martes, 28 de octubre de 2014

Once more, a thousand thanks.

And today, on smashwords alone, A World Apart and Other Stories hit the thousand mark, following close on the heels of Balls. So once again my sincere gratitutde to all of you who have taken the time to read my stories. Thank you.

martes, 14 de octubre de 2014

El número de millonarios crece en España.

El número de millonarios crece en España un 24% y supera las 460.000 personas. (

¡Ya os dije que no había crisis!

martes, 7 de octubre de 2014

Amado Nervo

Cuando llegué por primera vez a Cádiz, en el 82, sin hablar nada de español, me dieron un librito para ayudarme a aprender el idioma. Entre declinaciones y sinónimos encontré, ya al final del libro, este poema. No sé muy bien por qué, pero hoy quiero  compartirlo con todos. Ahí va.

Amado Nervo

En paz

Muy cerca de mi ocaso, yo te bendigo, vida,
porque nunca me diste ni esperanza fallida,
ni trabajos injustos, ni pena inmerecida;

porque veo al final de mi rudo camino
que yo fui el arquitecto de mi propio destino;

que si extraje las mieles o la hiel de las cosas,
fue porque en ellas puse hiel o mieles sabrosas:
cuando planté rosales, coseché siempre rosas.

...Cierto, a mis lozanías va a seguir el invierno:
¡mas tú no me dijiste que mayo fuese eterno!

Hallé sin duda largas las noches de mis penas;
mas no me prometiste tan sólo noches buenas;
y en cambio tuve algunas santamente serenas...

Amé, fui amado, el sol acarició mi faz.
¡Vida, nada me debes! ¡Vida, estamos en paz!

jueves, 2 de octubre de 2014

Three monkeys

Martin Amis’ new novel The Zone of Interest has been released in the UK, but his French and German editors have decided not to publish it, claiming lack of demand and below standard quality. Nothing surprising there.
Except that the theme for the new satire is the Holocaust. So we hear the word ‘censorship’. Censors do exist, From Cuba to China, From Russia to Saudi Arabia. But to suggest state or ‘other’ intervention in this case is mere headline grabbing.
Amis is free to write and make available whatever he chooses. The readers will be the judges of his work, and no-one else. If he wishes he can publish digitally and offer his creation to most of the world.
If The Zone of Interest really is just that, then he will have no trouble selling his work.
If, however, he has come up with a dull, tasteless, insensitive and basically unfunny tale.... I say no more.

martes, 2 de septiembre de 2014

Improbus non grata

Any publicity is good publicity as the saying goes, which speaks volumes about the times we live in. One would have thought that novelists would be above such aberrations, but the temptation to make a few bucks by dragging a colleague over the coals is too great for some it seems.
Will Self has declared that Orwell is The Supreme Mediocrity. Why? Because he refused to shroud his meaning and therefore his communication in a swathe of learned synonyms. Thank the deities.
Reaching for the thesaurus is fun, and educational to a point, but to deliberately flaunt your superior knowledge of the English language in the reader’s face is pedantic and snobbish. If I were to write in Spanish to a readership that does not command the language, I may as well defecate in the lactate.
Surely the key here is communication? If I want to receive English vocabulary lessons I will attend a night school, I do not need Sticker Bill to enlighten me.
Dumbing down? Not at all. If a word is perfect for the situation, with the resonance and nuance of meaning ideal in that particular context, then it has to be used. Readers are not idiots; they know how to use a dictionary. What they don’t need is a pompous approach to literature that makes reading either a slog or a bore.
Some musicians like to show off their techniques and superior musical knowledge by performing incredibly intricate and complicated pieces full of key changes and bizarre scales. They enjoy themselves, but the audience falls asleep. The alternative is not Madonna – there is a whole world of beauty in between.
So come on Will, drop the publicity stunts and pay a well deserved homage to Orwell.

lunes, 14 de julio de 2014

A Thousand Thanks

A thousand thanks! My novel Balls has now received over one thousand full downloads at Smaswords, the independent author site. It is available through this link if you still haven't had the chance to read it Balls, by Tommy Dakar.
They say that the average person reads no more than two thousand or so books in their life, so to think that over 1000 should have bothered to read Balls, without forgetting the thousands of downloads of my other works, is an honour, and I am touched. Not by the wand of economic success, naturally, as all my works in digital form are FREE.
Bit repetitive maybe, but once again my sincere gratitude to all my readers.

lunes, 2 de junio de 2014

Some Good News

There will be a before and after of The First Global Economic Crisis. Like in the wake of most upheavals ( First World War, Wall Street Crash, Second World War, Fall of Communism), the world is never the same again.
Some have leapt to the far right, with parties such as Ukip and the French National Front leading the way. It is a road already travelled, and the destination is not worth revisiting.
Others have swung to the left, hoping that a revived version of socialism might be able to make some sense of the actual mess. Optimism as a last resort.
But where the change really lies is in the organisation of society as a whole. The digital world has opened up a new form of collaboration. The old hierarchical system is no longer pertinent because the militant bases can now operate on a far more democratic platform.
Decisions can be taken according to what every person involved in the process democratically chooses. The ‘leader’ is reduced to a mere spokesperson, the mouthpiece of the common will. The political agenda is designed by and for the voters, and put into effect by accredited party members.
In fact the term ‘political party’ will no doubt fall into disuse. The old way of having to choose between two or three job lots of policies, the take it or leave it option, has no place in the ‘new’ society. Without much fuss we can now decide on individual issues such as Education or International Cooperation, without having to swallow all the collateral nonsense that used to go with such packages.
It is a more open, more democratic way to participate in the running of a nation, an organisation, a global concept.
Many will not enjoy seeing the gradual erosion of their age old privileges, and the more radical will no doubt put up a fight.
But progress is relentless and inevitable. We are on the way to a new era of citizen participation, and the breaking up of monopolies and oligarchies. And that, as I  hope you will agree, is good news.