits of that detective stuck out?

I’m going to show my age now. As a child I know I watched Dixon of Dock Green, but can’t remember too much about the storylines. I think the earliest I can truly recall was Starsky and Hutch. I loved the humour and interaction of the main characters.

11.  Chewing gum for the brain’ or ‘complicated plot line’ movies?

Yes to both. There are times when I simply want to be entertained – make me laugh or make me cry, but don’t make me think. At other times, I want to watch something that requires concentration and thought.

12.  What’s your ‘go to’ comfort food and drink?

Fish and chips. During the years I lived in France, fish and chips were something I longed for, but couldn’t have. Fish in batter with chips? Sacre bleu! Then we moved to Spain on the Costa del Sol, where there are probably more Brit restaurants than Spanish, so I can indulge my weakness when feeling low.

13.  This is question ‘13’. Do you have any superstitions?

Yes, I have a phobia about that number. In my children’s novels I number my chapters 12, 12A, 14.

14.  Favourite male and female film stars?

Idris Elba and Philip Glenister

The dames: Judy Dench and Maggie Smith

15.  When you win the Booker prize, who will you thank first?

All the people I bribed along the way.

16.  Worst and best subjects at college?

Dreadful at French – although after the years in France, where I arrived barely able to say hello and goodbye, I ended up able to hold conversations on quite complex subjects.

Good at English and maths – still okay with the English, but anything to do with maths now fries my brain.

17.  Do you play or watch sports?

I used to play league tennis and am still a great tennis fan, but now more to watch than participate. In the summer I swim for half an hour most days and the rest of the year I walk and/or run.

18.  What’s your idea of a fun evening?

Now you’re getting personal! Hmm, it would depend on the time of year and my mood. I love spending time with family and friends, so going out for a meal with lots of laughter around the table is the absolute best.

19.  Things you would not do over again?

Agree to answer interview questions! Seriously, there isn’t anything I wouldn’t do over again. There are plenty of things I would hate to have to go through over again, but I’d still do them because I really like where I am right now and if I changed an element in the past, I might not arrive in the same place.

20.  How long until the subsequent novel after Looking for a Reason?

I’m already well into number five with a proposed publication date in August 2015. Working title: No Easy Sacrifice

Frances di Plino is the pen name of Lorraine Mace, children’s author, humour columnist for Writing Magazine and a competition judge for Writers’ Forum. She is a former tutor for the Writers Bureau, and now runs a private critique and mentoring service for writers.

Writing as Frances di Plino, she is the author of the crime/thriller series featuring D.I. Paolo Storey: Bad Moon Rising, Someday Never Comes, Call It Pretending and Looking for a Reason

…well fielded on my ‘wobblers’, Frances, now the rest of yeez, get cracking and catch her novels here :



Bad Moon Rising: http://bit.ly/UxKo83
Someday Never Comes: http://bit.ly/1xfLdiy
Call it Pretending: http://bit.ly/1orA0pB
Vlad the Inhaler: http://bit.ly/1vlGmwl
…and connect with Frances here, go on, yeez know yeez want to…



Writing Critique Service






Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…it’s my ugly mug on them there shelves…and I LUV IT!!…

Brad_Pitt…for those of yeez who may have difficulty in telling the difference, at the side here is Master Brad Pitt





kilt 2


…and this is not Master Brad Pitt

…in my parallel universe, running ‘long side my quill-scraping endeavours, I have my own company troubleshooting firm… boring business-y stuff like restructuring divisions, realigning management structure and all the other corporate Master-Of-The-Universe gobbledegook… in the pursuit of that (and it’s kinda handy when it comes to paying-the-monthly-bills time), I’m currently shuttling regularly twixt Abu Dhabi and Bahrain… when I arrived in Abu Dhabi this time, I chanced by W.H.Smith’s outlet at Terminal One at the airport… and behold and lo, gleaming away proudly on their shelves are the only two of my crime thrillers I currently have in print, VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK (pride of place in their ‘Books You’ll Love To Read’ tableau)…



…and THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY (number 12 in their bestsellers, fiction section)…


