Goblin Tales For Adults – an update on tale No:26

Mine guard
The battle for Crellan’s mine is about to start. The white wizard Morweth and the white witch Brilith are currently being flown to Crellan’s lair aboard Yathle’s back with old Bejuss flying alongside. Will they be able to counter the black wizard’s magic?
 
Meanwhile Mica, Glob and the rest wait to carry out their plan to attack and take over the mine. Will they succeed? Will they be able to free the goblin slaves?
More later…

Have the rich finally lost it?

Over the last several months the world has experienced a second phase of total financial collapse and massive unemployment. The Arab Spring started when the ordinary men and women in Egypt cried enough and now it spreads across the whole Muslim world.
Capitalism, like its antithesis communism is clearly not working for anyone, with the exception of the super-rich. Here in the United Kingdom the head of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, made available more money than the UK’s national debt to prop up our trading bank system, while we real people are asked by our government to tighten our belts, paying higher prices for everything including food, fuel, clothing, gas and electricity.
It begs the simple question – if the Bank of England can prop up the share market, why not wipe the paper national debt?
***
Hitler’s dream of a united Europe, when the European Community was formed, looked like it might just work at least for a while. But its dependence on a single currency, the Euro, and trading in shares and commodities, has become its downfall.
What part of the global economic collapse created by total madness on the trading floors across the world of banking, don’t our politicians seem to be able to grasp?
Here in the UK we now have the dubious distinction of having one million under twenty year olds unemployed, alongside the nearly two million considerably older with no hope of employment.
Each night on the news the financial plight of the so-called middle classes having to do away with their au pares, and tax credits, second homes, child allowance, second cars and numerous holiday breaks are endlessly broadcast. 
But what about the rest of the population, the real people who the rich depend on to do all the work  – the office workers, labourers, cleaners, to name but a few? Seldom does their financial plight fill a news item. Plus, what about those of us over sixty who are conveniently forgotten about?
Now as if things weren’t bad enough for the average resident here in the UK, the energy suppliers are putting up their prices, increasing their per head profit from £15 back in June of this year to a massive £125; to gage how much totally obscene profit they are making merely multiply 125 x sixty million (the current population of the UK).
For those of you not living here, the energy bills sent to us every quarter are based on previous usage, not by actual meter readings! Since the whole energy system was privatised, the humble meter reader became a distant memory, joining the growing ranks of the unemployed. What has resulted is a licence to print money based on sheer guess work on the part of the energy providers.
***
In the US ordinary folk are crying enough on Wall Street. How much longer will the rich get away with blue murder before the rest of the world’s population finally cry enough I wonder?
Wars have started over far less in the past. Don’t believe me? Just read the history of the western world.    

Beware of Crellan’s Mine Part 2

The black wizard Crellan

The second part of the story is under way once more. The black wizard Crellan is definitely up to something – but what?

This is the twenty-sixth tale in the anthology. Glob and the gang are heading east to the mist shrouded mountain range known as the Widow Spires where emeralds are being mined by slave labour for Crellan. Why he wants them when they apparently have no value in Goblindom apart from being decorative, is puzzling to Crellan’s opposite number the white wizard Morweth.

More later…

When Will the World of Business Finally Grasp the Nettle?

A growing number of companies these days totally embrace paperless transactions and billing. 
But there are still some who persist in sending out bills and the like to our households, despite championing this completely logical solution. Unlike physically delivered bills which can get lost due to human error, paperless cannot.
If, like me you now conduct all your business dealings via the internet, you are participating in a brilliant concept. It is fast (practically instantaneous) and it saves millions by not using paper, postage and countless man hours. Even so, banks still want to charge you the customer for pressing a few buttons. In my own bank’s case I was just notified by snail mail, not email you will note, that from the 1st of December, each time I make any kind of telephone payment transaction, they will be charging me £9.50. Currently its £19.50. Fortunately I never make any kind of payment using the telephone…
I deal with two particular utility companies regarding my water supply. One totally embraces the concept of paperless billing, while the other still insists on sending an acknowledgment of payment via snail mail, despite the fact that they have already acknowledged my online payment by sending me a receipt notice via email.
Paying lip service to a logical concept like paperless billing while continuing to use paper is not only counter productive but criminal in this day and age – email acknowledgement costs nothing!
What part of paperless billing don’t they fully get I wonder? 
Even my bank has not yet fully grasped the concept. Every once in a while they will send me a physical copy of a bank statement.
Why for god’s sake, when I have access to all of them online?
Many companies who rely on catalogue sales operate online these days. You go to their site and select what you want, pay for it electronically and wait for it to be delivered to your door. All fine and dandy you would think – right?
Wrong!
When that package arrives, what else could be in it I wonder? If you ordered the darned thing online, why would you possibly want a big heavy paper catalogue? Our supermarkets still insist on sending out their catalogues too, despite knowing that we ordered online!
It is time to end sending out any kind of paper to those of us who have moved with the times and conduct our business online. I can just hear the various legal sections within business bleating pathetically – “But we’re required to by law”.
Absolute bulldust!
Come on people within the business world, it time to quit this half-arsed approach and fully grasp the nettle. Do yourselves a huge favour and like the rest of us, step completely into the 21st century.

