#0034 Get Connected Stay Connected

A blog by Tom Gale Aug ’22


There is a school of thought that as powerful as mankind perceives themselves to be, we are at the mercy of the modern world and we are ill equipped for it. The fact that we have survived this long and risen to the top of the food chain still causes me to shake my head in disbelief. If we have a bout of weather that is either hotter than we are used to or colder it can have a profound effect on how we act and feel about ourselves, those whom we love and other humans around the globe. Those of us who may be compromised by the ageing process, disease or mental capacity may suffer further and some tragically could die. 

As technology advances, we lose sight of the fact that machines are tools. We and by we I mean really clever bright sparks that could work out how things work created them to help us. We are the masters of machines. Not the servants. It still blows my mind to remember that in just over half a century we have gone from where machines (computers) occupied the same space as large as the living room in most western modern homes. Now occupy the space in the palm of our hands. Yet the first “smartphone” only became one of our tools just shy of thirty years ago. The IBM Simon went on sale on the 16th August 1994. It was a big chunky black box. They didn’t call it a smartphone back then but it did have a lot of the features that we have today. It had a calendar, it took notes, it could send and receive emails and messages and it was a phone. It weighed in at around half a kilo or half a big bag of sugar. It had a green LED display and as if that wasn’t enough it had a stylus too. Similar in size to the iPhone 4. What it also had was a pretty hefty price tag. It was just under $900 which would be approx $1.799 (at an average inflation rate of 2.51%) and the battery was so crap. It only lasted an hour. It did feature software apps and it could be linked to a fax machine. The business world was aching for a product like this. It was only available in the United States and it sold just over 50,000 units. Imagine how much of a difference was made by this tool in the world of business where they had the power of a computer in the palm of their hand linked to a fax machine. 50,000 business men and women closing deals and getting faxed copies signed and sealed whilst still in the client’s office. 

Bigger sales, bigger cars and of course bigger shoulder pads followed. This was at the same time as cable TV exploded. TVs no longer had valves and cathode ray tubes. They had silicon chips and they, like the rich men and women who could afford them, became size zero’s. The number of channels showing content also exploded but the content was not great quality. However those people who are susceptible to addiction had found a new one. 

Shows were poorly written, the acting wooden and relied on bitchy comments and the power of the “cliff hanger” to feed the addiction.  It is more pronounced today because they are no longer poorly written and the quality of the actors is unheard of on the small screen. 

It is not the tools that are at fault, it is the intent of the user. It can be used to edify, and make life just a little less shitty than it was yesterday. Or it can be used to promote a narrative and an agenda that satisfies another addiction namely the pursuit of riches and fame. In doing so is carving the tombstone of the “forgotten heroes”. 

Inspiring men and women who fought against tyranny and corrupt systems. Men like Simon Weston. The man who was horrifically burned in the Falklands War yet referred to himself as the luckiest guy alive. Or Nicholas James Vujicic an Australian American christian evangelist and motivational speaker born with tetra-amelia syndrome. A very rare disorder where someone is born with no arms or legs. What about Malala Yousafzai, a girl who’s homeland descended into a state of fear and repression. A place where she witnessed women being banned from public places and whipped openly if they transgressed. Who saw schools blown up. Who became a fearless opponent of the murderous regime (The Taliban) who were responsible. Who stood up for an education and in doing so changed the world. They are becoming fewer and fewer. Instead it is sportsmen and women, or those who are entertainers that now occupy the pedestals where fallen laurels litter the floor from forgotten heroes. 

In what I consider to be Russel T Davies finest work to date the drama Years and Years he presents a view of a dystopian future that isn’t too far away from present day in which technology and the tools that we (mankind) had at our disposal brings about tumultuous global events and the rise of a leader who controversial views divides a nation. All through the lens of the lives of the Lyons Family who are representative of what is now referred to as blended families. Where the bonds of love and family are tested to the point of breaking as they are caught up in this global turmoil. It has a top notch cast including Anne Reid, Russel Tovey and Rory Kinnear and Emma Thompson. We start in 2019 and go through to 2034 and in 2034 the Lyons family are forever changed and so is the world. It was in six episodes most of which were directed by Simon Cellan Jones, another talented Welshman. Who gave us Cracker and Our Friends In The North which were tremendous. He then went on to become the world’s most phenomenal celebrity influencer and arguably the most famous Social media influencer but also demonstrated that to do that you have a raw or personal touch to engage with your followers. If you want to do well on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter or Youtube then he is the one to study. How did Simon do it?  He showed the world the way it should be done. Before it was hijacked and corrupted and the tool was put into the wrong hands, misused and abused. 

In a world where the answer to the question of “How long do you think it would take to drive the world crazy?”  The answer was given during the worst Pandemic the world has faced in recent memory. The Black Lives Matter campaign brought unvaccinated and non socially distancing humans from every walk of life and some of them even brought their children with them as thousands took to the streets to protest. Not since the mourning and surge of grief when HRH Princess Diana was tragically killed in that tunnel in Paris. Where a carpet of flowers over two feet deep stretched from Trafalgar Square all the way down the Mall and right to the gates of Buckingham Palace. Not since then had so many been seen gathered together in a single cause. I am making no comments about the merits or lack thereof of either of those events. I am merely sharing my observations. It was quite extraordinary. We had been in lockdown for three months at that time I believe. 

Yet again they are representative of how tools mankind had invented to make our lives easier were being used for different purposes. To facilitate these events and spread the message from one side of the globe to the other in minutes. Which fanned the flames of fear, and polarised so many people. 

Machines are not taking over the world yet. Despite what Mr Musk believes. They might think so if we let them. If we continue to feed data into the machine in the global factory known as Google. Which was perhaps one of the first instances I was aware of where a noun morphed into a verb. These tools can be used to bring us closer together or to drive us further apart. When ideas that do not serve the current narrative or political ideology or simply cancelled. Not given any credence or energy expounded. In the same way that lives are lost when there is a sudden need to get to the exit doors as quickly as possible because a madman is shooting at you. More lives are lost through being crushed underfoot as they stumble into a stampede of terrified animals. The herd continued running causing even more damage. 

I remember my ex when we were living together in the Penthouse apartment in Birmingham during the pandemic who would huff and puff and protest bitterly about me insisting on doing the dishes and emptying the bins before going to bed. My reply was this: “I do these things not to make you feel uncomfortable or guilty. I wish I had that kind of influence sometimes but it simply isn’t possible. I do it because when I get up in the morning it lifts my spirits to see clean, tidy surfaces reflecting the sunlight on days where the cloud cover was thin enough. It brings a smile to my face and sets me up to begin my day with an attitude of gratitude. So what if I’m tired from the trials of the day?  Is that a good enough reason to not do it? Not in my mind. To do things when you don’t feel like it is one of the most important lessons that I’ve learned in my life. There is a power that comes through being true to your beliefs and your being the man that understands the importance of keeping your commitments and a person who respects and honours the principle of accepting responsibility for everything that I do, say, think or emote. That my decisions are given a great deal of thought before I make them. That I hear the words from my mother that I continue to make her proud and that I can stand in the world with my shoulders back and head held high. 

So that when someone with malice aforethought breaks my heart she is there to help me through the pain. To do all in her power to support me as I make decisions that will begin the healing process and I can turn the page and begin a new and exciting chapter of my life.

I love technology but I love people more. I love myself more. The tools at my disposal have helped me develop strategies and what I call “Pathways To Peace” which I wrote about recently. Which to me keeps me sane. Although those who know me well know that it is debatable. It keeps me connected. That allows me to be present and live in the moment as much as I am able. That affords me to sleep peacefully in my bed as I struggle like so many others to live in a world that has gone batshit crazy. I can’t do very much about that but what I can do is continue to live my life in the best way I know how. Remembering that you’re only out when you’re down and you don’t get back up. For me that is highly unlikely to happen by choice. Life may throw me a curve ball at any moment and have me flat on my back in seconds.No matter how many times you get knocked on your arse you get back up as quickly as you can. The day you don’t will be the day you can mark as the beginning of the end. 

As always I welcome any and all comments as long as you are not a dick about it. Is this the kind of subject that I should be writing about?  Are there others that you would prefer or be interested to know my view on?  You just hit the comment button that now floats on every screen you land on. I’ve told you loads about me but I feel I know so little about you. What’s your story?  

As always I am on Facebook and I tweet and of course I have my very own piece of cyberspace for my website. Links below. I encourage you to share with anyone that you feel would appreciate my writing and keeping up with me and what is going on in my neck of the woods. Until we connect again take care. Be safe. Support one another and peace be with you all. 

#0033 When Push Comes To Shove

A blog by Tom Gale Jul ’22

Firstly I want to precid what I’m about to tell you. There’s no way to sugar this pill. I was assaulted, about a month ago. As you can see I’ve lived to tell the tale. There is no cause for concern. Thanks to the work of two Police Officers from the Greater Manchester Police Force who came to the premises taking swift and decisive action. To apprehend the culprit and escort them from the premises. 

Here’s the kicker though. Brace yourselves. The culprit was the partner of a good friend. Someone that I had known for the better part of three years. Someone with whom I have laughed and cried. We’ve gone clubbing together in our local danceteria until the wee hours. We’ve even shared a bed together. Only because neither of us had the strength to move a muscle having collapsed with exhaustion, still giggling from memories of a fun packed evening. 

So how did my friend’s partner become the perpetrator of an assault?  Funny you should ask. I was about to tell you. It’ll take a while but you should be used to that by now. After all, that isn’t why you are here. 

As this was a “common assault” Common assault is when an individual inflicts violence or (interestingly) makes them think they are going to be attacked. This is referred to as a “battery” so strictly speaking I was battered. Which is something I remember was in the vernacular of Niddrie. Where I was brought up in Edinburgh. My brother or sister often using the phrase “Oh you’re going to get battered.” Having once more come up with a lie to get me in trouble with my mum and dad. 

So my friend’s partner could have been charged with “assault by beating” This does not mean however that I was actually beaten up, or even hit or kicked. It can mean that the victim (yours truly) was pushed, grabbed or spat at. 

We’d been having a great catch up. It was lovely to see my friends again. Particularly after everything that happened with my partner and I splitting up. My friend has surprised me with a present. A pair of Andrew Christian briefs. Pink with yellow trim. They fitted perfectly. In fact I’ll go so far as to say I’ve never had a pair of underpants that fitted so well. My friend decided that he would do a ‘shoot’ to mark the occasion. We had such a hoot as he was posing in many ways while he clicked away with the camera. 

We were having such a great time we decided to keep it going and go into town. All three of us. My friend looked fit as,  so I told him so. Considering the last time I’d seen him he looked like death warmed over. He was gaunt and his skin had a rather unbecoming grey palour. 

We went to one of our favourite bars. A men only establishment in the Gay Village. It was busy but we managed to find a booth and settled with our drinks. The conversation flowed easily and we reminisced and had each other in stitches whilst also flirting outrageously. My friend had caught the attention of a rather rugged and muscled guy with kind eyes. So I got him to come join us. My friends decided to take him home with them and invited me. He had too much to drink though and he didn’t last long before falling asleep. We didn’t let it spoil our fun though and we kept the party going into the wee hours. 

His partner had also gone to bed as he was working the next day. They left together in the morning. I made coffee.

“I noticed last night that (let’s call him K) K didn’t buy a round all night nor did he put anything or even offer anything towards the taxi fares.”

“He doesn’t get paid for another couple of weeks.”

“Ah right. I see.”

“But you know what I do pay for quite a lot.” Said (let’s call him M) M.

“And you gave him money for the bus.” 

M’s eyebrow lifted as he took a sip of his coffee. 

“I don’t do it all the time.” M replied. Which, reading between the lines meant that he did. 

“But he’s working and you’re on benefits?” 

“Yeah but it’s fine. It’s not an issue.”

An awkward silence ensued for a few moments which felt much longer. I shouldn’t have said anything. God me and my big mouth. Why don’t you see if you can open it wider and fit both feet in. I thought, chastising my inappropriateness. 

“I shouldn’t have brought it up. It’s none of my business.” 

“Don’t be daft. If our friendship can’t withstand a little probing out of concern for my welfare then it doesn’t say much about the friendship.” replied M. 

“I’d been looking forward to a bit of probing all weekend.”

We laughed and M almost choked on the coffee which sputtered onto the table. I got up to get some paper towels from the kitchen. 

“Aw thank you. You are so thoughtful.” said M. “I did have a wicked thought though.” he continued. 

“Do tell.” I encouraged. 

“We should teach him a lesson.” 

“In what way.”

“Well I could tell him that we’re keeping the party going and we’ve been on the apps and planning to have some extra curricular activities.”

“If only he wasn’t stuck at work…” I mocked gently. 

“If only.” echoed M. 

At which point we both broke down in laughter.

“You do realise that this could potentially blow up in your face.” I cautioned. 

“Yeah but it’ll giggle.”

“Well if you’re sure then you know I’m in.” 

We didn’t get very far as I noticed that M was beginning to lose steam and went for a lie down. So we didn’t really get very far with our ruse. Or at least that’s what I thought. In the next few minutes there was a flurry of messages from K. Mainly about money. It was the final one that got me. In it were the security pass code of M’s mobile. 

“Just go into M’s phone. Then go into xxxx app using these details. (security details of the app) and then send my three pounds.”  I couldn’t believe my eyes. I was shocked and stunned. This was not a wind up. He was serious.

My reply was short and to the point.

“No K I won’t be doing that because what you are asking is fraud and by asking me you are encouraging me to commit fraud. Which in the eyes of the law is a very serious offence.”

“Tom I am tired…I need to get home after work. I am not going to walk home my legs are in pain. This morning M promised to send me money. Sorry for upsetting you.” 

I got M up from his nap and had to break the horrible news to him. He was in bits. 

He continued to message. 

“I am getting worried now. You’ve upset my feelings. It was rude of you to cut me off. If my bf has collapsed you have to call an ambulance.”

“He hasn’t collapsed, I just spoke to him. He won’t let me in the room. He’s devastated.”

“You lost your bf and we’ve put you up. You should go home before I come back from work. I want to be with my bf. Nothing personal but almost three days. It’s a bit long. You need to rest Tom.”

“Funny, those are almost the same words that my ex used on me. Thanks for the advice. I’m not emotional. I’m appalled at the disgraceful way you have treated M.”

“I think you should calm down and let me speak with M. I never thought that you would imprison M in his own home and not let him speak to me.”

“I’m here for my friend M. He is not a prisoner. He is devastated that you would try to steal from him behind his back.” 

As M was at this point sobbing his heart out in the bedroom. I decided to call a close personal friend of both M and I. Let’s call her B. 

She was shocked and stunned when I explained what had happened and she got in a cab and came straight over.  For the next hour or so she consoled M.  He could barely speak through the tears and sobbing. 

He made his wishes clear that he didn’t want K back in the house. I told him I would handle it. I found a piece of wood to wedge the door closed. Sent a message to K asking him to call when he was downstairs and I would come down with a change of clothes. 

He didn’t call. He came straight to the door. Caught me off guard and forced his way into the apartment. M was in the room behind me being comforted by B and yelling that he didn’t want him there. I stood between them. 

He pushed me. I resisted him. He pushed again. This time with a force that took me by surprise. The next moment I was laying on the floor and my shoulder was in pain as it had struck the door frame and scraped it when I was thrust down to the ground. He then stepped over me to get to M and B. It was at that point that I called the police and went downstairs to wait. Reeling from the shock of what had just happened. 

As I said earlier the officers took quick and decisive action. When I came in K and one officer were in one of the bedrooms. M, B and the other office were in the living room and I joined them. The officer asked me a few questions then asked if I wanted to press charges. Explaining that I could take up to a month. To make up my mind fully and didn’t have to commit to anything there and then. I chose to do that. My head just wasn’t in the right place to make that decision. 

B gave me some good advice. “You need to get some distance between M and K for a little while and let the dust settle.”  

After everything that I had been through with my ex and now this. I only knew one thing that I will not have anything more to do with that man.  There are few things that I have a zero tolerance for. Physical violence is one of them. 

So there you go. The harrowing tale of how my friend’s bf battered me. All for the sake of a few pounds. 

#0028 500 Flash Fiction 5 Jul 21 : Windows vs doors


Love to hear what you think of it.

I can see a difference between that and something I wrote a few days ago.


I’m pleased that I am still able to find the odd moment to write despite recent changes in my circumstances.

#0027 Hallelujah I’m In!

A blog by Tom Gale 20 Jun 2022

Now I know that there are some of you that have read the title and sniggered. Yes I’m talking to you at the back. Don’t think I can’t see or hear you. It really is very childish you know. Moving on.

A week I did something that I try not to do. I allowed myself to get my hopes up as the agent that has been managing the letting of my house when I moved to Birmingham. She had given me her assurance that should would make sure that I get back into my house. Despite the fact that the tenants had been given noticer to quit in Feb 2022 and it is now June had been saying they are looking every day but haven’t been able to find anywhere to move to.

I didn’t have a lot of sympathy for them. First because of the notice period. Then the fact that I was able to pack, move, store and book Airbnb accomodation in a week. As well as secure a contract for three months work. Their contract had ended at the end of May. Anyway she had left a voicemail saying that I could got to their office on Saturday 12 June 2022. I called the office before heading over and spoke with the Saturday girl. Who informed she had spoken to the tenants and they haven’t been able to book a van. They haven’t brought the keys and it will most likely be Tue or Wed or the coming week when they do.

I’m not proud of myself but I got a little short with the girl on the phone offering different suggestions as to get the keys today as it wasn’t my fault. I want to move into my house. She wouldn’t budge. So I called a friend to come with me. To be a level head and asked him to take me to the office.

We had the devil of a time getting past the concierge never mind any further. He wouldn’t let us go up to the agent’s offices. We did eventually. The door was open so we walked in giving the Saturday girl a bit of fright.

“how did you get in here?”

“Erm the door was open so we pushed it and came in.”

She was clearly a bit rattled. Which I believed I had played a part in when I was short with her earlier. The first thing that I did was to offer my apologies. I shouldn’t have done that. There is no excuse. I’m very sorry. I upset. She accepted my apology.

For the next 20mins we went round in circles a bit. Me providing her with at least three actions that she could have taken to be in with a change of getting my keys back that day. The trouble was that the agent who left the voicemail clearly stating that it was to be today she kept repeating this “I’ve spoken with the___” I was becoming more and more frustrated and really having to bite my tongue. I asked her to ring the manager but she said she was on leave today and couldn’t. I tried to persuade her but to no avail. There was a cough. (my friend trying to catch my attention) and I looked in the direction it came from and my friend was shaking his head. The shake was very subtle. More of a little wobble from side to said. I took the hint. The one thing that she had said she would do would be drop a letter through the tenants door. Take a photo and send it to me. She never did. The other thing that I noticed was that she had not apologised to me at all.


My friend knows me only too well and made me make him a promise whilst walking across the car park.

“Promise me that you will not go back there.”

“Today you mean?”

“You never well what I mean Thomas.” That was when I knew that he was deadly serious. Using my Sunday name.

So it was Wednesday before I picked up the keys. Actually I had received another voicemail from the agent on the Monday to say that I could pick them up at the reception where their offices are. I didn’t get the message as something else happened.

What that was and why it caused a delay in picking up the keys is a story that I will share with you another time.

Suffice to say that it has been a trying time over the past few days.

However the great news is that I have finally been able to move back into my house move out of the Airbnb I’d been in for the past four weeks. Get it all into the car the evening I was due to check out.

Until our paths cross again. Peace.


#0012 Best Interview Ever

Best Interview Ever. 

Years ago I was going through a challenging time in my life.  I was jobless. 

I didn’t like it at all. I was jobless for a long time and the indications in my grannies tea-leaves were not great. I know, I thought to myself one morning.  I’ll give myself a job.  Not one that would be recognised by those I had to report to. 

I got around that rather easily as it turned out. I found a more important person to report to.  I got in touch with my inner self. 

My approach was going to be one of deep humility and gratitude. As I believe these are characteristics valued highly on the whole. 

I decided to keep it very simple. 

Tell Them Why I Am Attending.

Explain What That Means To Me

Thank Them For Allowing Me The Time To Explain. 

On the day we met up I was filled with mostly positive emotions and thoughts. I’d rested and hydrated and had gotten my comments with only the words that felt right.

We hadn’t met for many many years and I’m sure we had both changed. So no talk about the past. 

I chose this; Going for  not too familiar nor distant tone and feel. Honest in the moment 

“You don’t know much about me as we’ve never really been formally introduced.  I’m Tom and I’m excited to be here today.  Thank you for accepting my invitation.

Currently I am jobless. I need to change that.  I have what I think is a radical not often used solution.  

I have given myself a job.  One that I have given a lot of thought to and seek your approval of. 

My job is to put a smile on as many different faces as I can manage from now until I die. 

I do this because I have become convinced that there isn’t a face on the planet that cannot be improved by a smile. A theory that I have tested in a variety of conditions. (Details can be provided on request)

My inner self didn’t say anything but they glowed in what I believed to be loving approval. 

It was one of the defining interviews of my life. 

So now when I’m asked what I do.  I whisper I’ll tell you as long as you promise to keep it to yourself.  Deal?  

#0010 Here They Come Again

Yes I know it’s from the film but come on those smiles. Artistic licence?

Or should I say “And Just Like That” I’m referring to Sarah Jessica Parker, Cynthia Nixon and Kristin Davis aka Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte the characters Candace Bushell wrote about in her novel Sex And The City in 1997, which Darren Star brought to life in the TV series the following year and ran for six seasons until 2004. Then 2 movies in 2008 and 2010. Set in New York four girlfriends in their mid-thirties (one was 40) each with very different personalities who shared everything that happened to them, especially their sex lives. Sharing their laughter, tears, anger, frustration, bewilderment, drunkenness, betrayal, failures and successes. A great soundtrack, gorgeous fashion, dazzling shoes and so much eye candy, bitchy comments and zinging one liners and more sex, a lot more. Can you tell that I was a huge fan yet? Mostly the eye candy but also as I was trying to find out who I was as a gay man there was so much I could relate to.

They are more or less in the same place we saw them over 10 years ago. They can all afford to have work done but good old Miranda is sporting a shaped silver hair do. You know Miranda and Cynthia ‘keeping it real’ except for her little lad. Who’s not little anymore. He’s a teenager with all the usual affetes. Raging hormones, bad hair and skin from no sunlight because his girlfriend is there who is most likely a nympho. Difficult to tell from mumbles and sound bites. Miranda’s reaction to all of this is to shake her head saying to the room “these conversations are going to need more coffee.”

Carrie and Big still ridiculous in love. And the Park Avenue Charlotte is still married to her rich, understanding and thoughtful, just wanting a quiet life lawer husband. Her greatest worry is that Miranda had alcohol on her breath and it was only 9am.

Where’s who? Oh Samantha? Yeah weird one. They have cleverly scripted her to be in London. They all had a huge falling out. Carrie said she “tried and tried” and Miranda confirmed it. You just know there’s more to it. She’s gone. Moving on.

The most noticeable difference is I felt that SITC was really very white. Which wasn’t as big an issue then as it is now. So there been an injection of ethnicities and of course theologies and you get the picture.

I’m trying to love it like I did but SITC but something just doesn’t sit right. It feels to be trying a bit too hard to remember all the PC written and unwritten. I do feel that the new characters are tropes and not fully realised. It also feels like they realised they needed to jolt their baby up. Which is done by creating a shock moment. But to be honest there is so much signaling of the moment you can see it coming from a mile off. It is an OK effort but maybe it hasn’t that much to say anymore. Others do it way better.

So will I bother again. Maybe, but I have so much on now not sure when.

Have you seen it? What did you think?

I didn’t want to go down the usual Valentine route. There will undoubtedly be loads of single women. Maybe separated/ divorced, just out of a long hopeless affair, or recovering from illness or dependancy, or transitioning and let’s not forget the same goes for men. Who will be more likely to overeat, get plastered and go through lord only knows number of tissue boxes and quite unpleasant take-away food. But who will also have their girl buds on one of the chat room apps or phone or right there holding a hand or maybe holding hair as fresh convulsions eject more of their dna into the porcelain.

#0009 Comment Responses

28 Jan 2022

This came from Lad in Manchester. He asked me if I was considering a place where my contributors and readers could display stuff they have created across the genres?

My honest was no Lad I wasn’t but I am now. Great suggestion thank you.

Update: Gallery is now active so share with me. I am also going to venture into another genre as my partner gave me a beautiful set of colour pencils for Christmas. I now know what to do with them. I will decorate my website with my own colour illustrations.

There are other pages too I want to get away from the usual page titles and make them more meaningful here so keep them coming. I will promise to read, ponder and respond to every comment.

#0008 My Awards For Heroes of 2021

Drum roll while I open the envelope.

OMAG would you credit it a three way split everyone. “Cyril be a love and put in an order for 2 identical awards so they don’t have to share.” Thank you.

In no particular order are:

Dr Jordan B Peterson

Joe Rogan and wait for it, wait for it

Douglas Murray

Three voices that in MHO are clarion voices that have cut through the cacophony of madness. Which is how I see the world.

Who am I? Nobody yet just an LGBTQ+ writer living and working in Birmingham, England. At a time where I had resigned myself to a life of living single but blessed with awesome friends. Saw a face in an online room. A face with a smile that could generate enough power to supply energy to a small town for a year beamed and caught my eye. I didn’t know his name but I felt drawn to him in a way I’d never had before. Long story short. We are stupid in love. Wearing matching engagement rings and live together and find ways to be silly. Wedding is in May and then we’re off to a new country as my well beloved business is going global. I will get to attend soirées where when asked who I am. Will point to the well beloved. You see him? I am the man behind the man. Just as behind every good hetero man there’s a good woman. Or, life will throw a curveball and we won’t. We’ll be together so either is good.

These three heroes have been a part of them because I am a better partner because of the things they have said. As they go to the core of my beliefs. I will be a better husband because of them. Thank you gentleman and keep up the great work.

Special mention to Will Smith for his interesting view and personal measure of successs. Which Mark Manson his ghost writer spoke about in his blog recently. A beautiful simple truth held deeply that touched me and moved me.

Oh come now did you really expect me to simply show it to you? You should know me better than that by now. To those who put in the effort they will be gain their reward. It may very well come to have more impact too.

Do you have your similar list? Share it with me please I’d love to know.

#0006 New Year Resolution 2022 and Every Year Thereafter

Free picture (Macro snow Happy New Year 2022 Design Layout Template) from https://torange.biz/fx/design-layout-template-2022-year-snow-happy-new-macro-212686

I’ve written thousands of words trying to find out if I had anything new to say on this subject. After editing and rewriting I found its truth.

May I find strength today to take another step. A step in a direction I know is progress. Then tomorrow when I report to my inner self. I can truthfully say “I am better now than I was before.”

As my inner self and I sit together in humility and gratitude, reflecting on these gifts and blessings, I will connect with that power to give me hope I can do it again. Whilst dreaming of wonders that may come.

Being human and full of faults I know I will often fall short. Something may happen that I have no control over. If/ when it does, I will do all in my power, as quickly as possible, to return to peace. Then, with a gift of self love smile and get on my way again. 

#0005 Will I Ever Get Published?

Sounds like the lyrics to a not so great pop tune in the early 1980s when will I, will I get published? Ooo ohhhh. 

It is in fact a paraphrase of a tweet I read. The writer then went on to say that they had been writing a book for five years. Although it doesn’t say whether it was fiction or nonfiction or even hint at what genre it was. What they did say was it hadn’t sold a single copy. They hope one day that they will get an editor to look it through. Then lamented about how much money they had spent on it. 

It got me thinking if I was a friend to this person what could I say that may help them.

Of course to get there I had to go through a process of a dozen things that I could do that would not be helpful. 

The most obvious unhelpful thing would be to point out that my writer friend’s comments is a bit like a great chef. One who has trained for years and worked their butt off to become a great chef,  producing food that he felt could be served to royalty or at least some A list celebrities. So he creates a room to put out this banquet. He refuses to tell anyone about the room or the wonderful mouthwatering ingredients used or the hours of preparation. So the food is never eaten and the medal from grateful patrons isn’t awarded but the thoughts of how he hoped it would still haunt his dreams.  I really felt that would be a really crap thing to say and really not helpful. 

Neither did I feel it would be helpful to mention that in the US there are somewhere between 600,000 and 1,000,000 books published every year, depending on which stats you use. Now there may possibly be half of those that are self published and are likely to sell about 250 copies. Especially if you are a complete unknown. Michelle Obama on the other hand is going to knock that into a cocked hat and so is Brittany. We all hope that isn’t going to happen. They said that about Trump becoming President and Brexit. So I bear that in mind. 

Then again there are the stories that come from nowhere that resonate with the Zeitgeist and go on to sell millions. Remember that story about a young boy who is actually a wizard?  I’m guessing that can happen, but the odds are stacked against you. I’m not sure that any of that would be helpful either so that hit the bin. 

I think this is almost helpful. Traditionally published books still overwhelmingly dominate the physical market, as well as nearly half of the digital market. 

Yeah, there is a market that is true and it is thriving. That’s two positive things. 

And___traditional publishers are also the best way handsdown to get your book into a bookstore, an actual building with doors and customers mingling as they deliberate over their next read. 

I could almost feel a bit of momentum building up as I found something else. If you are writing non-fiction the traditional way is much faster and there is less need for a finished and edited manuscript. 

I take a timeout aka making a couple of phone calls to his inner circle and discover they are writing fiction. My hopes rose and almost immediately dashed when their inner circle contact confirmed it wasn’t literary fiction. I cursed knowing that now I couldn’t let them know that literary fiction also does well through the traditional publishing route. 

Then I am struck with a flash of inspiration. Writer friend, I think I know what to say that will help you. Let me ask you this, are you or are you not a writer?  They confirm that they are. 

Now does writing also include activities such as thinking about writing, reading about writing and creating a notebook filled with prompts to inspire writing. To which I said ‘Bloody excellent’ (BOOM Mic drop and writer friend exits stage left). 

‘OK friend of mine I have always valued our friendship because you’re the one that never fails to find a silver lining no matter what. What the actual fuck friend?’

Naturally I’m crushed that my flash moment has fizzled to barely a spark. However I take a deep breath, smile and hoped that they felt me giving out vibes of only love and positivity. 

Publisher. Did you seriously miss the fact that of all the words that I used to describe you as a writer please tell me how many were Publisher.

Then I saw with my own eyes my lovely writer friend have a light bulb moment followed by what may well have been shame. I keep smiling and sending more vibes of nothing but positivity. 

So did I find something that was helpful or not? He lost his words after that and so we went with a bear hug instead. I took that as a yes. 

By way of a PS I felt that a followup email was appropriate. 

Look, all the stuff the other day. I meant every word of it and I’m so happy that I was able to find something helpful for you. 

Putting that aside for a moment let me give you some rhetorical questions that I think will seal the deal. No more statistics, no more market talk or spending any further time on things that are not writing. 

If you broke your story down to the bare bones would it reveal that it was structurally and thematically sound?

Is it compelling and filled with inspiration and shows you are a good writer?

On the websites and socials of your top three are there sufficient indicators to provide you with assurance that your story fits with their recent publications or happen to specialise in your genre?

If you can answer YES to yourself on all of the above then just those factors alone make it likely your manuscript is going to be one  of those in the 10% that an editor or publisher are choosing to invest a bit more work on.

Lastly I just have to tell you that I couldn’t be more proud of you as a friend of mine that has written an actual book. Do you have any idea how many weeks I can eat out on that fact alone not even if I don’t know the answers to any of the questions above.  

Love you writer friend.