Some tales about monkeys without tails. And some self-publishing tales without monkeys.

1) The monkey harassment officer was up on the scaffolding on the block Partner is working on. It was the weekend and he was wandering up to the Land Rover.

He called out to her, ‘You should wear a hard hat.’ (She was wearing toe-tectors but no hat).

‘I’ve got to climb up here to shoo the monkeys away,’ she replied. So there were no monkeys on the fifth or sixth or seventh floor or whatever it was. They were all sitting at the bottom laughing at her climbing up and down the scaffolding trying to make them leave.

2) A resident of the same block had gone to his mother’s funeral. They’d left the windows closed but not catched. When they returned, a monkey was sitting happily on the table. S/he had found a tin of Quality Street, carefully taken off the plastic wrapping, opened the tin and dived into the sweeties. Next to the monkey, in a tidy little pile, were all the sweet wrapping papers. Not scattered all around the flat, but left tidily for the flat owner. The monkey looked at the people, and then skipped off happily back out of the window.

3) And on sweets, which I should add, are not good for monkeys and can lead to increased levels of diabetes, another resident of the block upset his wife for stealing the Maltesers.

‘But I haven’t,’ he said, perplexed when she accused him of the crime. Then he looked out of the window and the monkey beamed at him, surrounded by four empty packets of Maltesers.

4) Wandering up to the car park with Little Rat to see Partner on his lunch break because we are soppy like that, we espied a monkey sitting on the wall of the Trafalgar Cemetery. Monkey espied us. Monkey then jumped off the wall and soared into the trees. What is difficult about that? Nothing.

I was chatting to one of the monkey harassment officers after that. I was saying that I didn’t understand why people were frightened of them. OK, I can maybe understand frail old people with shopping bags aren’t quite as assertive as me, but they could always buy a grandma/pa trolley.

But monkeys are not stupid. They may be wild animals, and like all animals they work on tribal/pack rules. So being dominant and not showing fear is a good idea. Fear, in this case, is definitely not the key, Mr Christian. (Mutiny on the Bounty).

The monkey HO told me that the government received telephone calls from the people in the rich houses across the road from where we were talking. A small monkey was in their garden and they wanted it removed. So therefore, the HOs have to jump to the command of the rich person who doesn’t like a small monkey in their garden. Why can’t said rich person shoo the monkey away themself? Still, job creation, so who cares?

5) This is Partner’s favourite monkey tale. Another resident had gone out, leaving the spaghetti bolognaise on the cooker. Monkey climbs up scaffolding, slides open window, wanders into kitchen and sees/smells tasty food. As we all know, monkeys (like me) are vegetarian. The food given to them daily up the Rock tends to be fruit and green veg. Monkey carefully ate the pasta, the sauce and avoided all the mince. Too clever. There is nothing worse than being given a meal with meat in when you are vegetarian, and having to spit out or avoid the bits of ham or chicken or beef. Well done monkey, you deserved that pasta and sauce.

Onto other tales.

Self-publishing and two reviews

My head is spinning with the self-publishing world. I really can’t believe how many people find the time to not only write novels, or poetry, or whatever, and then go through the tortuous route of self-publishing on wherever. And go to work!

That’s before you even get into the promotion and marketing aspect of it all.

For some reason that eludes me, I seem to have fallen onto a number of self-publishing authors’ blogs, perhaps because they are readable so it’s hardly surprising they enjoy writing.

I don’t have a Kindle or a Tablet or any such contraption, and poor old Hal is so old that he can’t talk to the software that you can download for free from Amazon to read ebooks.

However, some of these authors have very kindly sent me PDF copies to review.

So I’ll start with two of the ones I’ve been sent. Very different. And yet, some similarities regarding the impact of childhood.

Firstly, the first one I was sent.

Marionette by T. B. Markinson.

I was stunned when I started reading this. T.B. has a couple of great blogs, one about writing and one about what she wants to achieve, ie films to watch, books to read, places to go – and pub reviews in London :D

Unlike my blogs, they are polite and civilised so I was a bit surprised to plunge into the first chapter about an attempted lesbian suicide where our heroine swears more than once. It wasn’t what I expected. I hadn’t anticipated something so gritty.

So once I’d moved on from my preconception, I got stuck into the novel. Paige is one hell of a strong character and dominates the novel. Her childhood is always there in the wings, impacting on her life, even when she has left home to go away to college/school/university or whatever Americans call it. This constant draw on her from the past was powerfully done, not too much, but always there in the background. She comes from a rich family, but one without love. Well, not for her anyway.

Most of the action is set around Paige’s time at university (?) in Colorado and the characters she mixes with. Secondary characters are well-portrayed and I felt I was there with her.

It’s very much a novel about a young woman growing up and overcoming everything, her wealth, some bad family incidents in the past and accepting her homosexuality and being open about it.

T. B. also uses a real incident that happened while she was at college. A young man was beaten up for being gay and later died, and an adaptation of this appears in the book. For me, this was a turning point in the book, when it seemed to get harder and very, very realistic. Life away from home, isn’t just about drinking and chatting and fancying people. It’s about victimising people because they are homosexual and killing them.

I liked the harshness, the well-portrayed characters, and the superb main character. I liked the unexpected twists towards the end. It was a good read, and T. B. has also sent me her first book to read, ‘A Woman Lost,’ so I’m looking forward to that one too.

Kevin Cooper’s book ‘Miedo’ is totally different in terms of style and subject.

While T.B.’s is set at university in Colorado and deals with a wealthy young woman, Kev’s is set in working-class Hull in Yorkshire. You couldn’t get much more different.

Kev also plunges you into the fears of a frightened child with his Prologue (Miedo is Spanish for fear). But then goes on to write about the idyllic times of his early years when the family lived with his grandparents.

I loved the style. It is told from a distance and yet you are right there with him, playing in the garden, on the railway lines, in the lorry yard.

Then he is plucked out of that perfect childhood when his father and stepmother move to their own home with Miedo and his two older sisters.

His next years are a total contrast. It is not an easy life. And yet, through it all, despite the fear, I read some determination to survive, to do whatever he could, to make his own life at that young age.

Powerful is vastly over-used when describing novels, but I really found this one was. All the more so, for the understated style describing events so factually without emotion.

For anyone from Hull, Yorkshire, a working-class background, the north etc etc, this will really resonate, and I would say it is a must-read. He later moved to the USA and spent 18 years there, so I would say as well that it is a good read for anyone to understand or wonder why people emigrate.

Kev will shortly be re-publishing a revised version of Miedo, so I would recommend waiting for that if you are interested in buying his book.

In the interests of openness, both T.B. and Kev sent me the PDF copies for free, and with no payment for a review. I am however, editing Miedo for Kev. But there again, I wouldn’t have agreed to do it if I didn’t think it was a good book. I do not edit for T.B.

For those of you out there who want to self-publish, T.B. says, always get a professional editor.

Proofing tips

If you don’t want to pay for proofing/editing, here are my tips. (As a professional editor, sub-editor, writer, journalist, PR manager blah blah).

Read through it time and time again. Take time away from it so the words aren’t buzzing across your eyes meaninglessly.

Do not rely on spellcheck, that is totally useless. Read through it for sense as well as literal errors (ie spelling errors).

Have a good quality hard copy dictionary next to your computer and USE IT.

Also, get yourself a grammar guide. Learn about different from/than/to. And all right and alright.

Finally, if you don’t want to use a pro editor, print out all those hundreds of pages and ruin the environment. Because that’s what you will need to do.

Go through it line by line, either with a pen, or a ruler, or use a sheet of paper to cover the rest of the text as you move down the page line by line.

Get your partner or a good friend to go through it too.

You will still miss some errors though, and your work will look unprofessional.

I asked someone to send me a few pages the other day for me to look at – totally out of nosy interest and personal arrogance.

It had already been through his publishing house and he had proofed it as well. Did I find errors? Yes.

There are very few novels these days without errors.

Proof-reading and editing are undervalued. If you think you can do it, go ahead and use my free tips. Then send me some pages and I will find your errors.

There again you can send it to a ‘pro’ and I will probably still find errors :D

I admire self-publishers. And quite frankly, their work is as good as, or better than, some of the crap that you see published traditionally.

I do have other books to review, but if people want to send me books (ie a PDF version), and accept there is a backlog, I’m willing to write about your books. There is a backlog because I hate on-screen reading.

I’ll add some more editing/self-pub comments on a later post, but for now I’m off to chill in Spain. As our Chief Minister of Gibraltar said, ‘Have a good Easter/Passover.’ And for those of us who aren’t religious, at least we get bank holidays. And that will be my one kind comment about religion for the rest of my lifetime.


121 comments on “Some tales about monkeys without tails. And some self-publishing tales without monkeys.

  1. Ha, what a wonderful image of the monkeys unwrapping the sweets and leaving the discarded wrappers in a neat pile! And good for them picking out the meat. Beats me how anybody can be afraid of them, or want them removed from their garden. We live 4 miles from La Vallee des Singes, and hope for the day we find some monkeys wandering around our garden. They’ll be welcome in the house, too. :)


    • It was so odd, he came back from work with a different monkey tale every day. My only prob would be the dogs in the flat in a confined space and everyone battling for supremacy, but hey! that’s my role :)

      Alpha male monkeys are tough, but they are looking after their pack. What’s wrong with that? There is a real lack of respect for them and it annoys me. When one attacks me, I will write about it, but in all my time here they haven’t done. Respect and no fear go a long way with most species.


  2. I enjoyed TB’s book as well. I got to know her as a blogger first and later cheered her on as she published her first book. Marionette is well worth the read.


  3. I laughed out loud at the description of the tidy sweet eating monkey, what a pity the hoards of kids dropping sweet wrappers in the street don’t follow the same ideals.
    I can’t imagine having any fear of the monkeys, so I’d like to think we’d have respect for each other.
    It’s true though that animals, whether domesticated pets or wild can sense fear and will often take advantage of it.

    I’m not much into book reading, but Kev’s does sound interesting, especially being based in my parents hometown (city).

    You excel at your work, I can vouch for that first hand, you ought to advertise your services and do it professionally.


    • Monkeys have more sense than us eh?

      This is the woman who walked with wolves so I doubt monkeys would worry you. Not sure wolves would worry me though either.

      People also sense fear – hence bullies (which is relevant to Kev’s book).

      I know you don’t like books. I found it an easy on-screen read, partly because of his choice of font and lay-out, and like you, an interest in the area. Wait for him to republish it though. I really did enjoy it. Flamborough, Withernsea, Hull, Brid – why would I not? :D

      Thank you Vicky, that is a lovely compliment.


  4. Monkey harassment officer- to harass the monkeys, or protect the humans from harassment? You won’t have seen “Monkey Planet” on the telly: orangutans live with their mother for ten years, learning what is good to eat, how to eat it, and how to get about; poachers kill the mothers, and the offspring do not know enough to survive. So people rescue them, and painstakingly teach them how to live in the forest.


  5. It’s always lovely to read your little anecdotes about the monkeys, especially ones like today where the animals have a better sense of tidiness than most humans.
    I agree with you that a proof reader/editor is essential. And you must decide in advance where you market is becasuse of the huge differences in spelling and punctuation between the UK and American markets.
    I wish you a wonderful Easter and/or Bank Holiday break.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx


    • Monkey stories are a bit like tales from the riverbank or whatever it was called. They are true though.

      Me, I think that people can’t see their own errors, but also you need an editor to ask questions (or suggest titles? :D).

      The market is different. I did read something about needing to spell in American for an American market. When you are writing a British book? Now that is crazy.

      Thank you, it was wonderful, hope yours was too.


  6. I enjoyed the monkey business…given the idiot reactions to them as described give me the monkeys any time.
    Funny how public services are always at the beck and call of the rich….I remember a friend’s mother breaking a leg on a ski trip and demanding – and getting – a home help on return though her family were perfectly capable of handling a broom and a hoover…

    Proof reading…good heavens yes…I find enough bloomers in reading a blog post once I have put it up, though being sure beforehand that I had found the lot…

    Enjoy your time in Spain.


    • Yea, I’d take the monkeys any day. Perfectly well behaved and understand pack orderliness. Unlike people.

      Money buys?

      I do the same with the blog posts, but I’m not being paid for them. When I’m being paid it’s a whole different story.

      Spain was lovely, rainy and just a great break. Another bank hol coming up so maybe another lovely break. Meanwhile, things to do.


  7. I really enjoyed the vignettes about the monkeys. I especially like the Quality Street one…my kind of monkey :D I do that with Pat’s, so Quality monkey and I would get along famously :D Veggie monkey…love her…I say her ’cause we always say him and why not, her?…I think, like me with Quality monkey, you would get along famously with Veggie monkey and you’re right…she deserved that pasta and sauce.

    TB’s book sounds very interesting. I may have to look for it, but I have a few to read at the mo. I will come back to it.

    Thanks for the wonderful summary on my own work. It’s very good of you. I completely agree with you about editing…people, if you need a brilliant editor, roughseas is the one to choose!

    Thanks again…great post! Enjoy your time in Spain.


  8. This was a very interesting and entertaining post!

    I would probably consider reading both of those books. Once, I, too, was sent a .pdf book from a fellow blogger; not for proof reading :) but for … I don’t know. It wasn’t here in WordPress, and it’s several years ago. It was a very weird experience.

    Hope you’re having a good time in Spain!


    • They are both good, different but similar in a way.
      I wasn’t sent anything for proofing just for reading, but I notice errors so tend to tell people they may need to revise their books …

      Spain was lovely, thank you so much.


  9. Do the Monkey Harassment Officers protect to monkeys from harassment by people or the people from harassment by the monkeys? That must be an interesting occupation to have. Side note: I’m from South Georgia in the U.S.A Monkeys are definitely not indigenous to our geographic location. Some years ago my friends had a monkey that they let roam free in their back yard. He was rather a neighborhood novelty, I think. Until he got into some neighbor’s garden. That was that. The health board made them get rid of the monkey. I have no idea where they got the monkey from.

