Anzac Day


They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them.

We Will Remember Them.


If you grew up in New Zealand and spent the vast majority of your life there as I did before returning to England, the land of my birth, Anzac Day is the most important day in the calendar for any Kiwi or Aussie…



Rest in peace my brothers…

The Latest Progress Report for The Guardian


If you read the lovely Jo Robinson’s post yesterday on getting bored with your current WIP, all is not lost. It might just be that you are nearing the end of the particular WIP, even though you don’t realize it.

What do I mean? Read on…


I’ve finally realized after many sleepless nights and endless hours of thought that my current science fiction WIP – The Guardian in all likelihood will end up as a long short story. In fact, the more I think about it – it’s a given. Each story always dictates its own length. Despite what many may think, the writer often has no say in the matter. Why? Because once we start a story in a specific way, it inevitably guides you towards where it needs to end, regardless of what you want. In other words, the story is in charge, not you.

In this particular instance, one thing and one thing only brought me to this conclusion. The Guardian’s natural fast pace. The very thought of trying to maintain such a pace until I pass the eighty or one hundred and fifty thousand word mark, simply doesn’t bear thinking about. I did that once many years ago to the detriment of my health, never again. Yes I could have written endless pages of totally boring, nauseous descriptive prose and mind numbing dialogue. But that’s not me these days. That’s not the way I write any more. After many years I’ve finally seen the light!

For the handful of individuals who actually bought and read my scifi novella Cataclysm, (published last year) who got in touch with me privately, the one thing that the majority of you communicated was the fact that I kept it uncluttered and fast paced.

Maintaining a blog like mine soon teaches you how to convey what you want to say with the bare minimum of carefully chosen words.

Many writers still prefer to delude themselves into thinking that writing between eighty and one hundred and fifty thousand words is the only way to go. Not necessarily so, especially in this day and age. The times we live in along with reader tastes have dramatically changed in the last ten years or so, in favour of the shorter literary work. Both of the aforementioned are signs which no writer can now afford to ignore.

Think about it, how many times recently have you read a book from beginning to end, only to forget what it was all about by the time you eventually arrived at the last page, or far worse, wound up totally confused from information overload? Even the top one percent of writers hate having to artificially fill a manuscript merely to keep their literary agent, editor and publisher happy.

I recently learned that busy commuters across the world are my main reading group these days. Fifteeen years ago it was my contemporaries. Times definitely change…

As an Indie, I now only have to please myself and the wishes of the modern commuting reader who wants a fast paced story, paired down to the essential nitty gritty, and of course, told well. So now that I’ve finally made the decision, based purely on the way the story is panning out, I’ll be heading towards the first of several possible conclusions. I’ll settle on which one over the next few weeks.

I’ve only ever written one novel (back in 2003) that exceeded one hundred and fifty thousand words. The fact that writing it led to my suffering a total mental breakdown brought on by the stress of it all, which damn near ended me, should be a salutary lesson for anyone contemplating writing such a lengthy work.

The novel in question became my first published work back in 2010. It was a science fiction space opera entitled Onet’s Tale. While it still appears on Amazon, it is no longer available. Besides my paperback ‘author’ copy, and my Kindle one, I still have it as an unedited .pdf file for anyone who wants to read it. If you want an unbiased view about it, ask Chris The Storyreading Ape what he thought. He read the .pdf version.

I’m not an old stick in the mud. I do take notice of trends. Now I’d better get back to it. If anyone thinks that writing is easy, tell them to just try pairing down a story to its absolute essentials as I did with Cataclysm last year, and am currently doing with The Guardian, to suit a specific emerging eBook market – the busy commuter. The things we do for our readers eh?

PS – because it will be a long short story, when the time comes I’ll price it at a mere US$0.99. If Amazon allowed it, I would like it to be even cheaper. But unfortunately Amazon doesn’t do Permafree.

Be good…


Do You Love Your Book?

Our Jo on getting bored with your current WIP. 😉

Lit World Interviews

My first book took the longest time to write because I spent a lot of time angsting over every tiny little detail of it, and backtracking all the time, although angst or not, I loved every step of the process. These days I write much faster. A couple of times though, I’ve started a story and it’s taken days just to get a paragraph down. I’m a stubborn old mule though so I generally used to try and persevere, and force myself on. Not anymore though. Even though I’m one of the write every day tribe whether you feel like it or not, and I do write every day, I don’t see any point in carrying on with writing something I don’t love just because I started it.

It got me wondering how many writers try to force themselves to write something that they really don’t want to write, thinking…

View original post 471 more words


Life from an African lady’s perspective. 😉


So many things has been happening that I have been wondering where to start because basically I need to share my thoughts. I have not been around on my blog for a long time.
You could say it was some kind of lethargy when suddenly you feel swamped by all that has been happening. We have lived helplessly for a year wondering how a group of people for no reasonable reason will abduct hundreds of girls and take them over into a Never- Never of neither alive nor dead.
We agonized over their fate, I couldn’t pick a religion that would justify it and I stayed numb and dumb for that length of time. There was the silent terror filled days of a looming election. It is like when you plan for an event a wedding or something. In my corner of the world, after all you have bought for…

View original post 612 more words

Median earnings of professional authors fall below the minimum wage | Books | The Guardian


“It appears that writing is a profession where only a handful of successful authors make a very good living while most do not.”

