Category: Book News

Masterpiece

I grew up at a time when men were supposed to be better than women. Patronising, wolf-whistling and all that, Andy Capp still a strip cartoon. But growing up with an emotional mother and four strong-willed sisters cast doubts upon the supposed superiority of men still bristling with masculinity after returning from a war. It seemed that women are born with trouble but men have to go out and look for it. Perhaps it’s just jealousy ‘cos we all like a fight for a just cause and women have many more grievances in their natural state.

Identikit

Emotional scars can last a lifetime and dictate what you see in the world whether it’s real or unreal. Healing the scars is essential for a balanced life. Divorce from a relationship can create deep scars. Not been through such divorce myself (except that from a religious upbringing) but observed the suffering from close range, hence the story.

Last Orders at Waterloo

I’ve worked with people who have drunk themselves to death. Men; but no doubt there are women too. When there isn’t a war to fight, you fight yourself, your circumstances and your problems. They can’t be defined, but a pint of beer or a glass of scotch can. It’s a challenge to life itself. If life is getting at you, you fight back and challenge the alcohol to get the better of you, or else. You fight the alcohol and ignore the real reasons for needing to fight. That’s my take anyway. The alcohol got ‘Dave’ in the end, and he was a hero only among his drinking friends.

The Man o’ the Woods

The human being a curious animal, and the search for answers, even to improbables, is a continuing process. The Man o’ the Woods has plenty of names from sasquatch to yeti, yowi, abominable snowman and more. Some people believe that these creatures exist, even though the proof is minimal, and some don’t believe at all. But there are always those who enjoy the claimed existence of these creatures for their own entertainment or reward. It’s only human to take advantage.

Skipdoll

We grow up and are subject to different experiences in our lives. Nobody is free of troubles. Some people are more capable of challenging and overcoming adversity and some have much easier adversities to overcome than other people. Jade-Marie has her own particular difficulties in growing up into adulthood when her needs are greatest. But then so have her parents had – and probably their parents before them. When you are given the baton for your generation to carry forward, it does not always possess the correct programming,  and it is difficult to know just what to do with it. Often the adult world that has preceded you can only give you questions and problems that they have not been able to resolve themselves. It’s par for the course. Jade-Marie perseveres, like we almost all do. If any of us are allowed personal achievement out of adversity it is indeed, thrilling.

Jade Marie is fifteen years old. Her parents are n conflict and she doesn’t know why. Living on an isolated farm helps to exacerbate her defensive introversion as she can walk the fields without any social contact. At school however a social life has to be maintained at least to the minimum. Her lonliness increases as she feels the world around her has let her down, and she has difficulty in dertermining her place within it. Stout of heart, however, she battles on, at one time with only an inanimate, but seemingly alive, doll as company in human form, and forces which don’t appear to belong to the physical world.

Yer Main Ingerland Man

In popular football (soccer) chanting ‘England’ becomes ‘Ingerland’ in order for it to scan and maintain a rhythm. In those sports  which are subject to economic laws, and driven by success alone, managers and players become commodities. They are gods when things are going right, and demons when they’re not.  My brother is involved in grassroots athletics, in which everyone can strive for greatness. In those sports of high, corporate finance however, once greatness is achieved and the individual sits atop of the sporting personality pyramid, there is the danger of wallowing in its success, and letting the strive for greatness slip.  The peripherals of sport then become more entertaining, and sometimes more important  than the sport itself. Might as well have Santa Claus in charge, it’s sometimes no more ridiculous. Now try FC United, a democratically owned and people-run club.

The Queue for the Bog

Words are wonderful. The same word can change its meaning entirely with just an inflexion of the voice. Sometimes, in my current job especially, I have greeted a stranger with a hello and they look at me as if I am about to kill them. It’s just a practical greeting, with the opposite intention of murder. Because I rarely have a smile from ear to ear, and there’s no kiss-ass involved, I perhaps convey the wrong meaning. So the word ‘bog’, in some circles means toilet/washroom/WC etc etc. and the use of any of these can cause a giggle. Contrasted with the ‘Bog’ in which devastated folk at their wits end want to find eternal fame because their own lives have been perceived to have been failures, then the sublime sleeps uncomfortably next to the ridiculous, which is often the case in many aspects of life. There is always a regular queue for fame as much as there is a regular queue for the ‘bog’.

Coming Clean

Coming Clean is a story with a bit of a smile. Had it featured knickers, rather than underpants, it would have been an entirely different story. Knickers are sexy; underpants occasionally try but never succeed. Vengeance is intrinsic in most of us, and it’s gratifying to see the annihilation of lifelong grievances; the insensitive bully being overturned by the hapless victim. But it doesn’t mean to say that the victims of unfairness are not capable, in a moment of opportunity, to adopt the tag of bully themselves. Who in the world is so pure of heart?

The Lion and the Cheesegrater

The latest story, ‘The Lion and the Cheesegrater’ published on Smashwords. The theme is a take on the famous line from Aristophanes (Lysistrata) and represents an unknown sexual position though the story itself is not erotic. It is more about the sexual drive; the physical versus the spiritual, and how the natural drive for the purely physical can trip up many in the need for a relationship.

I have always had a smile from reading the satire of Aristophanes et al, as I have enjoyed good satire as it has been presented on (British) TV. Life is full of ironies and even plentiful contradictions, and they can bring both pain and pleasure.