Tag Archives: writing

…a wee perspective on ‘POV’… (Authors’ lingo for ‘Point Of View’)

…I could get absurdly silly with this post, so keep me centred here, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… the language that we quill-scrapers sum’times employ to baffle ourselves even further than when we first started this scribbling gig, can be confusing… no more so than with the notorious ‘POV’… ‘Point Of View’… the perspective of whence a particular part of (or even all of) the narrative emanates… it guides the reader into and out of the minds of characters… it can assume the omnipotent ‘overview’… best put, I think is, it lets us know when a ‘switch of direction’ occurs in relation to whose part of the story is currently the focus of attention… it can be managed by devoting entire chapters or episodes to one particular player’s view of the WURLD as it devolves within the novel… or break lines, with a space between passages, or even a neat cluster of tiny ‘stars’ to illustrate where one piece of ‘POV’ ends, and another begins… a bit like the fade-out-and-fade-back-in-again bits of a movie… here’s a true tale from this ol’ Jurassic’s yesteryear to p’raps throw a bit more light on it… when I WURKED in London as a budding-international-financial-universe-mover, there was a clutch of we young Scots installed across the London branches …obviously the English required our natural Caledonian affinity for looking after money to keep them right… one of my colleagues, whose nickname ‘Hammy’ equated to ‘TRUBBLE’, disappeared one day for his lunch…. NUTHIN wrong with that in itself, except he returned post-lunch about an hour late… the Branch Manager asked him why he was delayed… Och, there was a fight on the bus, said the bold Hammy but that should be no reason for you being late, should it?” replied the Manager… Ach,well, y’see, it was ME that was fighting’,” came the response…


…’POV’ nailed, right there for yeez… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors, sum’times yeez just have to stand still and hurt…

…I personally know of no-one who’s had a life completely lacking of any trauma, pain, anxiety and the grab-bag of other ails that inflict an average person’s existence… add in some of the decisions that yeez make during a career, school life, marriage, or relationships, that still linger in yer head as conscience-crushers…the cringe-worthy stuff yeez would rather not have had happen… yeez know what I’m talking about, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… I think we’ve all had them, one way or another… and p’raps consider being a bit kinder to yerselves about these more shadowy mem’ries… it’s what makes each of us human… the frailties… the f*cked-up decisions… the ‘Gawd-I-wish-I hadn’t-done/said/thought/acted-like that’ moments… if yeez are lucky, p’raps a cautionary lesson gets learned… better handled next time, sort of deal… sum’bdy far wiser than I am once told me, ‘sum’times yeez just have to stand still and hurt’… and daft as it may seem, in that hurt often comes the necessary salve… another wee quote points out that frequently art imitates life, and equally life imitates art… carry that thought over into the quill-scrapers’ craft… for those of us who scribble and invent stories for our readership… how often when yeez re-read yer own masterpieces, yeez get surprised by how much yeez wrote, thinking it was all fiction, in fact reflects much of yer own active and subliminal experience… then the realisation sinks in… it’s okay for yer heroes and leading ladies to suffer the proverbial ‘slings and arrows’feelings… yes, Mabel, feelings… even for tough guys like my main man, Jack Calder… allowing him to have ‘wobbly’ turns… positive and negative emotional hits… doubts and, yes, fears… especially fears… the whole credibility of yer characters develops in front of yer laptop… one of the best moments for me in the first ‘bang, wallop, smack’ movie, The Expendables, is when one of the hard men played by Micky O’Rourke, weeps when he remembers not having acted to save a woman’s life in the film… strong stuff… if Micky’s character can stand still and hurt… so can mine… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


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Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…hurtling toward potential oblivion… I shall know better next time… that’ll learn me ! :)

…it was one of those scenarios when yeez look around trying to figure out where the candid camera for the ‘Gags’ programs is located… the kinda stunt where the program sets yeez up with some daft and outrageous surprise to watch yer reaction… and it’s all supposed to be ‘funny’… I was leaving to go to the airport in Abu Dhabi and requested the reception staff to get me a taxi please… the helpful concierge said he had a chap standing by as a private hire, who charged the same as the taxi, and would that do?… it all looked okay to me and I jumped aboard, luggage and all… now, being as I am from Docklands Govan in Glasgow, we lot normally eschew sitting in the back seat when we can sit up front and chat with the driver… I think yeez call that the ‘inverted snob’ syndrome… whatever it is, I started a conversation with mine chauffeur… it occurred to me before too long into the traffic, that he was one of those drivers (of which there are many in this neck of the woods in the Middle East) who operated a million percent on his nerves…


…lane switching, car-dodging, F1-style spurts combined with fanatical use of the brake pedals… thankfully, after ten minutes I calculated there was only prob’ly another 15 minutes to endure until we would reach the airport.., we began to encounter several yellow school buses, being that going-home-for-kids time of the afternoon, and I commented that there were plenty of them…


…that was the moment he chose to say to me, ‘ah, yes, sir… school buses… I used to drive one of those up until a year ago… I’m not allowed to do these any more because I suffered a heart attack driving one… quite close by here it was’… ‘luckily nobody was killed or injured during the crash,’ he continued… the swerve past the adjacent lorry at that juncture caused me to think about the candid camera stunt… but alas, none was there… this lad was the real thing…. suffice to say, conversation was rather stilted for the remainder of the journey… he would have been unaware of my silent pleadings to whatever deity looked after post-heart-attack chauffeurs… and their innocent (read ’stupid’) passengers… I made it in one piece to the airport and returned his cheerful wave as he spun his wheels away from the kerbside… p’raps hurtling toward potential oblivion… I shall know better next time… that’ll learn me!:)… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…what’s in a WURD?… Author buddy, Tony McManus explains…

…the use and abuse of the English language is part and parcel of the quill-scraper’s lot… this ol’ Jurassic takes great delight in rejoicing in reading how wordsmithing craftsmen and women practice the proper application of nuance and descriptive writing… other occasions will cause us all a collective groan… my Author pal, Tony McManus, puts it succinctly here for yeez :



I have a list of around thirty words and phrases that are overused, incorrectly used or mercilessly abused and debased. Here’s a few:








People who use these words repetitively in conversation are demonstrating how dull and ignorant they are. They are not listening to what’s being said, so they react by replying with these reflexive words. These are just a few that rankle. But at the top of this list is that once powerful word: AWESOME.

I say once powerful because now it is used to describe the most mundane of things and events and consequently has been totally devalued, leaving it with little of its potency. I ask you; how can a cup of Starbuck’s Latte be “awesome”? An “awesome” movie? Last night’s pizza was “awesome”? This is nonsense.

Iguazu Falls are definitely awesome.

Hurricane Katrina was awesome.

The Grand Canyon is awesome.

The Himalayan Mountains are awesome

Reinhold Messner’s Himalayan mountaineering climbs were awesome.

Felix Baumgartner’s parachute jump from the edge of space was


The Battle of Britain was an awesome battle.

Michelangelo’s sculpture, David is an awesome work of art.

A fine lasagna, no matter how well made and tasty, is NOT awesome.

In 1988 along with seven others, in four canoes, I paddled the length of the South Nahanni River in Canada’s North West Territories. No roads up there, all travel by bush plane, or canoe; fly in, paddle out. Bear country and all the mosquitoes you can handle. It’s a twenty three day paddle downriver from the source to Fort Simpson; three days of it dangerous white water. And it rained for seventeen of those days. We were cold and wet, but ate and slept well at river bank campfires. We did it without a single capsize and arrived at Fort Simpson safe, exhausted, but happy men. After a big party, we said goodbye, shook hands and went our separate ways. We’d met as strangers and parted friends, never to meet again. What we did was a great adventure something we were all proud of. But it wasn’t awesome by any stretch.

I could go on, but I’ve made my point. Awesome has been so devalued and ruined, we can’t seriously use it anymore. We, writers especially, are forced to look for other equivalent words to describe the truly awesome.

I suggest we cease using it. Completely. We should put the word back in its box to rest and allow it to recuperate, rebuild its atrophied muscle and get healthy and strong again for use by future generations; it will take years to get back its credit. But those future generations will thank us. So the next time someone posts a photo of an ice cream cone on Facebook and tells you it was “awesome”, set them straight. And kick a little ass in the process.


Tony McManus was born in Manchester, England. He worked in many jobs to serve his passion for travel such as English teacher, bar tender, taxi driver, and in southern Africa, construction work in the Transvaal goldmines and the copper mines of Zambia. Tony pursues and advocates good health, via diet and exercise. An outdoorsman, sailor, kayaker and canoeist, he also loves hiking, cross country skiing and snowshoeing.

He is the author of an espionage novel: The Iran Deception based on his time in Israel. He has just published: Down And Out In The Big Mango, a collection of short stories set in Thailand. His second novel: A Bangkok Interlude is due out by late summer.
He resides alternately in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Ste. Adele, Quebec, Canada.

He can be found at: http://downeastern.wix.com/tonymcmanuswriter

Or via his email: downeastern@hotmail.com

Tony is the author of a novel: The Iran Deception. http://amzn.to/1Ppb45P

And a short story compilation: Down and Out in the Big Mango. http://amzn.to/1FetYVl

He has published several short stories:

Ray: http://amzn.to/1Ge6jq9

A Bangkok Solution: http://amzn.to/1A8LCuy

A Partner in Crime: http://amzn.to/1ENZpn2

The Bangkok SAS: http://amzn.to/1d5cVMb

He is presently working on two crime novels: A Bangkok Interlude, the first book in a series featuring Mike Villiers.

And The Company of Men, the first book in a series featuring James Fallon.

He expects both novels to see publication before the year’s end.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…a wee bit of practicing what I preach… SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES…

…emb’dy who’s been kind enuff to follow this ‘ere blog on a regular basis will know by this time I write the Jack Calder crime fiction books… however, yeez’ll also be aware of my continual rabbiting on about ‘building yer platform’ through the use of the SOSYAL NETWURKIN channels… I’m more than gratified by the constant downloading of the novels, but even more so when I see the purchases on my sales graph page of my wee guide, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES… I pushed it out onto the Great God Amazon more than a year ago… NUTHIN pleases me more than watching my fellow quill-scrapers ’get it’ about how an author can properly and profitably use the few NETWURKS that I employ, namely Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ Tumblr, Pocket, and of course the Blog itself… and by the way, given that all authors, even those with a publishing house, are expected to carry the lion’s share of the promotional and marketing activities to their readership, it’s relevant for them, too… here’s the introduction to give yeez a taste of it:




I started writing my first crime thriller novel in early 2009. I finished the first draft in a matter of a few months. Then, I thought, all I have to do is to send it off to a few Literary Agents in London. One of them would be sure to throw lots of money at me for the right to carry my masterpiece into the public readership market.

In fact I sent off forty Query Letters, submitting the novel for consideration. In the beautiful balance that is the writing universe, I received back precisely forty Rejection Slips. It took a while later for me to understand from fellow authors, that such rejection was the standard, the par for the course. Indeed, many famous names in the libraries had initially racked up several times that number of rebuffs for their work.

Around the same time someone suggested I put the thing onto Amazon Kindle. I looked blank and explained that I had never heard of Kindle. You see, then in my early sixties, the whole computer business and social networking fields were distant concepts to me. All my commercial life, my offices had been run by a succession of personal assistants who did ‘that stuff’ for me. I was faced with the option of forgetting the whole authorship idea or adapting rapidly to the realities of modern self-publishing.

The result has been astonishing. Sales and downloads of my books (currently three crime thrillers, with a fourth as Work In Progress) have surpassed 75,000 copies.

It has been a wonderful and gratifying trip. I will not pretend to be an expert on the social networks nor on the ePublishing business. I simply want to show what worked for me.

‘Self-Publishing Steps To Successful Sales’ is intended to share with others the various steps I took on that journey, and to encourage independent writers never ever to give up on their dreams.

Seumas Gallacher

Abu Dhabi



…if yeez are interested, yeez’ll find the baby here :


UK: http://amzn.to/Qq2c3y

US: http://amzn.to/1lt6bcv

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…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…the Author quality that ties it all together… stamina…

…I read once a clever piece in that wunnerful throwback publication, The Readers Digest (emb’dy remember that smashing monthly magazine?)… it was one of those pithy endpiece fillers… it was a ‘FOUND’ advertisement clip from sumb’dy’s local newspaper:


…black kitten with white frontal stripe, white paws and piecing blue eyes, prob’ly about six or seven weeks old—answers to the name, ‘Go Away!’


