The word ‘double’

I was watching a TV program and the words ‘double standards’ kept being thrown about with little attention being paid to what it really means.

Like statistics, words can be used in any manner to support or debunk what someone else will call a fact.

Fact, of course, is another word that’s thrown around like a football.

But double standards, what does it really mean?

“a rule or principle which is unfairly applied in different ways to different people or groups”

Put simply, if you own a cat, and I hate cats, I’m likely to say to you I like cats because of who you are and what I might want from you.

It has far more reaching consequences in reality because some of us might profess they regard everyone as being equal ‘in the eyes of the Lord’ but have a very different private view.

Personally, I believe everyone should be treated equally.  The problem is, a great many people around me do not, and it seems that I am slowly becoming a minority in my own country.

How do we rectify this?

I don’t think we can.  Politicians are now running scared in their own constituencies because of the increasing multicultural population, and cannot be seen to favor one group or another.

Until lobby groups come into play, campaign funding to the politician is discussed, and very subtly, votes are bought.

Does your political representative work on the basis of double standards?

Maybe it’s time to find out before it’s too late, and you too will be living in shanty huts on a reservation.


Conversations with my cat

Character development


This is Chester, he thinks he is an expert on people

He has meandered in checking out what I’m doing, or maybe he’s here because the room is cooler.

He gives me the ‘What are you doing’ look.

It doesn’t matter how many times I’m a writer, it’s like talking to a brick wall.

I say I’m working on developing a new character.


I’m thinking of John.

A shake of the head and the eyes roll.  Can you be a little more inventive, like, well, Chester?

Predictable.  How about Xavier?

Would you call your kid Xavier?  He’s going to have a very rough time of it at school.  Unless this character has a tortured soul.

Good point.  How about William?

Bill, that’s what you get in the mail.  Another shake of the head.  You’re not very good at this, are you?

Apparently not.  Haven’t you got some mice to catch?

He yawns, then curls up on the seat.  Wake me when you’ve got some better ideas.

Maybe not.  I’ve come up with a name, Daniel, and I don’t care what he thinks.

For now.


These are what can dumfound the strongest man, and terrify the most resolute woman.

Simple sentences of words placed in a particular order that designed to elicit a response.

Of course, no one tells you that your life may depend upon the answer you give.

So, when a man is asked a simple question like, ‘do I look good in this dress’, there are so many wrong answers that no matter what he says, the marriage, relationship, romance is over.

Similarly, that simple question, ‘how do you feel’, can be like opening the floodgates, or met with stony silence, or, more than likely, met with a dismissive ‘I feel good’.

There are questions asked in examination papers, the sort that is based on the year’s work, or what was supposedly covered in study groups.  As children, these questions hold varying amounts of terror, if you have failed to study.

There are questions asked at job interviews, and sometimes these don’t quite make any sense. For instance, ‘If you were in a store serving a customer and a man came in brandishing a gun, what would you do.’  I’m not sure what answer they are looking for.

Then there is that terrifying question you hoped would never be asked, ‘what do think your weaknesses are?’  I was fine with strengths, that’s easy, but weaknesses, that’s where the job application ended.

There is one other that has a simple answer but it often met with silence, a witticism, but rarely the truth.  Asking a woman, ‘what is your age?’

That’s a romance killer right there.  Right up there with, ‘where were you on the night of the 14th between the hours of 6pm and 12 pm.  You can hardly say you were in bed with your best friends wife, can you?

Can you see the bare bones of a mystery coming on?

20 questions for each suspect and witness, if any, then plot the crime from these testimonies.

I need a few days away from my current book and it seems a good idea for a short story.

Thoughts, maybe

Why is writing so hard?

In just about every book about how to be a good writer, there seems to be a pile of problems that at some time in a writer’s life will need to be overcome.

Writer’s block

Don’t have it.  The ideas pour out of my head like water over a waterfall

Don’t use abstract descriptions in your writing

Damn, I so that all the time

But, back to writer’s block, is that where you write 37 chapters and there the story stops?


Plan your book and have an outline so you can write it from start to finish

Plan?  What Plan?

That only happens when I’ve written to book and prior to the first edit make a precise of each chapter to make sure of continuity.

Plan your characters and give them a timeline

Oh God is that why characters names are often changing as the story progresses.

Believe it or not, I’m working on this issue.

Manage your time.

Still can’t get it right.

Write at least a thousand words a day, no matter if it’s rubbish or not.

Does that include writing for social media?

Apparently not.

At least this is one of the requirements I follow religiously. Sometimes it’s a lot more words but a least some writing finished up either on paper in on the word processor.

Now it’s time to write those thousand words.

Look, there, I’ve at least got one part of time management under control.

Thoughts, maybe

Organising your life

It’s something that I have never been able to get a handle on, and I seem to stagger from one day to the next without getting anything done.

Over the years many people tried, some with limited success, others completely failing.

I guess I’m one of those freeform sorts of people and I guess it goes with the star sign, Gemini.

Yes, I’ve been to those time management courses with the books and diaries to seem to want you to time manage your life.  I considered it bit like micromanagement where your supervisor had access to the diary and put in the work, the estimated time and when it was expected to be finished.

I didn’t work well with deadlines.

But oddly enough most of the jobs I’ve had over the years have involved time management of one sort or another and I have survived.

Now, in semi-retirement, I really need something to organize my days so something gets done.  As a writer allocating 12 midnight to 2am for writing doesn’t seem to be a good idea.

Unfortunately it is the best time for me to write.

Anyone else out there with the same problem, and if so what was your answer to the time management problem?

Thoughts, Maybe

Reality Television

If I was ever in doubt that there was one medium that could produce a thousand storylines, it’s watching reality television.

It is truly horrible, and is somewhat akin to a ‘train wreck’.  Why, then, do we watch it?

Currently, where I live, we have a show called ‘Married at first sight’.  Going by the title, you can guess the premise, two people are matched by ‘science’ and meet for the first time at the altar.  They then live together, with and without external influences for a number of weeks before deciding if they want to continue after the show ends.

As it happens, the experts here have yet to get it right in a number of series (or, I think they may have succeeded on one occasion).

Whilst the fact it looks to be scripted, a fact the Producers vehemently deny, it is impossible to wrap your head around some of the antics, and especially the words used by the ‘participants’.  Decent people do not ‘act’ in the manner of some of these people, and more often than not, several of the ‘participants’ are labeled by the public as ‘actors’.

I guess, in most reality television, ratings can only be achieved by controversy.

Certainly, the Twitterverse goes off after an episode, championing the good and railing into the bad.  Each will, good or bad, get their fifteen minutes of fame.

And, is it not surprising we have learned one of the participants is going to write a ‘no holds barred’ account of her time in the show.  I was considering doing the same, from an armchair perspective.  Damn, missed my opportunity!

Anyway, if it happens, Fifty Shades of Grey, get out of the way!

The vicissitudes of life

I’m currently sitting in my car waiting to pick the grandchildren up from school wondering where that dream of the glamorous life of an author went.

Can it be said that any author leads a glamorous life, except for maybe J K Rowling, James Patterson and a handful of others?

That dream is of course only a dream.  I did not start this writing caper to become rich and famous or live a glamorous life.  I started It, and it continues in the same vein, that I have a lot of stories in my head that I want to get on paper.

If anyone else wants to read them, then that’s a bonus.  If I happen to make enough money, rather than live high on the hog, an expression my father often used to describe the rich, I would happily invest in programs that get young people reading more.

It also strikes me that it would be difficult to write a literary novel in the vein of Jane Austen or the Bronte sisters, to name a few because modern day life has no real meaning like it did then.

Instant news, instant communications, and the rest of the country, as well as the world, so close we can go anywhere, and communicate instantly.  In the days of classic literature, they survived on periodic letters, and traveling to another part of the same country was very arduous.  Just the receipt of a letter could girl a chapter, the trip to and the visit to a relative could girl several.

But those tales of life were always about people of means, not the ordinary people.  Stories that have the minutiae of daily life do not appeal.  No one wants to read about their lives, they want to be transported to another world where there is no such inanity like cooking, cleaning, washing and picking up children.

I’m using this time to write another episode or chapter, or, in this case, a blog post.

As any parent will tell you, it is the calm before the storm.