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Saturday, 29 December 2012

What am I?

I started thinking about an old game earlier; where items are concealed in cloth bags and identified by touch, others are in jars and have to be picked out by taste or smell, and the train of thought trundled down a branch line and I wondered about myself.

My first books strayed on to the internet via Smashwords in August, a blast through November started the next one, What You Ask For, available as it was written on the Smashwords Nanowrimo page. Having someone downloading and reading the draft as it appeared on Smashwords took a bit of getting used to, but I enjoyed the buzz. The earlier titles have all appeared on the various channels where Smashwords distributes to. (Not Amazon - technical issues).

Find the book was the challenge in the first weeks after publication, tracking down the page on the site where they arrived for sale at Diesel, Kobo, Sony, or wherever. Eye-balling the cover design on each site; it was the description at Diesel that caught my eye; Indie Author.

I smiled at that, to me it has a cool ring to it, but I guess there will be many reactions each one coloured by the perception of the individual.

Why do I think it is cool? It's the word independent, indie, (there's a nod to Indie of the Indiana Jones stories). It has the edge of a maverick, a loner, the character who rides into the dusty town and sorts out the mess and then rides out again, answerable to no-one. That's the key!

Answerable to no-one. It's the crazy who sticks their neck out and does something with no safety net and nobody to blame if everything goes pear shaped; I did It, it was me! An acceptance of personal responsibility.

At the end of the day, there is a book, checked and proof read, formatted with a cover design and out there for you the reader.

The books are for you, Reader, and at this time of year I can echo the words of Dickens in his preface to A Christmas Carol; that they shall not put you out of humour with yourself, each other, or with me. Should they be enjoyed at this holiday or later in the year when the sun reaches into bones chilled by winter, as the days lengthen, and warm evenings and cool drinks beckon us out of doors. Enjoy them and share them with your friends.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Smashwords: Apple iBookstore Sales Surge Over Christmas Holiday

Smashwords: Apple iBookstore Sales Surge Over Christmas Holiday
 re posted from Smashwords.blog.
As a Smashwords author with books on Apple iTunes I found this particularly interesting. There is a lot of attention given to Amazon and Kindle ebook sales but Apple moves quietly; Smashwords distribute to Apple and the iBookstore is now available in 50 countries.
Apple people can find my books here and here on iTunes. Apple has an established working relationship with Smashwords.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Want a good read?

Psst, pass it on -
Tinytown by Darby Gallagher.

Brilliantly funny look at greed, power and corruption in high places; this is England 2050. Dark and witty, blending the macabre, chicanery, and deception sprinkled with some side splitting descriptions and one liners. Overcrowding has brought in size insurance and failure to meet the payments gets you shrunk and sent to Tinytown.  A diminutive hero, a love interest, an ex-wife in pursuit of money and her brother, high up in Sizewise, the company behind Tinytown and the Human Shrinking programme; dodgy characters, knuckle dragging henchmen and sharp dealing. Climaxing with a chase through London on the day of the Royal Wedding,  and a celebrity children's TV star in costume dragged from a car smothered with sticky toffee and drugs, live on global TV.
The best read I've had in a long time, and I'm keeping an eye out for Darby Gallagher's next novel.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Tools of the Trade

