Author Archives: OldeEnglishPublishing

The English language

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It is very well known that the US and the UK are two English speaking countries, but even though the world is shrinking due to TV and the Internet, there is still a huge language difference. Except, unfortunately the word “like” has slipped into every day language, especially among teens and young adults, via American TV shows.

I left the UK almost thirty years ago. I have lived in Europe, the Middle East, Canada and finally America. So now that I have returned, I find myself a stranger in my homeland, well almost . . . some things never change LOL.

Let me say, from now on, I will not go to the bathroom (loo), get in an elevator (lift), open the trunk (boot) or fill my car with gas (petrol).

So long for now or should I say “Cheers.”

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An Experience I’ll always remember

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My heart beats loudly against my ribcage, like that of a weakened gazelle running bewildered and exhausted from a fierce lion. I break into a sweat. I never sweat. My hands shake like an alcoholic deprived of her daily dosage. My mouth is dry, my throat tightens. I gasp for breath. I want to run, like that terrified gazelle. I care not where I run to, only that I am not here, now… such is stage fright

In ten minutes I will be standing in front of my audience. I can do this. I’m a trained actor from one of the best schools in London. During rehearsals I was confidant and off-book before anyone else. Why do I feel so vulnerable?

I hear the excitement of the crowd through the heavy velvet curtains. Friends calling over to other friends, laughter and the coughs. The small polite cough, the throaty cough and the downright disgusting phlemy cough. Who’s out there? Will I know anyone?

Jason said he was coming. I only met him a couple of months ago at an audition and he was fun and exciting. As an actor, he was good. Damn good. Would it be assuring to see him, or would I be under the scrutiny of his intense blue eyes?

“One minute to curtain,” yells the stage manager, rushing past me, clipboard in hand. He looks back and gives me a querulous look, making sure I was ready.

Backstage the cast are bustling around in their period costumes, primping and laughing, ready for the big moment. Am I the only nervous actor here? I wanted to yell. The heat is intense and the old dress I’m wearing smells of mold and is extremely itchy. My shoes grip my feet like Japanese foot binding. I feel the make-up melting and smudging my already stained ruffle. I can’t do this!

I find my mark on the stage floor. Other actors take their places, crew stand ready in the wings. The curtain rises. I stand there staring into blackness, my eyes adjust to the glaring stage lights. The audience have become part of the play. They are now an eager crowd of the Middle Ages, waiting for the horrific moment to occur.

I AM Lady Jane Grey.

The words flow easily.

“If I must die for England, so let it be. But first, hear my story”

I turn to my executioner – stage fright gives way to stage presence. Lady Jane’s blood courses through my veins.

DOUBLE AGENT? – SWAN HELD FOR QUESTIONING

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Posted on 08/31/2013 by 

In the hysteria of war, all are suspects.

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CAIRO — Authorities have detained a swan on suspicion of being a spy.

The suspected winged infiltrator was taken to a police station on Friday in the Qena governorate, 280 miles southeast Cairo.  The swan remained mute during the interrogation the bird made no apparent efforts to refute the acquisition.  He did seem to have his feathers ruffled when authorities examined the electronic device he was wearing.

The head of security in Qena, Mohammed Kamal said the device, like the swan, was scrutinized and was determined to be benign.  The swan would not confirm the subsequent conclusion that it was in fact a wildlife-tracking device.  The swan was subsequently released and has not been heard of since.

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In a possibly unrelated incident the World Swan Tracking Station said a member of their elite team was “off’-grid” for several hours on Friday leading them to suspect recruitment of the fowl as a double agent by a foreign power.

More on this story as it develops.

Online dating

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I have to preface this piece with an apology to all the blondes…dumb and otherwise…

A few months ago I joined POF (Plenty of fish) website…very interesting and sometimes very entertaining. I talked to a guy who sounded like he had a French accent and decided to meet him … I was impressed when he rolled up in his Mercedes SL500 convertible. He suggested we go to a party so I followed him to a hotel in Scottsdale. It turned out to be one of those computerized singles groups, which I had attentively avoided for years. However I decided to make the best of it and see how he acted in a public setting. He bought me a drink, then off he went to chat with every blonde in the room … BLONDE!…Oh, I think he thought from my bad picture on POF I was a blonde … well I can only claim to having blonde highlights. His accent turned out to be Yiddish with a bit of Hungarian thrown in. I watched him annoyingly drop his Mercedes key ring in front of every blonde he spoke to. Okay, buddy you have a nice car… what else can you bring to the table?

I walked up to a makeshift notice board and read some of the profiles that were posted. One in particular caught my eye. A name that wasn’t run of the mill (Bob Joe John Dick…you know what I mean) Johann, a name that intrigued me and a background of travel. I turned, wondering where he could be…and there he was, right next to me talking to a blonde. Maybe I was rude by interrupting and saying to him “you’re the one I want”…this lead to a brief conversation before informing me politely he had to dance with the blonde….. About 10 minutes later he came over and we had a great conversation, then a very bad dance but I didn’t care for once, as this guy was definitely “eye candy” with a personality. I could see a slew of blondes waiting to have a few minutes with him so I handed him my business card, and bid him adieu…and thought nothing more about it. I had had a great time …and my original date? He stayed …dancing with the blondes. LOL

To be cont’d

TV Romance

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I’m not a big fan of television. I like PBS for Death in Paradise and Downton Abbey and a few nightly network programs like Elementary, Castle and 60 Minutes.

However this time of year is even worse, as all the reruns are aired. What to watch is the question? Big Brother. Never! Wipeout. Please. Keeping Up with the Kardashians. I’d rather throw my TV out of the window.

Because of the limited choice I hate to admit that I started to watch the Bachelorette. So, I’m a romantic soul, that’s my defense. The first airing of this show, a few years ago, was good maybe because of its newness, but each season the shows steadily got worse. I think the Producers realized this, so they beefed it up by staging it in different parts of the globe. Also this Bachelorette seems to have more intelligent things to say to her potential suitors, than the previous ones.

Personally I cannot imagine myself being in front of cameras 24/7 flirting with 20 guys, can you?

It is tough these days to meet interesting men. I’ve tried a couple of online websites with no luck, but I won’t give up until I’m too old to have any interest in the opposite sex.

SHE

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SHE did this, SHE did that, SHE went there, SHE saw this, SHE saw that ….

Why is it I have so many problems with SHE?  Have you ever written a piece then highlighted a word like SHE and see how many times we use it. I have heard there should be no more than 5 shes on a page.

This is my biggest challenge when I write. My editor is giving me ideas and help on how to get rid of a few SHE’s, but the little vixen keeps creeping into my second novel.

I decided to analyze a novel by a well-known writer so I can see how they handle it, but I get so involved with the actual story I finish the book and forget why I started reading it in the first place.

So to all those experienced and unpublished writers, any ideas?

Prologue to Mexican Interlude

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Roberto Castillo crouched down behind the containers and cardboard boxes. The pain in his right knee from an old football injury, unbearable.

Damn,” he muttered.

To him it seemed that his breathing resonated through the old warehouse. He hoped to God the Gonzalez family could not hear him. It was crucial to get all the information he needed before they packed up and disbanded. The chase was finally coming to an end.  For the last two years he followed the family, from Los Angeles to South America, Africa, and then Mexico, building a very strong case against them. To the typical customer it appeared as if they ran a legitimate export company, bringing the best tequila to the US. But Roberto knew they made their millions from drugs and arms cleverly concealed in their shipments. Somebody in customs was turning a blind eye and becoming incredibly rich. Roberto was close to submitting his report to the DA and putting this crew behind bars for a very long time.

Suddenly… the familiar sound of a bullet whizzed past his ear, followed by another. Adrenaline coursed through his body. Sweat made his shirt stick to his chest like a wetsuit. He looked down at a red pea-sized dot floating over his chest. His mind raced. Air exploded in his lungs. He gasped and choked clawing at his throat fighting to draw a breath. Blood seeped from between the buttons of his shirt and soaked the fabric. His eyes stung and would no longer focus. A warm wetness trickled down his legs. Glancing down he saw the blood. His blood. His head spun. Then the pain left him and his body felt very light; he thought about his beautiful wife Maria and his son Jamie.