Excuse Monkey

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Been a while since I posted!!

I keep starting my blogs with this statement and I sound like the perennial ‘excuse monkey’

That sounds like an interesting thing to be and when this thought came into my head I decided to Google to see if such a thing existed?

It didn’t so I will now copyright that idea ©excuse monkey.

An excuse monkey will therefore be defined as a procrastinator who seems to have a monkey on their back and that is who they blame for not getting on with things.

However this isn’t why I started to write today.

I looked back on my last blog and have continued to write various pieces which I think I will put in my brand new, new book.

This isn’t a typo as I have new book which about to be published on Amazon (more about that later) but I will need to make a start on the next one.

Some more good news!!

  1. We have celebrated my daughter (and son in law’s) wedding.
  2. The local drama club have managed to perform their pantomime (late due to Covid 19)
  3. We have survived COVID 19 infections in various family members.

I am feeling less pessimistic which is helpful as it means that I feel able write a bit more.

The new writing group has continued to meet and we have had some more people join us. The tasks have challenged me (for the positive) so for one, I took a risk and wrote a rap based on marriage.

I am seen as a mid 50’s rock loving guy (well I admit to listening to other stuff too) but RAP music is not normally in my ‘wheelhouse’

My weird inspiration was, whilst listening to Spotify I heard Buddy Holly and then Eminem in succession. These are not the usual combinations I listen to but I then put some of the words on paper/ my phone.

I initially shared what was written a fortnight ago and then wrote more ideas based on the constructive thoughts/ feedback (not harsh criticism) received from my fellow writers.

I then performed this rap at the latest Spoken Word (The Innerverse) on Weds 29th and was given very positive feedback from the ‘experts.’ I plan to perform it again and this time I’ll do it much better!

Four weeks ago I took the plunge and delivered a workshop on Limerick Writing which stimulated others to write further limericks. Because of this I had to write a few new ones to share at The Innerverse. Again this was received very well. Nowadays I am being introduced as the “Limericks Expert” but I feel I have imposter syndrome about this but it is nice to know that I am able to share my knowledge/ skills to fellow writers.

I also spoke about contranyms  which I illustrated by this old joke I DIDN’T share at the above wedding.

“When a man doesn’t have a partner he is incomplete, when he gets one, he is FINISHED”

A contranym is a word that can have opposite meanings dependant on the circumstances.

“To dust can either mean to add or to remove dust”

As I mentioned before, I have put the final (well almost) touches to my latest book.

Two years ago, my son in law wished me a happy birthday with the words “Joetry in Motion” and used the throwaway comment, that would make a good title for a book.

Well that is what I have used, so thanks Lee Hall (www.leehallwriter.com ) who is not the Lee Hall who wrote Billy Elliot.

I will publish the book over the next few weeks so keep a look out for notifications and hopefully you may want to purchase a copy.

Let’s see if I can keep up this effort and write something on this blog next week!!

Writing Again (part 1)

Hi all,

Sometimes you just have to get on with it when an ideas comes into your head.

I haven’t decided what kind of novel writer that I am because this is the first time that I have attempted to do so.

In my fantasy mind, I saw myself ‘splurging’ the words onto the page and all the ideas neatly forming paragraphs. I would then go back and edit.

The reality is that as I have written I have had so many ideas that I have had to stop and make a plan.

One tip I took on was to write the whole story in 100 words.

you then break the sentences up and write 100 words or so around each sentence.

I found that I could do some of this for some sentences and others just remained sentences.

I realised also that my story spanned decades with ‘flashbacks’ or explanations so I had to do a timeline whereby I worked out the age of each character at various parts of other characters lives. As wrote, I added to the timeline to ensure that I was able to ‘remind myself.’ I also have realised that I should have done ‘ biographies’ of each character which I could then use/ alter as I wrote.

Luckily this is informing me what sort of writer I am.

I am disorganised but am able to take myself by the ‘scruff of the neck’ and organise myself.

However you need to be able to have an initial outline of the story written down which you can then follow/ change as your book evolves. You should also keep a note of your influences (songs, tv programmes, pictures) so that you ensure that you are able to ‘describe’ the feelings they elicited for your writing. Some of my influences are songs I heard on the way to work which have ‘filled out’ the feelings of the characters’ or just formed part of the timeline of memories to describe the mood.

You need to remind yourself occasionally to check that some of the lyrics of the songs have not turned into chunks of dialogue to prevent plagiarising popular artists and getting yourself into trouble.

My immediate reflection so far is there is no formula for being a successful writer, or hard and fast rules. sometimes you may need to stop, take a deep breath and then review. you may be on the right track but retracing your writing steps may help you to find some beauty which got ignored as you rushed in.

So far 9 chapters named, an outline written, a timeline, idea for a cover. the book has 10,000 words which will be divided up again into the chapters.

When I have written a bit more I will share the title and the ‘blurb

New Book Marketing

 It’s time to do some marketing of my new book.

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Marketing feels like a dirty word to the artist in me who thinks of themselves as a ‘lone poet’ looking at the world going round seeking inspirations from life.

I have imagined that people visualise in their minds eye the poet sitting in the garret, feeling tortured by thoughts as the words that should be inscribed onto the paper do not flow as they should.

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There is a reality to this as ordinarily I would be out there at various venues performing my words and getting the vibes from others which I would translate into verses of ‘wonder’ (my view). I would be then getting the views/ feedback of others around me to criticise or corroborate the truth of that self-illusion.

Lockdown due to the corona virus pandemic has sadly robbed me of this imagined workshop of dreams and passions.

Onto much more brighter things now.

During 2019 and at the beginning of 2020 I was performing and writing my words and have decided that it is time to share some of my words with you.

I have been working on Book 3 which you, my kind followers can purchase for the small price of the imagined pint of beer which we would have been enjoying together.

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If you are more tech minded, then you can even download onto your Kindle for a lower price.

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Last year I was torn between a couple of titles, but I have decided on the quirky question

“Poetry for the end of the decade?”

Why did I choose this? It seems a strange phrase.

For me this had the 2 meanings.

  1. that at the end of decades there is always the query whether the decade ends on the 0 year which is going back to the millennium debate of many years ago.
  2. people really want to get away from 2020 and call it a non-year.

I don’t want to indulge in the debate (2019 ended the decade as far as I am concerned) but I can understand why we really want to start again given what has happened in the 366 days of 2020.

2021 certainly feels like a new beginning and in the words of JFK those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. … The truth is you don’t know what is going to happen tomorrow. Life is a crazy ride.

We are looking forward to our crazy ride but at the time of writing we must remain careful.

However never erase your past. …


The Romans recognised that there needs to be a period of reflecting before change. The god Janus is the gateway between looking back and looking forward, hence my graphic

Anyway watch this space for future news