Chapter 3

 Desperately seeking Innocent.

It was a relatively short, though oppressive walk to the City of Setebos. The woodland clung to their breath as they toddled along in search of forgiveness and a potential cure. The sky looked down gravely on the heroes, overcasting doubt on the success of their mission. The Sun beamed her glorious smile onto the walls of the City, though her mind was elsewhere; she was trying to find a solution for a disenfranchised Sloth in the jungles of South America.

The City walls of Setebos had once been magnificent, a testament to the Greatness of the Old Fairies, The Lords of Uranus. Creatures had travelled from all over the planet to gaze upon the high white marble structures that told a tale of great wealth and great breeding. In those days the walls had been more than necessary.

They exhibited the splendour of the Fairy Kings but also were needed to keep out the riff raff, the ne’er do wells, down and outs, Harold Ramps, disgraced Defence Ministers, Letting agents and marauding Orcs.

Long gone were the times of the deadly Wars of the Fairies and Orcs. Many an Orc had been toasted before, during and after a battle and many a Fairy turned into a spit–roasted delicacy.

Fortunately this is no longer the Norm.

At the last great Siege of Setebos in the reign of King Grayson of Everard, the Orcs had caught a case of Darwinian Evolution. They went for a full one hundred and eighty degree about turn in their attitude. Here they lay at the walls of Setebos demanding the surrender of the City and the consumption of the majority of its inhabitants and then suddenly, shazam, they left to research the pros and cons of the Financial Services Industry.

Legend has it that the leader of the Orc Army, Krak Ed, sat musing on the costs of the siege. His men were getting very hungry, what with the long trek north, the building of siege wagons and the constant bombardment of the city with anything that could be catapulted; so Krak Ed began a cost-benefit analysis of being a devastating Warlord. What was the point, he thought, of putting in all this effort, losing good men to the slings and arrows of outrageous Fairies, only to find he was out of pocket at the end? This was not great asset management. He’d raised his own venture capital by stealing from everyone he’d ever met and his potential profit would be to eat the King of the Fairies.

Is this my raison d’être he mused in a pretentious manner.

His head began to fill with Profit and Loss accounts, Angel Investors, Debt Management, Claims Management, Fraud, Theft and Financial Scamming. There was more than enough reason to create a Financial Cartel.

So he called his Chieftains together and explained their new approach.

They would become Financial Advisors, Accountants and Tax Inspectors.

He had to eat a couple of the guys who initially disagreed with his plan; however they soon all approved so they packed up and went home. Thus began a New Age of Enlightenment on Uranus. Nobody would dare cheat at Tax because the consequences could be fatal; despite the attempt at civilisation some Orcs were still partial to eating their victims, and of course being eaten for failing to declare a proper income was considered a just punishment in these parts.

Many of the Orcs began to take on more conventional names in order to appear more acceptable to their clients. No one would be tempted to visit a Financial Advisor called Rippy Zedoff or Head Muncher or Fairy Eater; so they changed their names to things like Bob, Steve and Rupert. However in these later days there are some of the younger Orcs who like to be a bit of a throwback and take on names such as Gaz, Jonno or Wayne, Dwayne, Rap and David.

Thus it had been a long time, been a long time, been a long lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely time since anyone had attacked the great City of Setebos. As a result the Great Walls had fallen somewhat into decay, with buddleia, wall flowers and mosses covering much of the once Magnificent Marbled exterior. There were gaps that grew larger each year as the inhabitants helped themselves to the stones for more useful functions such as Wall Fillers, Door Stops and Argument Solvers. Even the Great Gate at the Western side of the Great City stood permanently open, its Great hinges rusted into place after so many Great Generations of Great Peace.

Things were just Great.

The City did like to maintain some semblance of its former glory, so posted a Guard on the bridge in front of the West Gate. The Guard usually consisted of ten to a dozen of the most friendly and helpful creatures to be found on Uranus, the Gnomes. The Gnomes that formed the Guard came from families in which generation after generation had dedicated their lives to the service of the City, not unlike The Household Cavalry and The Swiss Guard and The Hells Angels. These wonderful Gnomish families were known collectively as the Guarding Gnomes and wore the livery of the Guard, a green tunic, red belt, blue trousers and brown Welly-Bobs; headgear was left as a personal choice. In an attempt at remembering their role in the defence of the city each carried a shield of Red bearing a golden wheelbarrow and also carried a ceremonial Fishing Rod.

They were always very, very helpful.

Hence it was that Peter and Greg meandered out of the wood toward the Great Gate at the Western edge of Setebos. Greg lurched along like an Orang Utan on Valium, whilst Peter minced forward, buttocks pulling his legs in strange directions, chuff stuffed with melting lard. They made a handsome sight which any unattached female would have run from; except perhaps one of those girls you meet just before the last dance at a nightclub.

They approached the Gate.

A friendly Gnome approached, bowed and smiled a smile that would have made the smileyist thing in the Universe envious.

“Good day to you gentleman,” said the Gnome. “I am Steve, the captain of the Guard for today. What can I do for you? I would guess by the way you are moving that there is a tale of Great Deeds attached to you two fine young travellers!”

“He’s got the Dukes!” declared the Goblin, demonstrating his total lack of tact.

The Gnomes on the bridge took a collective deep breath and blessed themselves with the sign of the wheelbarrow. A Pixy with the Dukes! was more than a tale of Great Adventure, it was a tale of Derring-Do, without a Poo. It was a tragedy they had not experienced before, and one that threw their communal morality into a spin. There was only one way a Pixy could find himself in such a State, and that was a betrayal of the Royal Trust.

 And yet deep down who wouldn’t risk their all for a chance with fine looking tart?

“In the name of the great Fishing Rod!” declared Steve, “you will need a lot of help with finding a solution to that problem.”

“Yes I worked that one out for myself!” said Peter.

“If the Dukes! strike harder it will be the only thing you can work out for yourself!” said Steve gravely.

 “Well look at this, a Gnome with a sense of humour, how unusual.”

The scene could have got ugly now if it wasn’t for the inbreeding amongst the Guards and the subsequent automatic sense of duty to help.

“You’ll need some advice from the King,” said Steve.

“Is he at home today?”

“As luck would have it, yes!”

“So how do we get to see him?”

“Normally,” said Steve in a business-like manner, “you would have to go and see the First Minister Lord Chalfont or his assistant The Warwick Hunt. However today those two are off playing a game of golf, so I reckon you should just go up to the castle, ring the bell and say ‘Is Innocent in?’”

“And that’s it?”

The Gnome continued his explanation.

“If Lord Chalfont was here he would make you fill in Fairy Interview request form 117B ‘Audience with the King’. He would then interview you and ask the purpose of your visit and what you hoped to gain from the visit and any noticeable benefits to the King.”

“What type of benefits?”

“Oh the usual, you know, Gold, Silver, Silk, Pies, Cakes etc. The King is very fond of his Pies.”

“I see,” gloomed Peter.

“And after that interview you would be expected to spend a similar interview with The Warwick Hunt, a scary experience by all accounts.”

“In what way?”

“Well apparently The Warwick Hunt turned up here one day from the lord knows where. He is a fearsome creature, half man, half lard; some say he is a demon from another planet. But Lord Chalfont likes him. Warwick Hunt can scare away most folk that want an audience with the King. I believe he can just scare most people with his smell, his red face and very fat tummy. I think he is a semi-civilised Ogre myself, though a bit too intelligent. Lord Chalfont likes Ogres too!”

“So have I got to see this Warwick Hunt then?” asked a confused Peter.

“No,” said Steve. “I just told you he’s playing golf! Just go straight in. You’ll be more than welcome I’m sure.”

Peter and Greg looked at each other.

“So where are we going?”

“You walk down on the street, turn left and it´s door number three.”

The intrepid duo thanked the worrisome Gnome and set off for the next phase of this Great Adventure.


Chapter 2

The hero

The screams were unmerciful.

It was as though all the sinners of the world had combined into one unholy union and screeched their anguish into a synthesised megaphone.

Was someone being whipped a cripple?

The yelps of misery continued but fluctuated with a moaning like the desperate sob of a Brontosaurus attempting to open a packet of salt and vinegar crisps. Gregory the Goblin lurched silently toward the sounds; his fear being overtaken by his rubber-necked curiosity.

What could be making such a noise?

Here he waltzed, deep in the Dingleberry Dell, renowned for being one of the safest havens on the whole of Uranus. Could it be that one of the Ogres of The North had lost his way and fallen into disarray? Or perhaps a Harpy had crash landed and was pissed off at the lack of decent runways.

He inched forward.

The desire to witness someone in pain is strong, stronger than the desire to put someone in pain; which probably explains the profusion of Dentists, Teachers, Pox Doctors, Taxmen and Karaoke Singers.

Greg tried to move as quietly as possible, but being a lumbering galoot made that near impossible.

Another terrific squeal wrenched the Worried Woodland. Here lies bitter anguish, thought Greg. Here is a guilty party caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Or maybe even a cricketer bowled to middle stump without a box.

He tried to stoop, but remembered that he was bowlegged with a bad back, so just moved as normal. The Woodland thinned and the light grew stronger as Greg took the challenge of moving just that little bit more. The sneaky beaky instinct of a feral soldier lay deep in his Psyche. He peered out from behind one of the last trees and beheld an image that would haunt him for the rest of his days.


There in the middle of the glade, writhing like a demented eel in a bucketful of snot, was his old friend Peter the Pixy. He rocked and rolled across the ground, both hands grabbing tightly onto his arse, screaming for help.

“The Ring! The Ring!” he cried.

Greg watched for a while, keeping himself hidden in the gloom on the edge of the opening. This could be a dangerous trap.

Wizards, Warlocks and Wives are the only creatures with magic rings.

Perhaps some evil Wizard was watching and waiting, using Peter as bait to try and capture and enslave the unwary. Should he sidle off backwards and leave Peter to his fate, recalling later in life that it was either kill or be killed, and that a blast form a Wizards staff was not quite what he had in mind that day.


Or should he be a tough guy and dive in there, facing up to whatever Beastie was trying to destroy his old friend.


Greg watched as the pain ripped across his old friends face, dancing a Calypso as it pulled down the corners of his mouth, wrinkled his nose and made his eyes bulge like a Bubble Eye Goldfish!


As he pondered this dilemma Peter rolled closer and caught his eye.

“Greg you idle bastard get over here and help me!” yelled the noble Pixy. “My rear is on fire and I don’t have a way of extinguishing the flames.”

Greg hesitated for just a short while as the news was assimilated into his delightfully slow brain.

“Ok!” he said, casually sauntering toward his stricken pal, as he dabbed a handkerchief on the eye which Peter had caught.

Greg was a bit slow in the head but he had been trained well at the Goblin Military Academy in Goblin Town as a part of his Yoof Training Programme. He knew how to assess a situation, searching for emergency exits and potential traps. He was also rather good at First Aid, having spent some time doing a Lifesaver course with the St. Johnswort Ambivalence Brigade. He felt competent to assess the situation and to then formulate a plan.

“Dr ABC and two packets of Fishcakes! What’s the matter then mate?” asked the Goblin.

“Hell and high water!” squealed the Pixy, “I’ve been stricken by the Dukes!”

How the Fates laughed.

(Though nobody else did)

Only the good die young, they say; everyone else is destroyed slowly by the Dukes! What kind of dice did God have when he invented ailments?

‘Here’s a good one’ mused Odin; ‘I’ll let the veins pop out of their ring piece!’

Bacchus saying, ‘Look let’s make them get addicted to this so that their livers stop working and they lose family and friends and spend nights with pox riddled whores!’

And the Lord put emerods in their secret places.

Still, without ailments, how would we ever get to heaven?

Greg surveyed, perused and summed up the situation. There were no evil monsters waiting to grab him; no Harpies with Herpes; no wee timorous beasties desirous of nesting in his underpants; no Double Glazing salesmen hovering on the edge of Time with a Special Offer from The Manager that can only be held open until six o´clock that evening; and certainly no Timeshare tarts ready to enslave his income for the rest of his life.

Just his old friend Peter writhing in agony whilst clutching tightly onto his buttocks.

“The Dukes!” mused the gregarious Goblin. “How did that happen?”

There was anguish, fear and guilt in the eyes of the Pixy.

Greg mused again – if we need to vote I´d say the eyes have it.

“I will tell you the whys and wherefores after you have extinguished or at least dampened the burning!” strained Peter.

Greg considered.


As usual he was carrying his rather useful twenty-five litre day pack, with integral meshing, a top pocket and a double zip: with a breathable day sack and neoprene labels. It contained all of the items any person could expect for emergency aid, including a mobile phone with GPS, three glue sticks, a tampon, a calculator, a cuddly toy, three banjo sprockets, a camel pack and a packet of camels, stapler and hole punch, a crocodile clip and an alligator clasp, a First Aid Kit from Boots the Shoe Shiner, a torch, three felt tip pens in contrasting colours, a waterproof pad and pencil and a pack of cheese and chutney sandwiches, on wholegrain, wrapped carefully in a resealable bag. He dug deep and found a fire extinguisher.

“Get you kecks off mate.”

Peter paused his pulsating writhing.

“What Class of Fire Extinguisher is that?” asked the pained Pixy.

Greg checked carefully.

“Foam,” he said, “suitable for both Class A and Class B fires.”

“I´d much prefer a powder extinguisher as they are far more suitable for organic materials,” re-joined Peter.

“But devilishly difficult to clean up the mess later, and if inhaled could cause damage to the upper respiratory system,” explained Greg.

Peter paused and felt the fire burning in his ring.

“Feck it, foam will do!” he squealed in agony.

There was a scything whoosh as a jet of freezing foam attacked the burning in the Pixy’s bum. The air froze momentarily as ecstasy overtook Peter’s mind. Endorphins poured around his brain, having been relieved of the duty of trying to hide the pain, they now decided to give him a party in his head.


Where once the throngs of decay had waltzed on his face Peter now felt the Bosa Nova shimmying across his physiognomy.

This was pleasure.

This was relief.

This was foam up the Jacksy.

“Another squirt please mate!”

Time passed slowly, but then it always does when waiting for something to happen. Like waiting for last night’s conquest to leave your apartment the next morning, without dying of embarrassment; Or waiting for the government to make a decision about pay rises for key workers; or sitting through a Maths test; or watching teenagers have a great time at a Halloween Disco organised by Mrs. Skank.

For Peter the natural opiates dissipated their relief, causing the Pixy to start assessing his anal situation seriously. He couldn’t spend the rest of his days walking round with a fire extinguisher, dreading an attack and the ensuing embarrassment. Dropping his trousers mid dinner party would be quite a social faux pas.

Oh how the other Pixy’s would gossip!

“Well there I was just about to take a sip of my Cranberry juice when low and behold Peter puts his bare bottom in the middle of the table and shoots it full of Foam; I mean really!”

The two friends sat nervously on the grass, Greg repacking his daysack while Peter pulled his kecks up and tried his best to sit on one buttock at a time. Peter could tell that Greg was slowly disapproving of his old friend.

Old Friend! 

A Pixy and a Goblin with a close friendship was certainly a rarity on Uranus. The Class Consciousness of Uranus makes the Gimps of Britain look relatively Socialistic.

It was the reforms of the Great Fairy King, Peter the Grate, that established a ranking system on Uranus. The Fairies are at the top of the Social tree, being more naturally gifted, talented and good looking than anything else you would find. The current Absolute Constitutional Ruler was Innocent, King of the Fairies, who had ruled for many a happy and glorious year along with his wife Queen Dillberry.

The Pixy’s liked to consider themselves as the next level in Society even if this was often disputed by the Elfs and the Brownies. Then somewhere below this came the Orcs and Goblins; though with the high-tech world on Uranus, and a good understanding of the Financial Markets, many of the Orcs were making their way up the slippery social ladder.

So with potentially four ranks between them, a Pixy and Goblin really shouldn’t be close friends.  The reality is they shouldn’t even spend time at the same urinal.

The thing is, see, they are the same age, give a day or two, and enjoy the same interests and pursuits. Both have marvellous stamp collections, Peter specialising in blue coloured stamps, Greg having a post-modernist compilation of red examples. Both had a penchant for model railways, spending many a happy hour arguing the merits of the different gauges available (even though mostly by mail order). They loved to go fishing, hiking, camping and drinking together. The drinking sometimes caused a few problems, as the more respectable boozing dens were not too keen on letting Goblins onto the premises.

“Keep an eye on that Goblin or it will steal something” was a common taunt. Rightly so as it turned out, as Greg loved to take cutlery and coffee cups from wherever he went.

Still, that’s life.

Or is that Still Life?

Peter turned back to the immediate.

“Listen, Greg, I need a proper cure for this problem.”

Greg paused.

“What caused it?”

Peter paused.

It was clearly a time for pauses, though just at this moment there was a distinct absence of canines.

Peter did not like to admit to his mistakes. In fact he oafishly boasted that he no longer made mistakes, claiming that whatever action he took was the right one at the time and of course hindsight would often show he should have made a different decision.

But you can’t.

When it’s done it’s done.

Live for today and tomorrow and forget the past.

Actually if we forget all of the Living in the Past there would never be any need for Historians, Archivists, Librarians, English Teachers or Jethro Tull.

Peter guiltily reflected on his actions in the last few months.

He had always been happy with the food he had eaten for so many years. Yes it was getting a bit repetitive but it was solid sustenance.  Double burger and chips and beans Pixy style; Acorn soup; Macaroni cheese; Cauliflower in gravy; Avocado if it was in season; Cheddar Cheese on Water Biscuits; a Partridge in a pear tree; Full English from the Greasy Spoon; Chips and Curry; Naan and a Balti; and Whisky on a Sunday.

But as he got older he began to crave some excitement. He wanted to let himself into the kitchens of the Fairy King and feast on Fairy Cream Pies. He knew this could be dangerous as the inner workings of a lowly Pixy must, by definition and nature, be very different to the plop producing biomes of the higher echelons. Does a Pixy produce the same food reducing enzymes as a Fairy? Would both creatures have the same number of Villi? Perhaps Fairies could break down cellulose and avoid the need ever to poop! Did they even possess a colon? And how many Angels can dance the Light Fandango on the top of a pin? These Questions soared through his brain, tempting and teasing him into action.

It is irrelevant and dangerous to allow ones mind to wander like this.

Still Peters craving for a nice bit of Fairy Pie persisted.

As a Pixy, Peter was very much amongst the privileged members of Society in the Government City of Setebos. He didn’t have to live under a bridge like a Troll, or collect pieces of hazardous waste like a Gremlin. He could have as much mischievous fun as an Imp without carrying the stigma or he could be as imperious as a Fairy without having to keep a rod up his backside. It was the best position to have in Society, being near the top but still having the fun of the bottom feeders.

Still the craving persisted.

Fairy Pies and Fairy Cakes.

He thought about the Queens dainties and the Kings Hot Cross Buns. He dreamt about Fairy Cakes and Custard Cream Pies, of Apple Crumble and Raspberry Tarts.

Of Battenberg and Muffins.

He dreamt of Fairy Muffin until it became an insatiable craving.

It was the Queens Tarts that got him in the end.

“I sneaked in to the Fairy kitchens and stole a Tart,” he admitted.

Greg was dumbstruck, dumbfounded and dumb.

“Of all the most stupid and reckless things to have done!” squawked the Goblin. “Did you forget the prophecy?”

Peter reflected again.

“Where did you get that mirror?” asked Greg.

Peter chewed his bottom lip in contemplation of his silly misdeed.

Of course he knew the prophecy.

Every Pixy knew the prophecy, but it became so much of a myth, such as old wives tell, a bedside story for Pixylets, that he didn’t really believe it. Just a way for the anally retentive Fairies to try and keep us in our place, he thought.

Greg chanted out the old verse to remove Peter´s self-indulgent reverie.

“If a Pixy does eat some Fairy Tarts

The first he’ll feel is strangled farts,

And though such sounds produce big smiles.

His bum will soon be bulging piles”.

It was a daft prophecy.

Though in this case it turned out to be true.

When it comes to prophecies and old sayings Peter personally preferred the one about ‘he who smelt it dealt it’.

“My poop chute hurts so much mate, you’ve got to help me sort it out!”

Greg felt sympathy well up as rapidly as a slug on Valium.

In his book ´sympathy´ lay somewhere between ´shit´ and ´syphilis´.

The Military training took over with the grave Goblin. ´There is no such thing as a problem, only a solution´, he glibly said to himself.

“Listen Old Peter Old Pixy Old pal. I can get you a series of temporary solutions but you’re gonna have to sort yourself out in the long run. It’s relatively easy to get a short-term cure for the pain but in the end you need to go deep inside your head and find out what possessed you to go chasing after an unattainable Tart.”


Greg was stunned that his condescending friend readily agreed.

“Cripes, are you Ok Peter,” asked the querying Goblin.

Peter paused.


“My arse is on fire and my future is probably blighted,” said the piqued Pixy.

“No I am not alright!”

Greg paused.


Never mind,” said Greg. “It doesn’t really matter.”

Greg paused as he waited for Peter to pause.

“Meanwhile you have to accept what I say,” said Greg once the pauses were complete.

Rummaging through his bag the Goblin withdrew a 454-gram block of lard.

“Here, stick this up your jacksy, it will act as a temporary lubricant, reduce the swelling and make you feel darned uncomfortable.”

“Why 454 grams?” asked the puzzled Pixy.

“Just pound it in there!” said Greg, secretly laughing at his own joke.

Peter rapidly followed his friends’ instructions, having no desire to put up with the pain of a broken bum for any longer than necessary. The lard worked, though made his nethers feel unpleasant. It was though he had followed through with a big pancake in his pants, without the embarrassment or the smell.

“What do I do next?” enquired the relieved Pixy as he pulled up his breeches.

“You may not like this bit but it has to be done.”


“We have to go and see King Innocent in the Court of the Fairies and ask his advice. If he can’t suggest a cure then you’re doomed to a lifetime of Foam Fire Extinguisher and lard.”

Peter reflected on this.

“That´s a really beautiful mirror,” observed Greg.

It had been oh so easy to get into this trouble.

A craving and a bit of daring.

A Tart.

Then trouble and strife.

A total pain in the bum hole.

How could a Fairy Pie cause so much trouble?

Now he needed to follow a plan to get himself out of this mess, a plan that would mean walking up the King and admitting what he had done. A plan that would take him to a place he had never visited before, where the streets have no names and the birds sing with French accents.

“No I will have no regrets.”

It would be the greatest challenge of his life, to finally admit that he had done something wrong and accept the consequences. Perhaps he would need to buy a pack of fags for the King and some Chocolates for the Queen.

“I’m ready,” said the chastened Pixy as he followed the lurching form of his old friend toward the City of Setebos and the Court of King Innocent.


Review – The Adventures of Fairy Hanny

I’m close to publishing the Third book featuring the gorgeous Fairy Hanny. In the next Adventure we see Hanny spirited away through Time to the Land of Faery, where she is enlisted to help the Sons of Turenn in their quests to pay off the Blood Debt owed to Lugh after the murder of Kian. At the same time I have begun the Fourth Adventure, this time involving that famous writer Enid of Brighton.

As I contemplate the dealings of Hanny as she goes In Search of Brownies, I thought it would be nice to go back to the beginning, to see how it all started. I will serialise the entire first Tale on this blog. The book is available through Amazon.

So let’s start to enjoy Strange Things from Uranus.

Let this be a warning to all…

“And it was [so], that, after they had carried it about, the hand of the LORD was against the city with a very great destruction: and he smote the men of the city, both small and great, and they had emerods in their secret parts.”

 (1 Samuel 5:9)


All Fairies talk with Liverpool Accents.

Gnomes are Gnomes and always Gnomes and ever more shall be so!

Wails is a real place.

Three points for every song or album title you spot.

Introduction –

Fairies wear boots

It may have been the night before Christmas, or the night after Christmas or even Christmas night; well it was definitely the end of December.

I think.

And it was definitely a night.

It may have been Easter but Easter is in May.

Or maybe not.

The clichés crowded my brain like a thousand railroad trains, though they didn’t give me all the confidence I lacked; still only Time will tell.  I told myself a thousand times to avoid the exaggerations but to no avail. I was having the time of my life and things would sort themselves out in a jiffy. Joey tried his best to mess me up – a day on the lash and a night on the hash and I rambled on without a care in the world.

Catherine Street.

Could be the name of an ex-girlfriend?

Paranoia was in a taxi and following close on my heels, I was certain of it. Turned left, turned right, left, right; military two-step in the back end of Liverpool. Oh hello Mr Hardman, fondled any young ladies recently; I seem to be stumbling down your street.

Bizzies eyeing me, waiting to pounce and complete their monthly quotas.

“I met my target Sarge!”


Or just slighted?

I had the moody blues in my days of future pissed.

As I was walking down this high street I heard a funny noise behind me. It could have been yet another cliché but my tingling spine told me otherwise.

 “Ha ha ha, he he he!”

I refused to look back.

I felt as brave as a lion but as weak as a kitten.

Liverpool City Centre can be wonderful or scary; nights of fun can turn quite hairy…

I was in fear of being beaten to a pulp with a crow bar, but I had nerves of steel and knees like jelly.

“Ha ha ha, he he he!”

My pharmaceutically enhanced brain conjured evil clowns, demons, assassins and lying politicians scheming slyly in the theatre of my brain. Well not that slowly really, as the dope, beer and speed were sending my neurons round and round and round like electricity.

Which they are anyway – neurons and synapses and that are all just electric charges – it makes me think.

But this was electricity with a Spark.

I was confused – could it be Muriel?

“Ha ha ha, he he he!”

I suspected a good pasting from an over zealous Scuffer keen to explain to his colleagues that he was as hard as nails as long as the opposition was a doped up hippy; so I slowly turned.

If my eyes had been working properly I would have described the sight before me; being stoned I couldn´t. However now with the passage of Time I will attempt a recall.

