Something to do with Urges

Urges? Well I Never

‘Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It’s the difference between
using a feather and using a chicken.’ Terry Pratchett

Bisexual indeed!

OPT 150508 TOMI used to think a bisexual had wheels and handlebars; that S&M were candy coated chocolate buttons; and sex was what potatoes came in … Then, a few weeks ago, someone told me about erotica.

I’m both honoured and diffident in my appreciation of an erotic author inviting me to guest-blog and giving me the flexibility to respond (don’t jump to conclusions) in my own way.

Twitter excitement

After I joined Twitter I was followed by writers who proclaimed themselves “erotic”, erotic, e-r-o-t-i-c. Hmm, I thought, should I follow back? I wondered if people might check my followers and think I’m a dirty-old-man … I’d much rather be a TOM or a typical-older-man. My definition of a TOM is:

A middle-aged or elderly man with still-operational … you know

Are there other TOM’s in the USA, Canada, UK, Europe, or world-wide? I hope so. Am I the only white-haired man who still feels “urges” now and then? Anyhow, TOM is a sound idea as one has to be careful how one uses the D-O-M initials following recent scandals in some churches … not to mention bossy women who like cracking the whip.

Normal?

Do TOMs show a normal interest in sex? Are all women who read and enjoy erotica actually dirty-old-men in disguise? Now there’s a thought.

Thinking of possibilities, I found a prayer to help people cope with the dilemma of appearances and enhance their Tom-erotic potential:

Dear Lord, All I ask for in 2015 is a big, fat bank account and a slim body. Please don’t mix these up like you did last year. Amen.

And the writers of eroticism?

Want to know what I do about the authors of erotica who follow me? Mostly I follow back. Why? Erotic authors are artists applying their craft for a readership who want to enjoy it. If it’s consensual and adult I stand by the principle of acceptance.

What’s more, I’m getting a much wider range of word usage as a byproduct (or should I spell that bi-product?) I now have alternative thoughts about dripping, sucking, nibbling, squeezing, stroking … I could go on. Sad to say I’ll never be able to use the word “ejaculated”, as a dialogue attribution again. Ho hum.

Tainted?

I’m told I may have included a mild touch of the erotic in my latest thriller. This is not intended to create wild titillation or dampen the story line. It’s simply a normal outcome of a couple sharing and enjoying the normal physical intimacy of a strong relationship. No, folks, there aren’t passages worth dog-earing. But then there is that manipulative woman lawyer who throws herself about a bit …

With such a clear demand for erotica, the hypocrisy around it and other sexual content is surprising. I’m not sure I’ll ever feel inclined to write erotica as a genre. However, I stand by my fellow authors who follow their inspiration. Let’s avoid judgement and encourage writing in its many vibrant forms.

PS: Can anyone recommend a juicy piece of … ah … private reading for a somewhat unworldly TOM I know? I’ll be happy to pass links along

Mac Logan
©

Poker Face

It’s an absolute fact … someone dunnit.

Question 1: who-dunnit?
Question 2: do you really want to know?
Question 3: are you prepared to risk your life to find out?

Poker face

Poker face‘How can you tell she was conscious?’ Lady Jayne said.

‘First impression ma’am.’

‘I thought  policemen followed scientific methods.’

‘Indeed we do, ma’am. First impressions are just that. They give a sense of the tragic and unusual. One absorbs a lot in the first few moments.’

‘Like an instant judgement on whether Her Grace was conscious or unconscious when she fell?’

‘Exactly ma’am.’

‘How so, Inspector?’

‘It’s the way bodies fall, ma’am,’ Inspector Wilcox said. ‘Slack joints bend and flex into surprising shapes when free of the controlling grip of consciousness.’

‘Look at her, man, she’s a surprising shape.’

‘Indeed she is ma’am.’ His nod suggested an agreement his tone belied, ‘yet I believe she was conscious when she fell.’

‘I’d like a closer look, Inspector.’

‘Not now ma’am. Stand back.’ She glared. ‘Here.’ He gestured, open handed to his left side.

She moved as instructed, her stony face paling. ‘What, pray, tells you she was conscious?’

‘Broken nails, self-defence injuries to her arms and what looks like a wrist broken when she stretched out a defensive arm as she fell.’ The corpse’s left hand lay twisted back on itself. A jagged shard of bone pierced the skin. A congealed trickle of blood had oozed to the floor. ‘She tried to catch her fall and her wrist snapped.’

‘Crumbs.’

‘We’ll know more when we’ve inspected the area around her.’

‘Can’t we make her decent?’ Lady Jayne said as the Butler entered, tartan woollen blanket in hand, shaking it out as he crossed the room.

The Inspector signalled to a Constable who moved to block the servant’s path. ‘Sorry ma’am, we must preserve our crime scene. It must be pristine until we complete a thorough examination.’ His Fife accent added a jagged edge to his words. ‘Now the photographs have been taken, the investigation begins.’

‘Must she lie in such an undignified pose?’ One brown brogued foot, pointed up at a sharp angle as if the victim had kicked a football skywards. Her right calf lay propped against the chair’s arm, her thigh taking support from an overturned coalscuttle. Her left knee pressed against the Wilton carpet exposing chubby vein-streaked thighs, suspenders, stockings and her crumpled slip. Her girdle gripped fast like a British bulldog, preserving her modesty while permitting a glimmer of unexpected red silk knickers.

‘I’m afraid she must be allowed to lie as she is, Lady Jayne, we’ll be as quick as we can.’

‘It’s quite outrageous.’

‘Yes, ma’am, murder usually is.’ … To be continued

Mac Logan
©

For the Love of …

For the love of … words

“Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.” Rudyard Kipling

Sam Russell, Author

Sam Russell and friend

Sam Russell and I became writer pals a while back. We agreed she’d write something and this came along. Enjoy …

I expect you’ll love it as much as I do. It gives quirky a good name.

Word definition (Oxford Reference) any sound or combination of sounds (or its written or printed symbol) forming a meaningful element of speech, conveying an idea. A unit of expression.

 Don’t you just love ‘em?

Mixed with the spices of dialect. Stirred with idiom. Show me an accent, throw me some slang. Turn me on with colloquium. Tickle me pink with verbosity. Bemuse me with proverb. Treat me to a cliché.

Charm me with txtspk and I will lu 4ever. lol. Wax lyrical for me.

Make my day by listing plants (cuckoo spit, snapdragon, foxglove).

Offer me your misquotes.

Talk to me of outlandish worlds (Nether Wallop, Fanny Burn, Shyte Brook).

Tell a story, drop a line, bend the truth.

Ply me with your puns (Top Bun, Florist Gump, Woofs a Daisy, Bapman).

Jumble, fling, scrawl. Spit, yell or whisper. Exaggerate, intonate, punctuate if you must.

Tease me with your wit and innuendo. (Punch line – let’s do intercourse).

Delight me with poetry, literature and scripture. I want theatre.

Fly me to rapture with your interplay of analogies and simile.

Word soup, gobbledygook, gossip and Jargon. Pillow talk, allusion, confusion.

Play me some lyrics. String me a line.

Use or abuse them, but GIVE ME YOUR WORDS.

Word of honour, word of mouth. Word perfect.

Do send a message or share a comment. Say it with words.

Sam Russell
©

A Bed of Barley Straw cover

click the picture to follow a link to Amazon

Café on the Edge

Café Cruiser

Cycle to Café at the Edge

click the cartoon to go to the artist’s site

Rocks crunch under my wheels. I cling to my handlebars and keep pedalling. An occasional side-step of the front wheel demands constant attention. My thighs communicate about down-hill being more fun than up.

In moments we crest the hill and hurtle downwards onto another rugged track, the skyline of Dunfermline stands staunch and historic across the fields and woods. In moments a shorter climb begins … then, through a gate and we shoot down a surfaced road …

Born to Boogey

Some people are born old, others have oldness thrust upon them. Me, I’m trying to keep things going and avoid the thrusters for as long as I can.

We avoid traffic as we take farm roads and byways, enjoying man- talk as we go. We’ve been cycling buddies for a while. The banter rumbles on as we gain smoother paths, take the rollerball dash across the underpass. Minutes later we’re THERE.

Goal Achieved …

Seven miles gone, I slide one meaty thigh over the saddle, tell my knees to behave and lean my bike against the café window. Inverkeiting High Street bustles. The café door beckons. As I step inside people look up, some nod, some banter and all return my mornin’ all. The air reeks of coffee, cooking and conviviality. My buddy and I take a seat at a table with a cyclist from Linlithgow, an older man or should I say: a fifty mile every-other-day man as his conversation attests. At least mines bigger than his (bike that is). We share some craic.

A pot of tea and a Lorne sausage in a morning roll. Add properly fresh-fried onions and tart brown sauce … hog heaven. Our fellow cyclist leaves. Five minutes later we’re off.

Return Journey

We decide to go the long way back via Limekilns a beautiful village on the shore. After a pause for further refreshment we’re on the hidden path from Charlestown through Broomhall Estate.

Just ahead of a downpour, I slide out of the saddle another eight miles gone. A little device tells me I’ve climbed over 700 feet on the trip … Who needs technology? My legs knew all along.

Mac Logan
©

Something to do with Libido

Libido Who?

Libido … who?

check out andertoons.com

The three greatest lies in the western world are alleged to be:

  1. Your cheque is in the post
  2. Of course I’ll still respect you in the morning … and,
  3. I’m from HR and I’m here to help you.

Bearing in mind my pal Regina Puckett‘s belief that “…there’s nothing better than the feeling of falling into love…” I’ll use number 2 as a reference point. Fact is, I fall in love quite often. Only one issue really … I’m a man.

What came first? Thinning hair or Creaking knees?

One day, I noticed tiny crow’s-feet. A while later, a wrinkle creased the smoothness of my forehead. Before I knew it my 6 pack was a 12 pack.

Next, OMG, gravity added a slight droop—who said pendulous—to the flesh around my belt-buckle as extra pounds of non-muscle (Do you like the word flab?) hugged my torso. Sad to say that was nearly twenty years ago. Things only started to improve recently … at least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

Juices and things

I may not be as physically entrancing as Don Juan, Casanova, Byron or any of the magnificent denizens of Hollywood. However, I still feel more than a platonic interest when I meet or see an attractive woman.

A gentle smile, some silken curves, a knowing eye and a hint of fun … magic.

Then there’s a light stroking touch on the back of a hand or forearm, an earthy laugh, a warm hug … wonderful … utterly delightful. Should this lead to a bedroom scene?

I Like Sam’s Tone

Gotta face the facts, I’m not the man I was. Time moves on, and with it the tone of my muscles. Recently, I read Sam Russell’s A Bed of Barley Straw. She engaged me in a great story, sharing the ups and downs (sic), silliness and foul-ups we are all so capable of—what a gift.

Gray Day

I better not leave out Virginia Gray, writer of The Carrot. What an enjoyable take on the world of ambition, business and love.

Schmaltz or Better?

I’ve always enjoy a happy ending if the plot allows. Add to that a passionate night of love, forgiveness, redemption and exhausted satisfaction over a shared glass of Champagne. Okay, maybe I’d need to plea bargain the “night” to a shorter timeframe nowadays, and the “drained exhaustion” might morph into a shared bout of snoring.

I’m in danger of becoming a Romance fan. I’m often caught up in the schmaltz of a movie. Sometimes the sex scenes in a film are, at the very least, er… compelling.

Meeting a lovely person of indeterminate age, feeling a mutual liking, sensing the heart, I wonder … imagine … and don’t feel the worse for it. Nor do I feel an obligation to seduce or be seduced. And, if it ever happens I’ll report it here …

President Jimmy Carter said: “I’ve looked on a lot of women with lust. I’ve committed adultery in my heart many times.” Playboy, 1976. If a thoroughly decent US President can be honest about it … maybe most males should own up.

Vive les Similitudes

I wonder just how different older men are to maturer women? Have we common sensibilities? If so, maybe I could write a Romance? How many romantic authors are men? The women in my novels are assertive, feisty and sensual. You can see me talk about it. As a writer I want female characters who are more than two-dimensional lusty ladies with ginormous boobs. A man wrote me the other day and said he was falling for my female baddie, wow!

Get right down to it

My interest in the opposite sex is as strong as ever. How’s yours?

Imagine coffee or a glass of wine with a friends of both sexes? Bantering, joking and laughing away our time, perhaps even flirting?

Wow, what fun, and no obligation to get involved with anyone … apart from the delightful French widow who wants to show me her etchings …

Mac Logan
©

Standards of Incompetence

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics. Benjamin Disraeli

Says Who?

Scapegoat requiredI thought M J Maroney said: there’s lies, damned lies, and statistics. But did he?

When I checked the source out it was attributed to: Mark Twain, Benjamin Disraeli and one Leonard H Courtney.

I opted for Disraeli, after all, he was a politician and must have known about lying, dissembling (watch Boris Squirm) and cover-ups (another video) from experience.

Of course, the problem of attribution remains.

Isn’t it fitting? We have a clear, excellent, Standard quotation and only vagueness about who made it. Lack of clearness and attribution, now there’s a powerful political mechanism.

Missed Health Care Standards are er… Missed

Imagine my horror and fear. Things are so bad I could, at my age, be rushed to hospital and risk being  victim of a missed NHS standard … or, then again, maybe not.

The last time I was an emergency I walked straight in, received immediate service, felt looked after, and walked out about an hour later.

NHS is not Alone

On what basis are Contracts, Services and Standards devised and specified – across our government, agencies, departments, out-source contractors and Quangos? By whom? What proven expertise is brought to bear? We need only look at project difficulties, price escalation and failures, even with private sector involvement.

Punch the Bag

We have a problem about Standards? Standards, that is, set for the NHS and many other aspects of our governance. At its core our NHS is a truly wonderful organisation. Then, of course, we witness the cruelty of the politicians and officials who use it as a punch-bag. Punch-bag you say? We’re well past the political football stage, aren’t we?

Not Just the NHS

How do our procurers or standard setters, their bosses and political masters make sure the job is done right? And when failures happen, information about the circumstances in which any foundering occurs is clear, reliable, assessed with rigour and shared honestly.

Parliamentary Confession

The Civil Service shows a consistent lack of understanding about how to gather requirements, evaluate supplier capabilities, develop relationships or specify outcomes …

Earlier this year a Parliamentary Select Committee admitted Parliament’s incompetence at almost anything to do with effective management and control of costs and procurement. External sources agree. Yet, these incompetents, believe that privatising the NHS is “good thing”. Thus more cruel blows land on NHS people.

Some people at the coal face are incompetent. However, that isn’t due to lack of potential or ability, it’s due to a lack of knowing what to do. If a person can do brain surgery, maybe she could learn, apply and lead performance improvement.

Do private contractors suffer from missed standards?

There is no justification for allowing massive private corporations to take profits from our public purse. Not unless it can be objectively proven that they deliver the best possible return.

There is no defence for not pursuing appropriate training and education for people at the sharp end.

If it is Broke, Fix It

Why don’t we review missed standards as part of a process to seriously fix:

  • disconnects between political ignorance/incompetence/stupidity
  • dishonest sound bite statistics and provide for criminal sanctions
  • the skills gap affecting action at the sharp end.

Mac Logan
©

Seumas Gallacher Uncovers the Global Financial Markets “Con Trick”

Good for the Soul?

Seumas Gallagher

This is a guest post by best selling author Seumas Gallacher. He’s worth a read. Click on the photos for a link to his site.

Let me ’fess up, right out of the blocks, I worked in the finance and banking industry for the major part of my professional career. I’m aware I may sound like a ‘bleeding deacon’ with some of my ensuing comments, but who cares… I’ll tell it as I feel it and see it.

Outrageous

My view of the global banking industry over the past ten to fifteen years moved from simple embarrassment to downright outrage. In the early 1960s when I entered a Scottish bank as an apprentice bank clerk, things were radically different: getting a personal loan of ten pounds sterling entailed a whole series of tough questions about the ability to pay back. Yet when money was deposited to any bank, it was considered the safest possible place for money.

Once Upon a Time, in a Bank Far Away …

Your life savings were secure. Customers sat plainly and squarely at the centre of everything the financial institutions stood for. The concepts of casinos and betting shops were a million miles away from the lofty profession of banking.

Fast forward to today, and it’s all changed.

Somewhere along the way, ‘customer service’ became an obsolete notion. Greed and bonuses, accompanied by unharnessed risk, replaced the sobriety of lending on which entire economies had previously thrived and grown in measured style.

The lines became blurred, then fudged, and ultimately scorned in pursuit of bottom line profits, both corporately and for a certain breed of ‘high-performing’ individuals whose sole raison d’etre was simply to invent ways to ‘make money’.

Artificial instruments known as ‘derivatives’ proliferated, most of which were total ‘gobbledegook’ to the ordinary investor. That did not stop the ‘salesmen’ within the banks from targeting the so-called ordinary investor. At times, even the ‘salesmen’ didn’t fully understand the products they were flogging to an unsuspecting market.

Pause for Thought

By the middle of 2006, it was starting to become clearer to me that the hedge fund industry was becoming a dangerous bubble, with too much money chasing the same trades. This was leading hedges down narrower and narrower paths in which they bought riskier credit instruments to round out their strategies … Keith McCulloch and Rich Blake

Think of it for a moment, when did the term ‘salesmen’ start to appear in banks? Next some bluudy genius came along with the biggest con trick of all, the sub-prime range of instruments. To put it simply, substandard quality risk was ‘wrapped’ in supposedly solid AAA institutional support and sold accordingly to private and corporate investors to the tune of trillions of dollars —yes, trillions of dollars—and insured against failure … except it wasn’t.

OMG! The Music Stopped

When the music stopped, the whole edifice came tumbling down about the entire world financial markets’ collective ears. Now here’s the thing:

  • millions of ordinary folks lost life savings
  • many pension funds had values ripped out, never to be recovered
  • most of the major banks at the centre of the whole malarkey remain relatively unscathed…

Beware Greeks …

Oh sure, certain high-placed employees and officers lost their jobs in the banks, but some of these individual institutions were bailed out to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars— please read that again—hundreds of billions of dollars. Try to reconcile that against the nonsense currently besieging Greece where the fiscal management of that country does not come out of it smelling of roses.

The same junta of the European Central Banks that bailed out their own fellow institutions not so long ago, are holding the Greeks to ransom … smacks of sins of the fathers to me. Rest assured, banking will never again revert to the great profession to which I once belonged and more’s the pity … heads they win, tails you lose.

Seumas Gallacher
©