Monthly Archives: December 2020


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The new year starts tomorrow. I am sure we are all wondering what it has in store. We say this kind of thing each and every year but doesn’t it have more of a punch this year?

It goes without saying that 2020 has been a hell of a year…

Is it just me or does this fit a little too well?

From fire, to flood, to the virus, so much has happened and that isn’t even getting into the political side of things. Should I get into the political side of things?

Well Brexit seems to be just as much of a clusterfuck as those of us who voted remain thought it would be. At least it means we can say: ‘I told you so!’

Meanwhile in the US the president acted like a baby and was unable to accept defeat with any dignity. A part of me likes the idea of him never conceding – then we can watch him be dragged kicking and screaming from the White House.

Looking ahead it is difficult to know how 2021 will unfold. Masks and other protective measures are undoubtedly going to be part of reality for some time to come. And any idea of a return to the way things were is still a faint dream.

Also we might wish to think about the possibility of what might be better. It is a strange thought but have we learnt anything from the pandemic? Maybe. Although humans aren’t very good at learning from their mistakes or from their experiences or at all!

My forlorn hope is that we will at least learn to appreciate our keyworkers. Even that seems doubtful – sure there was the clapping for the NHS during furlough but aren’t we back where we were? Aren’t those same people undervalued again? Shouldn’t serious consideration be given to pay rises and some sign that we now recognise that the NHS and supermarket workers are the most vital people in our society? I have no answers this is just food for thought.

Now is usually the time when the word ‘resolutions’ rears its ugly head. Honestly what is the point? I don’t mean that in a defeatist way but we all know that most of us don’t keep resolutions. I don’t think I made any last year and if I did I certainly didn’t keep them. Still the new year is here and I feel like some statement should be made of what I want.

Better than yesterday. That is all. I want to have more good days than bad. I want to reach the end of 2021 and be able to point to something that happened – even if it is just one small thing – and say ‘I did that’. I don’t know what that might be at this moment. If 2021 can simply be a better year than this one that will be sufficient. And we always hope for that don’t we?

I hope you are well. Have a fabulous time if you are celebrating on New Year’s Eve and see you soon.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

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The Many Christmases (A Story)

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No one has any money any more. And we all ran out of ideas for presents on day 12. Not that we have a lot of options here. The only place open in the village is Mr Sandhu’s little shop and space invaders and other confectionery don’t make for good presents. Heck on day nine mum got me a tin of beans – and they weren’t even Heinz! I know a present is a present but still. Damn You, Wizard.

We can’t even go for a walk any more because the snowman has brought so much snow! I can barely get the door open. I could technically get out of the house but I wouldn’t even be able to find it again.

Even Santa Clause has been reduced to just one Ho. Christmas Eve he was his usual self. “Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas.” Now it is just: “Ho. Christmas.”

He has lost so much weight too travelling around the world every day. And he is malnourished. He’s forced to subsist on mince pies, which at this point contain as much sawdust as they do flour, also sherry, and a small bite of a carrot. He and his reindeer are going to die if this goes on much longer.

Damn you, Wizard.

The kids singing goes on day and night and I don’t have any ear plugs. There was a massive clatter last night as the band collapsed from exhaustion – for the umpteenth time!

Oh I wish it could be Christmas once a year. So the kids stop singing and the band can get some sleep.

Let the bells stop ringing so I can hear myself think! I am going mad and about ready to beat myself over the head with a turkey leg! Last time I had the wish bone I wished for the sweet release of death!

Why don’t I give my love for Christmas? Because it won’t stop! I have rocked around the tree too many times – although tree is a bit generous since it is just a twig now – and if I hear the word merry once more I think I am going to scream.

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I hope you all have a happy time no matter what you you are celebrating. And may the coming year be better than this one. Although it would take a lot for it to be worse wouldn’t it?

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog:

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So Much to Know

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Sometimes when writing I find myself having to stop every few words to google something and that really doesn’t help with progress of the story. Also Google can only get you so far – there are some questions that can’t be answered so easily.

Captain, the most elementary and valuable statement in science, the beginning of wisdom, is, “I do not know”.

Mr Data (Star Trek: The Next Generation) Where Silence Has Lease

And not just science. Lack of understanding is also a problem. I wouldn’t say I was stupid but everyone has things they do not understand and since we are getting into some difficult topics you may want to stop reading now.

Photo by Rikki Matsumoto from Pexels

I chose a mosque for the picture at the top owing to the direction one of my characters is going in. My character’s name is Tina. Her father is white British and her mother is Pakistani British.

Tina’s ethnicity has no baring on the plot. She could be from anywhere and very little would have to change. I have set the story in Cardiff, because that is where I happen to live, but other than her living in Cardiff anything else is possible.

Nevertheless it can’t be denied that her experience of Cardiff will be different from my own. In order to make her a believable character I need to ask important questions about religion. And the big question is: Does she believe in God?

I do not believe in God. If I decide that she does how do I write that?

I am going to try and discuss this with sensitivity and I apologies ahead of time if I mess up.

I can research Islam and start to build a character but real life is more complicated.

Humans are diverse and that is true of every area. My grandmother was English and she liked tea. Whenever we would go to an adventure park…

(I can’t think of better collective noun. Places like gardens, museums, model railways, and so on. Basically I am talking about any place a family might go on a school holiday. I remember we went to a park in Cornwall, for example, that had sculptures of famous world landmarks.)

…her first priority was to go to the tearooms. In short she was the epitome of what might be expected from an English person. Of course not everyone in England, or the UK, likes tea.

By the same token not everyone of a particular religious faith follows every aspect of that faith. I have know some religious people who are very strict in some areas but in others they are not.

I do not mean this in a critical way and I don’t want to get into a ‘No true Scotsman’ argument here. And since religion is a topic that is difficult I am going to use a Star Trek metaphor.

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Star Trek: The Animated Series presents an interesting case study. Like religion Star Trek has its canon. And The Animated Series has a question mark over its status. Some say it is all canon, some say none of it is, and some…(this is the interesting part – almost worth waiting for)…say it is non-cannon apart from the episode Yesteryear. And Yesteryear has a mistake – it depicts Vulcan with a moon.

If you asked a large group of Star Trek fans about this you would get a variety of answers – of course the most likely response is: ‘Who are you? How did you get in here? And why are you asking irrelevant questions at three o’clock in the morning?’

I may also be zeroing in on why I am single. What is really going to bake your noodle later on is am I single because of my extensive Star Trek knowledge or have I developed this knowledge because of being single.

I don’t want to look under that rock.

The point is there isn’t one type of Star Trek fan and there isn’t one type of follower for a particular religion. On the surface this might sound good because, no matter what I do, I can’t be wrong.

Or can I?

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‘Wrong’ is highly subjective. And I think the only solution to any writing is to write the damn story – part of the problem is not wanting to cause offence.

In writing there is this idea of ‘sensitivity readers’ which is a reader from a particular background who reads a story and offers pointers in making it more believable and, to put it bluntly, tells the writer where they might have fucked up.

Fucking up is so easy.

Back to metaphor.

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The Big Bang Theory uses many references to Star Trek. However I, as a trekkie, sometimes notice things that don’t make sense – such as Howard’s apparent ignorance of a Romulan warbird – one of the most iconic star ships in TNG.

For my closing thoughts I will leave you with this. Religion is a broad church, no pun indented, and writing a character who is religious is not easy. They can come off as a stereotype if they are too strict and if they are too relaxed it might look like they are being made acceptable to a western audience. Chakotay, on Star Trek Voyager, is one of the worst examples of this. Rather than the writers picking a tribe and sticking with it Chakotay ends up being a hodgepodge of stereotypes.

For now I am just going to write the damn story and deal with all this later – although I will think about it quite loudly.

See you next time.

I just wanted to say that I have checked this post. I really have. Unfortunately my particular combination of dyslexia and dyspraxia makes it really hard for me to spot typos. Please enjoy and I’ll try not to make too many errors.

I have a Patreon page. I hope you will consider supporting this blog:

Leave a comment

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