Free Kindle book – Boys From the Backfields

Backfields-front 1 cover oct 8-2013Do you know how hard it is to get reviews of your books on Amazon?

It’s bloody hard, especially if you don’t cajole and bribe family and friends to write glowing praise whether they’ve read the book or not.

So, you set up a FREE Kindle book promotion and hope that someone will like it enough to write a nice review on Amazon.

So for the next couple of days my novel Boys From the Backfields is available FREE for the Kindle. Click one of the links below to take advantage of this offer.

Amazon.co.uk Link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B00GFZMNTK

Amazon.com Link: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GFZMNTK

Here’s some Blurb

Who killed Betty Fish?

In 1963 the world is rocking to the Beatles, and being rocked by the Cold War and the assassination of President Kennedy.

There are far more important things on the mind of Mick Matthews, a 13 year old boy growing up on a council estate in Wales, such as the murder of a middle-aged widow in one of the posh houses across the road. Mick and his small gang are out gathering blackberries and scrumping apples when they witness the murder as it happens.

Around the same time as the demise of Betty Fish, Mick falls in love with the enigmatic Angel, a girl of the same age.

Fifty years later, the murder is still unsolved and the shadows it casts over their lives are as dark as ever.

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Bums – Coming soon

The first draft of my new novel Bums is complete. It is now being edited and will be published in a couple of months.

bumscvr

Temporary Cover

 

Bums is a crime story set on the edges of society in the post-industrial town of Elchurch, South Wales. At the heart of the story is Detective Inspector Frank Lee – an ex punk New Age Traveller.

More soon . . .

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His Name was Sal

This is an edited version of the story I read at the Welsh Short Story Network’s event in Chapter Arts, Cardiff, on June 21st. It also features in my collection ‘Dead Flowers and Other Stories”  published by Opening Chapter in November 2014.

HIS NAME WAS SAL

He was an American, a couple of years older than me. I was sixteen.

In the summer of 1968, I hitched from my dreary Welsh town to see Pink Floyd in Hyde Park. After a long, scary, but interesting journey, involving a lift in an abused Transit with a stoned roadie, I arrived in the park after midnight the night before the concert and leaned against a tree to rest and absorb the vibes. Excited fellow travellers buzzed around me looking for somewhere safe to crash. Despite my exhaustion I felt I was part of something significant, a revolution was taking place and I was at the heart of it.

A pair of London louts tried to sell me a lump of dodgy-looking dope, it was probably chewing tobacco, or henna, or something. They looked shifty and vicious, like sly hyenas. I felt exposed and alone, so I shook my head and turned my back on them. I was skint anyway. The big one pushed me against the tree and pulled a knife. Continue reading

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Bright Environment

This is one of my favourite paintings.

I have had offers for it in the past and have turned them down but I’m now willing to consider sensible offers. I’m very attached to it so make it worth my while please :)

bright environment-1024Bright Environment – Acrylic on Canvas 2003/4 – 39″ x 32″ – 100cm x 80cm

Apologies for the low-quality phone photo. It looks even more amazing in real life

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Coruscation

This is a poem I wrote about 15 years ago. It is a formal sonnet. As far as I remember I spent a lot of time composing this, unlike most of the poetry I write, where I tend to be a bit sloppy and go with what is virtually the first draft.

Every punctuation mark, every syllable, every word, every sentence, every verse, the relationships between each line with every other line, and with its own beginning and ending, as well as all the bits in between, were crafted meticulously.

It’s about – well, everything really, but if I had to narrow it down, it’s about apples.

 

Coruscation

Wooden seed contains the tree of life’s
Essential fruit ensuring certain death.
The bite that unsheathed time’s sharp-bladed knife,
Cut off humanity, left us bereft.

To Cox’s, Braeburns, Bramley apple pies,
Genuflecting to scientists’ whims
Alar, phosphates and insect-killing sighs,
Genetic changes, false gods, crazy things.

The end of all we know’s in sight again,
Where, when and then and now and all is past,
When love and death and life come to an end.
There you and I will be as one at last.

– But while we strive to bear the stench of bliss,
– My breath is coruscated by your kiss.

apple

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Where is your song?

An audio recording made 3 years ago of a poem I wrote 15 years ago, there’s a transcript below the picture that was taken 1 year ago. The picture is of a man-made meadow near Llandaff Fields in Pontcanna and it’s just there because people apparently like pictures to illustrate mere words.

I wrote the poem in the canteen/refectory at Trinity College, Carmarthen after arriving early for a session of the MA Creative Writing course I was studying at the time.

I had driven through the wonderful Carmarthenshire countryside with its green green grass and rolling hills and become pissed off at how the beautiful and mystical nature of Wales and its inhabitants have come to be defined by stereotypes involving sheep farming, rugby, chapel and industrial abuse.

 

meadow

Where is Your Song?
What is there to sing about
in the dirty valleys of Wales?
The land of my fathers’ follies,
the land of Mam’s poison cake.
Where sheep flood the green hills
like maggots, munching
to certain slaughter,
and pass their moronic character
to the people, through their plates.
The rivers run cold and collect
the toxic discharge that the Lords left.
The stone-walled slate-roofed mausoleums
of mediocrity, house the bigots
and the hypocrites of fear.
Why allow these demons
to inhabit our beautiful land?
Where is the sleeping Prince
who promised to return?
Wales is not a place of blood and tears.
Wales is not a deposit of dirty rain.
The evil of our history has skewered
our hearts to a red jersey,
the only paltry pride we have left.
Oh Wales, where is your song of joy?

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Three short poems about animals

Black_catBlack Cat
I saw him chew a frog with glee
his yellow eyes assessing me
I saw him die, his kidneys gone
An obligate carnivore done.

 

mothMoth
Until it falls, burnt out and dead,
it must persist to weave its thread
It’s flimsy body seeks the light,
that’s always somewhere in the night

 

Little_dogLittle Dog
Behind those eyes a simple soul
Obliged to eat and piss and growl
It needed recognition too
To leave its mark on every shoe.

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This could be the last time

UPDATE ** February 8, 2015

Well – things have changed again and this is now my main website – I’ll be transferring stuff back from the other one and posting updates here from now on. What it was, was a bit of an identity crisis – ah!!!!!!!!!!!

This could be the last time I post on this site. This is because I am making a fresh start on a new site using a slightly different name. The name I will be using is my proper given name – the name that appears on my birth certificate Derek Wynford Jones.

Anyway click on my new/old name above to go the the new site.

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Self Publishing Workshop for Made in Roath

“Made in Roath festival brings artists and the local community in which they live together in a wide array of exciting and thought-provoking ways.”

That’s what they say on the Made in Roath website.

There’s also a significant literary element to the festival organised by the creative and talented writer Christina Thatcher.

As part of the literary bit I will be holding a workshop on Self-Publishing at Cathays Library from 2:30pm to 4:30pm on Saturday, October 18th.

This a FREE event.

More details soon in the Made in Roath brochure and on their website.

I have been self-publishing for a decade in one way or another and have set up my own publishing company, Opening Chapter,  to publish my own work along with selected work from other authors.

I’ll be basing the workshop on my very current experience publishing my latest book For the Time Being on Createspace, and possibly Kindle, if time allows.

more soon . . . .

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For the Time Being

ForTheTimeBeingcreatespaceBookCover5_5x8_5_Cream_210-webWhile working on my next novel ‘Bums’ which will be published in the Spring of 2015, I have been distracting myself by putting together a volume of other bits and pieces, called for the Time Being.

It’s going to end up as a 200 page paperback book and will be published in late October or early November 2014.

For the Time Being is a bringing together of short stories, plays, poems, snippets and other fragments of my writing. Some of it is brand new, other pieces have been lurking in drawers for decades. Some of the work has been exhaustively edited while some is still red raw. Some of the work has already been published on this blog in one form or another, some of it emerged as I was putting the book together.

I don’t know if the book has any commercial viability – probably not, but I don’t really care – it’s primary purpose is as a distraction for me and something for me to read in my dotage – the pure essence of self-publishing if you like.

There will be more information about the book on Opening Chapter’s website when it’s available.

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Vegan Beetroot and Black Bean Burgers

Besides being very tasty and nutritious, these are really easy to make and hold together well

Delicious Vegan and Gluten Free burgers

  • 2 medium beetroots grated
  • 1 red onion chopped
  • 1 white onion chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 chilli chopped finely
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • tablespoon dried mixed herbs
  • 3 cups cooked black beans – mashed roughly
  • 4 tablespoons chickpea / gram flour
  • 1 heaped tablespoon ground flax seeds soaked in a quarter cup of water
  • few splashes of cider vinegar
  • sunflower oil for frying

Continue reading

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Birth of a Blue Woman (With Yellow Flowers)

A Ble Woman with Yellow Flowers is a painting. The pictures show how it developed over a few days. To be honest I’m not sure if it’s finished or whether it ever will be. It will probably end up in a corner of the shed and get chucked during one of my periodic clearing-outs at some point.

It’s painted in acrylics on a home made canvas. Dimensions 65cm x 55cm – about 26″ x 22″

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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The Three Bears is a Work of Art

3bears cover small“What it is is a work of art, in the fullest sense.” This is a quote from the late great American poet JT Ahearn after he read The Three Bears, a novel I wrote. It was published in 2006, and again in a slightly revised edition in 2008. It is without doubt, the best thing I have ever written and probably the best thing I will ever write. When I say ‘best’ I don’t mean it’s the best plot. the best story, the best characterisation or even the best writing, I mean it is a true work of art, it’s completely unique and wonderful in entirely its own way. By any measure it’s a long way from perfect and if I’d thought about it rationally I probably wouldn’t have published it, but I’m glad I did. Continue reading

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Home Made Tofu

Home made tofu is amazing – make some today (or tomorrow, because you’re going to need to soak the beans)

Get hold of 250 grams of organic soya beans and some coagulant. A heaped teaspoon of nigari is good but you can use the juice of a lemon or even a tablespoon or two of vinegar at a push. You can of course make more by using multiples of 250 grams, but you will need a very big saucepan if you make a bigger batch.

250 grams of dried beans usually makes about 300 grams of firm tofu Continue reading

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Glastonbury 1998

It was 1998, 27 years after my only other visit to the Glastonbury Festival. I’d always wanted to go back to see if it was the magical mystical place that had stayed with me and influenced my life so much.
 
(There is an account of my experiences at Glastonbury 1971 – here)
 
I wrote this poem the night before I went back with my family in 1998.

Continue reading

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