Category Archives: Essays & Short Stories

Is original thought possible?

Sam Harris

English: Sam Harris
English: Sam Harris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sam Harris, neuroscientist and author describes ‘Freewill’ as an illusion. He uses brilliant analogies to explain that acting of your own freewill implies that you could have done otherwise. He poses the question, ‘What are you going to think next? Your next thought comes out of nowhere. Whatever you are doing you have a voice in your head which just says things. Thoughts just emerge in consciousness. We can’t choose them before we think them. So if you can’t control your next thought where is your freedom of will?’ Continue reading Is original thought possible?

You Want It Darker…

Sadly but gloriously I’ve found Leonard Cohen late in life. We miss so much during our struggle for survival. In the short time since his death his work has been an inspiration to me as I approach the final stages of my first novel. He obviously moved James Radcliffe, and this beautiful obituary is a fine tribute to a wonderful human being.

JamesRadcliffe.com

“I’ve always been given to self-dramatization.  I intend to live forever.” – Leonard Cohen

I learned Leonard had died on a Friday.  I was sitting eating breakfast when my girlfriend came to the kitchen doorway.  She asked if I knew.  Knew what I said.  She told me gently.  I was grateful for that.  I put my head in my hands, then I closed my eyes.

I spent that day in studio.  In the evening I made a fire.  We cued up a playlist of Leonard’s music and opened a bottle of wine.  As we listened, I began to talk.  I needed to explain why Leonard Cohen was so important to me; and as I talked, it dawned on me how much more there was to say.

I realized that: his words, his music, his writing, and his story were woven so deeply thru every stage of my life that there…

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How I got stuffed by a Christmas turkey

Believe it or not this story is true – Well, almost.

This is my favourite personal Christmas story which brings back memories of when I was a pretentious thirty-something. Then I believed, rather foolishly, that roasting the biggest turkey you could get, at Christmas, was a status symbol of note. Thank the lord those days are now long gone. Continue reading How I got stuffed by a Christmas turkey

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A FIRST NOVEL?

HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A FIRST NOVEL?

I imagine, much longer than subsequent ones as there is so much to learn. My short answer is – As long as it takes until it’s published.

When I posted ‘The sheer joy of writing’ I had just started writing my first novel from the germ of an idea that was planted about twenty three years ago. I didn’t even consider writing it until 2014, so during the previous twenty years it remained dormant and was only occasionally given an airing and little thought. Finally, in May of this year it woke up and demanded my undivided attention, which it has had since. It was a very long gestation period which is, apparently, not uncommon in the literary world. Continue reading HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO WRITE A FIRST NOVEL?

Why coconuts are a health hazard?

When I try to put my life into perspective I am always cognisant of the many strange experiences I have had, some fortunate and others not so. One such experience occurred on a visit to one of the many outdoor temporary markets which are to be found all over Thailand and indeed most countries of the East. I made a suggestion, or more likely a throw-away remark, that ‘air raid sirens’ should be installed there. On the face of it, I am sure you will think it to be a strange request, as Thailand has never been at war with any country capable of launching an air raid. But, if you permit me to continue, or read further, you may reconsider. Continue reading Why coconuts are a health hazard?