Gallot

In the absence of anything original to post, here’s a pretty weird but funny little short story from a geezer in the CLOG Group on Goodreads. It does contain a couple of wee swearies, but only to enhance the comedic effect.
Nice one, Andychap. 🙂
(I really must get the finger out and get back to this writing lark.)

Andrew Chapman @AndyChapWriter

Gallot

Gallot knew things. Ask him and he’ll confirm it.

“Gallot,” you’ll say, “I hear you know things.”

“What do you know?” he’ll likely reply.

Gallot was a simple man, in my opinion. He wore this weird coat that had too many pockets and only one sleeve. I think he found it in a charity shop. He told me once he traded his shoes for a pair of shoes. He never elaborated. The shoes he was wearing had holes in them.

The last time I saw him he was telling me about his job. I couldn’t believe he had a job. Turns out he’s a professional fool. He doesn’t get paid and he has no business card. What he does have is a deep frown line and a pet cat that looks a lot like a dog. If you were to ask me I would say it was a cocker spaniel…

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Foxes and Hares.

This is another thirty-year old effort that resurfaced when tidying my office.

(I’m sure I also caught a glimpse of Lord Lucan, but he legged it before I could ask him for ID.)

The poem was intended to draw a parallel between the blood-sports here in UK and the apartheid rule of South Africa at that time. Both issues have been addressed since, thankfully, and so the work is perhaps a bit dated. (I prefer to think of it as a ‘historical’ piece, now.) 😉
That said, I guess it’s still relevant in principal to any repressed people across the world.

(Image by Jackie Morris.)

FOXES & HARES

As the setting sun sank slowly at dusk,
Casting long, warm shadows that engulfed the dust,
The Hunters would return from the vast grassy plain,
Tired but happy their sacks filled with game.
Soon food-flavoured smoke would linger till light,
And the African Herdsman would sleep well that night.

Life then was so simple, free from worries and cares
For they were born to be free, like the foxes and hares.

The years flickered by and Time brought with it, Change.
And Time brought the White-Man, alien, strange.
And the White-Man was ‘civilised’ and so started a reign
Of torture and killings and anguish and pain.
And families were driven from homes lovingly made,
And The Herdsman was herded to start the slave trade.

They were used to being free in that Land that was theirs,
But now they were hounded, like the foxes and hares.

Where The Herdsman once lived off the fat of the land,
The White-Man now lives – The Herdsman’s been banned.
Banished to townships, ramshackle and crude,
Condemned to exist like no White Man ever could.
Found guilty of living, he’s been sentenced to die;
But though his body is broken, his spirits are high.

The Herdsman’s been captured in White-Man’s evil snares,
But he’s screaming and fighting, like those foxes and hares.

Chased and tormented by White-Man’s power lust,
Those Foxes and Hares are running, lungs fit to burst.
And the red-coated Huntsman sits high on his mount,
As his blood-thirsty hounds rip their victim’s heart out,
And while its terror-filled screams are heard here in UK,
“We’ll sort it, tomorrow,”  is all the politicians say.

And the public is outraged, but does anyone really care
About what exactly is happening to those Foxes and Hares?
_______________

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Slim Chance.

The things you find when clearing out your office!

(This was written many, many years ago for my wife’s Slimming Club, when she was expecting our second son. It’s a humorous but hopefully inspirational tale produced principally for women seeking to lose weight.)

Bloke readers also welcome, of course.

SLIM CHANCE.

‘Fat can be beautiful,’ or so I was told
As I undid my corsets and watched the ripples unfold.
But given the choice, I’d rather be lean,
An hour-glass figure was my ultimate dream.

But dreams turn to nightmares as we all know,
And this weight-losing business can really be slow.
So I bought some diet-biscuits to help me get slim,
They said on TV that they’re just the thing.

But after a month, I’d gained three more pounds!
I turned the air blue with cursing sounds;
I didn’t understand – how could it be
That such a dreadful thing be happening to me?

As the days dragged on, I grew more annoyed,
My life became empty- a proverbial void.
ANOTHER FOUR POUND INCREASE? This could not be real,
I’d eaten those biscuits after EVERY meal.

Ah. So that’s what went wrong. I’d now seen the light.
I gave up all stodge and continued the fight.
I resolved to try real hard, no cheating, then who knows,
This time next week, I could re-sight my toes.

But it didn’t work out, my toes stayed in the shade,
And I pondered exactly what mistakes I had made.
Matters got worse and sometimes I was ill,
Then it dawned what had happened – I’d forgotten my Pill!

I WAS PREGNANT!

I really was ‘in the club’ – and not a slimming one,
But it guaranteed a weight-loss second to none.
No exercise programme; no diet sheets needed
And seven months later my tummy receded.

Now eating for two is a hard habit to break,
But I tried to cut down for the housekeeping’s sake.
But like all ‘best-laid plans of mice and men’
It wasn’t too long till I was fat again.

Come bath-times, I looked like a beached baby whale
And all magazine diets were doomed to fail.
Obviously now, something HAD to be done,
Drastic measures to be taken – but which way to turn?

THEN A FRIEND SAID:

“Go try a slimming club, they’ll help you cope,”
So I wobbled on down, my heart filled with new hope.
“Please help me lose weight, I beseech. No, I BEG”
“No problem,” they laughed, “We’ll cut off a leg.”

All joking over, my statistics were taken,
The truth was out, there could be no faking.
“Cut out the chocolate and alcoholic drink,
And it won’t be too long till your tum starts to shrink.”

They suggested I take a more positive view
And in a few weeks there’d be compliments due.
But if friends start to laugh, think “Nuts to them all,
I’m not overweight, I’m just under tall.”

