Monthly Archives: October 2016

…Glasgow’s LUV affair with its taxi drivers…


…swing the clock back 55 years to a time that was truly different… Glasgow taxis had not yet had the threat of minicabs digging into their trade… my father drove the old 3-door version hackney cab, with the indented space at the side opposite the driver, reserved for luggage… this was his livelihood for longer than I can recall, but certainly at least for 30 years… every day, out on the streets and roads of the city earning enough to bring food money into the house on a regular basis… but it took up to 14 hours a day hard graft to make his living, as with most of his fellow drivers… back then, Glasgow had a real soft spot for its taxi-men… like the London cabbies, they all had to ‘do the knowledge’, a testing examination of the wannabe hack driver’s ability to know all the best routes from A to B and all over, all the theatres, cinemas, museums, parks… as a youngster, in the evenings at home I helped him by throwing test route questions at him… I can still tell you the most efficient way to go from one part of the city to another… at least the old Glasgow, as she was before they started choking and prettifying her… in 1961, a taxi driver named John Walkinshaw was murdered by a passenger in a shooting in one of the housing estates… the outcry from the populace was enormous… the typical huge heart of Glasgow came out in droves… each day, passengers  came into my father’s cab and gave him ‘stuff’ to defend himself with… Glasgow ‘stuff’… we call them ‘chibs’… one fellow handed him a fireman’s axe…


…but the best of all came in the form of a medieval sword… ‘jist tuck that doon the side o’ yer cab, son, and if emb’dy lifts a finger tae yeez, gie them that across the throat’…


…Glaswegians don’t deal in sophisticated niceties when if comes to self-defence… the sword was the subject of a newspaper article with a journalist from the famous  ‘Sunday Post’, with whom my father shared the story… as it happened the journalist was a collector of such things and took the weapon home with him, but in the story quoted the ‘fact’ that my father had thrown it into the River Clyde minutes after it was given to him… so yer lesson today is, don’t mess with Glaswegians… or their cabbies… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…That Other Man, scribbler, Eric J. Gates, lets me onto his blog page again…

My Guest: Seumas Gallacher


My Guest this week is a familiar visitor to this blog, well, he’s got to hang out somewhere I suppose, and he’s also a serial… writer, and that’s the very subject he’s going to broach today. Ladies and Gentlemen, the inimitable…

Seumas Gallacher

…this writing gig can be a really series business…

…eight years or so ago a bunch of fictional characters decided to become squatters in my head… Jack Calder and the team from International Security Partners (ISP) just simply moved in, set up house, and have remained resolutely unevictable ever since… there have been times when the noise ‘upstairs’ amongst what’s left of my wee grey cells has caused me serial insomnia… but by and large, I’ve grown accustomed to their cerebral presence… and I must confess, along the way over the eight years, through Master Calder and the troupe, I’ve learned some stuff…



Amazon Link

…I’ve learned to stand up tall and call myself a writer… and I tell everybody else who wants to listen, ‘If yeez write at all, then yeez are a writer’… none of yer ‘aspiring writer’ nonsense…

…I’ve learned patience… a hitherto unknown trait… sequential efforts in producing wee crime fiction masterpieces have instilled the realisation that a book takes whatever time it decides to get it finished… trying to rush to ‘The End’ is 99.999999% likely to detract from the quality of yer WURK

…I’ve learned that, just as in real life, (whatever that is), characters grow from book to book when yeez produce a series… development of their ‘isms’ is gradual… blurting their entire life stories into two or three paragraphs is not conducive to reader enjoyment… Cover for Violin Man


Amazon Link

…I’ve learned that books don’t sell themselves… the present-day scribe is obliged to be a part of the modern WURLD, including the SOSYAL NETWURKS… and it’s no use being active for just a couple of weeks before each launch yeez bring to the marketplace… building the relationships on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and whatever else yeez fancy as yer eChannels of choice is a constant must… and it begins even before yer first literary baby sees the light of an Amazon Kindle day…

…I’ve learned that whatever the old adage says that ‘yeez can’t tell a book by its cover’, unless yeez invest in excellent (not good, but excellent) artwork for yer books’ covers, yeez are putting yerselves at a disadvantage versus all the other promotional and advertising din out there…

