Monthly Archives: April 2015

…Authors… just a wee WURD about pacing yerselves with yer WURK…

…it’s undeniably difficult to look at my physical appearance today and believe that at one time (read, ‘fifty years ago’) I displayed certain athletic prowess… I’ve bored yeez before, that as a teenager, I played as a winger, then centre forward with Third Lanark Football Club in Glasgow, when that outfit was part of the Scottish First Division… a year or two prior to that, while still at school, yours truly was prompted by an over-enthusiastic gym master to enter for the running events at the Paisley Police Juniors Athletics meeting… compared to my peers back then, I was reckoned to be quite quick… hence the later introduction to the aforementioned Third Lanark as a ‘flying winger’

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…however, some of that reputation, coupled I believe with a total misunderstanding from the gym teacher as to what events best suited my sprinting talents, led to my being put forward for the 800-metres race… I recall it as yesterday… back then, there was none of yer fancy Nike spiked speed shoes… a pair of tightly laced ‘bumpers’ graced the feet… and oh, the shorts I had on the day of the meet were a size too big… that was addressed by the use of a ’snake-belt’… those of yeez of a certain age will remember the ‘snake-belt’— an elasticised thing with an ’S’-shaped hook to hold it clipped together… and yer next budding Olympic performer was ready for the starting gun… I had already competed earlier that day in the 100-metres sprint, and won easily, carrying home later the Police Bowl Trophy… buoyed by that, when the starter fired the gun for the 800-metres, I went belting away from the field like the proverbial bat out of hell… within 30 seconds, I was fifty metres ahead of the rest of them… pacing, Mabel?… nob’dy had told me about pacing… I think the gym master was home doing his nails the night they gave that particular lesson… needless to say, it didn’t take long for the rest of the tortoise pack to catch up with the ‘Govan Hare’… the human frame is not built to sprint flat-out, non-stop for 800 metres… nor even 400 metres… by the time the race was over, Master Gallacher, the proud owner of the 100-metres sprint title, crawled in, a far distant, and exhausted, last in the 800 metres

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…pacing, Authors, pacing…. it’s as relevant to yer scribbling as it is to careening round a race track… mark my WURDS… these days, I’ll settle for a taxi, thanks … see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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… ‘The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, leaves yeez with a sore wrist’…

Omar Khayyam had a way with WURDs, but I wonder how much of it he did longhand… recently, I posted on this ‘ere blog how much I missed the days of properly handwritten letters, and treasures like pen pals… emb’dy remember having them?… the upshot was a flurry of wannabe correspondents for this ol’ Jurassic a la plume et papier… yes, Mabel, not typed or laptop-spat-out stuff, but real live scribbling on non-electric notepads…

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…I owe it to posterity to record what has happened in the interim… discoveries, sum’times surprising, sum’times expected :

1. …my original cursive writing was never of the best at any time, indeed ‘chicken-feet-scrawl’ and ‘shoulda-been-a-prescribing-doctor’ reflects the zero-out-of-ten marks for my actual penmanship…

2. …the instant realisation that there’s no ‘delete’ or ‘retype’ mechanism when yeez write direct to the sheets… what goes down on the paper, stays down on the paper… unless yeez use a pencil, of course, but that’s for real wimps…

aaaaa3. …different muscles in yer fingers, hands, wrists and arms are brought in to play when the quill is in yer mitt, compared with the tippy-tappy Apple Mac keyboarding…

4. …by dint of lack of practice, my ability to write more than four or five full foolscap sheets is limited… ‘The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, leaves yeez with a sore wrist’

5. …the quality of script, not splendid to begin with, deteriorates rapidly, and in pursuit of wishing the letter recipient to comprehend the melange of hieroglyphics, the speed of production also winds down considerably…

6. …the amazing plus is a tremendous feeling of re-discovery of the joy of a personal missive… my infant school days came flooding back… compositions and essays, and articles for school exercises all flashed back as if it were yesterday… I kid yeez not… and it was wunnerfulbbbbb

7. …I asked half a dozen people around me, when was the last time any of them had written a letter, stuck it in an envelope, attached a postage stamp and plonked the thing in a letterbox… not surprisingly, nobody could recall doing so since leaving school

8. …I have made myself a promise to continue to re-educate my wee gray cells with those long-forgotten talents and attempt to improve my cursive (not curses)… LUVVIN IT!

…if emb’dy wants to join in, yeez can email yer postal address to me at seumasgallacher.com and see where we go from there… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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…I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to be when I grow up…

…age is a number… numbers are squiggles on a piece of paper… Life and Living are far superior to numeric hieroglyphics… wee reminders of that truth are thrown my way ev’ry day if I care to observe them…. yesterday was no exception… early evening in Bahrain, and the scenario is the ‘fine-dining-area’ equivalent in the local shopping mall…. yup, the Food Court… and all the concerted delicacies that McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Tandoori-2-go, and assorted variants of fast foods make accessible whilst yeez sit down and give yer overWURKed credit cards a breather… at the next table along sat two nannies, looking after a pair of young Arabic boys… one of whom must have been all of two and a bit years… the other, his brother, prob’ly pushing four years old… adorable kids… curly-haired, talkative, lively… the younger version was perched on a high chair from which he carried on an enthusiastic conversation with his sibling… and all in perfect English… yes, Mabel, I do understand that particular lingo, foreign as it may be to me… junior had a couple of scratches on one cheek, which were soon joined by dollops of ice cream from a cornetto far larger than his ability to control it…

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…that didn’t stop his onslaught on it… I smiled at this nursery-school gourmet, and he rewarded me with the most charming smile in return… and a cheery wave of his non-ice-cream-holder-hand… his brother caught on, and also waved back… a few moments later it was time for me to leave to go re-engage the Merchants of the Mall… as I passed the smaller lad I offered my palm in a high-five… he gleefully smacked it and giggled… I followed up with another… and another… and… before yeez could say ‘Humpty Dumpty’, I was sitting on the floor of the Food Court, playing tag with two of my newest Arabic pals… I haven’t decided yet what I’m going to be when I grow up… the elder explained the scratches on the other’s cheek… ‘we’ve got three puppies’

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…that phrase, spoken with all the pride of ownership, carried it all… ‘they’re this high,’ he said, lifting his hand up as far as his brother’s shoulder… I LUVVED his use of the WURD, ‘high’ instead of ‘big’ or ‘tall’… next time yeez see a trio of high puppies, yeez’ll know where they came from… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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…Vogue for Bravehearts… no sporrans were harmed in the making of this Blog Post…

…a week ago, this ol’ Jurassic was privileged to be the Guest Speaker at The American Womens Association in Bahrain… it was a remarkably lively affair, and the Q and A session produced a surprising amount of enquiries into my apparel of the day… my kilt… it occurs to me that the intricacies and mysteries of my Scottish National Dress may be a source of puzzlement to many of yeez not blessed to have been born in the Land of the Haggis… hence the notion to elaborate and arm yeez with a whole new bunch of trivia with which to amaze yer friends at yer next dinner party…

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…a descriptive essay on each element of the ensemble could run to thousands of WURDS… but for the Dedicated Followers of Caledonian Fashion, a more succinct summary follows:

Brogues… these are the solid, leather footwear with laces which wind all the way up the lower part of the wearer’s legs and tied in a double knot at the side… not to be confused with ballet shoes…

…thick, all-weather woollen Socks, reaching to an inch below the knee, sometimes patterned with whorls and wee thistle emblems for the aficionado of Scottish hosiery… not to be mistaken as football socks…

…tartan Flashes for the Kilt Socks are the tie-ups, holding the Socks in place at the right level below the knee… tartan flashers are sum’thing entirely different and don’t belong in a family-friendly blog post such as this…

…tucked into the top of the right leg Sock is the sgian dubh, in Gaelic, ‘the dark knife’… as an Author, I keep it there as my hidden weapon to fend off nasty editors… it is not to be used for spreading yer marmalade on yer toasted scones…

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…the Kilt itself… the centrefold centrepiece… it is said that a good Kilt wears the man, not vice versa… the presence of a substantial male derriere lends better ‘swing’ to the cloth… much nonsense is broadcast about weight and number of pleats in a specific Kilt… I find that more than 20 kilos is too heavy, and an excess of 200 pleats a bit much for ironing… standard is about 8 kilos and 40 pleats… get in some serious wearer-training, budding Highlanders

…the Sporran… the bit that hangs down in the front of the Kilt…. no, Mabel, not that bit… I said we’ll keep this clean… the hold-all for yer money, yer MacBraynes ferry tickets to the Hebrides, and yer Writer’s calling cards to hand out to doting admirers at American Womens Association gatherings… a-hem…

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…the best-leather Belt with shiny buckle… a minimum of three inches broad… silvered clasp at the front, holds just about everything together when yeez breathe in…

Kilt Jacket, the photo above shows the formal version, with more shiny buttons… not too many… this isn’t the Cockney Pearly Kings and Queens stuff…

Dress Shirt, with attendant Bow Tie finishes it all off neatly…

…and yeez are ready… Vogue for Bravehearts… and no sporrans were harmed in the making of this Blog Post

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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A Day in the Life….

…LUV THIS! ….must reblog… any ‘Scribbling Doubters’ out there… read and absorb… if yeez write yeez are Writers!!!

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…of a Writer.

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My name is Christine Campbell, and I am a writer.

There, I’ve said it.

I said it and believed it for the first time after I published my debut novel in 2008.

There can be few things more validating for a new writer than to hold years of hard work in your hands. Feel the paper smooth on your fingers. The weight of your very own book, the smell of it, the sound of pages as you run your thumb over their edge, letting them flip one against the other. The sight of the words you penned months before, tumbling over one another to fill hundreds of pages, painting the pictures from your imagination in words and letters, to tell your story.

It’s intoxicating.

But how did it come to that point?

What does a writer’s day look like?

For me, the day probably looked a lot…

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…Authors, avoid the ’lobster bisque’ syndrome…

…it happened so long ago, it had almost been relegated from my mem’ry, but sum’thing triggered a replay in my mind yesterday… picture if yeez will a fine-dining restaurant in one of the swankier Manila hotels in the Philippines… early evening dinner, and being the hungry gannet I usually am, I was first in the door to allow the maitre de to ‘try to find us table’ in a room with about eighty empty places… the good man led us to a nice, horseshoe-shaped, leather-backed booth, neatly placed against the back wall… very comfortable… the only two guests in the place, myself and a visiting pal… the menu was top-rate, and our orders were duly taken… five minutes later, the maitre de was in action again… the second pair of guests had arrived…

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…an older European fellow, prob’ly packing a pension book, and a pretty Filipino lady, who could hardly have been older than 18… a veritable late-autumn/early-spring relationship in the making… apart from myself and my pal, the restaurant was still deserted… however, in the fashion of all good restaurant management techniques, the maitre de placed this second couple at the table adjacent to ours… then the circus began…

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…the menus— big, smart, expensive jobs, built obviously to justify the inflated prices, arrived at the next table… the young lady appeared flummoxed with the responsibility of choosing her food… the noble veteran with her explained… with interpretation so loud that we could hardly miss overhearing… ‘lobster bisque, my dear–that’s bisque with lobster in it’… ‘snails in pastry– that’s pastry with snails in it’… and so it continued… I’ll leave the rest of the occasion to yer imagination… I didn’t stay long enuff to see if he paid by credit card… that’s a card with credit in it… the lesson for Authors from that little episode… let yer readers figure out at least the basic stuff…  avoid the ’lobster bisque’ syndrome… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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…Authors… the phrase, ‘that’s not my job’, is NOT part of yer lexicon…

…no matter how much research yeez employ, it’s unlikely yeez will find records of the likes of Billy Shakespeare, Enid Blyton or Chuck Dickens having to do their own artWURK, or distribution channel placement for their masterpieces… nor the copy-editing, proof-reading or bookstore signings… changed days indeed… the modern wannabe classic scribblers are obliged to have more arrows in the things-yeez-have-to-do-yerselves quiver…

bbbbbb…at the last count, I’ve managed to find an assortment of operational obligations required to get yer books out there… and this holds for whether yeez are an independent self-publishing stoic or shepherded by either/or an Agent (a what thing??) or a real-live Publisher (they do exist)… but this ol’ Jurassic is fortunate (?) in having found a person for each function, viz:

writing the bluudy thing in the first place… er, that’ll be me..

initial editing…. that’s down to, well… me again…

copy-tracking for plot holes…. I’m the one who does that…

proofreading… I’m yer Huckleberry on that one, too…

organising cover artwork…. hmmm… aye, that’s yours truly…

coordinating with eBook channels such as the Great God Amazon… myself’ll do that…

price-setting… who else, but Moi?…

SOSYAL NETWURKIN activity to ‘build yer platform’… cloning of oneself would be a plus…

marketing programming… nobody but I…

continual promotional pitching… self, again…

bookstore signings… only the Author can do it…

Guest Speaking to generate interest in yer wee literary babies… who can do it better than?…

just about anything else that impacts the entire business of being a successful quill-scraper… yer mirror shows yeez who’s best for that…

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but the employment terms are terrific… I’m permitted to invent 36-hour days… indulge in constant cerebral debates with my fictional (?) characters… allowed to feast on chocolate biscuits and Diet Cokes in lieu of lunch/dinner/supper/breakfast/oh-is-it-that-time-already?… eternal nibbly picnics amongst the laptop keys… and d’yeez know what?… I’m LUVVIN IT!… emb’dy else amongst yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land relate?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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

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