Michaels Numbness!!!!!!!

Letting Off Steam!!

                                                                This is what I mean

To me writing is a way of life as you can see nothing stops me. If you don’t have a pen or laptop with you then something is wrong, the world and universe are out of kilter. If your desk is not littered with books, paper, and other stuff you are not part of your work but if you let your wife anywhere near your desk YOU ARE NOT SERIOUS about writing.  In my early days of writing my wife would tidy my desk and I could not find anything drove me nuts, but no more my desk is my writers world and no ones allowed to touch it. Beside my desk is a chair which holds the ‘toys’ (collected from various places) and my dictionaries, some of which the covers are held together with sellotape these are a must when using old long ago forgotten words.

Michael’s Numbness

It’s strange how some of our best ideas have come from our drives to the coast. Yes I did say our. My wife and I discuss story lines, plots, angles or whether I am looking at the story with eyes of those times or modern-day eyes.  But its the times when I’m struggling with my writing and get frustrated that I utter the immortal words “fancy a drive to the beach and coffee?”. No asking twice, wife’s grabbed her bag and is pushing me out of the door towards the car, THATS when I know I’ve been showing signs of ‘Michael’s Numbness‘.  Unlike ‘writers block’  ‘Michael’s Numbness’ is the time when I can’t get the story to flow because I can’t find the information I need, then realise that it wasn’t there in the first place, and all my huffing and puffing was for nothing.  It’s not being impatient, it’s just not seeing things clearly because my head is stuck in a particular part of the story at a particular point and wont move on, ‘wood for the trees syndrome’.

Talking of which in this hot weather I often sit at my desk computer open and just watch the forest.  My mind drifts away on clouds of peace and wonderment at the diversity of nature. This is a perfect place to write and live. I often wonder did I find it or did it find me? was it call from my inner peace or the forest wanting someone to come and look-after  part of it, turn it into a place of life again. Who knows but I have days when all I want to do is sit and watch, no working, no writing just let the rest of the world go lose itself while I enjoy the peace and beauty of nature. It is how I came to find the title of my first Children’s book Clearing in the Forest. The image of the oak forests of England in times past plus dappled clearings with ferns and bluebells covering the floor, with deer grazing in the clearings came easily to mind. When I started the story the onset of a cold harsh winter for those who were serfs, gathering wood for their fires seeing the great oak trees without leaves standing strong and tall but unwelcoming no longer giving shelter to three bastard children of a Norman Baron.  I had started writing but a title eluded me I could not relate to nor enter the story, but after one mental walk in an oak forest in summer it came to me. A clearing is where the forest breaths, where it lets in light and animals come to graze or just enjoy the warmth of the sun,  but it also had a darker side for animals and humans alike.  It was to such places that humans came to hunt for food, a place where they lay in wait for the deer. Men and boys hunting, risking all if they were caught by the Normans who were the only ones allowed to hunt deer. Punishment was cruel and swift if they were caught, and for three young children it was a terrifying time alone in the forest, thus Clearing in the Forest was born.

After that having a title made it easy for me to lose myself in the adventure if I got stuck I just looked up from my desk and let my forest suggest things.  So when I write I am at peace with myself and characters, I can hop in and out of their time zone, see with eyes that can, up to a point, understand their world.  But always always remembering the period I am writing about is history not modern day with our modern day attitudes and outlook, things then were shall we say a little unhygienic??

(c)  Jason D’ebre – Author

 

 

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One Author – Two Different Names??

Two Different Names

My dilemma was my author name.  I write adult books and naval adventure under Michael Douglas Bosc. But I could not write books for children under this name as people would think oh there will be a lot of adult content, they can’t be stories for children.  So I decided on Jason D’ebre as my author name for my children/young people’s books.

When writing for the younger generation you need to have a good imagination and a story where they can use their own imagination to picture what’s happening.  It must contain adventure, goodies and baddies, the odd bit of death and destruction and of course magic. The goodies may win, but the baddies must be bad and lose…..often especially if they are to appear again in further adventures before finally being killed off or sent packing back to…..

Today most things are what I call whoosh bang stories.  Blow it/them up make a lot of noise. It doesn’t matter too much if there is not a story as long as it is violent, and this troubled me a little.  So I decided to write a fantasy historical story based on actual events in history, a challenge in its own rights.  But young people need to read about their own and others history. Especially in these days of conflict because, believe it or not, despite what the politicians say Europe is entwined.  Kings married their offspring to other kings offspring thus making sure they had a connection with that country (a claim to that throne) even when they were fighting each other.

Take Britain (or England as it was then) they and the French were marrying into each others royal families but it did not stop them fighting.  And as for Germany well….. It is an unfortunate  fact that people only think of Hitler and the two wars, but the historical links go way back in time.

To The Books

One of the least written about periods in English history is the reign of King John. Because apart from him losing the crown jewels in the wash (which personally I do not believe), and when he was Prince John, nothing is really known about him.  What is known is that he was definitely not a nice man. His attitude was he could do what he wanted to whoever he wanted because he was the king. This and taxing everyone when he needed money were just two of the things the Norman Barons eventually got fed up with.

So I wrote Clearing in the Forest and Peaceful Land setting them in this period of English history where there was so much unrest, battles and general skull-duggery.  I enjoyed my research and found that I had plenty of scope and material. King Johns battle decisions and the evil doings of Philip of France and his sidekick the very evil Odo, added to my mix.  I then found John,Geoff and Ela the illegitimate children of a village woman and Norman Baron. Cast out of their home to fend for themselves when their mother died then chased away from their village and the stage is set.  Add to this a witch, some magic and the plot thickens. I also discovered what has kept Britain safe for hundreds of years.

I have to admit that when telling a story or writing about history you have to be as factual as you can.  A little ‘writers licence’ is ok but to try to change history to your view is not the way to go (take heed Hollywood). So I decided that as well as an adventure I would show what life was really like for the ordinary man, woman and child in those times.  And for those of you who have read the first two books the third is on its way.

                                    

 

The books are out on Kindle and Createspace. If you have Kindle Prime you can read them for free.  When you have read them please let me know your thoughts I would like to hear your feedback.

Jason D’ebre – Author

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Naval History and Life

Bring Life Into Focus!!

                    

I have quite a few good dare I say brilliant ideas from time to time and in 2010 writing was one of them.  I had read this article by a reviewer in the Sunday Telegraph and having wanted to write for a long time decided it was now or never.  But what to write about? how to go about telling a story? So I decided to write about a subject I know about  Sailing ships! Royal Naval men of war frigaets, sloops all of them but in the 1700-1800’s as this way I could join history with society and the social acceptances of those times.

Writing with history is, in some ways, a blank page. As long as the historical facts are correct you can have fun, tell a raucous story, adventure is round every corner AS LONG AS THE HISTORICAL FACTS ARE RIGHT.  I have read books where ships of the line who not only didn’t exist but were never in that particular battle, fought alongside Nelson and others. It didn’t matter they were fictional, the story was told in such a way that not only you were there but you could see them there in your mind’s eye.  But these were purely naval adventure stories, I wanted to look at the lives of the men who lived on board. The women, wives even children – ships muster lists so informative – and tell the story of one man with plenty of bodice ripping in it to please the reviewer.

I suppose I also wanted to write for women, a love story with a strong handsome hero , the heroine not so chaste or timid but alive and lusty, hence Jason Watson was born and A Soldiers Wind took flight.

Writing also makes you think. You cannot write about times in other century’s with the mindset, morals, attitudes and eyes of modern-day.  Things were very different, people were different the way they looked at life was different.  If you were rich or had money you could live a comfortable life, possibly marry into nobility or at least a man with money, on the other hand if you were poor living hand to mouth or working on the land things were very different.  The Lord of the Manor had the right to sleep with a bride before her wedding day, or any woman who he fancied, it was also considered a sign of favor by the girls/woman’s family.

That said I very much enjoy my research and the actual writing of the story.  A Bengal Poppy (the second book in the series) takes a look at the East India Company and the Chinese will still not admit that they bought Opium from the East India Company for silver. (it was the only thing they would pay silver for) Here you find Jason up to his neck in war, battles, drugs and of course, his women.

My latest book in this series Tormented Loyalties is now out on kindle.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

 

 

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A Book For Christmas

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Christmas is coming winter is already here turn off the i-pads, phones and laptops shut the doors turn off the tv, and gather the children around your knee. Take up a Kindle or open the book and begin a journey that three children took.   Delve into the past to the time of King John, with witches and evil where magic was strong.  Follow the children as their lives unfold see how they survived in the days of old.

Through spooky forests, hunting for food, learn the spells that were good and bold. Meet the evil Odo and King of France as battle after battle for England is past.  Then learn how hunting changed John to a man how his sister learnt magic and the witch changed her life. But most of all when you go to bed you’ll know why our England has been safe and sound its all there in magic waiting to be found.

You can find the book on Create a space or Kindle  Merry Christmas one and all

 

(c) M D Bosc

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So I Love Sailing and All Things Nautical

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So I write naval adventure stories which have a relationship running through them and yes there is sex in there.  But what people must remember is that in the times I write about (and I have researched them) it was socially acceptable for wealthy women to have affairs etc., in fact they basically did what they wanted to. Being the wife of a naval officer was no exception, especially when your husband was away for months sometimes years at a time.

My love of sail began when I was younger and it drove my desire for knowledge and history of the Royal Navy.  I started sailing on the Crouch a place where you can make mistakes without them turning into disasters moved to the south coast of England and tried cross-channel sailing where you can bump into things did this for around 20 years and I never got tired of the thrill it gave me.  I took my Yacht Master course along with a few others passed and studied for my Ocean Master. The most important things you have to know when sailing is your limitations if you grow up sailing things become instinctive but if like me you start later in life you have to study before you make a complete fool of yourself.

When I wrote A Plymouth Story I was way out to sea, felt the spray on may face as the ship caught the wind in her sails and heeled over on a tack, or, in my mind’s eye, I clung to the rigging like Aubrey in Master and Commander, feeling the wind in my hair (not that I have any now) but you get the picture. Adventure and a love of ships, boats and anything else that sailed was and still is my passion. So when you read  A Plymouth Story you will understand where I was.  As for A Soldiers Wind and A Bengal Poppy well they were both born out of a challenge, but that’s another story….

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc – Author

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Strong Women and Social Ideas

Navy First

Having had time to think about what I write and why, I suppose I write about strong women because the time I set the stories in needed them.  The wives of naval officers often had to fend for themselves for months years, even, and unless they were married to wealthy men it was a hard time.  So they made the best of their lot and often took a ‘companion’, after all nothing wrong in two women being together, it was safer than one on her own.

There is a lot tut tutting and harrumphing around today, but you have to remember that this was in the 1700/1800’s before the Victorians gave us morals, about what the ordinary people could and couldn’t do. However, they carried on just as before enjoying themselves whilst dictating to everyone else.  So what Claudia gets up to in A Soldiers Wind and A Bengal Poppy is nothing new,  it’s just not talked about today yet it still happens.

 London and the East End

Now Stanley is a slightly different kettle of fish.  This is the story of a man born and raised by his mother who happens to be a prostitute.  Not the sort with a ‘golden heart’ believe me Diane was a cold ruthless woman, if she wanted something then she got it no matter what.  Killing during the war she learnt the rudiments of life, money and property was what would give her and her precious son Stanley a home and security, that and nothing else so she set out to own both.

So she set up a ‘Escort Business’  supplying clean, healthy young girls as companions for the rich, nothing new there but she was the first to do it.  Again a strong woman, who knew what she wanted and got it, with the protection of her son.  Once again there is the social relationship between mother, son, and the girls, everybody looking after each other, that’s how it was in certain circles of society in the East-end.  You might not like the idea of his life but you must remember that was then not today things were very different for some people just after the war.  Also remember not everything is about the Krays or other mobsters, they were the ones who made the headlines yes,  but others like Stanley, kept under the radar and for good reasons.

So when you see the cover of  A Soldiers Wind or An East-end Boy don’t expect the usual gangster or naval adventure, read the books and think of yourself in those days, no television, no wifi, and ask the question if you were rich or lived in the same circumstances, what would you do for relaxation??  Then perhaps you will understand the stories better and see the social points I am making, women had to be strong or they didn’t survive..

These are books aimed at women, yes there is sex and often violence (but not against women) there is also the steamier side to life mixed in. But it’s how the heroines survive as they pick their way through their lives, I know how Gillian survived but read the stories to find out for yourselves.

(c) M D Bosc – Author

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Well Its Like This……

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“Well its like this your honour. There I was minding my own business, fast asleep when this here Jason Watson turned up and hauled me off to China to see how he helped the East India Company to sell opium to the Chinese in return for silver.  No your honour he is not a man you can say no to, and believe me I have tried. Not only did he get me involved with pirates, but wars, bandits and a woman, as if he hadn’t got enough on his hands with his wife in England.

He comes in the night and starts telling me what has happened and what will happen and goes on and on until I get up switch on the machine and write it all down. As if that’s not bad enough he then comes and wakes me again to come here and tell you how it is. He is a good man at heart but can’t sit still I shall be glad when he goes back to sea. Any chance of a war to keep him occupied?”

This is how it felt when I was writing A Bengal Poppy.  After a day of writing tweaking and re-writing to make sense of it I would go to bed tired out but content. Then Jason would turn up and either say what he was doing, had been doing, was going to do next or just plain bitch about what he didn’t like in the story so far.  (Should have made him a politician!) so once again I would get up and find myself working at god knows what hour of the morning.

But that as they say is the life of a writer and to be honest I would not change it or my characters. All I ask of them is to be allowed to get a little sleep….please.

(c) M D Bosc  –  Author

 

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Good Intentions and Broomsticks

I Should Have Known

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Good intentions are fickle!  You get them and if you are lucky they come off, but lately mine have taken a look at what I intend to do and bugged off quicker than a witch on a broomstick. It’s a bit like this picture looking down a tunnel wondering whats at the other end, believe me I know!!!!

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So what were my intentions I hear you ask?  Nothing big actually, just things like getting the wall I was in the middle of building finished. Cracking on with my book – sequel to Clearing in the Forest – visiting the Club Nautique and my friend Pep, going out with my wife things like that.  HOWEVER, just like it did with James Blackstock in A Plymouth Story, fate decided to take a hand – literally!

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Now I have told you about my hand and that I had been expecting a phone call from the hospital with a date for my operation, thinking it would be a while I started several things.  When the phone call came I had two days (Saturday & Sunday) to relax in.  RELAX???? flipping well relax?? if you have only ever had a minor op before when you were healthy and not on various tablets simple, but if you are getting on and rattle when you walk it’s not easy.  Anyway long story short I had the op, was awake, all ok (not as my beloved says way out on the anesthetic for the rest of that day) I decided to get on with things. First I showed my hand to the boys – not impressed – then decided that I should crack on with my writing and got caught out….  The last picture is of my hand plus stitches which have now been removed and it has healed nicely.

Petanca at Tivissa on a inter club competition

Petanca at Tivissa on an inter club competition

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my friend Pep and I talking boats

my friend Pep and I talking boats

So once I had the stitches out we went to petanca to see if I could handle the balls and play, guess what quite a few of our friends have had this op so I got loads of advice on getting the finger supple again and have played very well actually. We have also stopped at Club Nautique for a drink and something to eat several times, chatted with Pep who is still doing great things for the club. Not much left to do except finish the wall, go to the beach for our evening walk, driving again (bending the fingers round the wheel) and going out with the wife – that means shopping – oh and writing of course.   Well I thought so far so good….

This is Where My Good Intentions Flew Away

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Don’t believe it, things haven’t exactly gone to plan.  When my intentions saw I was about to start on the wall again collecting large stones, mixing cement etc., plus carry on typing they jumped on their broomstick and flew away.  Felt a bit like Jason did in A Bengal Poppy when the East India Company were trying to sell Opium to China for silver.  I then saw the Surgeon who said I needed physiotherapy 4 times a week for 1 month. Yep that’s about right torture 4 times a week hey ho but my hand will be ok after it. I blame the wife myself and the walls still not finished……

(c) M D Bosc   Author

 

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Torylaboursaurus Fossil Found

Through out history in every age there is a creature that arises and affects all it touches and then its time is past. Today is the time of the Mammals who haven’t been around for a great length of time on a planetary scale of things, but are making a determined attempt to destroy this world. We all look at the eight billion humans but tend to forget the hundreds of billions of mammals that are equally pumping out methane in vast quantities but the world coming to an end is not the reason for this brief post.

A political entity that came into being with the formation of unions and organised labour associations. A time when working men took their lives in their hands and many of them paid that ultimate price with many others being transported for life.

The freedoms we take for granted today have been given to us by these same people even to Grammar school pupils who would not have come into existence without the basic freedoms that had been fought for and gained by these heroic social fighters.

From the sixteenth to the nineteenth century was a time of great wealth for the aristocracy and eventually for the tradesman who rose up from technological advances. Be it in Gin, Beer and then manufacturing but not everyone can be at the top of the pile if there is nobody at the bottom who does the work? who buys the products, drives the buses and trains, or harvests the corn. During these times 99% of the wealth was in the hands of 2% of the population but they paid 90% of the taxes, because nobody else had any money. Today the 2% or 1% do not pay 90% of the taxes even if you pile on top all the major companies it is nowhere near 90%.

For a short while after two world wars attempts were made to share out the national cake, but in Britain it is all about conflict in industry. I want a bigger slice, is not about social justice so British companies went broke and foreigners come in to Britain and make industry run efficiently and profitably our car industry is huge but it isn’t British.

Organised labour in Britain is essential, but it should today, be about being more efficient and profitable not about conflict and strife. We do not suffer as our forebears suffered, we are not transported or taken in a cart to Tyburn.

When I was a lad my greatest ambition was to have a full stomach. Growing up in the forties and fifties with rationing, a lot of people had a shared view they had come together in a second great war was it all to be wasted but the country was broke. It seems that each time the country gets reasonably wealthy and people talk about sharing equitably something goes wrong and the wheel falls off.

If people who live comfortable lives and today we do, wish to reignite old wounds it can only end in tragedy. This is a time when Britain needs to come together and find a new future “Together” not as separate envious, jealous and greedy individuals, this applies to all sectors of society, rich and poor and everyone in between.

I have watched Political parties in Britain tear one another apart and the country with them over generations. Stop changing the country stop changing the rules stop introducing divisive policies put Britain first not your own personal bigotries, stop trying to turn the clock back we have moved on.

(c) M D Bosc  Author

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Writing About The Past and Opium

Example

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Ok so this is a picture of my hand after the operation, and whilst you are wondering why I am using it here I will explain.

Writing about events that happened centuries ago and are well documented is one thing.  However, weaving a story around them whilst remaining within the bounds of that era  is either a writers dream  or nightmare.  You see it all depends on what you are writing about and whether you have done your research.

So how does that relate to my hand? well it all happened a few weeks ago which in theory means it’s already history. So if say at a later date I wanted to write something about a guy who had an operation I can recall my small operation.  I can with writers licence, remember the agony, pain, feelings of uselessness and frustration, then work on them until I have a really soul-searching, gut wrenching story of guy who is in so much pain he takes it out on the very people who are there for him.  And that’s how its done!  Embellish things exaggerate a bit but stay within the bounds of what is.

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So when I wrote A Bengal Poppy I took a look at the opium trade between The East India Company and China.  Now the Chinese would only trade silver bullion for Opium often dealing with pirates and other small suppliers until the East India Company took over organized things and it became big business. Over time there were several Opium Wars and the Victorian ‘high moral standards’ decreed that there would be more.

This went on into the mid 20th century when there were still foreign gun boats and warships on the Chinese rivers up till 1948 when the Chinese revolution happened. Nothing is new really, Opium is still traded today only this time its heavily across the Mexican border.

 

(c) M.D.Bosc   Author

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