…I’ve learned that sharing with the rest of the global diaspora of authors has unbounded benefits… an inexhaustible source of real pals exist on the web… they help with getting the news out about yer novels, and likewise, there’s real joy in introducing their books to a broader market… 27828437

front view SP


Amazon Link
Amazon Link

…I’ve learned that writing a series is not as easy as yeez think… for this scribbler, it’s important not to fall into the trap of ‘formula story-writing’… readers demand fresh narratives and thoughtful writing each time they pick up a different title with your name on it as the author… even the readers’ fondness for familiar characters will fade quickly if the twists and turns in the plot become predictable… I’ve learned to surprise myself in that respect, which is more likely to please my readership…


Amazon Link

…I’ve learned other important things… to enjoy what I write… no needless deadlines… savouring the crafting and sculpting of the latest book… to get immersed in a positive way with the blogging… to make time for my author pals on the web… to support new writers, especially self-published, by downloading at least one such new writer each week… to write reviews for these books… these are the life blood of any author, but even more so for those starting out…

…and I’ve learned to say ‘Thank You’ to great guys like That Other Man, Eric Gates for hosting me so frequently and for helping boost my sales through his tireless efforts to help others… thanks gazillions…

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!


SEUMAS GALLACHER escaped from the world of finance eight years ago, after a career spanning three continents and five decades and started to write crime fiction as a pastime.

His first four crime-thrillers, in what has become the ‘Jack Calder’ series, THE VIOLIN MAN’S LEGACYVENGEANCE WEARS BLACKSAVAGE PAYBACK and KILLER CITY have blown his mind with more than 90,000 e-link downloads to date. The fifth in the series, DEADLY IMPASSE, was launched in September 2016. When he reaches the 100,000 sales/downloads mark he may indulge an extra Fried Mars Bar to celebrate.

When Seumas isn’t pounding out heart-stopping crime thrillers, or appearing as a Guest here, he can be found on his entertaining blog and here:




Thank you, Seumas, for allowing us to see how all the hard work that goes into providing readers with great, fast-paced novels such as your Jack Calder series (I read the latest recently and it’s the best yet – readers, don’t miss it!) can also show an old dog like yourself a new trick or two. Best wishes for the new book.

Eric @

…thanks gazillions, Eric… see yeez later … LUV YEEZ! 🙂



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors… getting ‘touchy-feely’ with yer writing is okay…

…when this ol’ Scots Jurassic started scribbling crime thrillers more than eight years ago, I never gave much thought (read ‘any thought’) at that time about how emb’dy else would think about reading my stuff… I wrote to please myself… and frankly, I still do that… I write the kind of narratives I would like to read… lately, many of yeez grand people of the readership have commented on the ‘vulnerable human emotions’ that even some of my tough guy characters display… understandably ‘tough guys’, coz they’re dealing with crime lords , drug barons, people-traffickers and the like who murder folks for idle distraction… it hadn’t occurred to me that others saw these fallibilities as qualities that enhanced the characters in their minds… then on reflection, I realized that’s exactly how I wanted them to be… coz that’s how real people are… and even a superficial glance at the 24/7 news channels will show yeez the abominations that go on daily around the WURLD… I have no desire to become a political commentator, but I’d consider myself less of a human being If I were not touched by some of the things I hear and see… in my latest book, DEADLY IMPASSE (and this is seriously not meant to be a ‘plug’, but I’ll list it here anyway), …among other things, I deal with part of the migrant issue, where so many people in desperation try to reach across the  Mediterranean and drown on the way…


touchy-feely stuff for my principal characters right there... and although I’m an author peddling fiction, some of the stark reality does creep into my writing…  here’s a poem I knocked out recently which some of yeez may have seen already…

How many more migrants must we lose?

Hold on tight, don’t cry, my son,

This will not last too long.

Listen how your Mama sings

Your favourite nursing song.

This water will not harm us now

We’re nearly at the shore.

Be strong and brave, my boy

And we’ll be wet no more.


Yes, yes, that wave was huge, I know,

But hang on tight, be safe with me.

This darkness merely hides the land

We’re getting closer now, you’ll see.

The sea is wild but brings us fast.

This wind behind our back

Will blow us into land quite soon.

Watch us veer and tack.


No, please don’t cry, my lad,

I’m here to hold you tight

This angry sea won’t harm you

We’ll be safe ere blows the night

Talk to Papa, tell me things,

All the things you’d like to say.

Tell me how we’ll live our lives

On the shore we near this day.


Papa, truly, truly I am scared

These waves are far too tall.