…the third in the Jack Calder series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, is still only available on the Great God Amazon Kindle… now, usually this ol’ Jurassic is not enamoured of the Web’s ubiquitous stream of endless ‘selfies’… the modern-day nemesis of the Professional Portrait Photographers Union… but how easily I slipped into that mode with my wee literary masterpieces… of course, they are infinitely more photogenic than I… and I DO have a mutual understanding with Master Brad Pitt (see above)… he stays out of writing crime thrillers…and I stay out of the movies… and, bless him, he’s kept his end of the deal… yeez never see him on the W.H.Smith author hoardings do yeez?… now, the good news is that  yeez don’t have to grab an airline ticket to Abu Dhabi to get a hold of my wee babies, they’re all right here:

wall copy 2


Savage Payback                :  http://amzn.to/1oyHNah

Vengeance Wears Black    :  http://amzn.to/W59BB3

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

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!





Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…my incomparable Author compadress, Ailsa Abraham, adorns my blog today…enjoy…

…there’s sum’thing compellingly attractive about a Literary Lady of *cough* *a-hem* vintage who attempts manoeuvres a la Cirque de Soleil… on a motorbike!… triple somersaults from two-wheeled transport at speed without a safety net tends to cause, at a minimum, a slight dent in one’s personal immediate diary schedule… m’Lady Ailsa Abraham visited her local hospital in France where she currently resides, but without an appointment, and, more to the point, without her conscious awareness… it appears, pro tem, that a mild slowing-down of m’Lady’s activities has taken place as a direct consequence of her imitation of the Human Cannonball stunts… I for one, would not bet a single sou against m’Lady’s enforced leisure being reversed in early course… be that as it may, I’m honoured to have Author, Ailsa Abraham pen a few bon mots for our quill-scraping perusal… enjoy…


Reb 2 - Copy
My serials’ killers.

Many thanks to my dear friend Seumas for inviting me to scribble a little something for the blog. Obviously I turned for my inspiration to his latest publication   Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales.

At the moment I’m not self-published but don’t take that as cast in stone. The sales problem faces all of us. One of the vital things is productivity. Now I sound like I’m equating the author with a story-factory. Well, yes, in a way we have to be. If readers like our stuff, they will want more and if none is available they will go elsewhere. Rather like your local store not stocking your favourite brand any more.

So one of the most glaring answers is “I know! I’ll write a serial.”

There are advantages to this. Mostly they will fit into a convenient niche or genre and some time is saved by establishing the basics in the first novel. Main characters, locations, jobs will be familiar to the readers by Book Two. Apart from development, there is nothing to do but tell the story. That is what we are supposed to be good at.


Great – let me at it.

Except that “being organized” is vital. Having enough time and a tidy mind help enormously. Oops! I screwed up on that by writing Book Two first. I didn’t mean it to happen but readers clamoured for more and wanted the back-story, so Book One got written pretty quickly. Yay! Characters were popular with readers, they wanted more, so all that remained was to keep up my sales of the existing books while writing Book Three. Previously I had started with a real quick-read and had to produce a full-length in double-fast time, so another Book Three was needed in another series!

This is where Fate stepped in and shoved a few sticks in my wheels. In the last year I have managed to be severely injured twice and an operation which I was assured would put me out of action for six weeks, ended up being six months.

If I had been writing stand-alone books, I could perhaps have completed one but noooooooooooooooo. I was writing two series because that was the accepted wisdom. That meant that I needed to link back to the previous stories, remember my characters’ particularities and generally make it gel. Having had a stroke this proved awkward.

Both Book Threes are now back in production and I have had many ideas of other, stand-alone books which will be my next WIPs when I get through.




Ailsa Abraham is published by Crooked Cat Publishing under her own name and as Cameron Lawton (who masquerades as her twin brother) by MLRPress. You can find her books on Amazon 

She has lived in France since 1990 and retired from teaching English to adults due to ill health.  An animal-rights activist and shaman, she enjoys knitting, cooking and until recently motorcycles.

Her web page is here and she can be found on FB and Twitter too. Please get in touch, she loves chatting and has a group on FB – Ailsa and Friends.


…many thanks for these wisdoms of pearl, Ailsa… up and at ‘em, m’girl!… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff