…Authors… getting ‘touchy-feely’ with yer writing is okay…

…when this ol’ Scots Jurassic started scribbling crime thrillers more than eight years ago, I never gave much thought (read ‘any thought’) at that time about how emb’dy else would think about reading my stuff… I wrote to please myself… and frankly, I still do that… I write the kind of narratives I would like to read… lately, many of yeez grand people of the readership have commented on the ‘vulnerable human emotions’ that even some of my tough guy characters display… understandably ‘tough guys’, coz they’re dealing with crime lords , drug barons, people-traffickers and the like who murder folks for idle distraction… it hadn’t occurred to me that others saw these fallibilities as qualities that enhanced the characters in their minds… then on reflection, I realized that’s exactly how I wanted them to be… coz that’s how real people are… and even a superficial glance at the 24/7 news channels will show yeez the abominations that go on daily around the WURLD… I have no desire to become a political commentator, but I’d consider myself less of a human being If I were not touched by some of the things I hear and see… in my latest book, DEADLY IMPASSE (and this is seriously not meant to be a ‘plug’, but I’ll list it here anyway), …among other things, I deal with part of the migrant issue, where so many people in desperation try to reach across the  Mediterranean and drown on the way…



touchy-feely stuff for my principal characters right there... and although I’m an author peddling fiction, some of the stark reality does creep into my writing…  here’s a poem I knocked out recently which some of yeez may have seen already…

How many more migrants must we lose?

Hold on tight, don’t cry, my son,

This will not last too long.

Listen how your Mama sings

Your favourite nursing song.

This water will not harm us now

We’re nearly at the shore.

Be strong and brave, my boy

And we’ll be wet no more.


Yes, yes, that wave was huge, I know,

But hang on tight, be safe with me.

This darkness merely hides the land

We’re getting closer now, you’ll see.

The sea is wild but brings us fast.

This wind behind our back

Will blow us into land quite soon.

Watch us veer and tack.


No, please don’t cry, my lad,

I’m here to hold you tight

This angry sea won’t harm you

We’ll be safe ere blows the night

Talk to Papa, tell me things,

All the things you’d like to say.

Tell me how we’ll live our lives

On the shore we near this day.


Papa, truly, truly I am scared

These waves are far too tall.

And this darkness blinds my eyes.

I hate this, hate this all.

Papa, Papa, the boat is tipping over,

Papa, Papa, where’s your hand?

Papa, Papa, catch me please.

Papa, Papa……….. Papa?


Seumas Gallacher

October 16th, 2016


…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…like, really, right?… there’s like, really NUTHIN like ‘really’… like, really…right?

…most authors begin to learn sum’where along their scribbling apprenticeship route the notion of  ‘weasel words’… the ‘fillers’ such as ‘that’, and ‘very’ and ‘just‘, and  the proliferation of inappropriate adverbs… all of which any halfway-awake editor excises with the boldest of red pen strokes… would that a similar ‘editorial cleansing agent’ existed to rid certain people of the parallel ailment in their conversation… today, I indulged a Japanese lunch at a restaurant in Abu Dhabi… the food was excellent… chicken gyoza, shrimp tempura, a chicken Katsu curry and all the trimmings… ten minutes into my meal, two young ladies arrived and took up the booth immediately behind where I sat…



…and yeez know the kinda thing when yeez are NOT LISTENING’ to what they’re discussing, but yeez can’t help ‘HEARING’ the exchanges… well, p’raps ‘exchanges’ is pushing the description a tad… it was more like a monologue from one teenage girl to the other, to which the entire restaurant couldn’t help but be ears also… the talker’s voice was a strange combination of a nasal twang and a reedy, piercing scalpel of a tone, capable I’m sure of chiseling ice sculptures… the constant aural barrage consisted of a relentless stream of sentences constructed around the repetition of ‘like’, ‘really’ and ‘right?’, this last being more rhetorical in application than inquisitive…


…I was thankful my chicken Katsu curry offered some distraction, however mild.. (the distraction, that is, not the curry)… the incessant, hypnotic mantrae continued until my bill arrived, and even for a Scotsman, I was delighted to pay in order to escape the place… like, really, right? there’s like, really NUTHIN like ‘really’… like, really…right?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…eat yer heart out, Mel Gibson… yer Braveheart’s got NUTHIN on Master Gallacher for courage…

…I was looking through some of my past blog posts and came across this one posted about two years ago, and thought it worthy of another airing … cheers… Enjoy!!