Basic Equipment, you don't need anything else. A simple ballpoint pen and a pencil, and of course something to write on.  The page, plain, squared, ruled narrow, ruled wide, feint, take your pick, and I still find the hardest part is where I look at the blank page and suddenly the inside of my head feels the same, a blank expanse of white. Nothing there, not even the faintest glimmer, or the merest scratch on the surface. I love it, that moment when I make the first mark, and then its gone, the pristine surface is marked, and there is no going back, to remove every trace of that mark would be impossible, but why would I want to, the first mark is the step that starts the journey. It may be hesitant at first and get stronger later as the road ahead becomes clearer and the characters start to develop and prompt there own actions and reactions. I have to admit, I hate planning novels, all the time I spend planning, well, have spent in the days when I thought you had to plan everything I couldn't wait, I wanted to tell the story and finding out that a number of successful novelists had the same feelings was reassuring, now I just leap into telling the story and then work out the finer details when the first draft is finished, but I also like a first draft to be readable enough for anyone to pick it up and see what's there. It has to make some sort of sense.
There is no turning back, always forward, without reverse. Changing direction is optional, and when the story starts to bog down it becomes almost mandatory.
Doodle mentally and see where the story takes you, that's what I'm about to do, no choice really. the latest story is a bit stuck in the woods somewhere, and maybe I can't see the wood for the trees, and that brings us back to basic equipment, a ballpoint pen and a pencil, graphite wrapped in cedar wood. I have my favourite, Staedler, the yellow and black ones. I like them nice and sharp too, leaving a nice crisp line on the paper. Beautiful.

Friday, 30 November 2012


Thirty days, fifty thousand words and no excuses, that's what it says on the Tee-shirt. Nanowrimo 2012, I came, I typed, I got the tee shirt. Downloaded the certificate that says I'm a winner. Definitely personal trumpet blowing on a big scale tonight!  Uploaded the latest version of What You Ask For to Smashwords today - still a work in progress, and although November is over bar the shouting, the story isn't; the later stages of the novel have yet to be written, and when the whole tale is told then the finished work will slide alongside Iceline and Control: Escape on the Smashwords site.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Update and links

Yesterday's post about the distribution through Smashwords of Iceline and Control: Escape reported Iceline and Control: Escape have arrived on their shelves.
Diesel eBookstore for Iceline here and Control: Escape here;
Barnes and Noble for Iceline here and Control: Escape here
Kobobooks for Iceline here and Control: Escape here
Sony readerstore for Iceline here and Control: Escape here.
Apple iTunes for Iceline here and Control: Escape here
Formatted for Kindle at Smashwords, and in other formats for Iceline here and Control: Escape here.
Check out www.cheekyseagull.co.uk for special offers and details of Smashwords discount coupons, and follow the links for free ebooks for Christmas and the New Year.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Now appearing at...

Smashwords distribution has come through at Diesel ebookstore, Sony readerstore, Kobobooks.com. and  Control:Escape has come through at Barnes and Noble. Check the links from www.cheekyseagull.co.uk/books to suit your ereader. Formatted for Kindle available at Smashwords.com.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Black Friday Offers - go for Christmas

Special Offer at Smashwords, running from Thanksgiving until Christmas.  Black Friday to Twelfth Night 100% discount codes for Iceline and Control Escape.
Go to Iceline and enter the code SZ97D or Control: Escape and enter the code XQ53N to get your books for free, enjoy them yourself or give them with the Kindle/Kobo /Nook/ whatever e reader you have stashed under the Christmas tree. Discount valid at Smashwords - your eBook your way, Independent authors and publishers.- until the 6th January 2013.
While your there, check out Nanowrimo novel What you Ask For - a free downloadable work in progress.
Happy Thanksgiving

Thursday, 22 November 2012

Twenty One today

Twenty one days of Nanowrimo ticked off, and the word count is at 38000 and an odd few.
Story going well, the words keep tumbling out and the pages fill up. There's more in there and the running total is above par, so the fifty thousand should be reached within the thirty day limit. The download count has slowed, more books are piling on to the Smashwords page and the choice is wide. My writing buddy Cloud Angel scribbling away at Not Without My Cat (when fish is not enough) is slightly ahead of my total on the word count, check out this cat treat of a science fiction story at Not Without My Cat and my Nanowrimo novel What Your Ask For. New version uploaded a couple of days ago, further updates to come soon.

The other Grange novels are available at Smashwords find them at my author page here, a revised version of Iceline has just been processed and passed for the premium catalogue, now at the new price of $3.99. Give them a whirl, The Grange, Jardine, Josie and Steel are in all there. Look out for offers close to Christmas, an ebook to unwind with while you digest the dinner.

See how the Nanowrimo progress is going www.cheekyseagull.co.uk/nanowrimo_2012. watch the widgets and cheer on the Yorkshire team, the regional word count is widgeted.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Plodding on, onwards and upwards

32000 plus words punched out by tonight, running a couple of days ahead of the Target word count. Story coming along ok but waiting for that kick of inspiration to come again. Still available as work in progress free download from smashwords. Grab a copy and enjoy.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Counting up and counting down

Bit like the Grand Old Duke (of York - where else), the word count goes up and the days left goes down. Almost at the half way stage with the days left, today is 14, tomorrow, Thursday is 15 November, only 15 more days left after that. Currently writing above par, check out the stats on Nanowrimo My word count is currently 26720, so over half of the 50000 are written and a new update of the text has been posted on Smashwords. grab it while it's free. Work in Progress - book under construction.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

Heading Upwards

What you Ask For - the current work in progress for this year's Nanowrimo challenge is hanging around at the top of the download pages. It headed the list for four days earlier this week and has been steady at number two since Friday evening. The work is going steadily. the word count is ahead of schedule and the storyline is unfolding in a reasonably acceptable manner. None of the characters have thrown a wobbly yet and done something completely unpredictable that lobs the whole thing into another melting pot to see what might come out of the other end. A free download at smashwords while under construction, drop by and grab yourself a slice of the action.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

More Nanowrimo

Week two is under way and the word count is heading for the 16,000 words tally. Personal count currently at  about 15,655-ish.
Smashwords has a dedicated Nanowrimo page where works in progress can be published and downloaded by readers. What You Ask For has been at the top of the most downloaded list for the last four days, occupying first place until this morning (local time). Currently at second place. Download it for free and have a good read. The idea that out there on t'internet someone is reading my novel as I write it is exciting. It's giving me a buzz at the writing end, making the pounding of the keys more intense and exploring the direction of the novel much more interesting.
Not quite sure how to take the news that the downloads for the free unfinished work are outstripping the (priced) downloads for the two completed novels. Check out the links in this posting for Smashwords and Nanowrimo, and get yourself a great, hot of the type face with the ink still wet brand new read. So new it isn't finished yet. Have a good read

Tuesday, 6 November 2012


Nanowrimo page at Smashwords, works in progress uploaded by writers pounding the fifty thousand in thirty. 42 novels published under the Nano banner and downloads drawn off by readers, or maybe other writers, some Nano some not. What You Ask For is generating some interest, currently at the top of the list, and pulling page views and downloads since it went up. Nip across to Smashwords and download a copy here. The text will be updated as the month progresses.

Uploads and Downloads

What You Ask For; new version published at Smashwords on the Nanowrimo  page. free to dowload and read while the story is being written. Word count stands tonight at 10049 (Nanowrimo).
The girls are at it again. Thanks to all of you who have already downloaded, enjoy the new version.
Now heading back to the type face,
Have fun, and to all you Nano- writers out there. Go for it guys, and gals. Keep the words coming out.

Monday, 5 November 2012

Top of the page

Creativity overflowing, maybe, keyboard pounding head-banging, plot twisting, neck aching, finger cracking knuckle jarring, idea depleting  - and no Pepsi - novelling stuff. What You Ask For is a free downloadable work in progress and part of this year's massive Nanowrimo output. Check it out at Smashwords and go to the Nanowrimo page.
Meanwhile back at the Caffeine dispenser,
the key board bashing goes on.

One for science fiction fans, try  Not Without My Cat by A M Russell (also Nanowrimo 2012 work in progress) and available free

Sam is a detective, who along with his smart but troublesome cat Camille, uncovers an impossible crime. With the scene of the unusual event too close to home for a man already harassed with a Mad Ex and difficult new clients, this proves to be the challenge that he needs to overcome his deepest fears, find out what electric tin openers are really used for; and save a Lady from mortal peril. 