The most condescending statement of the century. It appears??? There are a few journalists that I would dearly love to punch on the nose. The author of this article for a start!

All fulltime writers know that less than one percent make a living wage. Now this tosser, Alison Flood does as well…

Median earnings of professional authors fall below the minimum wage | Books | The Guardian.

Jack Eason

Thanks Susan 😉

Reading Recommendations

11129694_925741780781298_711019116_nJack Eason

What is your latest release and what genre is it? It’s entitled Cataclysm and is science fiction, time travel.

Quick description: It is a tale about forbidden love, time travel, ancient gods and danger.


Brief biography:
Jack Eason lived in New Zealand for forty-two years until 2000 when he returned to his birthplace in England. As far as he is concerned he will always consider himself to be a Kiwi. After military service in the 1960’s, he travelled the world, visiting exotic lands and making many friends. Now in his mid-sixties he is content to write and travel via the Internet. Besides writing novels and short stories, he contributes to his own blog “Have We Had Help?” His literary interests include science fiction, history, both ancient and modern, and humorous tales like those written by his fellow writer Derek Haines, such as HAL. Now retired, he lives…

View original post 79 more words

Should I Publish Exclusively With Amazon?

Unlike myself, my old friend Derek Haines (and a few other writers I know) constantly hop in and out of bed with whichever publisher they decide is the flavour of the month at the time, only to cast them aside later like an ex lover, when they decide they hate them for some reason or other. God only knows why they do it. It’s not that difficult to work out – stop acting like prima donnas. Chose one and stick with them!

Should I Publish Exclusively With Amazon?.

You know your old when…


Hard to believe the following was three years ago…

Yesterday afternoon I stopped working on my latest science fiction WIP The Guardian for a few minutes to put out the bins for today’s garbage pick up as I do every Sunday. On this occasion it was the turn of the green and blue bins to be emptied.

Because it was brimming over with a winter’s worth of stuff like blackberry, buddleia branches and grass clippings, the latter being from the first cut for this year, as well as swept up wind blown soil and leaves from the paths and clumps of moss washed from the tiled roof by the winter rain, as you can imagine, the green bin was extremely heavy. Thank goodness for its wheels. No way could I have shifted it otherwise.

As always I had to back down the narrow side path to position its bar handle facing the street so that our extremely lazy and precious bin men don’t break a nail turning it round – oh bless.

As always I had to find another way back to where I keep the bins at the eastern side of the house to collect the blue one containing recyclable stuff. Why? Because the path is not wide enough to squeeze past the bins. By the way, the reason why the green bin has to be at the head of the queue is because its always the first to be emptied – in case you were wondering. Just try putting the blue bin first! If you do, the lazy so and so’s ignore your bins altogether and go to the next property.

At any rate, to get back to the story, I was in a hurry to get back inside as the temperature outside was decidedly autumnal here in the East of England yesterday. It’s barely 3º Celsius as of 7.05 am today, hardly sunbathing weather. I digress once again. I find I do that more and more of late. Must be an age thing.

Instead of walking the few paces down the street to the steps leading up to my front door, I stepped over the low wooden front fence to the right of the bin, while at the same time beginning to climb over the two foot high brick retaining wall to the front lawn directly behind it. On reflection it was not a good move to make before I had even finished retrieving my trailing right leg from the fence. The next thing I knew was I had tripped on the front fence and was now lying face down in a heap on the grass. Fortunately no one witnessed it – at least I hope not. The only thing that suffered was my ego.

It’s senior moments like that which remind me I am no longer young and fit. Thank goodness that neither attribute is a prerequisite to enable me to write. These days I would far rather exercise my brain than my doddery aging body.

Note to self – as I get older I really need to observe the following – think before you act next time you stupid old idiot!

The above incident is definitely something not to dwell on as far as I’m concerned. In that case, why am I telling all of you about it? I can only surmise that I must be having a second senior moment. The pity of it was that not one beautiful woman was passing at the time to come to my aid – the story of my life I’m afraid (sigh).

Thinking about it, I bet the old biddy living directly opposite saw it all though. She spends her days seated by her living room window in her role as the neighbourhood nosey parker. I bet that by now all of my neighbours will know all about it.

Oh no, perish the thought.


Another book site to avoid like the plague!!!


My thanks to Emma Paul for making this one known.  As she said recently on her Facebook page:

“Readers please beware, we have reason to believe this website is either a phishing site or a “fake book site” that will download Malware, instead of books.

Since Monday, it’s been reported as a pirate site, however I believe it’s much more of a viral site.

It seems to have shut down now, although I am not sure. Please be careful.”

The message is simple – DON’T GO THERE!!!