…I’m not usually prone to broadcasting the various deeds of valour undertaken by this ol’ Jurassic… but sum’times, yeez just have to tell the WURLD… else, how would …

Source: …eat yer heart out, Mel Gibson… yer Braveheart’s got NUTHIN on Master Gallacher for courage…


Filed under Uncategorized

…a re-run of a great voice…the late Luke Kelly…

…I’ve been requested to do a reprise of this blog which I posted in August last year (how time flies when ye’re enjoying yourself, eh, Mabel?)… happy to oblige…

…yer man, Luke Kelly, late of the Dubliners, and currently singing alongside the angels…

…being Scots as I am… (yeez may have noticed)… I mortgaged my soul to Celtic music a long time ago during my late teens sojourn in the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull… particularly the gaelic ballads and airs, and folk music from my own country and from Ireland… I’ve enjoyed music of all types around the globe, but have yet to hear anything remotely capable of moving me like that of the Celt… no surprise then, when my good pal Lesley Krier Tither shared the number above from You Tube, it caught me holding back the tears (but not the emotion)… I believe it’s healthy to have feelings, and if music like this is the trigger, then that’s okay with me… of particular poignance is that this clip is the last performance by Luke Kelly… he knew his illness afforded him very little remaining time… The Dubliners, of course, are a household name across the WURLD, and have been for decades… matched against current ‘entertainers’ and singers, most of the present breed couldn’t hold a candle to these guys… an amusing (obviously Irish wit) comment in the post-wall along with the clip says, ‘…On the day of his funeral, one mourner observed that if Luke had known how much he was loved, he would never have died…’ …another says, ‘…listening to the song causes the hairs to rise on my arms and the back of my neck…’ …that’s how I feel too, when I listen to it… for all the razzamatazz and hype that attends the ‘pushing’ of today’s wannabe ‘stars’, very few of them have that quality that touches yer emotional strings like this… the mark of greatness… the often forced performances in programmes like the ‘Voice of Wherever’ occasionally will provide wee glimpses, but none as natural as yer man, Luke Kelly, late of The Dubliners, and currently still singing alongside the angels… enjoy the soul-music… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors… ruses to use when yer Muse amuses and bemuses…



…there’s an infinite screed of responses to the question, ‘how long is a piece of string?’… in the same vein are the ream of possible answers to the query Authors often get asked,’how long does it take to write yer books?’… this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has now banged out five Jack Calder crime thrillers, and not a single one matches another for the time taken to produce it… the elusive Muse, that ephemeral entity which more often as not eludes we peons of the pen at the most awkward times, is fickle to the nth… fellow writers will know the feeling… yeez are in full flow, rattling through the narrative, smoke percolating from the laptop (not a Samsung 7, a-hem), fingers doing a fair imitation of the Paso Doble across the computer keys… then… NUTHIN… full screeching halt… brain freeze… Madame Muse has sauntered off stage left, possibly to do her nails, or whatever Muses do in their own time… and the clock, calendar, and any notion of deadlines drift into the realm of ‘not-gonna-happen-anytime-soon,-sunshine’… which brings me to the point of this ‘ere blogpost… ever since embarking on this wunnerful novelizing gig , Master Gallacher has staunchly resisted setting deadlines… ‘deadlines’ create ‘dead lines’


…it took me until almost six decades of my life had passed before I starting tapping out the first book, so I hardly think unnecessary and unwanted expedition is called for at this stage… rather, I chose then, and continue to choose, to let the writing take whatever time it takes… to craft and sculpt the work to my own perception of quality… I employ ruses to use when my Muse amuses and bemuses… I sum’times watch the dreadful SKYNews for laughs… or look out of the window for spells on end… and think… yes, thinking is quite a useful engagement related to the storylines… and I’ve come to understand and appreciate this simple fact— the book is done when it’s done!… not one nano-second before or after… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!...



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Introducing Author-ettes Supreme… Phoebe Beckett-McInroy and Isabel Looby…


…a wee while back, I wrote on this ‘ere blog about two amazing young ladies who are arguably  the  youngest ever self-publishing writers… the Misses Phoebe Beckett-McInroy and Isabel Looby who co-authored ‘ONCE A BOY WON A RACE!’… last night, at the Bahrain Writers Circle, these Nobel Literary Prize Winners-In-Waiting delighted the group’s members with their refreshing take on what it means to be published authors… the photograph here shows the scribbling super starlets with Master Gallacher, the zombie glint in whose eyes merely reflect the aura of the youngsters… the Leader of the Bahrain Writers Circle, our wonderful m’Lady, Rohini Sunderam, presented a certificate of thanks and honorary membership cards for the Circle to each of the girls (they’re aged 8 and 9 years old–no ageism in this Circle!)…


…what tickled me immensely was the instant LOUD response from the girls, in concert, when asked ‘when and where can we buy your books?’ ,  ‘NOW!’ was the reply, as they had brought copies along with them, ready for sale… ladies after my own marketing heart!… LUVVED IT!… in my possession now I proudly have the first signed copy of their book…


..a heartening snippet to report is that royalty proceeds from sales to date are being donated to a local charity for children with social needs… well done, Phoebe and IsabelLUVZYA!

…yeez can find yer own copy here on Auntie Amazon Kindle:


…for local residents in Bahrain, the book is available in hard copy at Jashanamal book stores and Words Bookstore Cafe

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Margaret K Johnson lays dead the spectre of fear of public speaking… and novel writing…

…for any of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land who’ve ever had to stand up and speak in public, and’ve felt the attack of the 1,000,000 butterflies in yer stomach, here’s a terrific post from my pal, Authoress, Margaret K. Johnson… she addresses not only overcoming the dread of spouting on yer feet, but also of scribbling… getting that book yeez all have in yeez actually written and out there… enjoy…

Margaret K Johnson


When I was eleven years old, I had to give a talk at school about Joan of Arc, the French saint. Nervously, I went to the front of the class, opened my mouth and said:

“Joan of Arc was brought up as a pheasant.”

 “Peasant!” I corrected myself. “She was brought up as a peasant!” But it was too late of course. Everyone – including the teacher – was falling about laughing. No doubt they quickly forgot the unexpected entertainment, but I certainly didn’t. I developed a chronic fear of speaking in public which lasted for around twenty years – until I decided that enough was enough, and set out to do something about it. I was a writer, and I wanted to teach writing, so the phobia had to go.

I’ve come a long way since then – two years ago, I even performed a short stand-up comedy routine in a Greenwich comedy club. (You can watch me in action on YouTube if you want to!) But the truth is, if we let it, fear can stop us in our tracks.

Many people feel they’ve got a book in them, and dream of getting published. But they don’t always do anything about it. They find a million and one other things to do, like cleaning the oven or washing the car. They put other peoples’ needs or desires first. Or worry about what people will think.

Behind most of these displacement activities lies one big fat fear: This is my dream. What if it doesn’t work out?

 Because I’ve encountered this fear so often with my creative writing students, I started to include a confidence-building element in my sessions, and it really seemed to pay off. When my students recognised what they were afraid of and why, they were able to do something about it. As a result, they wrote more easily, were happier to share what they wrote with others, and gave and received feedback with more confidence. And that meant they learnt better.

I’ve recently put this insight and experience into an eight-module e-course called Feel The Fear and Write Anyway – Self-Confidence For Writers. It’s aimed at people who want to start to write, or those who have already started, but are now feeling stuck, and the course helps participants to:

*   Identify and deal with any blocks or obstacles to writing
*   Build their self-belief and deal with their nagging, critical voice
*   Tackle any resistance to writing – from themselves or anyone else
*   Identify their strengths and weaknesses
*   Develop their identity as a writer
*   Establish the best writing routine for them
*   Learn how to give and receive feedback on their work and how to contribute and benefit from writing communities
*   Plan for their future development as a writer

The course starts on Friday 28th October 2016 and places are limited. Anyone who’s interested in finding out more can do so by going to: www.feelthefearandwriteanyway.com


There’s a special bonus offer for the first three people to enrol.

As for me, I think it’s time I found a new challenge on the public speaking front. Having developed that muscle, I don’t want to lose it! Any ideas anyone?


Margaret K Johnson began writing after finishing at Art College to support her career as an artist. Writing quickly replaced painting as her major passion, and these days her canvasses lay neglected in her studio.

She is the author of both non-fiction and women’s fiction published by Crooked Cat Publishing, Omnific Publishing and Earthy Works Publishing. She also writes well as award-winning original fiction readers in various genres for people learning to speak English, published by Cambridge University Press and Cengage Learning.


An experienced adult education tutor, Margaret founded WriteUP Courses in early 2015, and works with those who want to use writing as therapy as well as those who want to become published authors. Margaret has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and lives in Norwich, UK with her partner and their bouncy son and dog.

Her website is at: www.margaretkjohnson.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MargaretKJohnsonAuthor/


Twitter: https://twitter.com/Margaretkaj

…thanks gazillions for that, m’Lady, Margaret… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff