Monthly Archives: June 2015

…remember the good old days… they’re right now…

…it’s a well-traipsed saying… ‘when ye’re old enuff to know better, ye’re too old to do anything about it’… how often when this ‘ol Jurassic was a young lad, the thought of reaching the next watershed age in my life couldn’t come quickly enuff… when ye’re 12 years old, people at 21 seem so cool and mature, and those at 40 are positively ancient… comes 25, and 50-60 are the limits of seniority, while 65+ are ‘foot-in-the-grave’ material… then yer 40th arrives, and all of a sudden pensioners appear closer to yer peer group that yeez ever thought comfortable… forget 50, 55 and 60’s milestones… they just sneak up on yeez at warp speed…

ccc

…now 100 could be a nice target, Mabel, but just don’t ask me to sprint anywhere… lessons sum’times get picked up on the way… the ‘Life’s what’s happening while ye’re busy doing other things’  type of lessons… one biggie that sticks with me is, ‘…remember the good old days… they’re right now’… I know it sounds a bit homespun, but consider it for a moment… unless yeez have found the Doctor Who tablets and Time Travel, yeez aren’t capable of living any other nano-second than the one yeez are in at this moment…. neither historic nor future… yeez are gifted with the ‘now’… make the ‘now’ yer ‘good old days’… savour the experiences yeez have in front of yeez… enjoy the company, even if, and sum’times especially if, that company is simply yer own shadow… the decision to be content or otherwise is usually yer own to make… and as the Desiderata says, when it’s all said and done, for all the negatives we hear blasted at us from the 24/7 Cable News purveyors of calamities, disasters and tragedies. this WURLD can still be a beautiful place... 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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…why we never asked what the time was during the week in Docklands Govan in Glasgow…

…every successive generation ‘acquires’ new ‘stuff’… and sadly, the balancing factor states that very same generation also ‘loses’ a lot of ‘stuff’… the modern child is weaned on iPhones, Internet, web communication, sundry ‘applications’ for this, that and the other, much of which robs them of the practice of thinking for themselves… the ability to do simple arithmetic diminished with the advent of pocket calculators… the art of spelling and other elements of WURD-smithing has dissolved into Google spellcheck, and all manner of facts are not ‘learned’ anymore, but subject to pressing a button to search on some web link to have inquisitive minds sated… (and by the way, if the answer is incorrectly quoted on the web source, it still becomes the set-in-stone definition)… I often ponder on the comparisons of the ‘thens and nows’, especially from life in the Dockland Govan slums in Glasgow where I and hundreds of thousands of others grew up… money was eternally scarce… when my father did WURK, the earnings were meagre… we had a Westclox brand alarm clock which probably cost all of ten shillings when new (50-pence in modern UK currency)…

clock

…without fail, every Monday, the clock was taken to the local pawnshop and pledged for the princely amount of one shilling and threepence… on Friday evening, from the parental wage packet, it found its way back home after payment of the redemption sum of one shilling and fourpence… hence explaining why at home we never asked what the time was during the week… so how did we get up in the mornings in time to go to school?… easy… we also had an old radio, more commonly known as ‘the wireless’, which my mother switched on when she awoke, which could be anytime from 4.30 am onward…

radio

…time checks pipped on the hour every hour back then… and off we’d be packed to school… on the subject of time, I never possessed a wrist watch until long past my fifteenth birthday… and today I own only one… punctuality became a built-in awareness… there were no mobile phones to call and tell people if yeez were delayed anywhere… yeez just got to wherever yeez were supposed to be, on time… try that with the majority of youngsters nowadays … I think I much prefer the ‘old’ way, to be honest… 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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Eye of the beholder

…this piece carries such a powerful message, I MUST reblog it, from m’Lady, Sue Vincent… a truly beautiful friend…

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

the-toilet-of-venus-peter-paul-rubens The Toilet of Venus, Rubens c.1614

“…item, two lips indifferent red; item, two grey eyes, with lids to them; item, one neck, one chin, and so forth.”

Twelfth Night, William Shakespeare

Let’s be clear… fashions change, in beauty as in all else. Many of the celebrated beauties of history would not cut the mustard by today’s standards. Cleopatra had a big nose. Emma Hamilton, mistress of Lord Nelson, was fat by the time they met. And Rubens’ Venus had cellulite. The list could go on. These women, accounted great beauties in their day, to modern eyes may lack that certain something we are almost indoctrinated to seek. Was it just fashion that gave them their place in history? Or was there more to these women? Charm, grace, laughter and intellect; or did they exude that sensuality that attracts regardless of face?