No more than three feet behind me and two foot tall stood a laughing Gnome, his middle finger on each hand explaining quite clearly his contempt for my state of repair. He grimaced beneath his overly long beard, red eyes blazing amusement as I tried to comprehend this vision. Hallucinating again Mr Swifty?

I should have expelled an expletive but the connection between my conscious brain and my tongue had long ceased to operate.

Something really Strange was taking place. An overdose of beer?


I heard the sounds again and thought maybe laughter is the best medicine.

Was something triggering my clichés?

“Look up in the sky now!” he said. “Can you see any flying saucers?”

I looked.

Flying saucers, flying teacups and flying teapots.

“Feck, feck, feck and Feckity feck!” was the best I could manage.

“I bet you can’t catch me,” said the laughing Gnome.

Well smoking and drinking was par for the course but I decided a cheeky little fecker like this would probably benefit from a decent kicking. I mean, it´s always the little things that drive me up the wall.

In my inebriated state I tried my best to say “Come here you little twat and I’ll kick your head in” but the actual utterance went more like


No matter.

We were off.

My tormentor, dressed in green (which I now understand is the favourite colour for visitors day) sped off down Hardman Street, his wheelbarrow kicking up dust and fag ends as his little legs carried him out of my reach. He shot across the road, weaving in between the cars, the drivers of which were attempting to get home before the breathalyser crews stopped them; the occupants not noticing him but cursing me with such dainties as “You feckin’ nutter!” or “You want yer ‘ead testin’ pal!” or “The cunt’s pissed!” or “He’s bloody bugs!” and “I say old chap, take a care with your running technique!”

No matter.

“Come here you bearded clam!” I screamed amongst the screeching tyres.

The Policeman held me up firmly by the collar. He tried to look me in the eye but became confused as they changed colour and focus like the lights on a Christmas tree.

His face told me he needed back up.

I told him I needed to catch that annoying little Gnome who was taking the piss out of me.

His face told me he would be requesting an ambulance and the on-call trick cyclist.

The Gnome stopped, smirked, gave me the middle finger again. The red mist that descended completed the evening’s clichés; a quick spin, push, kick and run ensured my name on a wanted list. The Rozza hit me in the head but it was tough like lead; so I punched him in the eye and he started to cry.

Another dodge.

A sidestep.

A shimmy.

The Gnome was by St. Luke’s shouting Gimmee Gimmee Gimmee.

“I’ll get the little fecker now Officer and you’ll see what I mean!”

I ran through the gates, stopped and wondered.

I ran through the gates!

But they weren’t open!

I ran through the gates!

Feck – smoked too much!

Well you’d better cut down a little.


A burnt out shell since 1941when a set of young German Pilots dropped their terror and shouted ´Gott mit uns!´only for the scousers to shout back ´we got mittens too!´

Or was that in another terrible Aristocratic tiff?

And here I am melting, running, transcending, going through the gates.

“Twat!” said the laughing Gnome.

“Ha ha ha, he he he! I’m a laughing Gnome and you can’t catch me!”

Oh no! A stolen line!

Somewhere inside a voice told me this wasn’t really happening and actually I was on the sofa at Joey’s brother’s house tripping the light fandango. A riff burst through my brain like a heavy metal thunder.

Then there she stood.

The most beautiful girl I’d ever laid eyes on.

Well not quite a girl.

A Fairy.

Not just any Fairy.

It was Fairy Hanny.

“Hello Swifty,” she said. “I thought you’d never get here!”

“Why didn’t you say ‘doo wah diddy diddy dum diddy do’?” I asked.

“Because I wasn’t just a walking down the street,” explained the succulent succubus.

She shimmered in a diaphanous rhapsody of light, the angel of the rainbow having cast his spell upon her. Her hair shone like the girl over there with the fair hair. Hanny is a vision of beauty in a way unknown.

Inexplicably stunning.

Deliciously described.

Her eyes milked the Milky Way, strode across the Universe, encapsulated the Galaxy, and glistened like raindrops on Mars. Like all of the heroines of such tales she was a lusciously lithesome lovely.

And she has big tits.

“I’ve been waiting for you,” she said.




“Waiting for you!”

I drooled a bit, calculating my options; she didn’t seem to notice so it must have been a sly drool.

“Waiting for me? Have you tried writing letters?” I asked.

“You need to come with us so you can write your letters about all of us, and all of our lives, and all of our tales, and capture in words all of our souls,” she explained.

Then she laughed.

Music started – a Solar Music Suite played by a Lunar Music Person of Restricted Growth.

It was the Gnome.

His wheelbarrow was now a Wordy Hurdy Gurdy, Music and Lyrics pouring out as if by Magic.

So Hanny began to dance.

With veils of delight slipping sensually from her slender frame, lithesome litigious long legs looped through the trance that was her dance. Every nuance of nicety nestled neatly knowing nothing needed now to get me to follow her wherever she led.

Then I noticed.

Those luscious legs laden with boots.

Big black military boots.

High lace.

Twenty four lace holes.

Brightly polished to a parade ground mirror shine.

“Fairies wear boots!” I exclaimed.

“Of course we do; how else would I get to kick your arse into the rest of this narrative!”

Things became a little strange after that…

An awesome sulphuric smell filled the Church.

“Oops!” said the Hanny, “probably those Dwarf Beans I had for breakfast.”

Then I was choking, smoking, yoking in a rhythmic union, beside the Sun, the one, that makes all the flowers grow. Here and now and then.

It was what is and what should never be.

From the corner of my eye I caught the shimmering silhouette of a Floppy Haired Fop, fiddling with something in his pockets.

“Am I going Insane?”

A worm hole caught me in his majesty and spun me through the Seven Open Lotuses on The Pool of Life, past seven Sides of Heaven and introduced me to Dawn on the other side of the Sky, coughed just the once, then deposited me on an alternative surface within our Solar System.

I sang my song to keep me alive as I landed on Planet Number Seven at Seven on the Seventh day of the Seventh month of the Seventh year in the Seventh Heaven of Outer Space. The Sun smiled on my predicament, which of course can cause a chap to lose confidence in his ability to make a gal smile.

The Moon Chortled from his Dark Side.

“You’ve landed on Uranus,” he laughed as I sat on my bruised rump.

From that day on I met them all.

Pixy’s, Goblins, Ogres, Brownies, Imps, Gremlins, Trolls and of course the beautiful Fairies.

So I feel compelled to write down everything about the Strange Things From Uranus.


After a couple of bad months, this was a nice message…

You’re not where you used to be, and that can be a good thing.

You have come so far in your journey.

You’ve outgrown so many unhealthy patterns and now you’re looking at life from a different perspective.

Embrace this transformation. You did your best to handle everything that happened around you.

You’ve survived a lot. You’ve carried yourself out of dark places.

Give yourself credit for practicing courage even when it was so hard.

Get ready to enjoy this new phase of your life, which is going to be so much better than what you’ve experienced until now.

Something wonderful is just about to happen.


How to Get Started Writing a Journal

Getting started journaling isn’t something that you need to think about too hard. Yes, there are numerous types and styles of journals and ways to do this that may or may not be more effective depending on your goals, but you can simply get some paper (or your computer) and get started today.

* Dust Off Your Pen and Paper – You don’t need anything special to keep a journal; in fact, purists believe that using pen and paper is the best way to journal because you can carry it with you anywhere and you don’t need technology. So, there will be no excuses.

* Do It First Thing in the Morning – Don’t procrastinate about keeping your journal. It’s best to do it in the morning before you begin your day so that you have the right frame of mind for the day. Plus, you only need five to ten minutes, so it’s not that big of a deal.

* Do It Last Thing at Night – Another time to do it is before bed. This works especially well for gratitude journals. That way you can go to sleep thinking about all the things you are grateful for instead of things you’re worried about.

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* Write Every Single Day – Whenever you choose to do it, try to set it up so that it becomes a ritual and a habit. Journaling every single day is going to be more effective than just doing it when you feel like it.

* Start Simply – Don’t start being worried about style and substance right now; just work on the daily habit with pen and paper (or if it’s easier for you, a computer or smartphone). Don’t make it hard – just get going.

* Begin with Today – Start right now and write about your day today. That’s the easiest thing to do. What of significance happened today? How did you feel about it? What would you do differently? What would you do the same?

* Try Different Types of Journals – Once you develop the habit, you can start trying several types of journaling like a bullet journal, or a vision journal, or maybe even a project journal for your next project.

* Keep It Private – The main thing to remember about your journal is that it should be kept private. The only exception is if you want to share thoughts with a therapist, counsellor, or coach. Or if you want to turn it into a book or course, to help someone else overcome whatever you overcame. Keeping a journal will help you deal with the things that happen to you as well as the things that have not happened to you. The main reason is that writing it down helps you remember what you did right and what you did wrong. It helps you improve your decision-making capacity for similar situations. The main thing is just to get start

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How Journaling Can Help with Mental Health Issues

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Some ideas to consider when journaling.

Keeping any type of journal will help with improving any mental health issues. However, if you really want to tackle a specific problem you’re having, it will help to determine the right type of journal to keep. Keeping a particular kind of journal may work best for your issue.

* Boosts Your Mood – If you really want to boost your mood, keeping a gratitude journal is where it’s at. All you have to do is once a day, preferably before bed, write down what you’re grateful for today. It might not seem like much but it’s immensely powerful for going to sleep, thinking positively about your life.

* Increases Your Sense of Well-Being – As you write out your thoughts, you’ll start seeing issues from a new angle just because you’re opening your mind to think about it. This is going to make you feel more capable of dealing with whatever happens.

* Lessens Symptoms of Depression – Understand that depression is something different from sadness, and that you likely need a counsellor. Writing it all down can make it seem less horrific so that you can feel better. Plus, you can look back at days you thought life was “over” and see better days after.

* Reduces Anxiety – The problem with anxiety is that it was designed to help us get away from immediate danger. It triggers the “fight or flight” response. If each time you have that anxious feeling you choose to write in your journal how you are feeling and why, you’ll start to control it better.

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* Lowers Avoidance Behaviour’s – Many people who have mental health issues practice avoidance behaviour’s such as not going to places that cause them anxiety, or not doing the things they need to do due to how they feel. When you write it out, it helps you get the feelings out but do the thing anyway.

* You’ll Sleep Better – Pouring your heart out into a journal is a wonderful way to get things off your chest. However, for sleep, go to the gratitude journal and write down what you’re thankful for today and go to sleep thinking of that.

* Makes You a Kinder Person – Exploring your own emotional state and accepting your own feelings while you work through what makes you who you are in your journal is going to make you naturally more empathetic to others too. Letting go of judgment for self improves your thoughts for others also.

* Improves Your Memory – This is almost a situation where you want to say “duh” but it has to be said. Writing down things helps you remember them because you can go back and read it, but also because the act of writing something down enables you to recall it.

One thing that can really help you make your journaling work is to learn how to keep one effectively. Make some journaling rules, do it every day to create a habit, and keep it private unless you decide to let your therapist see it or you decide to use it to help others. This is for you and only you for the most part.

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Ten Types of Journals You Can Create

When you begin journaling it will likely occur to you that having more than one type of journal might be the best way to keep everything organized better. When you have more than one type of journal, you can simply go to the specific journal to work on one issue at a time or keep something organized so you can make better decisions.

1. Bullet Journals – This type of journal is useful for anyone who has lots of to-do lists, loves using a pen and paper, and who enjoys goal tracking. Your journal should have a table of contents that you create as you add to the journal so you can find things. You will use symbols, colours, and lines to make your bullet journal. You should be able to understand at a glance what is on the page.

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2. Vision Journals – You may have heard of vision boards and this is essentially it, except it is a journal that helps lead you to your vision. The way it works is that you set up the journal to have only one goal per page. Then you can write words, add pictures, or draw something that enables you to make plans to reach that goal. When you do reach the goal, be sure to go back and add the date of achievement.

3. Line a Day Journals – Basically this journal is what it is called – you write down only one line a day. You will simply write in the journal a short line about what you did that day. It should be only a sentence or two at the most, and should not take up that much space in your journal. Some people like using a calendar and a pen for this.

4. Classic Journal – This is simply a diary, and you can write whatever you want in it every day. It can be long, short, or you can skip days if you want to. The classic journal is just like the diary that you maybe kept as a child. You write whatever you want in it daily.

5. Prayer Journal – This is a particular type of journal where you essentially act like your diary or journal is your higher power. Write God your prayers instead of saying them. Write them down so you remember them and can look back on them.

6. Dream Journal – Some people really like tracking their dreams because they believe that dreams provide signs for life. If you want to track your dreams, you have to train yourself to write in your dream journal every morning while you still remember the dream. Write about the dream and then research what it means and write about that too.

7. Food Journal – Write down everything you eat every day. Some people like to include the calorie contents and so forth. It can also help to write down why you eat it, how you felt about eating it, and things like that.

8. Travel Journal – A wonderful way to remember your travels is to keep a travel journal. Some people like making one for each trip so that it is easier to remember. You can write your thoughts in your journal, but you can also attach tickets, pics, and memories.

9. Gratitude Journal – This is just what it sounds like. It is a journal where you record each day what you are thankful for and grateful for. Nothing can be negative in this journal because it is designed to help you think more positively.

