Another week has come and gone and we’re still receiving plenty of submissions.
The site looks healthy and we’ve all got a spring in our step and a happy disposition. Or in my case a limp and a sarcastic persona.
I’ve just seen that Jim Steinman and Les McKeown have died. That is sad.
If you don’t know who McKeown was, he was in one of the most successful boy bands of the seventies. And that was when boybands at least played instruments and didn’t dance around like a bunch of pricks. The Bay City Rollers will always be played at weddings throughout Scotland until the end of time.
Jim Steinman was responsible for one of the most perfect albums ever.
‘Bat Out Of Hell’ didn’t have a weak song – Seven pieces of perfection. The other albums that I would put in the same ball-park would be ‘The Adventurers’ ‘Sea Of Love’ – Gary Moore – ‘Still Got The Blues For You’, Elton John ‘Too Low For Zero’ and ‘Aerosmith’ ‘Pump’
I have probably mentioned all this before but I think it is something that we can revisit.
From the albums I thought on the most perfect books that I’ve read.
Stephen King’s ‘It’ (My favourite book of all time)
Glen Cooper’s The Library Of The Dead (So inventive and so obvious on who would use the premise but you just don’t see it)
Lorenzo Carcaterra’s ‘Sleepers’ (I saw the film first and when I read the book I was surprised how few pages it had – I expected something about four hundred pages. Not one word was wasted.)
Campbell Armstrong’s ‘Jig’ (So skilful, knowledgeable and something that couldn’t work as a film.)
David St Claire – The Devil Rocked Her Cradle (An exorcism story that was more story than exorcism)
Mark Frankland – ‘The Cull’ (All about how a minority can terrorise a majority. And if the unlikely come together, anything can be achieved.)
Joseph D’Lacey – ‘Meat’ (A unique look at why the bible would have been re-written)
I’d be interested to know if any of you have read any of them.
This brings me to a point.
When we initially comment on the stories about how we feel, with some of them, we are miles apart but that means nothing, we need to discuss and respect each others points of view.
It’s the same with these types of lists, they should all be personal and surely if we took a thousand people, very few would have a common thread.
What I would hope for is honesty. There’s really some weird snobbish acceptance which causes folks to say things like
My favourite book just has to be ‘Madame Bovary’ / ‘War And Peace’ / ‘Sense And sensibility’ etc, etc.
Now if any of these are genuinely your favourites, that is absolutely fine. But never say ‘Crime And Punishment’ if it is actually ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’. Own what you enjoy and admit it!!
Okay – I maybe should have added ‘Showaddywaddy’s Greatest Hits 1976’ or any Gary Glitter album in my perfect albums list – But they weren’t perfectly perfect. Showwaddywaddy was a homage to the fifties and, well, Mr Glitter had a slight image problem. The image of him being a sick paedo fuck was quite correct!
…And I forgot about the weirdos who state that their favourite non-fiction book is the bible. Now that is maybe a bit unfair as serial killers need inspiration too.
…Or is it instruction??
Okay onto this week’s stories.
We had four old friends and a new writer.
Our subjects this week include; grief, a homer, as good as it gets, saving a life and voyeurism.
As always our initial comments follow.
First up was one of our most accomplished story-tellers.
Dave Henson got us up and running with his twenty-second story for us.
He was published on Monday with ‘Whacky Ideas‘
‘A bit weird, but I really enjoyed this.’
‘There are many hidden meanings within.’
‘Dave is such an interesting writer.’
The legend that is Tom Sheehan was published on Tuesday.
‘Odyssey Of A French Swordsman‘ was Tom’s one hundred and thirty second story for us. I see that number and still can’t believe it!
‘As a piece of historical fiction, this is very good.’
‘I can see how the historical list worked.’
‘Tom showcasing his usual skill!!’
We broke the back of the week with the ever present, Yash Seyedbagheri.
His fifteenth story for us was next up.
‘It’s an odd piece – Good but odd!’
‘The loneliness is so apparent.’
‘Desperation and despair comes through.’
Our only new writer of the week nearly finished us off.
We welcome Hugh Todd, who gave us ‘An Audience of One ‘. We hope that he has fun on the site and most importantly, we want to see more of his work.
‘I took a liking to the MC – He was a very well written character.’
‘Hugh had the confidence to let you assume the ending.’
‘Nice little twist, well worked in.’
And we finished off with Martin Toman who has graced our site on four occasions.
‘The farmer was such an appealing character.’
‘Somehow this had a grain of hope all the way through.’
That’s us all done and dusted for another week.
And here we go again.
I think I’ll mention another guy from my past (I may have mentioned him before!) as well as wee religious Miss Anderson who had a lot of faith on some guy called…
Jesus fuck! – His name has escaped me.
This section is inspired by the said Miss Anderson and an absolute gentleman called Billy Capperauld who never gave up. Billy worked with all those wee fuckers between sixteen and twenty-one who I just wanted to slap. He never gave up on them and he was always there ‘Chipping away at them until something positive stuck’
So even though I do get disheartened, I will think of those two stalwarts and repeat myself for literally the millionth time. (A wee nod there to ‘The Big Bang Theory)
And if you don’t, tell us why? Have you social problems? Have you no fingers? Can’t you express yourself? Do you not want to judge? Do you feel that you will be judged??
Or more than likely – Is there just no fucker there!!!!
And for god sake, Leila’s cats are mocking her for not having any Re-Run friends. So many have promised and very few have delivered!!
If you want a shot at this – Just pick a story that you’ve enjoyed and send a spiel or an introduction for it. Throw in a few questions for the writer and we’ll publish exactly what you send us.
Please guys, let me have faith in Billy and Miss Anderson – Let me think that their repetition wasn’t delusional – Let my pleas get through and I can toast both of them with:
Billy Capperauld / Miss Anderson – Not delusional – Determined!!!
Just to finish.
I see on this day in history Muhammad Ali was done for refusing the draft.
I just loved his quote, ‘I ain’t got no quarrel with them Viet-Cong. No Viet-Cong ever called me ‘Nigger”. (Jesus fuck – I even hate typing that word!!)
I just think that we can write basically what we want, well as long as we get the pronoun correct for the Outraged Fuckwit Brigade. (Those bastards will always be on my Radar) But we don’t always have the freedom to say NO!
Depending on where we stay – We can’t say NO to being conscripted. We can’t say NO to jury duty. We can’t say NO to be counted in a census. We can’t say NO to voting. And of course, in Scotland, we can’t say NO to the offer of a pint!!
Good on Ali. The man was a legend. But I think that line said more about his courage, pride, perception, awareness, humanity and scruples than anything else that he ever did.
I can honestly say that one of my favourite books is Frenchman’s Creek by Daphne Du Maurier – I can see it on the book case from where I’m sitting right now It’s one of the few that I have read repeatedly. The House on the Strand is another of hers that I have read several times and I think it handles the problems of time travel better than any others I’ve read about that subject. I love much of Stephen King’s stuff and I think my favourites are Lizzie’s Story and Duma Key. He also did a great short in Four Past Midnight – The Langoliers. Of course there are tons of books that I have really enjoyed – all of Sir Terry Pratchett of course Monstrous Regiment particularly – the thing about favourite books is that the longer you think about it the longer the list becomes. I was once moved to tears on the bus to work reading Bamboo Doctor by Stanley S. Pavillard and another that I found quite enthralling and very moving in parts was The Physician by Noah Gordon.
As for music I’m afraid I am far from your knowledge and eclectic taste, Hugh. I was a Beatles fan in the sixties and still love their music, not the very early stuff because, though it was fun it’s dance and scream music really, but things like Norwegian Wood, This Boy, Something, and then I’m afraid I strayed from the straight and narrow and found a liking for Country and Western. Sorry but there we have it. I’m pretty much over it now apart from Willie Nelson and I have discovered Bruce Springsteen – late to the party but in fairness we were in the Middle East for a long time and most of what you could get were pirated ABBA tapes!! You do make a really good point though, Hugh. None of us should have to hide what we like behind what we think other people expect us to like. All books are written by authors who’ve sweated blood to get the words on the page (well not literally – that would be messy) so if you enjoy chic lit then great – if cowboy fiction is your thing – there’s nothing wrong with saying so. Great post this week. It made me think. dd
Image:- Justin (aka Jsteinfan), CC BY-SA 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/, via Wikimedia Commons
Roland Rosenbauer, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons