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charliecochrane [userpic]

Dreamwidth and Wordpress and just making my life simpler

[sticky post] January 5th, 2017 (12:36 pm)

2017 will see me - hopefully - completing what I started in 2016, which is simplifying my online presence. My website address now relocates to my Wordpress site, where I also have an active blog, so the next step is to co-ordinate this blog and my dreamwidth one. Like many folk, I'll be heading to dreamwidth for my main blog, although I'll keep my mylodon presence for all things fandom.

Come and link up at Dreamwidth/Wordpress!

charliecochrane [userpic]

The definitive (at present!) chronological list of Jonty and Orlando stories

May 4th, 2020 (11:58 am)

Early twentieth century:

Lessons in Love November 1905 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Desire August 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Discovery  November 1906 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Power Spring 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation July 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons in Temptation missing scene July 1907

What the Mathematician said to the Statue Summer 1907

Lessons in Seduction September 1907 Re-issue coming soon!

What the Mathematician said to the Engineer November 1907

My true love sent to me December 1907

My True Love sent to me postscript

Lessons in Trust Summer 1908 Re-issue coming soon!

Resolution January 1909

Lessons for Suspicious Minds Summer 1909.

On the occasion of their anniversary November 1909

Wetting the baby's head missing scene, November 1909

Bloody Mathematicians Spring 1910

Lessons for Idle Tongues Summer 1910

May our days be merry and bright Winter 1910

A fit employment for a gentleman Summer 1912 (crossover 'fanfic')

Once we won matches Aug 1912

Ring in the New December 1913

Game of Chance 1916

All Lessons Learned Spring 1919 Re-issue coming soon!

Lessons for Survivors, Autumn 1919

Lessons for Sleeping Dogs 1921

The Boy from Kings 1932

A random collection of silly things:

The Inadvertent Adventures of Johnny Stewart, Jonty's great-nephew.

Orlando's opinion on Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake.

Pride, Prejudice and all the rest.

Drabbles 1 Edwardian

Drabbles 2 Edwardian

Splitting Infinitives Edwardian, crossover 'fanfic'

Ten plus five plus eight = twenty three Edwardian crossover 'fanfic'

Love Letters, 1911 to 2011

Lessons in Disco 2010

charliecochrane [userpic]

Guest author Garrick Jones

November 14th, 2018 (10:44 am)

Delighted to have Garrick Jones here to talk about his book The Boys of Bullaroo.

So, cobber, what does it feel like seeing your first book fledge and leave the nest?

If I can paraphrase a line or two from Stephen Sondheim’s “Into the Woods”, “And it (he) made me feel excited, Well, excited and scared.”

That’s how I felt: reluctant to let go, mainly because I’m obsessed with getting everything right, wondering what my more “staid” friends might think, and basically for exposing my soul to the world. What’s the point of writing if you don’t share the inner self, especially as so much of the collection is based on either personal or family real life experiences?

What do you wish you'd known when you set out to write the book (either about the content or about publishing or both)?

I wish I’d done what I was advised to, later on down the path, by Aleksandr Voinov, who suggested I might enjoy a journey with a professional editor. I should have done it after my first attempt, rather than two books later. The experience changed my whole attitude to writing; it smashed some of my preconceptions about prose, voice, and style. It also reinforced the belief I’d always had that my particular offering was unique. That’s a hard thing for a writer to realise: because you are a different person from anyone else on God’s earth, your thoughts and the ways the words that transmit onto the page from your fingers are going to contain the uniqueness of “you”. If you write, you must be prepared to “let it all hang out”.

Why these stories and why these particular conflicts?

I have a great personal connection with every one of the six stories, starting with the first in the anthology, 'Sergeant Jack'. The main character's exploits are based on the war records of my Great-Uncle Jack, who fought at Gallipoli in the 6th Light Horse, then ended his war after being treated for shell shock as one of the very first Australian pilots flying reconnaissance missions over the Western Front. He also went back for a second dose during the 1939-1945 conflict. He’s also the man who taught me to ride and shoot, to drive a plough behind a horse team, to break in a horse, and how to hold a finger in the air and know what the weather would be for the next four days.

The stories that make up The Boys of Bullaroo are drawn from relative's histories and those of our close friends who were considered part of our "wider family". My gay godfather was the most important of them, as I believe it was he who made a young lad with an absent father into the person I am today. It was a great role model to grow up with a man in a stable relationship with another bloke, and see they were as "normal" as the sun in the sky, and the smell of the bush. Many of his contemporaries, and men in our socio-economic group were damaged. They came home from the Second World War and were basically told to "man up and shut up". Later in life I got to know what they were hiding and it devastated me.

My great uncle and two of his siblings fought in both the First and Second World Wars. Both grandfathers in the Second, my father and his brother the same, and my uncle in WW2, the Japanese occupation forces, and into the Korean War.

And then there is my own personal story, which is carefully hidden, as many of the people involved are still alive. I’ve obtained permission from several of them to write about their disguised stories, and have manipulated the rest to a fashion that even they won’t recognise themselves.

As for the private lives of these men, and how I wove them into The Boys of Bullaroo, I don’t kiss and tell; read it yourself, and then close your eyes and let your imagination run.








charliecochrane [userpic]

We shall remember them

November 12th, 2018 (08:21 pm)

Despite being in Bruges yesterday, we saw surprisingly little in the way of formal events, although there was a glorious peal of bells from all directions from 11am onwards. A couple of lovely ceramic poppy displays graced the canal sides and I got a bit emotional when we heard a piper playing Highland Cathedral.


But the main thing that touched me was the port of Zeebrugge itself. Looking at the harbour mouth, the canal and the moles, thinking of the suicidal Zeebrugge raids. Is this where the ships came in? Was that where Arthur Harrison led his men?


As with the many installations around this country - 'ghost soldiers' in churchyards or on sporting pitches or by village signs - we are seeing this conflict in terms of the past co-existing or interlaying the present.

charliecochrane [userpic]

World war one commemoration - the final whistle

November 11th, 2018 (09:34 am)

I have been making these posts on the 4th and 11th of the month since August 2014 -the 4th to mark the start date of the Great War, the 11th to mark the end date. I'm grateful to all those who've made guest posts, or inspired posts, or written interesting articles that I've linked to.

Even though this series of posts has ended, my thoughts will never be far from the Great War. I shall be in Belgium on Sunday (date of visit not intentionally chosen) and next autumn we'll be making our first trip to the battlefields area, specifically Cambrai (for Wilfred Owen), Arras (Walter Tull), Poperinge (Talbot House) and Ieper (for Tyne Cot).

We shall remember them.

war graves

charliecochrane [userpic]

Latest newsletter

November 9th, 2018 (01:14 pm)

We’re cruising this weekend. (Steady on! Not that sort of cruising.) And to illustrate how one half of my brain doesn’t connect with the other, we’ll be in Belgium on Sunday, 100 years to the day after the guns fell silent, which was totally unplanned and extremely poignant.


Once again, a flurry of Cambridge Fellows activity. Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour is on offer until Tuesday, and Lessons for Suspicious Minds has been re-released. All the re-releases will be initially in e-book form with the print version following a few weeks later. Also the next Cambridge Fellows novella, Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code, is available for pre-order and that will be in print too, as well as on kindle.

St Bride's College is buzzing with excitement at the prospect of reviving the traditional celebration of the saint's day. When events get marred by murder it's natural that Jonty Stewart and Orlando Coppersmith will get called in to help the police with their inside knowledge. But why has somebody been crawling about on the chapel roof and who's obsessed with searching in the library out of hours?

Talking of libraries (that’s what is known as a Radio 2 link and I’d best apologise for it), I’ll be at the Southsea Library authors fair on Thursday. I’ll have books with me, but more importantly, sweeties. The programme for Portsmouth Bookfest will soon be up – I’ll be Deadly Daming it (at an event that comes with cake) and also on a panel discussing favourite fictional sleuths. Trying to choose just one of those is like trying to choose just one sort of sweetie in the tuck shop. I’ve also got all sorts of things happening online in the run up to Christmas – like Alex Jane’s Advent Calendar of free short seasonal stories - of which more details nearer the time.

We’ve had lots of Cambridge Fellows excerpts recently so, apropos of nothing other than that I’m playing about with these two characters again, here’s a bit from Don’t Kiss the Vicar.

“Dan! Good timing. I’m off out in ten minutes.” Jimmy sounded chipper down the phone, as always. “How are you?”
“Not so bad. Got everything bar three down today.” If that was being economical with the truth, Dan didn’t care. Some part of him still felt the pressing need to impress his ex-boyfriend.
“Hey, good going. I was three short.”
Probably the same three as Dan, who’d forgotten to mention the other two empty slots on his crossword grid.
“How’s your love life?” Jimmy continued.
“Non existent. How’s yours?
“Not much better.”
“Oh, sorry. Want to talk about it?” Dan tried not to sound too delighted at the news. Things not going well with the fragrant Stuart?
“Yeah, maybe. But not at this precise moment. Some of us have work to go to.”
“Maybe we could meet up sometime?” If they could ever get diaries to align. It had always been difficult, Jimmy’s Sunday off being Dan’s busiest part of the week. “Tomorrow lunch any good for you?”
“It might be. Need to check. I’ll text you later.” With anybody else that could have been a fob off, but if Jimmy said he’d text, then he’d do it.
“Look forward to it. Take care of yourself, will you?” The depth of feeling Dan heard in his own voice shocked him. Did he sound as needy to Jimmy?
“Will do, Danny boy. Always looked out for number one.”
Dan stared at the phone for minutes after putting it down. Non-existent love life? Did that mean Stuart had legged it or Jimmy had got tired of him or what? And did it mean Jimmy was on the market again? If it did...if it did, he’d have to think about the situation long and hard. The first couple of months after Stuart had swaggered along and broken up their happy home, Dan had hoped he’d sling his hook and Jimmy would come rebounding back to him, but he’d done a lot of recovering since then. If Jimmy was in the market for a reunion—and that was a really big “if”—was that the right way forward for either of them?
Sounds from outside his study window distracted him. An elderly couple had pulled up in their car, probably to tend the grave of their son, who’d died pitifully young. Oblivious to their sorrow, birds were flirting with each other in the laurel hedge. All around him, life was going on as normal, the usual mixture of happiness and sadness, so why should he get a better deal of it than anyone else? It hadn’t worked out with Jimmy in Sussex, so why should it work out with him in Hampshire? Dan wasn’t even sure he loved Jimmy any more. Not in the heart breaking, mind numbing, trouser disturbing way he’d done when they’d first met.
He looked at his half-written sermon, decided he’d got no chance of finishing it just yet, and headed for the door. Fresh air. Long walk. Bit of a think. Bit of a pray. That’s what he needed.

And finally – an image suitable for the time


charliecochrane [userpic]

Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour on offer for a week!

November 6th, 2018 (10:04 am)

There are Cambridge Fellows books on special offer left right and centre at the moment, the latest being Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour. Why not drop in and take advantage?


charliecochrane [userpic]

World War 1 commemoration - Greyed roses

November 4th, 2018 (01:12 pm)

Several sporting events this weekend have featured a minute's silence to remember the fallen. (Traditionally clubs will hold this event on their home game nearest 11th November.) Of course, my thoughts always go to the sportsmen who made the supreme sacrifice- among them Walter Tull, Edgar Mobbs, Dave Gallaher and those men commemorated in the 'greyed roses' picture at Twickenham.

27 England internationals lost their lives. Next Saturday we'll be sailing into Zeebrugge so I'll be remembering Arthur Harrison who took part in the raids there.

charliecochrane [userpic]

And now Lessons for Suspicious Minds

November 3rd, 2018 (12:37 pm)

A bit like buses, these re-releases are coming along thick and fast! Now we've got Lessons for Suspicious Minds relaunched. Don't forget Lessons for Idle Tongues is still free on kindle and - as a treat from me - I'll have Lessons in Loving thy Murderous Neighbour on offer for a week from Tuesday 6th November.

Lessons for Suspicious Minds

charliecochrane [userpic]

Lessons in Cracking the Deadly Code - print copies

November 2nd, 2018 (11:43 am)

Just to confirm that the next Cambridge Fellows novella will be available in print and should appear on the pre-order page once I've sorted out a few formatting errors that have sneaked in.


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