My stomach was rumbling – a real weird sensation,
But I would not give in to this evil temptation.
They advised me at meal-times don’t over indulge
And I’d soon have victory in this Battle of the Bulge.

And slowly but surely I began to lose weight,
First a pound, then five, and eventually eight.
It gradually got easier by doing as they taught
And not being discouraged by negative thought.

And within six weeks I’d shed a whole stone
And all carbohydrates were banned from my home.
My clothes no longer fitted, but it was small price to pay –
I liked the new me, and I was here to stay.

__________

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Inspiration or distraction?

Finally! I’ve tidied my office / writing room and now feel totally #inspiredtowrite.

I have however, for the first time in ages, now got the means of playing my vinyl and CD collection. I’ve also, for the first time ever, discovered the benefits of streaming music and Bluetooth speakers.

I even have a fridge full of beer.

Whether or not I actually get back to writing my new book tomorrow remains to be seen.

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READERS IN U.S.A. – now it’s your turn.

Mrs. G on October 1, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Oh my goodness, what’s not to love about this book? The author is supremely Scottish and it’s all about antics with animals. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I’d hire Mr. Jackson to care for my pets in a heartbeat–except I think I’d prefer to go along on the walks to see all the adventures myself.

This marvelous narration takes the reader through the ins and outs of life as a Pet Care Professional. Dog, cat, and bunny lovers will all find moments they recognize as well as plenty of surprises. The writing is engaging, real, articulate … in a word–BRILLIANT! My kindle’s pages are marked all over with passages that had me in stitches. Mr. Jackson could surely make any profession or commonplace activity sound far more entertaining than it really is, but when the spirited cast includes these special dogs (and one alarming hamster in particular), it’s even better.

Since this is a real life story, I don’t know how we wrangle a sequel, but I certainly want to read more from this author!

This is it!
The last hurrah for my first book,  ‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE.‘  In celebration of its second anniversary, you can buy the Kindle version for a measly 99 cents until 17th August. 

It’s time now to concentrate on my new work, the long awaited, much vaunted, light-hearted fantasy that is ‘Evhen & Uurth’ (I know, it’s a dreadful working title, and it will change.)

Right, gotta go. I’ve got a psychopomp with a ‘history’ and a  bad tempered crow … sorry raven, to sort out.

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The Second Lord of Procrastination & Broken Promises.

That’s me, that is: The Second Lord of Procrastination and Broken Promises.
(The First Lord met an untimely end when, on the eventual realization that Time waits for no man, he tried to catch up with it by removing the batteries from his clock. He consequently failed to notice the time of High Tide was fast approaching and rather sadly, he drowned.)

Some authors have learnt well from this little parable. But not all. Like me, for example. Right now, I feel I should be editing the first ten chapters of ‘Evhen & Uurth,’ (w/t) and not procrastinating until I’ve written some half-baked blog post.

Or should I?

What’s more important? Writing a potential best-seller  or, letting prospective readers know that you’re writing a potential best seller?

I’ve been pretty slow to the social media table, but two years after the release of my first (ok – only) book, I’m becoming more convinced of its value.

See, I figure that just about anyone who writes a book, writes a ‘potential’ bestseller. Take the ‘Fifty Shades’ series by E.L. James. The first of these, and I presume the others, was widely acknowledged as being, well, for want of a better description … crap.

Tell you what – I wish I could write books as crap as them! And indeed, I probably can. You probably can. We all can. The difference between our crap books not selling and Ms James’s making her a very rich and successful woman, is social media. The hype, and even in this case the negative comments, that surrounded the initial ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ book piqued the curiosity of a certain demographic who just had to see what all the fuss was about.

It’s really a case of establishing a market-place for your book and unashamedly promoting it. But in the right manner.

From my experience, there’s no point in spamming the book-buying public. Scattergun Tweets to a following of possibly thousands is unlikely to generate much in the way of sales, if any at all. And cold-calling messages sent on Facebook are about as effective as a telephone call from a PPI claims team. What’s required, is genuine interaction with people interested in the subject matter of your book – be that flying saucers, trolls, cozy romance or in my case, psychopathic rabbits.

Over the past couple of years, I have read some really excellent books by authors I greatly admire, especially so regards the other members of the Goodreads CLOG group. (I distinguish them simply because their humorous writing is more the style I aspire to.) These books, regardless of how many have been sold, deserve to be read by many, many more people. Some, and I’ll spare the blushes of those to whom I refer, should in my opinion, have prominent display positions in national book stores.

The fact that they don’t, is down to a lack of self promotion. I know this to be true in the majority of cases to which I refer.

It doesn’t come easy. Most people, authors or not, worry about being perceived as boastful; being considered arrogant. As a Scot, it’s just not in my nature, for example, to tell anyone that I’m any good at anything. Self-deprecation is viewed as a valuable safety net up here:

“Ah – it’s just something I knocked up on a few rainy Tuesday afternoons. It was either that or clean out the cupboard under the stairs. Its not a serious effort to become an ‘author’ as such. If it sells a few copies, I’ll be happy.”

That’s the way do it. Glass half-empty. If the book sells well, then that’s a bonus. If it bombs, then we were prepared for it.

But with that attitude, which is the more likely?

I’ve learnt that with ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ if I go quiet on it, and don’t undertake some targeted campaign or other, then it may sell the odd one or two copies a month. It will perhaps be read a couple more times on Kindle Unlimited.

But if I do some work on it, tell dog / pet lovers about what a darned good read it is, then sales can be increased ten fold. And this is two years down the line from publication.

So, my point is this: not all procrastination of a work in progress is bad. Proactive and targeted use of social media is just as valuable a use of time as writing that book.

Getting your name known through interaction with potential readers of your particular genre is key.

Right, there you go. That should just about do it.

Now, let me just check the time of the next high tide.

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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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