‘Equal Rites’ by Terrry Pratchett

(**** Four out of Five Stars.)


Terry Pratchett books are my favourite! They are always a good read.

This was just the third in Pratchett’s Discworld series, so it’s maybe no real surprise it feels a little rough around the edges. I got the impression it was perhaps written in two parts, with a bit of time passing between them. For two thirds of the tale, I felt the story-line developing and with the scenes changing, it moved at a great pace. However, the last third, when all the ‘magic’ was happening, it felt a bit like it was written while on a psychedelic trip.

All that Demons and Wizards sort of stuff just dragged a little for me, and so unusually, I have awarded only four stars.

I would still highly recommended it though.

…and I’m back in the room – with a publishing agreement!

You’d have thought with all those months of Covid related lockdown, I’d have got myself sorted and completed the long awaited, humorous fantasy I’ve been promising for so many years.

Nope!

I think I have the attention span of a bluebottle.

I spent so much time reconnecting with friends from school I had neither seen nor spoken to for up to forty-five years, that I ended up starting a ’70s themed blog. Together with a pal from Primary school, we founded Once Upon a Time in The ’70s where contributors are invited to recount tales of growing up in the late ’60s and through the ’70s.

It’s doing alright, thank you very much.

Just prior to that, I had begun writing a themed series of short stories, but the ’70s blog somewhat took over through 2021. (Technically, I don’t suppose I can call half a story a ‘series’ anyway, but the intention’s there at least.)

However, the enthusiasm and determination has been given a welcome boost by rather unexpectedly signing a publishing agreement with Victor Publishing. In their words, they are at the moment, still classed by Amazon and one of the ‘little guys,’ but I was pleasantly surprised to see I actually have three of their books on my bookshelf.

Us ‘little guys’ need to stick together, you know!

The immediate result is that my 2015, self-published book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ which had just been sitting on Amazon’s virtual shelf gathering virtual dust for the past five years, has been re-published.

The book cover now displays the slightly amended title of: ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee – The life and smells of a Pet Professional’ and is available across all Amazon platforms. The hope is it will also eventually be stocked by certain High Street stores.

That’d be pretty cool!

A Culture Addicted to FREE—How FREE is Poisoning the Internet & Killing the Creatives

This interesting, thought provoking and I reckon, totally ‘bang-on’ article first appeared on Kirsten Lamb’s blog on 9th February.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image used with permission from the creator Ira Gelb. Image “Not for Sale” used with permission from the creator Ira Gelb who’s an activist in stopping Human Trafficking but authorized this image for use outside.

It’s funny, at various junctures I’ve felt propelled to tackle certain topics, even when that made me very unpopular. My biggest leviathan to date has been this notion of artists being expected to work for free, and I believe the reason that this topic is weighing so heavily on me is that, for the first time in years I’m no longer enthusiastic about our future.

In fact, I’m downright frightened, because of THIS.

I Feel Sick

Yesterday morning on my Facebook, a friend shared this open letter to Oprah Winfrey from a local performer in the Bay Area, Revolva, whose act caught the attention of mega-icon Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah was holding The Life You Want conference and the producers contacted Revolva to see if she…

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Book Week Scotland

Talking about Marley - not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

Talking about Marley – not Bob, as on the T-shirt. The character from DD&RW.

With copies of ‘DAMP DOGS& RABBIT WEE,’ in all their libraries, West Dunbartonshire Libraries & Cultural Services invited me to host their closing session of the Book Week Scotland celebration.

To say I was surprised to be asked is an understatement. Especially when I saw that the list of speakers from earlier in the week included Arne Dahl, the Swedish crime writer whose books have been serialised on UK television.

I was even more, and very pleasantly, surprised that an audience of twenty-five interested people braved the horrendous weather to come long to Balloch Library to listen to my patter.

It’s been a while, a long while, since I last spoke to a group of people. I’m more used to talking to dogs, cats and rabbits these days. Lizards too. They’re hard work, though.Book Week Scotland - Balloch Library - 28th Nov 2015 - 3

A few excerpts were read from the book, followed by a pretty extensive Q&A session, followed by a book signing and one-to-one chats.

Hopefully more Personal Appearance opportunities will present themselves, and maybe some other local councils will decide to stock their libraries with the book.

But even if nothing else should happen from here, I thoroughly enjoyed my afternoon at the head of Loch Lomond and my thanks go to all who organised the afternoon and those who turned up  …… and even bought the book!

The last book is sold.

The last book is sold.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.

Ran out of books! Had to take list for order.