Monthly Archives: June 2014

…pen-and-ink endangered species… when was the last time you hand-wrote a real letter?… #TBSU…


…my good pal, Karen Soutar, remarked on my commentary feed the other day about the lamentable lack of proper pen-pal-ism… and it triggered a wee memory throwback for this ol’ Jurassic… I just wonder for how many more of yeez out there it would have the same reaction?… my guess is if yeez are under, let’s say 40 years old, the whole pen-pal with real paper and handwriting gig possibly passed yeez by… p’raps one of the downsides of the universal ease of access to computers and the internet… the same thing applies, I’m sure, to philately (postage-stamp collecting, Mabel)… I well recall, living as we did in Docklands Govan in Glasgow, the fascination and wonderment at being able to send letters squillions of miles away across the oceans to newly-found correspondents… for some of us, seldom if ever having travelled further than three streets away from where we lived, it was akin to communicating with another planet… I recollect at least a couple of pen-pals… the more prominent of these, for reasons which will become apparent as yeez read on, was a young lady in Filadelfya in ‘Merika, whose handwriting was the most wondrous art form I had seen up until then, with that peculiar (peculiar to we Scots, anyway) cursive penmanship, full of loops and whirly bits, and that funny way of joining up lettering for the letter ‘r’, with the front stem seemingly forgotten… she must have been all of nine years old, me the same (my, my, yeez do have a great memory Master Gallacher, going back that far)…


…the black and white photographs of herself were the surrogate for my first pin-ups (forerunner to ‘selfies’?)… and of course, because she was a GURL, the Celt in my young veins was immediately LUV-stricken… six weeks between postal exchanges was common, and only served to heighten the delicious anticipation of the next missive… it’s not recorded anywhere whether my puppy-ish adoration was reciprocated, but several of the envelopes were adorned with tiny wee hearts, and on one glorious occasion, I could smell some perfume… alas, this budding intercontinental romance faded as stuff took over… stuff like football, and stuff like school exams, and let’s face it, even back then, stuff like the prohibitive cost of postage stamps for a wee Govan boy… her name has long since faded from my wee grey cells, but this ol’ Romeo wonders what ever happened to that first long-distance Juliet?… ah well, back to the immediacy of the internet… but I do miss them days, don’t yeez sum’times feel the same way?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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Hay-on-Wye, here I come!

…a dear friend and fellow traveller along the self-publishing path decides to ‘live the dream’… read this post of hers and be envious… way to go, Olga! .. we LUV YA! 🙂

Just Olga

Hello everyone. Today is Tuesday and I bring you something a little special. I don’t  know if you remember but a few months ago I told you I had left my job and I was going to be trying other things. I spent some time in Barcelona, ​​visiting my parents, I came back to England, I published a  novella ‘Family, lust and cameras‘ (never hurts to do some advertising), I set about writing my new romance novel (‘ I Love Your Cupcakes‘ if I don’t change the title), and I’ve been translating my works and those of other writers.
But I had other plans. You will remember that I have talked about Hay-on-Wye before (here’s the link to the first post, in case you didn’t see it).

Hay-on-Wye's castle Hay-on-Wye’s castle

It is a gorgeous town in Wales where there are many nice bookshops. ‘Town of books’. In…

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WHY I support and encourage Authors

,,great post from The Storyreading Ape 🙂

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I believe Sir Terry Pratchett may have had an excellent point when he surmised that OUR species of Hominid survived, while all the others didn’t, because we were Story Telling Apes, or at least better at telling, and learning through, stories!

I’m not the only one who thinks so, “Our brains are structured to make sense of the world in the form of narratives – stories. Not only that, we are primed to believe the stories we hear.” see the re-blogged post last Thursday HERE!

I concede that there are probably other factors involved as well, but storytelling was (and hopefully still IS) a significant part of our species survival strategy.

If we cease to tell and learn from stories, then we too may become extinct because without them we will have created our very own ELE (Extinction Level Event).

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…hail, Fellow Scribblers and Bloggers… well met, even if it’s only virtual, I salute yeez all… #TBSU…

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…through the centuries, various discoveries and inventions have massively impacted and revolutionised Mankind and Mankind’s behaviour… the wheel… writing… medicines… flying machines… guns… telephones… radio… television… electricity… and I’m sure yeez can think of dozens more examples… in the last half-generation, one of the major transformational elements has been the internet… this ol’ Jurassic almost missed out on the phenomenon of the Web entirely, if not for the accident of falling under the attraction of evolving into a self-publishing quill-scraper… part of the continual ‘business’ practice of being a modern scribe, is the need to be ‘present and counted’ on the SOSYAL NETWURKS… and that involves communicating with others on here… for some misguided (in my ‘umble opinion) souls, that equates to gathering as many ‘contacts’ as they can… yeez will see from time to time a proliferation of scamsters offering to ‘sell’ yeez gazillions of ‘followers’ (‘quantity’) on Twitter for a fistful of dollars… let me tell yeez, it takes time to develop, nurture and maintain these precious links… and money can’t buy ‘quality’… ignore the Web snake-oil salesmen… I’ve been privileged thus far to accrue a significant number of connections on all the channels I use to propagate my stuff, but it’s a reciprocal WURLD… the more yeez give of yerselves… yer time… aye, even yer LUV, to others on here, the more yeez are likely to receive… I saw  a post yesterday on Facebook from a man who learned that one of his ‘virtual’ pals had passed away… they had never met, but the bonding they had experienced over a number of years was as strong and palpable as any face-to-face friendship… I feel that way about so many of the great pals I’ve linked up with these past few years… there’s little room nor time on the internet for some of the customary bullsh*t that so often attends so-called ‘real’ relationships… and I for one am grateful for that… so, if yeez’ll allow me a moment of reflection… hail, Fellow Scribblers and Bloggers… well met, even if it’s only virtual, I salute yeez all… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…Zuluism?… it’s not what yeez think it is… #TBSU…


…any so-called ‘pearls of wisdom’ that may accidentally or otherwise escape from my brain are the result of direct plagiarism… I get most (read, ‘all’) of my ‘brilliant’ concepts from people much more insightful than this ol’ Jurassic will ever be… today’s post is no exception to that ROOL… but I think it’s worth passing on to yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land… ‘Zuluism’… lots of yeez of a certain age will conjure up visions of the be-horsed, splendidly red-tunic-ed Michael Caine in his first great epic role in Stanley Baker’s ‘Zulu’… showing the ubiquitous Master Caine’s photo here’s just my wee ploy to get yeez to read further… here’s what ‘Zuluism’ really is… imagine yeez live in a small village in the middle of England, and yeez’ve just seen the movie… yer interest is piqued… yeez want to learn more about Zulus… where better to source information than at yer local library? (remember, ‘Zulu’ premiered in 1964, predating the internet by at least a generation)… at the local library they find one book with a half a chapter on Zulus… that doesn’t take long to polish off, and yeez are still interested to learn more… a trip to the nearest big town, and its library yields four books, all about Zulus… about a month later, yer appetite for knowledge undiminished, yeez decide to travel to London, and assail the Mitchell Library…. Eureka!… 148 tomes devoted to Zulus, by every conceivable authority on the subject…. thus begins a five-year program of visits to the Great Mitchell House of Books, until ultimately, yeez have devoured every scrap of knowledge on Zulus… result?… the official global expert on Zulus is yerself!… now, change the subject to anything esoteric yeez choose… Himalayan yak habits… Elizabethan Age ladies fashions… the Ancient Monarchies of Ethiopia… yeez get the picture, right?… whatever it is… becoming the ‘go-to’ person for information on yer chosen subject, on which yeez have become the residual fount of knowledge… that’s ‘Zuluism’… yeez are most welcome… no need for thanks… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!

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…emb’dy else out there fascinated with Owls?… yeez’ll enjoy this Guest Post from Author Viv Drewa… #TBSU…

…my Guest Post invitation net falls far and wide, but nothing pleases me more than to have aboard another Author who ‘pays it forward’ constantly to others by re-blogging… introducing, the wonderful Viv Drewa… her self-confessed fascination with the winged birds of the night, Owls… lends a nice quirky feel to her post… she writes about what she loves… enjoy…


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…here’s her own description of ‘how she got thus far‘…


I am a Michigan native who has enjoyed reading and writing since 1963. I studied medicinal chemistry at the University of Michigan, but my passion has always been writing.

I was awarded third place for a nonfiction short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland. Later, I rewrote this story and was published in the “Polish American Journal” as “From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life”, and have also published it on

I took creative and journalism courses to help in my transition to fulfill the dream of becoming a writer. I worked as an intern for Port Huron’s ‘The Times Herald’, and also wrote, edited and did the layout for the Blue Water Multiple Sclerosis newsletter “Thumb Prints.”

I have two novels published: “The Angler and the Owl” and “The Owl of the Sipan Lord” also available on

I also write a blog for ShareTV for: River Monsters, Finding Bigfoot and The Blacklist.

Here’s the blurb from “The Angler and The Owl”( I have owls in all my novels).


For 25 years France Hunter has been studying owls, and has discovered five new species around the world. Her work has kept her busy and she never had time for a relationship. She travels with Jason “Doc” Bradley, a former paramedic, and his cousins Tony and Andy Bradley. Now, on her last outing she is joined by a magazine writer, Cathy Birch, and a world famous angler, John Sinclair, who has also dedicated his life to his field.
As the small caravan travels to the Amazon river, France falls and severely injures her left arm. Against Doc’s recommendation to turn back, she pushes on. This is her last trip and she wants to go to the place where she found her first new owl.
While fishing, a blue-ringed owl lands on John’s canoe and looks down the river to where France’s group is, and then looks back at him. This alerts John. He tries to reach her by satellite phone, but to no avail. He decides the fishing can wait and, with Mark in another canoe, begins the journey back to France.
At France’s camp, two jaguars attack one of the boatmen, severing his left leg. The other two boatmen shoot at the jaguars, killing one. The other escapes with the boatman’s leg. Doc and the others wake to the noise and he and Tony go to where the boatmen are camping. In the ruckus, the canoes become untied and go eastward down the shore and the satellite phone is destroyed. Now they have no way to get help and will have to wait for John’s team to come back, which could take three or four more days.
Will help get there in enough time?…

…if that teaser tempts you, here’s the links to Viv’s writing :


..thanks for sharing with me today, Viv…







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…oh, Guest Bloggers, why do I LUV yeez?… let me count the ways… #TBSU…

…they say the minute yeez stop learning, it’s time to pack it in and move on up to the Big House in The Sky… this ol’ Jurassic jumped on the self-publishing carousel a mere few years ago… not even wet behind the ears, but soaked behind the ears, as probably one of the oldest neophytes to the quill-scraping game… and I’m LUVVIN’ every bit of it… thankfully, there’s still a freshness and frisson of excitement when I click the laptop ‘open’ button each morning and it WURKS!… I’m grateful for the plethora of Web pals who have grown from virtual acquaintances to superb buddies… too numerous to mention, but constantly there to support and have a laff with… almost by accident, the discovery of the joys of Guest Blogs… giving and receiving… has proved an enormous source of pleasure… it goes beyond the cold business element of getting yer name and yer masterpieces a broader audience… the range of subject matter fascinates me… variety is the Spice of Life… it also doesn’t do yer own blog any harm to have Guest Bloggers aboard… it helps to break up the sequence of yer own stream of blog posts… and I’ve found I’m learning more and more as I go along… it also delights me to see the comments left by third parties on the posts I carry from others (not only posts from Authors, by the way… I have an open policy on emb’dy who wants to be here… only one ROOL… no gratuitous offensive material)… in my recent wee launch, SELF-PUBLISHING STEPS TO SUCCESSFUL SALES, I make the point that Guest Blogging is an important piece of the whole matrix that goes into the ‘business’ of writing, with a blog a necessary core part of all of that… so, once more, if I need to say it… my blog is officially open to all who wish to visit… throw yer stuff this way… include whatever yeez want in the way of promo, links, pics, send me an email on …yeez know the drill… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




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…as the FIFA WURLD Cup progresses, a wee thought and a smile or three about football… #TBSU…

