Friday, 21 October 2016

18th October

My Birthday
This week was my birthday, as per usual I had money from the family - the best gift - as I am an impulse buyer.

The money from my son, Michael, went to buying the  Warcraft movie. 

Money from my daughter, Fiona, is going to pay for some goods from United with Israel.

Israel Today will be getting money for items, which came from my daughters, Sarah and Felicity.

A change of scenery

Moving house

In the last week, the secondary group of readers for my blogs has changed from the UK to France. 
French readers now outnumber UK readers 3:1 :)

Is obedience enough?

German mentality
Before I go further - I am not a nazi - I am pro-Israel.

The Germans suffer from a mental trait that can be explained in simple terms as blind obedience. Why else would a group of people follow a leader who was their inferior socially and as a military commander?

Blind obedience made them follow a leader who many outranked socially. Hitler couldn't even write his speeches and had to have underlined what to emphasize. It's a wonder the Germans followed Hitler as long as they did when you consider their war records. In any other military organization, there would have been a coup; in this case, the leaders would have been Rommel or Guderian - both had proved their capability to lead men.

This trait is seen today, why would the Germans follow a chancellor who was leading a formidable technological state into ruin - if not for blind obedience to rules.


The day I will never forget

What do I remember from 1966; as a ten-year-old soccer fan winning the World Cup is obvious - a victory I realized in later years couldn't have been much easier.

One of my most poignant memories is the day a tiny village in Wales become a world headline for the most tragic of all reasons - a mining disaster - I can't say what particular reason this tragedy held me by, as there are so many elements why I felt the pain of their loss. 
I come from a close family of four generations of fishermen who fished the icy waters of the North Sea/ I had an uncle in the RNLI who was involved in the rescue of a Polish ship / I was a schoolboy at the time.

When I was stationed at RAF Lossiemouth, near Elgin, I used to travel home via the Yorkshire mining district, during the miner's strike I would pass the massive piles of coal and pray another disaster such as Aberfan befell a community. Little did the miners realize that their leader Arthur Scargill played them. If ever there was an evil man, Scargill is that man. What the miners forgot in a rush for bonuses, is that coal is a natural commodity and the harder you mine it, the sooner it's gone. While the men were starving at the pit-head, Scargill - in his Rolls Royce - paid for with Union fees was rushing around the country in comfort, or jetting to the Soviet Union to be feted by the Communists.

Sooner or later, coal becomes too expensive to mine, and at that point, mines have to be closed, and communities die off - what about Scargill - he made sure he's invulnerable, he became a life peer in the industry he destroyed. In many parts of the coastal mining areas, the only coal available is what is known as sea-coal; this is poor quality coal washed ashore where the seam is exposed to tidal erosion. The miners? I remember seeing them sitting on steps with placards saying "Ex-miner with family to feed, please help." You can call me callous, but my reaction was "Where is your money now? When you were going on holidays twice a year to Spain, the country got held to ransom."

You'll hear a lot of talk about Theresa May being a second Margaret Thatcher, rightly so. You will hear the left talking about how Mrs. Thatcher destroyed the country by attacking the Unions. Take it from someone who lived through the endless Summers of those years - we lived in fear of the Unions. We never knew which union was going to go on strike at a moment's notice- believe me, if she hadn't stood up to the unions, there would be no need for #Brexit, who would want to trade with a country on its knees?

When you talk about "Classic films," how many of you think of including How Green was my valley, on the list?

The film Silent Hill is based on another human-made disaster, and this one will outlast us all. The town and area of Centraliapa, Pennsylvania stands on a burning coal seam.

Coming from a fishing family, I could feel the pain and anguish of another disaster years in the village of Lossiemouth when generations of men died at sea.

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Sales could improve

Why do I write? 
This question is one my friend/editor has asked many times; the answer is I wish for my work to be read. But, to be known means that people need to buy my e-books, and that isn't happening.

A month ago, I was approached by a lady wishing to promote my e-books.

Like many people, she was amazed at my output from the several years I've been writing, but couldn't  understand why I wasn't making more than $1 a week from sales.

I had to inform the lady of the sad situation that I need to keep my prices at low rates, to try to get the sales; thereby crippling my income - a practice that isn't working. 

 Last month, with the popularity of my #scifi series, Forgestriker, I thought I'd try to make more than a few cents for a week's work, so, I raised my prices a little - for longer books - the result - nothing short of a financial disaster. This month is my worst on Barnes & Noble in three years :(


Going global
Yesterday's new influx of readers came from the Far East - we are happy to welcome readers in Singapore to the blog.


Does integrity exist in the world we live in today, and if it does, does it matter anymore? 

A question I used to ask is Can I live with myself? The question arose when I was asked to promote items I'd never used. For a long time, I refused to get involved with false promotions because I thought they could damage my rep as a writer - if the truth came out - then I realised it didn't matter as my rep didn't mean as much as I thought it did. 

Another question was how I could accept the payment for such work? After all, I was lying and being paid for the lies. In this world of piracy of writer's work, the moral dilemmas kept piling up on me.

One day, I decided - to hell with it - if I can make more money writing lies in one article - than I do in several months of honest writing, to hell with integrity and I WILL chase the dollar. 

A lot of people I know keep telling me I am a good writer; others will say they regard me as a best-seller. All I can say is that being a best seller means squat to me - I make less than $1 a week.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Banned again

Your sexy vampire romance part 1
Another of my e-books has been banned by Scrib'd. This time we got things right, my vampire romance The Cursed is racy but not as sexually charged as A Sailor's Love which passed.

Welcome my Greek friends

Romance in the Greek Isles
For lovers of romance, I recommend When times comes by Cat Nicolaou.This young lady has brought out several novellas recently, all of the highest quality.

Greek readers are the latest addition to my expanding network of 'blog readers.
Greece is another country that I would love to visit, and I have a friend in Greece who did invite me over - sadly, health issues and finances limit my travel. 
Healthwise, Greece is not a good place for me as I suffer from sunburn, migraines, and heat stroke but the cultural & historical value of a voyage to the Isles would be a dream come true for me. 

One of the reasons I wanted to go is to visit the site where the poet  Rupert Brooke is buried. 

Churches and dreams

Church history is a passion for me
Churches have always interested me, I have never been overly religious, but I can still admire the architecture of the fine buildings.

Last night, I had one of my strange dreams again. I had a dream about traveling to Essex - on the far side of the UK from here - my wife thought it could have happened because of this terrible news from our city, but until she mentioned the news, I hadn't heard about the crime. This incident reminded me of an incident that happened in Lac La Biche during my stay in Canada

I said, other than our daughter, Sarah, visiting a friend over there, the dream probably came from this article

Last night wasn't the first time this has happened to me. Several years ago, when I was interested in opera I had this incident