Monthly Archives: September 2012

Amazon declares me profane

Amazon thinks we are profane.

They said my profile was unacceptable because it contained a profanity. WTF! I carefully re-read my profile and tried a few changes but the message came back: PROFANE
I deleted the only remaining  thing I could see they might object to. Sure enough, the new version passed muster.

And the deletion: bentbananabooks. That’s right, my publishing name.

Do you think I should burn all the books I have published?

Censors, you gotta love ém. What is your favourite censorial comment?

Mine is from an American censor who banned a foreign movie with the comment:

This film is meaningless. If it has any meaning, 
it is, no doubt, objectionable.

All in all, you know what a censor is:


Gallery

Queensland Uncut

This gallery contains 37 photos.

[Editor’s Note: This radio script was broadcast on PardigmShift, 4ZZZ fm 102.1 Fri at noon – 28 Sept 2012. Special thanks to Steve R. and Jess McPh for interviews, sound and help with this show. However I take responsibility for … Continue reading

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Aboriginal sovereignty movement asks UN to deny Australia a seat on the Security Council

This gallery contains 1 photos.

the following documentation from michael anderson, interim chair national unity government sovereign union of first nations and peoples in australia and leader of the euahlayi nation, explains why such an opposition against australia taking a seat on the un security … Continue reading

On the road to Damascus Paul’s book pummels your brain

IF The Book of Paulwere a music album, a critic might say it had cross-over appeal.
It has a feel of a genre novel but it is hard to classify because of its elements of sci-fi, dystopia, psychological drama and comedy.
I believe its publicity machine  is running with supernatural thriller and that is a good as label as any.
I read not much genre fiction apart from Chandleresque private-detective yarns. While I say ’’not much’ , none at all is closer to the mark.
New York author Richard Long was able to hook me and keep me on the line until the end. That is a good effort as, before reading The Book of Paul, I thought tarot was an Asian root vegetable. 

I figured Hermetics were cosmetics Doctor Frankenstein especially made for his patient Herman Munster. I thought body modification was ‘’hotting up’’ an old car. I could go on but you should have my drift by now.

The Book of Paulis a cleverly constructed thriller, built around a title character who it must be said is not very nice. Sado-masochism  is often a relatively harmless  Saturday night in after a hard week at the office. Then there is a date with Paul.
Like the author, I am of Irish extraction with the attendant light skin so I tend to avoid ultra-violent rays (You might like to re-read that last sentence – or not – it is up to you.) The Book of Paul seemed ultra-violent to me, but maybe I am a shrinking violet.  From now on,  a great American rock band will not be the first thing that springs to mind when I hear the phrase “talking heads’’.
Not that the author  appears to condone violence, except  in the interests of entertainment.
To balance the horror and gore, there is a lot of humour – from puns and slapstick to satirical cultural references and even self-parody of the novel and its author.
There is also a lot of information, mainly delivered in a casual fashion so the reader can chose to investigate further or just read on.  As a journalist, I have been writing on visual art for the past 30 years but this novel first alerted me to the wonderful genre of outsider art.
Various readers will take different things from this most entertaining and thoughtful novel. Me I will remember the pieces of information and the theme that the child is parent to the adult.
If you are engrossed in this novel, there is promise of plenty more to come in sequels and prequels (I think I have the two out of order.)
Even if you just want to dip in your feet in the literary waters outside your comfort zone, you will be rewarded. Did I say I used to think Druids were the dysfunctional youth in A Clockwork Orange?
I thought tarot was this
Not this

I thought Hermetics were cosmetics especially made for this man
I thought these were Druids

Our celebratory song is a no-brainer for anyone who has read The Book of Paul.
– Bernie Dowling Last day of the week-long Book of Paul Blog
That was fun!

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Foco Nuevo in October

This gallery contains 7 photos.

FOCO NUEVO IN OCTOBER As the weather warms up it’s time to get out and see some great local music! Gary and Sam Shepherd are father and son guitar players and singers. Gary has played and taught guitar for over … Continue reading

Richard like John in his own write

Day 4 of the Book of Paul tour is here.
Today we have a guest post from the author Richard Long.
Welcome to the Save the Book blog, Richard.
Make yourself at home. Can I get you a cup of coffee?
No, you want to get started. Fire  away!

Guest Post by Richard Long
Laura gave me my first tarot deck. It was a Crowley. A lot of people get creeped out by Crowley decks, much as they would have been creeped out by Crowley, I imagine. He called himself ‘The Great Beast.’ To me, he seemed more like a big joke.
“Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law!”
Stop it, you’re killing me.
You just read the opening lines of  The Bone King, a prequel to The Book of Paul.  They happen to be true. Laura gave me my first deck. I still have it and use it. In fact, I’ll be using it shortly to provide Skype tarot readings for two lucky winners of my Whirlwind Blog Tour. I’m looking forward to the readings. The winners? I suppose that depends on which cards come up.
Actually, I don’t give scary tarot readings, I just write about scary tarot readings. People have enough fear and stress in their lives without me throwing more gas on the flames. Besides, the three scariest trump cards–The Hanged Man, Death and The Tower–can all be interpreted in very unscary ways. Most of the time.
William, the narrator of <em>The Book of Paul</em>, lives in the East Village/Alphabet City of New York in the years before gentrification made it a much less fun and frightening place. He makes a living doing tarot and numerology readings, same as the author did at the time. Like me, he is also a collector, but that’s where the similarities end. He collects ancient occult codices, some covered in human skin. He collects other things that are even more…disturbing.
The mythology of <em>The Book of Paul</em> is based largely on my very unique (so unique you’ll never see it anywhere else) interpretation of the twenty-two trump cards of the tarot.  As William endeavors to unravel Paul’s nefarious intentions, he discovers an arrangement of the trumps that reveals the true story being told. In the following excerpt from one of William’s journal entries, Paul congratulates William on his discovery (which is not revealed, so no spoiler alert!) and rewards his efforts with a very special gift to add to his collection, and the promise of an even greater prize.
A fabulous tarot reading from Richard Long? A Kindle Fire?
No, William isn’t as lucky as three of you wonderful readers.
He’s about to have his very first look at <em>The Book of Paul, a</em> gift that comes with a very hefty price tag.
“You’ve done exceptionally well here,” Paul said, “but you’re never gonna get to the bottom of this no matter how many of those old books you poke your nose into.”
“And that’s because…”
“For starters, those writings were deliberately intended to disguise the truth in countless metaphors and scrambled codes to keep the idiots at bay. They’ve been translated, and re-translated back into the original demotic, Coptic or Greek countless times, every scribe adding his own pontifical touch in his glorious interpretation. Of the more accurate writings, there’s more missing from the tracts than what remains, as you’ve seen in the Drivel of Mary. You’ve about as much luck hitting pay dirt in those dustbins as those literalist born-agains have of seeing the Rapture. However, I have a gift for you that should prove far more enlightening, if you apply yourself with half the dedication of these research efforts.”
He reached deeply into his pocket and told me to close my eyes. “Don’t go using yer second sight and spoil the surprise.” I nodded and felt him place a large rectangular object in my left hand.
It was a tarot deck. Older than any I’d seen. The paintings were incredibly detailed and absolutely exquisite. I turned them over one by one, The Hero, The Herald, The Oracle—all the trumps labeled with Paul’s titles. “These are amazing!” I said, awed and yes, flattered by his incredible gift. I had a hard time spitting it out, but I managed to say, “Thank you.”
“You’ve earned it,” he grunted, taking the cards back before I had a chance to look at the rest of them, setting the cards down gently on the table. “But don’t stay up too late gazing at them. This deck can be quite…entrancing.”
“Is there something else I should know about it?” I asked apprehensively.</p>
“Indeed, there is. Get a good night’s sleep and meet me in the chapel tomorrow. I’m bumping you up to the advanced class, so make sure your eyes are bright and your head is clear. You’ve earned a little taste of the Gospel according to Paul.”
Thanks Richard. Please leave a comment for the author or me.
And here is a pic of Aleister Crowley


And here is his Wiki entry.

As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visyhttp://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity</a></li>
           
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price ofThe Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visyhttp://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity.
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 

Visit Richard at




Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.
 I have had to think hard about this one as we have travelled across quite some terrain. So why not a travel song.


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Solidarity with Bahrain workers and refugees

This gallery contains 8 photos.

To mark October 1 Labor Day, the Bahrain Australian Youth Movement (BAYM) is offering solidarity to the struggles of Australian workers and attempting to build a bridge of solidarity between Australia and Bahrain. Please find attached a briefing document regarding … Continue reading

Hey hey Paul-eay, how many kids you kill today?


Welcome to Day 3 of my part in the whirlwind blog tour of The Book of Paul.
On Day 1, author Richard Long was kind enough to eloquently answer my questions on his supernatural thriller.
On Day 2, we ran an excerpt from the novel.
Today we return to Q&A, one of my fave media for discussion and robust debate. The questions are from blog-tour organiser Novel Publicity.  In the interests in massaging my ego, I may introduce my own comments. We will see. Let the fun and games begin.


Please enjoy this interview with Richard Long, author of the nail-biting supernatural thriller, The Book of Paul. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.

Tell us about the spark of inspiration that eventually grew into The Book of Paul.
The initial inspiration for The Book of Paul came when I wrote the first line of the first chapter called Exercises “He practiced smiling.”  I wanted to explore a character who had been so damaged by childhood trauma that he could no longer feel compassion, joy, affection, and had, accordingly, committed all kinds of horrible acts. I wondered if such a person could ever regain his emotional capacity and be redeemed by love.
What was the research process like for this book (which can at times deal with some pretty heady and—frankly—grotesque goings-on)? Any horror stories to share?
There are many aspects to the story, so the research was really extensive. I love doing the research almost as much as the writing, so it’s a joy for me to read and learn so many new things. The creation mythology literally goes back to square one and builds from there, tracing the history of Hermetic and Gnostic philosophy, alchemy, druidism and pagan mythology–particularly Egyptian, Greek and Celtic traditions. There’s also a strong science fiction element involving quantum physics, artificial intelligence, life extension and what’s known as The Singularity. Other lines of exploration involved Irish genealogy and what I call the pain culture: tattoos, elaborate piercings and body modifications.
I made some gruesome discoveries along the way. The most disturbing was the Extreme Body Modification website I stumbled upon, which is one of the most horrifying things I’ve ever seen. I first saw it in the early days of the Internet, which is pretty amazing in itself. I checked recently and it’s still there, though I didn’t have the stomach to peek inside again. I’m actually as squeamish as some of my readers about certain things, which is probably why the horror comes across so vividly. If something scares the hell out of me, it’s easy for me to convey that fear and revulsion.
Tell us about Paul. Who is he and what is his book about?
The Book is a 4th century codex, the only one of it’s kind. How and why it was made and what it contains is one of the central mysteries of the series, so I’m not going to spill those beans. Paul is every bit as mysterious. When he is first introduced you might think he’s a serial killer involved with the occult in some way. As the story progresses you discover some really unexpected things about him. One thing is clear from the outset – he is one very nasty piece of work. I’ve always felt that any horror novel or thriller is only as good as the villain. I definitely aimed for the fences with Paul.
There is a strong tarot undercurrent to this novel. The protagonist even makes his living by reading the cards. Why did you decide to work it into The Book of Paul,  and how does it surface throughout the course of the story?
I actually did tarot and numerology readings when I lived in the East Village many years ago. The tarot led me to a lot of dark occult explorations, which are mirrored in William’s journey. I was lucky enough to pull out of that nosedive and hop over to the Buddhist side of the fence. William is not so fortunate. The reader gets drawn into William’s world through his first person narration as he talks about becoming a collector of ancient occult manuscripts, which leads him to the tarot. Then he gradually reveals more through his journal entries, which contain the meat of the mythology and all the Hermetic and Gnostic lore. Finally, he discovers that the tarot is actually related to an apocalyptic prophecy, which Paul is determined to fulfill by any means necessary, which is very bad news for Billy.
At almost 500 pages, this is not a short novel. From start to finish, how long did it take you to write, revise, and ready for publication?
I’ve written over 2,000 pages for The Book of Paul and the series. The first draft of this volume was close to a thousand pages long. I cut out eight characters and their storylines in the second draft, which netted my first agent. She wanted a lower page count, so many of the narrator’s interior musings were cut. Those were actually some of my favorite sections. Then I moved to another agent and he wanted more of the mythology put back in, so it grew close to this size. After six months he hadn’t sold it, so I got sick of the whole process, wrote it the way I wanted, and published it.
The concept of synchronicity plays heavily in this novel. What attracts you to it, and has it proven a heavy influence in your own life?
I’ve always been a spiritual seeker. I was raised as a Catholic, but the nuns effectively beat those beliefs out of me quickly. Even as a kid, I couldn’t accept the idea of God as the big guy in the sky with the white beard. Science and mythology and my own imagination showed me all kind of possibilities. I first noticed synchronicity when the number eleven kept showing up for me all over the place–addresses, hotel rooms, etc. Someone suggested I get a book on numerology and I discovered that eleven was my “name number” and also a power number. I started noticing all kinds of things after that, coincidences that were just too weird to brush away. Then I read some Jung, and when I got into quantum physics that sealed the deal. Synchronicity for me now is the manifestation of interconnectedness in the universe. There is nothing you can perceive that isn’t connected to you. As the Buddhists say, “no separate self.”
