Monthly Archives: January 2014

…today’s 3 picks of great pics… movies that stick in the memory… #TBSU…

…the beautiful thing about opinions on stuff… any stuff… is that they are yer own opinions… it’s not wrong that yeez have yer opinions… the content may be debatable, but we’re all entitled to think for ourselves… which makes picking yer favourites of anything a fun ploy… here’s 3 of my choices for enjoyable moments in moviedom…

1. The Remains  of the Day

…a throwback to the propriety of household staff behaviour ‘below stairs’ in England’s 40s and 50s, this movie carries monumental performances by Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson… there are many moments of brilliance in the film, but I remember the sadness of the final meeting between the pair… where the proper decorum of the day dictated their true feelings and affection for each other would remain unrequited… and I wonder how many thousands of such relationships were unfulfilled in real life back in that era…

2. The Godfather Trilogy

…it could fill twenty blog pieces to render all the amazing aspects of this series… but a couple of samples are standouts for me… the scene in the first movie where the Godfather (Marlon Brando) points to the bullet-riddled body of his son (James Caan) in the mortician’s salon and says simply, ‘…look what they’ve done to my boy…’ …he’s a ‘father’ then, not a ‘Godfather’… and in the third movie, where the incomparable Al Pacino as the ageing Godfather, muses, ‘…you try to get out (of the Mafia), and they pull you back in again…’ …the third movie in the series seems to be the least popular, but for me it was the best, as Pacino shows tons of the human side of the Godfather… even criminal bosses have feelings, it seems…

3. The Flight of the Phoenix

…the original black and white version has many excellent characters, but James Stewart, who never gave a bad  performance in any movie, is superlative as the pilot of the aircraft that crash lands in the  middle of the desert… he ‘loses it’ when the self-proclaimed aircraft builder on whose skill the survivors count on to get out of the dilemma turns out to be a model-aircraft builder… great moment…

…for yer consideration and comment, share yer own with us … cheers… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!…

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Blogs To Follow

..share around as usual and enjoy …


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…the vicarious pleasure of watching the Blogger’s trip through someone else’s eyes… Sheelah Turner, bus-lady… #TBSU…

…a recent acquisition to the writing family in Abu Dhabi, Sheelah Turner, is steadfastly putting together an intriguing account of the recent safari trip undertaken by herself and husband, Oyvind Helgerud… she eschews the normal taxi scrambling to get around the city, preferring to use a combination of the bus services here (which are of an excellent standard, by the way) to come meet me at my daily ‘writing office’, the exquisite lobby lounge of the Jumeirah Etihad Towers Hotel… her blog is up and running, and here’s her offering after our meeting today… continue to watch this space… 🙂

On the bus

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I am starting to enjoy the trip that I take whenever I meet up with Seumas – my mentor on writing this book. Engaging my travellers spirit, I venture out onto the bus system – to feel a part of the city, and watch the flow of people as they head out at the start of their day. A number of ladies are taking their children to school – the young children dressed in big eyes, broad smiles and colourful, oversized backpacks.  There are a few Muslim women aboard. Some are dressed in black abayas, beautifully embroidered in black thread along the edges. Their headscarfs are typically black, but occasionally colourful. But most ladies are dressed as I am – trousers and a top of sorts, heads uncovered. I change busses, onto a route that passes a number of hospitals and clinics. Many ladies on the bus are dressed in nurse scrubs – some yellow, some white, some green.

Seumas is interested in how the book is going. I almost feel sheepish when I tell him that the writing hasn’t progressed as much as I had hoped, but that I have been working hard on setting the new blog, and also tending to other activities. Some of the remaining sections of the book are – for me – the more difficult sections of the book, and I do feel like I have been employing avoidance techniques in the hope that somehow these sections will magically appear next time I open the computer!  I feel relieved – slightly – when he reminds me that the blog is an import part of the writing process. (Thank goodness!)

And so, our discussion today turns towards one aspect of the book that I am finding most difficult – the top and tail.  While the middle part of the book is flowing reasonably well, the beginning and end feel somewhat elusive: stilted, not yet revealing themselves, without form. We chat about some interesting ideas, and Seumas plants a few seeds in my mind.  Viking Explorer and I have some (more) thinking to do.

All too quickly, our time is done. Seumas has things to do, and my laptop battery has died.  On the bus ride back, I hardly notice my fellow bus users, I hardly notice the city passing the window outside. I stand, clinging to the yellow poles while my mind is alive!

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…if Music be the Food of Blogs, play on, Maestro… #TBSU…

… the other day, I listed 3 books out of many that impacted me greatly over the course of a reading career, and, of course, If I did the same exercise today, in all probability, there would be 3 different titles… in a somewhat similar vein, music is an inseparable part of growing up… stuff this ol’ Jurassic listened, to, sang along with, understood, or didn’t, as the case may be… my taste in music is as far ranging as the library choices I make… yeez may have had the same experience as I did, when particular stages of yer growing up seemed to have specific songs or tunes attached to them… the 60s and 70s especially were loaded with tons of great musicians, singers, groups (we didn’t call them ‘bands’ back then)… talented voices… yeez repeatedly fell in LUV over and over again with the girl or boy of the moment… the one and only for the rest of yer lives, or at least until the next month came along… and special tunes would attach to that relationship, fleeting or otherwise… I s’pose some of the current crop of noise-makers, pretending to some musical adequacy may have passing muster… but p’raps it’s my bias and yearning for the ‘way music used to be’ that I can’t understand more than about 0.000064362% of the stuff churned out on the reality show carousel charade… Master Simon Cowell‘s gonna have a lot to answer for when he sits in front of the Ultimate Jury when his pop career eventually pops for good… I could pick out at least 3 dozen tunes that never fail to resonate with me, and tomorrow there would be 3 dozen differing ones, but for today, here’s a pick of just 3 for yeez to consider… let me know what yer own are:

1. Nights in White Satin… the Moody Blues

2. Honky Tonk Woman… the Rolling Stones

3. Bohemian Rhapsody…. Queen and the incomparable Freddy Mercury



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Author Interview – Seumas Gallacher

…the inestimably wonderful Author Alison Jack is the next one conned into letting this ol’ Jurassic into her writing den… here’ s the resultant interview.. cheeers 🙂

An Author's View

I’m delighted to be hosting Seumas Gallacher on An Author’s View again. For a while now I’ve been a huge fan of Seumas’s highly entertaining and often hilarious blog, andprofile I’ve recently read and enjoyed the first of his gripping thrillers THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY. I can highly recommend both. Seumas was kind enough to submit a guest post to An Author’s View a few weeks ago which proved to be very popular, and today he’s visited me in Blogland to chat about his life, his work and his inspirations. Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome – SEUMAS GALLACHER.

Alison – Good morning Seumas – or good whatever time it is where you are! Thank you for stopping by today and allowing me to bombard you with questions. What made you decide to write action packed thrillers? Is it a favourite genre (or should that be jongrrrr?) of yours to read?

Seumas – I like any…

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…a Long Shot at the Shorty Awards… if yeez’ll just give me another two million votes… #TBSU…

…gentlemen, start yer campaign engines….apparently the ROOLS allow for drumming up support… coming to a virtual polling booth near all of yeez… the SHORTY AWARDS
…okay, okay,okay… I think it’s sum’thing to do with the tsunami of Awards Season stuff… it must be in the air, or the water or sum’thing… my dear friend Author Lillith Kain has kicked it all off by nominating me for the SHORTY AWARDS…. it has absolutely nothing to do with my physical stature, I’m assured, and apparently it’s kind of a ‘good thing’ to get awarded if ye’re lucky enuff to get one… I’ve already completed the lies/fibs form (I mean the enrolment form) for nomination as a candidate, so ALL it needs now is a coupla million VOTES from ALL of yeez good souls out there… if yeez wanna help make a happy man very old, yeez can click on below and vote (BTW, yeez need to put ‘a reason’ for the Blogger nomination… such as ‘informative, humorous self-publishers blog’...a-hem) … oh, the modesty of it all… the current odds for winning look something like this:
…that wee Rowling lassie…                                                       5/1
…Justin Beiber’s driving instructor…                                        8/1
…salient parts of Beyonce’s anatomy…                                   12/1
…David Beckham’s hairdresser…                                             16/1
…David Beckham’s hair…                                                         17/1
…Enid Blyton…                                                                         25/1
…Seumas Gallacher (the People’s Champion)…          3,000,000,000,000/1 yeez can see the competition yours truly is up against… cast yer votes here :
Seumas Gallacher – The Shorty Awards
See who nominated Seumas Gallacher in the Shorty Awards, the awards for the best of social media.


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…3 books which have stuck in my mind for decades… what’s your pick?… TBSU…

…this ol’ Jurassic’s been an avid reader since the age of 4… for the last 60 years, my reading range and number of books, novels, poetry collections, plays, classics, garbage, old and recent is immeasurable… however, there are some which enter yer mind, and never leave… I’m sure most of yeez out there have similar experience… whatever it is that makes one piece of literature more memorable than another is down purely to personal taste… …’vive la difference’ as our French friends say… it prob’ly depends on what day yeez ask me, and I’m certain I’d have various answers on diverse days, but three among the many that stay with me constantly are here :

1. How Green Was My Valley by Richard Llewellyn

…I first read this as a mid-teenager… this story of hardship in the Welsh mining communities struck a chord with me, which has been resonating ever since… the prose remains as magical now as when I first read it… the juxtapositioning of the hardship of those eking a living from the mining valleys, and one particularly sensitive love scene is uncanny… this is one of the few books which I read time and again, just to savour the novelist’s evocative use of language…

2. East of Eden by John Steinbeck

…among many powerful novels by the master of American West Coast literature, the tale of the Trask family is intriguing enough, but the main source of reading enjoyment is the role played by Lee, the old Chinese houseboy, into whose mouth Steinbeck places the wisdom and balance that flows from the book…

3. David Copperfield by Charles Dickens

…for sheer pleasure of reading in the proper English literature style, little comes close to Dickens… the opening chapter of the book, ‘I AM BORN,’ has few if any betters for an opening… the characters have ageless identification… it took several readings over the years for me to grasp what wonderful literature it really is, because the story line itself takes the reader away so easily…

…so, there’s my three for today… what’s yours, and why?…



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…Guest Blogging with my great pal, Author Roy L. Murry… #TBSU…

…the inexhaustible accommodation to other authors constantly offered by Author pal, Roy.L. Murry is legendary… he let me roam onto his web page again recently… the interview is repeated below and can be found also on his site, which you MUST visit…   

Interview with Seumas Gallacher

Author of 
Questions by Author Roy Murry
Hi, Seumas, how’s your self-publishing experience developing these days?
Hello, Roy. First of all, thanks a bundle for inviting me back onto your blog page. It’s an honor to be allowed a second visit to talk with you. The indie publishing adventure rolls on apace, with the third title in the Jack Calder crime thriller series, SAVAGE PAYBACK, recently up on Amazon. It’s still a terrific buzz being involved with this wonderful, global quill-scrapers family on the Web. The down-loads on all three titles have exceeded my wildest expectations.
What are you writing now?
The story lines for the Jack Calder franchise are a long way away from being exhausted. The current work in progress is KILLER CITY, with more lethal immersion in fighting international crime syndicates.
Have you changed the style and content much from the first book in the series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY?
As a matter of fact, yes, the story lines have taken on a grittier, and at times, harsher reality, where the good guys get their share of setbacks. Combating heavy-hitting international drug-trafficking syndicates is a perilous activity. I like the way that has developed, and readers share that they also like it.
Remind us what your books are about?
THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACY and VENGEANCE WEARS BLACK were the first two in what has now developed into the Jack Calder series. SAVAGE PAYBACK carries on in the same mode as the first two. The novels spin around a trio of Ex-SAS commandos who form their own specialist security firm. The stories involve international crime, drug peddling, people trafficking, murders, arson, and all these cuddly things bad people get up to when they’re not being angels. It’s not about the SAS a la Andy McNab, because being former commandos, these guys are not bound by the usual terms of engagement when they set about the bad lads.
Where do you get the ideas for the stories?
When I was corporate trouble-shooting in the Far East, part of my career involved looking after a financially-distressed shipping company, which needed clearing out of some serious criminal elements. During the course of that engagement, I received death threats which resulted in me being protected with an armored car and a squad of armed bodyguards. These were trained by a former SAS officer who was also a personal friend. I guess that’s where the concept started.
I know you’re an avid social networking proponent. Do you have any tips for other authors with regard to that?
Yes. These days, it’s important to recognize that writing the stuff is only the beginning. The ‘building the platform’ of a social media network is vital. The most enduring way to do that is by reciprocating constantly. Get into the habit of helping other writers through Re-Tweeting on Twitter, sharing on Facebook and so on. ‘Paying it forward’ is a gratifying feeling. The global writing family is the biggest-hearted bunch of people I’ve ever known. I spend about half of my ‘writing business’ time on the social networks and the other half on the writing.
Blog                :
Twitter            : @seumasgallacher
 Email              :
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… incident at the fast checkout lane… a timely re-run of a post done more than 6 months ago… #TBSU…

