Week 195 – A Milestone, A Legend And All Fred K. Foote!

We have a celebration and a milestone for one of our writers. Fred Foote has joined the fifty club!

He has joined the legendary Tom Sheehan and one of the authors who has too much time on his hands to write pish!

Fred is an icon and we have had a helluva time working with him.

Many congratulations Fred and there is a wee spiel as an introduction to his story this week.

I’ve stated before that I’m not really a fan of reading off a kindle / phone or some other electronic, soulless piece of status. I prefer a book. I was wondering about not so much your history of what you have read but where your love of reading came from?

For myself, I love the smell, the look, the feel. I take so much care when reading that no-one would know that I had. I don’t open beyond the spine, in fact I probably only open half way and have to look in sideways. I remove the dust cover and lay it somewhere flat so that the edges don’t get bent. I wonder if this is some sort of compulsive behaviour?

I do feel angry when I see some twat, folding a book back, breaking its spine, marking the pages and spilling the remnants of their lunch on it. And what is even worse is if some arse-hole mother gives a young kid a book and a pen. I reckon she should give the brat her Smart phone and a hammer. When its finished hitting the phone hopefully it would start on its mother.

Maybe I’m being a bit harsh but there are certain things that are only made for one purpose and they shouldn’t be violated.

When we were young and we stated that we were bored, we were told to go and read a book. That was fine if you were in your own home, but if you were at your grans, the first thing you would get would be a skelp around the head for being insolent. I soon realised that being insolent was normally when you asked questions, made statements or said anything. I would go over to her bookshelf. It was a plank of wood on the kitchen table. I could never work out why the books had to sit on the wood. My choice was; ‘The Bible’, ‘War And Peace’, ‘The Queens Coronation’ (Illustrated) and a book of knitting patterns.

I would return to my mother and state that I wasn’t bored anymore and got a clout for being insolent and forced to read War And Peace. I never got very far and to this day I can’t read it without ducking.

What I wonder is where my love of books came from, I should have been put off for fucking life!

But I think I started off with comics, went to annuals and progressed from there. I’m sure that it was short stories before I went onto actual books.

I first dabbled in Adult Books (Not magazines…That’s another story!) when I was around twelve. We had a Woolworth in Ayr who sold discounted books, there must have been something wrong in the manufacturing process as they had a small cut through the bottom of the book. They were fine to read and I could afford them with the few pence my gran gave me. I think she felt guilty about all the times that I got a slap at her house. I found a series of books by an author called Lee Chang. They were Martial Arts books; ‘Year Of The Dragon’, ‘Year of The Tiger’, ‘Year Of The Snake’ etc. and I was hooked. I suppose any normal kid would have tried to seek out some sort of fighting discipline but I was destined not to be a lover, not to be a fighter, I was more of a partaker in alcohol and the mystique and mysteries that are found within. I didn’t know this at the time but I must have been mentally preparing myself. OK…I didn’t like getting punched!!

I loved those books and weirdly, I think I could probably get them for what I paid in 1977.

I learnt a lot from them. The discipline of concentrating, patience when reading and page 64 in one of them really did arouse my interest. Over the next year or so I must have read that page nightly.

From there I was caught and was always happy when I was reading.

I think folks of a certain age, in one way or another fall into reading, the love of it simply builds!

We would love to hear where it all started from you.

OK guys, onto this weeks stories.

We have three new writers, a returning author for the 7th time.

And as already mentioned, we have another writer who has reached the magical fifty mark.

Our topics this week include; an inner voice, a cull, an author, paranoia and a military man.

As always our initial comments follow.

 

On Monday we had our first new writer. We welcome Virginia Howe to our literally family and hope that she has a long association with us.

Farewell Persephone‘ started off the week.

‘Very well written.’

‘Weirdly, I thought this was a perfect size.’

‘I normally find stories about authors boring but I enjoyed this – Great tone!’

 

Mohammad Sadegh Sadeghi was our next new writer. The same welcome to him and we hope that all the newbies continue to send us their work.

A Thousand Little Benjies‘ was published on Tuesday.

‘Compelling.’

‘Strong writing.’

‘This story has stuck with me since I first read it.’

 

Our good friend, Roger Ley, broke the back of the week. Roger is getting close to double figures. This is his seventh outing for us.

On Wednesday we were delighted to publish ‘Pandemic.’

‘I really enjoyed the cold delivery.’

‘Too close to possibility – Chilling.’

‘We have seen this topic many times but the quality in this elevated it.’

 

And the newsters just keep on coming.

Greg Fidament was next up with ‘The Imposter’.

Same message to you Greg, keep them coming and enjoy the site!!

‘Everytime I considered something, it went a different way.’

‘Mysterious with many thoughts.’

‘This kept my interest.’

 

To finish off the week we have one of the most imaginative, passionate, fearless, perceptive, intelligent writers that we have come across.

When Fred Foote sent us his first story, ‘Home’ we knew we had someone special. We didn’t know how special. Maybe fifty stories in we can now totally appreciate the skill and talent that Fred has. We now expect the standards that he has set.

It has been a pleasure our fine friend…And here’s to the next fifty.

‘Sniper’ was published on Friday.

‘The ending is very clever when you think about it.’

‘Great atmosphere.’

‘I know nothing about guns but it made sense to me.’

 

That’s us for another week guys.

I think I’ll treat myself and order those Lee Chang books, they won’t cost much.

It will be interesting to see if my reading has matured.

One thing is for sure, I’m too fucking old to be bothered with page 64 any more!

 

Hugh

PS: A reminder:

We have had three different folks take us up on our new Sunday Re-Run slot and we can’t thank them enough, so come on, follow Leila, Dave and L’Erin’s example and get involved.

Give life to an old story, just send us your suggestion and a spiel and it will be published with no interference from us.

I can assure you, you will make the authors day!!

 

Banner – a dragon for Hugh – thanks Pixabay

3 thoughts on “Week 195 – A Milestone, A Legend And All Fred K. Foote!

  1. Got thousands of books. Everywhere. All the holy books (including Crowley’s Book of the Law) and even a volume of antique pornography (Rubenesque dolls and handlebar mustache types). Gotta John D. McDonald first print on the way. Real books are more fun and less expensive to hurl at people. And somewhere in my stacks I have the LS Anthology. Don’t let your own collection be without it.

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  2. Hugh, thank you for your many kind words and for sharing my words with so many readers.
    I started reading comic books, the back of cereal boxes, and fairy tales. I have moved on to different kinds of literature, but the magic of the written word still amazes and enthralls me.

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  3. Favorites – Mysteries/ crime (I reread the classics Chandler, PD James, Jim Thompson, MacDonald and McDonald) and my new fave Lehane. The good ones are much bigger than who dunnits.

    Science fiction – After She and King Soloman’s Mines years ago found another Haggard – People of the Mist. If I had the time I’d hunt all of them down. One is put in a vastly different place and time. Then there is Welles and Verne. Can’t get next to rocket ship and weird aliens.

    Horror is the King or vice-versa.

    Nonfiction is mostly biology (e.g; Dawkins) and bios / memoirs.

    Music and books help those of us with no social skills keep on.

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