And this darkness blinds my eyes.

I hate this, hate this all.

Papa, Papa, the boat is tipping over,

Papa, Papa, where’s your hand?

Papa, Papa, catch me please.

Papa, Papa……….. Papa?


Seumas Gallacher

October 16th, 2016


…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!




Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…like, really, right?… there’s like, really NUTHIN like ‘really’… like, really…right?

…most authors begin to learn sum’where along their scribbling apprenticeship route the notion of  ‘weasel words’… the ‘fillers’ such as ‘that’, and ‘very’ and ‘just‘, and  the proliferation of inappropriate adverbs… all of which any halfway-awake editor excises with the boldest of red pen strokes… would that a similar ‘editorial cleansing agent’ existed to rid certain people of the parallel ailment in their conversation… today, I indulged a Japanese lunch at a restaurant in Abu Dhabi… the food was excellent… chicken gyoza, shrimp tempura, a chicken Katsu curry and all the trimmings… ten minutes into my meal, two young ladies arrived and took up the booth immediately behind where I sat…



…and yeez know the kinda thing when yeez are NOT LISTENING’ to what they’re discussing, but yeez can’t help ‘HEARING’ the exchanges… well, p’raps ‘exchanges’ is pushing the description a tad… it was more like a monologue from one teenage girl to the other, to which the entire restaurant couldn’t help but be ears also… the talker’s voice was a strange combination of a nasal twang and a reedy, piercing scalpel of a tone, capable I’m sure of chiseling ice sculptures… the constant aural barrage consisted of a relentless stream of sentences constructed around the repetition of ‘like’, ‘really’ and ‘right?’, this last being more rhetorical in application than inquisitive…


…I was thankful my chicken Katsu curry offered some distraction, however mild.. (the distraction, that is, not the curry)… the incessant, hypnotic mantrae continued until my bill arrived, and even for a Scotsman, I was delighted to pay in order to escape the place… like, really, right? there’s like, really NUTHIN like ‘really’… like, really…right?… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…eat yer heart out, Mel Gibson… yer Braveheart’s got NUTHIN on Master Gallacher for courage…

…I was looking through some of my past blog posts and came across this one posted about two years ago, and thought it worthy of another airing … cheers… Enjoy!!


…I’m not usually prone to broadcasting the various deeds of valour undertaken by this ol’ Jurassic… but sum’times, yeez just have to tell the WURLD… else, how would …

Source: …eat yer heart out, Mel Gibson… yer Braveheart’s got NUTHIN on Master Gallacher for courage…


Filed under Uncategorized

…a re-run of a great voice…the late Luke Kelly…

…I’ve been requested to do a reprise of this blog which I posted in August last year (how time flies when ye’re enjoying yourself, eh, Mabel?)… happy to oblige…

…yer man, Luke Kelly, late of the Dubliners, and currently singing alongside the angels…

…being Scots as I am… (yeez may have noticed)… I mortgaged my soul to Celtic music a long time ago during my late teens sojourn in the Scottish Hebridean Island of Mull… particularly the gaelic ballads and airs, and folk music from my own country and from Ireland… I’ve enjoyed music of all types around the globe, but have yet to hear anything remotely capable of moving me like that of the Celt… no surprise then, when my good pal Lesley Krier Tither shared the number above from You Tube, it caught me holding back the tears (but not the emotion)… I believe it’s healthy to have feelings, and if music like this is the trigger, then that’s okay with me… of particular poignance is that this clip is the last performance by Luke Kelly… he knew his illness afforded him very little remaining time… The Dubliners, of course, are a household name across the WURLD, and have been for decades… matched against current ‘entertainers’ and singers, most of the present breed couldn’t hold a candle to these guys… an amusing (obviously Irish wit) comment in the post-wall along with the clip says, ‘…On the day of his funeral, one mourner observed that if Luke had known how much he was loved, he would never have died…’ …another says, ‘…listening to the song causes the hairs to rise on my arms and the back of my neck…’ …that’s how I feel too, when I listen to it… for all the razzamatazz and hype that attends the ‘pushing’ of today’s wannabe ‘stars’, very few of them have that quality that touches yer emotional strings like this… the mark of greatness… the often forced performances in programmes like the ‘Voice of Wherever’ occasionally will provide wee glimpses, but none as natural as yer man, Luke Kelly, late of The Dubliners, and currently still singing alongside the angels… enjoy the soul-music… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Authors… ruses to use when yer Muse amuses and bemuses…



