Food for thought from my friend Bob Van Laerhoven…

All good stuff…

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Is “Return to Hiroshima” still relevant in this era? Decide for yourself after reading this guest post on Toe Six Press:


Or read:

Author Article: Literature Resonates by Bob Van Laerhoven

Lately, many people ask me if I think literature is still meaningful in this era of rapidly progressing digital technology: fast changing communication, the many ways of experiencing movies, streamed television series and news.

Literature does matter in our time. In any era.

I’ll explain this with an example of my own work.

Return to Hiroshima is my latest novel in English. As the first city ever struck by a nuclear bomb, Hiroshima became an iconic symbol. A novel with that city in the title inevitably refers to that moment in time that changed human history forever.

Why write a work of fiction in which the nuclear detonation plays such an important role? It’s easier, and…

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J.S. Bach’s “Air on the G String” Played on the Actual Instruments from His Time

There is nothing quite like a drop of JS Bach to set up your day…


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In my opinion, the greatest ship and boat designer of them all was, and still is…

Vessels I’d happily crew aboard again…

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colinarcherColin Archer (22 July 1832 – 8 February 1921). He was a Norwegian naval architect and shipbuilder from Larvik, Norway. His parents had immigrated from Scotland in 1825. He was known for building safe and durable ships including possibly the most famous of all the ships he ever built, the Fram, specifically designed to get the polar expeditions of Fridtjof Nansen, and later Roald Amundsen, safely through the treacherous ice fields surrounding both the Arctic and Antarctic. Because of her strengthened multi skinned rounded hull, and with no keel protruding, she was deliberately designed in that way so as not to be trapped whenever the ice threatened to crush her. Instead she would merely be pushed up out of harm’s way.

When I was a good deal younger while still serving in the merchant marine, at the end of one particularly long voyage I had the great good fortune to…

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A Drive With Marilyn

A Drive With Marilyn

It broke my heart when Marilyn was murdered….

Vampire Maman


I’m a little under the weather (even Vampires get under sometimes) so rather than trying to make up something fictional for today, or talk about parenting (my kids are grown now,)  I’ll just tell you a story about my brother Val and me, then give you some high-minded moralistic opinion about the state of American culture.

It was October 1963 and we were driving Val’s black 1962 Corvette down Hwy 395, along the back side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. We stopped in the small town of Lee Vining at dusk, wondering if we should stop for the night or keep going.

I got out of the car and looked up at the mountains. After I took off my scarf I held it up and let the breeze make it into a flag. Everything smelled so fresh. The mountains were so beautiful I couldn’t take my eyes off of the sight.


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Imagination and Observation

Pay heed to what I say ye scurvey spalpeens!!!

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When I was a child during the late nineteen forties into the fifties, our only family entertainment was the radio. Times where tough back then. To all intent and purpose, Britain was bankrupt and in a period of enforced austerity. It was still recovering from the ravages and deprivations brought on by the Second World War. Food was still being rationed. No one had much money.

One thing I absolutely loved to do was imagine what the people we used to listen to on the radio might actually look like. Far too often my childish imaginings were way off target whenever I saw a photograph of them in the Radio Times.

When I was ten, we finally got our first black and white television after we had emigrated to New Zealand in 1958. My favourite childhood activity of imagining what people looked like faded into the distance. For all of…

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Lentil Curls

More from that man in Cumbria…

Jim Webster


I have undertaken a social survey and fully intend to astound you with the results. But first, I thought I better set out my stall with regard to the current unpleasantness. You might have noticed, but here in the UK we’re going to have a general election. This has several immediate results. The first is that social media is full of memes, faked photos, wild claims and downright lies. Personally I suspect the Russians have pulled out, being unwilling to sink to the level our political party black-ops teams have achieved entirely on their own initiative. Not only that, but the discussions will inevitably get more and more acrimonious as we get nearer to the big day. If somebody came up with a way of ‘fast forwarding’ life so we could get to the 12th December without having to suffer from this deluge, they’d probably make a fortune. Especially…

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To all the whingers and whiners…

Still applicable today…

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While many authors and certainly the greater part of the literary world turn up their noses at the phenomena of the eBook, there is no getting away from the fact that being able to buy a book cheaply, or more often than not these days, getting it for free to download to the eReader of your choice, resonates with the public at large, particularly in the United States. But if you expect to get your next read for $0.99 or less, don’t complain when the book that has taken your fancy is not a literary masterpiece.

Time and time again some authors together with assorted literary snobs, armchair critics and pedants, endlessly decry an eBook for its lack of literary quality. All too often they take great delight in pointing up any given eBook’s faults. But does it really matter when it is free or priced so cheaply? The short…

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