…about a hundred years ago, this ol’ Jurassic played football in Glasgow with a (then) top flight football team, Third Lanark… the LUV of the game has remained with me ever since, although it must be said I never noticed the gradual introduction on the field of so many delicate ballerinas and diving experts until it was too late… that aside, the game has always, thankfully, had its share of humour to enjoy, along with the grace and skills of players I was privileged to watch live… Georgie Best, Denis Law, Alan Gilzean, Gordon Banks, the great Bobby Moore (I also saw him play in his later career for a while in Hong Kong)… the humour has ever been a built-in element of the game… the crowd commentary, sometimes from a solo voice, often from a more concerted chanting or singing (with amended versions of the lyrics to suit the occasion)… in more recent times, a good footballer, still doing his stuff at Queens Park Rangers in London, centre forward Bobby Zamora was involved in one of the strangest goals ever seen… versus the mighty Liverpool, he shot toward goal, and the ball bounced off an encroaching beach ball (which a Liverpool fan had thrown on the pitch), deflected and fooled the goalie…a goal was awarded!… in a subsequent poll to vote for the most skilful  forward in the League, fans voted Master Zamora second… the Beach Ball was voted first!…



…the wit of the football fan is undiminished… another excellent footballer, goalkeeper Andy Goram, playing at the time for Glasgow Rangers was apparently diagnosed with a mild form of schizophrenia… I understand that schizophrenia is a serious affliction for those who suffer from it, and I would not dare make fun of that in itself, but the fun-poking was evident when Rangers played their big rivals, Celtic, and the opposition fans started to sing ‘There’s only two Andy Gorams!‘… and so it goes on… ‘way back, I remember with great wincing the times when a football struck the tender parts of this budding Scottish Maradona’s groin… it brought tears to the eyes and other parts, believe me… only to be greeted with the exhortation from my teammates… ‘don’t rub ‘em—count ‘em!’… meanwhile, I’ll just go and have a peek at what the Bolshoi Ballet lookalikes are doing on the soccer pitches in Brazil this evening… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


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…it’s when they tell yeez, ‘Yeez can’t do THAT!’ …and yeez go ahead and do it anyway… that!… #TBSU…


…being of mixed Irish/Scots heritage, I s’pose it’s in this ol’ Jurassic’s DNA to display rebellion at the drop of a tartan tammy (Scottish Highlander’s hat, Mabel)… but I’m sure it’s a trait shared by others not fortunate enough to be touched with the Celtic tinge… as far as I can gather, there’s no record of my having organised institutional warfare against the nursery school as a toddler… the maverick symptoms manifested themselves a tad later… and I can pinpoint the day and the place for yeez… my life experience had stretched to all of eleven years and a wee bit… English Literature class in Glasgow… Subject: Essay Writing… even back then, WURDS fascinated me… a Collins dictionary, well-thumbed, was one of my favourite possessions… and here’s why… every week, the English Literature Master, a humourless, spiritless, English Literature-less dominie, Professor Mackay, handed out a topic, around which we motley students were obliged to concoct some essay for the following week… and every week, the budding Steinbeck residing in my soul went searching through the Collins lexicon pages, in pursuit of WURDS to use…. preferably the stranger, longer and weirder-sounding the better… noting the meaning, and then crafting sentences around the discovered WURD treasures… ‘excellent initiative’ yeez might surmise… a surmission, unhappily, not shared by the joyless Professor Mackay… on two notable occasions he rejected my use of language as being ‘non-existent’… one WURD was/is ‘flounced’… and a phrase I recall, ‘in her mind’s eye’... like the budding Braveheart that I was, my reaction was an immediate, and p’raps a bit overzealous flourishing of the precious Collins edition, with ‘flounced’ clearly annotated, and a copy of Baroness Orczy’s, The Scarlet Pimpernel, wherein the phrase ‘in her mind’s eye’ was already underscored in red ink… I do not wish to impugn the memory of the long-since-departed-to-the-Great-Dominie’s-Retreat-In-The-Sky Professor Mackay by repeating the torrent of vocabulary he demonstrated, some of which I can assure you does not appear in the Collins version that I have… he spoke not a single WURD to me for the rest of that class year… but he has bequeathed to me one precious attitude…it’s when they tell yeez, ‘Yeez can’t do THAT!’ …and yeez go ahead and do it anyway…. that!… so off yeez go and flounce away in yer mind’s eye to yer respective hearts’ content… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


