100 and counting

As I happily published my most recent Picture Fiction, I was instantly alerted by the WordPress app that I had written my 100th blog.

Now, that is a lot of writing. At least, to me it is.

Yes, there’ll be blogging ninjas, power bloggers, super bloggers & masters of the blogging universe out there who wouldn’t even get out of bed for 100 posts.  But I, am extremely proud.

Like a lot of writers out there, juggling a full time job, family & a generally busy life, doesn’t really leave much time for writing or blogging when you also factor in eating, sleeping & showering.

I’m immensely proud to share my writing & I am excited to think of what the next 100 blogs will be.

Was I really born to just to work & pay bills?

As I inhaled the steam from my morning coffee, the post thumped onto the floor. Bills, bills, bills.

As I sat back in the seat of my car a very familiar sound chirped from the dash area. Fuel warning. Spend, spend, spend.

As I chomped on my sandwhich while on my lunch break, my iPhone rang with an unfamiliar number. Stupidly, I answered. “You owe, you owe, you owe”.

As I mind my own business while working, annoying, oblivious colleagues wave work group lottery tickets, sweepstakes & leavers cards in my face. Money, money, money.

As I make my way home, I pull into the supermarket for essentials & toiletries. Cash, cash, cash.

As I cook my dinner on the gas, run my laundry, load the dishwasher, turn on the heating & undress out of my work clothes, I step into the shower. Costs, costs, costs.

Time for bed.

Time to get up.


The ‘likes’ & ‘views’ Rocket!


Last night, I wasn’t feeling entirely confident about my blog or my writing. It’s a natural feeling from time to time for most writers, I would imagine.

So, I plonked myself in front of the Mac and I typed up a small blog about how I felt or or how I feel when I read my stats for the day and they’re not setting the World Wide Web on fire.

Within 3 minutes or so of publishing it, I was alerted that it had been liked and reblogged by http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com

I’m not joking when I tell you, my post and my blog site went crazy for the next 8 hours. Likes, comments, new followers. Posts that had been dormant for some time had been revived by these welcomed new visitors. The WordPress App on my iPhone sent me an alert, telling me my ‘Blog Stats are booming’. I didn’t even know they did that? Turns out, they do.

I guess you could agree that there was some degree of irony, based on the content of my post and the activity it created.

I visited http://thestoryreadingapeblog.com ‘s site and thanked them personally for giving me what was my second best day for views and visitors since I began my blog. If I hadn’t already, I quickly learned about the community culture that us WordPressers are lucky to have and come to enjoy.

I was overwhelmed with positive words of encouragement from fellow bloggers who had, and have had the same feelings over and over. What’s more, it introduced me to a whole host of new bloggers and content.

Every cloud and all that.

Thank you to the article I wrote, but, especially to the WordPress community who literally made my stats Rocket for a whole day.

That really gets my goat! Part 3: Ignorant Idiots

Goat 1


Seven billion.  A huge number.  In fact, it’s such a massive number, its very difficult to picture or contemplate.  Yet, thats exactly (well not exactly) how many human beings reside on this planet, known as Earth.  A planet that is essentially 90% water with only 10% available land.  But, in actual fact, 4% of that land is uninhabitable deserts, ice deserts, barren volcanic rock or snake and spider infested jungles.  This leaves seven billion of us to fight over a tiny 6% of habitable land.

When you do that kind of math, it doesn’t take Einstein to work out, that a few of us won’t get along.  We may annoy each other, become angry with one another.  We may disagree with opinions or beliefs of other people or religions.  And frighteningly enough, some of us don’t think twice of killing each other.

None of us are born with manners.  When your parents raise you, they teach you right from wrong, how and when to say please and thank you and teach you the importance of a good education.  The sad truth is, there are a lot of children out there that don’t receive as good an upbringing as they deserve, meaning that they could grow into adulthood possessing neither manners, respect or a good education.
Most of us respect our parents for teaching us the important things in life and we will put it into practice as we go through our childhood and into our adult life.

Some people, however, don’t.  Instead, they choose to forget manners, choose to be disrespectful towards other people and just enjoy being horrible or nasty.
I, for one, was raised with, and taught the importance of manners and respecting people.  When I encounter people who are ignorant, disrespectful and just down right rude, it really, really gets my goat!

Simple things like holding doors open, saying excuse me if you need to squeeze past someone on the bus or train, apologising if you step on someones toe or helping somebody pick up their shopping when the bags suddenly burst.  These are examples of common courtesy, manners and respect.

Are these things really difficult to do? For some people, the answer is yes.

I can remember many times when I’ve been bumped past on the street or on a bus, yet, the ignoramus responsible, keeps walking.  I can remember holding doors open for people as they enter the mall, only to have it swing back in my face as I exit.

Other people believe that they are the only ones around and are free to do as they please without considering others.  I’ll give you an example:

The other day, my lovely wife and I had been for a late night swim (it really helps her in the last stages of pregnancy).  After stopping for a bag of chips, I noticed that one of my tyres was flat, and so, proceeded to the nearest fuel station.  When I arrived, I pulled up by the air dispenser and began blowing up my tyre.  Within 5 seconds of this, a car came roaring in off of the street, dodged the fuel pumps and screeched to a halt.  To add to the idiocy of the driver, he was booming 90’s dance music so loud it would have awoken Godzilla from hibernation.  Boom, boom! Thud, Thud! I’ll bet if he killed the engine, the vibrations from the bass could’ve easily carried the car along the road. I’m sure we all play music loud in our cars, sometimes.  I have, and do.  But, not at 10:30pm in a built up area, and certainly not as I pull into a quiet fuel station.  What amazed me even more about this, was that the driver was a balding, fat 40 something, height of nothingness man.  His friend, of equal description, hauled himself out of the low riding car and headed to an ATM.  Even more astoundingly, they actually tried to talk to each other, or rather, scream at each other as the music boomed, while one idiot stood at the ATM and the other moron sat in his car.  Seriously gents, drive responsibly, turn that ageing dance music down and act your bloody age!

I have often witnessed people load shopping into their cars, only to lazily toss the shopping trolley to one side and climb into their cars.  Of course, that trolley will eventually creep down the gradient and eventually hit some poor souls new Maserati.  What makes this more irritating, aside from the down right laziness and zero respect for other peoples property, is the fact that the trolley park is less than 3 meters from them.  Yet, these very people would be the first complain if their car was whacked by a run away trolley.

You can imagine my horror as I browsed my local supermarket and witnessed an elderly customer trying to get the attention of an assistant, by calling after them as if they were some little junk yard dog, while waving a walking stick in the air.  The store worker remained calm and pleasant.  I for one, was boiling inside.  I would never dream of ever speaking to a junk yard dog like that anyway, never mind another human being.

Other experiences, such as walking along the street and approaching a Zebra crossing, only to be almost run over by some ignorant, arrogant a-hole who decides that they don’t want to stop for you, even although it’s the law.  And, when you make a face of disgust, they are the ones who throw a hand out of the window, and make a rude gesture of some sort.

There are countless other examples of dealing with, or witnessing a world crammed with horrible ignoramuses.  Im sure, many of you have examples of your own and have most likely dealt with an ignorant idiot quite recently.

However, to the ignorant idiots out there, who choose to be disrespectful, nasty or just down right rude, stop and think for just one minute.  How exactly would you feel, if the shoe was on the other foot?

Ignorance, disrespect and rudeness really, really gets my goat!

Goat has been got!


Read Parts 1 and 2, here 

(c) Copyright 2014 AGS

What’s stopping YOU?


I am by no manner or means a full time or published author, although, it is a definitive goal of mine.

Instead, I commute to work 5 days a week, working varying shift patterns & deal with a huge amount of responsibility on a daily basis. I deal with all kinds of people, which can be enjoyable or not, depending on whom you are dealing with and, perhaps, what mood I am in on that particular day. I do this, because it’s my career. I’ve worked extremely hard at it, but, my main reasons for the daily grind, are to provide for & to generate a comfortable lifestlye for my family.

Writing is a passion of mine, it always has been. I’ve written hundreds of short stories, articles and screenplays, all unpublished, unless they’re published on my blog.

It’s difficult to describe the feeling that you get when you’re infront of the Mac, battering your ideas away at the keyboard. I have often wondered & dreamed of a career as a published writer.

Why haven’t I pursued it?
Something got in my way.

There is always an excuse not to do something. Work, chores, errands, walking the dog, washing the car or important things like, laying on the couch. But, the truth is, those are your daily rituals and routines. They won’t go away and will never stop.

I quickly learned, that if those were the only things stopping me pursing my writing career, then, I may as well throw the Mac out of the window, burn everything I’d ever written and smash my head against the drywall, in a bid to help me rid myself of my desire to write.

So, I pledged to myself.

I will find time to write and share on my blog, I’ll complete the unfinished screenplays and I will start that novel, the one I’ve been thinking of for 10 years.

I will write & I will become published.

Until then though, I’ll still go to work. The chores will be complete. The errands will be ran. The dog will get walked, the car will be clean, I can still lay on the couch & a thousand and one other things will still get done.

What’s stopping you?

More on the importance of Copyrighting your work

We established the importance of Copyrighting your work and some simple steps to achieve it, on my post, here.

While these are all simple, yet effective methods in ensuring your work is protected, there are still some important detail to cover to ensure that your work remains protected and potential bootleggers are deterred.

Point 2 on Important Tips on Copyrighting your work, described printing a small copyright notice on the body or at the end of your article.  These are known as Copyright Notices.

So, where should I place or print my copyright notice?

1. If you’ve written a book or manuscript, your copyright notice must be printed at the start of your book, inside the front cover, on the first page, or on a page before any other content appears.

2. If you’ve written an article, essay, blog or a poem (single page documents), your copyright notice should appear at the foot of the page or document.

Readers should be fully aware that your work is protected as quickly as they begin to read it.



9 Ways to make cash from your car


We all dread it. Its almost a year since the car went for it’s last MOT. We try to avoid it, but can‘t. It‘s just the way it is. So, we drive into the garage and we are greeted by the smell of oil and sweat, the sound of a cheesy radio station echoes around the premises while spanners clunk and drills whirl. An overweight car mechanic, who has survived on a diet of cheeseburgers and coffee for the past 20 years, struggles out from underneath the truck he’s working on and rubs his oily hands on his already oil soaked cover alls. He takes one look at your car and makes the inevitable sucking sound through his teeth that seems to be written in the big book of car mechanics phrases and sounds:

“That’s gonna cost ya, pal!”

Of course it is. Anything automotive is going to cost, especially if you are driving a car more than 8 years old! This is when you are faced with the decision: Do I blow my money and hope that this old rust bucket lasts until next MOT? or do I just grit my teeth and bin it?
Sometimes binning it is the best long term option. If you do decided to scrap your old car, don’t be tempted to take it the a vehicle breaker just be offered £200 for it. Try some of these top tips. All you need is a little time and space in your back garden. A little mechanical knowledge would help, but it’s not essential.

1. Is the road tax still valid? Many people don’t realise that when you are no longer using a car on the road, you are entitled to a refund on the remaining duty on your road fund licence. Accompany the tax disc with the valid form to the DVLA’s office and you will receive a cheque in the mail about a week later.

2. Are the tyres still legal? If so, take them off and keep them for your next car. If you don’t fancy that idea, there are loads of road users out there looking for part worn cheap tyres.

3. How’s the upholstery? If you have car has leather interior, again, loads of car owners are looking for a cheaper option when it comes to tarting up their precious metal. You should advertise leather seats etc. in the local paper.

4. Break the engine. Easier said than done, I know. But a few hours taking common parts off the engine, cleaning them up and selling them is a fantastic way to make money. You could get up to £40 for a starter motor alone!

5. Take off all exterior fittings like side mirrors and lights. They fall into the same category as engine parts and are always sought after.

6. Interior items such as indicator and light switches are actually worth good money. Check out the prices of such things at a dealership and you’ll see what I mean. I was able to sell a set of indicator and light switches for an old Rover on eBay for £25!

7. Once your confident you’ve got the most profitable parts off the car, strip the rubbish out: Dashboard, door fascias, centre consoles etc. etc. Dispose of these items at your local recycling centre for free.

8. Providing you have space to keep your carcass outside for a while, fill it up with metal. Tins, cans, scrap metal. Clean them out, remove the labels and chuck them inside the car and fill it up. Make sure its only scrap metal you’re throwing in there.

9. If your able to deliver the carcass to your local metal recycling plant, they will pay on the weight off what you have delivered. You can expect a good payment from them. If you’re unable to deliver the carcass to the plant, many of them offer a pick up service, but this will reduce you payment quite a bit.

If you have the time to spare and the interest in this kind of thing, then it could prove to be a neat little earner for you. Advertising spare parts in local newspapers and on sites such as eBay will ensure you get a far better return for your scrap car.