Wild Strawberries

…and from Aladin, we have…


I see what you don’t see! Do you know this game? It is not so important if you know this play. What I meant with this sentence is what an artist does see and the others not! In this way, I would describe an artist. I don’t want to put myself in this category because I think I still have some to do to achieve that class. But, as I have grown up in a family of artists and lived a long time with an ingrained one (my brother Al), I can understand them well.

In the novel Zorba the Greek, by Nikos Kazantzakis, Zorba asked his writer friend, Basil, “why it happens such brutal and tragic events in our life? You are an intellectual writer, how can you explain it?” Basil answered; We can’t explain why. We only try to reduce the pain by writing thereabout.

An artist…

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Desparation is never a good reason…

…to publish a book!

Own up – how many of you are desparate to be published? For decades those of us who are fortunate to have had a modicum of success in the literary world have preached endlessly on the subject, only to be ignored by the vast majority of you. Tell me, how many of you have paid out good money, which you will never recoup unless your book sells in the millions, to have your book(s), edited, formatted, published and advertised? Apart from your immediate circle of family and friends, how many copies have been bought – five? Ten?

If you want to blame your financial loss on someone, look no further than your own image in the mirror. Genuine publishing houses never ask their prospective new authors to pay anything! Plus they are always extremely choosy when it comes to new manuscripts! Which usually accounts for why so many of you will never be published.

To sum up – unless your manuscript appeals firstly to a literary agent, and then a publishing house’s sub editor, it will end up in the bin. Even then if the publishing board don’t give it the green light – it still could! Yes you can always self publish. But it still doesn’t guarantee you literary success. Amazon and other recipients of books written by Indies desparate to be published, house literally millions of unpublishable books, and will continue to do so until you WAKE UP TO YOURSELVES!!!

ONE LAST THING – referring to yourself on Social Media sites as an ‘Author’, fools no one!!!

A Coincidental Reunion

Another good story from Peter 😉


The doctor’s words slid across his mind, played with his future and settled on the hand in front of him. His hand. “Three months at most”. The words were not ambiguous. He had a period of mobility, and armed with pain killers could cling to normal routine for a while longer: routine, had always been his most loyal companion, his order in an uncertain world: the habits between him and a fear of the chaos somewhere beyond the horizon.

Sixty- three years old and not much to show. A couple of children. Lovely in their own way but gradually estranged by his lack of circumstance. Somewhere in later middle age he had lost his way and now assumed the air of nonchalance so essential to survival in an urban landscape. His career was distinguished by a lack of progress. and his character by a failure to grasp the importance of…

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Yet another case of don’t believe everything you read!

I still can’t believe how stupid some, no most, people are…

Have We Had Help?


In the last few days various articles have appeared, designed to scare the pants off some authors, particularly those who don’t bother to clean up their book(s) in their rush to publish on Amazon via KDP. All of the articles are nothing more or less than total BS, aided and abetted by one Michael Kozlowski, the founder of Good E-Reader, a man known for posting and encouraging imflammatory clickbait!!!

If you copy and paste the following internet address onto Google or whichever other search engine you prefer – johndopp.com/writer/ – and read the second listed article, you will learn what’s actually going to happen. Its got damn all to do with typos.

PS – a note for the one or two individuals out there who, lets be kind and just say that you can be a bit slow on the uptake can’t you – DON’T TRY CLICKING ON THE ABOVE…

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Wandering Herdwicks

Another wooly tale from Jim…

Jim Webster

We have only formally wintered Herdwicks once, as an experiment. Fences good enough for cattle and even for mule ewes, might as well have not been there. The chap whose Herdwicks they were fetched them in two groups and they remained in two groups. Even when wandering they stuck to their groups. Indeed at one point both lots were out, and wandered down a track towards each other, passed through each other and kept going in their chosen direction.

At the time I did wonder whether the two groups didn’t ever stop to think, “If they’re abandoning this direction, is it worth us going there?” But obviously sheep don’t work like that.

At the time we had some electrified wire netting we used to keep cows and calves out of certain areas. Imagine a sheep netting fence of string but with thin metal wires fed through it carrying the current…

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Journey’s end – well almost!

God how I agonised over the last chapter!!!

Have We Had Help?

CELESTE cover 8,5 x 11

The end of the final chapter of Céleste’s tale is in sight. I now have to decide which one of a number of endings I have in mind, is the one I eventually settle upon.

Decisions, decisions…

I freely admit, it’s not often that I wish I could carry on writing a particular story quite literaly for ever. But in this instance, that’s exactly how I feel. I’ve fallen head over heels in love with Céleste as I do with each of my heroines, every time I write a new story. Nothing unusual there.

As for how I feel about her fellow travellers, Rieko, Andreas, Flávia, Lukas and David, ours is the kind of love/hate relationship familiar to everyone at work or at home. You will understand what I mean when you are able read the Ebook version for yourselves in a few short weeks from now, after I’ve reformatted…

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Indicted by the Goodreads Police

Bloody Goodreads -grrr

Frank Parker's author site

From time to time I take part in a Goodreads review round. The idea is that ten authors each offer a book to be reviewed. Four of the ten then review that book, within a set time. Within the round none of the ten has his or her book reviewed by someone whose book he or she is reviewing. Participants are supposed to inform the moderators if they have previously reviewed a book by another of the authors taking part. This enables the moderator to ensure that neither is assigned to review the other’s book.

It now appears, however, that the rule applies across all previous review groups. You are supposed to check all the reviews you have ever received. If one of them was from an author participating in this round, however long ago, then you should be aware that you are banned from posting a review of any…

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Chapter Fifty-Eight

What happened next???

Have We Had Help?


Chapter Fifty-Eight – The Decision

Meral stood less than a meter from Sefani as both women stared at each other with hatred in their eyes while they prepared to fight to the death. Sefani’s hazel-green eyes filled with tears of anger as she looked at the woman who had caused so much pain and anguish with her vile ways, and now with her cruel words. “Fight, you berserker whore!” she snarled, as she lunged at Meral, leaving an angry open wound on the queen’s thigh. “Your words are lies,” she screamed, parrying Meral’s sword blow with her shield.

“They’re not lies, child, they’re the truth! Deep down in your soul you know it.” Meral laughed as she dodged another vicious sword blow a split second before it crashed into her shield. Again, the sound of sword blows echoed back and forth across the empty ground between the two camps. Goran…

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In Another Place

A great tale…


I woke up in another place, in another time, sitting in a chair and staring at a man I had never seen or met before. “ Hello” he said. “I wondered if you’d wake up here or just return to your time “present” or whatever you call it and think this was a dream”

His voice was calm and he seemed to find everything about the situation normal, though we both know “Normal” is an apparition served up to make life bearable.

“Who are you?” I said, and he replied, “I’m your great-great grandfather’s older brother, so a connection of sorts before adding, almost as an afterthought, “Have you found love, I never did?” It seemed an odd question, but perhaps it was question he kept asking himself and anyone he met: I did not reply!

To explain, I am a man approaching his seventieth birthday, whose life has been…

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A message to all Indie haters.

More about some of the cretins lying in wait for the ususpecting…

Have We Had Help?


I once received an email from the minions working for my publisher, Kindle Direct Publishing. The following is the email’s text:-

We’re writing to let you know that at least one of your readers has reported some problems within your book, and we have confirmed the issue.Potential errors have been identified:  for example, “alter stone at Stonehenge’s centre.” should be “altar stone at Stonehenge’s centre.(loc: 52), “that surrounded the ancient alter.” should be “that surrounded the ancient altar.” (loc: 1311) Please check them and look for others.

While I accepted the error at the time, and that it may have been pointed out to them by a genuine reader, given that KDP along with Goodreads and CreateSpace are wholly owned subsidiaries of Amazon.com where all kinds of literary malcontents currently lurk, the chances are that it was one of them who pointed out the spelling error, hoping to get…

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