Ex Libris Legatum

I first published this post, or a version of it, back in 2015 on my blog, ‘Ramblings from a Writers Mind‘. I share it here today because… well, read on, it is self-elucidating.


Ex Libris Legatum

As we age we amass many life skills; some taught to us by teachers, lecturers, professors, our parents and some self-learned by patient practice and repetition.

Many lessons are simply and, often unexpectedly, thrust into our consciousness by the events of living and from life itself, love, passion, loss, hurt, births, pain, grief and death.

At some point, during the period betwixt being born and gasping our last breath, we have also, hopefully, gained some wisdom.

Although, only too often, such wisdom is realised and recognised far too late in life for us to use it in any true and meaningful way for any length of time, such is the cruel nature of growing older.

However, for those who manage to avoid a premature departure from this world, those who never got hit by lightning or run over by that proverbial trolley bus, we become, in some respects, like a soggy sponge.

Yes we droop, our bodies are dragged ‘south’ by the constant pull of gravity and some people uncontrollably leak and dribble I am sure, but the analogy I was trying to draw was one of absorption and storage, the soaking-up and retention of knowledge.

I know, for a fact, I know more than I know I know, even if in that knowledge there is the realisation of knowing that one knows nothing.

With that stated clearly, I will return to the train of thought which initiated my fingers to start tapping away today; that is, within these southerly wiltings, the rather wrinkly, fading bodies which those ‘of a certain age’ seem to acquire, are still our sprightly, lively young minds which have seldom aged beyond fifteen… or maybe sixteen.

Now… these minds of ours need a little control. You see, our minds tend to fool us by considering whatever they think we, (those of us who are over 50 something) still have the physical ability to achieve such things as skateboarding, zip-lining, mountaineering and even imbibing in large quantities of alcoholic beverages and waking in the morning with a clear head… hummph… I wish.

The reason our minds ignore our creaking joints, throbbing tendons and our scar tissues, (which pull as taught as an elastic band every time we move like this… ouch… I should not have done that), is once-upon-a-time we have done all of those things; the once-upon-a-time when our mind was in its infancy and knew little of risk or fear and cared less, our mind (mostly) protected us from going too far; well far too far, too often.

It was during all those life-threatening adventures, (those naughty and dangerous liaisons, the arguments and battles, the fights and flights our immature brains took us on), we collected lots and lots of information, comprehension, realisation, skills and familiarity.

In other words, we gained awareness, understanding and experience, this is how we became educated and intelligent, this is what gives us an erudition of life.

It is what we loosely and casually refer to as wisdom and knowledge.

These are the life skills one collects in the only way possible, by living over a long period, or at least the longest period time allows our weak and feeble bodies to function.

You see, I have out-lived many thousands of others over the years I have been walking upon this earth, (which, thankfully, I can still do… unaided).

I am glad I saw the sunrise this morning, the sad thing is so many did not.

Many of those who never got to see the sunlight today are friends and family, many older than I, many younger. Worst of all, some had only minutes of life with which we could chart their age.

The fact is the number of people who are older than I is quickly diminishing.

Now my mourning’s are frequently for those of my generation, a generation who should use their life skills and knowledge to help and nurture those who are young enough and fortunate enough to have minds which believes it is protected by an invincible body, such as our own did all those years past.

All we have learned of life and living; those births we have witnessed, our loves, both lost and lasting. The passionate moments, some intimate, comprised of twisting limbs and thrusting loins, others of the soul; music, art, theatre, dreams and scenes, vistas of natural beauty. The recollection of our times of loss, of hurt, of feeling pain; both physical and of the heart, not forgetting the grief and deaths.

This is our accumulated wisdom.

This is what we should share, what we should endeavour to teach our children, our children’s children and their children.

‘Ahh’, I hear you say, but children do not listen, do not take heed, so it is best to leave them to find their way.

I do not disagree.

However, (which is a nicer way to say but because there is always a ‘but’.)

If we share our knowledge, leave it somewhere future generations can discover it,  they can learn, or at least be guided by that which we have spent a lifetime accumulating.

This is why I believe I have a duty to leave my thoughts behind when I have gone when I have shuffled from off my mortal coil.

This is why I choose to write.

