From This Author’s Desktop… Today

The week continues on Twitter’s #writingcommunity hashtag…

Oh, good grief. December 1… it will finally be over.

In contrast, the opinion from the man and the general who would eventually become the first president of the United States, who starting with his “General Orders, November 5, 1775,” banned the “observance” in the camps of the new United States army… and he explained why:

As the Commander in Chief has been apprized of a design form’d, for the observance of that ridiculous and childish Custom of burning the Effigy of the pope—He cannot help expressing his surprise that there should be Officers and Soldiers, in this army so void of common sense, as not to see the impropriety of such a step at this Juncture; at a Time when we are solliciting, and have really obtain’d, the friendship & alliance of the people of Canada, whom we ought to consider as Brethren embarked in the same Cause. The defence of the general Liberty of America: At such a juncture, and in such Circumstances, to be insulting their Religion, is so monstrous, as not to be suffered, or excused; indeed instead of offering the most remote insult, it is our duty to address public thanks to these our Brethren, as to them we are so much indebted for every late happy Success over the common Enemy in Canada.

Likely at least in part due to his order in the army, this “celebration” ceased to take hold in the independent United States of America. And that was/is a good thing. I explained more in a post one year ago today: “Why Americans Don’t ‘Remember, remember, the fifth of November’…”.

Sorry, sorry, a bit of the serious former academic historian dribbled out of me there. 🙂

The only time “word counts” matter.


My wife suggested mine. The last name is a variation on our actual surname, while the initials are my real first initial and my real middle initial. Pretty simple, I guess.

I like to listen to music. Often classical. Often middle of the road.

Often indie performers, too. Here are three from SoundCloud:

Indie author… indie singers.

Remarkable. Who would have thought that?

“…until she encounters a 19th century Russian warrior princess who is riding to Novosibirsk to locate the sacred vial of Unmalatium…”

I’ve told you, I’m no fantasy author.

I do get paid by readers who buy my books.

The most famous is probably the Fifty Shades author.

If you want to emulate her, that is.

Months ago I shared with a cousin my view (about her fan fiction writing daughter): I don’t like fan fiction. Done improperly it may be copyright-infringing, but more importantly (for a writer) it is (I feel) a colossal waste of creative time and intellectual effort “stealing” someone else’s copyrighted, or even long out of copyright (like Jane Austen’s), work and “rewriting” it, or concocting “sequels,” or “re-imagined” versions, out of admiration… when a writer should be “honing” their skills on their own ORIGINAL characters and ORIGINAL stories.

But that is just my opinion, of course…

…please, please, all you fan fiction writers, put down those pitchforks, “Harry Potter” wands, and Star Wars blasters!😂😂😂

Email them as the author and politely ask that they remove it. Don’t go at them with a figurative baseball bat just yet. Keep it civil and give the site a chance to respond.

It is your copyright, remember that.

Again, why I don’t like fan fiction.

I gather her writings are not “Jane Austen” fan fiction.

Or maybe, uh, they are? (“In charming Hertfordshire, at the home of a good family, beneath the drawing room, there was a dungeon…”)

Every book?

The blue cat runs faster than any known animal and even likes visiting Brussels, swimming in the Potomac, drinking diet cola, and hopes someday to be prime minister of Moldova. It seems unlikely she will ever meet with the Pope, but one never knows. And here we are, running around, writing on here and discussing blue cats. And imagine how to say that in Greek? A blue cat in the Aegean. Is anything odder? Probably a mountain climber who is afraid of heights. But we never know. Maybe like a deep sea driver who does not like getting wet? Well, he won’t if he wears a wet suit. However, if he listens to Ed Sheeran, he would probably like it. Imagine that music played by a cat in a wet suit who climbs mountains? It would change the world. Or it could be spam. We just can’t know. Hey, how am I doing? I’m doing just great. I can’t for the life of me understand how anyone could not like cookies? And Oreos? Great stuff, no? Do you drink? If you don’t, well, can I trust you really? It is hard to say. Maybe I’ll watch more New Amsterdam next…

There: 200 words, exactly. True, they make no sense. But they are words.