‘…lightning never strikes twice in the same place’, ‘they’ say… ‘they’ are wrong… my local supermarket fast-checkout lane this morning was mugged by a multi-item purchaser with NO cash in hand… second time it’s happened when I’ve been there, and again, my best weapon had to be press-ganged into service… the broad Dockside Govan, Glasgow accent, loaded for fast-queue hijacking nutters… alas, as before, my attempt at sarcasm and education fell on unsurprisingly deaf ears… the culprit smiled and shrugged shoulders… the checkout girl acquiesced to the nutter’s need to proceed… but, I vow not to give up on this… my new grail… clearing the fast-checkout lane of imbecility… here’s a rerun of a post I did here when this last occurred with me present (goodness knows how many times a day it actually goes on…) …

… so which is it, punk?… ye can’t read?… or ye can’t count?… #TBSU…

… I’ve seen Al Pacino in the Godfather trilogy, arguably the Mother of All Mafia-style movies, ever… admired De Niro in his various hard-man roles… been dazzled with a five-decade string of Jimmy Bond, Dubble-Oh-Slur films… and it occurs to me, that I’ve never seen any of them in scenes that most of we mere mortals have to endure… case in point, triggered by a Facebook item I read earlier (I’m still in the ostracizing jail of these nice people by the way) …it instantly brought back a deluge of mem’ries… the blood-pressue-upward inducing episodes that play out daily at yer nearest supermarket checkout lines… ye’re in a hurry and pop yer three, maybe four items at most into the wee plastic hand-basket, the one with the awkward carrying handles… and make a beeline for the till checkout lady at the end exit row… ye can’t miss it… above it, hangs a billboard-size notice in WURDS that even Blind Pugh could read, ‘TEN ITEMS OR LESS—AND CASH ONLY’… the bloke in front starts to empty his lot onto the sliding conveyor thingy… the checkout lady starts to ring up the items,…Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching! Ka-Ching!... when the Ka-Ching! Kount reaches about FIFTEEN bluudy items, the hand-basket resembles a conjurer’s box… the items keep appearing… my Govan Docklands sense of right and wrong can’t be contained … I ask the fellow in disgust… ‘so, which is it?… ye can’t read?.. or ye can’t count?’… he stiffens up, opens his hands and says (get this!), ‘well, ye know, I’m in a hurry’ …  THIS is when the fight usually starts… to the unrestrained delight of the rest of the 10-or-less brigade in the queue behind me, I launch into one of my,  ‘Oh, ye’re in hurry? well that’s okay, coz I’ve got my whole feckin life to wait here at the bluudy FAST checkout queue, waiting to teach numpties like you how to read and count’ tirades… fluster, fluster, fluster from Mister Can’t-Read-Or-Count… he makes to pay… WITH A BLUUDY CREDIT CARD!...  he hasn’t got a red cent on him! … and of course, the card limit has long been exhausted  and gets rejected… the ensuing passage requires an editorial swift drawing across with a curtain… so, next time ye see Al Pacino, or Bob De Niro ambling toward the Quick Checkout at yer local Supermarket, have a look… this ol’ Jurassic’ll be right there alongside them… you talkin’ to me???…


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My Writing Process

…Author friend, Janna Gray, has tagged me in the ‘My Writing Process’ feature… here’s her post on it this week… fascinating to read how others approach their literary ‘work’… I’m on next week … cheers 🙂 enjoy …

Off On A Tangent

I’ve been asked to participate in My Writing Process blog tour day, when writers answer questions about their writing process. Last week, fellow Indie Romance author, the lovely and very talented Pauline Barclay posted hers. You can check it out at http://  Thank you Pauline for inviting me to join.

What am I working on?

I’ve just finished my third novel ‘The Scarlet Thread’ which awaits the editor’s red pencil, and despite promising myself to chill for the next couple of months and attempt to learn Spanish, an idea popped in to my head and I found myself tapping out the first chapter of ‘Frangipani’ which takes place between 1937 and the late 1990s and follows the life of Iona Beaumont the daughter of one of the scions of a successful trading company in Singapore. As I was born after WW2 I will have to do a considerable amount of research…

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February is Blog Taming Month on CommuniCATE Resources for Writers

…great stuff for ALL bloggers to look forward to , from the excellent blog feed of Cate Russell-Cole 🙂 If you’re not following her, do so now! 🙂

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