Woven within the lines of my fiction and on the pages of my fantasies are the truths of life and the facts of living. All the wisdom and knowledge I accrued during my lifetime.

The words within my books and short stories are my bequest to the world, to a future I cannot be a part of, at least in person.

I chose to be a writer, not for monetary wealth or recognition, but to leave a legacy beyond simplistic values.

My wish is my words are read by the generations yet to come.

Maybe then my life will not have been lived in vain.

Ex Libris legatum

© Paul White 2021


You can find my books, including my Electric Eclectic books, on my web page, here.

Some of my Electric Eclectic books

Can you hear them?

Can you hear them?

A short story for Halloween 2020 from Paul White

I have a small multi-tool. It is much like a penknife; a type of ‘Swiss Army’ knife for the handyman. I keep it in a small compartment in the top draw.

That compartment is its ‘home’. When it is not in use, it is where it ‘lives’.

Two weeks ago I needed this knife. It was not in the draw. I could not find it.

Today I was fetching another item and the knife was back in the draw, back in its small compartment. Back in its ‘home’.

This is not the first time some of my possessions have gone ‘missing’ or have moved; seemingly at will.

Sometimes things appear in my home. They may be objects I have lost, misplaced and… this is one of the strangest, items I have never purchased, ones I do not own.

Generally, these are small articles, inconsequential stuff, general household or personal belongings. The type of artefacts we all acquire during our lifetime.

I hear you saying ‘so what’? This happens to us all and you would be right, it does.

But, I ask you, how many times have you been certain the item in question was not where you left it?

I do not mean the times you may have been mistaken, but those times when you were totally and absolutely sure; times when you know your certainty is more than mere conviction?

I hear people say ‘we must have ghosts,’ or that ‘Mr Nobody’ must have moved it.

The fact is, when said and done, it is not too far from the truth. Only it was not a ‘Mr Nobody’, or a spectral entity who moved or misplaced your item.

It is something real.

Something which lives amongst us. Something which lives in all our homes, in our workplaces, our schools and colleges. Something which is with us at all times.

Even while we sleep.

Especially while we sleep.

It has been said, the best trick the Devil ever played was to make people believe he does not exist.

This is also true of the Gremlin.

I am not speaking of those cute(ish) furry characters portrayed in the film, but of the true Gremlin. Those tiny flitty little beasts.

The leathery-skinned ones with luminous green eyes and teeth like wild piranha.

I doubt if you have seen one, unless you are particularly susceptible to the spirit world, or you are a young innocent child.

Then you may have heard one scuttling under your bed, or in the closet, or outside your bedroom door in the darkness of the hallway.

You may have, on the odd occasion have glimpsed at one. That fractional shadow, the one which flicked past the corner of your eye yesterday.

The silhouette under the bathroom door, the one you see when you are home alone.

They are the Gremlin.

They watch you.

Constantly.

Hear a bang, the unexplainable crash from the room or upstairs. Like when the jar toppled over in your kitchen, or the picture fell from the wall.

All the tapping noises, those creaks and rasps you hear as you try to fall asleep at night.

What causes them?

Gremlin.

Gremlin love the night.

Gremlin love the darkness.

They are the creatures who moved your lip gloss from your handbag and hid it in the back of the bathroom cabinet.

The Gremlins took your car keys and tossed them into your sneakers, pushed them right down into the toe section so you could not find them.

The older the Gremlin get the more insidious their pranks. Messing with your machines. That is why your dishwasher rattles and your car now pulls to the left.

That accident you passed… it was no accident.

The Gremlin have been playing.

Trains crashes. Ships capsize. Planes disappear.

Gremlin.

They are in the machines. Your TV, your Vacuum cleaner, even the device your reading from now.

They are in the rear of your closet, the dark corner of your garage, and under your bed.

Turn your TV off. Turn the radio off.

Be quiet.

Be still for just a moment.

Listen… that noise… the faint noise…

Hold your breath and listen…Listen hard to the background noise, the constant drone which accompanies our lives.

Strain your ears.

You can hear it now, just there in the background… yes, that. It’s Gremlin going about their work.

Quickly look into the corner now, did you see it? In the shadow by the cabinet, shooting behind the sofa?

No?

Sneaky aren’t they.

Try again… use the corners of your eyes.

