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Archive for March, 2013

YOU CLICKED?

March 20, 2013 4 comments

On the writer’s site Authonomy, a Harper Collins site, we have a forum called DOWNUNDER WRITERS OF DISTINCTION. We are all Australian or New Zealand authors. The father of our forum is Ken Blowers, now over 80 years old, and a wonderful, kind man, full of the wisdom that can only come with age and experience. Let me tell you something about Ken.

Ken Blowers is a ‘Queensland Senior’ writer of short stories and one-act plays. He was born in 1934, the youngest of seven children in the small fishing port of Lowestoft, Suffolk, England. His father died in 1939 when he was only 5. As a 6 year old he suffered the trauma of enforced evacuation from a coastal area threatened by enemy invasion. He returned home a year later to face the rigors of heavy enemy bombing. On leaving school at the age of 15 in 1949, Ken became an apprentice coachbuilder – at that time a woodworking trade! He was made redundant  immediately on completion of his apprenticeship at the age of 21. Thereafter he engaged in a variety of employment spheres to support his young wife and two children: He became a fitter, car salesman, electrical salesman, postman, insurance agent, factory manager, shopkeeper, and barman.

Disillusioned with his employment prospects and looking for a new start, he applied, through Australia House in London, for enlistment in the Royal Australian Air Force. He signed up on a Wednesday afternoon, flew out on the Thursday, and arrived in Australia on the Saturday (27 November 1965) which, he has been known to say, demonstrates how desperately Australia needed him!

Having enlisted as a clerk he quickly taught himself to type so he could move to a higher pay level! Having had no formal education  at all, he enrolled in the Victorian Correspondence School (for kids in the bush!) and after attaining matriculation standard, he eventually become a commissioned officer.

In 1985, at the age of 51 and after 20 years Air Force service, he retired with the rank of Squadron Leader.

Ken and his wife Jean lived on a 28 acre property, where he bought and built a steel-framed home, overlooking the valley. In 1992 the author and his wife moved from NSW to Queensland to be closer to their two daughters and their three grandchildren.

Interestingly, it was their happy experiences together in their local U3A play-reading classes that encouraged him to take up the pen! He has since become a prolific writer of 1,000 daily quotations, 48 short stories, and 40 one-act plays.

He now lives in Mitchelton, a north-west suburb of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia .

Recently Ken has been suffering from the effects of Old Age, and, because we love him we decided to ensure that his many words of wisdom and encouragement are not lost to the world. We have taken 1000 of his quotes and begun to create several volumes for you to read, use, and perhaps pass on to others who might benefit from what Ken Blowers has had to say over a long and eventful life. Book-shelf-PPT-Background-680x510

On our facebook pages you will see some of Ken Blowers quotes. In the bottom corner, his little logo. So, while we have not done so in the first (or any subsequent volumes) of the book, I have hyperlinked the logo to bring you to this blog to learn a little more about an amazing man. Also in the hope that you will be moved enough to invest a tiny amount of money ($2.99) to purchase this first volume.

By all means share your favourite quote. Credit Ken if you wish, but most importantly it would be amazing if you bought the first volume. Share it by all means, but credit it to Ken.

Finally, I want to say something about Alzheimer’s disease. Every last one of us will know, or have personal experience with Alzheimer’s. It may begin with something simple like forgetting your car keys. In its final stages the heartbreak of not knowing, or recognizing your own husband, wife, children or relatives. If you don’t buy the book, then please consider donating to your local research into Alzheimer’s. You will most likely be doing yourself a favour too. If you buy the book, then you will also be donating in a small way to the welfare of at least one person. The community “Downunder Writers of Distinction” to whom Ken Blowers is the father figure will continue to create and preserve the unique wisdom of a wonderful man.

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I HATE WRITERS!

March 7, 2013 6 comments

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 I hate writers. They get together in groups. Pumping egos. Prissing and preening. Like body builders. They read aloud from pompous, pretentious manuscripts. While the rest of the group smirks and nods. Waiting their turn to be pretentious and pompous. Or pouring out their angst in poetic drivel. I hate writers! They discuss dead people. Wondering “what they meant by that”. And they prattle and preen and priss. Trying to find meaning in the meaningless. Usually their own. Or maybe Satre or Ayn Rand. Dammit I hate writers! Shakespear. Or Shakspeare…or even Shakespeare (depending on your pretensions) was a hack. He gave ’em what they asked for. Blood and gore! Sex’n’drugs’n’rock’n’roll. Glory be! A businessman! An actor! A hack! I hate writers! AND their grammatically pure, politically correct sop! SSSuffering sssyntax Batman! Chas Dickens was a hack . He bashed it out on deadlines. Serials in prurient broadsheets. Queen Vic wouldn’t miss an episode so they say. Fans would stop him in the street and shout “What happens next Chas?” “Buggered if I know”. He’d say in the current Victorian vernacular. “I haven’t written it yet!” Now that’s a hack! I HATE writers! Yeah! But what about Alan Ginsberg eh? EH? What about HIM then? DUH! Ginsberg was a writer! The Andy Warhol of the alphabet. He didn’t sell anything but GINSBERG. I HATE WRITERS! Writers are good at applying for grants. And getting them. Hacks don’t need grants. Too busy working for a living! Morris West is a hack. Thomas Keneally. Kate Grenfell is a hack. And Bryce Courtenay. And Margaret Drabble. And Peter Corris. Stephen King and Dean Koontz. Hacks one and all! Mary Shelly was a hack! Wow she sat up in bed ALL NIGHT to write Frankenstein. I hate writers! Twenty years to write their only novel that sells three copies. They put one book on the shelf, and give to to the relatives. And when they go out to dinner they loudly proclaim …”I’m a writer!” DUH!! And bore you with extracts. I hate writers! Barbara Cartland, the undisputed queen of hackery. The only thing she ever wrote was her name on the cover at book signings. There she sat chaising on the longue, holding her pussy. (on her knee George… mind out of the gutter please!) And a gorgeous male assistant sat beside her copying down her babble. 100 million books can’t be wrong. Now THAT”S a hack! Erle Stanley Gardner. Supreme hack! Bah humbug! I hate writers! And their precious little egos. Writers never let you sit and read a piece. They lean over your shoulder. And prattle. Or worse. They insist on reading it to you! As if their droning on makes it more worthy! “Do you see what I’m trying to say?” They simper, fixing you with a gaze that says cretin! If they have to ask they’ve failed. Tough. I hate writers. I hate critics worse than writers. But I still hate writers. A lot. But a hack! A hack is a diamond in the dungheap of literature. Only critics scrape off the cream to get to the shit! A hack just gets on with the job and doesn’t choke you with adjectives. WRITERS refuse to prostitute their art by writing fillers for Women’s Weekly. Hacks turn ’em out by the score. WRITERS dream of cocktail parties with the glitterati. To talk about themselves. Hacks tolerate the odd literary luncheon.. and charge a fee for their wasted time. Ask a hack what s/he does for a living and the bet is that they’ll say “oh I’m self employed” If you really push a hack they grudgingly say “oh..I work in publishing” Hacks try not to admit to being writers. Hacks KNOW. Like doctors, or lawyers. Never admit what you do! You’ll be covered like flies over honey! NEVER let a writer know what you do! “Oh.. I”M a writer too! BLAH!” RUN! Plan your escape route and get the hell out of there fast! I hate writers! Okay. You’ve had a chuckle. We’ve all come across the precious little petals at one time or another. Here’s a tip. If you want to be a writer strive to be a hack. Write. Just write. Don’t crow, or priss or preen. Just write. Join a group by all means. There are some ace/terrific groups. But when you get there learn to avoid the writers! They’ll ruin you! Go to learn the craft. That’s what it is, a craft. A skill. It’s about communication, flying kites, ideas. And you’re going to write a whole lot of crap. But do it anyway! It’s a fine, worthwhile hobby. If you want to sell, make an income, be a hack. Write greeting cards, company reports, love letters, newsletters, anything that pays a dollar. Hack away day and night, make notes, research, mind surf. Burn the midnight oil. Get it down, get it out. Get it in an envelope or post it on the internet, but get it up there no matter how good or bad. Just be a hack. Say what you want to say in the least number of words. If you want to go all around the houses be a taxi driver.. or you’ll end up being a writer. And I hate writers! Me? I’m a straight hack! A thirty five year hack! Poetry, stories, business reports, council reports, minutes of meetings, advertising copy, gags, fillers. And yes, even love letters for the literary inept. Hacks meet deadlines. They tout for work. They charge a fee, and give value for money. If you want a job done. Hire a hack. Hire ME. And learn to hate writers. Oh and by the way if you want to learn how to be a hack. I teach!