    Thanks for the self-publishing tips. I might be interested in talking to you more about that.


  10. I love the idea of that monkey eating the chocs and piling up the wrappings. Perhaps he’d watched a bit of telly, availed himself of the facilities? My imagination is running wild … :)
    Proof reading – hmm, it’s a never ending loop. Just finished helping son with his, using the paper and pen/ruler technique. I also speak whole passages out loud for meaning, leave it for days then return. Is anything ever perfect 100%? I’m beginning to think it’s an impossibility. But we try :)


  11. I enjoyed the monkeying around in the first part.
    A lot of truths and two good reviews in the second.
    The editing in books of some of the top authors is … shall we say, sloppy?
    How I hate it when I complacently dip into my final final final final edited copy – and an obvious error hits me in the eye.


  12. Hello. Book reviewing, eh? Very good. I’ve got something for you. I’ll send you a paper copy, since you hate reading on the monitor (I understand!), if you send me a mailing address. If you don’t want to do that, go to and buy a copy of Dante Alighieri Comedìa/Comedy vol I Inferno/Hell. (Translation begun in 1981, Italian text created in the last two years from a mediaeval manuscript corrected by comparison with 4 modern editions.)

    It’s on offer for the next three weeks at US$12.50. + shipping (European orders are printed in and shipped from France) This is a pre-publication offer: the three volumes will be published next year (750th anniversary of Dante’s birth), this volume just after Mardi Gras, then Purgatorio at Easter and Paradiso at Corpus Christi. So you’ll have lots of time to read the first canticle. Naturally it would be better for me if you published the review – supposing you think it’s worth reviewing – around that time.

    A sample of the text can be viewed by clicking on the title and then on the word Preview under the enlarged cover image which will then appear.



  13. Gee, Ms. Gibb, this was a good post. I really enjoyed the tales of the tails. Very funny. I even read the book reviews and the GB writer sounds more in line with what I’d read. I’m cutting this short for I’m still tryng to get better. I need advice on how to get rid of some sort of ad at the bottom of my blog. I’ve no idea how that happened. I pay for no ads, by the way. :-)


    • Hey Y I thought you were avoiding the blogland so pleased to hear from you.

      You would love our monkeys I’m sure.

      Both books are good, depends on your taste,

      OK, that’s one I can’t help you on re getting rid of ads on a non-ad blog. Anything else. I’m always here to ask.


      • Ok. Thanks for letting me know. Guess it’ll just stay there. It’s an incomplete ad. Very strange.

        I’ve cut back on number of blogs that I will be commenting on. Hate to do that but I can post things now that I’ve been postponing. :-)


        • Ask on the WP forums. TimeThief and RainCoaster are invariably pretty helpful. I’m sorry I can’t shed any light on that. I’ve no idea what ads are on mine! The more popular a blog is, the more you are likely to get ads so I don’t understand why you have one with a no-ad upgrade.


  14. From monkey stories to self publishing, who would think it. I must admit I find your tips very worthwhile and valuable. One day soon I hope to be able to start doing a little more on my own pieces.. I am currently doing short stories,[mini stories] for campnano. Some have been posted on Sitting on the Porch. I do however want to work on my Parchment story, and your tips etc will help very much and will look forward to read more.. I think I might be a little wary of the monkeys, at least to start with until gained some experience.


    • I’m happy to give advice to people. The bottom line, is you should always get someone else to look at your work. I had a good colleague, and when I was working on an important publication, I insisted my boss roped her in to see if I had missed anything. We all miss something.

      I’ll write about editing next though. Different to proofing.

      Monkeys are lovely. A bit like the horses in the New Forest.


  15. We’ll talk later….no doubt! Your tips only enhanced my respect, confirming what I’ve already surmised. You still in Espana?

    I have nothing to say about monkeys, but 5 made me smile, as Bolognaise is my favorite meal…. ;)


  16. Sorry I’m late to this post. We had a four-day weekend and I didn’t get on the computer once. It felt good. I wish I had a monkey to blame when I eat all the sweets. I would never feed my sweets to any monkeys, but I would like to have someone to blame when the better half asks, “where did all the chocolate go?”

    Thanks so much for the review. And yes, editing and proofreading are vital. I can’t stress that enough. I know my novels aren’t error-free, but I try to locate all the little buggers. And some readers are kind enough to email me when they spot one. That’s always helpful.

    Kev’s books sounds great. I need to track down a copy.

    I hope all is well and thanks again!


    • Hey I had a five day weekend!