10. Project Journal – This is a handy journal to keep, especially for anyone who continually works on projects. Keeping a journal of each project you work on that records actions taken, results, and data, will help you improve every project but will also help you look back on this one with excitement.

If you want to journal to help work through a problem, keeping specific journals for different things is an effective way to go about it. It is also a wonderful way to store your thoughts and memories for the future in a more organized and useful manner.

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Writing ideas – How Journaling Can Help with Achieving Your Goals

Journaling can help you achieve your goals because it will force you to think about them, consider the why and how, and delve deeper into the situation so that you can examine all sides of it. Read on to find out how journaling can help.

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* It Forces You to Write Down Your Goals – When you start a journal, it basically is a way to force yourself to document your goals. Whether you write them down on paper or you use technology to get it all down does not matter. Once they are written, they are ready to tackle.

* It Makes You Consider Why and How – As you enter data into your journal, you will be forced to face the why and how of your goal. This is especially true if you write down a goal and focus on it in your journal.

* It Enables You to Examine the Opportunities and Threats – When you are focused on goal making with your journal, you will also explore opportunities and threats coming your way due to your goals. It helps you avoid roadblocks in advance.

* It Makes You Develop Steps for Success Based on Your Goals – When you see it written down, you will want to notice and pull out any steps you have developed in your journal and put them in your calendar for scheduling.

* It Helps You Improve Goal Setting and Achievement – Each time you intentionally set goals, define steps to achieve the goals, and perform them, you are setting yourself up for being able to improve your skills.

* It Provides Accountability – Even if no one else is reading your journal, a private journal can help you become accountable to yourself. If you develop the habit of looking at your journal each day and put something else in there each day, it will work great for helping you become more accountable.

* It Provides a Permanent Record – Having a permanent record of the things you have done in your life, whether it is personal or work, is a beautiful thing. Hardly anyone has a perfect memory, so you will maintain the lessons learned better with the record to look back at.

* It May Be Inspirational – Depending on the journal, you might even be able to take the information inside and compile it into a real book for others to read to inspire them. You might also take from it steps for your success for a project and turn it into a course to inspire someone else.

Journaling is an excellent way to work toward achieving all your goals. It will even help you make better goals because the process of entering facts in your journal will cause you to see them in a more logical way that is more useful.

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My thoughts when I am writing

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Trust that everything will be alright. Trust that this waiting period will end soon and you will get to experience pure bliss and happiness.

Continue to maintain hope and take inspired action every day. You have been able to make the best of difficult times.

Don’t underestimate your power. Your undeniable strength, courage, and perseverance will help you bring your desires to fruition.

It’s okay if you don’t know the details of “how” and “when” yet.

The answers will present themselves when you’re completely ready to embrace them.

You must trust the process and do the best you can right now. Things will sort themselves out in ways you never could have thought.

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Another extract!!!

“Take note of the things the Scribe is writing, and then it will make more substance,” explained Hanny.

“You want me to make note of the notes produced by the Scribe?” asked Ksteve.

“I suppose that is what I am inferring,” smiled Hanny.

“Take notes of notes!” laughed Ksteve.

“It would make a lovely song,” said Eoghan. “With all those notes we might even get a chorus!”

“Trust you to make a song and dance of things!” teased Dennis.

Again, to no one’s surprise, Eoghan was confused.

“I get how I make the song from all those notes, but I haven’t mentioned dancing,” said a very puzzled Eoghan.

Father Nick, who was still part of the entourage, gave an audible sigh.

“Making a song and dance of things means whinging about something in an excessive way!” explained Dennis.

“I wasn’t complaining! I just thought that with Ksteve and the Scribe making lots of notes we could put it all together and make a lovely new song to perform on the hit parade!” said a befuddled Eoghan.

“And what sort of song could you make up about a Chariot with Two horse, a Pony and Trap, and a hoarse horse?!” asked Ksteve.

Eoghan sat still for a while, and the others could see the effort he was putting into concentrating on the lyrics of a suitable song.

He began to hum, probably due to not washing his clothes on a regular basis.

Then Eoghan began;

“Oh if I had a little hoarse horse,

I’d send it on a course,

And it would learn to do a lap,

In a pony and trap!”

“Tra la!” sang Hanny.


“All songs have to end with Tra La!”  explained Hanny.

“That’s daft,” said Dennis. “What if we were singing a funeral dirge? Or the Lacrimosa?”

“You lost me there,” said Hanny.

“Ok then, as an example. I know a few funeral dirges and stuff like that,” said Dennis.


“Well I can’t imagine singing a line like Rises from the ashes, a guilty man to be judged, Tra La!” said Dennis.

“Or what about I that in health was in gladness, Am troubled now with great sadness, Tra La!” laughed Bryan.

Hanny felt a hint of anger arising. Fairies only ever sing happy songs, and so it makes sense to end them with Tra la!. She didn’t get the idea of singing sad songs and dirges. What was the point? Singing is a jolly pastime! Why sing about the sadness of a love gone wrong, when so many loves are strong, and others just go on and on and on?

“I can’t imagine singing Darling I can’t live without you, Tra La!” said Ksteve, as ever willing to keep in the story.

Mad Tom decided to take Hanny to one side. He sensed it was Time to explain to Hanny the realities of different realities.

“Look Hanny, you’re a Fairy of some renown, and in Setebos, your home town, no-one ever sees you frown. You even sing happy songs when you washing the Kings soiled undercrackers. And let’s face it, that’s not something any normal person would actually sing about!” explained Tom.

“Why not?” asked Hanny.

Tom gave her a seriously perplexed look.

“You could make up a happy song about cleaning the skid marks from badly soiled undies?” posed Tom.

“Of course!” laughed Hanny.

“Let’s get these undies,

Nice and white,

As we clear away,

All of that mess,

Tra La!”

She sang in her beautiful high-pitched voice.

Tom looked confused.

“I see your confusion,” said Hanny. “I’m still working on that one. At the moment I can’t think of a word that rhymes with white and encompasses all of the cleaning we have to do!”

Turenn and his Sons, Ksteve, Father Nick and the Scribe looked to Hanny with a new sense of understanding. There is definitely a fine line between naivete and common sense. Somewhere in Hanny’s head that line shifted about. She was clearly aware of her attractiveness to the whole world, though she was also unaware of the everyday realities of most people’s lives.

“Hanny! For most of the beings you will come across in your travels, heartache and death are everyday occurrences, and so they write songs about their sadness. Even the Trolls and Ogres write sad songs,” explained Mad Tom of Bedlam.

“But I never said anything about a song and dance!” Eoghan decided to remind everyone.


AN extract from the third adventure of Fairy Hanny

Bobby and his Chariot, 2.

Meanwhile, back in the sort of Lorded Lands of Turenn and his Fiefdom.

“You need to get Bobby and his Chariot as fast as you can!” declared a somewhat concerned Hanny.

“He’s already the fastest charioteer. How can we get him any faster?” asked Father Nick.

“Are you referring to that sibilant sprinting snake soldier?” asked Eoghan.

Nobody was sure where to find Bobby, or his Chariot.

“Surely a Chariot would stand out like a sore thumb!” shouted Turenn.

“I got a hangnail on my thumb which made it very sore. But it didn’t stand out much. It was just a little red and a bit yellow with puss,” stated Dennis.

“Don’t start talking about your pussy fingers!” laughed Bryan.

“Your head will be standing out soon; out on a steak by the front door!” shouted Eoghan.

“Why would you put his head on a steak?” asked Tom. “Is it some sort of local delicacy. Do they sell steak and head down at the local pub?”

“You can get head at the local,” smiled Bryan.

“I meant stake not steak,” explained Eoghan. “You know, like put it on a pike!”

“Now you’re suggesting Fish and Head as a meal?” enquired Mad Tom.

“Fish heads make a great meal,” said the Scribe as he wrote down his own comment.

“Prawns are nice too,” added Tom. “Especially when fried in garlic butter!”

“For Fecks Sake!” shouted Hanny. “We need to find Bobby the Charioteer, and all you lot can do is talk about food! Did I not explain that this Bobby is some sort of trap by Lugh?”

Hanny had recounted the meeting with Lugh, recalling his statement that the clues were obvious and that Bobby was some sort of deception. Turenn and his Sons listened carefully though showed no signs of comprehension. Ksteve merely nodded his head in order to indicate he was still a character in the tale.

“What exactly is a horse of many colours?” asked Turenn.

“To be frank, I’m not quite sure,” said Tom.

“I thought you were called Tom,” stated Eoghan.

“I am!”

“So why do you want to be Frank?” asked Dennis.

“Yes; why Franc?” asked Eoghan.

“When I say, ‘I want to be frank’, it means I am going to give a short, honest answer,” explained Tom.

Dennis and Eoghan considered this.

“Well the local Butcher is called Frank, and he is as honest as the day is long, so you are probably right,” mused Dennis.

“And my Proctologist is also called Frank, and he is also very honest with me,” added Turenn.

“I wish I was called Frank,” said Ksteve, “though I have no doubt my father would have named me Kfrank.”

Bryan laughed.

“Though Frank of the Cross is a lying, thieving git!”

Hanny was increasingly irritated by this aimless banter. She wanted to get on with the quest and complete the tasks, so she could finish with this gang of dunderheads, and get back to Setebos. Oh, for a nice cup of Earl Grey tea and a packet of custard creams! No; she would have to continue like she did with the anally challenged Pixy and the crazy Witch Iz.

“So what exactly is a horse of many colours?” repeated Turenn.

Mad Tom felt it was some sort of optical illusion, where the position of the observer and the nature of the light, could suggest the horse looked a different colour. In some shades of sunlight a Roan could easily be confused with a Palomino or a Bay. At night a dark Gray could be conceived as Black. And really there were at least forty shades of Bay.

Or maybe it just meant it was something different and unexpected.

“So the horse could be something different? Like a cow?” asked Dennis.

“Or a chicken?”

“Could a chicken pull a Chariot?”

“I’m sure it could if it was very small!”

“Chickens are very small. I’ve never seen a tall chicken. Has anyone else?”

“Imagine a chicken six foot tall!”

“That would be very scary!”

“It could peck your eyes out!”

“And chicken feed would cost a lot!”

“Would it still be chicken feed to a Narcissist?”

“For Feckity Fecks Sake!” shouted Hanny again. “It means a different issue and of a different significance! So Lugh doesn’t really want a Chariot with two horses, he is asking for something completely different!”

“Maybe he wants a cat, or a mouse, or a banjo string!”

“Why would he ask for a banjo string?”

“So he can play his banjo!”

“I did not know that Lugh played the banjo!”

“He doesn’t!”

So why would he want a banjo string?”

“I was just offering that as an example of something completely different!”

“A warthog is also very different to a horse.”

“It’s not completely different though, as it is still a four-legged mammal and could be trained to pull a small chariot,” explained Turenn.

“Would it terrify the enemy to see small chariots pulled into battle by warthogs? I think not,” suggested Bryan. “Imagine the laughter of the opposing battle commanders! They would be searching desperately through their Battle Books on how to deal with miniature Chariots!”

They all paused and looked to Bryan, who had taken the conversation off onto a wonderful tangent. Fortunately Eoghan was still present.

“Maybe he really wants a six-foot sneak!” laughed Eoghan. “As long as no-one hits it with a rake!”

“A sneak?”

“Yeas, one of those things that slither and speak with forked tongues,” explained Eoghan.

“You mean a snake!”

“I said sneak. It’s my language affliction and the fact that the Scribe is writing things down literally as I speak.”!”

“I suppose we could pronounce sneak like steak,” mused Tom.

“Snake, Sneak, Stake or steak!” laughed Eoghan.

Hanny stood up, clapped her hands, and brought them back to the real issue. A horse of many colours could be some kind of multi-coloured horse like a Piebald, a Tobiano or a Skewbald.

“Or it could be read, white and blew, like in the circus!” said Eoghan.

“Is Skewbald like when you only go bald on one side of your head?” asked Ksteve.

A quandary, indeed.

“What type of horse is a quandary?”

“It has to be some sort of horse, otherwise why ask for a Chariot?” suggested Turenn.

“Maybe he just wants Bobby and his Chariot; that would be a horse of a different colour!”

“But you said Lugh sent Bobby here! Why ask for him when he already had him?” questioned Dennis.

“Perhaps he wants Booby and his Chariot and a big piece of Coal!” suggested Eoghan.

The Scribe was struggling to keep up with these arguments and counter statements. He had to hold back his own contributions to the dialogue, as he found it difficult to write and speak at the same time. Simultaneous was not in his vocabulary, though somehow he knew that.

“Anyway, he also wants a hoarse horse. Let’s get him a real horse, a hoarse horse, Bobby and his Chariot,” said Dennis.

“None of that sounds particularly Magical,” said Bryan.

They looked to each other.

They looked at the ceiling.

They fumbled in pockets as though manipulating travel gravel.

The lads stole a surreptitious look at Hanny’s heaving breasts.