They are there. In your lounge, in your bedroom.

In the dryer, the car, your garden shed.

They are in the darkness at the top of the staircase, waiting in the loft, in the eaves of your roof.

They are watching you now, right now. Watching your every move.

Doggedly.

They are waiting for the right time, the right moment.

Trust me, I know.


Would you like to read more short stories with a little ‘spookiness’? Then download your copy of these Electric Eclectic Novella today…

North to Maynard, is a ‘ghost in the machine‘ story with and ending you will not expect. Download today.

Or how about a bit of fun?

Miriam’s Hex is a tale of greed and latent curses. This is light hearted black humor at its best.

Available to download now, or order as a Pocketbook Paperback

The Amulet is a ‘feel good’ tale of ancient magic in the modern world.

Download your copy, click here.

You are welcome to visit my website where you can find all my books, artworks & photography, http://bit.ly/paulswebsite


ARE YOU A DINOSAUR?

This post is from Ian Welch, an author from New Zealand, who has three books with Electric Eclectic, Chantilly Lace, Operation Debt Recovery, and Phantom Footprints.

Ian’s books are a delight to read; he has an easy style of relaxed writing, which belies the twisted plots and humorous, even comical touches running through his stories. If you’re looking for a captivating lighthearted tale, chose any of the books mentioned above, you won’t be disappointed. 


‘The times they are a-changing.’ I seem to recall that’s a line from a Bob Dillon song, not that I would class myself as a fan. But he did write some thought-provoking lyrics. Technological changes are bombarding us every day, I feel like I’m struggling to stay afloat, to keep my head above water. No sooner you master (that’s a slight exaggeration) something it becomes obsolete, out of date, redundant and a new fan-dangled newbie bursts onto the market.

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It’s not only technology that’s changing, the world is in constant turmoil. I read the first world war was given the name ‘The Great War’ and ‘The War to end all Wars.’ That worked, didn’t it? Maybe there has always been conflict throughout the globe, it’s just our reporting is so much better (and graphic). The United Nations was touted as the great hope for world peace then they shot themselves in the foot by giving the major countries the right to veto any resolution.

The latest fad is climate change. Yes, I call it a fad not that I would place myself in the climate change denier box, but we’ve seen the constant procession of protest movements (all claiming to speak for the moral majority) over the years. Remember nuclear testing, Vietnam war, Iraq, anti-apartheid, genetic modification and I read some vegans have picketed supermarket meat departments (they claim eating meat is destroying the planet). And who can forget little Greta Thunberg addressing the UN which inspired a wave of school kid protests and the climate revolutionaries who thought having sit-downs on busy roads was the way to get their message across. I must admit I’m bemused at how Greta managed to get an invite to address the UN; I’m still waiting for mine!

I prefer to not disregard; but treat with a small measure cynicism, all the doom and gloom. The pressing issue, the one question that gives me sleepless nights, that evokes an avalanche of confusing mood swings is WILL MY BELOVED FOOTY TEAM WIN ON SATURDAY?

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But the above is not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about DINOSAURS. Be patient, I’m getting there.

 WHO READS BOOKS?

 Statistics indicate females make up the majority of readers, something like 66%. From my totally unscientific observations most male readers fall into the older age bracket (no number given) but how many teenage and twenty-something-year-old boys do you know who will sit down with a good book? And many female readers also slot into the mature age bracket.

My concern is as older readers (and writers) fall off the perch will books become relegated to a historical memento, an antiquity? Are we (writers and readers) all becoming dinosaurs and facing extinction? 

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Yes, of course, there are exceptions like the Harry Potter books which are doing a great job of introducing a younger reader to the joys, the excitement of a captivating novel.

All is not lost, as a writer and a reader my mission is to write spellbinding, impossible to put down novels that leave the reader desperate for more.

For further information about the author, Ian Welch and his novels:  https://iangwelchcom.wordpress.com/


You can find all Electric Eclectic books in Amazon’s @open24 store, the store for readers and writers.

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Readers; important dates for your diary.

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Are you planning to buy more books this year, or do you simply tend to grab one when it catches your eye?

Whichever you do, it is worth considering when to buy your books because, at certain times, authors and publishers run special promotions.

These promotions can include discounts, new releases, posting of excerpts or sample chapters, reveals of covers and a whole host of exciting stuff not usually seen at other times.

Electric Eclectic suggest the following are dates worth putting into your diary and even setting an alarm to jog your memory. (We’ll post further dates for your diary later in the year.)

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March 5

Marked in over 100 countries across the globe, World Book Day is a UNESCO initiative which aims to celebrate books and reading, especially among younger members of our societies. In the UK and Ireland, National Book Tokens are given to children so they can find books of their own choice, something to unlock the power of their minds in a way the increasing prevalence of digital screens may not provide.

For what it’s worth, World Book Day falls on the same date every year as St David’s Day, so, if you read a Welsh book on the first day of March every year, you are doing justice to two great causes!

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March 21

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity in revealing everybody in the world shares the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day also encourages the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

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APRIL

April 1 to May 10

National Pet Month is back, and it is even better than ever, attracting thousands of animal lovers to celebrate the value of pet ownership. Every year National Pet Month brings together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, businesses, and schools to promote good pet ownership, raise funds for good causes and have fun.

We love to shout about the rewards and benefits of owning a pet whilst encouraging responsibility, increasing awareness of pet care specialists, and promoting the value of assistance and companion animals.

What has this, you may ask, got to do with books. The answer is simple, writers and authors love their pets too, so to share stories and images of them while talking a bout their books is something many do. Check out social during these dates.

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April 23

World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, worldwide celebrations take place to recognise the magical power of books; a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.

23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is the natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, first held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors, and to encouraging everyone to access books, which are the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity, space and time, as well as being a most powerful force of poverty eradication and peacebuilding.

By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. With active involvement of stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.

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May 1 to May 31

National Share A Story Month 2020

Celebrate the Power of Storytelling with National Share-a-Story Month

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups is an organisation started in the 1960s. It was created in response to parents’ desires to learn more about children’s books and how to encourage their own children to read more.

Children’s Book Groups were created in throughout the UK, the Federation served to link them together. The Federation is responsible for several initiatives including National Share-a-Story Month.

The celebration takes place annually throughout the month of May. It has proved to be an excellent way to celebrate the power of storytelling. Children and stories are brought together in a variety of events which take place across the UK.

Each year the event has a general theme, for 2020 it is Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea.

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Browse Electric Eclectic’s books, for adults and children of all ages. You can find them on our website at http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

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My Poem for Valentine’s Day

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It depends on which cards land, ‘cos the devils in the deal,

The King and Queen of Hearts are what you wish to feel,

So, pick them up, fan them out, take a look and see,

There’s the Jack of Clubs, his grinning back with glee,

And sitting just behind him is the ace of spades, bad luck,

Like the hand life’s dealt you; they don’t give a flying fuck.

 

The King and Queen will only be in your nightly dreams

And the Heart you so desire is much father than it seems.

“I’ll raise you ten,” he says, with an evil sneer,

You want to tear his face off, rip it from ear to ear,

Your watch your last silver dollar as it rattles into the pot

That’s it, your all up, it’s the last you’ve got.

 

Just one slender chance, you willingly embrace

Because nothing can now fill what is an empty space.

And nothing will leave you just about level,

Until you sell your vacant soul to Beelzebub the Devil.

You lose again, just like every fucking day,

So get up from the table, again you walk away.

 

Tomorrow is Valentines, a day of true romance,

When lovers reveal their passions, hoping for a chance.

Where wine and chocolates and bouquets of red flowers bloom,

And a thousand pairs of feet scuttle off to some hotel bedroom.

Where the lost and lonely sit and weep, in darkened empty homes

And stare at the blank glass screens of their silent mobile phones.

 

Where your life’s gambles lay in ruins upon the green baize

And those who’ve lost wander the streets in a lonesome daze.

When love is some distant recall which is hard to find,

Something fleeting, passing, just escaping your mind,

Where the fallen Jack of Hearts lays upon the floor

With one arm raised, finger-pointing, showing you the door.

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© Paul White 2015

Hey, why not check out ‘Teardrops and White Doves’ a collection of my poetry. Available in a fully illustrated, full colour, Hardcover book direct from my printers, or as a standard Paperback from Amazon

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Electric Press magazine: February edition, now out.

The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link. 

https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/epfebruary20

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