      No sweets in our house so no monkeys!

      You are welcome, really enjoyed it and looking forward to AWL. Do you want something on Amazon too? Give me a couple of weeks and I’ll add that.

      It’s better someone like you or Kev saying how important it is than me saying it. The point is, you always need another
      set of eyes. Unless you are hellish good and are prepared to do a zillioin takes on your own. But you still won’t spot sense. I’ll write about editing next time though, different to proofing.

      Beware of amateur proofers though!!

      Kev’s is good, wait for his republished version, I’ll announce it on here. I thought it was interesting that the books were worlds apart and yet I could see parallels.

      Looking forward to AWL, but no time for a couple of weeks or so. (Unless I cheat and avoid other tasks :D)


      • No rush whatsoever on AWL or an Amazon review. I totally understand. I really appreciate the review. I think a lot of people think editing and proofing are the same thing and that’s an unfortunate misconception, especially if the person is an author. It’s best to get professionals and friends to help read the drafts. The more eyes on the pages the higher the chances of spotting silly errors. For example, in Marionette, a friend caught this mistake: Feel free instead of feel free. It’s kinda funny but I rather be a bit more professional.


  17. Monkey Harassment Officer – what a fabulous job – do you get a company vehicle? – Is it a direct or privatised service? Where do I apply?

    I like the vision of the vegetarian monkey avoiding the meat, that’s very funny.

    Proof Reading is hard. You are good at getting things right first time but I come across mu yown sloppy msitakes weeks after publishing a post!


    • Nope, on your feet sweetheart. But you get to stand around in the sun.


      You need a Gibbo name.

      Petcher? Nope. Don’t waste your time.

      It’s not just funny, it’s clever. I do that too :)

      I make loads. And amend them and amend them and amend them. I see yours, but think it churlish to point them out. As with others. As do people with mine no doubt.

      But blogging is one thing. Writing for money (and proofing/editing) is another.


    • Stop playing I’ve been to more exotic places to me darling. I am still lusting after South America. And South Africa (unless I bumped into Ark – and if I went to Brazil there would be John to contend with).

      I think monkeys are pretty good in the top ten. Darlings. Much better than people, but is that saying a lot?


  18. We also have cheeky monkeys around here. They will steal anything they can get their hands on. One year they stole my neighbour’s Easter eggs which she’d bought for the grandchildren, and scattered the foil all over the garden path. I’ve read TBM’s “Marionette” and thoroughly enjoyed it. PS: I so glad that you and Partner are “soppy.” So are we. :) ♥ ♥


  19. Great monkey tales! They seem like little children. You know behave as they are expected to behave – get away with what they can? Funny about the one in the rich people’s garden…just how lazy and useless are you, people? Anyway, funny stories.
    Enjoyed the book review – I’m not really up speed on al the ebook downloading. That has transformed the publishing and reading world.
    our tips on proof reading are excellent. You need to print it out and go line by line. You need to get away from it as after a while your brain just fills in the “right” wording/spelling…and you need someone else to take a look at it ( line by line). Self publishing is fine – but you want to look like a sloppy amateur.
    Enjoy the bank holiday/Easter.


    • Never mind little children, don’t you think that maxim applies to adults too? Why would you ring up to get a monkey chased away. Dear me. I can think of other things I would like my taxpayers money to be spent on.

      Neither am I. My poor old Mac is too old for that, so I really on authors to send me free copies to review. Interesting though. Especially given your former suggestion of writing a tourist guide to Gib. Of course the problem with self-pub is that graphics cost a lot more. I’m not sure a tourist guide would work without them.

      Tips on proofing are basic, but if people haven’t spent years doing it, and don’t want to pay for someone who has, then that’s what they need to do. They will still get something wrong though :D And won’t even know it.

      To be fair ‘professional’ authors get errors too. The standard of proof-reading is not good these days. And while I read a book to enjoy the read, any errors tend to glare at me. Spelling, punctuation and spacing errors are bad enough, but lack of consistency has me going back through the book, ‘I’m sure they didn’t write that earlier’ syndrome. It’s amazing what the brain remembers. I’ll try and write about the best one I’ve seen on the next writing post.

      Might just post a few pix of the easter weekend in Spain though next. It was lovely, thank you, and we have another bank hol on Monday and one for 1 May. Bliss.


      • You need to think tourist guide ebook for tablets and phones – nobody carries heavy paper ones during travel – you could do this!
        Can’t wait to see pix. pretty calm and low key around here right now (summer weather this week so far…Molly preferring indoor tile to outdoor yard)
        I think we are similar about errors in books. Just curious, have you considered doing proofreading/editing for ebook writers…many need them. Thinking of doing a post about that- mainly links to blogs like yours that have solid pre-publishing advice.
        Cinco de Mayo about our next celebration…not a day off, but it will be widely enjoyed…so much for getting work done.
        Think about that ebook tourist guide – could be a winner


        • I carry books!! But yes, it is a good option.

