The final countdown.

What does this artistic composition suggest to you, dear reader?

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After a couple of months’ hard slog the renovation project is almost there. Carpets are coming Monday. (I will post a couple of photos for posterity when the carpet fitters have finished.) And it’s good timing because we all know what time-target I’ve been desperately working towards and I’ve just about made it. Yes, Euro 2016 has kicked off this weekend. So now upstairs is just about done, I’m free to watch the three games tomorrow, three games on Sunday and three games Monday. Hence, the photo montage, in case you didn’t get it. (I’ve just been reminded that the family are also arriving next week for the summer. That’s exciting too, of course. I hope they don’t want picking up if there’s a game on.)


I haven’t been completely ignoring my writing. A recent bout of insomnia has seen me wide awake in the small hours. I decided to use the time to do some writing. I’ve knocked off a couple of short stories. Just keeping my hand in. (Stephen King has not written anything like them. I checked.) What am I going to do with them? Write a few more, I suppose, and work towards creating a small collection. And I’ve also had a couple of new ideas for longer writing projects that I’ve liked enough to make some notes on. The well has not run dry yet.


I receive feedback fairly regularly here on the blog from readers who have enjoyed one or more of the reads. The feelings of great satisfaction and intense pleasure that these messages give me has not diminished one iota over the few years that I’ve been bashing away at the keyboard. I truly value the time and trouble readers take to get in touch as well as their, often, very kind words. So, special thanks to anyone who reads this and who has posted somewhere on this site some encouragment. I received the following two yesterday. They are great examples of what I’m referring to.

Dear Oliver
What can I say, I downloaded the first couple of Romney and Marsh books for my kindle a few weeks ago, but I am now through all 7 of them, the 2 Booker & Cash novels and have just started the Acer Samson #1. I have thoroughly enjoyed all but if I continue at is pace you will need to be writing much more profusely.
Once again thanks for rekindling my love of crime thrillers.

Hi Oliver, I have just read Joint Enterprise. Really enjoyed it, as I have the first two Booker/ Cash novels, and now the first three R/Ms.
I have read hundreds of books, all purchased through Kindle. I have to say that I have derived more pleasure from your books than just about all others.
I have been inspired to write to you, as an hour ago my wife and I were rolling on the floor laughing as I read to her directly from Joint Enterprise, where poor Romney is being anally inspected by the female doctor, when ‘a pocket of foul smelling air’ escapes. It was the most hilarious encounter I have ever read.
Thank you so much for your wonderful writing. I wish you every success. You truly deserve it. Why you’re not signed to a major publisher is simply bewildering.
Thanks again

Have a good weekend, everyone.


On originality.

I’ve mentioned here before that I want to try writing in different genres. I recently had a good idea for a story that would be quite different to my norm and outside of my usual writing genres. I liked it so much that I started writing it when I should have been working on B&C#3 or my other finished first draft of something completely different.

This week I was on the home straight of the story. It’s only 10 000 words. I thought it was a very original idea. I was really excited by my very original idea.

Towards the end of the story I needed to search online for the name of a mental disorder that the central protagonist of the story could be labelled with. I found what I was looking for. I followed a link to the font of all online knowledge: Wikipedia.

And there I found that my brilliantly original story idea has already been done by a writer called Stephen King. You may have heard of him. He is quite well known.

Naturally, I was a bit disappointed. (Disappointed? I had an apoplectic-rage episode that involved kicking things over and swearing loudly for several minutes without much repetition.)

During reflection in a calmer moment regarding this development, I remembered something I saw a long time ago. Apparently there are only seven plot lines in the world of story telling. So it is quite hard to be original. It made me feel a bit better. I wonder where SK got his idea from, and if it was a brainwave, like mine, whether he looked something up only to discover that someone else got there first.

I resisted the urge to read Mr King’s effort until I’d finished my own. I didn’t want his influence rattling around my head. Now that I have finished mine, I’m going to make myself a coffee, sit in the garden and see what he did with ‘my’ idea. Swine.