The Short Fiction Writers Guild

I am pleased to announce that I am now a member of The Short Fiction Writers Guild ( The role of The Short Fiction Writers Guild, as set out in it’s Mission Statement is,

“The Short Fiction Writers Guild (SFWG) celebrates and promotes all genres of short fiction in an effort to share the entertainment of the form with new readers, provides a robust marketing platform to expand market viability and profit potential for the works of its members, and offers a range of services to help members improve as writers, while embracing the virtues of honesty, professionalism, and integrity. ( For information on how to join The Short Fiction Writers Guild please visit ( For my latest book, “Dalliance; A Collection Of Poetry And Prose” please visit (, for the US) or (, for the UK). For my Amazon Author Page please visit (, for the UK) or (, for the US).  

Vaguely Life Leaks Away

As I battled my way through the crowds thronging London’s Victoria station, following another day working in central London, those lines of W. H. Auden came to me,

“‘In headaches and in worry

Vaguely life leaks away,

And Time will have his fancy

To-morrow or to-day. (

“As I Walked Out” is, in many respects a pessimistic poem. The young lovers under the bridge will, despite the high sounding words of the man be brought low by time. Either their love will wither or, if love persists romance will end in the grave. For Auden an (albeit imperfect)salvation lies in doing the best we can in what, for him is a bleak world. As he puts it,

“‘O stand, stand at the window

As the tears scald and start;

You shall love your crooked neighbour

With your crooked heart.’

I first came across Auden’s poetry while studying for my A-levels and have returned to him from time to time ever since. “As I Walked Out” is, along with “The Shield Of Achilles” my favourite Auden poem.




Book Review: My Wings By Patty Van Delft

My Wings by Patty Van Delft is a moving collection of poetry. In part 1,Patty leaves no holes barred in expressing raw emotions of loss, depression and hopelessness. However all is not dark. There glimmers the light of hope and optimism. Love and a zest for life is evident in the second part of Patty’s book.

Patty has accomplished the difficult task of being searingly honest about highly personal and emotional issues. This book is well worth reading.


For My Wings By Patty Van Delft please visit ( or (



Thoughts On A Winter’s Evening

Winter. Not long gone 4 pm yet, all is dark. Wind cuts like a knife. People hurry, collars turned up against the icey blast.

Home beccons. Central heating warms, hot drinks revive, but what can unfreeze the shrivelled soul inside?

Sir Smasham UP By E. V. Rieu

At school I had a wonderful teacher, Mr Delacruz who, along with my grandfather kindled in me a love of literature. I remember Mr Delacruz’s classroom as being piled high with books, volumes tottered on storeroom shelves. For me, as a small boy entering his classroom was akin to visiting Aladdin’s cave.

I recollect him reading aloud to we children. He even made a recording of several stories and poems for me including Conan Doyle’s The Speckled Band and Alfred Noye’s poem The Highwayman. One poem from which I derived particular pleasure was Sir Smasham UP by E V RIEU, ( For a reason which shall forever remain clouded in mystery, the first few lines of Rieu’s humorous poem popped into my head this morning,

“Good afternoon, Sir Smasham Uppe!
We’re having tea: do take a cup!”

and I determined to look up this childhood favourite. If you have children, grandchildren or are acquainted with children in any way I recommend introducing Rie

North Korea is Murdering People With Disabilities North Korean Defector Says

On 30 November I published a post entitled “Lets Talk About Eugenics”, ( In that piece I wrote about how eugenics has been embraced by people with divergent political views, including leading socialists, conservatives, liberals and, in the most extreme manifestation of eugenic measures Nazi Germany.

Eugenics lead, in it’s most virulent form to the Action T-4 Programme ( under which the Third Reich sterilised and murdered thousands of disabled people. One would hope that the attitudes which lead to Action T-4 perished with the defeat of Hitler’s Germany. However according to defectors from North Korea the killing of people with disabilities continues apace, (, with the disabled being used as guinea pigs in medical experiments and being forceably removed from their parents. Words such as horrific can not do justice to the barbarity of what the North Korean regime is inflicting on people with disabilities and the populace in general.

Buy a Book for Christmas – Kevin Cooper – The Wizard, The Girl and The Unicorn’s Horn


I have enjoyed several of Kev Cooper’s books, including the Devil’s Apology and this one is on my reading list.

Originally posted on Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life:

Getting closer to Christmas and I am still browsing the halls here in Blogland to find gifts to fill the shelves in the Emporium…and today one for all ages who love fantasy, wizardry and Unicorns.

kevin cooper

Kevin Cooper is an author and an amateur musician. He has a wonderfully diverse blog where all are welcome and his author interviews are very popular. His love of art, photography and cats is obvious as his love of music which is the subject of his other blog Kev’s Music Blog.

I have picked a book that I think is perfect for Christmas and in fact found out that Kevin has also promoted himself this morning. I have put a link to his post so that you can get a double dose.

This will go in the Christmas Gift Emporium along with the other books, music and design that I have gathered from both guests…

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