          Dogs flitted between inside and outside last weekend. Really they like to be where we are, so when it warms up better for us to go inside and then they follow. I don’t want silly albino dog getting too much sun, although he loves snoozing on a chair on the terrace.

          What annoys me about errors in books is when people think it has been edited professionally and it is chock full of errors. I suppose people accept it these days, but I used to read books in the past that were error free. I don’t remember seeing any recent books that were without errors. At least a handful, sometimes more.

          Judging by the ones I have read, they all need them! Even the ones that have been edited. I’m actually just finishing editing one for someone. I’ve really enjoyed doing it and he has been a pleasure to work with.

          Next writing post with another review (or two) will be about editing as there is a big difference between that and proofing, and I suspect people don’t understand the two. Nor about the mechanics of what happens, or what the author’s responsibilities are either.

          Workers Memorial Day on Monday here, and then May Bank Holiday on Thursday, so a short week :)

          It’s a good idea, I just need to research what is out there already in ebook from – if anything. Thanks for that.


          • I’m a real book person, too. (Once found out a school was “purging” books older than certain age – despite their condition or classical/universal stories…rushed around and found homes for those..annoying when there”s so much whining about literacy lacking because no access to book..another tale)
            Travelers – especially backpackers/cruise ship people now want less to carry – a “Day Guide to Gib” could be such a hit for them. Target the info. Include the monkeys! Places to eat…off the main tourist trail (people aways want to feel like an insider.)
            Dash it off quick and breezy?
            Poor Snowy – forgot about the sun. Knew an albino horse that had to wear a hat and keep to the shade – beautiful animal, but needed/had a special owner.
            Off to run Molly – check your post that arrived shortly


    • Just busy and needed some time out, easier to leave a post saying so and save people asking ‘where are you?’ :D You normally let people know when you won’t be around too. I just think it is courteous to people who take time to read my blog (s).

      The monkey stories are great. I should have stockpiled them (like the sweet wrappers) and added one per future post!


  20. As you have probably surmised I would like the monkeys, horses and the dogs your blog about and maybe I would like some of the people too (oops! did I say that?).

    I enjoyed reading this piece. Yes, I even enjoyed reading the reviews and the commentary on editing.

    Today I’m peeved – no surprise there, right?

    I have a thing going that I love to do and it’s been going on for a long time. When the muse visits I take breaks from my other work and quickly write flash fiction pieces.They are all in my private journal blog. Self publishing them is not on my agenda (been there, done that) but I tried an experiment when I published one Not Tonight Darlin on my personal blog in February.

    I was getting ready to edit and publish another one there when sure enough I received a comment telling me the first piece would be reblogged. The implication was that I ought to be happy as a monkey eating sweets to have my 171 words republished on a blog with no page rank and original content. Picture me responding to a red flag waving event at this juncture to apprehend my response to that. Yes, so there you go. A low IQ twerp tossed a monkey wrench into what I do for fun that would have been fun to share and I came to a wrenching halt on that blog.

    Now I’m off to write what I get paid to write ie. informative writing referred to as technical writing done under non-disclosure contracts. :(

    P.S. I’d love to read a post full of your monkey tales featuring images of what you see them doing.


    • Careful, let’s just stick to the four-legged beings and not the two-legged beasts.

      Thanks. Self-publishing fascinates me. I can’t believe how many people do it. All the world thinks they are a writer, and maybe they are, but lack of good editing will ruin it for them. The trouble is, you need money to self-publish. It’s a bit like years ago, you needed to pay to become an apprentice for a trade.

      I will confess to being overly arrogant on the editing side, but I do get sick of reading things with countless errors that have allegedly been ‘edited’. It is very very time-consuming, but I don’t need to tell you that.

      I’m sorry you were peeved. Hope another day has brought a bit of peace and tranquility. There again, you could be even more annoyed. I probably would be.

      I thought Not Tonight Darlin was good. Very chilling and very atmospheric. Do you want a review? :D – and a link. No reblog, I promise! But you probably have enough to do keeping up to both blogs and comments, plus forums, plus visiting other blogs. I thought you didn’t comment on mine because it was too busy? :D I’ve cut down on posts at the moment – no time. Might do one today though.

      I’m ambivalent about reblogging. All right used judiciously? To share information? To credit the original author, given that a lot of people don’t follow links? There are some grey areas in blogging netiquette and I think this is one of them.

      But yes, I can imagine the red flag from your point of view. A bit like when one of my photos was used without permission. We both have similar views about copyright so I can totally empathise.

      Technical writing is all right, I’ve done it, but I’ll write and edit pretty much anything.

      I’m interested though, as self-pub seems to be the latest bandwagon, why are you no longer doing it? Or is it just sheer time? It is time-consuming, and can be expensive – for what return?

      As for monkeys, I think I tend to write too much about them, so try to space out the monkey tales and photos.

      I sometimes put monkey pix on here:

      Normally though, I’m not quick enough to take the pix! They can be very fast little movers. Plus when I have a dog with me, I can’t hold the dog and take a photo. Dog + monkeys + camera is not a good combo. The best one I missed was when I looked up from the computer (by the window) and saw a cheerful face grinning at me from the window sill. Reached for camera, s/he went :( That’s life!

      Lovely to hear from you, even if it was an annoying story. Look after yourself.


      • Hi there,
        Sadly I don’t have the time to post a full response.

        1. I have no interest in self publishing. It’s costly in terms of time and money. It robs you having any time for a real life that doesn’t amount to schooming and book promoting (yuck!) I yearn to retire and spend my time gardening, hanging out on the beach, painting reading, writing bad haiku, and flash fiction for my own entertainment, etc. ie. doing everything and anything other than writing for money.

        2. No I don’t want a review as that would draw the attention of the party I want to go away from my blog.

        3. Thanks for the photo link.

        Have a great weekend. :)


        • Full enough.

          I could live with the time (wouldn’t be that bad for me), but the money, hmmm. And the pormotions? Oh yes, YUCK. Hard work, hard sell, and to what avail?

          I don’t mind writing/editing for money part-time. Office work is what really freaks me out. Working for idiots :(

          Figured you wouldn’t :D It was good though :)

          And you.


          • I have not worked in an office environment since 1985 and refuse to ever work in such an environment again ever. Granted then I worked in a library which was a saving grace as the employees were few in number and we didn’t play politics at all. We were all introverts and got along great because we did our work and didn’t invest much time into socializing at all.

            Check out my most recent post on my personal blog. I met the deadline of April 15th for my project but had actually fast tracked it and finished it a week earlier so I could have some down time. On the 15th the would be ending became a new beginning and the deadline is the 30th. sigh


  21. I totally enjoyed the monkey tales. Thanks! :) It’s the same here but unlike most I welcome them in our garden and they get their treats as well, like oats, peanuts, sunflower seeds and veggies. Some folks around here hate me and the people who love them and give them food, and strangely enough, the Vervets don’t invade our homes but the homes of the people who can’t stand them. LOL! Just shows you how intelligent they are. I simply adore them and used to rehabilitate and raise Vervets and Baboons. :)

    I would love to have a Kindle or Tablet to read all the ebooks I have, but do prefer the feel of a real book in my hands. I love the smell of books as well and collect books of Stephen King, Dean R. Koontz and Robin Cook. :)

    Once again – your reviews are stunning! Makes me wish I was a good writer. ;)
    Great tips as well for the aspiring writers and I am sure even the great ones could learn from it.

    Lovely post as usual. Thanks! :D


    • Pleased you enjoyed them, you obviously understand the stories!

      There is an issue here about tourists feeding them junk food so they can pose for photographs and it a) affecting the health of the macaques and b) it frightening people who are idiotic enough not to know how to react to monkeys. (it does annoy me a lot)

      What a fine service you did to rehabilitate and raise them.

      I just don’t like on-screen reading. I too, much prefer a book. But I also like to promote people in my blogging community, and if that means I have to read an ebook, I’ll do so. They send me a book for free that they are selling, why would I not read and review?

      I try and keep the reviews short, and say why I like (or don’t like) a book, I think that is more important than regurgitating the plot. I did one about Twilight (Meyer), Potter (Rowling), and Two Towers (Tolkien). I really slagged off Rowling. I think it was Col who said on there he enjoyed reading good bad book reviews!!

      My tips are always basic. Or, maybe I think they are.


      • I totally did and I do indeed. :D

        I would truly have an issue about that as well for the same reasons you mentioned. I am sure it is annoying. I would be annoyed too.

        For me it was pure pleasure and definitely lots of fun. I truly love and adore them. I worked for a vet at that stage and had to get a temporary permit from Nature Conservation as it’s illegal to keep them as pets. Some people still do and I am totally against that.

        I am so with you on the on-screen reading. As much as I would love too, it’s sometimes difficult with my fibro but if it’s captivating and interesting, I will ignore the stiffness and pain sometimes and endure. :) You are certainly doing a fantasic job of reviewing the writers and I think it’s very kind of you to that. :)

        Now you make me more curious about getting more into your blog. LOL! I have seen all the Harry Potter movies and the first one was the only one I liked but the others bored me. I read the Twilight ebook and found it more interesting than the movie but because I saw the movie, I enjoyed the book more.

        That sounds like Col. hehehehe.

        Your tips are great. I think so, so you should too. ;)


        • There you go:

          even includes a puppy pic :D

          They are great, just to me that they are very very basic. I once said to my partner that what I do is easy. He replied, ‘No, it’s easy for you.’ I suppose that says it all. He makes what he does, look easy too. Problem with being professional? You make what you do look easy and so people don’t want to pay!

          Got to dash back to editing, but wanted to leave you a quick reply. Thank you for your conversations today :)


          • Thanks so much for the link. Enjoyed it very much and Snowy is absolutely adorable! :D

            Your partner is correct. It seems easy to you because you know what you are doing and I totally agree but just because it seem easy to others doesn’t mean it should be for free. Let them try and do what you do and let’s see if they would do it then for free as well. :D

            Enjoy the editing and thanks to you as well. I am enjoying it very much. :D


  22. Love the monkey stories. Did they all come from the block with scaffolding where your partner was working? Maybe the monkeys think the scaffolding is built for them.


  23. A great anecdote Re: the Monkeys and the toffee papers!
    If you recall I was once stationed on The Rock, (’60-’63) there meeting my Spanish wife and Mother to our only daughter, My daughter is now in her 50th year and living with my Ex-Esposa right across the other corner of Spain from Gibraltar, near Cartagena, with HER daughter, my one and only Granddaughter Elaine. She is of course the most beautiful, talented and loving granddaughter in the whole world and has just turned 18 last month ((Biased? Who me? — Well just a little !)

    Getting back to ‘Los monos’ The Army once provided an NCO i/c Apes, as at that time there were two packs, one which roamed freely over most of the Upper Rock and the other which were fed daily by this NCO with food provided by the British Taxpayer! They were actually on the Garrison Ration Strength and their basic care which included providing fixed shelter overnight was faithfully carried out by said NCO. This was probably linked to the old adage about the Brits leaving the Rock if ever the Apes left…. ¿Quien sabes?

    I hope all is well with you and yours and that your blog flourishes under Gib’s bright sunshine


    • Hi Abuelo Eddie :) Gosh your daughter isn’t much younger than me. You were a young dad I guess.

      Monkeys now under civilian management. You may possibly have done a better job back then :D


      • Hi Today ( 25th May) is my 75th Birthday and my daughter has just called me from her home near La Manga Club to wish me a happy birthday. And because of that I’m the happiest man in the world! :-)) My granddaughter “messaged” me ( they can do that these days…. Turn Nouns into Verbs, that is:-). ) Via Facebook. And 11 F/B’ Friends’ added their good wishes too! So my cup overflows….

        Meanwhile back in UK…. Summer must be a- cummin’ in, as there are reliable reports that the icebergs have melted in the North Tyne and the kids in The Bigg Market are down to their skimpies already :-)

        Yes, I was a young Dad, 23 when my one and only arrived in North East England ..whilst I was serving ‘er Maj.’ in the freezing wastes of North West Germany. She was 7 weeks old before the Army reckoned that they could let me go to pick up wife and daughter…. And that, as they say, is where the story really began …..:-)


        • In which case happy birthday and many more of them.

          I’m not too keen on nouns as verbs, although looking a few of them up in the dictionary more nouns than you would think have a verb form. No idea about message.

          Kids in the Bigg Market are always down to their skimpiest, including Christmas Eve. I bet NW Germany was even colder. My uncle spent a lot of time there (RAF) not sure where though.

          Why don’t you move to Spain? :D


          • Hmm….. Move to Spain. I did live in Spain for a while ( In Campamento, on the coast road to San Roque) and would have still been there but for circumstances beyond my control ( Army duties and the attendant separation put paid our home life and eventually our marriage.) :-(

            However I’m an inveterate and incurable optimist and have lived in the UK now since ’77 and would not swap for anywhere else at the moment, as we have all that we need here in “Sunny Blyth” :-)


          • We’ve got a mate (ex RAF engineer) who lives there. Don’t see him much these days as he don’t come into Gib often and when we go out we go to our finca a the other side of Málaga.

            77? I was still at school! Last year mind.


  24. You write great monkey tales, and book reviews. I love reading and books but struggle with describing the why via book reviews. I have a lovely mental image of the tidy sweet monkey.
    As usual, I’m late commenting but as well as finding out what’s happening in roughseas’ blog world I can never resist the pull of commenters in attendance.


    • Thanks ED. I’m also well behind and my latest post explains why.

      I try and keep the reviews short, partly because I get through so many.

      I love my commenters. There’s no telling where they will take a post.


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