…there’s an infinite screed of responses to the question, ‘how long is a piece of string?’… in the same vein are the ream of possible answers to the query Authors often get asked,’how long does it take to write yer books?’… this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler has now banged out five Jack Calder crime thrillers, and not a single one matches another for the time taken to produce it… the elusive Muse, that ephemeral entity which more often as not eludes we peons of the pen at the most awkward times, is fickle to the nth… fellow writers will know the feeling… yeez are in full flow, rattling through the narrative, smoke percolating from the laptop (not a Samsung 7, a-hem), fingers doing a fair imitation of the Paso Doble across the computer keys… then… NUTHIN… full screeching halt… brain freeze… Madame Muse has sauntered off stage left, possibly to do her nails, or whatever Muses do in their own time… and the clock, calendar, and any notion of deadlines drift into the realm of ‘not-gonna-happen-anytime-soon,-sunshine’… which brings me to the point of this ‘ere blogpost… ever since embarking on this wunnerful novelizing gig , Master Gallacher has staunchly resisted setting deadlines… ‘deadlines’ create ‘dead lines’


…it took me until almost six decades of my life had passed before I starting tapping out the first book, so I hardly think unnecessary and unwanted expedition is called for at this stage… rather, I chose then, and continue to choose, to let the writing take whatever time it takes… to craft and sculpt the work to my own perception of quality… I employ ruses to use when my Muse amuses and bemuses… I sum’times watch the dreadful SKYNews for laughs… or look out of the window for spells on end… and think… yes, thinking is quite a useful engagement related to the storylines… and I’ve come to understand and appreciate this simple fact— the book is done when it’s done!… not one nano-second before or after… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!...



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Introducing Author-ettes Supreme… Phoebe Beckett-McInroy and Isabel Looby…


…a wee while back, I wrote on this ‘ere blog about two amazing young ladies who are arguably  the  youngest ever self-publishing writers… the Misses Phoebe Beckett-McInroy and Isabel Looby who co-authored ‘ONCE A BOY WON A RACE!’… last night, at the Bahrain Writers Circle, these Nobel Literary Prize Winners-In-Waiting delighted the group’s members with their refreshing take on what it means to be published authors… the photograph here shows the scribbling super starlets with Master Gallacher, the zombie glint in whose eyes merely reflect the aura of the youngsters… the Leader of the Bahrain Writers Circle, our wonderful m’Lady, Rohini Sunderam, presented a certificate of thanks and honorary membership cards for the Circle to each of the girls (they’re aged 8 and 9 years old–no ageism in this Circle!)…


…what tickled me immensely was the instant LOUD response from the girls, in concert, when asked ‘when and where can we buy your books?’ ,  ‘NOW!’ was the reply, as they had brought copies along with them, ready for sale… ladies after my own marketing heart!… LUVVED IT!… in my possession now I proudly have the first signed copy of their book…


..a heartening snippet to report is that royalty proceeds from sales to date are being donated to a local charity for children with social needs… well done, Phoebe and IsabelLUVZYA!

…yeez can find yer own copy here on Auntie Amazon Kindle:

…for local residents in Bahrain, the book is available in hard copy at Jashanamal book stores and Words Bookstore Cafe

…see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Margaret K Johnson lays dead the spectre of fear of public speaking… and novel writing…

…for any of yeez Lads and Lassies of Blog Land who’ve ever had to stand up and speak in public, and’ve felt the attack of the 1,000,000 butterflies in yer stomach, here’s a terrific post from my pal, Authoress, Margaret K. Johnson… she addresses not only overcoming the dread of spouting on yer feet, but also of scribbling… getting that book yeez all have in yeez actually written and out there… enjoy…

Margaret K Johnson


When I was eleven years old, I had to give a talk at school about Joan of Arc, the French saint. Nervously, I went to the front of the class, opened my mouth and said:

“Joan of Arc was brought up as a pheasant.”

 “Peasant!” I corrected myself. “She was brought up as a peasant!” But it was too late of course. Everyone – including the teacher – was falling about laughing. No doubt they quickly forgot the unexpected entertainment, but I certainly didn’t. I developed a chronic fear of speaking in public which lasted for around twenty years – until I decided that enough was enough, and set out to do something about it. I was a writer, and I wanted to teach writing, so the phobia had to go.