Friendship, a peculiarly human trait

As the old saying goes – ‘There’s nowt as queer as folk’. During our lifetimes we make many acquaintances, but few become true lifelong friends. Friendship is to be relished, enjoyed and protected if you will.
While you may consider a specific fellow human being to be a good friend, inevitably one day you will fall out with one another. But, if your friendship with the other person is to be valued, you forgive and forget.
I have the extremely pleasurable honour to know a particular person whose friendship I cherish, even though we have not actually physically met. The person concerned lives in another part of this world. From time to time this friend does tend to ‘kick off’ whenever I either disagree with them, or stand up for myself.
But despite this shortcoming, I still consider the person concerned to be a good and dear friend. We had a disagreement recently, and as I knew from past experience, the friend would spit out their dummy. True to form they did just that, and know they are refusing to chat online.
Life’s too short my friend. I’m still here when you are ready to talk. You know who you are, I’m your friend, and not you’re subordinate.
True friendship weathers many storms.

Your Racial Mix and You

On last night’s 6pm BBC news here in the UK, one item caught my interest. Yet another completely pointless survey had found that there are currently two million people living here of mixed race.
Really BBC, you think?
Since our earliest ancestors walked here at the end of the last ice age, Britain has always been an island of immigrants, populated by people from many nations. In my own case my DNA will show I am descended from a racial mix of Jutes, Angles, Saxons, Norwegian Vikings and Normans with a soupçon of Gael and Breton thrown into the mix. Granted my ancestry is made up mainly of European nations as are most of my countrymen, but according to the news item my own racial mix doesn’t count. 
To the surveys researchers I’m white. Well I’m sorry BBC, but there is no such race as ‘white’ – I’m English, the clue is in the name, constructed from an amalgam of my ancestor’s nations.
The news item’s reporter did himself or the people he interviewed no favours when he blatantly supported the notion of ‘mixed race’ by asking the interviewees “what race do you consider yourselves to be, white, black or mixed?”
We’re all mixed race for goodness sake. Get over it and let’s all get along together. Stop trying to ferment trouble by producing totally inane surveys, supporting highly dangerous prejudicially loaded questions!

The Rules of Literature

Ignore or not?
I equate those who closely study the various parts of a language with mechanics who build vehicles. Only they care about what type of nut, valve or spring is used in a specific part of the vehicle. Those who drive them are only concerned with getting from A to B.
Therefore apart from pedantic armchair critics, editors and language professors, do you seriously think that the average reader is concerned with the rules regarding what is or isn’t the correct usage of, or even the names of, the parts used like verbs, pronouns, similes when reading a story?
I suspect that to most readers, all that really matters to them is whether or not they enjoyed the story they took the time to read. Did it flow? Did they become engrossed by the plot? Did they empathize with the characters?
There is an awful lot of stuffy nonsense said by armchair critics concerning the work of various writers these days and their perceived lack of the rules, which most of us try to follow.
But, who among the millions of readers actually gives a damn if we bend those rules to make them fit the story we are telling? I’ll tell you, it’s only the tiny minority of anally retentive individuals among us.
They turn up their collective noses in disgust, almost choking at the thought that someone has written a work of fiction which is popular despite largely ignoring their seemingly rigid rules. These days with the emergence of self-publishing, they cringe in horror at the cavalier way some independents write in order to make their story popular.
These days what is more important, the correct verb or a pronoun to use, or the use of punctuation, appropriate page breaks, short sentences, engaging dialogue between the characters and a clear sense of where the story is going?
While academic armchair critics seethe, refusing to countenance anything written in this new millennium other than their dusty dissertations on whether an apostrophe s should be added to a word or not; or perhaps a totally boring academic discussion on something written by one of their fellows in the last century and the centuries before, in the real world we enjoy engaging stories written by new writers, forgiving them their odd literary bending of the rules.
But one thing we will never forgive them is spelling, punctuation mistakes or the use of everyday conversation. Hearing someone talking in the street using lazy language is one thing, reading it is quite another.
Even we writers have our limits.   
As I commented earlier today in a link on Facebook posted by my editor Read here  “This whole analysing of others work is a can of worms to be avoided at all costs. No two writers approach their stories in exactly the same way. Plus, what armchair critics argue is literary nonsense, others enjoy. The whole concept of a story is to entertain, not to instruct.”
One further point – each work of literature will always have an audience. Whether it is written by an established writer, ghost written, or penned by a rapper, the work will please someone, even though the critics loath and despise it.

Goblin Tales For Adults – an update on tale No:25

Bejuss
It would appear that I have to divide Glob’s twenty-fifth tale “Beware of Crellan’s Mine” into two parts, simply because of its length and complexity. And so Part 1 is subtitled ‘The Pressgang’, while the twenty-sixth tale using the same title “Beware of Crellan’s Mine” will be part 2; its subtitle waits to be announced later after Glob and I have decided what to call it.