I was speaking with a woman today, very beautiful…

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Presenting Indie Author Seumas Gallacher

…what a pleasure to be part of m’Lady, Phyllis Moore’s Blog…

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

MythRider

 profile

In one of his blog pages titled “True Lies ‘N Author Stuff” Seumas Gallacher gives a brief history of his life. He’s traveled all over the world in pursuit of his career in finance. He is now a successful author with a great sense of humor.

He calls me Authoress and I call him Seumas the Humorous.

Here is an interview about him and his novels.

 

The header on your blog is a combination of photos of you with different expressions. How did that came about?

 SG : My great pal and writing buddy, Jody Ballard, took these photos plus the video clip for You Tube which sits at the side bar of my blog. She claims she wanted to show the universe what I really look like… I told her to take them from my ‘Johnny Depp’ side… oh, well…

 

We can tell by your blog…

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…my pal, Shawn Griffith, lets me loose on his blog today… yeee-hawwww …

Seumas Gallacher — Author Interview

Seumas Gallacher — Author, Blogger, All Around Great Guy

My fellow scribbler, one of the many ways he refers to himself, Seumas Gallacher has gracefully consented to give me an interview. Without further ado, here it is:

Seumas, tell us a little about yourself and your background?

SG: I started my banking career at 15, and used that as a global travelling passport for the next 5 decades, with employers in the Scottish Hebrides (the Far North); London, (the Far South); the Far East (Hong Kong, Singapore, Philippines); and now in the Middle East, (the Far Middle), shuttling ‘twixt Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, running my own corporate trouble-shooting business.

What were you like at school?

SG : Hardly precocious, but prob’ly a bt of a ‘Smarty Pants’ ‘coz it turns out I possess a stupidly exaggerated IQ. (Which does not point to intelligence, but does accord me the ability to think logically, very fast, so I’m told.) Won tons of academic awards including a free scholarship to an excellent college in Glasgow, quite unusual for a lad from the Docklands Govan area of the city. It presented one or two issues, such as walking home through the slums in a posh uniform with a viola case under my arm.

Were you good at English?

SG : Ah, noo ye’re beltin’ me wi’ trick questions, Shawn!… gie’s a break, eh? I was good at the wee bits of it I needed to be understood, particularly in London.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

SG : No limits. Wherever this marvelous scribbling gig takes me, I’m aboard. LUVVIN IT!

Which writers inspire you?

SG : Dickens, Steinbeck, O’Hara, Winston Churchill, and emb’dy who writes my name on cheques.

So, what have you written?

SG : For my novels, I’ve almost completed writing KILLER CITY, the fourth Jack Calder crime thriller … should be disseminated  by Crooked Cat Publishing in the next 6 weeks… the first three, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY; VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK; and SAVAGE PAYBACK have already blessed me with 80,000+ downloads.

Where can we buy or see them?

SG : Whack ‘Seumas Gallacher’ on Amazon Kindle, and they’re all there. [editor: See below for links to all of Seumas’s books]

Give us an insight into your favorite (or main) Character. What does s/he do that is so special?

SG : Quite simple really… three ex-SAS (Britain’s Special Air Services) commando officers retire and form their own specialized security services firm… in the course of protecting their clients personally and corporately, they rub up against all manner of international crime lords, drug barons, people-traffickers, cash launderers.. and other nice people like that… being ‘EX’ the forces, there’s no constraints on how they use their black ops skills to combat threats. The principal character, Jack Calder, is a child of the Docklands Govan area of my youth… six-feet two, blue-eyed, fair-haired lad… three guesses on who he’s styled after? A-hem…

What new projects do you have in the works?

SG : The fifth book in the series is already formulating in my head.

Why do you write?

SG : Having fallen into it more by accident than by design, I’ve discovered how much pleasure I derive from being creative with the whole nine yards of the writing business, including the social networks platforms…all part and parcel of doing it 100%.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

SG : Seriously, it just occurred to me one fine day, that it was ‘time’ to write ’that book’ we all supposedly have in us… and that was it… a few evenings thinking of what to write, and off it went.