Paul is… scary (we’ll leave it at that). How were you able to effectively become this deranged character, and how did you hang on to your own humanity after the fact?</strong>
I would imagine it’s much the same as when Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter. He was very disdainful of method actors who got all caught up in identifying with their characters. There’s a famous story about Laurence Olivier and Dustin Hoffman on the set of Marathon Man. Hoffman was a method actor and he stayed up all night before their torture scene together and Olivier said something like, “Why don’t you try acting, dear boy?”
That being said, I’m not immune to being disturbed by these things. When I wrote the traumatic scenes of him and Martin–well, I cried when I wrote them and they stayed with me for days. So maybe the method is working for me too.
Paul is great to write because it’s like letting my Id out of a cage. I get to play out my most evil imaginings and nobody gets hurt. I also had to find Paul’s humanity to make him really interesting for me. I didn’t want him to be some cartoon monster. Paul is also in a lot of pain; he was traumatized as a boy and his life was changed forever. By the end of the story you get to see many other sides of him. And of course, there’s a lot more to come.
Irish mythology is woven into <em>The Book of Paul</em>, and at one point, Paul even makes a sarcastic quip about the luck of the Irish. Why Irish, and how all does its culture influence the story?
When I’m writing, I go into a daydream state where I imagine the character and what he or she looks like and where they are and what they’re doing. No outline usually. I sit back and watch and listen. If it’s great the way I imagine it, then writing the dialog is like taking dictation. When I wrote the first chapters with Paul, I was surprised because I kept hearing him speak with an Irish brogue, but his accent went in and out – sometimes really thick, sometimes a little lilt, sometimes no accent at all. So I’m thinking, what’s that about?
I come from Irish American stock, but my parents told me absolutely nothing about their parents other than to say they were cruel. So that’s the starting point with Paul. He’s the ultimate bad dad. The more I explored Paul, the deeper it led me into Celtic mythology, Irish genealogy and history. I suppose I’m trying to find the missing links of my own heritage. My grandmother was born in Ireland, so I have dual citizenship, even though I haven’t been there yet. I’m thinking I’ll go next year when I’m writing the third sequel.
The Book of Paul  is unlike anything I’ve ever read before, and in that way, it can be difficult to classify. So tell us, who  is your target audience for this novel?
Given the fact that there are some rough episodes in the story, you might think that the so-called target audience would be men who are into horror, thrills and mayhem. But women actually seem to be my biggest, or at least, my most vocal fans. I’ve been getting some really enthusiastic reviews from men, but even more so from women, who surprisingly seem less squeamish than some of the male reviewers.
The Book of Paul doesn’t fit into any neat, tidy genre. It’s very complex and like you say, unlike anything I’ve read before either. There’s a  Pulp Fiction element to it, with quirky characters in a seedy environment. There’s a major religious/mythological mystery for the Dan Brown crowd. It’s very funny, but incredibly poignant. It’s very disturbing, but there are lots of fast-paced action scenes. There’s romance and kinky sex. Something for everybody.
 Why did you decide to self-publish The Book of Paul and how has the journey been so far?
Read above. The traditional publishing industry in general is like a boxer on the ropes in the tenth round. For fiction it’s even worse. Add first-time novelist to the list and sprinkle on an unclassifiable genre for a little seasoning. I had two agents who were well known and successful, and very enthusiastic about the book. But the editors they reached wouldn’t take a chance on it. I could have kept trying, but frankly, I ran out of patience.
How has it been so far? The book is out in the world and it’s just the way I wanted it. I have complete control over everything I do, including the cover art, which is also exactly how I want it. The marketing is a lot of hard work, particularly the social marketing, which I had never done before. But that’s turned out to be a lot of fun too. I’m meeting so many great people–other authors and readers–and getting such a strong response on the book that it feels like a vindication. See? I told you so. Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visy http://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity</a></li>
           
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.
The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is visy http://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
 Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of The Book of Paul for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity.
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series The Dream Palace.  He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 

Visit Richard at




Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.
When you buy the Special Edition of the T-shirt 

Evil is loneliness with nowhere else to go 

you get this video with it:





Gallery

“New Questions about Recent Wars”: Wed 3 October meeting of the 17 Group

This gallery contains 2 photos.

The October meeting of the 17 Group will take place on Wednesday the 3rd of October at 7 pm in unit 6 at 20 Drury St West End. Tony Reeves, non-fiction author and journalist, will address the topic “New Questions … Continue reading

“Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary”

Antonio Gramsci was a leader of the Italian Communist Party in its revolutionary days, and spent all his last years bar a few weeks in
Mussolini’s fascist jails. The Prison Notebooks he wrote in jail have been quarried to justify many varieties of reformist or liberal politics.

A new booklet, out soon, discusses a major recent study on the Notebooks — Peter Thomas’s The Gramscian Moment — and argues that the Notebooks
were in fact a powerful contribution to the working-out of revolutionary working-class strategy in developed capitalist societies.

• Gramsci’s life and ideas: an introduction
• The philosophy of praxis, by Peter Thomas
• The Gramscian Moment: an interview with Peter Thomas
• The revolutionary socialist as democratic philosopher
• Anderson’s antinomies: a discussion of Perry Anderson’s analysis of the “antinomies” of Gramsci
• The other shore of Gramsci’s bridge: Gramsci and “post-Marxism”
• Gramsci and Trotsky

Antonio Gramsci: working-class revolutionary“. Order now at pre-publication price. Cover price £4.

In advance: £3.50 post free for single copies £25 for ten copies £40 for 20 copies

Order online at http://www.workersliberty.org/gramscibook

Day Two in the Life of Paul

YES, it is Day 2 of my part in Richard Long’s Blog Tour of The Book of Paul.



It is Day 2 and I already have to apologise to yesterday’s readers for misleading you about your opportunity of winning all these fabulous prizes. It seems you all have the opportunity to win as you will discover when you read on.
After yesterday’s goof, I probably did not endear myself to blog tour organizer , Novel Publicity who kindly let me have a go, as we love to say in Australia.
At this point I had better show my tour badge to authenticate I am really part of this great enterprise and not some crazed troll.


I thought I would play safe today and post one of the files tour organiser, Novel Publicity, sent me. It is an excerpt from the novel.

Unfortunately, I saw it contained these HTML commands. I said to myself “Bernie, WTF are you supposed to do with those?” I am a simple blogger. I took them out and the end product looks alright to me, though I am known to be very forgiving of myself.
In case I have stuffed up again, I have value-added a mini-review of the excerpt and a song to celebrate today’s blog.
Well let’s get stuck in and see what we think.
Cheers,
Bernie

Please enjoy this excerpt from The Book of Paul a nail-biting supernatural thriller by Richard Long. Then read on to learn how you can win huge prizes as part of this blog tour, including a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
Monsters:  An Excerpt from The Book of Paul
You tell your children not to be afraid. You tell them everything will be all right. You tell them Mommy and Daddy will always be there. You tell them lies.
Paul looked out the filthy window and watched the little girl playing in the filthier street below. Hopscotch. He didn’t think kids played hopscotch anymore. Not in this neighborhood. Hip-hopscotch, maybe.
“Hhmph! What do you think about that?”
Paul watched the little black girl toss her pebble or cigarette butt or whatever it was to square number five, then expertly hop, hop, hop her way safely to the square and back. She was dressed in a clean, fresh, red-gingham dress with matching red bows in her neatly braided pigtails. She looked so fresh and clean and happy that he wondered what she was doing on this shithole street.
The girl was playing all by herself. Hop, hop, hop. Hop, hop, hop. She was completely absorbed in her hopping and scotching and Paul was equally absorbed watching every skip and shuffle. No one walked by and only a single taxi ruffled the otherworldly calm.
Paul leaned closer, his keen ears straining to pick up the faint sound of her shiny leather shoes scraping against the grimy concrete. He focused even more intently and heard the even fainter lilt of her soft voice. Was she singing? He pressed his ear against the glass and listened. Sure enough, she was singing. Paul smiled and closed his eyes and let the sound pour into his ear like a rich, fragrant wine.
“One, two, buckle my shoe. Three, four, shut the door…”
He listened with his eyes closed. Her soft sweet voice rose higher and higher until…the singing suddenly stopped. Paul’s eyes snapped open. The girl was gone. He craned his neck quickly to the left and saw her being pulled roughly down the street. The puller was a large, light-skinned black man, tugging on her hand/arm every two seconds like he was dragging a dog by its leash. At first, he guessed that the man was her father, a commodity as rare in this part of town as a fresh-scrubbed girl playing hopscotch. Then he wondered if he wasn’t her father after all. Maybe he was one of those kinds of men, one of those monsters that would take a sweet, pure thing to a dark, dirty place and…
And do whatever a monster like that wanted to do.
Paul pressed his face against the glass and caught a last fleeting glance of the big brown man and the tiny red-checkered girl. He watched the way he yanked on her arm, how he shook his finger, how he stooped down to slap her face and finally concluded that he was indeed her one and only Daddy dear. Who else would dare to act that way in public?
“Kids!” Paul huffed. “The kids these days!”
He laughed loud enough to rattle the windows. Then his face hardened by degrees as he pictured the yanking daddy and the formerly happy girl. Hmmm, maybe he was one of those prowling monsters after all. Paul shuddered at the thought of what a man like that would do. He imagined the scene unfolding step by step, grunting as the vision became more and more precise. “Hhmph!” he snorted after a particularly gruesome imagining. “What kind of a bug could get inside your brain and make you do a thing like that?”
“Monsters! Monsters!” he shouted, rambling back into the wasteland of his labyrinthine apartments, twisting and turning through the maze of lightless hallways as if being led by a seeing-eye dog. He walked and turned and walked some more, comforted as always by the darkness. Finally, he came to a halt and pushed hard against a wall.
His hidden sanctuary opened like Ali Baba’s cave, glowing with the treasures it contained. He stepped inside and saw the figure resting (well, not exactly resting) between the flickering candles. At the sound of his footsteps, the body on the altar twitched frantically. Paul moved closer, rubbing a smooth fingertip across the wet, trembling skin and raised it to his lips. It tasted like fear. He gazed down at the man, his eyes moving slowly from his ashen face to the rusty nails holding him so firmly in place. The warm, dark blood shining on the wooden altar made him think about the red-gingham bunny again.
“Monsters,” he said, more softly this time, wishing he weren’t so busy. As much as he would enjoy it, there simply wasn’t enough time to clean up this mess, prepare for his guests and track her down. Well, not her, precisely. Her angry tugging dad. Not that Paul had any trouble killing little girls, you understand. It just wasn’t his thing. Given a choice, he would much rather kill her father. And make her watch.

END excerpt. Want More!
As part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of The Book of Paul eBook edition is just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing this fantastic book at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes. The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $300 in Amazon gift cards, 5 autographed copies of the book, and a look into your future through a free tarot reading performed by the author.
All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is to visit http://www.novelpublicity.com/whirlwind-tour/paul
Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment–easy to enter; easy to win!
To win the prizes:
Purchase your copy of  The Book of Paul  for just 99 cents
Enter the Rafflecopter contest on Novel Publicity
About The Book of Paul
A cross-genre thriller that combines the brooding horror of Silence of the Lambs with the biting humor of Pulp Fiction
About the author: 
Richard Long is the author of  The Book of Paul and the forthcoming young-adult fantasy series  The Dream Palace He lives in Manhattan with his wonderful wife, two amazing children and wicked black cat, Merlin. 
Visit Richard at

Save the Book mini-review of chapter
The author’s signature humour weaves through this chapter.
The play on words, Hip-hopscotch, appears early.
Scene switch has Paul soaking up the innocence of youth, only to be distracted by the remote possibility a stranger could be a pedophile. Paul, an extraordinary monster, rails against monsters.
Even as Paul’s monstrosity is revealed, the reader is appalled by what he would do to the father and child if he only had time.
The chapter is delicately written and subtly references some major themes of the book.
Here is our celebratory song. Enjoy.

