Always be careful on social media…


A couple of days ago someone pretending to be the well known American movie star Scarlett Johansson who I consider to be an absolute stunner, befriended me on Facebook. The alarm bells should have immediately sounded. But for a few minutes they didn’t, because I was still half asleep and I admit that I was initially flattered, not to say puzzled. Although why a beautiful young woman like Scarlett who doesn’t know me from Adam should want to send a friend request to a man in his sixty-ninth year bothered me?

Within a half hour all became clear. I was dealing with a money scammer hiding behind Scarlett’s full married name. I kept them talking for a while before giving them a piece of my mind in the form of a few choice words – mainly expletives! What was the reaction? They disappeared like a rat up a drain pipe.

It turns out that at least two of my male friends of a similar age, one two months older than me, the other a few years younger were also targeted by exactly the same scammer. Fortunately for them, unlike stupid me, they were both wide awake and didn’t rise to the bait.


The real Scarlett

I know, I know – there is no fool like an old fool. But I can dream can’t I?

PS – it’s not just scammers that are on the hunt on Facebook. For instance, don’t take sponsored adverts at face value. Currently there is one appearing with the English actor Ian McShane’s picture on it about his death. DO NOT CLICK ON IT LIKE I DID. MY LAPTOP LOCKED UP AND A PHISHING PROGRAM DISGUISED AS A WINDOWS ALERT BEGAN TRYING TO COLLECT ALL OF MY COMPUTER’S PASSWORDS ETC. FORTUNATELY I KNEW HOW TO STOP IT. MANY DON’T..



The Wild Boar in Irish Mythology

The Wild Boar in Irish Mythology

More on ancient Ireland from our very own Ali isaac 😉


The wild boar was hunted into extinction in Ireland back in the C17th, although it seems likely that it was probably not truly ‘wild’ at all, but introduced by man in early prehistoric times. Ireland’s rich forest land  provided a perfect habitat, where it foraged and fed on acorns and nuts, roaming in large herds watched over by semi-nomadic swine-herds, often credited with mysterious magical abilities. Wild boar meat was highly prized, and even today in Ireland, big events such as fairs and festivals feed the crowds with a whole hog roast.

Not surprisingly, the wild boar features significantly in Irish mythology. Although it is a shy, placid creature, in mythology it came to be associated with ferocity, courage and the warrior. Perhaps this is because it defended itself so fiercely when hunted, thus earning so much admiration and its place in legend and song.

This association with battle prowess…

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Thomas Mann …

A little something from Chris White…

Routine Matters

Thomas Mann …

Portrait of German author Thomas Mann (1875 - 1955) as he sits at his desk, a piece of paper in one hand and his glasses in the other, New York, New York, 1943. (Photo by Fred Stein Archive/Archive Photos/Getty Images) Portrait of German author Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955)

Paul Thomas Mann (1875 – 1955) was a German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, essayist, and the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature laureate.

Born into a well-off family and gifted with early literary success, Mann was able to commission a luxurious villa on Poschingerstrasse, in Munich, in 1913. He lived there with his family until 1933, when Hitler came to power and accusations that he was an enemy of the state overtook him. 

Mann fled to Switzerland. When World War II broke out in 1939, he moved to the United States, returning to Switzerland in 1952. Thomas Mann is one of the best-known exponents of the so-called Exilliteratur, literature written in German by those who opposed or fled the Hitler regime.

His notable works include Death in Venice (1912), The Magic Mountain (1924), Joseph and His Brothers (1943) and Doctor Faustus. (1947).

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Dear Love

Dear Love

I love Aurora’s Jean’s poem, Will you? 😉

Writer's Treasure Chest

d-heart Picture courtesy of

It’s said, and that’s across the Earth

if you are nice from day of birth

’til adulthood and while you grew

don’t search for love ’cause it finds you.


I’m just a little normal girl

helpful, sweet – almost a pearl;

and still, dear love, I won’t go fret

I’m fairly sure, we’ve never met!