Tell us about your writing habits, favorite tools, etc. Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day? Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

SG : I write every day, with no set word targets… I don’t believe in ‘forcing’ production… I’d rather take the time to ‘sculpt’ what I’m writing… contrary to accepted convention, I prefer to edit daily as I go along… I write on the laptop I bought 6 years ago, one finger from each hand… it was the first computer ‘thing-y’ I’d ever owned, as a self-professed Jurassic re gadgets and computers, I’m ceaselessly amazed at how much I’ve managed to learn in that short space of time after a lifetime of computer ignorance.

Where do your ideas come from?

SG : Everywhere. The cable news channels are a constant daily source of ideas… just change the names to protect the guilty. Background stuff is culled from that lifetime of globetrotting, characters I’ve bumped into… and some real close-to-the–wire experiences of bad guys, and the good guys who put them out of business… I could tell you more… but then I’d have to kill you… you know how that works.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

SG : I like to have the ending before I start, then it’s a combination of ‘pantser’ work and plotting in stages as the narrative develops… although, as most quill-scrapers will tell you, most of the time the characters themselves take over and dictate where the plot goes.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

SG : Still learning… the renowned cellist, Pablo Casals, was asked once why he still practiced at the age of 90 and he replied, ‘I think I’m improving’… that’ll do me nicely.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

SG : The beginnings, the middles and the ends.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

SG : It varies between 6 to 24 months, depending on how much that other silly little thing called ‘Life’ gets in the way. The requirement to earn a living with the day job can be peculiarly distracting.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors.

SG : I read constantly. I download about one book per week on my Kindle. These days, it’s other newbie authors and self-publishers. I try to leave honest reviews for them as I proceed, as I know how valuable these are for any writer, and it’s part of my ‘paying it forward’/’paying it back’ philosophy.

What books are you reading at present?

SG : I have Yasmin Selena Butt’s ‘Gunshot Glitter’ on the go now, to be followed by a couple of offerings from Tony McManus— ‘The Bangkok SAS’, and ‘Down And Out In The Big Mango’ … they’re among many pals I’ve garnered in the great big wunnerful diaspora that is the internet’s global authors’ family.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

SG : I proofread and edit extensively my own books before they go to the  publisher, where a superb editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam, knocks them into presentable reading shape.

Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

SG : No. My editing is constant, as is the writing process… I’m happy when I type ‘the end’ that that’s it finished from my side.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

SG : Maureen Vincent-Northam, mentioned above, is my allocated editor with Crooked Cat Publishing, and is an absolute pleasure to work with.

Tell us about the covers and how they came about.  Who designed your book cover/s?

SG : An artist friend in the Philippines, Edward Tan Lu, did the original three novels’ covers, which were then modified by Laurence Patterson at Crooked Cat Publishing. I like to have input in the creation of the covers… I prefer strong colours with sinister features… that way, there’s no mistaking what you’re buying… the contents are what’s written on the tin.

What are your thoughts on publishing? 

SG : Each to his or her own… de facto, my initial route was self-publishing, ‘coz, despite the successful sales figures, no traditional publisher accepted my work at the start… I’ve been more than fortunate that the series (as it became) caught on, and the use of the social networking helped enormously in getting my name ‘out there’… along came Crooked Cat Publishing, and I like their hybrid approach… it allows me still to remain hands-on involved in the promotional and marketing side. And get access hopefully to wider readership bases.

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors on any aspect of writing, publishing, marketing, etc.?

SG : If you are in it, be in it 100%, Accept the modern author’s lot includes social networking, being your own production editor, proof-reader, cover–creator, social networking person…oh, and write a bit as well.

How do you relax?

SG : Believe it or not, by writing.

What is your favourite motivational phrase.

SG : My lifelong hero, Sir Winston Churchill’s idiom, ‘…never, never, never give up…’

What is your favourite book and why?

SG : Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield… glorious characters, great atmosphere, and wordsmithing at its finest… and with an opening chapter heading, ‘I am born.’… how could it miss?

Where can you see Seumas Gallacher in 5 years time?

SG: I’ll tell you that in five years time plus one day

What advice would you give to your younger self?

SG : Hang in there kid… it does get better.

Where do you see publishing going in the future?

SG : Predominantly eChannels, not only for books, but magazines, newspapers, pamphlets… it’s already pointing that way. Print will still demand a significant place, and I don’t believe as some do that print will die.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Thank you very much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to take part in this interview.

