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Week 314 – Determination, Crushed Testes And An Acceptable Arc Of Urine.

This week I’d like to discuss not giving up. It’s quite apt as we had a writer not so very long ago advise us that they were giving up since this was now their fourth refusal. That is for them to decide but in the whole scheme of things four refusals isn’t that much. But it’s up to the person and how they feel.

We’ve had writers who have taken months if not years before they were accepted, they just kept trying and one day, they find what we were looking for.

It does get to a stage when both me and Diane are rooting for the writer and we are more delighted than them when they find that recipe for publication.

I’ve mentioned this before and it’s worthwhile mentioning again. Not only are we looking for quality writing, that goes without saying but we are looking for that little thing that we can’t explain, we just know it when we see it.

One thing that happens time and time again that I can’t understand is the use of asterisk instead of The Full Monty of a fuck! (Diane mentioned this in her Re-Run two weeks back) We get these frequently. Now if you are wanting to have a fuck, use a fuck, don’t type f*c* – It’s pointless and a bit childish. Go with your conviction. If you are writing about a man being kicked in the knackers then, “Oh f asterisk c asterisk!!’ would never be cried out to alleviate the poor man’s distress and discomfort. In fact one probably wouldn’t do. It would be more like a ‘Fucking Jesus fucking fuck!!’

For whatever reason, writing with conviction seems to take courage for some people. I’m not brave and I don’t look at it like that, I just try as much as I can to write as is. So if we go back to the guy with the throbbing knackers, never ever have I heard anyone say anything other than a swear word when this happens to them so I would simply say as is. (I probably would add in that the pitch of the unfortunate soul’s voice was as high as his testicles.)

Okay onto this week’s stories.

We had two new writers one returner and two old friends of the site.

We welcome both our newbies, hope they have fun on the site and we want to see more of their work.

Topics this week include; treatments, exasperation, the booze, a revelation and bad judgement.

As always our initial comments follow.

First up was Yash Seyedbagheri. This was his seventh story for us. We would like to mention that we don’t publish serials but regular readers will notice that some stories have a common link, like Yash’s. We are happy to do these providing they can stand alone and that the writing in each piece is enough to have us approve the submission on it’s own with no reference to the other stories.

Sorry‘ was our story for Monday.

‘You can feel the frustration.’

‘You see the change from frustration to anger – That is done very well.’

‘Excellent writing as usual.’

On Tuesday we had our first new writer. Edward Hall is tenacious and a pure gentleman to work with.

The Thankless Child‘ was next up.

‘Really good ending.’

‘The part about false smiles makes you think.’

‘It makes you shudder to think of being ill in those times.’

Harrison Kim broke the back of the week. ‘My Plea For Solitude‘ was his seventeenth outing for us.

‘Not many likeable characters but they were real.’

‘Up to Harrison’s usual standard.’

‘You can feel the misery.’

We were delighted to see the return of Arthur Davis, his story, ‘Strangerman‘ was published on Thursday.

‘Writing of the highest quality.’

‘This could easily be extended into a novella or even a novel.’

‘There is a lot going on. There are more miles in this story.’

And to complete the week we had our second new writer, Michael Bloor. His story, ‘Captain Carey’s Luck‘ was published on Friday.

‘Very visible.’

‘The placing of time was excellent.’

‘I don’t normally like historical fiction but I’m saying yes to this.’

That’s us for another week.

Let’s take Miss Anderson out the cupboard and remind you to comment. How I want to read, ‘This is my first comment and there will be many more!’ Comments can bring on inspiration. I’ve done well over two hundred of these posts and most of them are instigated by comments between either me and Diane, comments on the site or what I’ve read in the submissions. Honestly guys, if you need inspiration, try commenting – It’s amazing where your mind goes!

And as always, thanks to our old guard who keep the site alive!

Why not have a go at The Sunday Re-Run, it’s being held together brilliantly by Leila but she is considering changing her perfume to see if that will encourage some Re-Run friends.

Just pick an older story that you’ve enjoyed, write a spiel or an introduction and throw a few questions in for the author. We’ll print exactly what you send us.

Oh for the day we read, ‘This is my first Re-Run, there will be many more’

Do you know when I get old and more senile I’ll be re-hashing that paragraph as I pish my slippers and keep falling down. (Tip for any older gentleman who doesn’t want urine on their slippers, take Viagra regularly.)

To finish off, a wee bit of audience participation.

I saw a list of words that we use here in Scotland that aren’t seemingly used anywhere else in that particular way. Weirdly just after I had seen that, I was reading a submission and one of the words was used in the way that we use it. Now I don’t know if the writer was Scottish or maybe an ESL writer but I wanted to show you them and ask if any of you use them in these ways.

1. Stay – Live as in where do you stay? (This was the one the writer used.)

2. Messages – Groceries / shopping

3. Piece – Sandwich / packed lunch

4. Poke – Paper bag.

5. Greeting – Crying (Probably without the g though)

6. Coo – Cow

7. Cry – Call as in ‘What did you cry the baby?’

8. Steaming – Drunk

9. Burn – Stream / wee brook

10. Winch – Kiss / snog

11. A boot – A girl of loose morals.

12. Close – The passage way between two houses

13. Flit – To move house

14. Honking – Disgusting

15. Ned – A young thug

16. Patter – Talkative and engaging with it as in ‘He’s got the patter’

17. Tap – Asking for a small loan normally until payday. ‘Can I tap you for a tenner until Friday’

I never really considered any of them to be unique as I grew up with them and was actually surprised by a few of them. That’s why I wanted to find out if the article was correct.

Hopefully a few of you will be able to enlighten!



Yorkshire isn’t that far from Scotland as the crow flies and I recognise some of those.

Messages – this was used a lot in Liverpool when I was a child in the same way, meaning shopping for the groceries. In fact that was an insult used for someone who was looking a bit gormless “she looked like soft Sis on a message’ But I think that was very local.

Poke – yes but one of those little triangular paper bags. Interestingly my mum used to refer to a ‘poke bag’ which was a style of small handbag.

Flit – Yes and especially a ‘Moonlight flit’ when someone moved out owing back rent.

I love the term ‘stay’ as in where do you live – My old boss at one time used that and he was South African

Honking was just something smelly.

I have only recently become aware of ‘piece’ meaning a sandwich and would love to know the etymology of that.

Fascinating stuff – I love local dialects.


Image: – from an article in The Conversation France written by Emily Nordmann Lecturer in Psychology, University of Aberdeen

17 thoughts on “Week 314 – Determination, Crushed Testes And An Acceptable Arc Of Urine.”

  1. Currently reading Irvine Welsh. Got two of his books and “Skagboys” on the way. With a couple hundred pages of him in me, I’m certain that I could go to Edinburgh right now and say “Awight, ye skaggy-bawed doss cunt labdick” to a policeman with utter confidence that he will “ken” my drift. No asterisks in Mr. Welsh’es world.
    A good way to learn persistence is to get very good at an annoying and/or useless activity then apply the acquired discipline to something productive. Unfortunately, I have no example to offer. But for a person who wants to hide under the bed after four failures it might make sense. Three of my first six LS submissions got the old heave ho. And Adam West, one of the original Eds. accidentally rejected the last one twice. Rejection in all forms hurts, but in this field it’s a necessary fact of life.


    1. Hi Leila,
      I’m not sure if I have read ‘Skagboys’ – That is something I will need to check and probably remedy.
      When I read Welsh for the first time, I did trip up with one word more than any. On The West Coast we use ‘ken’ a lot but the one that is used more in Edinburgh and throughout ‘Trainspotting’ is ‘likesay’. We do use that every now and again but our repetition word is more ‘ken’.
      Repetition words / phrases / mannerisms can be annoying when listening to someone. I am cursed as I spot them quickly! Examples I have heard are: Ken / Likesay / Basically / To tell the truth / Long story short / So / A says / She says / He says / Like (Mainly teenagers) / To me / That’s the kind of guy I am – To name but a few. And I suppose ‘To name but a few’ is another. And so is ‘I suppose’. Repetition with swearing isn’t as annoying!
      I have also know a few growlers who growled before they spoke.
      I have been used to rejection for years. I still don’t know how I feel about not being picked to go on the show ‘Jim’ll Fix It’ in 1976. I wouldn’t have thought about it but he asked for a photo first.
      Thanks as always. All you do for the site is much appreciated!!


  2. Hugh,
    I found your points this week of particular interest as I struggle to string words together into a coherent story.
    When it come to the use of profanities, I prefer they are expressed by the character and give a fuller picture of who they are. Where swear words fail, in my opinion, is when a narrator throws them into the story for effect. It doesn’t work for me.
    The use of vocabulary of a a particular dialect is excellent way of illuminating the character’s background and location or even origins.
    Using modes of expression peculiar along with regional dialects adds depth. However, too much and the reader might just turn off.
    I was criticised severely for my dialogue of sounding the same for each character – such is life.


    1. Hi James,
      I’m really sorry that you’ve hit a dry spell. You have a lot of quality work out there to be proud of but I hope that the inspiration comes whispering soon and you hit another vein.
      Leila did say that writers will always write and I think that is true. However not writing can become the norm and that is the danger after years of writing being the norm. I have to admit, I am envious of those who have imagination as I think they can fall back on that. Story wise, I reckon I am drying up. I don’t have much imagination, I need one liners and different attitudes, unfortunately the way the world is at the moment, I haven’t much opportunity to hear any of these.
      My idea of writers block is when you are in the middle of something and then you get stuck. I’m fine as long as I have an idea but as I’ve said my resources for them have dried up.
      I totally agree regarding profanity. You can spot a forced use of language (Of any type) a mile away. We get quite a few submissions where you know the writer is trying to be edgy by throwing in a couple of ‘fucks’. It doesn’t work when the rest of their work is littered with ‘Goodness’ and ‘We’re in a pickle now’. Being honest to yourself is important. Being honest to your character is more important.
      I find it very interesting about the criticism you received. I would say that is more the readers problem and their lack of imagination. When someone writes a woman character, do they hear a man?? They need to put some work into it and see the character.
      I have a huge fondness for ‘Only Fools And Horses’ and I was given a book of the scripts and this is what made me so appreciative of the actors. When read, the scripts are amusing. When we hear the actors, amusing becomes hysterical. Readers don’t have actors to listen to, they need to listen to what they create after the writer has created the story.
      It’s great to hear from you my friend!!!!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I stopped counting my rejections at 236, so four isn’t too bad. I had that many this week. But indeed, writing is very ego based and its hard well, pretty much impossible, to detach completely from that. A certain amount of detachment though is necessary for survival. I always say “I can learn from this rejection.” What’s rejected by one publication may be accepted by another, because different publications have different styles and themes. It helps to read the publication to see what they print. I agree with James on profanities, if expressed by a character in context they work. I must admit, I’ve been an asterisk wimp.


    1. Hi Harrison,
      Thanks so much for your comments.
      I’ve had a fifth of my stories rejected on the site but that is nothing compared to getting close to thirty years of rejections on books. I am pretty hardened to it but now-a-days, if I do send anything away, I still have a flutter of hope but then the reality of disappointment reminds me what will happen.
      Rejection is just an opinion and well, Mr Eastwood had the best line about opinions in ‘The Dead Pool’. (Not the best but worth it to see Jim Carey’s OTT acting and Liam Neeson’s ponytail!)
      Thanks as always my friend – Much appreciated!!


    1. Hi there,
      Thanks so much.
      I can’t tell you how much we appreciate it when someone takes the time to read and comment!
      Especially when the comment has such kind words!!
      All the very best.


  4. Hi Diane,
    I don’t know the origin of ‘Piece’ but we are a very simple race. It may be something as basic as coming from the idea of ‘A piece of bread, a piece of cheese, a piece of meat and a piece of cake’.
    One of our writers (Alex Sinclair) used the phrase ‘Paraffin Lamp’ as the title on one of his stories. That was used a lot when I was a kid to describe someone unclean and to be truthful, I didn’t understand it for a long time until I finally clicked that it was rhyming slang for tramp.
    We don’t do much rhyming slang and I don’t know if this is local or maybe even closer than that, but I do like ‘Gairden’ and ‘Hampden’. They are short for ‘Garden Hut’ – Slut and ‘Hampden Roar’ – Score. Oh and score as in ‘What is the score? – What is happening?’
    Fuck – I better type a disclaimer for all the sensitives, We weren’t being sexist calling a girl in particular, a ‘Gairden’ we called anyone that. Also if anyone (Sensitives again – Read the word anyone!) had a friend for the night, the beautiful phrase of ‘Dirty stop-oot’, was used. I wonder if that is just us?
    I have just realised that the kids at my work look at me strangely when I ask, ‘Is that you loused?’ I don’t think they know what to say. I don’t know if that was an old phrase. It means finished.
    But maybe they just don’t want to ‘talk’ to me!!


    1. Hi Dave,
      It’s always a pleasure to see you around!
      The ones that really surprised me were ‘Burn’ and ‘Stay’ – I thought they were English speaking global.
      Maybe another one is squint. We do use it as something to do with the eyes but logically (Which is strange for us) we use it as not plumb, off level, as in ‘That shelf is squint.’
      I’m pretty used to rejections. When I think on it, my teenage years gave me a cracking apprenticeship on the ‘GTF’!!!
      All the very best my friend.


  5. As usual, I enjoyed this rant, and while I’m not making fun of the ‘four’ rejections syndrome, I laughed/snorted out loud. Like Harrison Kim, I’ve had that many this week too. And I can easily explain why I had four rejections: it’s because I submitted seventeen. I do have alligator skin but I still cry crocodile tears when they arrive. Rejection is a great motivator.

    But I also had an amazing experience this week. There are these two editors, Hugh and Diane, (you may have heard of them) who read my submission and sent me the most amazingly helpful and considerate advice on how to improve it for clarity. That’s what I’m here for. A huge thank you to the editorial team of Literally.


    1. Hi Monika,
      If I was emotional I would be filling up right now.
      In honour of your kind words I will poke myself in the eye!!
      All joking aside – You are more than welcome!
      It was only a very small edit and we only suggested it to enhance something that was a very good idea, well presented and thought out.
      These wee ‘pointers’, we all need every now and again as our stories are normally so clear in our own heads. I’m lucky I have Diane who is an absolute brilliant spotter of my failings. (Only Gwen is better but her list, her extensive list, has sod all to do with my writing!)
      Thanks so much for the kind words – I can’t tell you how much they mean to us!!


    2. I second what Hugh has said Monkila – you are more than welcome. We run the site because we love fiction, writing in general and writers. That is why it began and that’s why we keep pegging away it at it. It is all worthwhile when we have someone as lovely as yourself to interact with.


  6. Well, now I’m crying too. But what you may not realize is that what you do for writers is an absolute rarity. I had this naive suspicion at one time that editors edit to help writers shape their story, instead most editors only say, “thanks, but no,” all day long. While I understand that the writing market is a hectic place, so is MCDonalds, and they still manage to sell a billion hamburgers a day, because that is what they are in the business for. Oh, my, I think I’m ranting. Anyway, thank you! You are appreciated more than you may realize. Cheers
    Oh, and I have another word to add to your list: Spunk. In Canada/Us we say you are full of spunk which means full of spirit, determination. I heard that in Scotland it means full of sperm.


    1. Hi Monika,
      Hah – I sort of had the same thought when I first encountered an H.R department. Naively I thought they were there for the employee. Are they fuck – They are there for the firm!
      I’d forgotten about that term.
      Yep that word is used as a slang term for sperm. Normally in a rather nasty way. Maybe it’s the way that we say it, but it doesn’t sound very lyrical or positive so us using it as the determination meaning never sounds right.
      When some of our English neighbours use it as it is intended, it sounds rather ‘jolly hockey sticks’. (Which is a term for a sort of upper class, private educated person – Strangely enough, normally a female.)
      The use of language is always fascinating!!
      All the very best.

      Liked by 1 person

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