The First Cuckoo

News from Beetley….


When I was out with Ollie on a warm sunny afternoon today, I heard a cuckoo calling.

I didn’t hear one at all last year, so it was very enjoyable to be standing near the tree where the bird was calling from.

I remembered somthing from my past about ‘The First Cuckoo’, so I looked it up.

‘There is quite an extensive folklore tradition concerning the cuckoo, for instance on hearing the first cuckoo in spring one must run three times in a circle, with the sun to ensure good luck for the rest of the year. There is another slightly strange custom and that is if you hear a cuckoo on the 14th of April you should immediately turn over any coins that you have in your pocket. If you are stood on hard ground you will have bad luck but conversely if the ground is soft then good…

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For Goodness Sake – Think Before You Act!!!

Are you giving the product of all your hard work away?

Have We Had Help?


I’ve said this all before on several occasions. But apparently you decided to keep on doing it anyway…

As writers, whether seasoned or a newcomer, explain to me why it is that you have totally swallowed the marketing ploy created by your publisher(s) that giving away hundreds, sometimes thousands, of copies of your books is somehow financially beneficial to you?

The only ones who benefit from your moment of completely misguided naivety, or should that be madness, is your publisher and one particularly evil, not to say tight, group of readers. I refer to those individuals who know that sooner or later you will become desperate enough (or should that be foolish enough) to decide that it is a good idea to give the product of all your hard work away for nothing! Think trolls, pedants, armchair critics and good old fashioned skinflints. Letting the first three get their hands…

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Vanity Presses – John Doppler…

Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Vanity Presses – John Doppler…

Another warning about Vanity Press…

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

on Self Publishing Advice:

Many of us have firsthand experience with an exploitative vanity press, so when we see a friend falling prey to that same seductive sales pitch, it’s especially heartbreaking.

Vanity presses are frequently substandard publishers and incompetent marketers — but they are masters of manipulation. They have honed the art of the sales pitch to a fine edge, and they know exactly what buttons to push to appeal to a novice author’s hopes and insecurities. The end goal is not to sell books to readers, but to sell overpriced services to authors.

So how do you explain the reality to an author who desperately wants to believe the sales pitch? Negative reviews and watchdog ratings can only go so far to dissuade someone from stepping off that cliff. But there’s an easy way to demonstrate that a vanity press is a poor deal for the author: show…

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Men – please pay attention!

Pay attention men!!!

Have We Had Help?


Scarlett Johansson

The other day, purely to prove a point to myself, I deliberately posted the above photograph of the American actress Scarlett Johansson on her Official FaceBook Page as an experiment. As I have always believed, a considerable number of males using the FaceBook site, in general are not necessarily interested in written posts. Nor pictures of other people’s kids, holidays or pets, come to that. I’m sorry ladies, but there it is. While you love seeing them, most males don’t…

So far the photograph has received well over eight hundred hits, likes and comments from men across the planet. By comparison, I’m lucky if one of my blog posts gains twenty hits even though the number of people following this blog is currently 895.

What does it say about the average male using Facebook? It tells me something that all woman already knew. When it comes right down…

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Act V

Stephie on Greek theatre…


Greek theatre ignored the division into acts. Greek representations consisted of several distinct parts, called protasis (introduction), epitasis (main action), catastasis (climax), and catastrophe (final resolution), but actually no interlude separated the individual parts. When the main actors left the scene, they were replaced by the choir, who sang or spoke their lines in unison, a collective, universal voice which commented on the dramatic action. Acts are, actually, never mentioned by ancient authors, not even Aristotle, in his Poetics, refers to such a division.

It was Roman drama critic Horace, three hundred years after Aristotle, who advocated a 5-act structure in his Ars Poetica: “A play should not be shorter or longer than five acts” and by the beginning of the first century it had become conventional in Rome. All Seneca’s plays, for example, were structured in five separate acts with musical interludes between…

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Between Realities

Not one of my best. Hope you like it…

Have We Had Help?

“Is the Einstein Rosen Bridge prepared?” Commander Dalton asked as he perused the myriad of dials and computer screens within the control room aboard the orbiting International Space Station high above the Earth.
“Affirmative,” Captain Jake Sollenson replied almost absentmindedly while making minute adjustments from his pilot’s position aboard the exploratory craft. The tiny ship was dwarfed by the sheer size of the massively large wormhole entrance it floated in front of in preparation for the very first jump through time and space by representatives of humanity.
If the whole magnificent structure could have been physically weighed, it would in effect be the equivalent of 100 million solar masses.
“Casimir energy levels appear nominal Jake, er sorry, I mean captain. The wormhole is about as stable as its ever going to be.”
Lieutenant Becky Rawlins, the tiny ship’s other crewmember and the ISS’s chief scientific technician, briefly forgot the proper…

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when i inhale your poetry

when i inhale your poetry

Drew’s latest poem….

The Lonely Author

Today, I am happy to annouce Passions: Love Poems and Other Writings, a wonderful book from my precious friend Gabriela of Short-Prose-Fiction has been published. Always rich in vivid images and powerful metaphors, her poetry and prose will leave you breathless.

Order Here!

Speaking of breathless, here is a little poem I wrote for the occasion…..

when i inhale your poetry

when i inhale your poetry
i exhale melancholy syllables
leaving the atmosphere breathless
from your words
the heavens slowly appear
in your bedroom like a lonely apparition
as i blow winter auroras
through the autumn of your hair
leading to our first kiss
below the echo of a metaphor
where we watch moon glow
escape our trembling lips
in a misty sigh
of love

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A thought has just occurred…

Pay attention cretins, here beggineth the lesson…

Have We Had Help?


…no, wait a minute. That’s not strictly true.

I’ve been thinking for several years now about why today’s generation don’t read as much as my own did, and still do come to that?

For instance, why do so many of the one, two or three star book reviews on Amazon and other internet book sites, often written by ordinary members of the public, focus on how any given writer approaches dialogue between characters in particular? Why is it that they they feel obliged to go on the offensive?

I believe I know why. Today’s generation relies heavily on visual images such as in films, on television, and even via the Internet, particularly channels like YouTube, for any story to have a chance of gaining their attention.Think about those annoying video clips some writers are forced to put out by their publisher in the vain hope of attracting prospective readers?


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The Usual, Plus More

By all accounts a lovely holiday…


It wasn’t that I hated all technology. Rather, I hated the overdependence on technology. Technological failure caused the most dramatic moment of my two-week vacation.

Elation from my granddaughter’s college graduation from medical school the night before still hung in the cold Northern Iowa morning air.

It was 6:30 AM, on the morning of May 12th, in the restaurant parking lot. Strange messages scrolled across my vehicle’s instrument panel. “Traction control failure. Anti-lock brake failure, Hill-holder assist fail. Power steering failure. Fuel system failure.” A feeling of impending doom fell over the group of potential vacationers.

Technology came to the rescue. An automobile dealership, that serviced my brand of vehicle, was a short distance away. We limped the three miles at the breakneck speed of thirty miles per hour.

How many automobile service departments were opened on Saturdays? The service manager listened to my desperate pleas. How was I going…

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Kindred Spirits

Put your thinking caps on…

Have We Had Help?


The jobbing actor remembered for all time as a British spy chief

As jobbing writers we can never rely on our work to feed us. So we must have an alternative source of income. In other words, a day job. Some like myself are retired from the workforce. Therefore I am able to fully concentrate on my writing, be it another novel, or in this instance writing blog posts. Do I receive large amounts of money for all my hard work? No! Thank goodness for my small state pension…

When it comes to jobbing actors, they are those familiar faces we all recognise, even if we cannot immediately recall their names, that appear in movies, on stage, and in radio or television programs from time to time. Like us they love what they do despite being poorly paid. Like us they must still pay the bills. So like us they…

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