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…Reviewess Extraordinaire, Blogger, and Author, Rosie Amber nails it for us here… #TBSU…

…I feel incredibly humbled by the extent of the recent activities of my Guest Blogger today, the redoubtable, Rosie Amber… read on, and yeez’ll see what I mean… enjoy…

rosie gardening 02 facebook wp


My name is Rosie Amber, I’m an author, book reviewer and blogger. I live in the county of Hampshire in the UK. Blogging opened up a whole new world to me and I have met some lovely people. I try to publish a blog post every single day because my blog is still quite new and I need to keep readers interested. I began my blog primarily to help promote my own book, but it has become a much bigger part of my life. I’m now able to use my love of reading and my blog to help promote other people books too.

 My first published book is called “Talk of the Playground” and is a fun tale of the ins and outs of an English village school. I call it my work of love rather than my work of art because it meant so much to me at the time. I learnt a lot about writing and self-publishing and have learnt even more from blogging and reading other writers work. Now I’m working on a big edit of my book because I love evolving as a writer.

Talk of the Playground - purple 1563

I love reading. In the Goodreads 2013 challenge I read 154 books, this year I expect to increase that number. Nearly every book I read gets a review on Goodreads, Amazon and my blog, with links to my Facebook author page, Google+ and Twitter. I also do Guest Author Interviews and take part in book related tours.

Twitter @rosieamber1


In 2013 I was lucky enough to be invited to write a monthly book review page for a local magazine called “Fleet Life”. 5000 copies go out locally and the magazine has an online version too, I usually review 5 books of my choice per month for the magazine. In 2014 I also picked up its sister magazine Elvetham Heath Directory which has 2000 copies and an online version, I do a different set of reviews in each magazine.

I love keeping my blog fresh; in April 2013 I took part in my first April A to Z Challenge and I blogged my way through the alphabet matching book titles to the letters of the alphabet. This year I took part for a second year and again promoted books using all the letters of the alphabet, it is a great way to meet lots of new bloggers from all over the world.

Never one to stand still for long I recently completed a year-long challenge that I set myself on the day I began reading a book called “A Year of Doing Good” by Judith O’Reilly.

Judith challenged herself to do Good Deeds for a whole year and wrote a truly inspirational book about what happened. Judith undertook giant acts of good, my own challenge was to do just 1 Good Deed a day for a year. Every Sunday I update my readers with my latest deeds. On April 16th 2014 I celebrated completing my challenge and am now carrying on for a second year. Do come and check it out.  My Year of Good Deeds.

My most recent addition to the blog is a page I’m building on resources for writers. It features people who offer editing services, marketing, promotion, book covers, book reviewers etc and I shall be adding more.

 I’ve just launched a Book review challenge as I’m very keen to get more people to write reviews for the books they read. Here’s a bit about it.

Book review Challenge Series

How often do you write and post a review of a book you’ve read? Ever wondered if your review would be of any use to anyone? Don’t know how to write a review?


I have a book review challenge series planned over the next few weeks. We will be hearing from several book reviewers on how they go about writing a review and from authors about the importance of reviews.

Coming up on Wednesday 25th June – Book reviewing by Rosie Amber + easy to follow tips for writing your own review.

Thursday 26th June – Book reviewing by Bodicia from A Woman’s Wisdom + How to download a PDF file of a book to your kindle.

Friday 27th June – The Importance of book reviews by author Terry Tyler + a look at Goodreads + A bad or negative review, should you write it?

Saturday 28th June – Book Reviewing by Diane Coto from Fictionzeal + Shelfari + Going in deep, talking reviews

Sunday 29th June – Book reviewing by Ionia Martin from Readfulthings + Reviewing to Amazon + Gearing up to write that review

Monday 30th June – The Importance of book reviews by Lizzie Lamb + Authors should walk to the book reviewer’s side of the fence

Come and find out more and sign up for the challenge to read a book for FREE and write a book review. More details on my blog Rosie Amber

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…thanks for a terrific Guest Blog, m’Lady Rosie… see yeez all later … LUV YEEZ!



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