Sometimes I searched, but mostly not

I thought you’re there – but then I got

abuse, and use, and pain and lies

I had more downs than I had highs.


I continue living, being good

be sweet and caring like I should.

Don’t know how long I still can cope

because I’m slowly losing hope.


All my life I did was look

how you met others – like in a book.

But when I showed up you weren’t there

I saw you run and could only stare.

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Broken Storylines in films

Open Book Isolated on White with Clipping Path

A few days ago I posed a question on my Facebook Timeline: Why is it that so many of the films on offer these days are so disjointed? Surely I’m not the only one who has noticed the glaring gaps in the storylines – or am I?

What I was talking about, which no one commenting actually picked up on is the fact that when it comes to making a film from a book, if the majority of film goers haven’t read the book before hand, they are highly unlikely to wonder why those responsible for what they are looking at on the silver screen, nearly always select specific elements of the original written work instead of adapting the story in its entirety. The only people who would pick up on the problem are usually writers like you and I. The vast majority really couldn’t give a damn!

Why does the film industry do that? Because when you/we hand over the film rights to your/our book(s) we’re giving them carte blanche to do whatever they like!

As writers we all need to deliver a complete storyline. To do anything less is unacceptable. The average reader certainly won’t appreciate a storyline full of holes! Yet screen writers, directors and producers like to kid themselves that they can get away with cutting often key elements to a story in favour of inserting something that you the author did not include in the book. I would argue that in effect what they are doing is depriving the viewer of experiencing the story the way the author intended!

Very few directors are strong enough to say no to those who scream “cut that scene!” usually for reasons of so-called morality. To give you a for instance think about the trouble Alfred Hitchcock had with his film based on Robert Bloch’s book Psycho, when the sexually repressed US censorship board at the time refused to issue it with its certificate allowing it to be shown in US cinemas saying the shower scene showing Janet Leigh’s naked calf, shoulder, face, neck and upper back, prior to being brutally murdered, was somehow indecent. What was over the top was seeing her being subjected to a frenzied knife attack. I still can’t watch the scene for that very reason. Take a look for yourselves before you read on…


Let me be clear – I’m not talking about a film maker merely expressing interest in the option to buy here which hardly if ever leads to them going any further. I’m talking about someone in the world of film actually handing over cold hard cash for the right to turn your book into the next screen hit.

Be warned, once bought you have no say in what they do with it. Unless you are as strong-willed and high profile enough like J.K. Rowling, who refuses to be dictated to by moviedom’s many idiots.

One of the few directors to almost include everything from a book, or in this case books, was New Zealand’s Peter Jackson when he gave us the Lord of the Rings trilogy. However he did later decide to expand Tolkien’s extremely short novel The Hobbit into three separate films by adding a lot of extra material that simply isn’t in the book.

So – once film rights have been bought, directors can get away with anything. Before the idea of selling the film rights to your book blinds you, think about the fact that you will lose control over the way your book is being portrayed on the silver screen…



Mother Road

Mother Road

I just learned something I never knew before, thanks to Adam…


Brick-paved section of Rt. 66, near Auburn, Illinois.  Exploring by-ways, old links to the past are a passions of mine.

North Broad Street, became Rt. 66, as it left the city limits.  The pavement was narrow–one car had to drop off on the shoulder to pass.  A highway designed for the Model T Ford era.  Cars got bigger, faster, motorists demanded better highways.

The 1926–1930 alignment of the Mother Road wound through the central part of the county where I grew up.  Parts of it were narrow–seemed to follow property lines.  Two boys–who shall remain nameless, enjoyed driving to Springfield around the ninety degree corners in their fifties-era, Corvette sports car.  They weren’t the Rt. 66 television show guys–but tried to act like it.

Hope I’m alive and in good health in 2026 to enjoy  the Rt. 66 centennial celebration.  There’s pending legislation to fund the celebration–“The Route 66 Centennial Commission Act”–HR 66, sponsored by Rodney Davis, Rep. from Illinois. …

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