I’ve come a long way since then – two years ago, I even performed a short stand-up comedy routine in a Greenwich comedy club. (You can watch me in action on YouTube if you want to!) But the truth is, if we let it, fear can stop us in our tracks.

Many people feel they’ve got a book in them, and dream of getting published. But they don’t always do anything about it. They find a million and one other things to do, like cleaning the oven or washing the car. They put other peoples’ needs or desires first. Or worry about what people will think.

Behind most of these displacement activities lies one big fat fear: This is my dream. What if it doesn’t work out?

 Because I’ve encountered this fear so often with my creative writing students, I started to include a confidence-building element in my sessions, and it really seemed to pay off. When my students recognised what they were afraid of and why, they were able to do something about it. As a result, they wrote more easily, were happier to share what they wrote with others, and gave and received feedback with more confidence. And that meant they learnt better.

I’ve recently put this insight and experience into an eight-module e-course called Feel The Fear and Write Anyway – Self-Confidence For Writers. It’s aimed at people who want to start to write, or those who have already started, but are now feeling stuck, and the course helps participants to:

*   Identify and deal with any blocks or obstacles to writing
*   Build their self-belief and deal with their nagging, critical voice
*   Tackle any resistance to writing – from themselves or anyone else
*   Identify their strengths and weaknesses
*   Develop their identity as a writer
*   Establish the best writing routine for them
*   Learn how to give and receive feedback on their work and how to contribute and benefit from writing communities
*   Plan for their future development as a writer

The course starts on Friday 28th October 2016 and places are limited. Anyone who’s interested in finding out more can do so by going to:


There’s a special bonus offer for the first three people to enrol.

As for me, I think it’s time I found a new challenge on the public speaking front. Having developed that muscle, I don’t want to lose it! Any ideas anyone?


Margaret K Johnson began writing after finishing at Art College to support her career as an artist. Writing quickly replaced painting as her major passion, and these days her canvasses lay neglected in her studio.

She is the author of both non-fiction and women’s fiction published by Crooked Cat Publishing, Omnific Publishing and Earthy Works Publishing. She also writes well as award-winning original fiction readers in various genres for people learning to speak English, published by Cambridge University Press and Cengage Learning.


An experienced adult education tutor, Margaret founded WriteUP Courses in early 2015, and works with those who want to use writing as therapy as well as those who want to become published authors. Margaret has an MA in Creative Writing from the University of East Anglia and lives in Norwich, UK with her partner and their bouncy son and dog.

Her website is at:



…thanks gazillions for that, m’Lady, Margaret… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff

…Guest Blogger, m’Lady, Kathleen Boyle… a peripatetic purveyor of poetry and prose…

…it never ceases to amaze this ol’ Scots Jurassic scribbler that so many of our Author sisters and brothers have travelled almost every square inch of this planet, while others perceive the universe in their own wunnerful ways from their living rooms or virtual candlelit garrets… one of our peripatetic patrollers is today’s Guest Blogger, Kathleen Boyle, whose journeys have traversed some of my own global meanderings… here’s Kathleen:



Kathleen Boyle nee Dodd, was born in Liverpool, where she spent her childhood years before leaving to train as a teacher in Hull in 1972.  Kathleen has worked as a teacher in Hull, Leeds and Carlisle and international schools in Columbia, Bahrain, Cairo and Vietnam.

She has written stories and poems throughout her life, publishing a collection of poems about growing up in 1950s Liverpool entitled, ‘Sugar Butties and Mersey Memoirs’, as well as a collection of poems for children about a teddy bear called Harry Pennington.


During her time in Bahrain she wrote ‘The Pearl House’ a short story which spans the cultural divides of Liverpool and Bahrain. The story, together with her poems, ‘Bahrain’ and ‘Umm Al Hassam’ were published in Robin Barratt’s collections, ‘My Beautiful Bahrain’ and ‘More of My Beautiful Bahrain’.

Kathleen has written a series of children’s stories for Beirut publishers Dar El Fikr, two of which, ‘The Jewel of the Deep’ and ‘The Magic Pearl and Dilmun’, have now been illustrated and published.

She has written a novella, ‘Catherine of Liverpool’ and is presently working on the sequel.


Now into her fortieth year as a teacher, she combines her love of travel with teaching and is presently based in Vietnam.

…thanks for sharing, m’Lady, Katherine… see yeez later… LUV YEEZ!



Filed under Blether, Scribbling & Stuff