Friday, 15 August 2014


Just back from our hols in the above mentioned city.  Yep, we went on holiday to BIRMINGHAM. Why? Well, my husband ( dear Mr Unbound)  and daughter (dear Ciorstaidh) always go to a Heavy Metal festival called Bloodstock, which is just outside Birmingham and Calum, Mr Unbound, reckoned it was somewhere we'd all like (Ciorstaidh unfortunately had to go back to Edinburgh so "we" consisted of me, himself; youngest son, James, 13 and eldest son, Angus, 17 - who's about to leave us to study Applied Chemistry at university), and he was right, we loved it!

 Lovely place, lovely people, loads to do.  We were at a wildlife conservation park, a science museum, a regular museum and art gallery (yawn...sorry...that's really bad, but after the British Museum  - which I've been to twice - if I ever see a mummy or a Roman urn again it will be too soon. Dorothy!  You can't say that!! I know, I feel desperately mentally inadequate...but it's true - the Staffordshire Hoard was good though - hadn't seen that before); a sealife centre (okay, yes, I've seen fish before, too, but...they move and it was really well laid out.... and....and there were Hammerhead sharks, HAMMERHEAD SHARKS. Not regular ones with the goofy/scary faces but Hammerhead ones - what was/were God/the Gods/Whatever thinking!!); loads of great restaurants and shopping, too - if that's your bag .

 Oh, and we also went on this lovely barge trip.  You get on  a barge right in the middle of Birmingham - IN THE MIDDLE - and waft up a picturesque waterway into idyllic countryside, only half an hour from the hurly burly, then back - fabulous. Trouble was, we'd just had lunch (including a cheeky wee glass of wine) and the whole thing was so soporific that I could happily have nodded off.  This was also partly due to the commentary which was great if you like all things Industrial Revolution ie productive, progressive things. It was not for saddos like me who want tales of many severed heads being washed in wells; bloody battles and kings and crowns falling and rising; tales of sorrows and valour and despicable acts with a dash of daring-do on the side. That said - it was really, really nice.

  Only thing.....I couldn't but be disturbed  by was the sheer volume of pushchairs with other tiny people clinging  on to them that were EVERYWHERE..........there's far too people being produced out there, there really is, but I can't see what can be done about it, so I am not going to get into it because I certainly don't have any answers - and if Mother Nature does, and I kind of hope she does - they aint going to be nice. And if she doesn't...well....flip, poor world - good luck sustaining that lot.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Just an amusing tale....

When I was at home in Ullapool last weekend my Mother was telling me about how one of my niece's children - he's about 3 years old - (probably nearer 18 - I just can't keep up) had the pleasure of going to see a friend's guinea pig.  On his return my niece asked him what it was called, and he told her it was named Professor John Drayton.  "Professor John Drayton? Are you sure?" and he affirmed he was, that the cavie in question's noble title was indeed Professor John Drayton.  So, a couple of days later my lovely niece, Tessa, met the lady who owned the guinea pig and asked her about its unusual name. I can only imagine the guinea pig's owner's bemused expression as her guinea pig is not called Professor John Drayton - it's called Bubbles............................we have know idea where the wee fellow got Professor John Drayton from :)

PS. My lovely, clever eldest son Angus has been accepted by Strathclyde Uni to do a degree in Applied Chemistry.......I have no idea what that is but at least now he'll be making things explode in a controlled environment and not in my kitchen :)

Sunday, 20 July 2014

The Magnificent Seven

Very serious Sunday dinner discussion, given current world 

events, was or wasn't Lee Van Cleef one of the original 

Magnificent Seven.  No he wasn't - so I was wrong - grrrr.

He was in the follow ups, but I don't think I've even watched 

them. Fecking smart-Alec movie buff husband.  Right, I'm off

to read my book "Doctor Sleep" - Stephen King's sequel to

 "The Shining" - it is brilliant.

Then I'll probably listen to Rise Against's new CD "Black 

Market" also brilliant (and I'm going to see them in Glasgow 

in November.)

"People Live Here" Rise Against - Black Market

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Words of Wisdom from Stephen King

My husband suggested ages ago that I should read Stephen Kings's book "On Writing" and I would have but I forgot.  Whilst lying along the couch the other night watching Biffy Clyro live at T in the Park, and a little bored at that point, I glanced up at one of our overloaded book shelves and spotted it among the other S. King tomes teetering there, in danger of falling and crushing whoever was recumbent on the couch should even so much as a feather alight on the topmost.  So, I've been reading it.  Actually, I've spent all afternoon reading it and now my brain is hurting but it's very good and I am feeling creatively invigorated. I fear, however, if the giant of a writer himself were to stumble upon this post, he would already be slapping a palm against his face and drawing it slowly down; I really don't think by natural verbosity would appeal at all.

Stephen King in the book decries the use of plotting.  Good.  I'm sick of it, although I'm not sure I can NOT plot because I'm a bit of a list-writer when it comes to anything: bath-time, okay - where's my note book - sponge - check, soap - check, dry towel and/or towels get the picture.  However, as I am hating the plotting thing although feel I need it I am going to try again without *grinds teeth, sweats*.  Reading a lot seems to another biggy for him - fair enough, I've got that one in the bag. Now I've got over not being able to read because I just kept staring at the punctuation, I seem to be making up for lost time and yes, I've always been that person at the bus stop or in the doctors who wrestles a book out of their bag and settles down to ignore attempts at small talk from those around her (headphones are good for that too, even if the ipod isn't switched on - hehehe - urgg...shouldn't have said that!).  What we definitely agree on - and I'm sure he would sleep easier knowing it - is something I've said on this blog before - you learn a hell of a lot reading bad stuff, maybe more than you do from the good stuff - so that 99p you downloaded utter horse manure for was not a waste.

But here's two things I actually wrote down, both of which made a lot of sense to me and I'll quote them.  The first was said to Stephen King by his first editor at a newspaper he worked at:

"When you write a story, you are telling yourself the story.  When you re-write, your main job is taking out the things that are not the story."

The other one is from himself when he was talking about the need to write everyday, to not lapse, as I have, and wait for the muse to come a calling, or inspiration or urges to drive you to the pen:

"Sometimes you have to go on when you don't feel like it, and sometimes you're doing good work when it feels like all you're managing to do is shovel shit from a sitting position."

So, yes, as of tomorrow, I'm going to get on with it.  He suggests a daily word count of one thousand to begin with and that you do not leave your sanctuary until you reach it.  The sanctuary bit might be difficult.  I had set one up in the porch but it's too bright, too hot and the distractions are unlimited (cats chasing flies, hoodie crows menacing cats, weeds growing, cars passing, people on bikes, flowers....I'm easily distracted), so I will need to find another, maybe in the barn with the door shut or the hens will get in - no, second thoughts, too many spiders; I'd be running down the garden screaming like a big girls blouse every thirty seconds.....hmm, I think I may have to draw up a list of possible sanctuaries with a pros and cons column, utilising different coloured pens, of course, oh and with a grading system.................

Yours, Big Dxx

Saturday, 5 July 2014

The Creeps

The creeps, the heebie-jeebies whatever you call them, we all get the at sometime or another.  I was bad as a kid, probably everyone is, but I still get them even now, from time to time.  

I remember one house I stayed in, a modern building that had absolutely NOT been built on an ancient burial site, and any time I did the hoovering upstairs I was convinced something was creeping up behind me.  So I'd keeping turning off the hoover and peering over my shoulder - nothing. "Hoover ghosts" - I called them Hoover Ghosts - weird thing - never felt them anywhere else.  And it WAS ghosts - by which I mean it was undead entities (or odd vibrations/shadows/something to do with the kind of floorboards), not axe murderers.  Axe murderers aren't anywhere near as scary as ghosts.  Axe murderers you can shove down the stairs or run away from, or get to the kitchen knife block before or - worse case scenario - grass-off to the cops from beyond the grave - but ghosts: tha sibh fucked, a'ghraidh (Scottish Gaelic - google if you really feel you need to :))

Why do I mention this, on this loveliest of summer's evenings? Well, youngest and I just watched "Paranormal Activity" and he said it wasn't scary!  Only film to ever give me nightmares and he said it "wasn't scary".........flipping Philistine. 

I have watched MANY horror and ghosty films and read MANY MANY horror/ghosty books and ....oh no wait.......the black and white "Whistle and I'll Come My Lad" MR James - that got me too. Anyway, the upshot is I reckon we all have different things that effect us depending on our own sensiblilties - one man's scary ghosty sheet is another man's laundry going awry :) - I do happen to know he's scared of spiders....and I have a spider-catcher...........heheheheheheh :)

TUNE!!! has to be Green Day and Basket Case 

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Condom Nation

" NO! the word is 'condemnation'...con-dem-nation' - not 'Condom Nation'.  We aren't discussing some - I don't know - extreme anti-Cathoic-ethos state, possibly based in Lewis.  I am referring to how I am disapproving of your under-use of the great outdoors...............ffs!!" 

That was tonight discussion with the youngest during dinner/tea (I had sgadan agus buntata - herring and potatoes - those heathens - my sons - had normal fish and chips).

He is now upstairs defining the following because he "claimed" not to understand them: 

IMPREGNATE (don't, really  don't ask..........Oh, and it had nothing to do with the previous word.  Totally different discussion).

My task was to figure out how you spell them all - 3/5 - oh yes, thank you spell check - homework done and done :) - heheheheehehe :)

I'm going to see Rise Against in November with my pal Trish so the tune for this even-tide has to be an RG classic:
love and good wishes,
Big Dxx

Friday, 20 June 2014


                                                             MY BOOK 
                              TWO ALL - ALL FOR ONE

or don' might like it though and it's not too expensive at £0.00......ah, come on, ya tight wad, it took me three flipping years.  Comes free with my good wishes (ffs - blurggg). Okay, I'll stop now.  It's started raining and I need to take the washing in anyway.


Monday, 16 June 2014

Game of Thrones

OHHHHHHWOWWWWWW - ARGGGG..................ggggggggggg - Game of Thrones is finished.  Is there any point in even being awake for the next number of months?............yes.........because I've just bought the box set of series one, and I'm going to start at the beginning again ..........ha!

Saturday, 14 June 2014

A Good Day To Die

I'm a wee, old woman (to clarify for those not personally acquainted with my good-self : 4'10, 8 and a half stone, 47 and three-quarters) so, why do I do these things?!  EVERYTHING HURTS!!!

[ "everything" is massive over-playing of the situation, yep, I'm a drama-queen - and I would have said: egg-zad-you're-ation, but I'm having a senior moment and can't even start to figure out how you spell it - normally I'd shout at my husband to tell me, but he's mellowing out to Metallica right now, and it would be harsh to disturb him (he and our lovely daughter, Ciorstaidh, are off to see them at Sonisphere in a couple of weeks btw.)]

 So, as I was saying, the following hurts: Achilles tendon, neck, finger tips and right elbow (think it's the right. Left and right.... I've never really figured out which is which or why it's important anyway when you can say things like "the one nearest the window") so, my elbow nearest the window hurts......... glad that's cleared things up. Why? OCHT!....need you ask...
..................................... come on, it was only a 14k run (14.78k) and one small (big), flower bed........ Achilles tendon is from the run, the rest is that innocuous-seeming flower bed.  I thought: I'll weed this bugger, get the "rose bed" done ( inverted commas are because I don't have a rose bed as gardeners in any other part of the country would understand it - I have a bed with stumpy, jabby things in it that produce the most fabulous blooms (tops two) in about OCTOBER?! - but they are perfect, and I mean PERFECT - too weird...); and the bed of a mad mixture of things (inc. an apple tree, many aqualegia, a very odd primula, and a blue low-growing triffid???),  behind the house.  Nope, Bed One nearly killed me, seriously.  It has been damp and warm here and the weeds are taking the pi.....micky.  Sooooo knackkkkkkered.

So, that's the news in brief - apart from getting the whole first section of my sequel plotted yesterday - oh, yes, I so did !!! see picture :)
Don't look too closely - SPOILERS!!!!!!!!!!! and don't be put off by the large blank section - it's the bones at the beginning that matters.

Tune: Green Day " Jesus of Suburbia"

Wednesday, 11 June 2014


The thing is....I've got my gardening mojo back - which is great for the garden....not so good for the writing.  It's not that I'm not, more that.... okay, I'm lying, I'm not, not really properly. The thing is the weather is really nice just now and I hardly touched the old flower beds last year as I was too busy waiting to become a famous writer and assuming the next book was just waiting to happen, getting frustrated as hell when it didn't etc etc.

So, I'm just going to go with the flow.  I'll write when I feel like it, garden when I feel like it, lie around reading when I feel like it and blog when I feel like it.  I will not continue to beat myself up for not doing any of the above when I should be (well, can't say I ever stopped reading, apart from when I couldn't concentrate for staring at the punctuation and trying to figure it out).

To Sam, if you still read this, and anyone else out there who enjoyed Two All - sorry I haven't provided a sequel sooner.  I thought I would have by now too, but considering how long Two All was buzzing about in the back of my head before I actually sat down to write it, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised.  It's there though, almost complete in my head. I just need my writing mojo back - it'll come. Heck, I'll need to save up for the proofreaders anyway!!

Speak to you soon.  Will try to be a tad more amusing next time.
Big Dxx

Saturday, 31 May 2014


My 10k time?  it was very close to the speed of light, kind of....well, I'm pretty chuffed with it anyway.  Having NEVER done that distance at less than 70 mins before, last weekend in the race I did it in 57.22 mins *hurrah me*!!!! 

I was 4th in my group. My group is "veteran females" or "VFs" (any person of the female gender over 35 is a VF - I'm 47and 3/4).  The first female in the whole race was a VF! So now I'm working on my speed - fartleks - it's a speed training thing.  This time next year....................:)  


So I've shouted many things at the children over the years: PUT THAT DOWN! TAKE THAT OUT YOUR EAR!! IS PEEING THERE ENTIRELY NECESSARY?! STOP SAYING IT DOESN'T HURT, OF COURSE IT HURTS, IT'S BROKEN YOU IDIOT!! (that would be to Angus...very high pain threshold), HAVE YOU TAKEN LEAVE OF YOUR SENSES?! (all of them - including my husband), WHO'S UPSTAIRS?! (that would be a Ciorstaidh one),  OH FFS!!! ( also Ciorstaidh, by text - many times),WHAT THE HELL MADE YOU THINK THAT WAS A GOOD IDEA??!!  (all of them) STOP IGNITING THINGS YOU AREN'T CONFIDENT WON'T EXPLODE (Angus).  But I just shouted something up the stairs to James (youngest) this evening that I wouldn't ever have imagined shouting at anyone.   If you said to me: list things you might shout, I wouldn't have listed it outside of my, say, top twenty shouting things and, verily, it was this:


Well, that was a first.

See, said painting, below. It's on display at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (Glasgow) but if you ask me, it was displayed much better at St Mungo's Museum of Religion (also Glasgow) when they had it.  We went to view it amongst other things when we were on our cultural trip to Glasgow recently, which happened to coincide with "Fall Out Boy" being at the Hydro.  And James didn't even remember it?! OH FFS!!!!

Christ of Saint John of the Cross.jpg

Saturday, 24 May 2014

..............I dunno!!!

Okay, news in brief re my 10k - it was great but....I don't know what my time was.  IT'S NOT MY FAULT!!! This woman passed me when the finish line was in sight (nearly) and I went mental, hit the gas-pedal and sprinted over the finish, leaving the poor unfortunate blone (Lewis word for woman) in my wake.  The thing was, I was going so fast I didn't register what the time was on the clock - I was there and then passed it - flipsakes, although I reckon somewhere aroundish the speed of light, although according to my so called "sports watch" I was going at 15.5k...hurrrmph. I feel a stern letter to the manufacturer is required because I was obvs going AT LEAST  299 792 458 m /s, tsk.

I'l fill you in later when I know - I'm quite excited because I think I have kicked my own arse - as it were but I don't want to say in case I haven't???? 

Friday, 23 May 2014


                    OH PEOPLE OF THE WORLD 


WOW, ISN'T THAT EXCITING........................

So, that's my book "Two All - All for One" -  a contemporary fantasy and my short story "The Paper Samurai" - a...story about...a person.......hmmm, I have a really problem categorising "The Paper Samurai"....bitter sweet, romanticy sort-off-ish (answers on a postcard please).

Hope you get them - hope you like them.

My 10k race tomorrow...wish me luck :) 

Thursday, 22 May 2014


On Tuesday a very nice woman, new to the village, went to walk her dog on the Traigh Mhor (see picture..... of the beach not of Alice and her Labradoodle!) which is one of the three fine beaches we boast here in Tolsta.

It was about 8:30am when she pulled up in her car - which was difficult enough because of the way camper vans had been parked. Next thing these.....*twitch twitch*.....people alighted from their mobile living-room and told her that locals shouldn't be allowed on the beach before 9am.


My outrage was outraged when Alice told me this. These "road warriors" had parked up in the car park for free, doubtless having stocked up at Tesco - they certainly didn't buy anything in the village shop 'cause I was behind the counter all Monday and Tuesday - they had access to the toilets, bins and water, to reiterate, for free and they think, they think LOCALS SHOULDN'T BE ALLOWED ON THE BEACH BEFORE 9AM!!!!

I was SO mad - still am when I think about it.  It's only a shame they left that morning or they might have found out exactly how noisy it could get down at the Traigh - and at a lot freaking earlier than 8:30am.

The Traigh Mhor - ours for walking on whenever the hell we want, with or without our dogs, cats, sheep, pipe bands, drum kits and whilst singing, dancing and/or shouting if we so wish. DEAL WITH IT.

Monday, 19 May 2014


Got my race number for this Saturday's 10k.  I've never had a race number before because I've never been in a real race (the sort where you are supposed to be being competitive as opposed to a fun run when you aren't supposed to be but are anyway, but feel bad about it). 
                 And my race number is.......din din din diiiiiin


That's what the title of this post is if you leave the cap. locks on by accident. I was hoping to be able to find some special significance in my number, but I don't.  I asked for 13 so I could blame falling in a ditch, being mauled by hedgehogs and coming last on my number but someone else has bagsed it.  So I'm 127.  One hundred and twenty-seven. Aon ceud fichead sa seachd.  Nope, definitely lacking portent. Tsk.

Tried a new writing thing yesterday.  It felt a little bonkers but since trying it, a writer friend says it's what he does if his plots aren't co-operating, namely:  I decided to ignore all my stories, half stories and sequel.  Two could play at their little game.  So, last night, at a time I would normally have been scurrying off with my laptop and note books and pens, I instead grabbed my kindle and went for a read and what do you ghost story came slinking into my head, tail between it's legs with an improvement that will sort out where it was going wrong....hmph.  Is there anything where playing hard to get doesn't work?  Definitely need to try it on Saturday :)

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Fucking Euphoria....grrrr

So now I'm doing the 10k next week....I signed myself up........oh for the love of.......

5K and "long live the car crash hearts"

Okay, all you seriously fit people, I know 5k is not very far and it's only 3.1 miles and yes, I can run much further and do so regularly, but I like the 5k Womans Cancer Challenge because it is such a friendly race.  All the walkers are cheering you on and clapping.  I even decided not to be a complete killjoy this year and wore the pink t-shirt....shhh...don't tell anyone.

Don't think I've ever felt so crap running though - sore back, dizzy at the beginning - odd - however I took about 6 minutes off my last time and crossed the line at 27 minutes, so I'm pretty chuffed. Thank you, beloved treadmill!

I just wish I hadn't felt the need to start singing at one point - yes - singing.  For the record, I was feeling good at that point and Fall Out Boy came on my ipod doing "Thriller" so I let rip, much to the surprise, I think, of the poor walkers on the other side of the road.  My apologies, ladies, for that particular crime against music. I do have a nasty habit of bursting into song when I'm running from time to time, although usually I am in the middle of a deserted stretch of single-track, and not while surrounded by many people.  Just as well I normally run alone.

So here's to next year and, in case you are's FOB and Thriller - not my version!



Friday, 16 May 2014

What I Got Last Weekend (and it's not what it sounds like).

I was sorely tempted to entitle this post: "Last Weekend I Got a Shag" but that really sounded much too crude, and we all know how sensitive I am regarding vulgarities. It would have been accurate however, but as hinted at in the actual title, not the to-much-information moment it suggests .  Let me explain....

It was a choir get together. As previously mentioned, I joined Coisir Sgire a'Bhac at the end of last year...that's Back Gaelic Choir....that's a large choral group who perform in the native language of the Highlands and Islands (mostly Islands these days) of Scotland who all come from around the village of Back on the Isle of Lewis.... that's the Hebridean Island I live on, just across the water from God's own country, the Western Highlands of Scotland....that's a geographical....oh, stuff it...this is what google's for.

It was a lot of fun. There was us and members of the other choirs from around Lewis, namely Lochs Choir, Carloway Choir and Tong Choir.  We ate, drank, sang, played some daft games and had a competition. That's when I got a shag.

Question: What is the alternate name for the Common Cormorant?

I couldn't believe my ears! What were the chances? My sisters had oft chanted the following within my hearing (it possibly annoyed me or something): The Common Cormorant or Shag, lays it's eggs in a paper bag.

I very nearly blew it by shouting out the answer! I had to confine myself to a silent lap of honour with my top pulled over my head while genuflecting vigorously. I must say though, I'm glad there wasn't a follow-up question regarding where they lay their eggs  because I seriously doubt the voracity of their preferred nesting spot being in a paper bag, as suggested in the ditty. I mean, I'm no ornithologist but it strikes that the Common Cormorant or Shag - if you will - would possibly be a trifle less common were it normal to utilise such a flimsy receptacle for incubating its eggs.  I'm also very lucky that I cleared a little misunderstanding up with my sisters a long time ago, that being that it wasn't "The Common Cormorant, Orshag, lays etc etc" but was in fact "The Common Cormorant or Shag, lays etc etc"   Hmm, how the hours of our childhood must have flown by?!

I'm doing the 5k Isle of Lewis Woman's Cancer Challenge tomorrow - with any luck my bad leg won't make an arse of me - wish me luck :)

Tuesday, 6 May 2014



I've finally got around to remembering to do a free promotion. 
(I really do suck at this promotional thing - and not in a dramatic, erotic vampire-y way, more a clogged vacuum cleaner-y kind of way.

Why are they called vacuum cleaners anyway - who's ever heard of a dirty vacuum!  Nor in my vast carpet cleaning experience, do any of the well-known brands suck so hard that they remove all the air from your living-room.  I'm sure they'd have to have some sort of health warning on them if they did: "This product may cause asphyxiation and possibly the explosion or implosion of your head (I'm no expert). A space or diving suit must be worn while operating this machinery - oh, and may contain nuts". There'll be a reason for them being called vacuum cleaners, possibly even a very good one).  Anyhoo...where was I... oh, yeah free see that's how bad I am - I've just been distracted before I've hardly started, ruminating on the title inferred on a motorised brush and pan.  Come on, Dorothy - FOCUS...........)

 Both my book - "Two All - For One" and my short story - "The Paper Samurai" are going to be on FREE PROMOTION on the 12th,13th and 14th of this month.

Go on - you know you want to - hell, they're free - what have you got to loose and if you like them, write me a review on Amazon (note the "if you like them part" :))

Tune: Faith - Taking Back Sunday (this song is NOT religious - it's just an unfortunate coincidence the song is called "Faith" and group are "Taking Back Sunday" - no idea why they are called that but, like vacuum cleaners,  I'm sure they have a very good reason.

Monday, 5 May 2014

Some Serious Slacking Off

It is Mr Unbound and I's 25th wedding anniversary today - obviously I was stolen from the crib (hahahaa - NOT).  So I have done nothing - NOTHING - for DAYS as we went away for the weekend to a lovely place called The Lodge on Loch Lomond - it was utterly fabulous.  We even had a sauna in our bedroom! Plus, a wee balcony that looked straight out over the loch. There was a spa attached to the hotel too, just across the carpark.  This is why we chose it; we wanted to do something we hadn't done before.  I did suggest jumping out of an aeroplane but it was not considered an acceptable suggestion by Mr U.

The facilities available in the spa were a pool, a jacuzzi, a steam room, a sauna (yes, another one) and a laconium (not sure I've spelt that right), so various ways to get soaked to the skin and roasting hot.  It was lovely, I do like swimming and as we got the place to our selves when we went over. The only trouble was neither of us are very good at sitting still, at least not without a book, so we would do about five minutes in one of the various hot rooms then get twitchy and move to the next, then back again to one of the ones we'd already been in. I could imagine the attendant shaking his heat thinking: amateurs/hicks from the sticks.

We did much eating and consuming of beverages.  The White Russian I had is definitely my taste buds new favourite thing.  I had to try it, as a Big Labowski fan - for those brief moments that I held it in my hand I was  The Dude, Dudeski, En Dudereeno (phonetics there),

No writing was achieved - I will be knuckling under from now on, I swear!  In the meantime, here's us loving life :)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

An Update on Bugger All.

So that's Two All - All for One - my book - being uploaded AGAIN - no point in putting a link to it as it won't be on sale now for about 24 hours - I'll do one when it is on its next free promo.  The wonderful Lee Burton of  Ocean's Edge Editing gave it a good old clean up.  Any future bits of writing will be going straight to Lee - poor sod!  

Other than that what's happening......bugger all really. Still pulling my hair out trying to get my sequel plot sorted out.  I keep thinking I'm there and then decide it's stupid and starting over.  I love my prologue bit but now I fear it may have to be modified for the whole to make sense - so do forgive me if that piece undergoes a bit of heavy duty messing around with when I do FINALLY get there.  Haven't even decided on a title yet, I still feel a million miles away from that stage.  It'll come, probably in a blinding flash as I'm crossing the road and I'll get squished mid-eureka moment.

Oh well, sorry to be so boring.  I'll try to do something really stupid in the near future to regale you with.

See you,
Big Dxx

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


Hi, sorry, I know ... ages.  Been writing and editing.  Got "Two All- All for One" back from a second proofreader/editor, all good, except I need to sort type-os and all the bad punctuation the first one missed :) Will get it done over the next few days and then I'll do a Two All free promo.  Short ghost story "Medium Rare" nearly done and the sequel to Two All is having to take a back seat while I let ideas for it peculate.  Also, ironing, cooking, dishes, being the Post Mistress of Doom (everything sounds more interesting with "of doom" after it), the hens, the stupid garden growing stupid weeds already, being vaguely sociable to the few humans I like, having to sleep and........ oh, that reminds me...........

This morning I woke up at around 5:30. Imagine the strains of Peer Gynt's "Morning".  Now - stop imagining them (or even listening to the link) because that does not sound anything like what woke me up at 5:30.  What woke me up at 5:30 was our cat (Jack Kirby) walking around outside meowing her head off in an incredibly strident manner to get someone to let her in.  Now, that wasn't ever going to happen.  Long ago we decided, give in once and that will be a habit formed, she'll soon learn to use one of the expensive cat houses I bought for her and Sydney.  Well, so far she hasn't and she's coming up for five or six.

Anyway, she eventually gave up and I was just drifting off again, when......EEKEEEKEKEEEKEEKE!!!  That is the sound of my youngest son twiddling with the dial of the shower.  He thinks if he twiddles it back and forward really fast it will heat up quicker.  It won't.  But he's a teenager now, and clearly knows best.  Well, my brain was just beginning to allow the "eeking" sound to be assimilated into parts of my dreams (don't ask) when all the fiddling caused an airlock in the pipes - HONNNNNNNNNNKKKKKKKKKKKKK!!!!!! OH YOU HAVE SO GOT TO BE..............

I gave in to the inevitable and got up when he started trying to twiddle quietly............ffs.

PS: This is Jack Kirby and yes, she's female, unlike her late namesake - she's not as good with a pencil either.

Saturday, 29 March 2014



Here it is if you want to read it:

"Two All - All For One" (that's my book) is currently being re-proofread - so DON'T go and buy it just now, okay, I'll tell you when it's been tidied up and I'll stick it out for free for a bit when it is :) 

Friday, 28 March 2014

Dr Ross MacIver at you Service.

Well, I'm back.  "Fall Out Boy" were most excellent.  The support band "New Politics" were also very good and gave it some wellie.  The other support band "The Pretty Reckless" were pretty bloody awful and had really annoying lights but hey ho.

Youngest son, James (13), very much enjoyed his first proper gig and my daughter, Ciorstaidh, and I would have given ourselves beamers (see also "red necks", "red faces", general warm feeling of embarrassment) had we been shy retiring sorts who had gone oddly crazy for one night only - but we're not - so we had an uninhibited ball.  We sang like banshees throughout, fist pumped, pointed a lot at some point up and in front (as you do) and generally showed large amounts of enjoyment and enthusiasm (all without the aid of excessive booze. I don't do that at such gigs in case I forget anything I saw or heard). Great fun, just what the doctor aught to prescribe:  "Yeah, sorry, Mr Boss, sir/madam, but the Doc says I've got to go and let it all hang.  And he says that at no point have I to give a flying fuck what anyone else thinks, so.....what can I do."

Tell you what!  I've just had a great idea!! If you want - nay - need to bugger off to a similar event but work/ a family member or similar are preventing you; either through emotional blackmail, regular blackmail or just by saying no - get them to email me and I'll pretend to be you GP. Fantastic, glad  I sorted that situation out for you, don't mention it.

Night :)

Friday, 21 March 2014

The Airport and Not Being Cool.

I'm travelling to the Fall Out Boy gig in Glasgow by plane and the carry on at the airport is already getting me pre-infuriated. I am becoming annoyed at the prospect of having to take off stuff I haven't even put on yet?! (My husband says I can't go to bed dressed in my travelling clothes. What?!  I like to ready in plenty of's my thing. I have never pretended I was cool. If I was cool I wouldn't have a blog.

I have this fantasy thing that amuses me greatly, of getting to the security check, and when I set off the buzzers and they go through the carry on with their paddle thing, of just slipping a hand up my back, unclasping, and WHEECHING my bra out of my sleeve, going: "I believe this may be what you are looking for, Sherlock.  It's a new fangled contraption called an under-wired bra.  Invented in the 1900s (poss. 1800s) for elevating one's bosom.  You've heard of them?  Then why the hell are we going through this freaking pantomime, you dick, sorry, dickess."  Ocht, flaming heck, that's the least of it.  I'll have to take the clasps out of my hair, take my lace-up boots off (bet I have Xmas socks on again), take off my necklace, unclip my fob watch, and that's before they discover all the drugs I have stashed!! (The contraceptive pill and my asthma inhaler - see! told I wasn't cool!!!).  So, you might say, why put all that stuff on in the first place when you know what's going to happen? BECAUSE! OKAY - JUST BECAUSE.....that's how I dress, I don't do...none metallic, sans bits and pieces - tsk, may as well go in my PJs if that was the case.  HEY! THERE'S AN IDEA. I'll just get dressed in departures - see how they like that :)

Love, Big Dxx

FALL OUT BOY and the cool-losing gene.

Well, this time tomorrow night, I will be in the Glasgow Hydro to see FALL OUT BOY, accompanied by my daughter, Ciorstaidh and youngest son, James.  He's 14, it's his first proper gig and the poor wee bugger has no idea how crazy his sister and I go at such events.  I'm just hoping he has the cool-losing gene she and I have, in the event of listening to good, live music turned up to 11 and over :) 

See you on the other side.....

Tune: Save Rock and Roll - Fall Out Boy

Friday, 14 March 2014

Attempting to be of Assistance - NO, REALLY - cont. - (a writing thing)

Today's attempt to be of assistance is a writing thing.  Yes, I am fully aware I know nothing - I am merely a toe-in-the-water type myself.  However, I am still a number of steps beyond the person who is still sitting scribbling in notebooks or typing like a fiend, imagining the day they finish..... The day they write that final word, open the back door to breath in cool, clear air, and, blinking into the sunlight, see an army of (hmm, not a very imaginative collective noun - how about a "safe bet of" or a "next JK of" or  a "goodness-only- knows how many shades of")  publishers and agents standing before them, oozing with expectation (possibly  a moment foretold by a prophecy, maybe read from the strewn entrails of a Hooded Crow?? ........... but maybe not). The bidding war begins - perhaps even with actual fisty cuffs - for the rights to the manuscript. Ahem...okay..........

I've read a few creative writing books for the first time recently, and to be honest, most of them state the bleedin' obvious and just break down into words stuff you probably know instinctively from reading all your life, which as a writer or aspiring writer, you probably have.  But here's a couple of things that maybe aren't so obvious that just might help you and stop you making mistakes that I made and will stop you wasting time I wasted:

Tip 1: Have another look at all your characters and evaluated how important they are to your plot. Be honest, be brutal. Are they required.  You may love them to bits, but readers who are not as deeply involved with your creation and this new person as you are can be very impatient with superfluous characters.  For example, in retrospect, I should have killed off "Charlie"  in my book "Two All - All for One"  - during the jail break, but it didn't even occur to me.  It was Charlie - I couldn't kill Charlie, my one true Highlander!  And I knew Charlie - everything about him, loads of stuff that no one else will ever know.  He was as real to me as anyone.  No he wasn't.  I don't know half as much about my nearest and dearest as I do about Charlie... I even know how he actually dies because I kept him alive, eventually, it's not memorable, it won't make any story, but I know.  But how much more Highland would a dramatic, heroic, noble death have been than ending up another cast member.  Sorry Charlie.
I did have another character that I did "kill off" but not in the story as it is now, this was before it even got to publication  and his character was absorbed by another - a composite character - that's how superfluous he was, but it took an early draft reader (the greatest people in the world) to point it out. I loved him too.  But - and here is the great revelation - it might feel like you are really attached to them - these characters you create - but you're not.  It's a weird thing and I wouldn't have believed it till I did it, but it's true. We, as writers, are as heartless as the most judgemental of gods.  Getting rid of people is not as hard as you think it will be, it doesn't hurt at all, it feels right and you don't miss them for more than a second after you say goodbye.  Same goes for passages you love because they are "brilliant" - works of genius - in my case, gags that have me laughing out loud that are going to have the whole world peeing their pants with hilarity - but you know in your heart they don't work or fit. :(  Stick them in a word document all of their own for your next book and carry on without it.  Trim the fat, people, trim the fat.

That said, if you are totally happy with it or them - leave it or them in. Fuck it - it's your book :) I have read too many books where I couldn't give a toss what happened to the characters because they have been left soulless because someone has cut too close to the bone.

Tip 2:  As I said, I have recently read stuff about creative writing (not a lot though, and maybe I should have done it before :S - I'm sure one isn't supposed to punctuate with sue me) and such instructive tomes suggest the reading of quality literature.  See now, I'd disagree there.  I have learned far more in the last while from reading really bad stuff and trying to learn from their mistakes  (easily found - on Amazon free kindle books - don't look for no stars - that just may mean they are new - look for lots of stars at about three or less).  You read a good book - it should flow over you, so you are in it and not studying the way the writer formed a particular character's arc or the way a scene could be broken down into the three main fundamentals - or whatever.  However, you read a bad book and - boy oh boy - not only do you get to feel smug as hell, but you learn.  Here's an eg: I read a novella recently. It was a good story (you could tell the author liked Steven King - it was a bit derivative, but it was still good) - however....POV - point of view - he had it all wrong. The story was written in the first person; an old man recalling events in his childhood. Trouble was I kept finding myself going: how would the kid know that?  Did his Aunty tell him?  Jeez - can't imagine when that conversation would have been appropriate. These mistakes with POV kept taking me out of the story and back to the real world. If you get one of those moments when your reading, look back and see what the writer did wrong that that happened and try not to do it in your writing.  But it's not just us newbes who make mistakes. I read a book by my favourite author - an established proper writer  - and there was a HUGE mistake near the end when a character who was supposed to be dead suddenly came back to life - it was an accidental name switch. But that was big old hardback - how many people hadn't done their jobs right for that to slip through :)  

If you are out there writing and you think I might be able to help - get in  touch.  When I had "Two All" done , I didn't know where to go and I contacted that favourite writer to ask and he never got back to me.  I'll get back :)
Tune: Because I'm going to see Fall Out Boy next weekend in Glasgow -  my new favourite song.

Friday, 7 March 2014

Bit from the Prologue to my Sequel

'Egt Dreth Caill - The Dark Heart - Starfall Created, but one of a kind - rose up out of the pit, black Horde blood running from her in rivers.  She flicked the short axe she carried and a clod of something unpleasant flew from it. “So, what have you cheeky, little funsters been up to this time,” she said, addressing the Chief Architect. “Because I could have really lived without this, you know.  You’re just lucky The Desolation could get me here so fast.”  Grasping the end of her tail, she gave it a shake and a glob of congealing blood plopped off the leonine tuft at the end, as she shook out her midnight blue wings.  “Right – direct me to the backside that needs kicking or was this a cluster fuck up.”'

                   PS.  The original is called "Two All - All for One" and is available on kindle

Learning from My Mistakes.

The two things this blog is mostly about are writing and running - add reading and I suppose that's my hobbies about covered, unless you count watching good things like scary ghosty films (got to be ghosty, not murdery, slashy, boobs-out-for-no-good-reason ones - see my husbands blog - Kult Kvlture for examples of the aforementioned).   But the thing is, and this was where I was going before I got distracted by my preferred genre of horror, I am an expert on neither.  You are witnesses, albeit by my own accounts, of my learning curves - steep and painful in both cases - in actuality and psychologically.

So, I was thinking, I should use the public forum for the good of mankind, instead of for getting random crap off my chest, and list the horrible things I have done to myself and have learned in order to pave a smoother path for would-be-writers (like me) and newbe runners.

I'll start with a running one.

Oooo, this is a belter - feeling it as I'm thinking about it. When I was first giving the old running a go, shifting my plump little body around the countryside at lightening speed (lightening is really slow isn't it?) I didn't think it was necessary for me to bother with formalities like cooling down. Cooling down was for proper runners.  WRONG.  Oh man, was I wrong. So I got back from a wee turn around the block (about three miles - pretty much my limit in those days - well, you carry 36Es around with you and see how far you get - two sports bras! I used to have to wear two!! Not a problem anymore - see Kult Kvlture for a man compensating for his wife running her boobs off - oops).  Any hoo - got back, wheeched (ye olde Scottish word for removed vigorously) off my jacket and strolled out to the clothes line in my tee shirt to take the washing in before it froze to the line, this being a crisp and even winter's day.  About an hour later, the back of my neck began to hurt - a couple of hours later is was really quite sore so I managed to get a doctor's appointment (still no clue what I'd done) and was lucky enough to get a doctor who practised what he preached and kept fit.  He pointed out the error of may ways, stressed the importance of cooling down and how MUCH more important it was than warming up (you see to this day warming up makes sense to me - cooling down not so but I have never shirked on it since).  He gave me the most humongous tablets I have ever seen and I headed off home. Before those tablets kicked in, I was in the worst pain ever - 9/10 if 10/10 is child birth.  I was curled up on my bed crying, actually crying, before I fell asleep.  The next day it wasn't so sore because of the pills but if I wanted to communicate with someone, I had to physically lift my chin up with my hand and point my head in the right direction - I had pulled a whole heap of muscles in my neck.

 Note neck here - not legs. Just because it feels like your legs are doing all the work, they aren't.  Run with your hands brushing your hips and held as is you are carrying an egg.  As you get tired you will notice your shoulders hunching and arms coming up, drop them and relax your shoulders and hands because otherwise if you are running a decent distance at all, you'll get a really stiff neck and remember, REMEMBER - always  roll out your neck as part of your cool down, just five rolls each side is fine.

And there endeth today's lesson on things not to do :)

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Outside V Treadmill - a running thing

Had my first outside run today since I bought "The Beast" (my reebok treadmill) in January, and I sucked..........sucked so bad........even got cramp...............hmmmm.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Apparently I'm A "Cultural Capitalist", oh, and a Young Volcano :)

                                My son has just told me I am a "CULTURAL CAPITALIST"!!!!!!!

                                             A CULTURAL CAPITALIST!!!............

                   me?............. *sniff*............ that's what he harsh........
                                                     so proud (of him).

No - okay- here's what it was, he was busy spreading  a horrible margarine product on his toast (it's only in the house because my husband keeps buying it; it's low calorie) and I....

[okay, let me just say,-  this is my fabulous hardcore Steampunk son, Angus, I'm referring to - he doesn't know he is "hardcore Steampunk" but he so is: he refuses to have a mobile phone; has a wind up watch ...okay that's it - so I'm hoping Steampunk rather than total Nihilist, but we'll see. He'll be lovely either way] scientific barrettes - he'd like those...

.                                                                                           .............commented on his choice of spread. and then he called me A CULTURAL CAPITALIST..............f*%&ing  bastard.......because I prefer actual, proper butter - no chemical, no fuss, rotten milk butter..............

HEY! DID I TELL YOU -  I'M GOING TO GLASGOW ON THE 22ND TO SEE "FALL OUT BOY" - MORE EXCITED THAN A 47 YEAR OLD HAS EVER BEEN   ( because I'm not just contemplating the grave or living totally vicariously through other people)xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx  WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

TUNE:  Young Volcanoes..Fall Out Boy - because I can't not smile when it's on and I figure volcanoes are old so yeah - I'm a young volcano :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Hissy Fit

Yes, I had one tonight - a hissy fit, a meltdown, a moment and I.............deleted the 65,000  odd words  I'd already written of my sequel to "Two All - All for One" because it was annoying I regret it? Not yet. There was a lot of stuff I liked in there but too much I didn't.  It was too dark and had no point I could put my finger on and I had been really horrible to one of the new characters I really liked - I get a bit attached to them.  

Tomorrow, I will begin again - properly this time - I promise :)

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Things To Be Aware of when Considering Publishing Your Book.


1. Believe your proof reader has spotted all type-os - turns out they won't have.  Now, if someone asked me to say, sell them a stamp and I sold them half a stamp but charged them for a whole one - I think they'd be justifiably peeved.  So, yeah, I'm justifiably peeved about this.  However, it seems to be how it goes - so if you want a better chance of getting your manuscript checked properly, get it proofread at least twice.

1. Save lots of money to pay to proofreaders.

For more wise words - go to another blog :)  For great tips on creative writing go to Inside Creative Writings web page and listen to his podcasts (note: try to ignore the seriously cheesy jingle).

Oh, and I finished a short ghost story today called: Medium Rare.

My books can be found at this link :)

Thursday, 20 February 2014

What Have I Gotten Myself Into!

Have just bought a flamenco dress.  Yes I have.  Why?  For the Gaelic Choir of course. WHAAA??
For our Christmas party in March, obviously. Its to have a Spanish theme........don't ask :) ??? :)

HURRAH!!!!! - a running thing.


         That's me doing a lap of honour around the house!

I have done prog. 11 - not just done - I thrashed it - pulled down its trousers and spanked its backside - humiliated it - trashed it - laughed in its face!  I sang (well, screeched) along to "The Phoenix" as I did the bit that felled me last time.

Heheheheheh........bring it on 15.


Watched a program last night about parasites.  Fascinating and disgusting in equal measure. It was talking about certain parasites effecting their host to the extend that the host pretty much commits suicide by as good as offering itself up for scoffing to a predator ie a mouse going looking for a cat and making sure it's seen. Plus the parasite slows down responses.  It even showed and infected snail who had changed its feelers/eyes from dull camouflaged brown to undulating oranges and greens like a stripey caterpillar and then instead of hiding under leaves etc was flaunting itself out in the open - basically wearing a sign saying "COME AND GET ME BIRDS! - OVER HERE - MMMMM, I'M TASTY" .  Freaky.

There was even the suggestion that people infected by this parasite (and it's quite a common one) are more likely to behave recklessly; taking risks with their own safety - presumably the parasites idea is that the person will go an pull a lion's whiskers but in the case of the average person this means walking too slowly in front of buses.

Oh I feel a story coming on :)

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Five Stars!! Up Yours World!

So - so far this week - I've burned myself, cut myself with a rusty pen knife had my butt kicked by programmes 11 AND now 15 on the treadmill HOWEVER...  I do now have my first review for "The Paper Samurai" and it's five lovely shiny stars.  Hope I live to see another one!

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Me V Prog 11 - a running thing.

So now it's getting personal.  Did I mention I bought a treadmill just after Christmas.  I got sick of not getting out for a run because of the weather so I invested in a treadmill.  Nearly died when it arrived - it was enormous and our bedroom now looks like the flight deck of the Starship Enterprise.  Oh well. I love it - it's brilliant, and I was battling my way through the built in programmes without any difficulty and then I got to programme 11.

Programme 11 kicked my butt. Programme 11 thinks it's sooooo smart. I have subsequently done prog. 12, 13 and 14 and then I went back to 11 and it got me again...right at the end - it was either force myself and risk cardiac arrest (okay, not that likely, but it felt like it at the time) or press the dreaded red decelerate button and face defeat and listen to programme 11 laughing - yes, laughing - at me and my abject failure.

Well, I don't do treadmill Mondays and Tuesdays because I work all day, but tomorrow - I'm back.  I'm going to do 12, then 14 (13 was really boring) and then I'm going to mount that treadmill, get the programme button all the way up to 11 (wee Spinal Tap reference there) and I'm going to pound it into the floor, leave it for history and move on to 15.

Oh crap - just looked at prog 15 - 6.8mph for 12 minutes - in the middle - not even the end -the middle!? YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME!!!!............I'm dead........................ :S

Monday, 17 February 2014

Karma or something?

So, yesterday I was writing a short ghost story that had popped into my head the day before.  I was getting on fine, nearly done in fact ,and had already decided to call it "Medium Rare", when I nipped off to make a cup of tea...and proceeded to pour it, still boiling hot, over my hand.  Medium rare...maybe not quite, more par-boiled but.......hmmm, as someone just said to me, stay away from stories about meat cleavers for a while :)
PS. I didn't do it on purpose and had to sacrifice four bags of veg to stop it blistering up - flipping idiot :(

Friday, 14 February 2014

A Wee Valentine's Poem

This to all my blog readers, Twitter followers and Facebook chums.

The Frog/Prince Dilema

I'm sure you're not a prince,
I'm almost fairly certain,
And even though my heart protests,
My heart..........well, it's smitten

Your wee green face and browny mottling,
Your buggy eyes and slimy coating,
All add up to make me sure,
That your the one...
My amphibious amour.

So pucker up and stop that squirming,
Prince or frog, this gal aint turning.
You're blood is cold and I aint green, 
So together we're the perfect team.

And finally - in conclusion,
Before you hop to your watery seclusion,
There is one thing I'd like to say-
-decisions made that will hold sway:
I'd miss you if you came back honoured,
Doublet, hose and sword and so on
So though your choices maybe wide ranging -
for me babes - don't go changing! :)


TUNE: the most romantic tune EVER! The Used ( others may come equal first as "the most romantic songs EVER" category but I do love this:)

Thursday, 13 February 2014


This is not a book review because I won't be naming the books. Why? Because I'm a big cheesy coward?  Maybe, but also because this is more of a general thing that I believe from bitching to others, isn't that uncommon in the world of ebooks.

Okay, pin back your eyeballs and get ready to be horrified on my account. There I was reading this particular book, purported to be full length - quite enjoying it, well, enjoying bits of it and skipping other bits because the author kept repeating himself and also because the comedy banter had become a bit tiresome. I thought I still had a fair bit to go and was settled in to enjoy the last quarter...when it ended. Just like that, suddenly, mid-story, and the next page said:  If you want to read more by this author here's a link.
NOT ON YOUR NELLY! NEVER! Dirty trick, I say, dirty trick.  Fool me once blah, blah, you've had all the sterling you'll get from this poor sap, sirrah!

To illustrate my point, let me put the following to you. Imagine you are reading the nativity story for the first time.  You've read how a big, supernatural guy has de-flowered a minor/barely legal teenage girl and how - to add more tension - a scary king had got his knickers in a knot and is planning unspeakable nastiness.  You've slogged your way through the heat and flies with the poor girl balanced precariously on the back of a donkey, accompanied by her loving, loyal (some may suggest gullible) partner; felt relief when they found an Inn; waited with bated breath while the busy Inn Keeper opened his cumbrous accommodation ledger and....the end. WTF!!!


Another one I downloaded recently was a short story - so I expected it to be short - the clue was in the category listing.  However, this was not just short, it was half the read I expected because the second half of the download was the first couple of chapters of one of her full length books - which I'd already read.

Double grrrr.

For a full length read - try my book: Two All - All for One or for a short read, approx 15 pages, my short story:  The Paper Samurai.

Yours, Big D

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

When My Two Brain Cells Collide.

Today, I had a brief but unnerving experience - I thought I have fallen through some sort of time/space warp thingy and ended up in an alternate universe/reality.  That's never happened on a Wednesday before.

There I was doing my regular Wednesday first thing job at work, that being phoning the coal merchants (MacAskill Fuels) for 6 prepacks for the shop. A cheery voice answered the phone: "Hello, Tolsta Community Shop," it slow motion here is my brain digesting this short sentence (bearing in mind,  I was calling from Tolsta Community Shop):

My Brain A (the problem solving section): I've dialled myself? How did I dial myself?
My Brain B (the not very helpful, grumpy bit): Flaming idiot!  How does that work - that's not me on the other end of the line for many, many reasons - not least of which is she sounds quite pleasant.
My Brain A: Where am I again?
My Brain B: *snort* - away with the fairies, out to lunch, chasing your marbles down a steep slope - take your pick babes.
My Brain A: Did I get a job at MacAskill Fuels and forget?
My Brain B:  Again - how the hell does that work?  Are you surrounded by sacks of coal? Did you travel to Stornoway this morning? Or are you in fact sitting at your desk as per a Wednesday morning?  She's just got caller display (the greatest invention of the 21st century) and she's having a laugh! Obviously!!
My Brain A: Ohhhh...I get it now (nodding sagely). No...this is an alternate reality or even universe, which is only fractionally different from the one I'm normally in. Although, clearly, I'm in both or indeed many at the same time. But somehow my awarenesses have got swapped around and instead of ME, this me, phoning MacAskill Fuels for coal, whoever is the Post Mistress/shop manager in Tolsta Community shop in THIS reality is receiving a call from ME - office person at the Coal Merchant.  Wonder why I'm calling - maybe we're out of sticks?
My Brain B:  Oh for the love of.......! I'M OUT OF HERE! *stomp, stomp, stomp*

Next thing I heard down the line was a lot of laughing, and the girl going: "I love doing that!!"

In my defence, we are talking a split second of rumination here, and despite me nearly giving myself a brain hernia (no, I don't mean hemorrhage) it was very funny, mostly because it was so unexpected - they've never really seemed the pranking types.  However, it has left me hoping that somewhere out there, in at least one of my alternate lives, I'm doing something a tad more swash buckling with my allotted span!  :)


Sunday, 2 February 2014


Oops - should have said - my short story "The Paper Samurai" is on a free promotion today, Monday  and Tuesday  - here's the link, in case you fancy a gander :)



Ha! I have a ton of ironing to do - I also have a ton of promoting to do (yes, I've actually been doing it see * at the end) and a ton of writing to do.  Ironing has to take priority right now.  What do I want to listen to whilst participating in this, the most enjoyable and relaxing of household tasks (that's not sarcasm, I actually like ironing) and the answer was - all my Slipknot.  Fine.  Except - I think this is just a reaction to having spent the morning, whilst making the food etc, listening to ....confession time.......RADIO 4!  Fuck it, what can I say, I got hooked on "The Archers" years ago and "Desert Island Discs"- well - it was Whispering Bob Thingy that was on it, and he was good, then it was a comedy show that I like, and  after that a cookery programme.  Cookery programmes on the radio are usually guaranteed to get me all angried up (I have a real bug up my bum about cookery programmes - must have mentioned it?) but it was actually very interesting. DAMN YOU RADIO 4!!  So, I will cleanse myself with Slipknot this afternoon.

* Yeah - weird thing - last Monday and Tuesday I had a free promotion on Two All - All for One (that's my book - this is the link) -
 and you'll never guess - I GOT TO NO.34 IN THE FREE DOWNLOADS FOR CONTEMPRARY FANTASY!  Flip sakes - pretty pleased - also left wondering how few downloads the poor buggers behind me were getting if I was no. 34!!!  Now Two All is back in with the big boys of my genre (the Game of Throne books, Terry Pratchett etc) it's at no.560 - but out of 35,000 odd - niii - I'm happy.

In other news, over dinner today, it turns out my 14 year old son thought he was getting taller than me because I (at 48) was shrinking - hadn't occurred to him that it might be that he was growing :)))  What A doofus :))))

See you soon,
Big D

Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Existence or Otherwise of my Backbone.

So my computer decided to throw a wobbly - well, more of a warning wobbly, as it turned out. And instead of poking about myself (very much), I handed it over to the professionals to have a look - good old Caskie at On Time Computer Services in Stornoway.  Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...a few quid lighter...but I have my PC back with a brand new hard drive and some extra memory, without which, had the minor wobbly not happened, my old one may have returned to the great motherboard in the sky with out a by-your-leave.

Upon my return to the inter-world, I was dismayed to discover I had not become a best selling author!? There I'd been imagining my own surprise at flicking to my Kindle Sales Report for the first time back on-line, to find large quantities of either Two All or The Paper Samurai had eflown off the eshelf. But, alas, no. In the whole two days my PC was from me, a miracle had not occurred. Ah woe.

However, as the part of my brain that hasn't been wrestling with my Two All sequel and the part that wasn't imagining staring aghast at my rocketing sales figures, had been considering that I really do need to do some proper marketing, here was the spur.

Marketing - hmmmm - proper marketing, by which I do not mean this lame-o blog (my own fault - I know) which gets read by about five people (hi guys!) who haven't flicked on to it by accident (no Sir, that's right, it has nothing to do with being liberated from bonds - byee!).  I'm talking marketing which means that I ACTUALLY promote my book before my next free-promo days instead of just finding out I have some free days left (you get to do five in a ninety day period) and going: "WEY HEY!" and blasting it straight on just to see those "sales" figures change - and if anyone in Mexico has downloaded one yet.

I have in the past thought about jumping on the marketing treadmill and doing all the stuff you need to - eg. contacting the sites that advertise free books; sending grovelling emails to reviewers, who I am told hardly ever respond; boring everyone on Facebook and Twitter, again, etc and having considered it, ended up stomping off, deciding I don't care if none sell because the fact that seven people have enjoyed it is quite enough - thank you very much.  And in a big way it is and, really, it's seven people plus - not everyone who likes it has reviewed it. (I quite understand that, I never know what to say when I go to review a book, except that I liked it and after that I'm usually a bit stumped as to how to continue - although, if you can work up the necessary verbals, reviews - good reviews - make all the difference, especially to us indie writers.)  But then, having decided not to do the marketing thing but to be a tortured genius (?!) whose worth will only be discovered along with what's left of me after the cats (and possibly the hens) are full, I see my books sitting there on  their dusty Amazon eshelf and I feel guilty because I'm letting them down - the characters I created, the stories, even the bits that I liked but cut out for the greater good -  aww, flaming heck, stop looking at me like that  Michael Neary (he hit the cutting room floor). And so here I am again, really, really - going to promote my books (book and short story, rather). Okay, I admit, just before I started on this post, I did stomp off (in my pink and grey slipper socks - not great for stomping - a sturdy boot is definitely required for maximum stomping satisfaction) and vow that I would leave it all in the lap of the gods, but.... that's the cowards way out. What all this procrastination boils down to is balls and do I have them.  Can I really face doing everything I can to promote Two All - All for One and The Paper Samurai for it to make not an ounce of difference on how many are downloaded?  Hurrumph. So there you have it, the crux of the matter.  And so, me, what's it to be: grovelling emails etc while practising stoicism in the face of utter failure or my favourite Rocket Dog stomping boots and a hard surface? Feck. Watch this space.

Tune: Biffy Clyro - the acoustic version of "Biblical" as played on the BBC Scotland New Year show.