Of course they had to spend our money.
Aircraft carriers, the Olympics, MoD overspends, concealed and almost concealed IT screw-ups… there’s a vast wad of mis-spent money, never mind the crazy espousal of HS2 and Trident renewal. Enough between them all, I suppose, if unspent, to let us all retire at 60 with a much better pension to boot.
Yesterday one of my Facebook pals wandered into some hot water and a bit of snash (Scottish word to describe nippy conflict) about the morality of the government keeping people working to save pensions money, social benefits spending, and so on.
I smile because was the spat was separate from the factors that created the battlefield. So splendidly human… an argument over whether firemen of 60+ should be allowed with some political rage thrown in. And, I suppose, the feelings of safety someone might feel (or not) on seeing a white haired granddaddy coming up a ladder to save you.
This led me to post (slightly edited) as follows:
I’m a member of the 60+ brigade. So far I’m thankful for my health and *some* fitness.
The heat (ar! ar!) generated at the beginning of this post interested me. Why? We may be angry with government incompetence and ineptitude; yet this is the way we citizens have allowed our world/life to become.
How might we (better) use the energy of our anger? Can we apply it to demand and secure change for the better?
The harsh present and bleak future we curse and moan about is something we can fix.
Is political ideology the key? Who of our political leaders or parties inspire you? How will more of the same benefit our children and grandchildren?
Tom Lehrer said “Life is like a sewer — what you get out of it depends on what you put into it…”
We are where we are. What are we going to do about it?
Posted in 60+, abuse trust, angry people, government incompetence, government spending, gravy, I trust 'em~I trust 'em not, old firemen, political leaders, Tom Lehrer | Leave a Comment »
Once upon a time there lived a bad burglar called Bob. Bob was an angry looking person. He looked a bit messy.
Also there lived a good person called Sam. Sam was a policeman and he was nice to people.
On a rainy day Bob stole 1,754 sparkly jewels from the humongous bank. He also stole 12,367,459,876,890 dollars from the bank because he wanted to be rich.
When morning arrived Sam had already woken up. He saw Bob with the stolen money. Bob was riding his motorbike. Sam quickly got his bike and started riding towards Bob. When Sam had caught Bob he arrested Bob and Sam put Bob into the black, big, dark jail.
Eero sent me this story in April, it is on a wall in our kitchen.
We met up again this week and talked about sharing it. He wanted to do that. His mum approved.
If you have comments to share, I’ll pass them on.
Posted in 8 y.o. writes story, burglar, Finnish, fun, police action, theft of jewels | 1 Comment »
One of the beautiful places on this earth is the Isle of Arran in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. Go there if you can. You’ll never forget the aura of peace when you step off the steamer and onto Brodick pier.
Tendrils of mist unfurl
Rocky crags take solid shape
Waves pound the shore
Seabirds spring into infinity
Soar high on sea breeze eddies
Flotsam of the hurricane
Mixed on a celestial palette, and
Splashed with abandon on the canvas.
© Mac Logan
Mac will soon be releasing series non-fiction books on the human aspects of work.
Posted in beauty, Firth of Clyde, hurricane, Isle of Arran, Mac Logan, sea breeze, strong rhythm, tranquil morning | Leave a Comment »
Gale Winskill, my editor, for a start.
English: lingua franca or minefield?
English is a universal language, right? It’s the same wherever you go! Everybody understands it! But is it really that simple?
There are many ‘official’ manifestations of English from places as diverse as Australia, Zimbabwe, Singapore, India, Jamaica, and many other locations around the world. All are intrinsically ‘English’, but all come equipped with their own unique vocabulary, spelling, pronunciation and local quirks.
From a written or editorial perspective, the most common confusions arise from the differences of British and American English. Wondering which one to use in your latest novel? A few basic tips may help:
- It is not permissible to mix the two. Choose British or American usage and stick to it. If your protagonist is fundamentally and unmistakeably British, would they really go to the ‘movies’, drink ‘soda’ and amble down the ‘sidewalk?’ Often your setting and characterization will dictate your language option; it’s common sense.
- –ize endings are not a prerequisite of the USA. Both –ise and –ize endings are acceptable in UK English. The most important aspect is consistency. The Oxford English Dictionary employs –ize as its headline spelling; other British dictionaries default to –ise. The choice is yours. However, if you are thinking of selling your work outside the UK, it might be worth considering that –ize is common on both sides of the Atlantic.
- Americans like double quotation marks; the British prefer single ones (except for children’s books). There will always be exceptions to the rule, depending on a publisher’s house style, but this is the normal convention.
- Americans like to simplify their spelling, while the British like to insert extraneous letters, or reverse their position. Do not rely on the MSWord spellchecker to know the difference; it’s only as good as the words which have been loaded into it, and often they are incorrect. Use a reputable dictionary from the country of your choice.
So, while you’re pondering whether to ‘practice’ or ‘practise’ your English, embrace its variations and anomalies, and learn to love the richness of your native tongue in all its permutations.
© Gale Winskill
Gale Winskill is an experienced freelance editor, who works on a wide variety of genres, offering a range of editorial services. She also provides training on different aspects of editing and freelancing. Born in Stratford-on-Avon, a dim and distant relative of William Shakespeare, she has also lived and worked in Italy, Hong Kong, Thailand and Egypt. She now resides in Scotland.
Find out more at Gale’s website.
Posted in dictionary, editor, editorial perspective, English language, most common confusions, richness of native tongue, spellchecker | Tagged edit, English a common language, local quirks, UK or USA English in writing | Leave a Comment »
“The road to hell is paved with works-in-progress.” Philip Roth
One day, computers might replace writers!
We won’t be much use if we’re sitting around with the dreaded writers block on that fateful day.
xxA Twitter exchange with a writer got me thinking. She was concerned about the idea of technology replacing writers. Could it happen? Where would the creative spark come from? How can we writers plug in to a creative stream as and when we want to?
xxOne of the big challenges in writing is getting started or unblocking ourselves. In response to that, I’m doing an experiment today: I’m going to open up the first spam or selling type of email I receive from the top of my email inbox and…
Go five lines down and seven words in, then write 250 words based on the word I find, and complete the rough text in under half an hour. Here goes, the word is ‘for’; the time 09:21 (I finished at 09:46).
‘You need to get something for that …’
… A mumbled statement from a person I knew, and I’d missed the first part. Something for what? I rushed to the mirror and looked at myself. Was it the reddish purple pimple with the yellow tip at the end of my slightly gnarled nose? Or my black, cracked, rough-edged fingernails? God, they looked like crumbly tombstones. Then there were my feet stuffed into my creaky black lizard leather boots; they were sooo comfy and, okay, they might have been slightly dilapidated, but the heels gave me an impressive, rather intimidating height.
xxSomething for that! Something for what? Maybe it was my fabulous, furry, feral feline; an appropriate cat for someone like me! He was big and ugly, like a few pounds of greenish tripe. Of course, he smelled better most of the time.
xxApart from scaring children by sneaking up on them, making loud, alternate growls and hissy-spits, while arching his craggy, clumpy, mangy back, bulging his dirty red eyes, and lunging with menace as they shrieked ‘MUMEEEee!’ What a wonderful familiar presence. I felt safe when he was around.
xxIn fact, there was only one real problem with him … flatulence! That was it! It was the scent of sulphur. He’d just fragranced the air with a hiss of a different sort.
xxIt’s always good to solve a problem. I’m glad my friend didn’t insult me because I’d have been forced to turn her into something vile: a leprous frog, a squishy caterpillar, or a politician …
I drafted the above 250+ words in twenty-five minutes. This was followed by a ten minute correctional review. When I typed ‘for’ into my computer, all that came back was a list of Google responses. Creative computers, eh? …
xxWhy not try the experiment and see how you get on. One piece of advice if you do: just start!
© Mac Logan
Mac will soon be releasing series non-fiction books on the human aspects of work.
Posted in big challenges in writing, creative computers, creative spark, flash fiction, Mac Logan, technology replacing writers, test yourself, writer's block, writers block exercise, writing, writing experiment | 3 Comments »