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Thanksgiving?


We are so lucky. Live & Learn A student in her uniform balances on stones over sewage water on her way to class in the Cite Soleil slum of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Notes: Thanksgiving is a not a statutory declared holiday in Haiti.Photo by Dieu Nalio Chery, AP. wsj.com, Nov 21, 2017 View original post Original link
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Free Kafka-esque story


I did a reading today at the launch of the Chester Writers’ Anthology 2017 in which is a surreal short of mine called View From… Our chairperson, Stanley, called my story Kafka-esque, which is a huge compliment. The launch was at Storyhouse, a new theatre / cinema / library / restaurant cultural hub in Chester. I was nervous to read my story until I realise that it was being relayed to speakers in the washrooms! I kept thinking as I read, how bizarre that folk will be in the bogs listening to me reading live! Anyhow I reproduce it here.  VIEW FROM… Geoff Nelder  I refuse to open my eyes.The six-thirty alarm bleats. My arm flails in the air, but misses. My eyes refuse to open so I close my ea...
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We need a temperature test before marriage

We need a temperature test before marriage
    He owns dozens of heavy sweaters and jackets. I have one that hangs in the closet. He wears jeans, long johns, boots, a sweater, a jacket, a hat, and gloves. I wear jeans, a t-shirt, and runners. We look unbelievably incongruous walking side by side. He turns the heat up. I turn it down. He turns on the gas fireplace. I turn it off. He piles on extra blankets. I drag in the fan and set it up on my side of the bed. He wants to cuddle. I can’t take the heat. We knew none of this before we got married. Really, there has to be a better way. Original link
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Language & Culture: The Alien in Fiction


#Alien #Language and #Culture – Oh My! s a gibson This week I thought about how we portray alien cultures in our writing. How do you handle different cultures, or alien groups. Should we use the spelling and pronunciation of names to distinguish the cultures we want to write about? Do we create a dialect, a patois that sets the culture apart, that conveys their foreignness? How do we indicate this is a different culture? I believe an advantage for science fiction and fantasy writing is that we can infuse our stories with different creatures and peoples. This opportunity to explore different types of beings is wondrous. But the challenge is complex and difficult to clearly show aliens in ways...
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Do we really need k?

Do we really need k?
Playing word games in my head trying to combat insomnia brought me to the realization that “k” is a pretty useless letter. I mean, how many 2 letter words can you make with it? Kf isn’t a word. Kh isn’t a word. Kn isn’t a word. I get nowhere trying to sleep with k. M on the other hand? Ma, me, my and assorted abbreviations—ml, mc, md, MP, Mr., MS, m…zzzzzzzzz. This observation got me to thinking about k words. We can neel on our nees without the k. We can nit without the k. We can cut with a nife just as well as a knife. And then there’s the question of words like cat. Why not kat (after all it’s kitten not citten)? Or why circus and not cirkus? Try explaining those anomalies to an English a...
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5* Reviews and more

Xaghras-Revenge-Out-Now
Wow, an outstanding and astounding review from that old favourite SFF magazine Amazing Stories for XAGHRA’S REVENGE. http://amazingstoriesmag.com/…/xhagras-revenge-geoff-nelder/ The same day as I read this review I saw this good one on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/review/R3JNFJFKE93SG3/ref=pe_1572281_66412651_cm_rv_eml_rv0_rv Please, if you’ve read Xaghra’s Revenge, consider scribbling a short review for it for Amazon or Goodreads or both. Thanks. Note to McAfee virus protector. This is the only virus checker that throws up an issue with my website. We don’t know why and they can’t tell me. Norton, AVG, Microsoft Essentials and all the other checkers say this website is clean. Get your ac...
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Halloween update – a new tradition

Halloween update - a new tradition
Our munchkin goes to a Montessori school which holds a special event on October 31 each year called “Historical Halloween.” Each child chooses to play a character and prepares a report to be presented to the class. The characters range from Henry Ford, to Jimi Hendrix, to one of the Brothers Grimm, to the first Canadian  woman, Agnes Macphail , elected to The House of Commons in 1921. In grade 1 the munchkin was Frida Kahlo, grade 2 Jane Goodall, and this year Juana Ines de la Cruz. Here’s her report: Hi, my name is Juana Ines de la Cruz. I was born in 1651 and lived during Mexico’s colonial period. My family was poor but well educated. I was very curious child and taught myself to read by a...
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A ROAR from Mark Iles


JUST this last week, Mark Iles, a friend of mine had another science fiction novel released by Solstice Publishing. I am delighted to be part of a blog tour to promote his scintillating books. ROAR OF LIONS is book three in your Darkening Stars series and I’ve had the pleasure of following the story from the beginning. It is military science fiction, but loaded with rich characters, making your stories an enriching experience for any reader. Mark, I have a few questions if you don’t mind, followed by an excerpt to whet and wet our appetites for the full story. Q1) Military science fiction has always found a following, often with readers with no personal experience of the armed services. Do y...
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The Travelling Wedding Dress

The Travelling Wedding Dress
  A while back I wrote about sorting through my photos. Of course I found wedding pictures and seeing them brought this to mind. Mom: When do you want to go shopping for your wedding dress? Me: I’m going to wear yours. Mom: You’ve been saying that since you were a little girl, but are you sure you really want to? We dig the dress out from the back of the closet. Ivory satin with a row of tiny buttons down that back that I love now as much as I did when I was a kid. I breathe a sigh of relief when I see that none of the buttons are missing. As the satin was never pure white, the slightly yellowed look is not a deterrent to wearing the dress. I try it on. The hem needs to be straightened, but ...
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Nash Xander Korpes (of The Korpes File by J.I. Rogers)


The Protagonist Speaks Dear readers, tonight with me is a master technician, formerly with the Korlune Military Research and Development. He is also the first from the diasporan population to win top prize at the prestigious Symposium. As Nash’s time is limited, I’ve arranged to meet with him between appointments. He indicated that he is willing to answer questions about his early life and talk about some of  the difficulties he’s faced, career-wise, in a country ruled by xenophobic traditions. Congratulations to you and your team on your recent Symposium win, Master-Tech Korpes. Do you have a moment to share with my readers? Certainly, it would be my privilege, Assaph. I’m a big fan of your...
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Uzo survives

Uzo survives
I haven’t heard from my friend Uzo in a long while and then I get this message. “I am currently writing you from a low-cost hotel. I lost “everything” in my apartment to a flood which devastated many homes in my vicinity (it rained heavily for six hours). Ah! It was really bad. In one case, neighbours had to break into a man’s fortress-like house (he wasn’t present at the time) to carry off his bedridden wife. I think I can now relate on a deeper level with victims of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.” I Google his city (in Nigeria) and find pictures like this. Yes, I think, he can relate. I write back and comment that a “low-cost” hotel can’t be very nice. (I’ve seen enough in many parts of the w...
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Awe of ancient Malta


When tourists and historians discover the Maltese islands they are bowled over by the golden glow of the ancient limestone streets. Many roads in the Mdina – the ancient island’s capital – are narrow and tall to keep out the sunlight and to make it difficult for invaders. Then shocked yet filled with admiration at the WW2 Siege of Malta followed by horror at the mass abduction of Gozo’s people in 1551. Hardly written about in fiction until XAGHRA’S REVENGE: a mix of contemporary lovers in France thrown together by ancient Gozo spirits and Ottoman pirates. Turgot Reis by Ali Sami Boyer These are not the swash-buckling Hollywood pirates with an eye patch, parrot and peg leg, but intelligent, c...
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Research, Experience, or Imagination to Create Fiction


#IndieAuthors #Inspiration #Research #Imagination #WriterTips s a gibson I was wondering, this week, how different authors base their stories on aspects of their lives. Some authors have been known to find inspiration from their personal experiences. Melville and Hemingway wrote stories with some ties to things they had actually done. Other authors carry out extensive research to build the world they present for the reader. Margaret Mitchell with her Gone With the Wind stands as an example of that approach. Finally, many fiction authors create their stories out of whole cloth, from their imaginations. And, of course, all three approaches may be combined. Tolkien, developed the Hobbit, with t...
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State of the publishing industry


#IndieAuthors #Publishing #BestsellerLists #GamingTheSystem FELIX THE FOX MYSTERIES Rather than an article, I include below links to two others, with my thoughts on them. I think they show pretty well the current turmoil that the publishing industry is in. The first is titled “Cover Story: The Quiet Catastrophe, Then Reinvention Of Book Publishing”, by John Birmingham on which-50. Here’s a notable excerpt: The last ten years have thrown up such a perfect storm for publishers that it can be difficult to tease out whether the collapse of a chain like Borders has more to do with the recession, the rise of gaming as an alternative to reading for children, the rise of streaming TV as an alternati...
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Proofreading is an art

Proofreading is an art
From the first draft to the second last, my writing partner and I send chapters back and forth. We ask questions, make suggestions, point out errors in time lines, holes in plot lines, identify discrepancies in character development, and highlight the great bits. Finally, we come to the second last draft—the one that requires the scrutiny for details. Our goal is always to have a “clean” manuscript. My writing partner puts the chapters into one document, sends it to me, and I send it to my Kindle. Why? I’ve learned that reading on the Kindle puts me in “book” mode and I see the things I miss on the big screen. Note that this draft is already formatted for ereaders so I’m seeing what the buye...
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Beeping on the bus


Beeping noise on the bus. Every few seconds. I thought it was my tinnitus taking on a new player, but others talked about it. Finally, at a stop, the driver announced his apologies. I shouted, “Turn your bus off and on again.” Everyone laughed, but it worked – as the driver probably knew it would. It reminded me of the opening to ARIA: Left Luggage. One man with buzzing in his head, on a bus. By the time everyone disembarked they all had it, and the driver. Infectious amnesia. Imagine the ramifications. See how it works out for only 99 cents or pence in ARIA smarturl.it/1fexhs I thought ARIA was mainly a medical mystery with its infectious amnesia being so unique, but others tell me it is sc...
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Don’t Read My Book


#MultiGenre #IndieAuthors #Marketing #ReversePsychologyI appropriated this post from S. A. Gibson s a gibson Reworking this article again. Several authors have used reverse psychology in humorous approaches to marketing their books. Stephanie Barr made a meme for Tarot Queen, that highlights aspects of the book that some people might possibly find irritating. And “…not a single flying car.” Reverse psychology involves advocating ideas or behaviors that are in opposition to one’s desired goals according to Wikipedia. Above is a reverse mention of my book, Pratima’s Forbidden Book. This approach reverses what everyone even remotely associated with business thinks of as standard marketing. It’s...
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Will I be sorry I threw out my old photos?

Will I be sorry I threw out my old photos?
  I spent the last two days going through three huge boxes of old photos from the pre-computer days with the original intent of scanning them to my computer. Instead I threw the vast majority into the recycle bin. Why? The photos were not the greatest quality as I didn’t have a good camera in those days.I’m not and never have been a good photographer. I blame this on poor eyesight and (more accurately) lack of real interest.I had three questions as I looked through the pictures. Where is this? What is this? Who is this? If I couldn’t answer even one of those questions, I junked the photo.Very often a fourth question came to mind. Why ever did I take this picture? And to the junk pile it went...
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Present day Xaghra & what’s beneath them


Literally beneath them. This innocuous, quaint and historic square is in the town of Xaghra. Only by chance did I spot a queue form near the church steps, disappear down under the car park and apparently never to emerge. Whoa, I had to be part of this since I was writing a historical novel on why more Gozo folk didn’t hide when the pirates came in the 16th century. I joined the queue, parted with half a euro and down I went into a labyrinth carved out of limestone. Beds, store spaces, lights, all what you’d expect for a bomb shelter. Yes, that is what it what they said for the second world war when the brave Maltese sided with the British rather than German and Italian sides. Butbutbut I ins...
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The Amara Zee drifted into our harbour today

The Amara Zee drifted into our harbour today
Riding the water taxi home from downtown Victoria, BC, we see a … a … pirate ship? No cannon, no skull and cross bones on their flag, but a motley crew that can only be described as … pirates. A quick check on the Internet and we find that it’s a ship theatre! http://caravanstage.org/amarazee/ Original link
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