Month: August 2014

Cover of ‘The Seasons’ Revealed…

The next best thing to seeing your new book in print is seeing its cover. Hence, my excitement about revealing the cover of my collection of short stories, The Seasons, coming in late October.

Ultimately, their journey is a quest to find the truth. A collection of eight short stories, The Seasons explores the human condition from youth to maturity via extraordinary characters, albeit ordinary people, who pass from spring to summer, from innocence to exuberance. And when autumn comes, they mature and persevere towards winter, almost intuitively, regardless of their extenuating circumstances.

For advanced information about The Seasons, feel free to email me here.

Take Seven: Running to Switch Off…

Running time is meant to be time for me, myself and I to escape the stresses of family life, work etc. That means no writing, except for when I am running to jumpstart writing. For the most part, however, I run to switch off – not an easy feat for an author, particularly one on deadline.

Thank goodness nowadays I am not on a major writing deadline. Though I have a new book coming in October, the writing of it has long passed. The editorial process is upon me. Yet while running one morning recently, truly believing that I was in the escape zone, I found myself writing figuratively, at least coming up with story lines or bits that would be useful to scenes, chapters, etc. at some point.

When I realised what I was doing, I couldn’t help laugh to myself and in doing so I decided to capture the moment. Why not make the most of it, share top story ideas I happened upon while running. Take seven:

  1. A trail of fresh blood leading from the walls of the Embankment to the pavement, which disappears into the earth suddenly. While I am no sleuth, that has to be one worth investigating.
  2. Three buxom men, dressed in black, wearing earpieces as they pace up and down a certain part of the Thames Path. They don’t look fighting fit like undercover agents to be honest, so just who the heck are they?
  3. The man dressed in a crumpled suit, grasping a beer bottle as he wandered to the edge of the river. At one point I expected him to walk right in, but he stopped suddenly and stared unblinkingly at the ground. Then he found a piece of wood and dropped down on it. What is or was his story?
  4. The yappy dog that longs to have a round with the Great Dane, who ignores him rather intuitively it seems. Does he understand that he is cruising for a bruising?
  5. The boot camp female runner who wears black gear and a massive backpack, as she tears along the boardwalk. All she needs is a splash of camouflage underneath her eyes to get fully into character. Everything else about her already says Private Benjamin.
  6. The barefooted runner who jogs up and down the boardwalk on the coldest of days, despite the worry of shattered glass, nails, whatever, and on some days he runs along the road. Most recently, I saw him hotfoot it in the rain. What is that about?
  7. The middle aged Englishman who practices Tai Chi rather clumsily but happily. You have to admire the guy.


Actually, I appreciate them all, even if they do distract me, with exception of the blood. That worries me. Never mind! Who needs to switch off anyhow? Not this writer. Time to switch on and deal with these edits – The Seasons, coming October 2014.

Expat Caught in the Congestion Zone

Westminster…argh! Actually, I love the borough, lived in it for twelve of the nearly seventeen years I have been in London. But I hate driving there, with the exception of Belgravia and Knightsbridge. Hate it! And they must hate drivers like me coming there, too—not sure whether to zoom or potter. All we want is a parking space, just one.

Hence, the congestion zone – that ought to keep us out. I thought so too, but today I went inside the controlled zone, unintentionally, of course. Blinking Sat Nav. Someone has to accept the blame.

If only I had listened to my gut instinct, I would have parked in my old neighbourhood and walked to my destination. Oh no, I thought I could get right to the edge of the zone, sit the car down and walk merrily to Run and Become.

Not only did I end up blocks away from the store, but also when I at last got there, the shop was closed for staff holidays. If only I had listened to my gut instinct, I would have telephoned  in advance. But honestly, who has ever heard of such a shop closing in the height of running season?

Okay, it is the end of the summer but my current shoes are so out of date that it is no longer funny. As much as I run, I am told that I could do with a new pair of shoes every three months. Forget it, maybe every six months, but the truth is, I haven’t bought any since last June or July. No wonder my feet are not amused, my knees either.

Never mind, I still have to pay this charge of  £11.50 on top of the £2.00 that I paid to park. Ouch that’s more than $22. Not to mention the petro. And forget about all the time I planned to save by taking the car. I lost that driving around, looking for parking and then walking to the closed shop.

So what would a train fare have been? I dare not say.  But all is not lost, not really. I had a sightseeing tour around Westminster, finally saw where the St James Park tube station is, and passed by the New Scotland Yard. Also, I saw numerous trendy coffee shops. Under different circumstances, I might have tried out at least one.

But anxious to get out of dodge, I settled for stopping into Boots, the chemist, for some eye drops of all things. There, I can see clearly now. So I am told there is a great running shop in Kensington, nowhere near the congestion zone. Settled, out of it at last.