Farewell Boleyn

What should have been a night of celebration, of memories about good football and great footballers, was marred by an incident outside the Boleyn ground – the home of West Ham United for the past 112 years.

But, once again, the enjoyment of others is coloured by the actions of a small minority and the majority of law-abiding Hammers’ fans unfairly ‘tarred with the same brush’.

I wanted to wake up this morning to the elation of having beaten Manchester United 3-2 in a thrilling match that should have been the only headline.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t to be the case.

 

 

NaNoWriMo

So, I finally registered for National Novel Writing Month and I’m hoping to complete a first draft of the sequel to Relative Justice (Part One). I think the discipline of NaNoWriMo will be the incentive I need to finish this story.

Relative Justice became a two-book series after I realised the word count was going to be in excess of 150,000 words – far too long for a crime novel – so I’m told.

It will be my first time doing NaNo and I’m a little apprehensive, even though I have a plan ‘and everything’ 😀 (that’s an in-joke btw).

Anyway, I hope there are a few of you attempting NaNo this year, if nothing else it will be an experience. The main thing is to not take it too seriously – enjoy it. Even if you only get half the words down at least it’s a start, right?

Good luck everyone 🙂

NaNoWriMo: WebsiteTwitterFacebook

End Of An Era

I confess to experiencing a stab of nostalgia when I heard Authonomy was closing its doors forever at the end of September 2015. I first joined back in 2010 and, like many there, had a few incarnations – only one at a time, mind – well, there may have been a short overlap 🙂

I started out as St John, then morphed into MickeyBlueEyes, and when I got fed up with him I regenerated as Michael Jones – funny that 😀

Despite Authonomy’s ups and downs, in terms of site functionality, I met a lot of nice people there and received some great feedback for my novel in progress – Macintyre, as was then. It’s now entitled: Relative Justice (Part One)  and can be read here on my website. I’m currently involved with writing the sequel: Payback (Relative Justice Part Two) but not for much longer *he says hopefully*.

I also wrote a romantic comedy: In Too Deep aka: Hit The Ground Running, which got some brilliant feedback from Authonomy members. It too is available to read on my website.

My time spent on Authonomy certainly wasn’t wasted. It improved my writing no end – following the tips and advice of more experienced writers helped me to hone my craft and, I like to think, make it better (course that’s a matter of opinion, obviously 🙂 ).

Ah well, ‘nothing ever lasts forever’ so they say and ‘it was fun while it lasted’.

RIP AUTHONOMY

 

PS: If there are any ex-authonomites reading this and you want to stay in touch – join Scribblers where you can chat with old mates to your heart’s content – enjoy 😉

Thinking Out Loud

One fatal event in your life can change its course forever. Rosie Macintyre knows that only too well.

One fatal event in your life can change its course forever. Rosie Macintyre knows that only too well.

So, I finished my work in progress. It is now with beta readers. I’ve had some good reports back and it’s looking positive. Due to an overall majority, the sequel has now become part 2 of the novel and moves to six months in the future.

This was a huge decision for me and I’m still debating with myself, but I didn’t want to have the situation of leaving readers disappointed. Hence, the birth of part 2.

The dilemma: the book is now 110,000+ words and rising. More than a tad too long for crime fiction I’m thinking, and not what publishers or agents are looking for.

‘Doesn’t matter how long it is as long as it’s readable’.

Okay, this is true, but unrealistic … I believe.

I’m thinking aloud.

‘It’ll work out’.

Yeah … 🙂

 

The Misunderstood Prologue

Prologues are given a hard time in the literary business. I don’t see the problem myself, or what all the fuss is about. It might be because my latest work in progress has one.

Biased? Maybe.

I have to admit, I get a little sad when I see someone refusing to read a book because it has a prologue.

Are they being judgemental? Perhaps. I would call it more ‘depriving oneself’. They might enjoy the book. The fact it has a prologue is like them ‘cutting of ‘their’ nose to spite ‘their’ face’.

Yeah, I like clichés too. 😀

I never shun a book that has an introduction, preface, or prologue. To do that, I think, shows conceit, or reveals a concept that is outdated.

I’m not about to launch into a long discourse about why I like prologues. The honest truth is, I’m not that bothered by them. If its integral to the story, why not? But, I wouldn’t refuse to read the book because of it. The writing, storyline and voice, are the things I look for in a book. The only time I wouldn’t continue to read, would be if the story didn’t engage me.

‘Never judge a book by its cover’ could also be extended to its prologue.

However, I’m not one to judge … 😀

A Christmas Poem

‘Twas The Night Before Cristamas by Clement Clarke Moore

 

‘Twas the night before Christmas,
when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring,
not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

 

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
‘Now, Dasher! now, Dancer!
now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! on, Cupid! on, Donder and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch!
to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!’

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky;
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes – how they twinkled!
his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses,
his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

Photo by Kelvin Kay

Photo by Kelvin Kay

And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle,
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night.”

What Are You Reading?

Here’s your chance to plug a book that you’ve read and really enjoyed. Maybe you’ve written a review about it or you just like it so much you want to tell everyone else how good it is.

Leave a link in the comments section below to either the book’s page or your review … or both!

In this way, you’ll be helping me to find good books and also promoting the author.

Looking forward to hearing from you. 🙂

 

PS: No plugging of your own books though … that’s not allowed. 😀

 

Do Something Funny For Money

Comic relief banner by Paul Holloway

Comic relief banner by Paul Holloway

Well it’s that time again and everyone’s out in force to raise cash for Comic Relief. And no more less exuberant than here in Lincoln, UK.

On Monday night (11th March) eight ‘would be’ comedians stepped up to say something ‘funny for money’. Asked to write their own material the seven men and one woman stood up in front of a crowd of over a hundred to make us laugh. And what a grand job they did!

 

 

Here’s a friend’s other half standing up to be ‘funny for money’:

 

I really admire those who took part … I couldn’t have done it :0)

If you would like to make a donation go here.

 

A Bright Sunshiny Day

There’s mist over the Fenlands and I’m ready to write … So, why am I still here?

Going, going, gone!

 

 

 

 

Apologies …

Some of my mates, after reading my last post, seemed to get the impression that I’m planning to do myself in…. Nooooo! You missed the point.

Apart from it being a witticism (and not a very good one, obviously) the book I was talking about in the post was: The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying and in it the author encourages us to cultivate the attitude of: ‘preparing to die’ – the meaning in essence, is to live life to its fullest (harmlessly) and therefore, when death occurs we have no misgivings. Very simply put but this is how I understand it. I’m sure others will interpret it differently.

There is, of course, much more to the book than this but you’ll have to read it to find out …

Enjoy 😉

PS: I learnt something today, not sure what, but I’m sure I did …