Why I’m Not Doing NaNoWriMo This Year

First up I want to say what a great idea NaNoWriMo is, it encourages people to write and we need more writers in the world than we do corrupt politicians and uncaring governments.

But, I am not doing it this year for no other reason than I have a mountain of other written books that need my attention in editing and so on. In the last 2 to 3 years I have written 8 books, three as a fantasy trilogy and five as a series that starts as Middle Grade and grows with the main character as he grows into adulthood.

My creativity has also fleshed out the bones of a second trilogy to follow the first and at least two more of the other series. So I am lucky in that I get the ideas and have the urge to write them.

The issue for me is that I lack good editing skills of my own work. I fail to see the errors and they remain. I have very little financial backing behind me so I have to rely on beta readers who are kind enough to do a beta exchange, mine for theirs. I am not, as yet, blessed with the funds to pay for  good professional editing services. That will have to wait for a while.

With all that in mind, I don’t see the point of writing a ninth book that will sit on the shelf waiting for the time when I (or someone else) can edit it, when there are many others in the queue in front of it.

I still write down my ideas and maybe write out a few pages of notes when I get that flash of inspiration, it is all kept and stored, never lost or wasted.

So for now, I shall follow my friends on the social media and watch as they fly towards their goals this November and wish them a successful writing month.

Keep writing!

p.s. If anyone would like to beta read and comment on my books, I would be happy to exchange with theirs. Drop me a comment below.

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A writer’s income

The vast majority of writers that I know make their “living” doing other things. The writing is the passion but it doesn’t pay the bills. I know it doesn’t for me and yes, I know that I need to work more on my writing. The flip side of that coin is that there comes a point where a writer, unless very lucky, has to pay someone, a professional, for critique and copy editing in order for it to stand up to the world.

There have been miles of words written on this topic and I am not going to add to it here except to say that I am sure that a lot of writers are always on the look out for part time income to make ends meet or to allow themselves some “writing money”, just for their writing.

That is not easy in this day and age, and I know a lot of writers, myself included, who struggle to get by, let alone pay for writing expenses.

I have just joined a venture that might work for me, and it might work for you. It is internet marketing and I enclose a link below. If you want to, take a look at the video and see if it feels right for you. No hard sell, just some information that might help those of you who want to give it a try and who knows what will come of it.


Keep writing.

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A new venture about to take off.

I am really excited about a new venture of mine that is about to be launched. I am starting my own complimentary therapist/life coaching business in Glasgow and I thought you would be interested to know.

Without going into the back story of the last 7 years or so, I have been ill and have a few conditions that make it difficult for me to work for other people. I may need time off, not be able to turn up due to ill health and all of those sorts of things.

The only answer is to do something for myself where I have the control and flexibility to work when I can.

So, Firefly Therapies was born and within the next couple of weeks or so I shall be out and about in both Shawlands, Glasgow and the city centre with my leaflets and so on hoping to find people who want to make changes in their lives and need a focal point and help to start.

Whether it be weight loss, smoking cessation, empowerment, fears and phobias, exams or a host of other things I shall be on hand to help you help yourself.  Using NLP and Ericksonian Hypnosis will enable you to make that change.

Come and take a look at my website, http://www.fireflytherapies.co.uk and see what I can do to help you.

Getting by and making do isn’t good enough, it is time to stand up and be awesome.

Be the best version of you that you can possibly be.


Posted in Change, Glasgow, Hypnosis, NLP | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Scenes from a bus ride into Glasgow

It has been a while since I posted, there have been some interesting developments scattered in amongst the mundane of everyday living. More on the exciting bits in other posts.

Yesterday I took a bus ride into Glasgow to pick up my new phone that failed to live up to any expectation and didn’t work from day 1. Despite that I have had the rigmarole of shop flim flam and a repair that I was assured would do the trick. “If our guys have fixed it, it’s fixed” the shop assistant lady said. I was back home an hour and the same problem occurred. Answer that without swearing.

Anyway, back to the bus trip and my observations on life outside the flat as we merge for a few hours before retreating back into my hole.

I don’t usually travel by bus, I try to avoid it like the plague but at the moment I have no transport of my own so necessity forces me into the most uncomfortable of places. At the bus stop a young mum with baby in push chair are waiting and I manage to squeeze myself onto the seat. Baby cries one cry, just one. Mother immediately reaches for the Milky Way from her bag and stuffs said soothing bar of chocolate into the babies hand. Then she reaches for the sugar filled fizzy drink. That’s another weight problem and diabetic woman in waiting in thirty years time.

The bus trip is relatively uneventful apart from an elderly couple, I think they were Polish who had language problems not sure how to convey where they wanted to go to the driver. It took a while but they settled once assured that it was the right one for them.

In town, Buchanan Street is fast becoming the new Sauchiehall Street with street artists, musicians and all sorts plying their trade outside where that great book shop Borders used to be. A sad loss.

The next half an hour was a blur of passwords and so on as the repaired phone was set up with my data. Old phone was used to transfer contacts and all that palaver until I was sent away assured that it was fixed.

It had started to rain heavily, so I took refuge in a coffee shop nearby. Where isn’t there are coffee shop nearby in a busy city centre these days? like the measles, they’re everywhere.

Repaired phone sprang into life to tell me of the 264 e-mails and 5 new messages I had. It took time but most were notices for stuff, but the important one was the shopping list from my wife.

The return bus ride was uneventful, mostly empty which was a relief. At least there were no crying babies, people talking loudly into phones or doing the excruciating mime singing in no tune ever invented as they listened to their music. Quiet and empty, not many people, that is how I prefer my bus rides.

One thing struck me in my day out, everyone looked very much alone, lost in their own world of gadgetry and technology. Few people looked up and faced the world head on, most were head bowed, shrugged shouldered and tired.

That is, apart from one gaggle of “young ladies” who bounced up the path towards me on Union Street by the scaffolding. This was obviously an event of some kind for them because they were dressed to the nines, or should I say about four and a halfs, because there was far to much flesh on display and way little material in what they were perceived as “wearing.”

I would say they were about 18 but some of them could have been much younger. I have no idea what this type of dress is called and to describe it from a 50 something male perspective who’s daughter is older than the ladies in question may come across in entirely the wrong manner, but here goes. It was short, I mean impossibly short, sort of crossing over at the thighs to a higher point in the groin area where if one so desired one could tell if she waxed or not. I kid you not, the pubic area was on display. The top half of this dress was not much better. It had a creamy material that just about half covered the breast and some kind of see through chiffon type  stuff that revealed an ample cleavage.

I truly cannot describe what some of the other ladies were wearing, my vocabulary is obviously seriously lacking in that area. And remember, this was about noon.

Their language would not have been out of place in a dockyard and they were certainly “up” for a good time, whatever that was.

So, my friends, even when embarking in a simple task out in the open, whether in the city or somewhere in nature, keep your eyes and ears open for there are riches everywhere for the budding writer to immerse themselves in.

All you got to do is pay attention and, naturally, write it down as soon as you can.

Keep writing…

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Quiz show stupid answers, why you should be very alarmed.

The increase of young people showing their ignorance of the world around them and their complete lack of general knowledge should worry you. It should worry you a great deal.


Today’s young people are the tomorrow’s leaders of industry, business and government.

If they haven’t a clue about basic knowledge and how to learn how to learn then we are all in serious trouble.

I shall give you three examples from one 23 year old man on The Chase this week.

Q1. The Charles De Galle aircraft carrier is the flagship of which country’s navy?

Answer given, Germany.

Q2. Who did Brian Sewell describe as a cloth capped nincompoop?

Answer given, Van Gogh.

Q3. In what famous book published in 1851 does a sea captain have a leg made of a whale bone?

Answer given – Pass.

Now I know we re not all supposed to know everything about everything, I understand that, but Germany!! that is probably the “wrongest” the answer could possibly be. Germany, give me a break. I was speechless on my couch when he came out with that.

And yes, for the Brian Sewell question, I didn’t completely know the answer from any knowledge I had, but there is a pretty good chance that if you guessed L S Lowry you would be right. Think about it, but don’t think too hard. It’s not that difficult.

The whale bone question. Again, I couldn’t have told you what year Moby Dick was published (shame on me) but think about it, old book, whale bone, sea captain. it could only be Moby Dick.

This is a worrying trend because it shows us that our young people are not being taught knowledge and how to find information and question things to learn from. They are being taught by rote how to “learn” enough of a script to pass an exam. Teaching our children to become rounded, educated, intelligent forward thinking leaders of our future is NOT about reading from a script, there IS NO SCRIPT.

We are creating a generation of technologically addicted brain dead half wits who one day will be in charge of your money, our country and your old age.

Worried yet?

Posted in Fendrels' Tale, research, The Handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Managing serial fiction – the nuts and bolts

I am now writing my fifth book of a young adult series concerning the eponymous hero Jack Janson. At the beginning in book 1, Jack is a few days short of his twelfth birthday and now, in book 5 he is 18.

It takes a lot of organising and managing to keep track of characters who recur in the books and also what has happened and to whom. Without good records it would be a chaotic mess and the writer would not be able to keep track of the important stuff, or get it wrong by having someone who may already be dead coming back in a following book.

This is where an organised mind and yes, you guessed it, a writers best friend the spread sheet comes into its own. I have many spread sheets for my writing, mostly word count, chapter summaries, and so on, but there is one that when writing series fiction is invaluable.

It is my book date spread sheet. It has the list of characters, books they appear in, salient action and events they are part of. Some characters are not in some books but come back later and it is important to know the big 5 questions. Who, what, where, when, and why?

Keep the spread sheet up to date and it will reward you with instant data that is correct, relevant and this will enable you to write and not throw your hands up in despair while you try to think what book that character had that argument or scene about so and so that you need to know about now. Your thread will be lost, it will hack you off and above all, it is unnecessary.

Keep writing.

Check out the buy my books pages for where you can get hold of my books.

This and other great handy tips for writers is in my book The Handbook Of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, available in paperback from Amazon and the author.

Posted in fantasy faery story, Fendrels' Tale, managing your writing, The Handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, The Writers' Summer school Swanwick, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fendrel needs you! Beta readers.

Fendrel’s Tale volumes 1 and 2 are now ready for their final round of beta reading before they go off to the copy editor.

Please drop me a reply with your contact details if you want to be a beta reader for this fantasy faery story.

The story is it own, but if you put a gun to my head, it is a mode similar to David Eddings the Mallerion Series and Raymond E Feist The Magician.

Thanks You!

Posted in fantasy faery story, Fendrels' Tale, managing your writing, The Handbook of TOP TIPS To Manage Your Writing, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment