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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Part Two of Chapter One

Remember this back in April/May last year? 😉

Have We Had Help?


Here is part two of Jalnuur – Chapter One, where the action begins…


Akhen opened his eyes and looked about him in the dim light of the dormitory. All around him, the others were beginning to stir for another long shift in the mine. He shook his neighbour’s shoulder to wake him. Mentep lashed out in his drowsy state, missing Akhen’s face with his fist, yelping in pain when it struck the rock wall beside him. “Come on man get up!” Akhen said, as he went through the routine of binding his hands and feet with the stinking rags from under his bed. The two friends sat in silence eating the meagre breakfast of hard bread followed by fetid water, liberally laced with Negan dust.

“Where’s Hoetep?” Mentep asked, dipping his mug into the water barrel.

“How should I know? He’s your brother, not mine,” Akhen replied, pinching a…

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The second progress report


I have to report that I’m almost fifty percent the way through the first stage of this year’s writing project, the re-read. To that end I’m still picking up characters as and when they appear, and more of the vague clues I inserted into The Forgotten Age.

If you look at the above illustration you will see the way Nick and co found their way beneath the Great Pyramid and the Ghiza Plateau in their search for the Library of the Ancients via the Pit and the blocked off tunnel opposite from the base of the Descending Passage.

It has to be said – I really know how to write a brilliant tale. If you don’t believe me, why not ask the celebrated author of all things ancient Egypt these days – my friend Robert Bauval. Its sequel will have to be even better if I’m going to have any hope of impressing him for a second time.

As well as the re-read, I’ve begun by thinking about how to get Nick and co out of the predicament I left them in where Forgotten ended so dramatically, somewhere beneath the Giza Plateau, between the Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. I’m also considering several ideas I have at the moment about how they might escape – if they can that is. More of that later once I’ve something else to report…

By the way, if you buy your ebooks from, click on the highlighted red link above to get yourselves a copy of Forgotten to see what all the fuss is about.


Newsflash – Robert has already offered to write a review, even before I have begun to write the sequel.  🙂


Review: THE DRY by Jane Harper, published by Little Brown

Review: THE DRY by Jane Harper, published by Little Brown

Michael’s review…


dsc_0324.jpgISBN: 978 1408 708170

I’ve said it before, and I’ll probably say it again many more times, but it’s worth putting in as an introduction for the first review of every year:

I do not review books I don’t like.

It is not because I am a particularly kind reviewer. No, there are two reasons for my reluctance to write about books I can’t stand.

First, there are far too many damn good books to review to waste my time writing up bad reviews or, worse, puffing a book I think is dreadful. So I won’t. If I say I like a book, you can be sure I mean it. If I sit down at 21.00 hours on a cold Wednesday evening, unpaid, I will only write about a book if I like it.

Second, however, is the flip side of the coin. By that I mean that my tastes…

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