Time to fess up!!!

They say confession is good for the soul – balderdash!!!

Have We Had Help?


Here is a question for all my fellow writers, both published like myself, and those who just love to write for the sheer joy of doing so. How many hours do you spend writing each day and how many words does it involve?

Ever since I changed the way I write from how I used to in decades long since past, when I would spend all day and long into the night to achieve a daily word count in the thousands, I now stick rigidly to a short but extremely intense daily session when I have a new story in mind.

I find this is the method that works best for me. If you are wondering how long; these days I limit myself to adding no more than one to two hundred words per day.

Once I get back into the swing of things, I start writing at five in…

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Blogger’s Books: Jack Eason

This from our man in Beetley, Norfolk…


I have featured Suffolk-based blogger and writer Jack Eason here before, with his excellent novel ‘Race Against Time’. Now I am happy to get the chance to promote his latest book, which is on sale for just 0.99p, and free for Kindle Unlimited users.

This is the synopsis.

A science-fiction story with a difference.

Apart from chronicling the ultimate change of life for a select few individuals, it questions all accepted ideas by closeminded academics that leave no room for alternative thinking by some among their number.

It is also about a woman born ten years after the Romans left Britannia forever and a man born in the twentieth century.

Add to that everything that is currently environmentally wrong with our planet today, and you have all the necessary ingredients for an enthralling tale.

You can find out more about Jack and his other books by following the links below…

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Just another day

I’m sitting here shaking my head…

Have We Had Help?

Don’t tell anyone folks, but I realized this morning that I was talking to myself. I was trying to decide on what I wanted for my breakfast, or even if I was hungry. As I stumbled down the passageway from my bedroom to the kitchen, I suddenly stopped outside its door. “Brrr – I’m cold!” I said out loud. So I headed back to the bedroom and grabbed my clothes, quickly dressing myself before the shivering really took hold.
Next, into the living room, on with the environment friendly low power lights and TV, then out to the kitchen to boil the kettle for a plunger full of coffee. While the kettle went to work I sat myself down in front of the box to watch the news wrapped up in a blanket. Can’t afford to run the heaters anymore for two reasons – the first being the exorbitant cost…

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A Common Interest

A great tale from Peter…


I have spent my life’s journey looking out of the window at passing events, fascinated by the spectacle of existence rather than having any thoughts of a destination or purpose. “Clever but not present” a teacher said about me to my father on one occasion and I can agree, at least, on the “Not present” bit as that has been increasingly apparent to me during my life.

The people I work with in a retail business are among the nicest I have met, and defend a life of simple values as best they can, while working long hours on the minimum wage to sustain their families: that quietness, modesty and a certain caringness for others, are often absent in some customers, engrossed perhaps with more urgent concerns in their drive-through lives.

My landlord Richard, grumpy, invasive but kept at bay by that vague air of erudition which has made my…

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Another short story

Ten years have past…

Have We Had Help?


This short story is losely based on what happened to me soon after I moved into my neighbourhood ten years ago. While I have used some poetic licence, be in no doubt Oswald is my alter ego; and no that is not me pictured above…


Oswald’s Revenge

Without a word she plunged her hand into Oswald’s jacket pocket. The next moment she was frantically rubbing her hand on her dress. She ran screaming into the night.

Oswald rose groggily to his feet. Grabbing his walking stick, he readied himself to strike out at the teenage girl’s two male companions should they try to do him any harm. Any further action on his part ended a few moments later when a police car stopped beside them, taking both of the youths by surprise. After seizing and handcuffing one youth, a police officer helped Oswald to a seat at the bus…

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Travelling Opera

I do love a good story…

Tallis Steelyard

Travelling opera

Between ourselves I’m not sure I’ve got the right term. I know that there’s light opera, so surely the very existence of the term supposes something heavier? Yet I’ve never heard anybody use the term ‘heavy opera’ so I’ve entitled this anecdote ‘travelling opera’ instead. To be fair Madam Fenisque was involved with a very heavy opera (should such a term exist) indeed. She had, for a number of years, staged the opera Theraspus and Iokelei! This is one of the great tragic operas, a five act drama which contains passion, tragedy, farce and ‘six of the greatest arias ever written’.
Now you might well consider this a reasonable pastime for a wealthy and music-loving lady. But firstly she insisted on the opera being performed out of doors. To be fair, with Theraspus and Iokelei you can get away with it. There are plenty of good solid choruses and the…

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My review of Jacques Tati His Life & Art by David Bellos

I’m a lifelong Tati fan…

Have We Had Help?

Far from producing a well-informed biography of France’s greatest cinematic clown, Jacques Tati, instead Bellos ruthlessly dissects. Despite his clinical approach, there is just enough tantalising information about Tati, the brilliant creator of Monsieur Hulot, to hold my attention.
Do I really want to know about the various colour film processes available in France? Not really. Nor do I want to read yet again about the dire financial straits France found itself in after World War I, as well as what was going on in Europe during the years before and after World War II! Acres of text have already been written concerning these times and events.
When I purchase a book purportedly written about one of my all-time favourite comedic heroes, I fully expect to read about the man – nothing else. But instead it seems to me that Bellos has turned his book into an intellectual diatribe against…

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They’re coming to take us away…

We must be mad!!!

Have We Had Help?


Vain, selfish and lazy? Speak for yourself Eric. That may have been true in your case, but not mine! Most writers I know are none of those things. These days the only people you will come across like that are certain editors and literary agents as well as most literary critics. The latter category, especially the odd one or two who write for newspapers and literary magazines here in the UK, can definitely be said to be vain and selfish. To those two unsavoury qualities I would add a few others – condescending, snobbish, scathing and vicious, particularly when it comes to one leading newspaper’s literary critic and his deep loathing of Indies. Compared to him, internet trolls are rank amateurs.

As for the rest of what Eric is quoted as saying – writing is a long exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness, he’s…

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Medieval Chess Troubles

Nicholas on my favourite boardgame…

Nicholas C. Rossis

Lewis chess | From the blog of Nicholas C. Rossis, author of science fiction, the Pearseus epic fantasy series and children's books The Lewis Chessmen. Source: The British Museum

Medieval monasteries had a serious problem. Instead of 100% focusing on their spiritual and earthly duties, many monks loved besting each other at chess. The Medieval version of “video games cause violence” was, “playing chess leads to blasphemy.”

Things got so bad that chess was forbidden many times throughout the medieval period. However, monks were so addicted that often they found creative ways to hide their boards and pieces. Lanercost, a monastery in the UK, features gameboards scratched into the stone of the windowsills for bored monks to play. And the foldable chessboard, which could be disguised as a book and held a compartment for pieces, was developed that way. In a sense, portable Chess was the Gameboy of Medieval Times.

If you’re writing any kind of Medieval fiction, throwing in a chapter about the chess controversy may be a great way…

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