Battle of the Sexes Revisited.

Many light years ago, a male had the gall to open up a can of worms.

Billie Jean King quickly put him in his place
Wikipedia – King is an advocate for sexual equality. In 1973, at age 29, she won the so-called Battle of the Sexes tennis match against the 55-year-old Bobby Riggs.

Now this Raymond Moore chap has done it again by bringing up the matter of “how lucky the ladies are”.
OK, so us guys are not the brightest among the tennis racket collection, but come on guys, when will we ever learn?

Now, as a male, I have no claim about being a rocket scientist, but long for the day when –
“Great news ! Equal pay for equal play – women tennis players will now play 5 sets in all tennis matches. Same as the men. No more unfair discrimination ! Next ? Open singles matches for all – say NO to gender discrimination ! Number one women’s champion to play number one men’s champion at Wimbledon this year for unified singles champion.”

Another thoughtless male is reported in saying –
“Wimbledon tickets for the 6 days when only one sex plays present cost per ticket Centre unless stated;
Mens Final -3950
Mens Semi – 3350
Mens Quarters – 2650
Mens Quarters Court 1 – 1280
Ladies Final – 925
Ladies Semi 725
Ladies Quarters 670
Ladies Quarters Court 1 – 550
Read into it what you wish but its pretty clear to me.”

I tell you what guys. We are cruising for a bruising?


To Blog or not to Blog?

Since getting serious about my writing activities in 2015, the question of frequency raised its mystical head.

Darren Rowse is the founder & editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips has some interesting thoughts on this subject. Have a look here:  How many Blog posts.

I recently came to the wonderful conclusion that it is a big No No to spend to many hours on the Internet or playing those mind numbing games. OK, so Rocket Science is not my strong suit?
So, in came Time Management & out went Internet, Games, email subscriptions & certain non productive Social Media activities.
I still need to ‘edit’ my Blog site; those nasty people at site ratings were not impressed and so my new web-site will need some tweaking. I am led to believe that this will also improve my engagements with readers?

And finally, as a special treat, I will attend a selection of Webinars which, thanks to the different Time Zones, occur during my free time or non writing time.

Webinars – my next post.

A daydreamer with hyperphantasia.

I have often wondered how certain mystery/fiction writers have that ability to ‘paint’ a word picture when describing a certain scene. Wilbur Smith can transport the reader into the African bush veldt when describing the herds of wild animals being hunted by lions or James Patterson’s ability of allowing you to visualize the meeting of the ladies in his Woman’s Murder Club series. It is like he is allowing you to pull up a chair and join them.

Today I learnt that this may have something to do with ‘visual imagery’ and how some people experience it. In certain cases, there are some people that have no ability at all & suffer from what is called aphantasia. At the other end of the scale we have book illustrators who are super visualizers or highly developed hyperphtasia.

Writers are not the only ones that develop these skills. Sports coaches use various techniques to aid sportsmen and women. Life Skills coaches assist business people to improve their successes in their respective fields of endeavour.

Whatever is your chosen path to develop these skills, like writing, it takes practice and the more you practice the better you become at it.

Imagine that?

Setting your goals higher is fun.

Alternative title? Forget about writing that Hemingway novel, write for The New Yorker instead!

Let us get this straight, right from the beginning. Setting one’s life goals higher is not always advisable for various reasons, but for now just accept it is probably because you cannot cut it!

Now do not get all indignant about it. The really clever people have already worked this one out and have some fancy statistics to back it up with.

How did this sudden change of heart come about? It was quite simple.

Here I was as usual, banging away at the keyboard in the small hours of the morning across the pond, in one of those great Counties of this here United Kingdom. Things creative were not going well at all. My supposedly lead character in my mystery novel had decided to up the ante and got himself killed! And I was not happy about it. Well, would you be?

This is how I came to this momentous decision. Are you still paying attention?

My having realised that I had just shot myself in the foot by allowing my lead character to get himself killed, forced me to take a break from the keyboard and scan through my motivational flashcards. Well, that did not work a damn, so I went in search of some elixir of life. In my case, it was some previously made juice suggested by Joe Cross from down under.
If you get a chance, read what Joe says. His ‘Reboot with Joe’ could change your life.

Back from my trip to the fridge, my brain cells vibrating in harmony, I set about consulting with my main man resource, Mr Google! If you not use to this chap, then I suggest you take it slow and easy. He can be rather addictive at times.
I was soon scanning through some wonderful advice from some amazing scribes. They are a rum bunch and if truth be told, I am rather jealous of most of them.

Before I knew it, I had hit the motherlode. There it was, in an article published by to Submit Short Stories: 25 Magazines and Websites That Want Your Work”
And who do you think you should try first? The New Yorker.
My initial reaction was similar to what that famous tennis player once said. “You cannot be serious”!
I mean let’s come down to earth and ask the question, what bad stuff are you smoking?

Allow me to refresh your memory. The title of this diatribe is “Setting your goals higher is fun” Right? Right.
So what goal could possibly be higher, other than the goal posts set up on the moon by some gridiron enthusiast? Go Jets!
Here one will find some of the most dynamic writers of our time, covering a wide range of topics. What more could a person ask for, other than those magical cartoons, of course?

So, there you are. If you are reading this in The New Yorker, then you will know that “Setting your goals higher is fun” and it could work for you? If not, c’est la vie.

Death, Despair & Destruction.

Living in a world of pragmatic realism that some of us are want to do, I often wonder why the global news media choose to constantly provide the world with copious amounts of Death, Despair & Destruction?

Walking down the street do we really want to hear the corner news vendor shout out the horrors of the morning edition? Does the compulsory switch on the TV require us to view the days destructive reports?

Does the morning commute into the big city leave us despondent by the late arrival of the train because someone has reported yet another annoying strike by railway workers?

Let us rather lean in the positive direction. Read about the top performing Teen Entrepreneurs.
Learn why a CEO is paying for college for his worker’s children.
Understand why it is important to rid our streets of the homeless people by providing them the resources to uplift themselves.

Provide the level playing fields of sporting activities to broaden our understanding the uniqueness of each and every individual.

Surely it is better to surround ourselves with the positives in our daily lives, rather than to drag the communities down into the pit of negativeness?

I now Love / Hate Writing.

It is now just gone four months since I started this blog.
I use to love writing, now I hate it!
From reading hundreds of “How to” articles, I trimmed the list down to half a dozen and have ended up with my writing, which I once loved doing more than standing on a street corner & watching the girls go by, to not writing at all & feeling as if I am in a deep pit of despair.

My love for reading is causing this split. Or is it the lack of time management on my part? It has also been  a cause for concern with my gardening hobby.
When I started the Grow Your Own venture some years ago, the first year brought untold confusion.
One experienced gardener advised I should grow vegetables this way while another said “Oh no, do it this way”!

This is what has crept into my writing or the lack of writing. I am spending more time reading about “how to” and less time writing.
I am not happy.

Perhaps it is time for Providence to take a guiding hand? Sorry you wonderful sources of writing advice, but you are now being allocated your own time slot & that’s it! No more whiling away they day reading about how to become more creative, or how best to edit my first draft, or whether my writing should be plot or character driven.

It is time for me to be good to my writing for the writing to be good for me.


The Loneliness of a Long Distance Grandfather.

The Loneliness of a Long Distance Grandfather is not an easy occupation. I am not unique; there are many members of this special club, with a membership that is graded from Newby to Hall of Fame.

Most days I, GrandPa(UK), keep myself amused with various tasks to help pass the long days of forced retirement.

Most days (& nights) I have got this routine down pat. Today was different.
I fell out of bed around 4 in the morning & said to myself, ” Mr Flipping Amazing, you’ve made another day”. (That F word has been edited for the more sensitive readers?) And so the routine started.

Well, today was a train wreck. A Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang without a driver. A Flossie without a pilot, heading for a mother of all tailspins. A sailor believing he had a master mariner’s ticket, approaching an unknown port.
Are you still with me?

Well, for reasons beyond my ability, the meds did not work & the routine refused point blank to stabilise, no matter how much Boem, Chardonnay or other elixirs of life I tried. In fact, it was the Chardonnay, a rather pleasant grape variety from the Cape of Storms that caused the most damage. No reflection on the vintners expertise!

There I was, minding my own business, reading about Faith & her thespian exploits on FB, when I decided to check whether the chardonnay was ‘corked‘ or not. Actually it was a screw cap, so I guess I was testing whether it was screwed or not?

I soon reached the stage of – my ou maagie voel so warm – a contented tummy & believe me that takes some doing with my present girth!

There was much to think about. A recent suggestion by my darling niece, Cathy, ably supported by my daughter Barbara & a few other stirrers, broached the subject of getting this old man, the aforementioned GrandPa(UK), to come & visit the grandsons in South Africa.

That is all Sub Judice at the moment. For three reasons; the obvious one(?); will the medical profession allow me to travel & if I did go, would I really want to come back to the UK? Oh & yes, would Rolaine want to join me on this escapade? That was close! That’s the problem with living alone, one’s mind tends to forget certain things.

Now I know the old doc is going to ask whether I will be swimming, flying, cruising or what. She really is a fabulous doctor, with illusions of what I am capable of achieving. My B-in-L, Rob, who is a marvelous motivator would say skies the limit. Ja Boet?

Without getting into the financial aspects, I started thinking about what mode of transport.
Flying was the quickest & they had some rather nice staff on board, of both persuasions & an interesting wine list. It is only 6022 miles / 9692 Kilometres / 5233 nautical miles to Cape Town.
I suppose if I asked nicely, my good friend with his own plane, John T, could make a slight detour?
Then there is the cruising bit, but it is a tad longer, some 29 odd days & a wine list that would cause me to end up in the drunk tank in Cape Town!

A side thought. Clifford has this rather lekker boat, but I heard he is busy killing the big ones off PE lately. What about Jeremy, he has some experience on the South American route?

Decisions, decisions. At the very least, I think this diatribe should be posted on my blog. What do you think?
The midnight hour has come & gone & it is time to sleep, perchance to dream?

Writer – 2015

In the old days, if one chose to be a writer, the start-up procedure was a lot less intense. You had a pencil, in fact, a whole bunch of them, a sharpener, book or sheaf of blank paper and a quiet place to create your masterpiece.

These days it takes a lot more. We are, after all living in the digital age.

Then one day, after many years of just writing a bit of this, a touch of that, someone, a kind, well-intentioned person said.
“You are a Writer, Richard. Why don’t you publish a book?”
And so it started.  I spent the better part of 2014 diligently writing or rather banging away at the computer keyboard.
One page a day, with the dream of accumulating 350 odd pages by the end of the year.

Now the editing would start, honing that rough draft into something I would be proud of. Something I could present to some grateful publisher.

Around December 15th, 2014, I bumped into that same kind person at a local supermarket. After exchanging season greetings and exchanging personal and family news, she said.

“You know what you should do now?” I had walked right into this I thought!
“You need a writer’s website and blog!”
And before I knew it, I was involved with just that, only surfacing again in mid-January, 2015.

This had become a never-ending story?