SG : Thanks a bundle for having me aboard, that man.

Seumas Gallacher Bio

Seumas Gallacher was born in Clydeside, Govan in Glasgow and spent his formative teens in the idyllic Scottish Hebridean island of Mull. His career as a banker took him from Scotland to London for ten years and thence on a further  twenty-five year global odyssey through Hong Kong, Singapore and the Philippines in Asia. Along the way he metamorphosed into a corporate troubleshooter and problem solver. He came to the United Arab Emirates for a month in 2004 and has remained in the Middle East ever since.

A late discoverer of the joys of writing, his crime thriller novels, The Violin Man’s Legacy, Vengeance Wears Black and Savage Payback have sold more than 80,000 copies.

Seumas has become a strong proponent of the use of the social networking channels to reach and engage with a global readership market in the new age of self-publishing and eBooks. Seumas is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on how to develop productive online relationships. He was voted Blogger of the Year 2013.

Books by Seumas Gallacher

Seumas Gallacher book covers

THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY

VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK

SAVAGE PAYBACK

my pal

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…a wee indulgence… and p’raps a bit of enlightenment…

…it’s nearly fifty years ago that this ol’ Jurassic won his first ever singing medal at the National Gaelic Mod in Scotland… one of the four songs I was obliged to sing is called, ‘Mi’n Seo Nam Onar’… the literal translation in English is ‘I am here alone’… but the meaning and the translation mean NUTHIN without the Celtic feeling and emotion that the song demands (and most other Gaelic songs for that matter)… the judges on the occasion I competed with it, said, inter alia, ‘this young man’s rendition takes us out on to a distant hillside, and permits us see, hear, and feel, the true solitude of the Highlander’, …I could not have wished for a better interpretation of my singing of that particular song… at the time I was living in the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull, an environment where a person can be alone with nature, and sense the Celtic legend that permeates the place… a legend that has no need of crowds of people… a legend that has no demand for idle chatter and conversation… a legend where a man’s thoughts are his, together on a hillside only with the memories of those who’ve been there before him… the clip at the start of this piece is the opening tune from the movie, Braveheart, and having read what I’ve just written here, I’ll ask yer indulgence to listen to it again and see if yeez can feel what a young man felt fifty years ago, standing on a stage, singing solo unaccompanied in a language that comes from the soul of the Highlands… and if it touches yeez in the way it has been with me ever since, I’ll think yeez well-blessed… 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 daft old Scots Author’s thoughts on ‘the wee curly bits in yer writing’…

…no, Mabel, the blog post title above is not a reference to yer handwriting… although if it had been, we’d be comparing my penmanship to the proverbial chicken scrawl… what I’m rabbiting on about in this piece is sum’thing that’s been surprising me of late… I’ve just completed the three-week-long series of self-edits of my latest wee offering in the Jack Calder series, KILLER CITY, which then goes to my amazing Crooked Cat Publishing editor, Maureen Vincent-Northam to do the proper edit… in the course of reading through yer own WURK, it’s astonishing how much of it jumps at yeez as if it was sumb’dy else’s book… (I wonder how many of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land experience the same thing?)…

AAAAAAA

…I keep finding LUVLY inserted phrases and ‘bits of writing business’ that occurred only at the split-second of getting it into the narrative… free flow mind-set stuff… the little nuances in yer scribbling that I think lend it yer Author’s Voice, that essence that mesmerises so many newbie writers… y’see, once ye’re past the dependence on amateur-cliched WURK, what’s left by definition becomes yer own ideas… yer own brilliance (or mediocrity… please yerselves!)… ‘ALL YER OWN WURK’, as the phrase goes… and it’s quite delightful to discover the wee curly bits in yer writing that makes yeez smile to yerself and say, ‘that’s my wee baby, there’… it might be the inclusion of an afterthought. or an aside, a throwaway sentence of even half a sentence… but it makes the narrative different…

BBBBBB

…and here’s the confounding thing about it… yeez don’t plan it… it flows out of yeez, almost by accident… pretty much in the same manner that yer characters so frequently hijack yer fingers and have yeez tapping out a completely foreign version of yer story than the one yeez thought was yer own… it amuses me, yes… it delights me, yes… it makes me feel special, yes… but do I understand it?… no, I don’t, and please Gawd, I never will…. keep it fresh… 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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