AndyChapWriter

AndyChapWriter - 300Andrew Chapman is a writer. A funny writer. He writes funny stories, that is.  But that’s enough about him. This is all about me.

Here’s the interview piece with myself that he kindly ran on his excellent blog.

I will someday, soon hopefully, find the time and questions to reciprocate this whole interview thing with Andrew and others whose work I enjoy.

Meantime, I can wholeheartedly recommend checking out AndyChap’s books (The Accidental Scoundrel, and, Tripping The Night Fantastic)  on Amazon.

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Things You See Whilst Dog-walking: #1

Nothing to do with my writing – just a film I took for my Leading Petcare blog the other day,, whilst on my dog-walking rounds.

Leading Petcare

Sumo wrestling bulls in rural Renfrewshire, Scotland:

(The black bull won, when after about ten minutes of shove and counter-shove, it pushed the white one into the hedge. The youngsters gathered around the victor in obvious celebration, while the vanquished acted as if it really didn’t care, casually walking off whilst whistling to himself,  to stand alone in the centre of the field.)

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UK READERS: Kindle offer.

Cee Tee - 100A rather unexpected bout of inspiration has re-energised my efforts with the much vaunted light-hearted fantasy, ‘Evhen & Uurth.’

It was an emotional and euphoric experience that gathered me up on a cloud of heady exuberance. Unfortunately, drunk on an intoxicating mix of excitement and enthusiasm, my thinking became addled and (for a Scotsman at least) led to the rash and certainly out-of-character decision to:

Offer the Kindle version of my first book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee’ for the discounted price of only 99p!

Cover mock up 2

This offer is available only through the Amazon UK site and until Friday 21st July. But never fear, potential readers in USA, a 99 cents offer is scheduled from the Amazon.com site towards the end of August.

Right – sorted. Back now to the world of fantasy.

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Hedgehog safari.

Hedgehog meadowWhat author has not suffered from distraction?

Normally, in my case, it’s the temptations of Facebook and baseball streams that hinder my progress with  ‘Evhen & Uurth’ (w/t.)

But last night, for the first time in ages, a wee hedgehog scurried past my living room window. And having reached an impasse with chapter #7 of my light-hearted fantasy, I impulsively decided to try something new – a  two-part wildlife documentary.

Realistically, it should be entitled, ‘All You Need To Forget About Hedgehogs, Parts 1 & 2.’

But it isn’t.

Right. Back to writing it is, then.
😀

 

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A.B.R. (Anti Bullying Rap.)

(This  was written way back around 2003 / 2004 for the daughter of my boss at the time. It has been hidden amongst a pile of other unpublished nonsense at the back of my wardrobe ever since. Maybe it was for the best …..) 😀

A.B.R. (Anti Bullying Rap.)

I’m twelve years old and not so bold,

But not too blind to see;

I ain’t no mug – YOU’RE the thug,

But you’ll never bully me.

So:

You think you’re tough? Well, I’ve had enough.

What d’you hope to gain?

Look into my eyes, you’ll soon realise

You can’t cause any more pain.

Coz:

The one thing I seek, is the courage to speak –

To stand up for my rights.

You’re so wrong, and I’m so strong –

There will be no more fights.

Peace.

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Fall in New England (versus) Autumn in West of Scotland.

New England - Fall - colours I’ve never witnessed it first hand, but I believe New England is absolutely glorious in the Fall. It would certainly be hard to argue otherwise, given the images we here in Scotland see via television movies and the like.

Glasgow is some 13 degrees further north than Boston. It sits on roughly the same latitude as Novosibirsk Oblast (Russia) so perhaps I shouldn’t be so surprised by the contrasting perceptions of the year’s third season.

But it doesn’t stop me feeling a tad jealous.

Here’s how I see it:

New England - Fall - bridgeNew England: couples walk romantically hand in hand through the woods. They scatter the dry, brightly coloured leaves as they walk, kicking them into the air for the gentle autumnal breeze to cushion their fall back to earth.

West of Scotland: couples walk hand in hand through the woods. The word ‘romantically’ is omitted, for they are merely providing ballast to prevent the other from slipping on the soggy, rain-soaked leaves.

New England: on a bright, sunny day, a happy, smiling middle-aged man contentedly blows the brittle leaves into neat, uniform piles on his manicured, picket fence surrounded lawn. He then effortlessly lifts them into the appropriate refuse bin, which he places on the sidewalk for collection by the local  waste collection agency.

Houston - Autumn - drabWest of Scotland: on a dreicht, overcast and damp day, a miserable, brow-beaten middle-aged man loses the coin toss / argument / will to live and his wife sends him into the overgrown garden. He accidentally bends the leaf-rake on the second sweep of the heavy, sodden leaves. For the next hour he pushes the leaves into little manageable bundles with his feet, which he then stoops to lift into the appropriate refuse bin. He finally risks a hernia by dragging to the pavement for (eventual) collection by the local council.

New England: little mammals take advantage of the new, insulated and warm sanctuary created by the recent fall of leaves. They are pictured in various wildlife journals all cute, curled up and comfortable.

West of Scotland: little hedgehogs and other small mammals form an orderly queue at the local housing offices, citing the damp, cold and drab conditions they are expected to live in. They are pictured in various daily newspapers brandishing placards and threatening legal action.

FireworksNew England: having served notices of eviction to the adorable little mammalian tenants, happy and excited families from the street gather round the residual piles on Bonfire Night. A match is placed under the leaves. They ignite almost instantly, spreading a cozy glow across the garden that warms the feet of those attending the fireworks display, and now busy toasting marshmallows in the fire’s periphery.

Bonfire smokeWest of Scotland: a boxful of spent matches lie strewn on the ground beside the slimy, wet pile of leaves. That brow-beaten, middle-aged man again loses the the coin toss / argument / will to live, and is supervised by his impatient, irksome neighbour as he siphons a litre of petrol from his car into an empty bottle. Having splashed this over the sodden leaves, he flicks the flame of a disposable lighter onto the musty mound. It ignites. Eventually. But there is no immediate, spreading warmth.

There is smoke. Lots of smoke. It brings tears to the eyes of those trying to quickly retrieve their still cold potatoes from the base of the supposed fire, before the litre of ‘unleaded’ permeates the skin.

The  kids from the street have lost interest and are now indoors playing Xbox. The wives are now in the kitchen and on their third bottle of red. One of the husbands has gone home to check on the dog. Another excuses himself on the feeble excuse of having office work he should be doing.

The brow-beaten husband waits with the irksome neighbour for the smoking stack to extinguish. There is silence in the garden. A heavy, damp silence.

 

And the winner is …………

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19 Self-Editing Tips For Your Writing

pencils-self-editing-help

Re-posted from the ‘A Writer’s Path‘ blog – even though it does probably mean a complete redraft of ‘Evhen & Uurth.’

by Jacqui Murray Now that I’ve published my first novel, To Hunt a Sub, I can say from experience that writing it and editing it took equally long periods of time (and marketing is just as i…

Source: 19 Self-Editing Tips For Your Writing

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