Tag Archives: #EAFOL

…how often do yeez say ‘Thank You’?… kudos to a great team at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai… #TBSU…

Festival logo

… like most of yeez I s’pose, I can be a grouch at times…  this ol’ Jurassic has his moments when the only thought in mind sum’times is to whine, moan and complain… in fairness to myself, however, I do occasionally take a moment’s pause to applaud things such as fine service in a restaurant, or when sumb’dy goes that extra mile for yeez… this week, I’d like to more than just pause… the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai ended last Saturday… I was privileged to participate at several levels in the course of the week’s events… at first hand, I observed the multiplicity of things that went into making it the huge success it turned out to be… a triumph for coordination, organisation and teamwork… one of the collective nouns for swans is ‘a ballet of swans’… these beautiful creatures who glide gracefully across the surface of the pond waters, while their feet are paddling away like mad… the Festival team were that ballet of swans… much labour goes into the event, of course, over an entire year prior to the opening day… the week itself is a whirlwind of activity… from the ticketing reception areas, to the magnificent presentation room management, to the brigades of volunteers, the supreme efficiency of the Green Room managers… the whole nine yards from start to finish… I’m gonna give myself the authority to say ‘Thank You’ on behalf of all we quill-scraping participants, and the tens of thousands of Literature-LUVVIN people who attended… no list is ever comprehensive enuff, and if anyone is omitted from here who should be on it, ‘Thank You’ also to you… here’s the wonderful gang who made it all possible :

Isobel Abulhoul                      Director

Yvette Judge                         Acting Director

Becky Kilsby                         Head of Programming

Jacky Williams                      Head of Operations

Asma Merchant                     Operations Coordinator

Mohemmed Musthafa            Runs the office

Chrissie Searle                      Volunteers and radio

Nicky Mills                            Education Coordinator

Yara Mirdad                          Competitions manager

Cathy Penaflor                      PA to Isobel

Mary Ann Miranda                Author liaison

Hind AbdulRahman               KHDA representative

Tariq Thaljeh                        Dubai Culture representative

Manisha Dutt                       Sponsorship

Carmel Rosato                     Head of Communications

Natasha Shekar                    Communications team

Hiba Kunil                             Communications team

Ronita Mohan                        Communications Team

Aedan Lake                           Web Content

Georgina Walsh                     Authors’ social and cultural programme

Lucy Ward                             Intern

Annabelle Corton                    Intern

Charlie Madsen                      Intern

Lydia Maskell                         Intern

Prachiti Talathi                       Receptionist

Gillian Bourke                        Green room

Jo James                               Green Room

Lisa Bond                              Green Room

Malik Kurshid Khan                Looks after the Festival office building!

WELL DONE!!!!! see yeez all again next year!


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…how can you not hear it, Grasshopper?… a signal from David Carradine’s ‘Kung Fu’… #TBSU…

…for those of yeez of a certain age, it’s hard not to remember the superb television series in the ’70s featuring the dead-pan, chiselled features of David Carradine ‘Kung Fu’ was the ultimate for ‘throwaway’ lines… the oft-quoted exchange between the young Caine (Carradine) and the blind monk, Shaolin Kung Fu Master Po, thus:

Master Po: Close your eyes. What do you hear?
Young Caine: I hear the water, I hear the birds.
Po: Do you hear your own heartbeat?
Caine: No.
Po: Do you hear the grasshopper which is at your feet?
Caine: Old man, how is it that you hear these things?
Po: Young man, how is it that you do not?

….ah, the stuff that authors dream of creating… and of course, the delivery of the WURD, ‘grasshopper’ from Master Po morphs into ‘Glasshoppah’… making it even more distinctively memorable… at this distance in time, what’s left of my own little grey cells still enjoy these snippets… especially this week, the paraphrasing, ‘how can you not?’ is jumping around in my head… here’s why…this ol’ Jurassic’s been immersed in the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai all week… and what a fabulous buzz that has been… part of my schedule was presenting a Workshop on the eBook phenomenon and the fundamental part that SOSYAL NETWURKIN plays in getting visibility and exposure for yer masterpieces… I’d begun to suspect that maybe sumb’dy had offered free drinks or sum’thing for my session, coz the room was full… then the ‘how can you not hear it’ bit kicked in… almost to a man and to a woman, the audience was made up of other writers… quill-scrapers just like me… my peers and peeresses in the pursuit of their scribbling craft… my ‘umble offering of my experience over the last few years of the HOW TO’ bring yer WURK into a broader  public recognition was well-received… in a wider purview, this reception has been replicated frequently in other meetings during the last 24 months with many authors asking me about the ‘HOW TO’… so, back to Master Po, ‘how can you not hear it, Master Gallacher’… the realisation dawns that it’s time for me to write about the ‘HOW TO’… my next masterpiece (book) will be such a tome… watch this space… ‘how can yeez not watch it?’... see yeez later…


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…one Ayres, tons of Grace, at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai… the incomparable Pam Ayres… #TBSU…


…it just keeps getting more betterer, and more betterer… class is timeless… this ol’ Jurassic was privileged to host the incomparable Pam Ayres for her performance today at the Emirates Airline Festival of  Literature in Dubai… the lady professes herself less of a poetess, more of a person who enjoys making people laugh… she excels on both planes… a packed hall was rapt, riveted and regaled for a gem of a session from this peerless poetic comedienne… the usual Arabic/English/Arabic translators were replaced for the performance by those equipped to translate her wonderful accented delivery which many have mistakenly labelled over the years as coming from diverse sources, but to the cognoscenti the sound is just pure ‘Pam Ayres’… let there be no mistake, however, in the product… the Lady Ayres is a consummate professional, with a timing that would put Rolex to shame… the content of her poetry ranges on what she calls the ‘ordinary stuff’, but in essence touches all of us… we chortle, we laugh, we empathise, we enjoy… but most all we relate to her work… and ‘ordinary’ it decidedly is not… as with most polished performers of any art form, the Lady Ayres makes it all sound so easy… and here’s another surprising snippet for yeez… the audience wasn’t made up entirely of those of us of a certain age who grew up entranced with her poetry… not a bit of it… a generous slice of the attendees may only recently have received the ‘key of the door’… and all were laughing their collective socks off… yeez may hear comic poetry delivered by different accents and voices… but yeez will certainly not hear it better… a performance indeed with no airs and graces… just one Ayres with tons of Grace… Pam Ayres… see yeez later…


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…faster than a speeding bulletin… a great bookish book-ended day with Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Dubai… #TBSU…

…a blur of a dovetailed diary day in Dubai kicked off for this ol’ Jurassic with a live interview on colour radio with interviewers Sarah Cocker and Steve Marney… station Dubai Eye 103.8 is located in Dubai Studio City, a bit of a drive from Dubai itself, so up at the crack of a camel’s cough, and out towards the desert we went… well worth the trip… excellent questions on the SOSYAL NETWURKIN allowed Master Gallacher to garble on at length on the airways about the self-publishing slalom of the past few years… late afternoon, and we’re back into the Intercontinetal Hotel base of the Festival to present the Workshop on being an indie in the eBook Age… a full room signalled the possibility of signs for free Kindles or sum’thing… but no… these good folks wanted to know how this old buffer managed to get so lucky on Amazon and the Internet market over the last coupla years… an hour flew by as if it were only 60 minutes… the audience exchanges were as good as any I’ve enjoyed of late… some scribblers are just starting out on their personal writing odyssey… others have the notches on the laptop to show their years of apprenticeship and time-served author journeymanship… I’ve seldom had so much fun with my clothes on… another clutch of names and contacts will ensure continued correspondence with many of the attendees… a sure indication that the self-publishing phenomenon is here to stay… the sheer pleasure of sharing with others of the quill-scraping ilk is unbeatable… each conversation with my peer scriveners so far this week has been an endorsement of the enormous sense of ‘family’… some of them even smiled at my attempts at humour… yeez can’t say fairer than that, Mabel… if yeez click on the link below, yeez might see a clip of forgettable proportion… see yeez later…


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…ach, don’t mind me, I’m just awa’ wi’ the fairies for a wee while this week… the Festival of Literature in Dubai… #TBSU…

Festival logo

…yeez all have yer own favourite sayings for it, I’m sure… when sumb’dy appears a tad light in the brains department… ‘…the elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top,’  ‘…the  lights are on, but there’s nob’dy home,’ ‘… he’s a few french fries short of a Happy Meal,’ ‘…she’s some balsamic short of a salad,’ ‘…not the brightest spanner in the toolbox,’  and so it goes on… in Scotland, a somewhat softer, gentler aside is , ‘…don’t mind him, he’s been awa’ wi’ the fairies for a wee while…’ …well, whatever attribution yeez feel like applying, I’m a fair target this week…the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is in full swing in Dubai, and this ol’ Jurassic’s taking to it like a duck to water… LUVVIN the buzz associated with splitting infinitives with yer peers… it can be an agonisingly lonely place, stuck in yer virtual candle-lit garret as a self-publishing author… now comes the opportunity to get out and rub laptops with others of the scribbling ilk… names will get affixed to faces, and with a wee bit of luck, may even get remembered… at least in this sort of company, yeez don’t have to overcome a sea of glazed eyes when yeez mention that ye’re a ‘writer’, and what all that entails… these people know… these good folks have been there, done it, got the literary T-shirt, the framed first rejection letter… them what knows what I’m talking about, have the quill-scraper’s version of ‘previous’… yes, that’s it… they’ve got ‘previous’, Mabel… Literary Festivals are part of it… the whole glorious, mind-spinning, word-smithing nine yards of it… so, for the last coupla weeks, the build-up has kinda crept up and jumped out shouting, ‘Kaboo!’… maybe when I get a little bit older, say aged about 165, it won’t be such a frisson-generator, but for now, yeez’ll have to put up with me.. don’t mind, though, I’m just awa’ wi’ the fairies for a wee while… see yeez at the Festival… LUV YEEZ…


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… ‘AUTHOR’… a Literary Badge of Honour, to be worn with pride… #TBSU…

…this ol’ Jurassic has a rule of thumb regarding visiting and staying for any length of time in hotels …the  better establishments give yeez a sense that yeez are ‘wearing’ them comfortably …I know yeez don’t ‘put on’ a hotel like yeez ‘put on’ an old favourite cardigan, but I’m sure yeez get my drift… in pretty much the same way, for me, ‘being an AUTHOR’ has become a mantle of comfort… it sits easily across these Skottish Skribbler’s shoulders now… …t’wasn’t ever thus, I must confess, but of late, it’s a soubriquet which has kinda snuck up on me… no better evidence presented itself than last night… I joined a wonderfully eclectic group of writers and ‘creatives‘ at a gathering in Dubai… all of us who turned up are participating in some form(s) or other at the upcoming Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from March 4 until March 8th… it was partly ‘getting to know yeez’ and partly ‘a wee reminder of some Festival housekeeping stuff’, which the highly capable team managing the event imparted with ease… rubbing quill-scraping shoulders with scrivener peers and peeresses was an absolute delight… being kinda the new writing kid on the block, despite my sexagenarian status, I revelled in the exalted company… and, here’s the thing, Mabel… it felt comfortable… now I can well understand why novelists, playwrights, poets, screen writers, and all, want to BE at such events as a Literary Festival… it’s where we belong!… that same sense, I’m certain, pervades the thousands of readers and literature enthusiasts who will also attend during the duration of the week… on top of that, yours truly is booked to visit with two colleges in Dubai, to hold self-publishing sessions with the writing students… these will be a blast if my recent past experience in pitching at ‘school careers’ days is anything to go by… so, my Literary Badge of Honour is now well emblazoned with pride across my chest, stamped on my forehead, and pinned to the edge of both my sleeves… LUVVIN IT!! hope to see yeez in Dubai in early March… LUV YEEZ!

Festival logo


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