About The Wordmonger


Author G. Jefferies

Some time ago someone read a snippet of a short story that stemmed from a decade of thinking about writing but not actually making any inroads. In a previous life, existence was based on forging a career in scientific research with publications in various journals including Nature. All very interesting, but that is the personal driving force of advancing knowledge and understanding. Then children arrived. Life altering stuff indeed. The old ways were put aside to become the primary carer. A new “challenge” and probably even more rewarding. But what does one do with the time and feelings of isolation and growing despair that the world is moving on and leaving you behind?

Clearly one path is to think and contemplate then drop into an angst filled pit of despair. Another is to get a hobby. Enter the internet and an on-line gaming fraternity of high adventure. None of your Xbox or Playstation modern warfare. This was before them; although with boys growing up it would, of course, be folly not to “beta test” games to ensure content is suitable. That was my excuse at any rate and much time was lost to assorted free roaming high adventure. I digress, before top end games consoles there was a site on the State of Insanity (SOI; the name fitted the mindset) with a text based set of rooms that required speedy thinking and vocabulary to rise to fame…or infamy as the case may be. This was where folk began to suggest word craft might be something to pursue.

Many years later a friend was exposed to a short story; something I was not overconfident with – an issue I am told is not uncommon with writers be they best sellers, freelance or rubbish like me. This friend suggested that story be grown into something more. Sceptical, more time passed; lots of it in fact. Self esteem can be a motivating or entirely destructive. I am certain this is a more common trait amongst stay at home parents than is admitted. Add in other issues, that belong somewhere else, and the downward slide gets greased until daylight at the end of the tunnel seems so very far away.

The germ festered a while until someone else said the same thing. I had an epiphany; if you don’t try how will you know? Others possible saw it as something a shade more obvious; not quite as big a revelation as my brain concluded. Feedback comprised of comments such as

“You stupid (insert expletive of choice) idiot (or synonym of choice). Why didn’t you do this years ago?”

It is a fair point. All I can say is the characters didn’t come forwards until the eureka moment. After that they wouldn’t shut up. Rattling off the first draft of a novel came relatively easily; providing one doesn’t dwell on the decade thinking about it! I found the experience more like being a biographer rather than a writer – I reserve the use of author to those wordsmiths with evidence of craft. The tale was narrated to me with more than one character telling me that they were most definitely not doing that or simply no that’s not what I would do. I do believe one even went off in a sulk for nearly a week at one point.

First draft was completed a few weeks ago and there it now sits waiting for review and ordering into chapters. Being electronic it will not gather dust so even that cannot act as reminder to stop procrastinating and get on with it.

So why am I here chewing the fat with anyone who cares to look? Simple really, avoids the redraft…. Not really, well maybe a bit. I actually took an on-line short course on dialogue and in that was a blog that budding writers could test their skills in a forum offering support and constructive criticism. I think that was probably more helpful than I ever imagined possible. Total strangers looking at samples of text; how out of the comfort zone is that? Funny thing is, being in the same boat, they were all very friendly and welcoming. It gave me the idea / confidence to look at a blog and think why not make it a place anyone can drop in, comment, trial ideas and so on. Everyone has to start somewhere and if a blog is where people that are in the place I was in find the light at the end of the tunnel drawing closer then all well and good. Kudos to them. If some of them become famous then at least we can say we knew them once upon a time too; although signed book copies would be appreciated; with maybe a personal dedication thrown in for good measure.

So, blogging. This is the now. New project and entirely a novice; sidebars, widgets, gravitars..about now I normally steal an acronym from the last film in Nick Frost and Simon Pegs the Three Flavours of Cornetto trilogy… WTF!

I would therefore ask that any unfortunate enough to encounter this blog in its infancy please be aware I have no clue what I am doing. Suggestions on errors or content are welcome…although I am not even certain posting by others is working.

Everyone is welcome, new writers, old writers, young writers, those wanting to write, hints, tips and publishers knowhow; but probably not those that don’t want to write as that would be pointless. Equal opportunities means famous authors are not excluded although they will make me feel inadequate again.

Still, practice makes perfect…




  1. Lee Vernon says

    Good to read this Gary. Our random conversations at the bar, the early musings of a novelist and a songwriter gave us both inspiration perhaps? I’ll be dropping by from time to time to keep an eye on you… I’m expecting great things!

    • An unexpected visit Lee and most welcome indeed. These are quite aged musings now and require a few addenda to catch up the later years. Still under the radar so to speak…as per bar discourse… a place now much changed since last you saw it (call that insider knowledge from the keeper of the beers). I’ll certainly look forward to those visits and try to perceive these as nothing at all to do with pressure!

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  3. Pingback: The Book Lover’s Tag - Esme Salon

    • Thanks for the huge shout out EsmΓ© and loving the new blog look. Somehow I have to sort mine out ASAP. No idea what I’m doing there mind 😱

    • Quite possible, although I’m feeling ancient today after completing a book project first draft yesterday! This about really needs an update too. Coming here to read your kind words has reminded me of a re-theme plan I need to sort out.

      Thank you so much for taking the time to drop in and comment too. Much appreciated!

  4. “Rattling off the first draft of a novel came relatively easily; providing one doesn’t dwell on the decade thinking about it!”

    Hahaha! I’ve been practically going in this direction with a story. In fact my current nanowrimo story is inspired by the first novel I started writing and never completed. Nearly 9 years and Three “novels” later, and here I am bringing it to life! πŸ™‚

    • Lol, I just look at King and The Dark Tower….that sat in a box for a while and turned out pretty good IMO….and if King can do it as a high output author, the likes of me feel no shame at all!

      Brilliant for you too. It’s true what they say, never throw any writing away…you never know when it might resurface as an inspired idea 😊

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  6. Rewrite? Good to have that option…lol…Me? I am still plodding through that first draft…. Must away to write some more πŸ™‚

    • Haha, yes, I need to re-write this too as part of my blog revamp! Since then one redraft has been competed and is waiting for a publisher to say “Yes.” One other sits in the slush pile and a third is on CampNaNo now to get me to finish it lol. Thank you so much for the comment πŸ™‚

      Oh, and the first draft of this one is seven months old already! Tempus fugit and all that…well that was the title of a post I did a few months back saying it would all be finished by now….eeek!!!

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    • Crumbs, this was in my spam folder for some bizarre reason. I don’t check it very often which is a my bad thing! I know we’ve talked about this on your blog and wondered if you’d come over to mention it. So sorry Esme πŸ’

        • I had the link saved already Esme; but was shocked to find this one extracted by Askimet. I really should check my spam folder more often. Will be onto this soon as it is on my to do list πŸ™‚

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  9. Sheesh, finally made here and am enthralled! So glad you visited me so I could follow your breadcrumbs back here. (Too much Hansel and Gretel as a child?) And yep, I would do anything instead of rewriting a draft…. even cook! Love what I see here!

    • Definitely Hansel and Gretal influence!! Not that that a bad thing! Lovely to see you Stephanie and one hopes the meagre offerings continue to amuse. I need to update this about page at some point…to do list is growing daily….useful for re-write procrastinating 😁 Alas it’s a necessary evil though!

  10. It would be so exciting to be here, never read before “about” like that… reminds me too, as if I was lost/unforgotten, someone talks, I can hear his voice, and not alone… I am not alone. Thank you dear Samantha (I have come here from her post/blog here) and Thank you Gary, it is so nice to meet. Have a great day, Love, nia

    • Hello and lovely to meet you Nia 😊 Samantha is a proper friend now so anyone she knows is totally welcome here. My about needs a bit of an update. In some ways it reflects my writing method. Start and see where it goes. Feel free to drop in and comment whenever time (always time…my personal nemesis) permits. I shall pop over to yours later today too 😊

  11. Ha ha yes! Love it, it gives the rhyme and reason behind why you do what you do and how it came to be! I noticed I’ve liked it previously, but not commented, but I do like how you you’ve put your back story πŸ™‚ Oh dear… I shall have to think of something a lot more interesting for my “About” page than “My son thought it would be a good idea…” πŸ™‚

    • Shoot, I knew I had a notification you’d been here, but it vanished in that AI see if he remembers test. Or could it be AI throwing tests out to see if we are the AI? Hmm scary, and yet, a curious thought! Thank you for the comment re back story too. I’m afraid it needs a bit of an update now though. I rather think your line about your son thinking it would be a good idea is a good opening gambit. Bit of light hearted about, rather than a list of “that” sort of description!

      • Like those curious figures you are sometimes asked to decipher to prove your humanity…
        Yeah, ok. think I’ll go with your suggestion as my mind is blank otherwise…

        • I always find it quirky being asked by a piece of software to confirm I’m not another piece of software behaving badly. Although it’s not much different, in principle, from having to go for an interview for a passport! In both cases the proof of being human is down to other humans being total gits and trying it on…funny old world.

            • Nowadays it’s the media and “news” reporters…in the future obviously the AI, which might conclude the Terminator idea is the way to go! Although I have now wandered off in a tangent to Jethro Tull and “The Mouse Police Never Sleeps.” Which is entirely another matter!

              • Hmm…media…never to be trusted (I say as the eternal student..) I watched that series “The Moorside” the other day…the character portrayals were very good, but it makes you wonder…

                • Gosh, there’s a certain President who holds press conferences just to tell them they are dishonest and fake too πŸ€” Is that the one about the missing school girl turned murder hunt turned abduction one?

    • Oh my….this was unexpected and immensely thoughtful of you. Totally get that it comes from a good place too. Thank you for thinking of me too. As for challenges…I’ve only ever done one despite several nominations for things like the Liebster award. It’s not that I ignore them, but time stretches out and I either forget or it wondering what to put in them until overthinking says run away. However, I will seriously consider this one in an effort to start posting more 😊 Thank you and Happy New Year x

    • I am so sorry if my reply is late in coming! For a reason unknown to me it was thrown into the spam filter and I’ve only just seen it. Lovely to see you liking my blog though and I’ll be over to yours shortly. Nice to meet you 😊

        • Mines been on good behaviour recently. I fear it has lulled me into a false sense of security….AGAIN πŸ‘€
          But 29 December was ages ago! Really sorry about that….must make a note to check there at least nice a week from now on!

            • Ha ha….good point…oh, I meant to hook up on your Facebook link, but it was coming up here as an invalid URL on your posts. Meant to let you know!!

              • I appreciate your letting me know, Gary – dunno how to fix it – my workaround what to type out how people could click *here* as fortunately that area works…

                suggestions for fixes welcome!

                • Curious, the click here works like you said. I was going to say replace the URL with your FB profile that’s not a logged in one…eg my author one there would just be


                  I think if you copy the logged in one it carries over other extensions after the final /. Might not be that….although I’ve found you and am adding you as a friend there from my personal account if that’s OK….which drew another chuckle….did you know it says this on your profile?

                  “To see what he shares with friends, send him a friend request.”

                  Spooky lol

                  • Thanks much, Gary, for taking the time to check, for your advice, & for your friending me πŸ™‚

                    As for Facebook, have tried various things – am deciding to leave ‘as is’ for now – have total love/hate with Facebook for above reasons & more…

                    • Ha, ha…yes, I know a lot if people with that FB relationship. Have you set up a writer/author page? Blog posts can be automatically thrown out to several social media outlets as soon as they go live. It gives greater reach outside of WordPress and can bring people onto your blog too 😊

                    • I love exchanging nuts & bolts thoughts & experiences of blogging & writing with you, Gary!

                      As for me, only have personal page on FB. Am wary of sharing info about others on any social media, so its sort of a writer/author page for me anyway. I enjoy feeling connected to writers as people, so am thinking the other might come off as a bit removed. how have you found one vs the other?

                      My WP blog is set to share posts automatically on FB & Twitter. Does FB do it any differently?

                    • Same here, it can be a great motivator when writing blips hit. The author page on FB reaches a different audience. Most of them I don’t know at all. I ran a few adverts and they generated likes from all over. I often share stuff from there onto my personal page too for actual friends to see….kind of two hits in one as it were. I’m a bit like you too…info sharing is minimal. My personal timeline is more like a news feed. I use it for messaging mostly now too. Although, it’s part on my social media review too. FB can now share to Instagram too as I think they bought that platform out. Not that I have an Instagram account….yet πŸ€”

                    • whew! have been struggling for months with Instagram to get back in after having signed on – you comment gave me the extra push to suffer thru with them again & am finally on. need a cup of tea to work up umph now to actually do something with it…

                    • Ha ha, one up on me…I still don’t know what instagrams for !! Might check it out today though…well, have a look at least. But…do I really need more emails per day I ask myself πŸ€”

    • Thank you. Not many gave mentioned anything about the name…it was intended to imply food for the imagination. You obviously hit that straight away 😊

  12. The Millionaire's Digest says

    Dear Gary J.,
    This is K&L, The Millionaire’s Digest Founder & CEO, and first of all, I just want to say thank you for all the hard work and amazing articles you write for our website! Anyone should be lucky to have someone like you on their team!

    Now, I don’t know if you heard this or not, but we’re starting our magazine line as well as coming out with our own app in the app store too. Now my question to you is: Are you in or are you out? As in, would you like a spot to be in it, as well as be in our future magazines too? I mean, I’m coming to the people who are the most important to me first, then I’ll send out a message to everyone else if we still have any spots left. But I’ll need to know before the end of this week is over as I will be going off to college soon too!

    K&L -The Millionaire’s Digest Author & Publisher

    • Thanks for the heads up my friend. I’ve had a couple of weeks off due to holidays so I’d not heard about the magazine line. However, it sounds like a brilliant opportunity so count me in. My email address is linked on my contacts page if that helps speed up correspondence. Look forward to hearing from you and good luck with the college course too.

      Regards, Gary

      • The Millionaire's Digest says

        Thank you very much! I’ve sent you an email that will explain everything for you. I’ll see you over there soon Old Sport!

  13. I’m visiting from the Mostly blogging meet and greet and I love your writing style! I fancy myself writing a children’s book and I so admire those that have actually taken the plunge! Pleasure to meet you!

    • Most generous indeed. I often hop over to Janice’s blog and have become good friends with her…although keeping up with her ideas is flipping hard! If you fancy it, then all I would say is go for it. I spend way too much time procrastinating; I think many authors do as it happens, but all it does is stop you writing. Mind you, writing (my opinion) is the easy bit, whipping it into shape, editing and what follows is way harder !!! The end product is worth it though.

      Thank you so much for visiting and the pleasure is all mine. Will be visiting you in a moment !

  14. Hi Gary, I came across your blog from Niki’s and the Kindness Challenge. It’s nice to meet you! I look forward to your posts. Take care, Jenny

    • Hi Jenny, thank you for popping over. The challenge has been very enlightening and interesting to do. I’ve met a few bloggers through it too and will hop over to yours now as well. 😊

      • I agree, Gary — the challenge has been enlightening. I’ve enjoyed it, but am a couple of weeks behind. At my own pace… πŸ™‚

        • I think with these sorts of challenge it’s important not to feel pressured with deadlines. I think you get more out of them by taking it at your own pace…caveat….no prevaricating or procrastinating…thems un-mindful 😁

          • Very true. And if I feel pressured, it takes the joy out of it. That’s why I’m taking it at my own pace, to enjoy the process πŸ™‚

            • Feeling pressurised is not a good way to approach mindfulness, it’s true. Self pressure has a role though. Planning and decision making. Has to be realistic though. I need to relearn these things πŸ€” That said this kindness journey has to be enjoyed, otherwise it fails. I’m sure you will find it really helpful 😊

              • I agree. Self pressure does have a role… It helps me avoid procrastination. Thanks Gary 😊

                • Very true….but always reachable otherwise it’s negative….I learnt that too !! Never had these troubles as a child….not sure when it all went pear shaped !!!!

  15. Phew! I am exhausted just getting here. Gary, maybe turning comments around in settings would work? Newest first then the comment box would be at the top? Just an suggestion… but remember who suggested it! (as my mother in law once said). A handsome blog you have, some posts are huge in length which may put people off, if they are popping by for a quick read. Just a thought, but remember who thunk it *gasp* you are doing good, follow only the people you have something in common with to start off with or they drop off like flies. That could be soul destroying. I will be at my place or twitter if I can be of any help. More likely to hinder, or try to teach you egg sucking.
    I will be back and I follow discreetly, but talk a lot so will comment often. P.s. have been known to die a little if comments are not returned. Jus sayin!πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‰

    • Neat idea re comments…added to blog to do list..thank you…the finer points of layout and design have not really been investigated properly….the creature know as tine keeps getting in the way. Egg sucking….very funny….I wonder if there are multiple ways to suck eggs πŸ€”
      Probably are thinking about it…I shall try and connect in Twitter later this very day…although I’m less familiar with that than I am this😱

      • That probably means you are less sad than some. Two years on and I learn stuff constantly about this ‘puter, net, media thingy ‘. But I do know great bloggers with resources galore πŸ’ͺπŸ”§πŸ”©πŸ”¨πŸš”πŸš’πŸš‘

        • Far be it from me to ponder the word sad in consideration on my own failings in IT versus the rich knowledge some have….takes lots of time to learn, staring at screens, typing, tapping…me….I like the outdoors….outdoors has thus made me ignorant ….now there’s a puzzler 😱

  16. Hi Sue,

    I’ve pencilled in rejigging the about to make things clearer re ‘everyone’. Can’t be having that misunderstood for sure. A few other things need updating in it too…the to do list is growing wrt blog structure πŸ€”

    It’s an interesting point you make re the layering. On this challenge I’ve more or less arrived and rambled. I’m not unknown to do that a lot in comments too. Some seem to like that, others not so. Obviously this is an area to work on with the blog battle and short story writing. Although word counts challenge me because once I get going I find stories start growing all by themselves…well, some do, others find their natural rest point. Outside of here is where editing strims them somewhat. I should probably apply that same process to challenge posts but I find them more organic…I may also just be more lazy with them or, (excuse) stuck for time to properly review them. I’ve possibly taken on board too much and neglected the real work going on in the background.

    Thanks for the pointers though…like it says somewhere, constructive feedback is always welcome πŸ™ƒ

  17. Hey, Gary!

    Yes, I got the idea from what you wrote in your About the Author section: “Everyone is welcome … but probably not those that don’t want to write as that would be pointless.”

    I used the words “conceit” and “self-indulgence” not to mean you were conceited, and not in reference to the subject matter of your posts in response to the Kindness Challenge (which I also am taking part in), but strictly in regard to your writing style. It’s over-layed with fancy decoration and self-indulgent convolution that seems to me to obscure the story or the ideas you’re trying to communicate rather than enhance them. Haha — that might also explain why you find a short story’s restricted word count challenging.

    Anyway, I offer my observations as constructive criticism meant to be helpful as your writing evolves. Thanks for your willingness to hear them. I’ll take a look at the “actual writing” you’ve referenced over the next week or so. Thanks for pointing them out.

    • Hi Sue,

      I’ve added revising the ‘about’ to my to do blog list…can’t be having anyone else thinking its an exclusive blog following 😱

      My challenge posts are often blank page rambles that I’m pushed for time to get revised in the same way other things do. They are self indulgent yes, but that said plenty of people seem to like it. However, definitely taking onboard your feedback πŸ™ƒ Short story challenges were started to help tighten things too…I’ve only just started there but time is the great enemy at the moment. Might also affect how deep I actually proof and edit the challenge posts…well, not might, it does πŸ€”

      Constructive feedback is always welcome and I will take onboard your suggestions. 😊

  18. Hi Sue,

    Apologies for the delay getting back to you…busy day is the only excuse I can proffer.

    I’m a bit concerned where you picked up that I only want writers following me! That is so not my intention at all. I fully welcome absolutely anybody who wants to be here. Granted I seek out writers blogs to follow myself, to learn from, but again it’s not exclusive. I imagine it’s from the final paragraph on the about above? Definitely not the intention but looking at it maybe ‘Everyone is welcome…’? Possibly needs more emphasis and separating from the writers caveat? If so thank you for drawing my attention to it…could probably do with revisiting now as its a shade old now.

    As for the latest posts being self indulgent…

    The Kindness Clause
    The Habituation Loop
    The Kindness Hunger
    A Random Act of Kindness

    These four are supposed to be because it’s part of a self reflective Kindness Challenge set by a fellow blogger (link is at the top of each post). The content is part of the weekly topics set by the host and we are supposed to reflect on our own thoughts. I draw in mindfulness in particular because it’s something I’ve done to try and elevate low mood…ergo it’s very personal and self indulgent….I never considered it as conceited because it’s my views on my week. All the participants ping back to source to share their weekly reflections….these are certainly not short stories.

    God Strain itself was an excercise in fast fiction and created using six prompt words that had to appear in the text….that was a fun thing to do and issued by the blog battle hostess. The follow up was done to actually put into the last blog battle…the prompt there was ‘surfer’. It never was intended to be anything more than a short story, but it’s created an idea that I could expand.

    My actual writing writing is in different categories…each being a project at varying stages of completion. Things in these are just samples to test with anybody who cares to read.

    Ripples in Time
    The Bequest
    Short Stories
    The Man in The Box

    I’ve not refreshed these much recently as my first edited book is currently with a proof reader. I may sound conceited but I’m definitely not…I have terrible internal doubts on the actual writing all the time.

    Speaking of editing….I think you might have misinterpreted that part of fluff…i am fully aware not everybody likes swearing BUT, if my character swears then they swear…the book I mentioned is being proofed is full of it because the main character is built that way. Under no circumstances would I remove it for anybody. The one in question in God Strain that I removed was actually unecessary when I looked at it so the request was upheld….I don’t want to just chuck them in for the sakes for it. I may have said edit it out….but definitely not part of my book editing process….that gets some serious redrafting.

    Relating to fluff…I try and engage with those kind enough to comment…much of it turns into banter and most of it becomes tongue in cheek. I encourage that because I want to encourage anyone to feel comfortable commenting.

    True my followers have not experienced a full book from me because, as I freely admit, I’ve not got one published yet….and it is more hopeful than guaranteed. However three people have actually read the manuscript and fed back.

    In a nut shell, short stories, per se, are very new to me…I struggle with those due to low word counts and the conditions place on start to end being rapid. I’m doing them more for practice than anything else. Bound to be very weedy and probably devoid of anything but rocks and sand….brilliant I am definitely NOT….that is for my readers to decide where that definition falls.

    I hope I covered all your question and tried to explain a few things in answer.

    Really appreciate you input too….much food for thought.

    Thank you for taking the time to articulate 😊

    • That’s very kind of you Daisy. I think I’ve now got three of these on my to do list 😊

      I will accept it but my caveat is one challenge at a time and I’m midway through a kindness challenge at the moment…after that I will do this one πŸ˜‡

  19. Gary,

    Apologies. I slogged through the 94 or 1,397,349,756 comments on God Strain, but I’ve run out of time to sort substance from fluff in the comments preceding this, so this question might already have been asked and answered. Why do you feel it would be pointless for someone who is not a writer (at any level of ability or intention) to follow your blog? Aren’t writers writing to reach an audience of readers regardless of whether or not they write?

    I’ve read your most recent posts as well — something about habituation loops and laundry. (About which I have thoughts I’d like to share, but they’ll have to wait.) I don’t claim to be an Ursula K. Le Guin or even a J.K. Rowling, but I do know good writing when I read it. And your avid followers probably will take umbrage — or possibly become a torch-bearing, pitchfork-wielding, angry mob — with what I say next. I believe that beneath your infatuation with the words swirling through your brain and out your fingertips, there is a seed, a shoot of brilliance trying to grow to blossom in a rich soil overgrown with weeds.

    It’s not just a matter of editing out unnecessary cursing. (I always wonder, does anybody walk out of a Billy Crystal show or close a book and complain that there wasn’t enough swearing in it? I doubt it.) I would describe your writing as “dense”. Not in the sense of insensible, but in the sense that there is so much conceit and self-indulgence obscuring the story. I felt like Prince Charming hacking my way through the thorn hedge to get to the sleeping princess. A short story of that? Maybe. But a book? That’s more work than most readers would devote — and your followers have, apparently, not yet been tried to that extent. I make this observation as a reader who has read Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram. Twice. I am not afraid of complicated, elegant, rich writing, and the man knows how to tell a story.

    I would appreciate your thoughts about readers who are not writers following you here. The rest of it, being one woman’s considered and honest opinion, you can just dismiss if you find it worthless. Thanks for your time and thoughtful consideration.


  20. Hey Gary – sorry about this, but I’ve nominated you for the 3-day quote challenge! Do check out my post and find your nomination there. I’m so looking forward to reading your take on all this soon. (ducks back into impromptu air-raid shelter constructed from 3 doors and 20 bags of muck)
    Cheers – Robert. πŸ™‚

    • Shoot, that’s three nominations for the same challenge and I’ve done it once already 😱 I have a protocol…one challenge at a time….kindness challenge first…then liebster thingamy and maybe tie up quote one again after that….and somewhere inbetween actually write something book wise πŸ€”

      Thanks for thinking I am ‘up for these’ to quote your post 😁

      • Well, your comment there just proved it really. πŸ˜‰
        They say that if you want something doing then you should ask a busy person. Presumably because that’s the kind of person that will get on with it. πŸ™‚

        • Hoom hrmmm (ENT noise)… On topic too as they are slow at making decisions….I will have to start collating and do a mass challenge post to clear them out πŸ€” Busy weeks though….exam boy ferrying…time is premium !

    • Very kind of you to say that….it is quite humble at present…might one ask how, or where you found me?

  21. I am so jealous of your vocabulary! Haha how I wish I could speak those words naturally. If you don’t mind, where are you from?

    • Must be down to reading too much 😊 Thank you though, and I come from England so have a slight advantage over some 😁

  22. Pingback: Liebstar Award – Aura with Writing

    • Hi Anita, glad to have you onboard. I love exploring new blogs and meeting new people and thank you for taking the time to visit and comment. Greatly appreciated 😊

    • Cheers Kevin and thanks for the follow. Have a great weekend 😊

  23. Pingback: Reflections- #AtoZChallenge – Aura with Writing

  24. Looking forward to reading more of you! πŸ˜€
    Enjoy writing and blessings to you,
    Dajena πŸ™‚

    • Thank you again Dajena. I hope I can live up to expectations πŸ™ƒ

      Looking forward to engaging with your blog too 😊

  25. fairyqueen says

    Hey Gary! One of the most engaging and witty about me intros that I’ve read. Loved it! Thanks for also popping along to my blog, yesterday I think it was! I’ve just flown back into london, on my own, pretty relaxed. Well, everyone who stares manically at the stewardesses for any hint of a concerned tick are relaxed arnt they?! I’m looking forward to reading more when I’m off the coach and back into the throes of normality. Goodness I sound odd! I just meant to say….hi!:)

    • I’ll have you know it was all deadly serious πŸ™ƒ Well mostly, in parts, well…each word on its own is serious then πŸ€” I think it’s because my writing a large is entirely serious….so ramblings and comments go a bit off track…as it did in my three day quote challenge posts… Yes it was yesterday…I donate weekends to hunting new bloggy friends and exploring…it’s become a bit addictive… Londons just down the road really…but I did laugh, although in current times I should not, about stewardess tick…sadly it’s a sign of the times…good to hear you landed safely though. And ummm….err…yes, odd…you did rather…but I’m told by my favourite character that all the best people are πŸ™ƒ

      Thank you for dropping in and commenting…really appreciate it 😊

  26. It is amazing how blogging inspires the writing of books, fiction, etc and vice versa. We bloggers are the best support group and a great resource for writing and inspiration πŸ™‚

    • You took the words right out of my mouth…well, typing 😁 I never expected back in January that I’d hook up with so many writers and bloggers. Talented ones too who are friendly and generous with their time and support. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment 😊

  27. I’m also new to this whole blog thing. I hope our new projects go well for us πŸ™‚

    • It’s daunting, very daunting to start with…then it gets more daunting with pressure to post 😁 I started in January and it’s taken a while to figure out what’s going on. One thing I will say is engage bloggers. They are all really nice despite the daunting πŸ™ƒ I’m rather hopeful our projects go well too….and thank you for taking the time to drop in and comment…really do appreciate that and in return….I’m on my way across to yours now πŸ˜‡

      • You are very welcome! Yes, it’s hard to get used to at first but we’re doing it πŸ™‚ No problem πŸ™‚ I love commenting on people’s blogs.

        • Lots to learn but getting there….one day I’ll figure out other social media outlets too πŸ€” Excellent re commenting though…that’s what bloggers want…I know time doesn’t always allow it but blog engagement makes us feel more connected and that what we write has an audience. Great to have you onboard 😊

          • Thanks! I love meeting new people, so I always make sure to comment on their stuff. I agree, talking to other writers helps me feel like I’m not alone. It was nice meeting you πŸ™‚

            • Same here…I try and comment loads but sometimes I go missing as time intervenes and reality decides to take its turn to stop me blogging πŸ™ƒ Very nice to meet you too 😊

              • Yes, that cruel thing called reality keeps me from writing and commenting some days as well. πŸ™‚

  28. Pingback: shout out to new Flowers :) | Daisy in the Willows

  29. Hi Gary ☺ I’ve stumbled across your blog via Niki’s Meet & Greet. I love the sound of your blog and the lengthy, detailed ‘About’ page is quite refreshing! It’s great to hear that your first draft was such a smooth undertaking, let’s hope the redrafts are as well! Looking forward to reading through your posts ☺

    • Lengthy is about the size of it…I have serious issues stopping a good ramble…love Niki’s meet and greets… I’ve met some really cool people from there…first draft is now fourth draft and I’ve just today lined up a proof reader. The journey continues….thanks so much for dropping in. I shall certainly repay the courtesy my new friend πŸ™ƒ

      • Nothing wrong with a good ramble!
        Yeah, they are great ☺ Cool, fourth draft, well done! I’ll be there one day, too! Good luck with the rest of the process!

        • Thank you kindly…there has been a tremendous amount of prevaricating though…one is rather ashamed to admit this but truth will out as they say. Looking forward to engaging on your blog too. I noticed you are looking at Simons new venture too….times against me right now but I might be able to link up shortly 😁

          • That’s not necessarily a bad thing as it might lend you an air of mystery! πŸ˜‰
            I am, yes. I’ve only just come across his blog but I’m very excited to be a part of his new project. Cool, I hope to see you onboard! πŸ˜„

            • He just said link in when times better..I figure Astro biologist…my writing genre is horror…you may not want me onboard πŸ’€

              Or buy a job lot of red away team shirts….

              Seriously though it looks like a lot of fun and good for blog cross promotion too….just wish I could time manage better πŸ€”

              • An astro biologist in horror stories? That sounds exciting to me! πŸ˜„ There’s a lot of potential to scare the pants off of the rest of the crew! πŸ˜‰
                That’s what I thought. Hopefully you can make it.

                • By learning I’m a molecular biologist with a bit of diversity into molecular physics….astrobiologist seemed the logical choice after a chat with Simon on a meet and greet….my writing genre is horror no fantasy fiction …my blog extracts don’t give much away on that owing to spoilers 😁 Lot of potential to throw in problems methinks….and draw off old RPGisms πŸ‘»

                  • Oh wow, that sounds quite complicated! I expect you’ll end up being one of the few bloggers involved who actually know what you’re talking about! πŸ˜‚
                    That’s probably a shrewd move; I’ve heard that spoilers on a blog often aren’t a good idea. At the very least you’ll surprise people with your terrifying, completely unexpexted stories!
                    Yeah, definitely! A gruesome experiment gone awry or an unexpected strain of a virus, perhaps. Probably not so cliched, though, but that’s all I could come up with off the of my head!

                    • Not really….well just a bit…butt anything you don’t know about looks complicated 😁 Take blogging…THATS complicated πŸ™ƒ Some comments on here say my excerpts are more like trailers so I’m quite happy with that description. Trouble is crafting a novel takes time. I put ideas up here but often that’s to give he feedback on whether it’s worth pursuing. Alas all of them seem to be!! On the plus side ones off to a proofer to hopefully start in June, my opus magna is one book in but needs a massive edit, formulations for book two in that series are outlined and my horror book The Bequest is two chapters in waiting to get picked up again once the current one is at the proofers.

                      Not cliched is the way I’d run it…so don’t want to go hello, is it ok if I bring this Alien egg aboard as my contract says the company want it back home for experimental warfare. Biological contamination is one angle…a sentient virus…I love the idea of an ancient civilisation that has just emptied citadels and left behind relics and ghosts indicative of something sinister. I believe survival horror console games are in vogue too….Dead Space, Alien and the like….or perhaps an extrapolation from the Whovian universe…self assembly molecular life forms that harvest the living….residual AI from a long extinct species.. Permutations are pretty much limited by the imagination methinks 😊

  30. Gary! New Friend! I’m excited to have inter-met you. You’ve written a li’l somethin’ here that reminds me of myself and my own insecurities. Happy to be a new follower. πŸ™‚

    • Those blighters follow me everywhere and feed off positives…I’m certain of it….brilliant to have you on the journey towards maybe publishing…ish…..ahh see…there they are again….stir stir catastrophise…. Really pleased to inter-met you too…..colossal phrase that…I must adopt it πŸ™ƒ

  31. Pingback: Can I just say…. | Daisy in the Willows

    • Thank you Daisy…really appreciate that amidst my own book catastrophising….I hope you like what you see….although I need to list way more than I do πŸ˜‡

  32. What’s that acronym for when you’re reading something and, even though it’s really interesting it’s rather too long and you’re dying for the loo and so you skip to the end and read the last paragraph and hope that there isn’t a quiz at any point later.
    Oh – wait – got it: ADHD – right? Well, thank goodness I don’t have that!
    Great final paragraph by the way. πŸ™‚

    • OMG…have you just set up a reverse acronym challenge…here a concept now create an acronym to fit it???

      But there’s a thing…a quiz….just to check if a commenter has actually read something πŸ€”

      Wouldn’t work though because…err..umm… When I saw ‘great final paragraph’ I kinda had to…err…go up and rediscover what it was 😱

      Mind you the reshes holds true….in this modern world one cannot simply exclude really awesome authors popping in can one? Or publishers….although that might be perceived as a shameless soundbite to get one…and, well, such a perception would be entirely correct because I do need one 😁

  33. Gary, I will say it again, but with getting your name right!!
    You are FUNNY!
    Thanks for the follow!
    I’d definitely say you have found your place!

    • Tis a viscous rumour…deliberate word choice…I just debated viscous, as an error for vicious on another post and now wholly like it as an alternative..not sure why πŸ€”

      The follow is welcome…like I said I have rules of engagement….you commented…so…has to pop over…it’s an obligation 😁 I’d say so too..it’s full of the most weird, zany odd mad folk imaginable…should have come here ages ago πŸ˜‡

  34. Thanks for the follow, Gary. I, too, have no idea what I am doing with widgets and the like. I thought it would be a good way to publicize my memoirs but now I enjoy blogging more. πŸ™‚

    • No need to thank…same boat and at time a paddle short so I go round in circles thinking eh? Coincidentally I put up two memoirs on here about a late school friend…Ghost Carp and Of Wine, Nature and Elegies in Oak. They got massive hits on Facebook. I think many people like to reflect on nostalgia…more than I expected considering they are mine lol

    • OMG…now I show my new to blog newbie status….what,me who, how…will have to look at this in the morning now (getting late here) but will give it a bash. The quotes bit is easy but presenting it like you have is err…newbie πŸ™ƒ

        • No pressure then….temporary delay owing to life interventions. I will do this though as long as I can pick it up when my schedule clears…time management has been traumatised today πŸ™ƒ But, once I start…three consecutive days it will be. Tomorrow hopefully while my boiler is being replaced πŸ€”

        • Update…ready to roll tomorrow through Sunday…apologies for the delay but life has been caught up 😊

            • I’ve got three quotes lined up for each day already…just presentation that needs a tweak…I copied the rules off yours so hope that’s ok?

  35. Clueless just means not learnt something yet…bit like me with this blog and how best to set it up and stuff…and writing…some stories are a bit clueless wafting about as ideas. Works in progress I call them. Sent you a message by the way. Can sort issues out from there now 😊

  36. Hi, Gary….I wanted to make sure you got this message (given that I seem to have “disappeared” from certain people’s view)….I am still here and am trying to figure out why you are not showing up for me and I am not showing up for you….I would NEVER stop connecting with you…there’s just some kind of glitch that I will have to figure out πŸ™‚

    • I only found out because I dropped onto your blog earlier..it struck me that we’d bit exchanged madness for a few days. Then I saw another post in yours also saying something was amiss…did you see my reply there?

      Good to know you’ve just not disappeared too…one gets worried if constant messages suddenly cease. Especially mad ones πŸ™ƒ

      Still if I have to keep hunting you down your view stats will go up 😁

      • I saw you message today on a work break and my heart sunk…I’m not sure what’s going on…but I am working on it….I still have a list of all the people who are following me (and I am following each one of them as well). Also, thank you for your encouraging message on my latest post…you have such a wonderful and generous heart πŸ™‚

        • No, seems a bit strange. Next time you post something let me know and I scan through my reader…although normally I also get an email when someone I follow posts and none of yours have appeared for about a week. No problem wrt encouragement where it’s due. Hope you liked the quote too…I thought it was pitched right in with your ramble 😁 Are you on Facebook as a back up plan if things go missing ?

          • Yes, I have a Facebook account…the privacy settings are set to “friends” only…do you think that might be why I’ve “disappeared”. Lots of new posts are showing up on my reader, but not many of those include the vast majority of people who I’m following…do you know how I can get tech support of some kind? Is there an email address or something? And, yes! I loved the quote….you always know just what to say–or quote–it is one of the things I really appreciate about you… πŸ™‚

            • I know WordPress has a help forum. There might be a tech support contact point there. Facebook settings should only affect Facebook unless you log in here using that account maybe. Send me an invite…I’m not hard to find as this gravitar profile pic is the same there πŸ˜‡ I’ll have a think about your predicament in the morning too. πŸ˜‡

              • Thank you so much for your help…as for FB, no, I don’t log on through that account…and, I will definitely send you an invite…sorry for being so clueless, but do I only know how to invite by typing someone’s name in…how do I invite you using gravitar pic?

    • No problem Linda and thanks for looking and following. Love meeting new people 😊

  37. Hey ,Gary! Thanks for the comment which allowed me to find you! You do seem to be a natural wordsmith, so I’m thinking I’d better follow along and see where you’re going. πŸ™‚ I’ve felt like I should be writing for many years, as well, and I was going to tell you the method that’s worked for me, so far…then you said you were (already) “making it up as I go along”, and I can’t really add to that.
    Thanks for the follow and welcome to the Blogosphere.

    • Hi Abbie, thanks for dropping by and welcome to my world….even if it is quite new in the blogosphere. Seems we have similar “methods” but if they work then I’m not complaing 😊 Well, providing mine works that is and I publish soon…either that or I shall have serialise some projects here….although that might be an idea for a random project πŸ€”

      Thanks for the follow and look forward to more of your posts too πŸ˜‡

  38. Hi Gary, this in no way looks like a beginner’s blog. I suspect you have found your calling.
    I will return for more and you have got yourself another follower. Keep up the excellent work. x

    • Hi Dorne…January was my proper inception date. I opened it two years ago and left it in absolute hibernation until this year. About the same time I created an author page on Facebook and a Google plus account….the former is familiar territory the second is in WTF territory…also became a Twit too. Mostly because here auto shares to all those places. Easy life and all that. Writing is not new…been doing it a while…well years…but only recently been errr…courageous enough to share it. The old self critic thing…very negative beast that.

      Thank you so much for following too…heads up posts will depend on where I am in writing so sometimes a few sometimes a pause and sometimes gibberish like the computer ones. Hope to see you again x

      • Hi Gary, I’m also a Twit too and sometimes it is a bit easier to be a Twit. But, I like to make the effort to post a blog and fill up someone’s reader and email! x

        • It’s very easy to be a Twit!! I do that all the time 😜

          Although I’m newer there than here and by comparison know less about how that works than here. I think I’ve got my Twit link up on my contacts page here if you want to hook up there too…and love the evil intent when you say posting is purely to fill up the reader and emails…well, I choose that interpretation as evil because it’s funny 😜

  39. Good luck with your writing, and with your blog which as you say is in its infancy. I was amused by your I have no clue what I am doing. πŸ™‚

    • Thank you kindly Marje. It’s true, I never really know what I’m doing so it makes the journey rather more interesting and challenging. Not to mention hurling expletives at inanimate objects when they don’t automatically do what I want them to…especially with tech and blogging πŸ‘»

      • Tech can be so hard to get to grips with – I’m not very good that way and amazed that I managed to get this far with WordPress!! So keep it up… πŸ™‚

        • It’s hard because there’s just something about it that favours expletives rather than learning it (obviously my opinion lol). I’m the same as you wrt here. I am calling it a challenge to be slain asunder…maybe…but then I heard about widgets….and thought eh? πŸ€”

  40. Hi, Gary,
    I read/clicked “like” a while ago….I’m not sure why I didn’t comment…I’m sure I meant to…any way, I am struck by how life’s twists and turns steer us in the direction we are meant to go–even if we aren’t aware. By virtue of your friends being able to see your gift, where you did not, it unlocked your calling (well, one of them). And, I am inspired by your drive to fight the isolation that suddenly found you as you tackled the most important job in the world–that of being a parent. As self-deprecating as you can be (regarding your writing), you are so determined and courageous….you persevere and you work so hard to make sure you keep writing and being vulnerable in the face of other’s scrutiny….and, that is to our benefit, because you–and your writings–are so wonderful πŸ™‚

    • Time maybe? Sometimes time flips us a curve ball and takes us away and we forget…although commenting is not compulsory 😁

      I am, in truth, overwhelmed by the comments of yourself and others concerning my writing. It’s an odd one. I’ve done (past tense) loads of factual writing and have around 12 science publications; not to mention educational writing. Fictional writing is, while not new and considerably old as words in my head or imaginations, relatively new (few years) in creating stories that are becoming books. The parent bit as a bloke was quite a hard social journey too. Less vogue when I did it but slowly that tide is turning and more dads seem to be taking up the mantle now. I should have blogged about that way back πŸ€”

      Cannot grumble about it because it’s been a hoot! in fact without that I’d never have written so opportunities lie everywhere if one chooses to see them…and that Truly, is a rare glimpse of the glass half full that, in my case, all too often has a hole in the bottom !!

      Putting it out for others to see is the scary bit as you rightly say. Is it courageous? Never thought of it like that because I don’t feel like that…but the change now is I feel compelled. Today I finished my second draft edit. The day crawls ever closer to a big decision on what to do with it. That might need courage 😁

      I think you touched on the other problem before…keeping up…I am in a quandary with wanting people to know what happens next and not putting so much up that is detracts from the books the pieces come from. Although I might drop another bit of Dead Man Walking πŸ€”

      I really cannot thank you enough for being a new and good friend too 😊

  41. Exactly! Back to the editor and carry on. As simple as that! πŸ˜€ Can’t wait for your take on daily prompts πŸ˜€

    • No…it can’t be that easy surely…it’s got code and everything πŸ€” Ok…might not be this week as I am under orders to edit the last seven chapters of my book….and put together the antithesis of Computer Say No…because now it’s saying Yes…. But if time opens up then I’m going to try it….although tomorrow is daily post I think so will be lobbing Elegies on there πŸ˜‡

      • Haha! Obviously editing chapters of book needs preference over daily post. Daily post will be there everyday anyway. Good luck with the editing! 😊

        • Thank you. Not certain it’s a preference because editing is not my favourite thing. But it is something I can prevaricate with if I don’t stay on track! Thank you 😁

        • Addendum before the other reply…daily prompt attempted….Computer Say Yes on the word contrast. 😊

  42. Hello Gary! Now I know, why you never tired daily challenges :P.
    Because you very well know why you are here! But sometimes, daily prompts evoke different thoughts, which you never would have thought about! It was wonderful to read about this journey of yours into blogging. Thanks for reminding the advantages of ‘digital copies’ (gathers no dust!) πŸ˜‰
    I’m pretty sure you’ll get a hang of WordPress in no time and will look forward for all the widgets and fancy stuff WordPress offers, next time I visit your blog! πŸ™‚
    Meanwhile, I’ll stick by your very thought, ‘Practice makes perfect’. That’s the mantra for all the newbies. πŸ™‚

    • Lol…you do? Feel free to explain it to me then….I’m still trying to makes sense of my thinks and reasoning. Although you are quite right in some respects. I do know mostly why I’m here…it’s just knowing what I’m doing that is the sticking point πŸ€”

      Daily prompts looks like something I might have a crack at though. It’s just linking it to the challenge itself I’m a bit uncertain of…as in eh? And there was something about a badge to…as in eh..eh?

      Widgets and fancy stuff?? WTF…you mean there is more ??

      Thank you for commenting though…look forward more πŸ˜‡

      • I meant WordPress offers a way to add badges and sign up forms and stuff like that. They are all under Widgets. As for daily posts, you have to create a ping back, linking your post to the daily prompt. On every daily post challenge, they provide a ping back link with instructions on how to create one. With the ping back link, your post will be listed under the daily prompt entries. Let me know if I’m unclear or if you need more info. I’ll be glad to help! πŸ™‚

        • It does? Well, OK..I was aware it could do more but it’s new territory still after three I three months of tinkering with themes and I’m still not sure this is the right one !!! Ping backs and badges..heard of them too but I’ve also heard of chaos theory and relativity but the equations therein escape me too πŸ€• Re daily post. I read the instructions after you mentioned this. Is that the HTML code that needs inserting somewhere? Somehow I feel I may well come enquiring on this matter 😱

          • Haha, join the club! I spent a lot of time on themes as well and I’m still exploring. πŸ˜€
            Yes, that’s the html code that you need to copy and paste in your editor. When you write your post, there are two modes ‘visual’ and ‘html’ on the right upper corner just below the title in your editor. So you’ll have to switch to html mode and paste that link wherever you want to. Feel free to ask as many questions as you want. πŸ™‚

            • So it’s not just me then!! Oooh, I rather think there has been a moment of inspiration. HTML editor I am aware of so all off a sudden it seems enter text…switch to HTML…insert code under the text you wish it to appear…go back to text editor and carry on? That…sounds….too…err…simple πŸ€”

    • Oh dear…now you know why I like Lewis Caroll quotes 😜

      Thank you for taking time to read the rambles though!!

  43. Hey Gary, Thanks for the following.. Seems like you exactly know what you’re doing here! Looking forward to reading all your works once I’m out of the office.

    • It’s all an illusion…I’ve not really got much of a clue apart from making it up as I go along !!! Writing is the easy hobby come maybe book thing…blogging is a bit more hit and miss. I adopted this layout last week but need to consider another page so the writing stays separate from jibber jabber posts lol….thanks for commenting and I hope you like what you read here 😊

    • I hope that’s a happy something and not a despairing anguish abyss of desparandum 😁

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