“Feck it! Let’s just send him Bobby and his Chariot with a couple of old nags. If we’re wrong he’ll have our heads and we won’t have to be arsed completing anymore stupid tasks,” said a stern Dennis.

“I nominate Eoghan and Mad Tom as the old nags,” laughed Bryan.


Some things never change

I came across this old ballad from the 17th Century, as part of the research in my current work.

Nothing really changes…

“O see ye not yon narrow road

    So thick beset with thorns and briars?

That is the path of righteousness,

   Though after it but few enquires.

‘And see ye not that broad, broad road

   That lies across that lily leven?

That is the path of wickedness,

   Though some call it the road to heaven.”

Thomas the Rhymer (Anonymous)



My latest thoughts….


I envy the man

who sits deadpan,

and tells his wife,

That the foul cheese flan

Tastes really nice.

And I envy the guy

who can sit by,

And look at the beam

Of the girl of his dream

And says she looks nice.

I so envy the chap

who has in his lap,

The girl he adores,

Though his legs may snap

At the size of his love.

Then I envy the lad

who doesn’t get sad,

When he looks at the state

Of his long-term mate

And says I love you.

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Should You Self-Publish?

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published?  If so, have you received multiple rejection letters from both large and small publishing houses?  If you have, your first thought may be to give up.  Of course, it is your right to do so, but did you know that you do have other options?  One of those options is to self-publish your own book.

Before examining if self-publishing your own book is right for you, it is first important to familiarize yourself with self-publishing, namely what it is.  Self-publishing involves writing, developing, and selling a book without the assistance of a third-party publishing company.  Book authors are responsible for writing a book, editing a book, and finding a company to print the book, as well as selling the book.  Self-published authors typically sell their books on their own websites or they approach retailers, both on and offline.

As for whether self-publishing a book is the right option for you, there are some signs that you will want to look for.  A few signs that self-publishing may be your best option are highlighted below for your convenience.

Sign #1 – You Have Received Multiple Rejection Letters

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What it is first important to understand about the publishing process is that few authors receive offers from publishers on their first, second, or even third try.  In fact, some authors try as many as fifty times or more to get just one book published before they receive an offer. 

As a good rule to set for yourself, be sure to send your manuscript to as many publishers as you possibly can, especially those that are looking for what you have, such as an environmental themed children’s book or a science fiction novel.  When there are no more publishers left, consider self-publishing.

Sign #2 – Despite Rejection Letters You Still Believe You Have a Good Book

Self-publishing is a wise choice for many, but for others it can be a costly mistake.  Before deciding to go ahead with self-publishing a book, it is important to make sure that you are fully behind your book.  Do you honestly and truly believe in your heart that you have a good book on your hands?  If you do, self-publishing may be for you.

Sign #3 – You Have a Book with Limited Readers

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When many of us think of publishing a book, we automatically think of captivating stories.  Fiction books are not the only types of books written, although they do typically tend to have the largest audiences.  If you have written a how-to book or a guide on a specific area that is likely to only draw in a limited number of readers, self-publishing may be your best option.  Many well-known publishers tend to stay away from books that only have small target audiences.

Sign #4 – You Want to Retain the Largest Profit

Self-published authors stand the best chance of making the biggest profit.  This is because publishing fees are not taken out of their profits.  With that said, it is important to remember that self-publishing is not free.  You will have to pay to have your books developed in print, but that fee is typically smaller than the cut that many well-known publishers take.  There are always ways that you can save money with self-publishing, like by printing on demand, as opposed to a large quantity of books on hand.

Of course, it is important to remember that just because you want to make money, it doesn’t mean that you will.  If you want to make the most money with a self-published book, you must do the proper amount of marketing.

As a reminder, it is important to remember that there are several pros and cons to self-publishing.  With that being said, self-publishing may be the best option for you.  If you truly believe that y. have a book that will sell, you are encouraged to closely examine self-publishing, as you have nothing to lose by doing so.


Publishing Mistakes to Avoid

Do you have a book that you would like to see published?

If so, you may be interested in getting started right away. As soon as an author finishes their book, they want to start approaching publishers as soon as possible. While it is more than possible to take this approach, you also want to proceed with caution. There are many common mistakes that new authors make when looking to get a book published. These are not mistakes that you will not want to make.

One mistake that many authors, especially new authors, make is assuming that others will like their book, no matter what. It is important to remember that just because you think that your book will be a bestseller, it does not mean that others will. You do not want to be negative, but it is important not to be overly positive as well. In fact, that is a good reason you should consider using the services of both an editor and a literary agent. At the very least, consider asking a few close friends or family members for their input. This can serve as a mini focus group for yourself.

Another common mistake that many new authors make, when looking to get a book published, is by assuming that it is easy to do. The reality is that it is quite difficult to get a book published, especially if you are an unpublished author. If you wish to see success, there is a lot of time that must go into your work. Simply drafting a book is not enough. You need to do the proper amount of editing, proofreading, and so forth. Although it can be very time consuming to get a book published, the reward is more than worth it.

Giving up after the first, second, third, or even forth rejection is another common mistake that many new authors make. It is no secret that rejection hurts. The last thing that any author wants is someone to state that their book is not good enough. With that said, a rejection is what you will likely receive. Did you know that many of the most well-known authors today were first greeted with rejection letters? As previously stated, it is not easy to get a book published, but do not give up.

One of the biggest mistakes made by authors looking to get their books published is with publishers. Here is where you want to proceed with caution, as your chances of making a costly mistake are remarkably high. Never submit your manuscript to a publisher without first doing the proper amount of research.

Many publishers, especially those that are well-known or large, want to do business with authors who have literary agents. With that said, you do not need to have a literary agent to see your book published. However, if you do not use an agent, do not send your manuscript to publishers that do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or those without agents. This will likely result in your work not being looked at and you may also not even receive a reply.

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Speaking of knowing what book publishers want, one mistake that many hopeful authors make is not doing the proper amount of research. Invest in the $20 that it takes to purchase the Writer’s Market guides or other similar resources. They give you detailed information on what publishers accept and from whom. For example, you may already know that Harlequin specializes in romance novels, but you may not know the specialty of other smaller publishers. You do not want to send a romance novel to a publisher that is only seeking science fiction books and so forth.

Another little factor that you will want to take into consideration is something that will not have an impact on a significant percentage of writers, but it is still a key point to make. Do you smoke? If you do and in your office, your papers may end up smelling like cigarette smoke. Many publishers have noted this as being a major inconvenience and turnoff.


Legalities to Writing Your Book

Are you an author who just received an offer to have one of your books published? If you have, congratulations! There is no prouder moment in the career of a writer than having a book published. With that said, it is important to proceed with caution. You do not want your excitement to cloud your judgment. For that reason, there are a number of important questions that you will want to have answers to before accepting an offer from a book publisher. A few of these questions are highlighted below for your convenience.

Question: How will I be paid?

Answer: Chances are, a publisher will outline payment for you when first accepting your book, but it is important to make sure that you have as much information as possible. Will you be paid a flat rate fee, an advance payment, royalties, or a combination? It is also advised that you receive an exact amount of total payments, although this can be difficult if your payments are based on royalties, which are impacted by your book’s sales.

Question: Can I get an advance payment?

Answer: Typically, you will find that publishers who offer advance payments offer them. With that said, not all companies do. Asking for an advance payment is something that many publishers come to expect, but you will want to proceed with caution at the same time. If you are in financial despair, it may be a good idea to ask a publisher about advance payments, but keep your public perception in mind. If you will be paid a flat rate, as opposed to royalty payments, consider waiting the few months that it will likely take for you to receive payment.

In fact, when you can expect to receive payment is another question that you will want to ask.

Question: Will I get free copies of my book? If so, how many?

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Answer: Although getting free copies of your published book isn’t as important as making sure that you get paid, it is something that is of great importance to many first time writers. If this is the first time that a book of yours has been published, you will want to have a copy of your book to show off to your close friends and family members. In fact, you may want to have copies to send to them. Most reputable publishers will at least provide you with a free copy of your book, but additional copies will likely depend on the publisher in question.

Question: Will my book be published in foreign countries?

Answer: It is important to know the answer to this question, as it may have an impact on the royalties that you receive. If your book is sold overseas, you should be paid for those sales as well. Never let a publisher convince you that foreign sales are different, as they should pay the same way, although a different rate may be agreed on.

Question: Will you retain the rights to your book or your characters?

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Answer: The answer to this important question will all depend on your contract. That is why it is important for you to thoroughly read a contract before agreeing to sign it. Be sure to ask any additional questions that you may have. For example, if the book is successful, will you be the one to write sequels? What if someone wants to turn your book into a television show or movie?

The above mentioned questions are just a few of the many that you will want to ask a publisher before accepting their contract. As a reminder, never sign a contract without knowing as much as you can about the agreement, as well as the publisher extending the offer. For that reason, you are encouraged to sit down and make an additional list of questions that you would like to have the answers to. Be sure to do this before you make contact with the publisher in question, as it will help to ensure that all of your bases are covered and the first time.


Getting Your Book Published using a literary agent.

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If you are an author who is shopping around for a publisher, you may find the phrase “agented submission only.”  What does this mean? This means that the publisher in question will not even look at manuscripts that are sent in directly by the author. Instead, a professional literary agent must make the approach.

Since many large, well-known publishers only accept book manuscripts that are sent in by a professional literary agent, you may decide to use the services of one. If so, that will likely be a viable choice on your part, but there are some important points that you will first want to take into consideration. Please continue reading on for information that you and all other authors should know about literary agents.

It is first important to know exactly what a literary agent should do for you. A literary agent will essentially submit your book to a publishing company for you. The entire process is just like what you would do at home, but it is different because new doors are opened for you. A professional literary agent could submit your book to publishers that would not even look at it if you submitted it on your own.

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As for the benefits of using the services of a professional literary agent, they are experienced in the field. A successful literary agent has spent years, months, or at least weeks researching publishers. They should know what publishers look for, in terms of themes, and they know what publishers do not want to see. This research allows many professional literary agents to know what publishing houses are likely to accept your book, often within a few minutes of reading it.

If you do decide to use the services of a professional literary agent, it is important to know that you may be screened. This means that a publisher may examine your book and then decide not to represent you. This often occurs for two distinct reasons. The first being that the publisher tends to specialize in a specific genre, such as children’s books. The second being that your book is not good enough. Having a well-known publisher stand behind your book is not enough to get it published; therefore, many well-known agents are precise with the clients that they choose to work with.

Speaking of being fussy, you should also be careful with the literary agent or agency that you choose to work for. Many experts in the field of book publishing state that having a bad literary agent is worse than having no agent at all. This is because many well-known publishers are aware of literary agents that have poor histories. In fact, some publishers may completely overlook manuscripts that are sent in by a bad agent and you do not want yours to be one of them. That is why you need to carefully find and choose a literary agent, should you wish to use the services of one.

When examining literary agents, examine specialties, success rates, reputation, and so forth. If you genuinely want to become a successful and well-known author, you should spend just as much time searching for a literary, as you would searching for a publisher. With that said, it is important to remember that there are publishers who will read your manuscripts even if you choose not to use a literary agent.


Some more thoughts on Getting Published

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You just wrote a book and one of the next steps you will need to take involves finding publishers to approach. For many new authors, this is the most overwhelming part of the entire process. The good news is that there are multiple ways that you can find publishers to send your book to, but which way is the best?

Before focusing on what ways are the best ways to find publishers, it is important to get a clear-cut definition of the word best. In terms of finding publishers, you will want an approach that is easy, time saving, as well as an approach that will produce the best results.

When it comes to doing any sort of research, even research on book publishers, the internet is one of the easiest approaches to take. For that reason, you may be interested in using the internet to help you find book publishers. When doing so, you will find that you have several different options. If you already known of a publisher or two in your genre, consider performing a standard internet search with that publisher’s name. This should lead you to their online website.

Another approach that you can take, when using the internet, is to perform a standard internet search with a generalized phrase. This phrase can include “science fiction publishers,” or whatever your genre is. Your standard internet search will likely lead you to online websites that function as directories for authors seeking information on publishers. These websites are nice, but be cautious of the information that is provided to you. Still visit the online website of a publisher to get as much accurate information as possible.

Speaking of visiting the online website of a book publisher, this is the best way to find the publisher that is the perfect fit for you and your book. Most book publishers have detailed information for authors, including writer’s guidelines and other rules and restrictions. Many publishers also have detailed information on their current books, including pictures and short descriptions. Reviewing this information first can help you determine whether your book is what the publisher in question is looking for.

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A few printed resources are also available to help you find information on publishers. One of those resources is the Writer’s Market books. They are developed for several different genres, including children’s books. These books outline publishers that accept manuscripts from both agents and authors without agents. Information on guidelines and what is in need is also outlined.

In keeping with printed resources guides, to help you find publishers, you will find that they are very affordable. In fact, the popular Most Writer’s Market books can be purchased for around $20 or less. Although these books are available in most public libraries, purchasing your own copy allows you to write your own notes in the book and highlight essential information. The ability to write your own notes and create your own categories helps to simplify the process of finding publishers.

Another straightforward way that you can go about finding publishers is by using the services of a literary agent. For the standpoint of ease, this is the easiest approach. A literary agent will help you find the perfect publishers for your book and do a significant percentage of the research for you. As nice as it is to rely on the professional knowledge, experience, and expertise of a literary agent, their fee may be a turn off. If you intended to submit your own book to publishers, which would only cost you postage, this unexpected fee may be too much.

As you can see, there are a few uncomplicated ways that you can go about finding publishers to help you publish a book. As for which approach is the best for you, it will depend on your own personal preferences. If you feel more comfortable using a computer, the internet is advised and so forth.


Get a Book Published Fast

Are you an author who would like to get a book published? If you are, you may have heard that getting a book published is a lot easier said than done. Yes, this is true in many cases, but it is important to know that you should have access to a few resources that can help you improve your chances. A few of those resources are highlighted below for your convenience.

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Printed publishing guides are a must have resources for all writers that want to get a book published. The most well-known of these guides is that of the Writer’s Market. The Writer’s Market books and other similar printed resources outline publishers. These publishers are often categorized based on genre. Information that you will find may include addresses to send your manuscripts to, the average number of books a publisher puts out each year, book themes that publishers are looking for, as well as rules and restrictions on submitting book manuscripts.

The good news about using printed resources, like the Writer’s Market books, is that they are easy to come across and affordable. These books can be found available for sale online, as well as in local bookstores. Many libraries also have them available free of charge. Although the cost of buying is likely to vary, most publishing guides can be purchased for a few dollars/pounds or less. So, pick up a copy of the Writer’s Market or another similar book for yourself today.

When looking to get a book published, the internet is another resource that you should use to your advantage. In fact, the internet holds a wealth of information for writers who are looking for publishing help. For starters, there are several websites that list information on publishers in specific genres. In a way, these websites resemble an online version of the above-mentioned Writer’s Market books. You may find these websites, as well as direct links to well-known publishers, by performing a standard internet search. Use phrases such as “children’s book publishers,” “science-fiction publishers,” and so forth.

The internet can also be used to help you find other book publishing resources, one of those being information on writer’s conferences. Each year, multiple conferences are held for writers and across the United States. They often include several educational and fun activities, such as meet and greet sessions for writers, sessions that cover the art of drafting a book, sessions that cover the publishing process, and much more. Many of these conferences also have well-known or at least published authors speak. Costs will vary, but any admission fee is usually more than worth it.

Writer’s critique groups are another resource that you and other writers can benefit from being a part of. These groups are typically small and they often result you being paired with another writer or two. Typically, what happens is that you will share your book with others in the group and others will do the same as well. Information, tips, and feedback will be exchanged. Many unpublished authors find success with writer’s critique groups, as they serve as a miniature focus group.

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Like a writer’s critique group, editors are also valuable resources that unpublished writers can benefit from using. Of course, a good book theme and story is important to get a book published, but proper grammar is important as well. If you do not like proofreading or if you know that you miss common mistakes, it may be in your best interest to hire the services of a professional editor. Typically, you will find their affordable costs to be well worth it. Agents should also be examined.

As previously stated, there are a few resources that hopeful published authors, like you, should have access to. Since many of these publishing resources for authors are easy to gain access to and affordable, you should try them. The more resources that you use to your advantage, the better your chances of getting published are.


Here is a thought if you have a great idea for a book!

Finding a Writer for Your Book!!!

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Internet niche marketing campaigns can often be managed by one person with one small exception. Unless the person orchestrating the campaign is a particularly gifted writer, the creation of content relevant to the niche should be overseen by a professional writer. The required content may include concise content for e-newsletters and websites or more in-depth content for full length eBooks. eBooks are the electronic version of books. They are distributed in electronic formats and made available to readers via email or the Internet. This article will focus primarily on eBooks and will discuss the subjects of outsourcing an eBook and finding the best writer for the job.

Outsourcing Your eBook

Those who are involved with promoting an Internet niche campaign are likely very enthusiastic about their niche subject but their passion alone does not qualify them to write an eBook on the subject. They should be heavily involved in the creation of the outline for the eBook and they should have final editing rights on the eBook but a professional writer should be the one responsible for writing the initial draft of the eBook. They may also be responsible for making revision based on the comments by the marketer and his staff.

For this reason, many Internet marketers are outsourcing the writing of their eBooks. This is a wise decision because keeping a writer on staff exclusively for the purpose of writing eBooks can be quite costly if there is not a constant need for eBooks. However, outsourcing the work to independent contractors can be a much more affordable option. In this scenario, the marketer can negotiate the writing of each eBook individually or they can enlist and individual or consulting firm to complete a set number of eBooks.

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Finding the Right Person for the Job

Once you have made the wise decision to outsource your eBook, it is time to begin the process of finding the perfect writer to complete the eBook. There may be several factors you consider in choosing a writer. Some of these factors may include price, previous experience, and quality of provided writing samples. Prioritizing these factors is the first step in the process because it will be extremely helpful in the decision-making process. For example if cost is the highest priority followed by quality of writing samples and then experience in the niche you might be tempted to hire a writer who is slightly less adept but willing to work for a lower fee.

The search for the talented writer to assist you can begin either locally or globally. You can conduct a local search by placing an advertisement in local newspapers or trade magazines. A global search can begin on the Internet where there are many websites available for those who wish to outsource work. In either scenario your advertisement should suggest relevant information you would like applicants to provide.

Whether you decide to conduct your search locally or globally you will likely receive multiple responses to your advertisement. Begin evaluating these responses by eliminating those that are of mediocre quality. This is important whether quality of work is your top priority because poor work is not worth even the most affordable price. Next evaluate the remaining applicants according to your prioritized list of criteria and rank them accordingly.

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Now consider contacting the top three applicants for an interview. The interview can be conducted in person, via telephone or online. This step is important because it will give you a promising idea of whether you think the applicant will be able to meet your expectations. During this time you should also discuss scheduling to determine whether the applicant is available to complete the project according to your timeline.

After this interview process, it is time to decide. Just because it is time to decide does not mean you have to outsource your project to one of the applicants you interviewed. Your decision may be to hire one of the applicants, interview a few of the applicants who were lower on your list or repost your advertisement and solicit new applications.


Finding out what Publisher is looking for.

Continuing with the theme from my last post – finding what a particular publisher wants. It’s a good idea to track progress with every publisher you approach.

Are you an author who has just completed writing a book?  After your book has been written and edited, you may be ready to start approaching publishers.  If you are like most authors, there is a good chance that you will send your book manuscript to several publishing companies.  After all, the more publishers you approach, the better your chance of getting a book published are.

Although sending your book manuscript to a few publishers is likely to increase your chances of getting your book published, it also increases the chances of confusion and error on your part.  If you do not create a system for you to use and record your findings, you may end up making several costly and embarrassing mistakes.  That is why it is important to know what publishers you have sent your book to, which publishers have responded, what their response was, and so forth.

As it was previously stated, not being organized, when trying to get a book published, can have a few consequences.  One of those consequences is that you could mistakenly send your documents to the same publisher twice.  This has the potential to be very embarrassing and you may also, unintentionally, create a bad name for yourself.  If a book publisher sends you a rejection letter, you do not want to resend them your book, especially if you didn’t make any changes.

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Since it is important for you to create a book publishing system, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so.  The good news is that you do have several different options.  For starters, it is important to first know what information you should include on your documents.  You need to know what publishers you have submitted your manuscript to.  You should also include the date that your information was sent out.  Next, be sure to have a spot for responses from those publishers.  Did you receive a rejection letter, a request for a meeting or more information?  Also, record the date of this information. 

As for how your information can be arranged, you will find that it all depends on your preference.  If you are computer savvy, you can use your computer.  You can create a spreadsheet.  Be sure to include the information outlined above, including the publisher’s name, the date the information was sent out, the response, as well as the date that response that was received.  What is nice about using the computer is that you can easily add information right away.  This allows you to keep a continued list going.

As nice as it is to use the computer, some individuals feel more comfortable keeping important information in print.  The same approach can and should be taken though.  Create a chart for you to use.  Be sure to keep it in a well-known place so that you do not accidentally lose your important information.  Also, be sure to remember to update every time that you decide to send your book to new publisher or if you receive a response letter.

As you can see, creating a system for yourself that allows you to track publishers that you have sent or intend to send your book to is a lot easier than it originally sounds.  As a reminder, there are several benefits to staying organized and up to date with your information.


Find Book Publishers

For my first books I chose to self-publish on Amazon. For my detective series I will be looking for a publisher, so I found the following advice really useful!

Are you interested in getting a book that you wrote published? If you are, you need to find the publisher that is the perfect fit for you and your book. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. Book publishers are fussy about which books and authors they choose to work with. The good news is that there are hundreds of publishers for you to choose from, depending on your genre.

Once you have written and proofread your book multiple times, you will need to start researching and examining publishers. Unfortunately, this is a step that many hopeful published authors do not take. Many simply just send copies of their books off to publishers that they already know of. This approach is okay, but it limits your chances of getting a book published. Instead, you will want to examine as many book publishers as possible. Even though this sounds like a very time-consuming process, it is a process that is much easier that many imagine.

One of the easiest ways to find book publishers is by purchasing printed resource guides for authors. These guides come in several different formats. Many are categorized by genre, such as children’s books, Christian books, and so forth. What they typically do is outline publishers that accept manuscripts, as well as other detailed information. These printed resource guides are usually updated often; therefore, if you do make a purchase, be sure to purchase an updated guide. Speaking of making your purchase, you can find these publishing guides for authors available for sale online and in most bookstores.

As previously stated, there are a few printed resource guides for authors that you can use to go about finding publishers to submit your book to. One guide that comes highly rated and recommend is that of the Writer’s Market. The Writer’s Market books cover several genres and they are updated on a yearly basis. Information that is included tends to include themes that book publishers are looking for, requirements on submitting a manuscript, the address in which that manuscript must be submitted to and much more. The Writer’s Market books are also well-known for their expert tips and advice, which is typically provided by experienced authors.

Although most Writer’s Market books and other similar printed resource guides for authors can often be purchased for under $20, many people do not like paying for something that they can find for free online. If you are looking to use the internet to find book publishers, you will find that you do have a few different options. For starters, you will want to perform a standard internet search with the phrase “book publishers.”  If you are targeting a specific genre, such as children’s books, be sure to include that in your search phrase. Your standard internet search is likely to produce several different results.

As for what your standard internet search will produce, you will likely find websites where a wide selection of publishers are listed. These websites may either list publishers with detailed information or you may be provided with a link to a publisher’s website. Speaking of publisher websites, these websites can also be found mixed in with your standard internet search.

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If you would like to directly find the online websites of book publishers, a standard internet search with the publisher’s name should produce the results that you are looking for. Most have guidelines and other information posted for authors on their websites. If you are not already aware of publishers, you may want to go through the books that you have in your home or visit your local bookstore. In fact, most online retailers will list what publishers books are published through. This can help to give you some publisher names to checkout.

As a reminder, it is important to find the publisher that you think will be the perfect fit for you and your book. Therefore, look for publishers that are seeking just what your book has to offer.


Find a Literary Agent

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published? If so, you may want to use the services of a literary agent. Also, if you are an author who has been shopping your book around without success, an agent may be worth examining. Unfortunately, many new authors are unsure as to how they can find and choose literary agents. If you are one of those individuals, you will want to continue reading on.

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Before highlighting a few of the ways that you can go about finding an agent to help you publish a book, it is important to examine the pros and cons of using a literary agent. For starters, if you choose an agent that is well-known or one who has a proven history, your chances of getting your book published tend to increase. This is because professional literary agents and agencies know where to look. As for the cons or downsides to using a literary agent, their cost is the biggest.

When it comes to finding a literary agent, you will find that you have several different options. One of your options is to turn to printed resources. There are a few books that are available for sale or books that may be found in local libraries that can help you. These books are often how-to guides with information on how to find, approach, and research literary agents. Books that are updated on a yearly basis are likely to include the names, information, and contact numbers of literary agents that accept new clients.

As previously stated, there are a few guides that you can purchase. One of those guides is the Guide to Literary Agents. This guide is like the ever so popular Writer’s Market books. These Guide to Literary Agent books are just a few of the many available for sale; however, they come highly rated and recommended. When buying a literary agent guide, be sure to examine contents. The best guide is one that not only provides you with helpful tips, but also one that gives you the contact information of literary agents that may be able to help you publish a book.

In addition to using a printed guide to help you find a literary agent, you can also use the internet. When using the internet to find a literary agent to help you publish a book, there are a number of different approaches that you can take. For starters, perform a standard internet search. Your search should at least include the phrase “literary agents.”  Your standard internet search for literary agents should produce several different results. These results should include websites that function as literary agent directories, where multiple literary agents and their contact information is listed. When using this approach, be sure to check for dates, as you will want to make sure that you have updated information.

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Another way that you can use the internet to find literary agents involves using business directories. Many of these directories, such as the ones for Yahoo, also work in conjunction with standard internet searches. What you will want to do is choose a location, such as a local location or a well-known location like New York. Then, for the business enter in literary agent. This will likely provide you with the name of individual literary agents or literary agencies, as well as their locations, websites, and telephone numbers.

As highlighted above, there are a few different ways that you can go about finding literary agents. As easy as it can be to find a literary agent to work with, it is important that you do not just choose anyone. You need to remember that literary agents have all different experiences and success levels. Be sure to examine rates, quality of work, success rate, and feedback from past and current clients. This will not only help to increase your chances of getting your book published, but it will also prevent you from losing money.


Do not Get Burned – Watch out for Publishing Scams

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Are you an author who would like to get a book published? Of course you are!!! If you are currently an unpublished author, you may do just about anything to see your book in print. As good as it is to have goals and dreams, it is also important to have knowledge on your side. If you do not proceed with caution, you may find yourself falling victim to some common book publishing frauds.

Unless you decide to self-publish a book, you should never have to pay a publisher to put your book in print. In fact, it should be the other way around. Yes, most publishers will take a percentage of the money that you make, but that percentage is not even always talked about. Most well-known publishers will either offer you a flat fee or an advance payment. If royalty payments are decided on, a specific percentage will be agreed upon.

Individuals or companies who claim that you must pay to have your book published are likely just trying to swindle you. They are either after two things, your material, or your money. Chances are, your book may never even be published, but if you sign a contract, the individual or company in question may then own the words that you wrote. For that reason, never, under any circumstances, should you pay a publisher to publish your book for you.

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In addition to book publishing companies, it is also important to proceed with caution where literary agents and editors are concerned. Editors are recommended, as they are likely to find grammar mistakes that you may have missed. What you will want to do, however, is be cautious of who you do hire. Never pay someone to read your book that you have not heard of before. Since you may not know many editors or any for that matter, the proper amount of research should be done. Look for editor reviews online or ask other published writers for recommendations.

In terms of literary agents, the same amount of research should be done. Did you know that many publishing companies avoid collaborating with certain literary agents? Those who do not properly screen their books or those that misrepresent their books, develop a bad name for themselves. The last thing that you want is your name and book attached to a literary agent with a bad reputation.

As for the frauds that are associated with literary agents, it is important to be cautious with pay. A literary agent or agency that asks you to pay a fee upfront is a good sign of a scam. This fee is often called a reading fee. What you need to know though is that many literary agents take a percentage of the amount of money that you make when you sign a contract with a publisher. In a way, this can serve as a guarantee that you will be receiving quality, guaranteed results. Publishers who accept upfront fees may later choose to not accept you as a client or they may just take your money and run.

When looking to get a book published, the above-mentioned frauds are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind. If an offer, a literary agent, or an editor sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.


Digital Publishing

Are you a writer who has tried and tried and tried again to get your book published? If you have and if you have only been met with rejection letter after rejection letter, your first impulse may be to give up. The decision to do so is yours to make, but if you do believe that you have a delightful book on your hands, you may want to consider transforming your book into an eBook instead.

A nice as it is to hear that you can take your book, transform it into an eBook, and sell it, you may be curious as to why you should do so, as well as how. The good news is that creating an eBook is a lot easier than many imagine. In fact, the hardest part of about creating an eBook is writing one and you should already have this step accomplished.

As for the benefits of creating an eBook, it is first important to know what they are. eBooks are defined as electronic or digital books. The materials and stories covered in eBooks are just like printed books; however, the overall format is different.

As for who reads eBooks and how they are read, you will find that it all depends. There are several small handheld machines that are used to read eBooks. These components upload an eBook, often through a small connecting cable that is connected through the computer. As popular as this approach is, many eBook reading machines can be costly; therefore, many readers choose to simply just read eBooks from their computer or print them. The most avid readers of eBooks are those who are internet and computer savvy.

The main benefit of transforming your book into an eBook is that the process is easy. In fact, many first-time authors are surprised just how easy it is to create an eBook. Although you do have a few different formatting options, many choose the popular PDF format, as most computers already have free reader programs installed. This means that your buyers will be able to read your eBook right away.

Since all publishers require book manuscripts to be in printed, computer format. There is a good chance that your book is already saved on your computer. What you will want to do is use a program, like Adobe Create a PDF Online. Simply follow the directions and your book will automatically be transformed into a PDF file. As for creating an eBook, this is really the only step that you need to take.

As easy as it is to create an eBook, selling it can be more difficult. The good news, however, is that you do have a number of different options. One of those options to sell your eBook on a third-party website. These are websites where a diverse collection of eBooks are listed for sale and written by different authors. The only downside to this approach is the fact that most third-party websites take a small percentage of each sale or they charge a monthly fee.

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In keeping with selling an eBook, you also have the option of creating your own website. What you will want to do is create a webpage that offers detailed information about your eBook, such as its title, the basis of your storyline, or what readers will learn if your eBook is a how-to book. This approach is the most cost effective; however, it is important to remember that internet users will not just be able to find your website; you also need to market it as well.

As for accepting payment, many eBook authors use programs like PayPal. If you do choose to create your own website, you can also purchase your own shopping trolley software. This should allow you to not only accept payments from PayPal members, but major credit card holders as well.

As a recap, transforming your book into an eBook and selling it online is a nice alternative to print publishing and self-publishing. If you are unable to get your eBook published by a well-known publisher, it is an approach that you will want to examine.


Some quotes about success – Keep writing!!

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”― Roy T. Bennett

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”― Robert F. Kennedy

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”― Theodore Roosevelt

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” — Dale Carnegie

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill

“You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” — Lebron James

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill


Letters from France?

Sitting here today working on part of my Inspector Flaange detective series and I suddenly remembered the term ‘French Letter’ as a euphemism for a condom.

So I wondered why is it ‘French Letter’?

Any ideas?

I found this quote “In Britain, this is a rather old-fashioned euphemism for a condom; in France the phrase ‘capote Anglaise’ is comparable and would be translated as ‘English overcoat‘. It seems that the term is first traced to the 1850s, a period of great tension between the two countries and in which in Britain local militias (groups of male volunteers who dressed up in fancy uniforms with guns and paraded around a lot) were formed because of fears about a French invasion. Other concerns became pressing during the period of the First World War concerning venereal disease, with official recommendation that troops sent to fight in France should either remain ‘pure‘ or use condoms to protect themselves. The worry was not for the women concerned, but keeping the men in shape in order to send them to the front.”


Some thoughts on Self-Publishing

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published? If you are, you should know that you do have a few different options. While the most common approach taken involves relying on a third-party publishing house, you do also have the option of self-publishing your own book. At the moment I have two books available on Amazon, though be warned, I like dark and crazy humour!

When an author makes the decision to self-publish a book, he or she has complete control over the entire process. In fact, that is just one of the many pros or plus sides to self-publishing, as many authors like having complete control over their works of art. As for the responsibility of an author in terms of self-publishing, an author must draft the book, edit it, find a company to manufacturer the printed book, and sell it. Although the process does seem relatively easy to most, it is important to remember that there are several pros and cons to self-publishing.

As it was previously stated, a self-publisher is responsible for the sale of their book. For many this is a tiring process. When a third-party publishing house is used, they take on most of the work associated with selling a book, such as marketing. This is not how self-publishing works. Many self-publishers set up websites where they list their books available for sale. Even then, however, that website must be marketed so that visitors will find it. Self-publishers also have the option of approach retailers, including bookstores, hoping to get their books available for sale locally.

Another con or downside to self-publishing is the cost. Technically, you could say that even when using a third-party publishing house, you still pay for the cost of getting your book published. This is because your publisher does take a fee out of the amount of money that you are paid; however, many authors do not even take this cut into consideration. Even though it will cost money to have your book transformed into print, there are steps that you can take to reduce the cost. The most common approach involves having your book printed on demand, instead of having books on hand.

As previously stated, some self-publishers find it difficult to sell their books. Yes, this process can be difficult, but many other self-published authors have seen success. When you put the proper amount of time, research, and energy into selling a self-published book, you stand the most chance of making the biggest profit. This is because, aside from the cost of your expenses, you can retain all your profits. There is no one else that must share your profits, unless of course you decide to hire help.

Another pro or plus side to self-publishing is the fact that unknown authors are given the opportunity to shine. Some of the best-selling books today are written by authors who already have an established history or name. In fact, unless you have an amazing book or a well-known name, there is a good chance that many publishing companies will not want to take a chance on you. This does not mean that your book is a poorly written one or that it has a bad story line. It just means that the publishing market is a tough one.

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One of the biggest signs that self-publishing may be right for you if you believe that you have a book that will sell, but you still receive multiple rejection letters from well-known publishing houses. Self-publishing is also an ideal approach for authors who write books that will sell, but books that only have a limited targeted marketed. For example, if you are interested in authoring a book on your city or town, your targeted market may be quite small and publishers may not want to take a chance with that.

Since there are several pros and cons to self-publishing, you should take the time to decide if self-publishing is right for you. Additional research can help you determine if self-publishing is truly your best option.


Some thoughts on Children’s Book Publishing

Are you a writer who would like to write and publish a children’s book?

If you are, you should know that you have a lot of work ahead of you. A lot of new writer’s believe that children’s books are easy to write. Yes, children’s books are easier to write but that does not mean that children’s books are easier to get published.

I know this is stating the obvious, but, the first step in getting a children’s book published is to write a great children’s book. You will want to write a children’s book that kids cannot wait to read or a book that kids do not want to put down. This is most often the case with chapter books or books for young adults, but even picture books must be interesting and captivating.

One of the best ways to ensure that you write a good children’s book is by talking to kids in the age group that you intend to write for. Are you a parent yourself? If you are, speak to your kids. What would they like to see in a book? If you do not have any kids, consider asking your younger relatives or the children of your friends.

Also, if you are a parent, you are at an advantage because there is a good chance that you have read stories to your children before. What books did they find the most interesting? Which books did you like to read to them the most? Examine the themes and layouts of these books and consider making yours similar in nature.

After you have written a children’s book, your first thought may be to start approaching publishers right away. This is a step is one that should wait. First, it is important to proofread and edit your book. Unfortunately, many new authors assume that this is a step that they do not have to take. Many mistakenly believe that since children’s books are shorter in length that there is much less to edit. The truth is that you should proofread and edit a children’s book more. Since there are less words, publishers expect every word to be written perfectly. If you must, hire the services of a professional editor.

Join a critique group. Writer’s critique groups are easy to find and they have several benefits. The best way to find a writer’s critique group is by using the internet. You may be able to find online critique groups or information on local groups. Depending on what you find, you may need to pay a small fee to join a critique group, but some out there do not require the payment of a membership fee. When becoming a part of a writer’s critique group, you share your book with other group members and they will do the same.

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Whether you use the services of a professional editor, join a writer’s group, or just let your friends or family read your book, it is important to take all advice into consideration. Of course, this does not mean that you must completely rewrite your book, but you will want to take all suggestions into consideration. Your friends, editors that you pay, and other members of a writer’s critique group want to see you succeed, not fail. This means that the advice that they do give you is useful and helpful; therefore, it should be taken into consideration.

Have you written and published a Children’s book?

If so let me know!


What about Literary Agents?

I decided to put together some articles about publishing your work. The articles will examine things like different genres, self-publishing, publishing tips, children’s books etc. I thought I would start with some thoughts about literary agents.

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Are you a writer who would like to get a book published? If you are, you may have heard that you should hire the services of a professional literary agent. Yes, there are several benefits to using a professional agent, but is one really needed?

As for whether you use should use the services of a literary agent, there are a few key factors that you will first want to take into consideration. One of those being your book. Have you already drafted your book? If you have not, you may be at an advantage. For example, you can take the time to first research publishers and what they are looking for. When you can tailor what you write to exactly what most publishers are looking for, you are more likely to see success, even without the help of a professional agent.

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If you have already drafted your book, you may still be able to get it published without using the services of a professional agent. What you will want to do, however, is find the publisher or publishers that are the perfect fit for you and your book. This will involve a little bit of research on your part, but it is often a lot cheaper than using a professional literary agent. As for how you should proceed, if you are a science fiction writer, only send your book manuscript to publishing houses that are looking for science fiction books, as opposed to those who are requesting romance novels and so forth.

Although it is possible to get a book published without having a literary agent by your side, there are times where a literary agent is needed. For example, many of the larger, well-known publishing houses do not accept manuscripts from authors who are not collaborating with an agent. If you have your heart set on seeing your book published by a larger, well-known publisher, as opposed to a lesser known, smaller publisher, an agent may be in your best interest. If you do decide not to use a literary agent, just be sure not to send your book to publishers who request that their authors have agents, as this can create a bad image of yourself.

If you do decide to hire the services of a professional literary agent, you will want to proceed with caution. For starters, anyone can call themselves a professional, but that does not mean that they are. For your best interest, it is worthwhile to research and examine several literary agents before making your decision. Compare costs, quality, and success rates. If you are targeting a specific genre, such the children’s market, try to find publishers that specialize in the field of children’s books.

For the ultimate level of protecting your best interest, examine literary agents who only get paid when your book gets published. In all honesty, these types of literary agents and agencies are few and far in between and many only extend this offer to a limited number of authors, but you do not have to worry about losing money.

