Answer Me This If You Can

More on editors and editing…

Have We Had Help?


Editor at work – Yeh right!

For as long as I’ve been writing full time (since 1995), one aspect of our chosen career path has always bothered me. We all know that writers in publishing house stables are expected to apply all the corrections that their editors deem necessary. More fool them!

Why should Indies suffer this totally illogical practice as well? For many, myself included, we parted company with traditional publishing to get away from this less than satisfactory aspect of the writing game, and the often dictatorial way in which publishers rule over their writers, amongst other things.

I’ve given up counting the number of times I’ve heard fellow Indie’s complain about their editors, and the hard won money they’ve spent on their sometimes dubious services.

If you take the sensible decision to go it alone and self edit, you’ll soon find any errors and correct them. Whereas…

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Ship your oars

A little light reading for a Monday…

Tallis Steelyard

ship your oars

There are those who claim, not unreasonably, that usurers and those in their employ are persons sunk deep in perpetual misery. Indeed I confess there are times when I wonder if they are not trapped in a world of piles and perpetual constipation. Yet do not let appearances deceive you. I assure you that on propitious occasions, such as when a client is paying, usurers, lawyers and the rest of their ilk, do indeed know how to celebrate.

Thus at the end of summer, most of the usurers offices close, (if indeed they have reopened) and everybody who is anybody travels to Avitas for the regatta. This ancient event is considered one of the highlights of the season. Originally it appears to have been founded to celebrate the city’s close relationship with the River Dharant. Thus at a profoundly moving ceremony which opens the revels, the Mayor and officers of…

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A New Study Shows

When hearing, seeing or reading some things is not good!

Have We Had Help?


Could there be four less inoffensive words than those anywhere in the English language. And yet when big business and government combine them in that form, my anti BS system automatically switches on. I’ve read, listened to and watched anything beginning with the words A New Study Shows, for well over five decades now. I hate to tell you this, but ninety-nine, point nine, nine, nine percent of these ‘studies’ are complete hocum.

Take food stuffs as a classic example of this kind of manouvering of the general public. Whenever there is a glut of a particular product we’re always told that it is good for us. When there is a paucity, the opposite applies. Have you ever wondered why? Studies show, thats why. You can make a study show anything you want, in this case a glut of a product that needs shifting, or a scarcity, in which…

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if I give you all the love

if I give you all the love

Another beautiful poem from the master…

The Lonely Author

if i give you all the love

I give you my vulnerability
the crescendo of my final breath
my vagabond shadow
so yours never has to walk alone
take the beauty of my quixotic dreams
the circus of my lunacy
the heat of my voice
to evaporate your tears
for its you
my love
who has etched
your words on my bones
my goddess of poetry
what to do
my love
to gain your attention
to win your heart and affection
perhaps, you will be mine
if I give you all the love
no one ever gave to me

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The Pitfalls of Writing Today

I’ll keep telling you until it finally sinks in…

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One current ugly stumbling block for all writers these days to be ignored at all costs is the average inbred moron seated at his computer who deludes himself into believing that what he says on a public book based forum actually matters. Alway providing of course that you were dum enough to allow his or her rant to appear as a comment on your blog in the first place!

These kinds of people set themselves up as self-styled critics, typically wittering on endlessly about subjects such as non-American spelling and grammar in books written by anyone living beyond the borders of the US for instance, thereby clearly demonstrating their ignorance of the English language to the world at large. The aforementioned description while general, nevertheless fits the individuals currently responsible for the majority of one and two star reviews for any book you care to name on Amazon, to…

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The City Where Narcissus Blooms

More from Justin in Malta…

The Champagne Epicurean

A flowering cathedral

The full name of Florence’s Duomo – or cathedral – is the Santa Maria del Fiore. It is one of the most imposing buildings you’re ever likely to see in Europe. It feels like a Herculean Tetris puzzle crowned by the red-brick masterpiece of Brunelleschi.

Beauty tends to attract beauty. Or at least, the seekers of beauty. And this can be a bittersweet burden.

The Duomo is a photogenic church. You will be taking photos of it from every angle and at various times of day. It is particularly eloquent during sunset. In fact, when I went to visit the interior of the cathedral, one of the resident guides said that the church bells ring one hour before sunset, during sunset and one hour after sunset. It’s almost as if the cathedral knows how good it looks in the soft hours of sunset.

And most of the…

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Writing is a serious business

Some facts about writing…

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The publishing world has surrounded itself with layer upon layer of obstacles designed to separate the wheat from the chaff, making it nigh on impossible for the first time writer to break in.

Getting your skills to the point where people other than your immediate circle of family and friends will appreciate your efforts takes time, a lot of time. It requires dedication and effort on your part. It also takes a long time to build up a readership (in my own case it has taken twenty-five long years).

As a newcomer, the chances of your first book becoming a best seller are slim to none. If you think that dozens of literary agents will be fighting among themselves to represent you, you are seriousy deluding yourself. First and foremost they are in the business of making money. Whether or not your literary efforts are likely to make you a…

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