Thursday, 1 November 2012

It's started

Three hours (local Yorkshire time) into Nanowrimo-time and the word count is climbing... it's a good start.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Sticking your neck out

This is it - the provisional title and cover for my first official Nanowrimo challenge. The basic plot was posted  in last Sunday's blog (28 October 2012).
I have just created my novel, uploaded the cover and a short synopsis with less than twenty four hours to go. As it says in the Title, What you ask for - taken from the old advice "Be careful what you ask for" and the rider that you might actually get it. I asked to be part of Nanowrimo this year, and the next thirty days will tell me if it was what I really wanted.
This is it - the waiting is almost over and the kick off, closer with each tick of the clock and sweep of the hands. All the best to everyone who's going for it this year. Good to be on the journey with you.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Working title - What You Ask For

Nanowrimo gets closer and the ideas are clumping together like stray sheep ahead of a storm on the moors, there's a lot of noise and the whole mass looks woolly  but the title - provisional so far - it may end up with something completely different - What You Ask For - comes from the old (Chinese) proverb Be careful what you ask for.
A Chinese friend helped me realise that the fun could be had when you actually do get it. Sometimes getting what you ask for is the last thing you really want!

The story goes something like...

Jessica and Josie had been out in Ten Acre Wood with the lads and came back coated with mud, and the hosing down was caught on a mobile phone and went viral on the net. Josie was PA to Bill Jardine and Jessica was Daddy’s girl and daddy was rich, opinionated and had more than a fair share of enemies, but that was business. She was his weak spot and he knew it, getting her would get to him. The first attempt fails, and the watchers are put on alert.

The girls were told to take a break, but it’s not easy to get lost, unless someone really want’s you out of the way and a second attempt succeeds. Lifted off an isolated beach and spirited away, the recovery instructions come in via YouTube, and the visual clues in the videos are analysed at the Grange and the results fed to the trackers.

Steel and Langhers are on the trail; aiming to get one step ahead. The instructions are for delivery men, but Langhers and Steel are collectors, and they’re out to get Jessica, find her and bring her back, and Jardine’s parting words as they leave The Grange, “if you need it call for back up!”

The trail takes them across the wild country astride the England/Scotland Border; into the forests of Keilder and the cold deathlike chill of a forest dawn. Where a hard cough on the still air could be a fox, or a silenced weapon finding its mark. Back up would be useful, but the clock ticks on, and the deadline may be closer than the reinforcements. 

Starts Thursday 1st November...in National Novel Writing Month.

Tweaking and Ticking

Three days to Nano - (Give or take local time variables - they're California I'm Rotherham) then the tapping starts, and hopefully the typos and mutterings will be low numbered and low key - thank goodness for the spillchucker - and auto correct - though I occasionally have disagreements with suggested spelling when I drop the odd colloquial or vernacular into the mix. All part of the fun, see how many non-standard words you can add to the custom dic. Try it with somewhere Scottish and slightly off the beaten track!
The clock continues to tick and the ideas continues to slide out of the side door In one ear out of the other sort of thing) moments before I can jot them down, only solution, new batteries in the Olympus Pearlcorder - and a fresh micro-tape cassettes. Don't you just love retro stuff sometimes.
Thanks to the glorious searching-ness of t'internet I found a tape eraser - deliciously low tech. Two magnets in a box with a slot for the tape to pass through. It's the sort of thing you just want to play with while the brain cogitates and the coffee stimulates with your feet up on the corner of the desk and the netbook/laptop/keyboard (highlight as applicable) perched on your knee. The tweaking is going down at Cheekyseagull and the news from smashwords that the apple iTunes store has just reached another eighteen countries, now available on 50 countries - most of the new ones are in the Southern cone of America.

Saturday, 27 October 2012

More Nano thoughts

Heading for the start on Thursday. The Target is set and the incentive, a treat for the 1st of December. Something tastier than eating my words for having stumbled at the last fence. When the word count hits forty seven thousand the drinks will be chilling.
Nice one.

Nano and the ticking clock

Signed up on the dotted line a couple of weeks ago and told various people that I'm up for the Nanowrimo challenge - 50,000 words, 30 days - and the clock now stands at 5 days and counting, relentlessly, the way only a clock can do.
Do I feel confident, I know the challenge is achievable, strip it down and you're looking at a couple or three hours of keyboard pounding a day, every day, or the equivalent to average it out. So, yes, I feel OK, I have a picture in my head of an opening, and something of the story drawing to a close, and somewhere in the long dark evenings of November between the ghosties and ghoulies of Halloween and the frosty sparkle of Christmas lights in December the forty odd thousand words in between will tumble on to the page. That's the idea anyway, and the proof of any pre-Christmas or Christmas pudding is in the eating, and now the word is out in blogland. Still have a couple of days to link the whole shebang together and do the word count widgety thingy,

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Stay in touch

The smashwords discount coupons on my novels Iceline and Control:Escape end tonight, but keep an eye out for something nearer Christmas, that might be the stocking filler for the Kindle/eReader addict in your life, or even that Christmas Treat for yourself. Remember, the place to look is cheekyseagull.co.uk

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Last two days

The current discount codes for Iceline and Control: Escape end tomorrow at midnight. Call at cheekyseagull.co.uk and follow the links to smashwords.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Last few days

Last few days of the discount coupons on Iceline and Control: Escape at Smashwords.com. Call at cheekyseagull.co.uk and pick up the codes. offer ends 30th September at midnight. Have a look, and buy the book(s)

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Coming through

Iceline here and Control Escape here have appeared on the shelves of the Apple Bookstore and for Iceline at Barnes and Noble here.
Further updates in due course. 

Saturday, 15 September 2012


The picture sums it up, the opportunist, saving his energy by hitching a ride on the back of the bin  lorry, perched on the open crusher watching for the chance to drop down and grab something before the lid slams shut and squeezes everything.

What's in a name?

Where did the cheeky seagull come from? The image must've been chucking around in the back of my mind for longer than I can remember, but it's an idea of something as much as anything. The great white scrounger on the harbour wall. An opportunist par excellence as the French might have it - wasn't it Eric Cantona who posed the question at a press conference; why do they follow the fishing boats? Taking the chance, sticking your neck out and having a go. That's the cheeky seagull looking for a way of doing things that might not be the one you first thought of.  It's also easy to remember, it sticks in your mind and hopefully makes you smile when you think about it.
Pop across to www.cheekyseagull.co.uk

Six degrees

Thinking about the idea that anyone is only six people away from someone famous, I know someone who knows someone who knows etc., and applied it to the urban myth. Spent time recently reading a study of urban mythology with the great title of The Choking Doberman. In spite of the title actually a fairly serious discussion about the nature of urban myths and the way they cross boundaries between communities, and how each in turn adopts the stories as their own, but the common factor is always one degree of separation. I've heard some good ones, but never first hand, always from the mate of a bloke down the pub. The ubiquitous bloke down the pub is related to or may even be the most unfortunate human who ever lived judging by the catalogue of misadventure and disaster encountered. He may also be the greatest adventurer alive. He might also be like Keith Waterhouse's character from the book "Billy Liar" and be the most incredible fantasist. We'll never know, until someone actually meets him and buys him a drink...

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

One more step with Iceline and Control Escape

Tracking the books through Smashwords they are both in the channel for Apple, Sony, Kobo, Barnes and Noble, Diesel ebook store, Page Foundry. Look out for an update when they appear at the other end.
Discount codes are still available at www.cheekyseagull.co.uk

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Adventure Playground

A track through a wood, it's where the Grange comes in to the story. The slightly odd idea that a paintball centre would be involved in dark and mysterious activity. Sounds reasonable to hide something in the open. The idea that on the one hand you have the best in country house hospitality and on the other madcap chases through the undergrowth blasting everything that moves with a high velocity Dulux pellet and behind that facade secrets and lies?  Let's call them diplomatic niceties, what's in a name, maybe everything. The people at the Grange would call it another day at the office. Pay them a visit, see the blog for September 1st.

Saturday, 1 September 2012

Get the party started

September first, a new month and a bonus - discount coupons at Smashwords, until the end of the month. Buy Iceline and Control: Escape for less.
Enter BD64L for Iceline https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/216309
         FN22A for Control Escape  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/216761
A good read for less, VFM.
Enjoy them both

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Through the mill

The waiting. Books have gone through to the premium catalogue. Now they're filtering down the distribution channels out to the bookstores and the itch to keep checking how they are doing and where they are in the pipe is one I want to scratch all the time. Patience is a virtue, one that is never in a hurry...they're on their way through the Apple ibookstore process now.
Keep watching and waiting...

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Funny business, writing

You don't have to be mad to work here, but it helps. Writing strikes me like that, you don't have to be mad to do it, but it helps the process along. At the risk of labouring the point I've just sent two novels through the net to Smashwords, two pieces of work that took months of creation and then proofing, editing and formatting. Now they are out there working their way through the process to be distributed and there are no guarantees. This is a risky business. The investment on the part of the writer is huge, and the returns if you have the story everyone wants to read can be equally huge, but... and there's the rub, the answer lies out there.

Like I said, you don't have to be mad, but it is so much fun when the words are pouring out.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Update 2 premium catalogue

My novels, Iceline and Control: Escape, have both cleared the review process and been accepted for Smashwords Premium Catalogue and are waiting to be shipped out to major on-line bookstores.Now feeling slightly at a loss, the prepartion and sorting out for the upload at the weekend is done and they are out there and starting to make their way in the world. Strange feeling. Writing is an odd business.

Update to publishing

Control:Escape by Martyn Taylor

After launching Iceline on an unsuspecting world late on Saturday night. The second novel Control:Escape followed it through Smashword's meatgrinder on Sunday. Both passed the initial check and are waiting their turn for the premium catalogue.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Iceline - the book you've been waiting for

Iceline - Martyn Taylor

Low volume and very high value; diamonds were coming ashore with the scuba gear. HM Customs called it the Iceline and it stretched across the North Atlantic. A mix up at the bottle stack by the dive shop and a tourist becomes a missing person. Weeks later he turns up, battered, bruised and bloody. Don Steel wasn't any tourist, his new enemies were unknown, but they are determined that he would lie down and be quiet. Airlifted and hospitalised they pursue him on to the ward and out across the West of Scotland. Cat and mouse across the highlands and islands to a final showdown in Tobermory and one friend finds out just how far he will go.
Available at Smashwords and due to be distributed to on-line books stores

Monday, 6 August 2012

God's Own Country

Enjoyed the tweeted story from the Leeds journalist who suggested that Yorkshire as a country would be higher up the medal table than Japan, Australia and South Africa. Well done to all the lads and lasses from every corner of these Great Islands. Thanks for the pick me up.

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Worth a grand or two

The entertainer Max Bygraves used to say I'm gonna tell you a story, and here's a thousand words worth, a short story or the beginning of a novel? Crop the picture, frame it carefully like a film maker and it is a gateway to somewhere else. A rooftop through the trees when you're out in the park is familar territory, but apply the film-maker's eye and curiousity glimpsed a place of intrigue and adventure. That's the start; what sort of business could you conduct in a large house surrounded by trees and parkland? Plenty of space to run around in and you have the grown up adventure playground, on the surface, It's what lies beneath that's interesting. Crop the familiar and lose the surroundings, see the detail in the imagination and let it run. Team building, corporate activity, mystery, secret meetings, whatever it suggests!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Bottle Stacks

The wrong thing, or person in the wrong place. It's possibly something we've all experienced, but not with the same consequences as Steel, the character in my novel Iceline. He's on holiday in Scotland, blagging a dive where he can when an empty place turns up. He's checking his demand valve one night at the bottle stack when things turn nasty.
The bottle stacks are by the compressor shed, every diver knows about them and which one is which, the empty and the full. Occasionally one does get missed and shoved in the wrong pile, so when you turn up the next morning fuelled by coffee and bacon sandwiches there is a bit of standing around waiting while the cylinder is filled. Steel finds an empty in the full stack and when he tries to tell the guy who challenged him he's abducted, beaten and eventually dumped in the mountains for the weather to finish him off, and that's where the story begins.

Monday, 2 July 2012


Postings thin for the last month - been busy. Time on the blog - careful how you type that - put aside for time on the book. Scribbling new novel and neuroticallty checking previous works; will have to draw a line and say - enough. Cover art causing much head scratching, pictures and font. Getting there bit by bit, growing sense of anticipation. Feel like a kid at Christmas, you know its coming but have no idea what it will bring.
Will blog soon and give you a shout when launch is due.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Blue Sky thinking

Blue Sky thinking - I've never liked that phrase, leaves me feeling that there's nothing there, not a scrap of anything for the imagination to work on; a mental vacuum. The lights are on but there's nobody at home. Give me clouds to stare at and I will have adventures,  I'll walk great towering halls fit for ancient Gods and landscapes to inspire the greatest traveller's heart. Worlds explored with the imagination and recorded on maps of memory tucked inside my head. To watch great towering thunderheads, dark and ominous drift across the sky and have them split apart by shafts of brilliance. The old mapmakers used to scribe "Here be Monsters" on the unknown parts but I'll write "Here Be Angels" in the brilliant shafts punching through the storm clouds and watch the footprint of their light dance across the earth. Clouds have moods and emotions, imagination and inspiration are woven into  the whisps of vapour that build them. Nip across to www.cloudappreciationsociety.org and have a look.A blue sky is like an empty piece of paper, until it has the first whisp of a cumulus forming above rising warm air there's nothing to look at, I find writing is like that, I can stare at the blank sheet and get nowhere, but the moment I mark it, something starts to build, it may be nothing much at first , but I keep going and let it grow. One of my favourite questions? What if..?

Tuesday, 29 May 2012


Storytelling, the most natural way of communicating. A man (or woman) walks into a bar...buys a drink, takes a sip and... tells a story, humourous, serious, tragic, heroic. We all do it all the time, and yet, the moment it gets a name. I'm going to write a novel, a book, it starts getting complicated. It doesn't have to be. Check out Nanowrimo, http://www.nanowrimo.org/  National Novel Writing Month. That's where I found No Plot No Problem a book with a definite can do angle. Go for it, have fun, grab a few ideas, lots of coffee, tea or whatever, and if meticulous planning is your thing then good luck, I wish you well, it isn't mine. I like the unplanned journey of letting my characters tell their story through me.
Just do it, take a journey through your imagination, pack your supplies, boot up your desktop or click on your net book, initiate your Ipad. Look inside you for the pen wielding warrior and unleash your creativity. Take the leap, jump from the one day I'm going to and let today be the day.
Bon Voyage!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Situation update.

Found attached to the scaffolding of the SNAFU pub on High Street in Rotherham. An oddly reassuring sign. It went up while the building was been renovated. Renovation now completed so the sign has gone.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

New stuff on the way

Head scratching and keyboard pounding on my website at cheekyseagull.co.uk. Sorting things out for publishing on the web - pages still tucked away offline, not ready yet.  Tasters for two novels in final stages of preparation for publishing. Have been researching options for self-publishing on a budget, including ebooks and print on demand. Aiming for sometime during the summer to get them out, stay tuned and I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, 20 May 2012


Bo Bruce on The Voice tonight with Love the way you lie. Love the way you sing. Ethereal, elfin vocal quality,  amazing. Thrilled by the cover of Kate Bush song Running up that hill last time. Good luck Lady.

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Dropped off the phone

New toy, checking the system. Does it do what it says on the box. Tap it on the phone and bung it on the post. Nicely done

One small step

No giant leap, tripped up dusted down and going for it, somewhere to mumble a shout! Hello World, first scribbles on a blank page.... to be continued...
Day one ....post one. A post it without sticky on the back.