I’ll try anything once, or in this case – twice

The misuse of the humble Hashtag…

Have We Had Help?


Like most people, I’ll try anything once. Talking with Chris, the storyreading ape a few days back, he enthused as only he can, (bless his heart) when I asked him about why he uses hashtags on so many of his blog posts. So, following his advice I decided to try it for myself. According to him they are totally necessary when your blog posts appear on sites like Twitter, Google+ and Linkedin, to induce people to read them – and here was me thinking it was the post’s title and content.

Well, I have used them twice now. Not just in conjunction with the three aforementioned sites, but also on Facebook, Pinterest and Stumbleupon. In each case I saw no appreciable increase in views. In fact they remained exactly the same as always.

So why do people bother with the hashtag symbol for number (#), using it in a way…

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A fine residence

More from Jim Webster’s altar ego….

Tallis Steelyard

A fine residence

It’s strange when you think about it. One would expect a gentleman to have a fine residence. But alas property does not devolve naturally upon those of breeding and good manners. Indeed it has been commented (mainly by punsters more interested in displaying their grasp of archaisms than they are in provoking mirth) that a gentleman may have a fine address without having a fine address.

Still there are many persons of wealth and influence who can claim more than one pleasant house, elegantly appointed and displaying the opulence and good taste of the owner, or at least of the person the owner hired. And of course the house or houses are theirs. They have the deeds to prove it.

But in reality, they are merely the title holder. In the eyes of the law, they are responsible. Indeed when they enter the house, those staff who meet them will…

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When will I Ever Learn?

A drop of nostalgia…

Have We Had Help?


There was a time when like most people earning a wage I did just what was required of me and no more, merely to stay employed. Then back in nineteen seventy five I secured a job as a lab technician in a leading New Zealand university. I absolutely loved being there. Barely a year had passed before I changed my attitude regarding the employee/employer relationship. Yes I was still receiving a weekly wage. But the benefits of working there changed me forever. From that day forward I have continued to give, give, give to the detriment of my sanity and wellbeing.

Back then as an emerging writer, being able to pick the brains of certain among the academics within the School of Science where I worked was an absolute godsend as far as I was concerned. In appreciation, whenever any of them wanted something from me, I gave them two…

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It’s A Bargain!

Congratulations Esther…


A huge thank you to those of you who have read my current book of short stories – A Walk in the Woods. The paperback will be coming out soon – I promise!

Some of you may not know that I wrote another book of short stories – The Siege – some years ago, under the name of Esther Newton. It’s available as an ebook and as a paperback. The paperback features eight extra stories. And what’s more, both the ebook and the paperback are currently on offer on Amazon UK, at under £2 and on Amazon US, for under $2.50!

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Hunting Duende in Sevilla

Hunting Duende in Sevilla

A little something from Justin in Malta. 😉

The Champagne Epicurean


Spain is unique, a country where death is a national spectacle, where death sounds great bugle blasts on the arrival of Spring, and its art is always ruled by a shrewd duende which creates its different and inventive quality.

Federico Garcia Lorca



There can only be one reason why an artist travels to Andalucia: to search for duende. Duende is not a word commonly known outside Spain, outside music and the arts, but it is something all artists strive for. Some of them are fortunate enough to find it and a masterpiece is born. Others create masterpieces merely from their quest of the elusive spirit.

What is duende? Federico Garcia Lorca, the greatest Spanish-language poet to have ever lived, described it thus in a lecture he gave on the subject in Buenos Aires:

Those dark sounds are the mystery, the roots that cling to the…

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From now on it’s entirely in your hands!!!

Did you ever read The Guardian??

Have We Had Help?


The one and only chance anyone had to get themselves a free copy of my latest scifi novella The Guardian, is at an end. As I mentioned in the previous post read hereat the end of its promotional period I said I would give the story its final edit. Well I did. Yesterday (Monday) I uploaded the totally error free version to Smashwords, Creatspace and KDP, prior to it coming online at full price.

How do I know it’s error free? Trust me, if it contained so much as a single error Smashwords would have immediately rejected it. When it comes to quality control they are extremely particular, more so than Creatspace or KDP even know how to be!

To buy your eBook copy in the format of your choice on Smashwords click here

To buy your Kindle or paperback copy at Amazon.com  click here

To buy…

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The inadvertent creation of a poet

More from jim…

Tallis Steelyard

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I have, over the years, done my best to assist many budding poets. To be fair, in the interests of the art I’ve assisted some to be clerks or actuaries, some to be day labourers and one or two I’ve convinced to become librettists. But the ones I’m proudest of are those who I felt had that necessary spark and who went on to produce truly excellent work. But the finest of them all I produced by accident.

I was teaching a couple of courses at the University, and frankly the students were getting to be a nuisance. It wasn’t as if they were particularly boisterous. Students who drink deeply, love extravagantly, and finally crawl out of bed at some point in the middle of the afternoon are not a problem for the lecturer. Especially if you make sure you get them to pay for your teaching in advance. The…

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