…and I can’t help relating that sentiment to many of we quill-scrapers… almost daily I see posts from my fellow Lads and Lassies of Blog Land, rueing the fact that, yet again, their Query Letters to prospective Agents and Publishers result in rejection slips… I know, I know, I know, some of yeez might be thinking, ‘it’s okay for him, smaaaht-aaass Master Gallacher, coz he’s got a Publisher now’ (the splendid Crooked Cat Publishing folks, Stephanie and Laurence Patterson)…

CC_logo_PastedGraphic-18_(1)…but let me hasten to point out that I was a totally self-publishing, independent scribbler for almost six years before the Publisher partnership tie-in came along… in fact these days, there’s a strong school of thought that feels being on yer own, self-publishing, p’raps frequently may outweigh the attraction of being ‘housed’… I’m not gonna argue the case either way, coz I see merits in both scenarios… suffice to say, the time I spent on my own was invaluable… I learned the down-to-the-varnish-Facts-of-Life about how the modern Author requires to be immersed in his/her ‘business of writing’… y’see, whether or not yeez are solo or with an Agent/Publisher, the writer is still expected to carry a major part of the marketing and promotional activity… consider the arithmetic… if a Publisher has, say 100-200 authors in their fold, that equates individually to 0.5%-1.0% focus of their energy on each house name, on the p’raps naive presumption all the scribblers are treated equally (a-hem!)… the practicality remains… yer own efforts are still the principal driving force behind yer own success… go for it!… in my not-so-‘umble opinion,the Author quality that ties it all together is stamina… hang in there and remember wee ’Go Away’… meeeeaaaaioowwwww!….see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…bad?… yeah, yeez better believe I’m bad… emb’dy else out there this bad?…

…this ol’ Jurassic crossed the invisible Age Barrier quite a wee while ago… yeez know the one I mean… when yeez have more candles on yer birthday cake than the local Fire Department regulations allow… well, it’s a signal age yeez should watch out for when yeez officially begin to be regarded as ‘bad’… watch the behaviour of most (admittedly not all) of the upcoming generation, and yeez’ll see what I’m getting at… eons of ‘the-right-things-to-do’ have been stamped into my DNA since I was a kid in Docklands Govan in Glasgow… as tough and hard an environment as yeez would find anywhere in the post-WWII UK…


…but, p’raps more with wishful thinking these days, I still expect youngsters to yield their seats on buses and trains for older people and for ladies, as I do myself… the next generation stare at me when I behave like that.. I’m obviously bad’ news… holding doors open for others in places like shops… sorry, unheard of in the main… ‘bad’ again… that’s me… calling waiters/waitresses/taxicab drivers/bus drivers, ‘Sir’ and ‘Ma’am’… with ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ thrown in as natural responses… downright criminal… treating police officers, schoolteachers, doctors, nurses and librarians with respect… how bluudy alien can I get?…


…walking on the outside of the pavement/sidewalk when escorting a lady in the street … are yeez completely daft, Master Gallacher?… expecting parents to keep their offspring under reasonable control in public places, supermarkets and shopping malls, instead of allowing their mini-persons to run amok as they wish… and, heaven forfend, Mabel, frowning at the cacophony that passes for supposedly private conversation when mobile telephones are used like megaphones… I recall it used to be known variously by the quaint descriptions of ‘manners’, ‘politeness’, ‘social graces’… alas, my fate seems sealed… today, on a flight from Bahrain to Abu Dhabi, the instant the plane stopped on landing, and the usual nonsensical surge of passengers to pull their bags from the overhead lockers began… the guy across the aisle from me yanked his luggage from above and smacked me square on the skull… instead of the ‘I’m sorry’ which I foolishly anticipated, I was greeted with a wordless scowl… how dare my head be in the way of his baggage?… my ‘bad’… definitely, my ‘bad’…and for the next seven minutes until the plane door actually opened, I remained seated, as is my practice, while most others stood and fumed, including my new assailant who steadfastly kept his back to me… the only way I’ve found to combat this malaise, is to ‘polite’ the hell out of the malcreants… ‘bad’?… yeah, yeez better believe I’m ‘bad’… emb’dy else out there this ‘bad’?



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff