It is a whirlwind in here



Book Wins “It Made Me Think Youth Award” From Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards [Edited]

My long-suffering Elephant (if one can be classed as long-suffering while having the ear of God) has one a “It Made Me Think” Award from The Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards,  Canada 2022 . Blessed Be! say I.

The Elephant stories were a joy to write, but i really had to stop when The Elephant started asking God questions that the author could not answer,

Here is an interview and a reading from The Elephant Talks To God.

Here is where The Elephant Talks To God can be purchased.

Here is the information about the Digitally Lit Youth Choice Awards

And here are two short sections from The Elephant Talks To God, perhaps more appreciated by youth.

The elephant was a curious pachyderm, and followed his persistent quest with a guileless intensity.

     “More lucky than smart,” said some of the other elephants, as he blundered his way toward another piece of knowledge. They nodded their heads in his direction with the heavy weight of caution, and warned their small ones that too much thought would make them strange.

     “An elephant wades in water,” they would sagely say, “only if the mud hole is wide enough.”

     And the little ones would watch him, as they stood between the legs of their parents, and wish that they could follow.

Here, the Elephant helps in A Death Procession.

The elephant stood patiently, as if he were a rooted tree, counterbalancing the support of the elephant on the other side. There would be little distance to cover now, and soon the dying beast would just stop, and that would be the time to ease the body onto the ground, and wait until all breathing ended.

     “I know you,” said the old, old elephant.

     “Yes.” The elephant was both surprised and glad. “You helped my mother when she was ill. You looked after me a long time. You were a nurse to both of us.”

     “That has been my job with many, many calves.” The dying animal continued to take her slow, precise steps. “And I’ve outlived even some of them.” She breathed with difficulty. “As I’ve outlived my own.” She gulped for air. “So very long ago, it now seems.”

     “Yes,” said the elephant tentatively. He had not been expecting any conversation.

     “But you were different,” she muttered.

     “Well – I …” The elephant was gratified that she would remember him from all the others.

     “You were foolish.” The old elephant snorted, and made a noise which might have been a cracked laugh. “There was no making sense of you. No keeping up to you. I’d tell your mum that I wondered if she was sick because she couldn’t deal with you.”

     “That can’t be true.” The elephant was peeved. ” I never meant for any of — “

     “No. You never meant harm.” The old elephant stopped moving and turned her head. “That’s the way you were even then. You didn’t take the time to let me finish what I was going to tell you.”

     “Sorry,” said the elephant.

     “Yes – that’s familiar.” This time she did manage a distinct grunt of laughter. “Your mum and I both laughed at your antics. And also laughed as the rest of the herd shook their heads in dismay.” The old elephant started walking again. “The things you wanted to do and to see – too much for any elephant. Too much for any life. You never knew your place.”

     “I never found my place,” corrected the elephant.

     “Yes. That’s familiar, too.” She tried to laugh again, but it turned into a coughing fit. “You always had to contradict whatever was said to you.”

     “It always seemed to me,” said the elephant stubbornly, “that I was always told just part of the story.”

     “Most of us only know part of the story. Most of us are content with that.” She slowly lifted her trunk and rubbed it against the elephant’s ear. “But that was never going to satisfy you – with more questions than there are monkeys in the trees – as you went out searching and pestering.”

~ Dale Estey


A Change of Lifestyle Thanks to a Computer Hack

As far as I know, I clicked on a link to a site about Optical Illusions.

That froze my computer with a screen-sized warning, telling me that I had been hacked, and infected with a Trojan Horse Virus. The warning purported to be from Microsoft, and gave a phone number to call. There was no other avenue to follow, nothing to click on. I was also warned not to turn off the computer. But, with nothing else to do, I turned off the computer.

Two or three minutes later I turned the computer back on and the frozen screen was still there. Since I was not clicking anything on the screen (being unable to do so anyway), I called the number. I have since found out that 805 phone numbers are a favorite of scams.

At any rate, the situation on the other end of the call sounded exactly like the call centers which phone me for the usual scams. A jumble of background noises and voices that sound as if the people are in a huge warehouse. I questioned the authenticity of the situation with the speaker immediately. The proof he offered was for me to hang up and he would call right back. Which, of course, proved nothing.

So, after a couple of minutes of this, I hung up and I turned off the computer. I phoned my computer shop. I was told I was hacked and to bring in the machine.

And thus, three days later, I have a cleansed machine, information about hacks I did not know, and the news that even my computer expert has been hacked (once by going to a story in The Guardian Newspaper). He also told me that had I waited a day, the screen would have unfrozen on its own, but I would not know if something had been downloaded into my computer.

So, here I am, with everything seemingly fine.

But, in those three days with no internet access, I started reading novels again. I picked out two (yes, this is true) from one of those small “Free Library” box/houses where folk can drop off books they have read, and exchange – all free. I took a JohnleCarré novel (one of my favorite writers) which I probably read twenty years ago [Absolute Friends] and a Joanna Trollope novel, an author I have wanted to read for twenty years [Other People’s Children].

I have read 15 pages a day, of each one, since. I will continue after I post this.

Gotta say, it feels good to be back reading novels. And I will restrict my roaming time in the internet.

This is A Test – Isn’t it?


It is a test for me, to see if I can return to the previous method of presenting a blog.

I doubt I am a true Luddite, as – well – I am on a computer and plan to offer my words to the world. Not that every writing Luddite didn’t try to present their words to the world, they just did not have the intention of immediate success. Nor possess an expectation that they could do so within ten minutes. It is very possible they did not even dream of such things.

But – perhaps – I can return to the method that has served me so well, and continue along my merry Luddite-but-not-so-Luddite way.

‘Tis a consummation/Devoutly to be wish‘d.



In The Line of Fire On Twitter

I posted a tweet – a response, actually – to a tweet that showed a fellow standing off to one side as a tornado filled most of the video. I made the comment that it looked as if he was standing in front of a ‘blue screen’.
It *still* looks as if the fellow is standing in front of a ‘blue screen’, and, fifteen hours later, there has been no verification of the video except the video itself.
However, from that point yesterday, and continuing still, I have been caught in a trail of annoyed, argumentative and sometimes mean tweets about this one post. Many, many, many say that the tornado really happened. I have no doubt of that. Other tweets condemn folk (myself included, of course) of not being meteorologists and thus having no right to state an opinion or – more aggressively – me having the effrontery to make an opinion. Remember, as of yet, I have seen no proof of verification of the tornado video.
But then comes the offshoots, the aside,s and the outright digressions. From nothing stated in the tweets themselves, but (apparently) by folk looking up the particular Twitter account of the person making the comment, a flood of anti-Trump comments were spewed. Some tweets took Muslims to task.The “Mexican wall” was mentioned. One tweet stated: “Dude.they stay on the kind side of the radar.” No, I don’t know what that means. Another tweeted: ” Grow up . It is def real and major damage. Get a life superstar”

There were assorted GIFs, and emoji, and even video showing tornadoes. But nothing to verify the original video (which I concede might be true, but does not look it).
So – so far – there are around 40 folk who agree with my observation, and 15 who (more or less) class me as a bobby..
Whirl, you wild winds, whirl.

When Data Takes On A Mind of Its Own


Green flash – nine dash – dark green in dark room, four flash – minus dash – three flash – six dash – eight then tight then eight. The operator shoves his chair back in fear, things happen too quickly to be surprised. Red left light followed by yellow left light glow beside the numbers, reflect the band of a wristwatch. Eight flash two race one plus one point – decimal moving across the board, hunting.

Fingers, hand, wristwatch reach for the never used phone.

Second and third red left lights glow off the face of the Operator as his lips open before the mouthpiece.

“Get the General and the Director down here fast.”

“But they’re both asleep.” A thin voice in his ear.

“No time – no time. Hurry.”

His hand replaces the phone, but his eyes never leave the wild numbers, doubling and now tripling. Four two flash seven one three dash six six six pause blank plus plus racing decimal three three three three. He takes a fast look around the dim room to see yellow and red lights glimmering from every corner, and the flashing green of disappearing numbers.

His eyes return to his own board. There is a constant series of tiny clicks as the green numbers race from right to left, bottom to top. He moves a sweaty palm across his leg and gapes. Minus minus minus eight zero four three eight zero four three pause eight pause plus pause zero four three three click click click click.

Quadrupling now, simultaneous right to left and bottom to top, green numbers racing click click click click.  The sound of the flicking numbers makes him think of chicken claws scratching in gravel. He notices his hands shaking.

He dimly remembers one lecture where the odds were given of such a thing happening, the smug humour of his instructor. Six six 44 flash two seven 55 click nine two 77 plus 333 point 2864 flash minus flash minus eight seven three three zero.

“My God, they’re in fives now.”

He swivels around with a start, and sees the Director peering over one shoulder, the General standing behind him.

“How long has this been happening?”

“I … I don’t know.” He is frightened and confused. “Five or six minutes – no more than ten. I called you as soon as – ”

“It’s happening with all of them,” said the General. “It’s not a mistake.” As he speaks he looks at the screen, fumbles to straighten his tie. Nine one four two four flash nine one four two 5 pause nine one four two 6 minus flash click click click.

They move like green waves across a dark sea, sextupleting in a rush from the base of the screen. Seven two 2941 flash four one 3384 pause nine zero 7766 click click minus three four 0827.

“More warning lights are on now, Sir.”

“It’s the same with every terminal,” said the Director as he looks over to the General.

“I presume you activated the breaking system.”

“Yes, Sir.” The operator does not look behind him as he answers. “When the triples started. All it did was blow out the switch lights.” His face – like the others – is bathed in a confused glow of green, yellow and red.

“The last warning lights just came on.”

“We can see that!” snapped the Director.

The room has never had so much light in it, yet the green numbers do not seem subdued. Four two 8601, nine five 7350, one one 4499 plus flash four eight 1632 click click.

Green flash, red light and yellow, number after number, 472210 flash 992136 pause 886221 race pause flash green 220011 flash click click click.

“Sounds like hens scratching,” says the General.

The Director took in his breath with a groan. “They’re turning octal,” he said.

The green numbers moved constantly now, covering the whole face of the screen. Click click flash plus 12345678 flash 87654321 pause 20199465 click minus flash 22446688 race click 11335577 green 88990011 click.

“They’re grouping,” said the Operator. “They’re forming patterns.” His voice was no longer scared, but resigned.

The red and yellow warning lights began to shatter, small pops of sound followed by falling glass. Green flickers raced 11223344 slight pause 55667788 flash green wave 99001122 minus flash 33445566 click click

“It’s turning cyclical,” said the Director.

click flash green rush 77889900 pause plus click 00000000 minus flash flash click 00000000 click click 00000000

“What a way to end,” mumbled the General.



Kafka Uses The Internet To Prod Me Back To Work


[Franz Kafka]

This is saying a lot for Kafka who, in truth, was not even much of a fan of the typewriter. But, he was a constant writer (even if he destroyed – it is estimated – 75% of what he wrote) and certainly expected any other author to be the same.

At any rate, coupled with a bit of travel, I had not written for ten days. It is possible that I have not gone that long a stretch for years. For the last couple of years I had been writing six days a week, rarely missing that amount. I think that in the last few months, writing an original novel and editing another on a daily basis did me in.

But, earlier this week, on the same day, I received the same article in an email and on Facebook. It was a short section of Kafka Diary entries. Real ones (I say this because I have written a novel where I fill in some *missing* Kafka diary entries). It was directed to writers, and commented about some aspects of writing. The one that leapt out at me was:

March 11  How time flies; another ten days and I have achieved nothing.It doesn’t come off. A page now and then is successful, but I can’t keep it up, the next day I’m powerless.

I generally think I can take a hint. And a hint given twice. And a hint from Kafka. And a hint given decades after he is dead, via a medium (pun intended) that Kafka would despise.

So – I took the hint.

A page a day since then.

And onward —>>>



The Choices Of The World


This is almost like a found poem, or, at least, it is what it puts me in mind of.

Out of the blue, with no rhyme nor reason I can find, this is a snapshot of the places of the world that so far found their way to my site today. And the blogs they read. An odd combination, it seems to me, but what do I compare it to?

Since I do want to make some sort of imprint on the world – and get the exposure to my comments and ideas – I’d say this is a broad example.




  • Views by Country
  • 1Canada
  • 1Palestinian Territories
  • 1Netherlands
  • 1United States

Social Media Casualty – Facebook Friend Falls To The Wayside – With Apology



I glean some interesting information from Facebook, and do get some *news* from people I might not otherwise get. I troll Facebook  and imagine I average a total of 20-50 minutes on it in the course of a day. I do ween myself from looking at it in the morning, as it indeed can be a distraction. I tend to its email notifications in batches.

There has been some debate by writers as to whether Facebook does much by way of professional promotion, whether through a FB ‘Page’ or a regular FB thread. As far as I can see it had done little for me professionally, and I do not have a FB ‘Page’. I don’t plan to start.

I get stories from some of my esoteric sources, ranging from The Papal Swiss Guard to a Russian News Feed. I get photos from European countries, the British Monarchy and an historic Railway in the US. Harry’s Bar&Grill in Venice entertains me. Leonard Cohen casts me wit. Some posters tap into their own esoteric feeds and I glean from them. I get far too many pictures of cats (and I revel in cats).  From my end I post literary news and recipes. And muchness about Kafka.

I recently got an apologetic message from a FB friend saying that he could no longer take the time to remain my friend and peruse my postings. He said there were too many of them. I find it a kind gesture to tell me this. I find it odd that he feels badly about no longer wading through recipes and Kafka. I am perplexed why he just does not zip past postings which hold no interest. I know I do.

I responded to say I was sorry that he was sorry. He replied to say how sorry he was, and that he feels sorry about upsetting anyone even if they are not upset. I replied ‘no harm done’. His final reply was: “I have never known, with your posts, if you have ever wanted a reply!”

This still takes me aback. I reply to messages. The FB device has an automatic avenue to make a comment if one wishes. It seems to me it is up to the viewer whether they want to comment or not. I’m interested in comments but – no – I can’t say I expect or *want* a reply.

He is now gone but, as I say, went about it as nicely as a person can.


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