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Tuesday 29 July 2014


The news is awful. Fighting, disease, fraud, nuclear bombs, banks misbehaving, politicians misbehaving, escalating cost of living, doom, doom, doom. It's hard to stay cheerful.

Isn't it?

Well, the residents of Diana Isaac Retirement Village in Christchurch New Zealand don't seem to think so. They and the staff got together to create a tribute of Pharrell William's 'Happy'. Watch that and tell me you didn't smile.


Tuesday 15 July 2014

Birthday Wishes

It's normal for children to ask for particular toys, games, gadgets etc. for their birthdays and Christmas, but one girl took a more ambitious approach: she wanted to be a princess. Not content with purchasing a pink floaty gown and plastic tiara from the toy store, her dad set out to find a land he could conquer and claim as his own, in order to truly fulfil his daughter's request.

What's more, he thinks he's done it. He found an area of Africa that isn't owned by any country, travelled there, and stuck his flag in the ground in the time honoured fashion of invasion and conquest.

It's unlikely his claim will be accepted by the UN, and probably even more unlikely that his neighbours, Sudan and Egypt will honour it, but 'Princess' Emily has ordered that the land should become a centre of agriculture, which I think suggests she's a princess whose heart is in the right place even if her land isn't.

So, if you're wondering where to go on your hols, perhaps you could try the new Kingdom of North Sudan, bearing in mind that it's quite a trek, the country isn't actually recognised, and you'll likely be greeted by a young princess handing you a hoe and a spade.


disclaimer: this blog does not advocate travel to lands not recognised by international law. You are of course entirely free to make up your own land, which would have the advantage of not requiring many hours of plane/ car/ and arduous foot travel, as well as not needing an expensive military defence capability. Travel to imaginary lands should not require travel insurance, though you are advised to make sure you've had all your shots, and have cleaned your bedroom and done all your homework before embarkation.

Saturday 12 July 2014

Promotion Reminder

Just to remind you: all the books in my collection are available free to download from Amazon today, Saturday 12th July 2014.

I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday 9 July 2014

Free Books!

There's an article on the BBC website this morning that says the average writer earns £11,000 per annum. It's a pretty low income that's largely hidden in the glare of the big earners, but it does suggest we need to consider how much we value books and their creators. I'm terribly English when it comes to discussing money, but let's just say I'm still at the point of dreaming of earning even the average writer's income.

I confess, I'm guilty of trawling the free listings on Amazon, looking for an otherwise unseen gem that's being given away, though I do pay for Kindle books that catch my eye. It's a problem. I wouldn't expect free coffee, which takes seconds to create, yet I want free books which take months if not years to create. As a writer, I'm appalled that I seem to value baristas more than I do my fellow scribes.

I'll go back to age-old mantra: I write because I love to write, not because I expect to earn my fortune doing it.

With that in mind, my entire collection will be in the free listings on Amazon on Saturday 12th July 2014. Please download and enjoy them. Feedback and ratings would be a huge help, if you could spare a few minutes. And as ever, thanks to all my lovely readers for your support.


Monday 7 July 2014

Back to Work

Hello! I'm back! I thought I'd start my week with my annual 'what the heck was my login' quest. Startlingly, this year I remembered it with barely a pause. I'm rather depressed by that, clearly I didn't take a long enough holiday.

Anyway, it's back to work now. The stories for the third anthology are written and have undergone their first edit. They just have another three/ four edits to go through before they are subjected to their next major operation: conversion for Kindle, followed by further, hopefully minor, editing. My stories go through a lot before they're released for general consumption.

I hope you'll forgive just a quick personal note: congratulations to our gorgeous daughter who is now a Master Geologist. The amount of hard work that she has put in has been astonishing, but she's done it! Congrats, Well Done, Bravo and all that, with a big helping of love and best wishes.