Seeing that tweet brought back this memory.

[Trilogy: Passports, Frontiers, Distances: Atlantic Lives, 1994-1997. Paperback. Photo by me, 2019.]

Remember this from yesterday?:

[Excerpt from Frontiers: Atlantic Lives, 1995-1996, Copyright, 2014. On Kindle for iPhone/iPad. Click to expand.]

Ah, what my parents and grandmother never knew. At school “Rita’s” locker was in my row and I had thought she was, like… just wow. But I was sure she did not know I was alive. She was also quiet, seemed to keep mostly to herself, and did not appear to have mobs of friends.

In a study hall of about 20 or so of us 14 year olds (talk about a “Roman arena” – all that was honestly missing were the lions), with no teacher in the room for a few minutes some guy I didn’t know was making fun of her the way idiot teen boys can, with a friend or two laughing and joining in. She had no real girlfriends in the study hall and rarely talked much to anyone in it. No girls stuck up for her either. I don’t remember exactly what the bully was saying to her as she sat several desks in front and to the side of him; it was just teasing stupid stuff, I think, about her hair (it was really long) for some dopey reason. Bullies always find something to pick on. Finally (I don’t think I even looked up from the book I was reading), as I sat on the other side of the room I huffed over at him, “Oh, why don’t you just shut up.” He replied in a tone that sounded like we were living (I recall thinking back from now) a really bad teen movie: “Yeh, what you gonna do [about it].” Moments later he threw a large spitball at her that hit her in the head and landed on her desk. The distressed look on her face at that was too much for me: I was livid.

The teacher returned not long after. We were suddenly all “angels.” And no one said anything to her… but I was bidding my time. The bell rang only a few minutes later, and we all started to leave the room. Out in the hall, from behind I tapped the guy on the shoulder, he turned around… and without saying a word I punched him in the face.

There, I thought, I just “did” something, uh, Slick. For you hitting her with that spitball. It was the best feeling I had ever had in my life.

Books were next thrown to the floor by both of us, and he and I scuffled (we were about the same size), but I had got in the first and best shot. When teachers appeared in the hall everyone scattered; no one wanted detention. It was my only “fight” in school. Today, though, if a teacher had seen me land that sucker punch I would have probably been arrested, placed on a “watch list,” and prescribed behavioral meds. I was also around that time as I recall reading The Last of The Mohicans for the first time and I probably fantasized I was being “Hawkeye.” (Defending the lady; that sort of thing.😂) Ah, the struggles of teenagerhood – they are much the same the world over.

The next time we were in that study hall that guy said not a word to me and stayed clear of me and I ignored him. But “Rita” had seen what I had done the day or two before and sat next to me and passed me a note with her phone number. After I got to know her, she told me she had seen me at my locker regularly too and she had wondered if I was ever going to say anything to her.

I know I have written about that before.

But I have not written previously here that I also recall one evening a few weeks later when I was in bed but hadn’t yet gone to sleep. I overheard from upstairs my mom down in the lounge say “Rita’s” name, so I got out of bed and opened my door a crack. Mom was not “soft-spoken” by nature; she was laughing as well as sounding like she was crying while talking to my dad about “Rita.” (“Oh, come on. Stop it now,” I heard my dad implore her at one point.) I realized Mom was lamenting I had a girlfriend. I have never forgotten that.

I do miss my mother despite how she could at times be one helluva pain in the you know where and I suppose I always will.

I make no secret that my life has been something of a source. Not all of it naturally. Interesting parts. Some moments.

[A Paris view. Very old photo, by me, 1994. Look familiar? It’s on the back cover of the paperback version of Passports.]

That is seen in this very post, and of course all over my site here…

[Potton, Bedfordshire, local magazine, November 2019. Photo by me.]

…and it continues to serve as inspiration:

[Excerpt from Tomorrow The Grace, Copyright, 2019. Paperback proof copy. Click to expand.]

That was quite a post. You probably wish I would start writing a new novel sooner rather than later. After all, when I finally do, I will have less time to blog. LOL!

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