An Interlude on Stage

Sometimes I indulge in a Shakespeare play session in my DVD collection, and there are effects on my writing which insist on being displayed….


Stage directions:

A group of folk are sitting, forlorn.


The Commentator:


Speaks:                Good-day to you my fellow Wordsmiths

Why these sombre faces?

What halts or confounds your pens?

Have you fallen out to dispute of

Those five particular sisters

Calliope of the wondrous images

Euterpe entrancing with the lyrical dance

Thalia ever humorous and irreverent

Erato sweet purveyor of heart’s feelings

Polyhymnia, solemn in her honoring of the divine


Spokesperson:                    Well for you friend

That you should still be light of heart

Feel all is worth the business

For us, we see no sign of reward

No one beckons us

And heartily cries

‘Come! We would read your words!’

We sit in small dark corners

And none notice, or care

For our efforts.


Commentator:                    My brothers and sisters in authorship

This grieves me greatly

To witness you, victims to the Sly Mischief Maker


The ever-willing herald of The Drudge, Doubt.

This pair delight in stifling any bloom

Would grind the first shoots down

Ere they peer hopeful through the soil.

They are their carping squadrons of dullards

Who would have everyone just as slothful.


Spokesperson:                    Were you an alchemist of literature,

Were you able to turn your words deftly

And display them as nuggets of good news

Then we would cry ‘Hail Our Captain!

‘Lead and we shall follow’

(group nod and murmur)

But friend you are companion to Delusion

For many have travelled by our sorry group

And assailed us with words of good cheer,

Then been on their merry way,

While we sit and watch the words

As leaves, blown this way and that, and lost.


Commentator:                    Friends! Friends! You think I the hapless simpleton?

Then more fool me for brining this false mask to you.

For I am as battered and bruised as any of you.

The silence and the emptiness of no response

This I have passed in many a dreary day.

The careless rejection back so fast as to best Mercury

Has been a common visitor to my desk.

Bearing witness to folk who by deft means and insincere crafting

Have found easy fame and wealth,

A regular event so bothersome and mocking

I at times would have plucked out my eyes

And cried ‘No more! No more. Let me blunder away!’


Yet, the soft and steady the precious call continues,

Awakes within my forlorn breast the urge.

Once more do I walk with unsteady tread

To sit, and with trembling pen or battered device

Willing to answer the far off persisting, yet sweet songs

Which are the very life-milk to inspiration.

From what distant shore or forgotten manse

These hymns of summoning arise I cannot say.

And yet must follow with increasing pace

Made light by the sudden dance in my heart,

As once more the words begin to leave my head

To find form and juncture upon paper or screen.


Thus, Friends I do not give you any bright promises.

I would not insult you with happy quips about success

No, I do call you to a more daunting task

To bid you to arise from these sloughs in which you lie.

To stagger once more unto the field

Answering to the barely heard music.

Readying to forge on across unhelpful lands

Giving flight to the words which sit restless

Ever eager to spring forth through the despondency.


For you dear Friends. You the many small candles,

Would light dark places with your myriad words

Could raise a spirit or two with your images and messages

Might bring forth another to take up the sane road.

And would that not be worth more than easy coin

Come by shallow capering and tawdry lines overused?

Your acts and your endeavours though mayhap seeming small

Are as valuable as any roaring efforts of Titans

When truth be revealed, when all bluster is gone

The victories were won by the small individuals

Who in serried ranks forced the issue.


Now, guided by those ephemeral strains you know well,

Reach for your ever-present flints

Strike upon the stones of resolution,

Light those blessed candles, raise them higher.

Stride out once more, not seeking reward,

But to bring form unto thought and depth to your dreams.

For you are as valuable as any who claims the prize.

For you are of the very lifeblood which is Humanity’s Hope.

You are creators, you are bringers of songs and tales

You fill up the world with wonders and colours.

You have been chosen. You have been summoned.

And I will ever be glad of your company.

Be that in rags and in places where the Great do not go.

And I would be proud of your efforts, though they trample mine.

For you, each and every one- The Writers. The Artists.

Badges which none can tear from your jackets and coats.


Ah, but I have spoken far too long, have been a distraction!

Away with you now to your favour’d places, steel your resolve.

For you have a World to Enrich and thus save.

Go you warriors.

Heedless of rewards.

The Muses are beckoning you.

And when you stand upon your summit

You will look down into the vale

Being able to say, with determination

‘I created! I did achieve!’



Commentator exits….



The ending dear reader is in your hands.

                                           Good fortune to you.

                                           Never, ever give up with your writing.         


Just a Smidge

Average Body Weight 60,000 grms

Average zince 2 gms

Percentage of zinc = 0.00333 per body (one three-thousandth).

Yeh, that’s an estimate of how much zinc your body needs, scientifically the figures might be slightly off, but you get the idea……Not a great amount, but it’s vital, otherwise, things go wrong. Also, too much and things go wrong. You need a smidge…a very, very, very small smidge, but you need it.Shocked-face

Bit like something you add to a meal, if it’s not there, it’s bland maybe, if you put too much it…..Hello waste bin…..

So prithee dear blogger, you ask…..You do not normally post up tips on health or cooking. What the frib goes on here??      200px-Advokat,_Engelsk_advokatdräkt,_Nordisk_familjebok

Bear with me here, hear me out.



A scene at the ‘desk’ (allegorical) of a writer……




“Oh what is the point of it all?”


You know how it goes don’t you? Consider the following:

Sitting there reading someone else’s erudite or inspiring or funny or informative post and even worse when they combine them some or all together, and you wonder….Oh what have I got to offer? I’m like ….blaahh-city!fed_up_woman-620x412

A part way through your book or short story and you start to slow down or notice on a re-read that the continuity is all skewed OR the main character is as fascinating as a small piece of cardboard, in fact you reckon the cardboard is more interesting. You are there thinking ‘why am I bothering, I just don’t have it! I am just less than the dust beneath the chariot wheels of other writers….Oh (you say once more) WOE (or any other word you care to use).

OR you get up OR sit down and think ‘Aww. Why bother! There was no great response to my last effort and I followed all the marketing tips…Let’s face it, I’m a nothing-writer. Who cares! (At this point you may well stick your tongue out at the latest best seller by someone you normally like, but today…..Hufffffffff!!! And foreswear never to read a book again because they only remind you or your own let-downs. You’ll buy boxed DVD sets series 1-15 of something and binge watch)


It happens folks. Doesn’t it?shoulder-shrug

And we all wonder just what can be done about it. Because we do so love to write, we do so want to be read. We have something to offer.Young woman, finger on lips, looking confused surprised

The Arrogance of such a thought…..Really?

This is where in comes the smidge. The very, very small pinch of Arrogance. That little piece of flint which sets off the spark for the writer to try one more time, and the time after that, and after that and just never give up.

“Because I can do as well as others! Because I have something to offer.”

Let me just elaborate on this notion and bear in mind this is to illustrate just where the smidge comes in.

I write fantasy, I read fantasy.

Joe Abercrombie is gritty, this is the world big warts and all. His continuity is superb, a minor character is one book is central to another, the background from one book to another align. Haven’t they got their own swear words in this world Joe? I mean like what’s with this old goat having everything as part of his cunning plan, like not new & squaresville man. Where’s the chaos? Where’s the variety in the language. Uhh I’m gonna give that a shot in my own world….

Brandon Sanderson creates whole worlds with their own science in the Mistborn, and an encyclopaedia of characters who flit in and out, have their own vital part in the plot, no one is wasted. Yeh that was fine Brandon. But Stormlight and the Way of Kings, I’m there saying ‘Get on with the plot, the guy is down a big hole and trying to inspire a bunch of other guys, I get it….What about the pacing!..I can wrap up a tale quicker than that..(note to self- when writing vol II of my trilogy), don’t do a Way of Kings on the readers.

“Frib!”(shameless plug) You say, “That sounds like sour grapes and suchwhich.” I reply…..No, that is the smidge speaking, it is that which drives me on. The danger would be to lambast everything Abercrombie and Sanderson due just because I targeted on a few little facets which jarred with my style. I reckon I can write without those and that what’s what I am going to do…. Patchwork                                                                     see you can*

So say to yourself…..

I…. believe…..I can write……And no one shall stop me. What do they know?

And there you have the explanation dear readers/writers, the smidge is enough, just enough to get the words flowing. Any more and you will be sour, bitter and getting nowhere apart from joining the sad breed who write 1 & 2 star reviews on Amazon just because.

There is one other smidge you should add to Arrogance and that is the wry smile. Do not be angry, be at one with the belief, no writer is 100% perfect you can offer your own take and you are going to show the world. Never mind who says what. You…. ARE…..

Yes..You, YOU ARE A WRITER and let no one take this away from you. You have your own style, your own drive, your own images.

Repeat to yourself, without any doubt…




Just that smidge folks.

Then get to work.

Good luck, and fortune to you all. You are worth it

*(Sorry about the other shameless plug, it was only to prove a point…honest…a snip at Amazon Kindle for not very much)


Interludes with Cortana

So, new Dell laptop. Fearlessly and without the aid of any children or grandchildren I switched it on, and at once was assailed by this maiden of loud cheery voice who informed me her name was Cortana and could she assist me. She was astute enough to suggest I might want not to have her talking to me, and that was ok by her, which was fine by me, cheery voices are not required when setting up a new computer, not in this house anyhows.

Now all was well, save for trying convince McAfee I have a two year subscription in force and not their tweedly 28 day free one…I sense phone calls are in order, never much fun when contacting computer helplines, no matter how much info you have prepared for the call someone always manage to find some obscure question to ask you.

Well, truth be known that WAS my only problem. I have a new one; this lady Cortana. She has taken to asking me odd questions. I was about to check something  and Type Search when the following announcement appeared:

Remind me at Saturday 6pm

Convert 172 inches into centimetres.

This troubled me greatly. In the first instance I could not recall having put aside any time at 6pm on the coming Saturday for anything whatsoever, it was a possible blank piece of the day for me to do so as I wished. Then there was this question of converting 172 inches into centimetres. Why should anyone should think I wish to know how many centimetres are equivalent to 14 feet 4 inches was beyond me, there seemed no possible use to the business to my mind. Admittedly if you are one of those people who concern themselves over quantities of the consumption a particular species of edible fish and wished to demonstrate this in terms of length there might be some use. But for myself it was a random subject of no interest.

By good fortune though other domestic matters took my attention, such as trying get my other computer out of its state of complete cantankerous faux-collapse. As the fiendish device had been foiling my attempts at productive work for weeks and I now had a more sober and responsible machine, this task I set about with a cavalier attitude and the craven thing sank into meek submission.

Feeling quite superior, I went to checking with my new model and found Cortana was now advising me

My groceries are arriving

Flight BA 196

At this stage it was obvious the young lady was getting quite giddy in her attempts to be helpful. If she had troubled to consult a Google map or whatever else, she would have noticed the nearest supermarket of note is but three miles from our house and does not have a runway. This however did not occur to her for in her excitement she had now imagined a stalwart pilot had manoeuvred their craft into a 90 degree climb to be over our home, at which point bold members of the crew would be deploying parachuted goods to land all over our street. As I had not been consulted over the order, goodness what Cortana assumed would arrive. Happily the air space above our home was only intruded into by one light aircraft about its own business.

It now remains to be seen just what the lady will have believed to be of import to me, there are obviously a myriad of possibilities, and to suggest one might seem rude and spoil her fun.

Once the initial shock is over, the best strategy is to accept these little eccentricities for what they are.

They Have Killed My Country and Murdered My God

Just read this, please.

Fade Into Oblivion

They have killed my country and murdered my God
and called it collateral damage.
They have buried my homeland
under their bombs and the cries of its residents.
The women of my country are their playthings
And the men are prisoners of war.
My house has collapsed in on itself
burying its inhabitants under six feet of rubble
like a grave.
Colonisation, The Occupation, Ceasefire.
I can’t hear my own thoughts
Maybe that’s what they want to do
Overwhelm you with external destruction and voice
So you have no idea who you are
They blaspheme my God and place of worship
call Him a liar
spit upon His shrine
challenge His authority
believe they are better off without Him.
My country has become their playground
Paradise on Earth, now even worse than Hell.
I think the dead are luckier
They can’t see their beautiful land littered
with bullet shells, bombs…

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More powerful words. Visit Ron’s blog for thought-provoking and inspiration

The Time Tunnel


Little Boy Blue, come blow your horn,

The sheep are in the meadow and the cows are in the corn;

Where is that boy who looks after the sheep?

Under the haystack; fast asleep.

What time is it? The alarm clock of life is ringing! It’s time to wake up!  It’s time to go to work! We’re running late! No time to hit the snooze button and get a few more minutes of sleep.  It’s time to wake up! Let’s go to work!  Let’s work for a better, more compassionate and caring society. Let’s go to work for peace and unity. Let’s go to work for equality and justice. It’s time to go to work!  Time is winding up!

My father wrote this poem dealing with the question:


Murder and rape have almost become common place.

Drugs and alcohol are no longer…

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New Author Tip: Don’t Just Write More, Improve as You Write

Please these very wise words and take them to heart

The PBS Blog

Indie Author Basics

I’ve heard it over and over again: “The more you write, the better you become at it.” I get it. It’s practice. The more you do something, the better you become at it. When it comes to writing though, I think there is more to it than that. You can write and write and write but if you’re not correcting your mistakes as you write, you are not necessarily going to become a better writer.

My new author tip for you today is this:

Learning and applying what you learn as you write makes you a better writer not just writing for the sake of writing. You don’t have to write every day to become better. Understanding what needs to be improved on and correcting it as you write, makes you better. Otherwise, you’ll keep making the same mistakes and thus, produce the same kind of work. This means that…

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Can we Live?

Feast your mind on this one folks

The PBS Blog

gaelle-marcel-339781-unsplash Photo by Gaelle Marcel on Unsplash

We wake up just enough to stay woke but not enough to live. We live on hours and minutes and second hands, gas, and expressways. Espressos and Starbucks. From the bed to the car to the job, back to the car to the house and to the bed where we will lie down again so that we can wake up and exist again. Begin again. Breathe again. Boldly expecting these bodies to be there to back us up again. Do we ever back up? Can we stop? When was the last time you experienced something beautiful and told no one? Can we be beautiful without filter? Can we examine this breath? This gorgeous breath. This inhale and exhale. This miracle that is in us. Can we examine these lungs? Let the seconds and minutes and hours add up, can we forget about time? Let…

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When the journey seems futile…

Here is a worthy, frank and courageous account of one person’s journey.

the otherhood of one

I know I’m not alone in feeling this way, as though all of my efforts have failed.  As though every single thing I have attempted to accomplish in my life has fallen short; it simply isn’t enough to get the job done.  As though my very tenacity and determination to continue are some sort of cosmic joke being played upon me and my psyche.  Like failure itself was written into my karma and destiny…

And when that feeling overwhelms me, and I am convinced I simply cannot try anymore, when everything within me seeks shelter from the never-ending storm, I crawl into bed and cry myself to sleep.  Hoping, and sometimes praying, that this journey will soon end for me…

But I wake up again.  Always.  Disappointed.  Discouraged.  Angry, even, at why this life won’t let me go!  And then…

Some time during that hopeless day, some thing will happen…

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Short Story Writing Contest! $250 Cash and Prizes Worth Over $3,200

Worth consideration folks

A Writer's Path

Hi all! I’m excited to announce A Writer’s Path’s first writing contest. We have an excellent panel of 5 judges and 6 sponsors, and we’re looking to make this a large event.

Writing contests are a great way to gain experience and have the possibility of winning cash and prizes. For the winners, it’s also a great thing to add to your writing resume.


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