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Posts Tagged ‘America’

When An Idea Hits

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This is how I feel when a new book hits me.  A Plymouth Story had been wandering around for some while, here and there I wrote things down but nothing had fallen into place nothing solid or tangible, just odd ideas and feelings.  Then one day from out of nowhere something nudges you or pops into your head and there it is, the story. I have been used to characters dictating the way things should go so it was a bit of a shock when A Plymouth Story finally popped up as it had been hanging around in the background, always there but not quite ready.

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Strangely enough it wasn’t the boats in the marina where we went for coffee on a Sunday evening, or even the sea that was the trigger, it was this picture of the sun just coming up over the distant mountains that did it.  As I stood there watching dawn come tumbling across the valley, I remembered times when walking the dog I would stand on the beach and watch the sun rising over the horizon.  A sight that always made me think of sailing ships seeing a new day or perhaps sighting the enemy, of sailors watching the sun slowly climbing up the sky forecasting a warm day .  Little did I think as I stood there that one day it would inspire me to write a story.

Putting The Story Together

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I have always been interested in sailing ships and their history, perhaps it was the fact my birthday is on Trafalgar day, maybe  a bit of Nelson got me, who knows. What I do know is that my thirst for historical facts and figures, plus battles won and lost, fights, skirmishes, sneaky goings on and the personal history of those in charge has driven me to acquire a small library of books and information. Visits to museums, Portsmouth docks, the Victory and Warrior all contributed to my knowledge and writing.  My first attempt at this was the Jason Watson series. A look at the social side of life the things that were and weren’t acceptable, how the rich and powerful lived and carried on treading a line that was outwardly correct but inwardly often immoral. But it was not totally what I was after.

I wanted a personal story of life aboard ship for the ordinary sailor. Most men were pressed into the service or sent from prisons. So this is where I started from no rich parents to provide money and a step on the ladder, just an ordinary man who lived and worked on land on this basis I began to form the character  of James.

A Plymouth Story

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This is not Plymouth but Dartmouth, but try to imagine its Plymouth in the 1700’s and you’re looking at a street. Now imagine the houses without the main road and lighting. Instead picture cobbled streets leading down towards the jetty and sea wall. Picture houses packed together, horses pulling carts over straw covered streets to try deadening the noise.  Boys or men pulling hand carts along with sea chests on them on their way to an inn, people selling goods or just calling out to friends.  Into this comes a chandlers clerk, hardworking and honest, but at the beck and call of a mother who wallowed in her ill-health demanding this and that, a man with no life of his own. Watch as on his way to the apothecary for more medicine he is knocked on the head and wakes up far out to sea onboard the Frigate Amazon. This is a story of adventure, life onboard the Amazon seems strange to this man, but James has a thirst for learning, now you have the beginning of an adventure.

(c) Michael Douglas Bosc

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I had been doing some research for my book A Caring Killer and came across the British Columbia B-36 crash that no one can quite get their heads around. So I looked at the political situation of the time, Soviet developement of an Atomic weapon was advancing at pace with spies working frantically to gain technical information. At the same time Britain was building it own Bomb having been left in the lurch by the United States government after the second world war. But there are Governments inside Governments and these people felt it would be useful for Britain to have their own weapon, however to achieve this one had to go missing from the US nuclear arsenal.  As it was illegal to supply any foreign country with nuclear technology a plausible plan had to be developed.  What if a plane carrying the bomb got into difficulties and ‘dropped’ it into the Pacific ocean who would ever know the difference?

The B 36 was carrying a passenger, was his body never recovered? One thing we can certainly be sure of is all the fantasy theories about the plane flying it self is pure hokum.  That aircraft was flown to its destination, engines were re-started and that plane was landed on the plateau near mount Kologet it was in one piece and aircraft do not land close to mountains in one piece they smash-up.

‘Officially’ the captains body was never found, so how did that plane suddenly gain height and fly over the mountains into Canada? I have used my theory as part of my book which is as much about not trusting anyone.

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We were visiting family in Moline one winter and discovered things in the wild were not what they seemed. When we arrived it was so cold we could feel it as we breathed. It had snowed and where the snow ploughs had passed the banks of snow alongside the road were higher than we were.  We spent some time wandering round in the arsenal on the island to keep out of the snow. There is a vast array of guns on display, quite disconcerting for a non-American, but also very interesting from an historical view and well worth the visit. It was when we left there and drove along the Mississippi looking in disbelief at the frozen water we noticed holes in the ice with large stumps of wood beside them. Whilst we watched and discussed them a ‘stump’ suddenly darted forward and came up with a fish. It was a Bald Eagle doing its thing, we were fascinated and watched for several minutes to see if others did the same.  But our best day came just before our return home. We had gone for a drive and discovered a Cannel where the Bald Eagles were all over the trees. People were there doing what we were, looking and taking pictures.  The car park on our side of the cannel had a small wooded clearing and up in one of these trees was an eagle, head cocked to one side looking down at us with its beady eye. Not moving, with an expression of  ‘I’m watching you’ on its face; or perhaps it was saying ”here’s looking at you”!!! Either way a welcome memory. 

On our next visit, we were warned to be very careful when driving along the river as the Eagles were back and looking for nesting sites. People being so glad to see them were often not concentrating on the road and accidents were happening.  You can understand how, they made an impressive sight with their huge wing span and  grace.

Now many years later we live in a forest on the edge of a small National Park especially for the Eagles in this range of mountains. The mesa we live in front of is a favourite haunt of our eagles, of which there are several types. There is however a Fish Eagle that flies along the Ebro and yes watching it when driving is hazardous to your health the river road is narrow!!

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Oh! Careful girl.

Sorry madam.

The girl continued filing.

Its terrible this economic down turn, my husband has had to take shares instead of cash this year.

It must be most inconvenient madam.

What do you do with twenty million in bank shares.

As you say madam terrible.

The girl thought of her own wages, not exactly bread line but a lot of hours for not much money.

Yes times are hard on Wall Street, they are talking about making you keep the shares for five years; restrictions, restrictions.

It must be very awkward madam.

My friends husband is vice president of an investment bank, they are talking of moving to the Cayman Islands because the S.E.C. keeps interfering.

Yes madam.

Beaurocrats. They don’t understand business, you need freedom to make the right decisions.

No madam.

God, this woman is boring, every time she comes in here it’s moan, moan, moan; and she doesn’t even tip us after listening to her drivel.

No madam.

She’s a pain.

What?

This woman, all she thinks about is herself.

There standing on her shoulder was a devil.

It’s alright she can’t hear us and even if she could she is not interested, listen to her.

My husband thinks the FOMC has got it all wrong, quantitive easing, giving our taxes away to those lazy good for nothings.

Yes madam.

See, she really cares for you, I bet you would like to get back at her.

Sometimes.

Yes, if she had to live by her own rules.

That would be a good idea.

If the government hadn’t leant them all of your money the country would be in a lot better condition.

Certainly would.

If you could make a wish so that had happened she would be on the same level as you.

I don’t like to spoil people’s lives.

You are not spoiling her life, listen to her.

It’s terrible, we only had three cruises last year, and the people who get on those ships, it shouldn’t be allowed.

No madam.

See what I mean, she doesn’t enjoy what she has, all you need to do is wish for the government to have kept all the money they gave to the banks, because everyone says it’s not working properly, all the experts agree, you will be together, all the same.

I suppose it wouldn’t really hurt.

No! just that one wish.

She was going on and on.

Very well: I wish the government had not given the banks any money.

That’s it, now you can all be together.

The wind was cold, blowing around the empty streets.

The queue gets longer every day Doris.

Did you get any food from the Charity Store Roberta?

 A little, just enough so you don’t starve.

Hope there is some soup and bread left.

God look at my hands, havent had a manicure in two years.

I used to be a manicurist I could do them for you…..

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Barrack Obama was elected on a strong emotional upswell within the United States supported by such luminaries as Ophra and Teddy Kennedy, however, no one really looked at his policies or politics. With a large number of African Americans voting on the basis ‘lets get our man in’.

I do not believe that Obama thought he could win the Democratic Primary, Hilary Clinton had it sewn up. I believe  he was testing the water for eight years hence when economic problems were more settled. But Edward Kennedy saw a golden opportunity to go down in history as the man who put a black president into office, with the added bonus of kicking the Clinton’s in a very soft spot of their anatomy. There was only room for one dynastic family in the Democratic Party, and so an incompetent campaign by Hilary in throwing away her strongest card – her surname – and distancing herself from Bill allowed Obama in.

The moral of the story is this. If you are going to vote, check the policies and throw the emotion away.

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