Week 81 – Holidays, Relevance And Bad Poetry

typewriterI need to thank Tom Sheehan for my inspiration this week. I don’t know if anyone noticed but we published a relevant story on the holiday of its relevance, if you see what I mean. We don’t normally do this. We published an old friend of ours near Christmas on our first year (Hope you are well Sandy) but that was more by sheer coincidence as we were trying to get established and we were very short of stories. We wanted to keep it until June but the numbers wouldn’t allow.

Not publishing relevance? Is this because we have no advertising on the site? Maybe we should consider this? I would smile at Easter Bunny stories being beside B&Q advertising nails. We could have Valentines Day ooze (Sorry, Romance) with Penicillin and Christmas could be with an article about unhappy Turkeys wanting to die. Over here in Scotland we only really have three specific days. St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night. Nobody celebrates St Andrews day as none of us know what he did. Hogmanay, we celebrate but can never remember doing so and Burns Night, well that is just an excuse for many of our Masonic Lodges to get their photos in the paper with articles reminding us what sterling work they do. (The Masons are a secret society. If you check out their history from a Scotland / America point of view, you will realise why they want to be kept a secret!) Burns night also wheels out our over-privileged who drink lots of whisky and recite some poetry badly. Mind you some of the poetry is bad to begin with. Anyone who rhymes ‘Beastie’ with ‘Breastie’ should be admired with caution. ‘John Barleycorn’ was a cracking poem though – That has more relevance with the whisky drinking. Now I may have stepped over the line by slagging Burns but he was all set to become a slave trader so he is fair game for ridicule. It kind of bombs out his image of being a man of the people. Or maybe not if you think about it!

The whole thing about writing for relevant days is that they are mainly about the happy. Christmas and Valentines being the biggest culprits. The opposite should be considered. If you are lonely or unloved you don’t want to be reminded of this fact. If you are going to have a good day, that is wonderful, enjoy yourself. You will no matter what you read, hear or see. But if reading and looking around you is all that you have, it can be a wee bit sore having all the happiness rubbed in your face. Why can’t we just under-play everything and let us each celebrate or ignore in whatever way we wish? I am getting into tricky ground here if we consider remembrance but I don’t think it is anything to do with happiness, it is a respect. And that is the point, individual respect is ignored when those two specific holidays are considered.

Back to Tom, we were more than happy to publish this story. The 4ths relevance only added to the stories excellence.

There is another tie in here as a certain politician in Britain has called for June the 23rd to be our Independence Day. I was worried. I spent all that day looking for aliens.

If anyone from any other country wants a laugh, just look at the state Britain is in at the moment. The whole of Britain is now like Scotland as they are all fighting amongst themselves! And the biggest laugh is Scotland is trying to distance themselves. It makes me so proud.

Thankfully I have no link so I’ll just get straight into our stories from this week. Topics are as eclectic as usual. We have a return of fighting men and women, a creative community, regression and some sibling rivalry, a third cog and a possibility. Our initial comments follow.

I’ve already mentioned Tom but am happy to introduce him and his story again with the wonderful ‘Scene At Scott’s Mill’ which was first up on Monday.

‘One touching piece of writing.’


‘What can you say about ‘With souls of innumerable warriors’ coming home on the 4th of July?’

We had one of three new writers on Tuesday with Philip Ivory’s short ‘Most of Us Are From Someplace else‘ published on Tuesday.

‘Perfect flow.’

‘An all round good story.’



Wednesday gave us our second new writer as Kathryn Ross’s unique offering was next up. ‘Between First And Final Breaths’ sounded a little ominous.

‘Weird, peculiar, spooky and dark.’

‘Loved it.’

‘This has quite a bit of style.’

We also have to welcome Steve Colori as he sent us in Thursday’s story, ‘The Middle.’

‘The paranoia from all concerned was very believable.’

‘Plenty of angst.’

‘Good dialogue.’

And on Friday, there is no introduction needed for the multi-talented Mr Adam Kluger. This was a bit unexpected from Adam! Try and work out which word I would never (so-far) have associated with our good friend.

‘Some very good lines.’

‘A very good read.’


That brings this ground-breaking week to an end. More new writers, more new topics and a story published at a relevant time.

So have a whisky, individualise a holiday and read ‘John Barleycorn’


banner Image – Robert Burns courtesy of Pixabay

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