Category Archives: Scribbling & Stuff

…’The Long Journey Home’… a must read… from the pen of Vivian Salama…

…it’s not often that the title of a book catches my eye in such a way that absolutely compels me to read it… Authoress, Vivian Salama, has more insights probably than most about the rigours of life among the migrant population in the strife-torn townships of Syria, having seen the impact of civil strife at close hand as a highly-respected journalist for several years in the Middle East… I have shared often on my blog my own personal thoughts and feelings about the tragedies and heart-wrenching upheavals that hit innocent families, not only in Syria, but across other ravaged countries and communities, including those in Africa… to have the story told through the eyes of a child, whose innocence is ruthlessly stolen from him, is beyond price… and we have to believe in the eternal hope that things do improve when each of us commits to try to make this a better world… I commend ‘The Long Journey Home’ to each and every one of you, my dear friends…

…here’s the synopsis:

Hassan loves playing soccer, hanging out with his friends and eating his mother’s home-cooked meatballs. But as calls for revolution begin to echo across Syria, his country is thrust into an era of chaos. As trouble creeps closer to his hometown, Hassan’s friends flee Syria, one-by-one, to seek a better life abroad. One day, when his family suddenly decides to leave as well, Hassan is forced to abandon everything he knows, including his remaining friends, his school, and the soccer field he so dearly loves. Little does he know that his journey is just beginning. In this tale of migration and acceptance, inspired by true stories, an innocent Syrian boy is upended from everything he knows after his family flees his war-torn homeland in search of a better life.


Vivian Salama became a White House Reporter for AP in January, 2017. In 2014, she became the Baghdad, Iraq bureau chief for the AP. She  has covered the elections in Egypt, the insurgency in Iraq, the Arab Spring, and drone deaths in Yemen. [1]

She hails originally from New City, New York. [1] She moved to the Middle East in 2003 and was a freelancer for Associated Press Television News in Cairo, Egypt from 2004 to 2006. [1] She also reported from Pakistan and opened Bloomberg News‘s bureau in Abu Dhabi. [1]She worked as a producer for NBC News and ABC News in New York City.

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors… How to be a Successful Writer…

… this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler formally joined the ranks of the global writers’ diaspora over a decade ago… I use the term ‘formally’ there, because informally, the creative pens-crafting has been with me prob’ly since birth, which seems about a coupla hundred years ago… at infant and primary school in my hometown of Docklands, Govan in Glasgow, we children were introduced to ‘Composition’, the name used before the college level description, ‘Essay-writing’… no matter how short the offering, even if only a page or two,  it was drummed into us to have ‘an introduction’, ‘a middle‘, and ‘an ending‘… as an early starter in reading books supposedly beyond my years, I habitually ‘borrowed big words’ from novels and from the dictionary, force-feeding them into my ‘Compositions’… the teen years crept up stealthily on me, and resulted in the angst-ridden poetries and short stories, so prevalent among my peers back then… fast forward to the past ten years to my Jack Calder crime thriller tomes, and not much, in truth, has changed… for sure, I hope, a tad more sophistication, and cerebral application toward plot development, character arcs, and all that good stuff the professorial tutorials demand of fledgling authors… with a back list that happily still gets regularly downloaded on Auntie Amazon Kindle, it would seem to some worthy folks that I am in a position to judge (nay, not ‘judge’, ‘pontificate’, Master Gallacher, ‘pontificate’!) what constitutes being a successful writer…

…for me, it is quite simply, transforming the desire to write into actual writing… no more and no less than that… it is NOT about selling a million copies of your wee masterpieces (although, that is not without merit)… nor is it about garnering any of the Nobel Literature Prize, the Man Booker Prize or any other labelled literary honour… similarly, rankings in bestseller lists, or the Noo Yawk Times ratings… no, sir… no, madam… How to be a Successful Writer is simply writing for yourself… taking pleasure, delight, and sum’times anxiety and mental pain, and just getting it down on paper, or laptop, or whatever, is ALL it takes in my not so ‘umble view… so, go be successful!…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



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…eleven years of Jack Calder and Co… where did that time fly?…

…around this month in 2008, Master Gallacher first experienced the absolute delight of ‘being on that pink cloud’, having just typed ‘The End’, on my first ever Jack Calder crime thriller… it’s a feeling which thankfully returned with pleasing regularity as the subsequent books became a series… apart from my Granny, hard-pressed (read; ‘arm-twisted’) family, and bosum buddies, more than 100,000 wunnerful readers have seen fit to download copies of the novels since the first edition hit the Auntie Amazon Kindle ratings… I am immensely grateful to every single reader… you have made a happy man very old… the immersion in the addictive universe of the modern-day writer involves for me a constant love affair with the SOSYAL NETWURKS, where the development  of countless friends from the scribblers diaspora has been a great joy… add to that the fabulous range of reader friends and just plain, down-to-earth, honest-to -goodness LUVLY bloggers and bletherers on Facebook and other channels… laughs galore, and amusement by the tonne… none of that was predicted when the first story was completed… and I wouldn’t change one iota of the journey thus far… eleven years of Jack Calder and Co… where did that time fly?… dear pals, all of you who take any time to interact with me, please know how much you play such an important part of my life… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!







Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…the amazing gift of finding treasure in your own backyard…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler’s writing schedules have been more than full this past twelve months… a back-burner item was the hope of producing my own personal memoirs in-between lengthy programmes encompassing ghostwriting autobiographies and family histories for other people, work which I enjoy immensely… I had begun to despair of finding enough of that elusive item that most of we authors crave — time!… one morning last week, like a flash of inspired lightning, it occurred to me, that much of the content for any memoir of mine was already ‘out there’, or more precisely, ‘in here’… on my webpages… for the past seven years as a blogger, I have shared a kaleidoscope of topics, many of which were throwback anecdotes of things I have seen,  felt and experienced during my life and career… over the past few days, I have downloaded and segmented these particular blogs into a timeline, subject matter,  and career slots… and guess what?… no less than 40,000 words of copy is there already!


…this will be the bedrock on which I will build the telling of my memoirs… of course, I will re-work the  content to meld it with my narrative flow, but what a wunnerful realisation, that much of my writing  labour has been done through my invested time over these last years since my first blog in May 2012… the amazing gift of finding treasure in your own backyard… the impetus is now with me to get on with it, a far cry from my original expected target date of a couple of years hence… stand back, and let the smoke billow from the keypad as the record of Master Gallacher’s Life and Times see the light of day, and not remain locked away in the registers of the various police authorities and lunatic asylums of Docklands Govan in Glasgow, Tobermory, Campbeltown, London, Hong Kong, Singapore, Sydney, Manila, Abu Dhabi and Bahrain... see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…regrettably, Sir, there is no known antidote…

…a little dive into my past blogging history reveals this wee piece, done about six and a half years ago… the message therein still holds good today 🙂 via …regrettably, Sir, there is no known antidote… 



April 5, 2019 · 1:04 pm

…paying it forward… it’s the gift that blesses the giver as well as the receiver…

…this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has been the recipient of so many blessings throughout a life that has had its fair share of absolute highs and desperately dark lows… looking back is the epitome of 20/20 hindsight… and I can see now so clearly where the ‘anonymous hand of my Creator’ continually put people in my path who were there at the right time and the right place… one such episode occurred when I was all of 11 years old… in Scotland, we had this thing called the 11+ exams where we were tested for the simple purpose of streaming us into the next level of secondary education… by some miraculous fudge (I’m sure), it was discovered that the young Master Gallacher was allegedly possessed of the highest IQ ever recorded in a Glasgow primary school up to that time… let’s be clear, however, that that IQ rating doesn’t mean I’m necessarily intelligent nor smart – it merely indicates that I have a propensity for solving logical issues in an extraordinarily fast time frame… the upshot was, that this wee lad from the Dockland, Govan slums was invited to sit the entrance exams for a scholarship at Allan Glen’s High School of Science and Technology, at the time, a prestigious fee-paying school in the city…

…I won the bursary and was told I could start at the new school at the beginning of the next term… however, my mother had to tell the headmaster of the primary school that her son would be unable to take up the position… when asked why not, she told him with blunt honesty, that although the bursary would cover the expenses for the school books and the tuition, the student’s elegant, but expensive, motif-adorned school uniforms, gym kit and sportswear were beyond our family’s budget, and I would not be going… he would have none of that argument… instead, this marvellous man, Carl Caplan, paid from his own pocket for my uniforms for the three years duration of the scholarship… ever since that time, one of my own pet areas for ‘giving back’ relates to providing assistance where possible to other children who otherwise may be denied the kind of opportunity that I was given… but it’s not about money… as I’ve written here before, I learned long ago, from someone much wiser that  me, that whatever it is you have, (and I don’t mean money!), you keep it by giving it  away… paying it forward... it’s the gift that blesses the giver as well as the receiver… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…when you want to light up your life… tell Teddy Bear stories to children…

…it has been a couple of years since last this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler was invited to talk with children in a classroom setting… World Book Day provided a plausible excuse for the invitation for Master Gallacher in his guise as an author, to come tell a story at The Budaiya Pre-School in Bahrain

…my dear friend, Jess Stansfield, the (much) better half of my writing buddy, Glen Stansfield, teaches a class at this superb kindergarden, and extended the opportunity for me to appear… which I almost bit her hand off to accept… I met first with the principal and founder of the school, the wonderful Janeann Mohseni, who led me to the classes… I was privileged to tell to three different class-loads my story about The Greedy Teddy Bear… the intensity of participation from these wee maestros of mischief was terrific… noise levels were decibel-bursting… great fun!… all of the children were dressed in costumes  depicting their favourite story hero and heroine characters… everybody from Spiderman and his crime-busting buddies to assorted Elsa Princesses

…the story line of the Greedy Teddy Bear is about a wee teddy bear who discovers a cottage when he’s walking in the woods… and where everything inside is made of confection… he touches the door and finds it’s made of chocolate... then the table… made of ice cream... and, of course, he eats everything he finds… when I got to describe what the chair was made of, I asked the children, ‘What do you think the chair was made of?’ … one little girl said ‘Lollipops’, another boy said ‘Cake’.. . but I was blown away in a fit of laughter at one wee fellow who looked askance at the question and announced, ‘The Chair was made of Plastic!’... what a fabulous morning for me!… I totally recommend, when you want to light up your life, tell Teddy Bear stories to children… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff