Three hoodies save the world

Constant moaning and whinging about everything

That *********virus.

Unfortunately my family was a recipient of that awful computer virus that struck all of Europe and north America last weekend.
Not me so much as my daughter. After riding a completely unsuitable horse my daughter was thrown. The helmet lasted as she hit a fence post head first but the chin strap snapped leaving her no protection as she hit the ground with the back of her head.
Her fiance called the emergency services and a helicopter arrived within twenty minutes as it was in the middle of nowhere.
That’s where the virus came in. For another half an hour the helicopter had to wait in the field as it had no idea where to go as most of the hospitals in London were in chaos, and more specifically the hospitals with major trauma centres and a landing pad.
Eventually they were able to go and now my daughter is healing, but we still don’t know when she can come home because of the backlog caused  by the fight to clear the virus.
I hope those hackers rot somewhere very hot.

A windows update messed up my night.

I wasted the whole night waiting for my computer to download the latest Windows update. Did I get any choice? Not on your nelly.
After using more than the entire output of the Hoover dam and three abortive attempts, I finally resolved the issues with whatever I just downloaded. Creators edition or some such nonsense.
It must be good I thought, because its about half a billion exabytes of data.
Wrong. Apart from some pathetic 3d imagining rubbish I can’t see any difference from before. And what the hell is groove music? Which I can’t have, anyway unless I pay more money than I could earn in a month.
Ho hum. At least it was free. I suppose I ought to copy it to my seagate just in case it all crashes. What I should say is for when it crashes as Windows is hardly the most stable platform ever invented. I just hope it fixed that shut down bug that came with anniversary edition.
If you’ve got that by the way, the best way to shut the machine down, with the exception of a sledge hammer, is to go into processes, Ctrl+alt+delete. Wait for it to settle down to less than five percent, then press Alt +F4. It might be old school but it always (mostly ) works for me.
So, back to my writing. Today’s target for my clumsy sort-of hero is MI5. I’m going to have some fun there, but just in case I disappear one night pretty soon, you’ll all know that it’s not a good idea to mess with the boys from Thames House. That’s in London by the way, pretty near to, as the name implies, the river Thames.

Had a great weekend but now my fingers are worn to the bone.

After fifteen months of not writing I thought I’d never get back into it.
In the past year I’ve begun two books, both the next in the series of those already in existence. I got to about a hundred pages in both but it just wouldn’t come. In fact I didn’t want it to come. Was I finally losing the urge after over twenty five years?
At first I was relieved. Twenty five years for daddy’s little hobby wasn’t so bad. At least it didn’t go the way of photography and all the other transient pastimes I picked up.
Then I got upset. I love writing, so why didn’t I want to do it anymore?
Now I know. I was writing the wrong thing. This weekend I’ve written, without effort, nearly ten thousand words. Of course a lot of that will be annihilated in the first edit, but for the first time in a couple of years I’m finally excited by writing, and what I’m writing.
Going to take a few hours off now until my fingers stop bleeding. I might have to buy a new keyboard as well. This one’s beginning to groan.


Creative State of Mind


Evil creeps
from the abyss
where it hides in hovels
holes and caves
It surfaces from murky waters
stagnant swamps
Amidst the scum that lies
upon the surface

Evil lurks
within the hearts of men
who stand on platforms
of hypocrisy and hatred
Lies flash behind
smiles that promise
but won’t deliver
and never planned to

Evil calls
to those who claim
to have good intentions
They cling to tradition
and read from ancient books
deliberately misinterpreted
to excuse cruel
words and deeds

Evil thrives
where there is fear
Dividing us against them
Pitting one against the other
Never revealing
the true enemy
It grows between the cracks
in the foundation of humanity

Evils cowers
beneath the light
Lies shrivel under
the harsh rays of truth
Love triumphs when
we stand together
linking hands and hearts
in resistance

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Time’s dragging.

This is the last day of my three day weekend and I’ve done precisely no writing whatsoever. It’s not that I’m lazy – well there may be a little of that in it. It’s just that so many jobs have piled up.
I’ve just put yet more topsoil on my front garden, to replace that which I replaced last autumn, last summer and last spring. I wonder where it goes. I’m almost tempted to wait up one night, peering round the curtains to see the little topsoil pixies making off with my garden. It hasn’t run off with the rain so where is it? I suppose it could have run off to topsoil heaven.
See, I’m slowly becoming unhinged.
I’m at that stage in Sod’s Law, my newest tome where I beginning to worry about what I’ll put in it to make up the numbers. It always happens to me, but finally I’ll get over it and just write. Then as usual I’ll easily cover my 100k minimum. I don’t know why I set myself that particular figure but I feel comfortable with it.
In that vein, here’s the final snippet of Arnold Pratt’s life until I finish the book.

It was in this position and unknown time later that his mildly erotic dream was disturbed by a strident voice announcing that his genitals were rotting. Damn, that was the third time his alleged daughter had changed his ring tone without him knowing.
    ‘Is that you, Pratt?’
    He knew who the caller was even though it was withheld as usual. The barking voice, always close to fury and as usual scornful and condescending waited, demanding his usual servile response. Arnold lived for the day that this man might say please or thank you, but had long given up that forlorn hope.
    ‘Need you in early. Got to leave town. Pay you extra. Seven. Don’t be late.’
    Arnold had never heard him use sentences containing more than four words, either but cared little for that. With a loud click the line was cut and with a groan Arnold readied himself for action. And getting up really was action these days. In two years since this new arrangement, vis a vis his working practise had taken shape he’d gained nearly two stone onto an already impressive fourteen which was eight kilos as his daughter might say in one of her rare lucid moments.
    ‘Who was that?’ His wife lumbered into the room, her belligerence preceding her like a tidal wave.
    ‘The Shouty man,’ Arnold said finally lumbering to his feet. The name coined by his daughter after answering his phone and immediately slamming it down but only after telling his part time boss to get stuffed. Luckily his client had believed it to be a wrong number and not given him the sack; or perhaps he was accustomed to being addressed in such a manner.
    ‘Oh, Corporal gruntfuttocks.’ It was becoming increasingly difficult to identify his separate bosses seeing as how both his daughter and wife had elected to give them all different names. ‘I don’t know why you keep working for him,’ said Doris following him upstairs with another barrage of accusations as to both his sanity and legal status.
    ‘Because he pays the bills,’ Arnold finally tired of her as he climbed into his least wrinkled suit and prepared to leave.

Arnold digs himself deeper.

I managed to get a whole ten pages of my new novel this week. Arnold, my sort of hero, is trying to go places I hadn’t imagined. So I’ve decided to write two books simultaneously. First I’m going to write it as I planned, and at the same time, as it begins to slip off into odd tangents, as all my books do, I’m also going to write that and see which is better at the end.
This is a small snippet from the planned version. I’m not making him intentionally obnoxious, it’s just the way he is.

Arnold finally got home an hour later, moderately hopeful that his luck was turning. Even Doris seemed in a good mood, throwing her arms around his shoulders in a rare display of affection. That she also covered said shoulders in a thick coating of something white and smelly did nothing to dampen her mood.
  ‘I’ve been so worried about you,’ she said returning to whatever it was she was preparing. Arnold hated to look these days and usually begged off eating, complaining of toothache or stress. It was those damned evening classes. knitting one’s own yoghurt or growing denim seemed an unlikely pastime judging from the company she kept there, most of whom wore crew cuts, sported bulging biceps and facial piercings, and that was just the women. He harboured a suspicion that it was a meeting place for lesbian terrorists. Not that he ever mentioned such fears to Doris who seemed to enjoy herself there. But if it kept her happy then he was happy. Lord knew that he had not done much to make her smile recently.
   He was fine he told her, ducking as an exceptionally large sheet of pastry almost engulfed her head.
   ‘Well just you see it stays that way,’ she replied in mock severity, and seeing that her attention had left him he slithered from the kitchen and upstairs.

It’s been a while  

I’ve been very remiss with my blogging of late.
My only excuse, if there is one, is that my job is quite a long day and when I eventually get home the choice between rotting on the sofa whilst watching NCIS before going to bed almost as early as I did when I was a child, or blogging, has been won by my age.
Now that’s no excuse and I know it, so from now on I’m going to start again.
I have been writing but even my usual 5k words per day that I usually finished comfortably before my year off has been difficult to resume. It might be because I’m writing in a completely new genre for me, but this time I’m going to stick to my plan and not just write anything that comes into my head. It’s always served me well in the past. This time I’m determined. And when I get to the end of the novel if I don’t like it then at least I’ll have tried.

Back tomorrow when I’ve rested my poor old bones, and as this is a bank holiday weekend then I’ll have another day to do some serious writing/blogging.
You have been warned.


Here’s a little note I got from some company of whom, I’ve never heard. How they got my name I’ll never know, but I wonder if people really fall for this nonsense.

Hi Roger,

I’m on the customer success team here at ******, and I work closely with our recruiting team to help find the right candidates for jobs.

We have several hiring managers looking for skills that match your background, but we do not have updated information about you.

It’s like saying we have a job just for you. er what do you do exactly????????

Meet Arnold Pratt.

I think I’m beginning to get an idea of my new character’s sense of humour. Obviously this is only the first draft but here’s a snippet of him.

    His visitor was not a very impressive man. Truth be told he was quite the opposite. About thirty years old, his suit was rumpled and, Arnold noticed, torn in a couple of places. Jet black hair had been carefully slicked over a prematurely balding head and a mournful hollow-cheeked face gazed mournfully at him for a moment. It was then, that ignoring the pain as he moved his eyes, Arnold saw that the man’s face was scratched and his left hand was bandaged, and not very recently as the white gauze was grey and in some places distinctly black.
    ‘I see that you’re awake.’ The man had a distinct midlands accent. Was the pointless comment to give him time to think of something intelligent to say?
    ‘Apparently,’ Arnold said, already disliking the stranger.
    Spying a chair filled with Arnold’s bag and clothes the man gently deposited them on the floor and sat down. Arnold decided to have some fun with the man, if for no other reason than because he was bored, and pain always made him flippant. It replaced anger which always got him into trouble.
    ‘And who are you?’ He decided not to look at the man again; it hurt too much and it was time for the other to do the work.
    ‘You can call me Ron,’ said the man with a groan as his bandaged hand hit the wooden arm rest of the very low chair which Arnold could no longer see as it was lower than the level of his bed, which itself seemed to have been designed by the Marquis de Sade. He remembered that from the last time he’d been in hospital, and the bruises the rigid frame had left on him. ‘We need to talk,’ said the now disembodied Ron giving up the fight with the chair and struggling to his feet, an action which caused him considerable pain if the realistic groans were anything to go by.
    ‘Are you from the Inland Revenue?’ demanded Arnold just for something to say. After all it was only the beginning of the new tax year and provided he deposited something with the tax office before December they really had nothing to charge him with.
    ‘Ronald Jenkins,’ said the man now appearing before his eyes, his face even paler now. ‘And I don’t work for the Inland Revenue.’ Arnold began to tire of this. He was sore, he was confused and the anger he had meant to feign was now real.
    ‘And what do you want from me? If you think I’m going to pay for that crappy warehouse then you can think again. It was the damn boxes that fell on me. All I was doing was guarding the place. If people can’t stack boxes properly then I might just consider suing the man who owns it. And if you’re his solicitor then you can go and tell him to get stu…’
    The man held up his hand, the bandaged hand; the movement obviously causing him pain because he instantly dropped it where it fell against his leg, clearly causing him even more pain for with a jerk and muffled swear word he held it back up, obviously not sure where to put it.
    ‘No, Mister Pratt, I don’t work for the owner of the warehouse, I work…’
    Well if you don’t work for him why did you tell me you did? And if he’s getting some ambulance chaser to work for him you can tell him from me that…’
    ‘Mister Pratt, please.’ Ron’s eyes bulged with either agitation, frustration or fear. Or perhaps all three. But Arnold was not finished yet. ‘
    ‘And you “No win, no fee” wallahs aren’t going to get a penny out of me. You wait till I get the Health and Safety people onto this. I reckon they might do some suing of their own.’ Well in the swing of it now Arnold opened his mouth to begin the next round but was prevented from saying another word by the return of the nurse.
    ‘Are you upsetting my patient? Because if you are you can leave. And you have to leave, anyway,’ she announced with malicious relish, ‘because visiting hours are over.’ She stood before him, magically grown with her fury and as if afraid that the now wavering bandaged hand was about to strike her, pushed it rudely to the side, provoking a howl of agony from the man who opened his mouth to speak, or to shout but again was prevented by the nurse’s other hand. Maybe she was trained in martial arts for a second later she had spun him around and using his good arm for leverage hustled him from the room. From the outside the outraged voice of his visitor was easily overpowered by the nurse promising to fetch the security people and have him thrown off the grounds. And no she didn’t want to see his ID and if he pulled anything else out his his pocket she would get the police to bang him up.
    ‘He’s gone,’ she said, returning to the room, once more magically shrunk to her previous size. ‘I’ll tell the security to keep an eye on him and if he comes back he’ll be sorry.’ She seemed to be enjoying herself, perhaps someone else had been annoying her and Ronald Jenkins, whoever he was, just happened to be the the brunt of her wrath. ‘Do you want something to eat? It ranges from absolutely horrible to just eatable.’ Arnold smiled at a kindred spirit, but shaking his head thanked her.
    ‘Can I go in the morning?’ he said. The bed was no hurting him more than his bruises.
    ‘You can go now if you like. Your body came back clean, or rather,’ she smiled, ‘your body scans came back clean. You’ll be in pain for while but you’re fine.’ That was enough for Arnold.

He refuses to die.

I reluctantly went to the stables today for want of something even remotely interesting to do.
This time last year Leaping Louis aka limping Louis was ready to drop, or just as ready for the vet to do him in. It would have been a mercy and my daughter promised that she wouldn’t let him suffer.

Today he almost flattened me in his haste to eat the enormous swede I bought for him, and then galloped round the field like a foal before rolling on his back like a nutcase, but of course only in the filthiest, muddiest part of the field. He’s a new horse. Maybe I should eat some of the stuff my daughter feeds him. Even the vet is flabbergasted and demands to know just what she’s feeding him, as he’s now well over thirty and should have been dog food years ago according to the ever helpful vet.

Second part of the day was a little expensive. When my daughter (allegedly) drove her car into a kerb a few months ago she buggered up something and as a result I had to buy her a new tyre. Today that new tyre was bald as a coot so we had to go back and get another, only to find that Fiat had not fixed it because it was on warranty and weren’t going to make any money out of it. Apparently she trashed the tracking, toe-in, camber and caster – I don’t know idea what that is, either.

I’ll be glad to get back to work on Tuesday just to earn back some of the small fortune she costs me every single time she draws a breath.

Oh, and she doesn’t know this yet, but Harley our tomcat just returned from a night on the town proudly bearing most of a mouse in his mouth. She’s going to go bonkers if she finds the other bit in her bedroom – again. And if it’s not there, I’m going to put it there.

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