A Language Tree

Really interesting. Thanks, Audrey for sharing.

Audrey Driscoll's Blog

Writers are perforce interested in language — the one in which they write, naturally, but also in languages generally, their origins and how they relate to one another. Here is a beautiful graphic illustrating that. It’s the work of Finnish-Swedish illustrator Minna Sundberg. The full version (and a lot more by Sundberg) can be found here.

language family tree_cropped

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…you are never to go to that dark place, Simba… Spammerland… bad things happen there…

Come and join Seumas and the rest of us at the virtual launch of his latest thriller, “Killer City.”

Seumas Gallacher


…there’s a fine line between (ssshhhh…) ‘spamming’ and ‘acceptable self-promotion’ for yer literary masterpieces… I just LUV the internet and all the linkage with my fellow-scribblers, readers and assorted buddies, nutters and others, of which we seem to have a fair assortment… equally, I enjoy immensely broadcasting on behalf of others their own promotions for books, special events such as book signings, acquisition of publishers, and all the wunnerful stuff the business throws our way… I shamelessly indulge the SOSYAL NETWURKS in propagation of my own wee WURKS where appropriate… and therein hangs the pivotal WURD… ‘appropriate’… of late, I’m noticing an increase of people who ‘friend’, ‘follow’, ‘link’, whatever yeez wanna call it, and the very next message is a plea to buy their latest tomes… it doesn’t operate that way in my view… Lawd knows, the majority of us who write are keen to see our…

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7 Tips to Avoid Email Phishing

This is vital information.


hacking‘Phishing’ is an attempt to steal your personal information by posing as a trusted source (a friend, your bank–like that). Kaspersky reports that spam accounted for 66% of email last year. Of that number, phishing tripled. Why? Because it works. This is not to be taken lightly. Best case, it can shut your email down while you clear the problem. Worst case, you can lose your identity, your income, and your peace of mind. Here are some hints:

  • don’t blindly trust your virus protection. It can only keep you safe from known problems. Softpedia reports that new malware designed to infect Android devices appears every 17 seconds. I wonder how many there are for iPhones, Windows-based devices, Macs?
  • don’t open attachments to unexpected emails–especially from strangers. Every attachment has the potential to include malware or Trojans that silently burrow into your computer’s data and send it back to its…

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They did it!!

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

For some reason, the computer was even worse this morning…I couldn’t even get on to see how the campaign was doing. So it wasn’t until I was sitting with Nick as he checked that I saw his face lit up with a huge, ecstatic grin… he passed the phone and I whooped! All I can say is THANK YOU to everyone who has shared, tweeted, reblogged and contributed in each and every way to making this happen!

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Nick’s interviews, as promised

Videos of Nick’s interview.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

The BBC kindly sent over the video files of the interviews with Nick before and after the Para-Tri triathlon. As so many of you who have given him your support and encouragement were unable to see them on the iPlayer and expressed a wish to do so, here they are… in his own words:

The first interview was with reporter Ben Moore and cameraman Trevor Adamson, the second with Nikki Mitchell, both filmed for the news on BBC South Today.

My thanks to Ben, Trevor and Nikki for doing such a great job.

Nick, with Heather and Eva from the Royal Buckinghamshire Hospital, competed yesterday in the first Para-Tri triathlon relay, where teams are comprised of able-bodied and disabled members, the first such event in the country. Nick’s campaign to raise awareness and funds for UKABIF, an organisation focussed on acquired brain injury, has so far reached and…

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Nick and co at the Para-Tri Triathlon

Congratulations to Nick and the other participants.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

nick triathlon 284

Where do I start? It has been the most amazing, incredible, glorious day. The road through Little Kimble had marked a turning point for my son and we drove through the sleepy village with a red kite watching from its perch in a tree beside the road. Any other day I would have stopped and grabbed the camera… today, though, even the kites would wait.

A red kire watches over the event A red kite watches over the event

We had left in good time, so we had taken a short detour via the route Nick had taken the first day he got the trike… and his first real taste of freedom in six years. A month later and we were on our way to the Paralympic venue of Dorney Lake, just outside Windsor.

Calm before the storm... Calm before the storm…

Once there we headed to the registration tent and I finally got to meet the rest of the team…

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Let Death Touch Your Characters – Writing Grief

This is an exceptional piece. Thank you for sharing this information, Diana.

Myths of the Mirror

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The first book I read that dealt with death was Charlotte’s Web. I cried at the little spider’s demise and reread the book a week later, so I could cry again.

When I grew up, I became a grief counselor and hospice volunteer. I ran grief groups for children and families. The resiliency of children, their ability to find joy in the midst of deep sorrow and uncertainty, led me to a career in early childhood mental health.

I did all this before death balled up a fist and punched me in the face.

On July 3, 2003, my youngest brother, Dan, was shot in the head. Twelve years later, his murder remains officially unsolved.

As you might imagine, my experience has led me to be somewhat discerning about the presence of grief in the books I read. In fact, a psychologically “normal” character’s complete lack of any grief response to the death of…

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It has meant so much as this explains.

Sue Vincent's Daily Echo

I had plans tonight… work to do, jobs and people to catch up with… then the phone rang and I have done little since… my son had a lot to say.

Nick made the news section of the website UKABIF, the brain injury charity for which he is raising funds by riding in the Para-Tri triathlon.


I wouldn’t have known, but I wanted to share a link to their website as they had a documentary embedded there, ‘Me and my new brain’, from the BBC. It is available for another two weeks on BBC iPlayer, by clicking the highlighted link.

Nick had watched it and it had moved him deeply as he recognised so much of the young woman’s journey. In particular, he told me of a moment when she had been asked what, after brain injury, she finds awkward. “Everything,” she had said… and listening to Nick talk, I…

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…writer pal, Tony McManus, reminds us of the timeless wisdom of Elmore Leonard on the scribblers’ art…

Always timely advice.

Seumas Gallacher

..thanks for this, Tony McManus…


…the WURDS speak for themselves… have a wee read, Lads and Lassies of Blog Land …




The best writing advice in the world has already been given. Written decades ago by Orwell and other masters of the English language, it’s worth its weight in gold. And it’s available to all on the internet. A few strokes on the keypad and it’s yours. It doesn’t need repeating. Yet so often a writer such as Joe Blow, Author, after selling a few books in Kindle and garnering a truckload of ***** reviews like: Awesome baby u did it agen: luv u, decides that he has enough standing and mileage under his belt to offer advice to his fellow writers on writing well and the pitfalls to avoid. And then, on his blog, lists that which we already…

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