As a recap, there is no rule stating that a literary agent is required to get a book published. That does not mean, however, that you cannot benefit from using the services of one.



Hey I just got this from Daily Motivation site .

Keep going with your writing!!

You are capable of overcoming the challenges you face in life.

No matter what happens, do not let yourself get bogged down by fear, and negativity.

Be patient with yourself as you work through whatever life throws your way.

Give yourself some time to process your negative feelings and then allow yourself to move on. Things can change for the better.

You are attracting the greatest moments of your life. Be open to miracles. You deserve positive experiences.

You deserve happiness. You deserve a beautiful life. Keep going.


Catching up

I haven’t posted for a while. I kept my focus on completing another task.

When I have an idea for a book I sit with an old fashioned writing pad and a fountain pen, and I let the ideas flow. Sometimes when I look back I can’t read my notes as I was writing so fast at the time! Then I leave it until I am ready to start typing it up.

In the summer of 2015 I was visiting some friends in Istanbul. With a long flight each way I have to take something to read. I had downloaded a book about the History and Mythology of the Celtic peoples, onto my Kindle. I no longer have that kindle so I can’t give an actual reference to the book I was a reading.

Anyway, I read the story of the Sons of Turenn and the slaying of Kian, and the ensuing Magic tasks set by Lugh to settle the blood feud. Then I imagined my heroine, Fairy Hanny, being dropped in to help the Sons of Turenn to solve the riddles and complete the tasks.

Thus began ‘Fairy Hanny and the Sons of Turenn: The third in the tales of Fairy Hanny.’

Life can be too busy!

I carried on writing as I returned to my job in Kazakhstan, filling in bits and pieces when time allowed – the school I worked at was very busy, I had a fantastic social life (which will be the subject of a travelogue soon) and my mother became ill and died. However I managed to finish the draft by the end of June 2016, and put it to one side while I though about it.

I spent most of July 2016 in Peniscola, Spain, then in September I moved to a new job in Gran Canaria. The book sat on one side while I worked on other ideas. September 2018 I moved to Casablanca and left my draft in storage in the UK.

Suddenly it is October 2021, and I am back in the UK. Out came the draft and out came the wordprocessor. Yesterday I finally finished typing up the second draft. Now it will sit while I print it out and edit – I find it difficult to edit onscreen, as it is too difficult to flip between pages to check for continuity errors.

My plan is to get the final version on to Amazon before the end of August. If anyone would like to push me on that please feel free to email ppswifty@gmail.com



Continuing with my writing of the latest book – Fairy Hanny and the Sons of Turenn.

Looking back at the things I referred to yesterday as I worked on the latest chapter…

Other words for Turd…

Lyrics to Nature Boy…

Spelling of Diarrhoea… Lots of possible variations!

Google translate…

Shades of Red…

Varieties of Persian Carpets… Different cities have their own patterns.

Buy the Books!

Hannys first tale

Hannys second tale



I am working on my third story featuring the beautiful Fairy Hanny. As I worked through the latest chapter I found I was researching a lot of things, including @The Whore of Babylon’ and a ‘Lakeland Rill’.

I also had to check my spelling a lot as my mind moves a lot faster than my fingers.

And I came across a delightful riddle that I can use in my Physics classes…

“What moves faster hot or cold?”


Staying relaxed

Looking for the good in all aspects of life.

I have spent a lot of time over the last year destressing. I had a bad case of Covid-19 just over a year ago. There is a week of my life for which I have very little memory. My temperature was spiking at 41C (about 106 F) and I was hallucinating and being a horrible patient. Since then I quit my teaching job in Azerbaijan and came back home to Merseyside, to be with friends and family.

I keep finding great quotes to help put life into perspective, and I enjoy sharing them here. If any of you keep a blog and you’re looking for some articles to use check out this link.

Enjoy this quote.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

Breathe, stay calm and avoid unnecessary drama. We cannot control other people.

But we can set healthy boundaries to focus on our own needs and protect our peace. It’s up to you to decide how much you’re going to let other people’s behaviour affect you.

Worrying about other people’s behaviours only steals your joy. Direct your energy towards developing your emotional intelligence and living a happier life.

Whenever you find yourself getting frustrated over little things, practice taking a pause to shift your perspective and avoid making the issue bigger than it needs to be.

Write down your thoughts to objectively reflect on the annoyances you face in your everyday life.



We have had a few public holidays here in UK. I celebrated by drinking lots of wine. And I feel guilty. I suppose I have little choice as I was brought up Catholic. By the time I was seven years old I had been convinced that it was my fault that Jesus had been nailed to the cross. That’s the kind of indoctrination Nuns and Priests can instil.

I broke the indoctrination and I still have the guilt. So I was delighted to find this quote on Daily Motivation.

Many of us struggle to overcome the feelings of guilt for past mistakes.

We tend to assume that if we let go of these feelings of guilt and shame, we will end up making the same mistakes again and revert to our old selves.

Photo by James Wheeler on Pexels.com

That’s not true. Our daily habits make us who we are.

If you appreciate yourself for recognizing where you mess up and put in the effort to reinforce a helpful belief, you will strengthen your ability to overcome guilt.

You now have the chance to do the right thing. Acknowledging your feeling and focusing on growth can help you move on.

Be kind to yourself. The emotional pain of the past will ease with time. “


Writing and thinking

I love writing!

I am working on the third Fairy Hanny story and my first detective novel featuring Inspector Flaange. I also have some Maths and English books that I am editing, and an outline of a book on Motivation.

I get an email every day with a Daily Motivation. So I will share this one;

You are blessed in so many ways. Live your life with gratitude. Notice the little wins every day. There are so many good things you have already received.

So many things go right in a day.

Savour the good. 

Don’t let the good moments pass without celebration.

Spend some time cherishing them and hold on to positive emotions a little longer. Appreciate the hard work you have put into the things you have achieved until now.

Savour the sensation of being grateful. Learning to notice and enjoy what’s around you makes it easier to snap yourself out of negative thoughts. 


Be strong!

Whenever the fear of uncertainty creeps in, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that the future is not yet real.

By staying focused on worst-case scenarios, you fail to keep an open mind about the situation at hand. We can only control ourselves in the present moment.

Think of your past experiences. Life has always been full of uncertainty. And you were always able to cope.

You’re now wiser and have more insights on how to deal with things. You are perfectly capable of handling uncertainty.


Do you need to make some changes in your life?

Signs to look for…

You feel lost or stuck in life

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Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut, and you have lost your purpose? This is a sure sign that a change is needed. Everyone has a purpose, but it is not always easy to identify it. Also, your purpose can change as you get older and go through life’s experiences. So, if you feel like your life is not your own anymore, it is time to make a change.

Your mood is consistently flat

Another sign change is needed is if you find your mood is constantly flat. That is, you do not really enjoy anything anymore. You do not have to feel depressed to make a change, simply feeling constantly flat is another indicator your life is not satisfying.

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Think about the things that used to make you feel good. It could be that you once enjoyed your career. If you now do not like your job, it is a sign you need to make a change to get back to feeling that initial excitement.

You suffer with poor self esteem

Low self-esteem can develop for a lot of distinct reasons. However, it tends to be more prevalent in those who do not take care of themselves. If you lack self-care, you may criticize yourself more or feel like you are not worth much.

Over time, poor self-esteem can lead you to feel like you do not deserve good things in life. This in turn can cause you to give up trying to be happy. If you suffer with poor self-esteem, it is a good sign you need a change.

You have very little energy

Photo by ANTONI SHKRABA on Pexels.com

Having little energy throughout the day could be a sign of poor sleep. However, it can also relate to a deeper issue if you are constantly tired. It may mean that you have lost your passion and interest in life. When you spend a lot of time doing things that do not inspire you, it can zap your energy quickly.

So, if you wake up feeling tired and drained consistently, take it as a sign you need more self-care in your life. When you are taking care of yourself, you will feel energized and ready to take on anything.

As you can see, there are a lot of signs that could point to the fact you need a change.

Self-care can really help to improve self-esteem, give you a sense of purpose and help to make you feel happier and more energized. So, if you want to make a change, recognize where your current issues lie and use self-care to eliminate them.


The First Step to Change is to Recognize it is Needed

I recently went out for the evening in Liverpool, to celebrate an old friends birthday. Before I left home I cooked some Chicken legs, using a homemade marinade. I put them into the oven as I rushed around, tidying my apartment and preparing for the evening. I took the chicken out of the oven and left it to cool on my hob. Then I left home and forgot about it.

I had a great afternoon and evening catching up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for almost a decade. I suppose that is because I have spent most of the last 15 years travelling and teaching in countries such as China, the UAE, Kazakhstan and Spain. However, we are all still alive and it was great to catch-up. There was a black sense of humour abundantly displayed that evening, with several people commenting that maybe our next gathering will be at someone’s wake..

When I got home I decided to eat a couple of the chicken legs. I could tell there was something not quite right about the two I ate. However, an evening of drinking beer does tend to cloud judgement…

Photo by Gerd Altmann on Pexels.com

The first kick back came at 5 am. I woke very early, feeling nauseous. I just about managed to reach the bathroom before being violently ill! I can’t remember the last time I vomited, though I think it was at least 30 years ago. I went back to bed after brushing my teeth and drinking a pint of water.

The joy was repeated at 6 am. This time the retching was also very painful. More toothpaste and more water and back to bed.

At 7.30 am the big one came! I didn’t quite make it into the bathroom this time. And the retching! The dizziness! The light headed feeling! It seemed to go on and on and on…

I finally got out of bed at 11 am. I spent the day drinking water and watching terrible movies on Netflix. I reflected a lot on the sickness that day and over the following week.

I decided I needed to change a few things.

Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com

The First Step to Change is to Recognize it is Needed

If you are struggling to make healthier changes in your life, it could be that you are not convinced a change is needed. Many of us are also great at avoiding change. It tends to be something we dread, rather than look forward to. However, if you want to live your best life, it is imperative you recognize when a change is needed. So, how exactly can you recognize that change is needed in your life?

In my next post I will suggest some of the signs to look for when you need to change.

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Another adventure for Fairy Hanny

I can’t let a week go by without a little bit of self publicity! I corrected the misprint on the back cover, so you missed you chance to get a unique copy!

Hanny is still the heroine, despite the shenanigans of Ken Tucky and Wayne Downe, the two Elfs of some renown. They speak Elvisthank you very much!

The First Adventure of Fairy Hanny is still available on Amazon. However that will soon be updated too, as I now use a new email address to access KDP. It will also mean a new cover too.

I am now learning how to link the books as a series on Amazon, though I am not 100% sure I will do it properly. I will keep you updated.

Meanwhile checkout Strange Things From Uranus. It is a very funny story. When I originally wrote it I didn’t see the link between my title and that wonderful American expression STFU!


Stay focused

I’ve been reading a lot recently about motivation, inspiration and focus. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my past, missed opportunities and some of the crazy things I’ve said and done.

Now I am forgiving myself so I can move forward with my writing, teaching and online business. That might explain why this meme appealed to me;


Just do it!

Today I was talking with an old friend about creativity. She had just had an argument with her mother along the lines of ‘why don’t you get a real job’.

Anna is an artist I met in Almaty. We have been friends for almost 8 years now. She is planning 6 new exhibitions this year, now that covid restrictions are lifting in Kazakhstan. I am working on three new books! We talked about the way many of the people in my past ridiculed my desire to write, telling me to just be happy as a teacher.

The funny thing is, I am happy as a teacher. And I also love creative writing! I have two books on Amazon, and there will be more by the end of this year. I have my heroine, Fairy Hanny, who lives in a strange world of Elf’s, Pixy’s, trolls and time travellers. I also have the black humour of my crime series, Inspector Hunter Flaange and his partner Jason Beaver. Then I have my travel diaries from Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Azerbaijan. Plus the semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in the 70’s, 80′, and now, called Going to California.

I found this quote from DailyMotivation. I wish I had it 30 years ago.

“You have to believe that you can do it. Out of all the obstacles you will face in your life, a lack of belief in yourself is the biggest one.

Unless you believe in your abilities, you will limit yourself no matter how great the opportunities are around you.

Being confident gives you a feeling of certainty that you’ll figure it out somehow and make the situation work for you. Choose to be confident.

You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Take the moment and make the best of it.”


A friend of mine from Kazakhstan has just had to give up her job. She was working in a big restaurant in Dubai, and has now returned to Almaty to look after her mother. Over the last few years Mom’s eyesight has been deteriorating. Now she is completely blind. Manshuk has taken Mom to various hospitals and even went to see a German Ophthalmologist who was working at a clinic in Astana.

Nothing is working, and there is no cure.

I found this quote as a way to help Manshuk through these tough times.

“Things can change for the better very quickly. Don’t get discouraged because of what you’re going through right now. You do have the strength to keep on living.

Life will give you a chance to smile again. Trust that life has more in store for you than just sadness and misery.

Shift your focus from the paralyzing negative thoughts to helpful thoughts that calm you down. Let go of things you cannot control.

Remaining hopeful is a practice. Open up to the possibility of positive change. 

There is a whole world waiting for you on the other side of pain. 

Good things are coming.”