Bernie Dowling, Day 2

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Women can do anything!

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More than just a naughty boy: the life of Paul

This week, Save the Book is part of a whirlwind blog tour in support of Richard Long’s novel The Book of Paul. I am not sure what the tour badge is about. As I understand it, only the bloggers can win the prizes. WTF, they give me badge: I’ll wear it

There will be some generic stuff from the tour organiser, but you know we have to do our own thing, as well. We start with a Q&A session and we will finish the week with our own review.
I have asked some general questions to keep the spoilers at bay. So to begin, we will let the author talk about the book and any spoilers are on his head.
STB: The book covers a lot of ground in touching on religion, philosophy and psychology among other subjects. Do you see readers reaching for Google and Wiki?
RL: I hope so. There was an enormous amount of research that went into this book. I’d love for it to spark the same curiosity I felt when I discovered some of these things, particularly the Gnostic and Hermetic material and the connection between them.

STB: You cleverly insert parts of the back story of childhood throughout the book. Did you always plan to do this or did it evolve as you were writing?
RL: The present day action in the story takes place in a very compressed three day period, yet the central conflicts between the characters spring from childhood traumas. So yes, the exposition was complex and had to be carefully orchestrated so the flashback scenes didn’t detract from the present and instead amplified that tension, suspense and mystery. Another challenge was the revelation of the mythological material that goes back to the creation of the universe, then on to ancient Egypt, Greece, Jerusalem and Ireland. It’s an epic story with a lot of action and I wanted to keep the freight train rolling. 

STB:  There are a lot of four-letter words to the point that you seem to be parodying your own use of them. What is the go there?
RL: These are gritty characters trapped in a terrifying situation with the fate of the world hanging in the balance. So yes, there are going to be a lot of F bombs dropped. Humor is a big component in my writing, so many times the profanity is played for laughs.

STB: There is  a saying in literature that every villain should have at least one redeeming quality. I could not find any in Paul. Are there any?
RL: I suppose that depends on what you consider redeeming qualities. Paul is extremely intelligent, clever, jovial, ambitious, successful, powerful, fearless — all highly valued qualities in our society. Unfortunately for the other characters in the story, he also happens to be exceptionally cruel and nearly devoid of compassion. It’s clear he has affection for Martin, William and Michael, yet he’ll allow nothing to stand in the way of his objectives. In some of the scenes near the end of the story, you learn part of what happened to Paul that transformed him into such a monster, and in the sequels and prequels the full story of Paul will be revealed. I think you’ll find Paul to be a much more complex and sympathetic character than you can imagine from the first volume. One of my favorite lines in this book is, “Sometimes I think evil is just loneliness with nowhere else to go.” Ultimately, that’s true of both William and Paul. Maybe the rest of us too.  (I thought that was the best line in the book and I made a note of it when I read it. I would buy a T-Shirt with the punchier Evil is loneliness with nowhere else to go – STB)

STB: At least one critic has found your work too violent. What do you say to that?
RL: Read Emily Bronte instead. Shakespeare is horrifically, comically violent. In any Shakespeare tragedy, at the end of Act V, the stage is covered with blood. Nearly every character has been horribly murdered. Greek tragedies are even worse. Matricide, patricide, suicide, infanticide, you name it. ( Richard, Greek tragedy had a rule that all violence happened off stage, but I certainly agree about Shakespeare, with jokes about rape in Romeo and Juliet, as an example – STB) These literary impulses have been very well represented for a very long time. I’m just continuing the time-honored tradition! What I find amusing in the few negative comments I’ve received along these lines is that they uniformly come from male reviewers, not women. I’m not sure why female reviewers seem to be less squeamish, or less vocal about it. Maybe having to deal with men all the time toughens you up. Another thing I find interesting is that a great deal of the violence in the book is not directly described and happens “off camera,” so to speak. So perhaps I spurred the reader’s imagination to fill in the blanks in a particularly grisly way. Ultimately, this is a horror story. By definition, horror isn’t pretty. You get what you pay for. As Hunter Thompson said, “Buy the ticket, take the ride.”

STB: There are no obvious heroes in the book yet the reader does seem to want a few of them to survive their various perils. Was this creation of sympathy for extremely flawed characters difficulty to write.
RL: I think Martin and Rose are decidedly heroic in addition to being flawed. We’re all flawed. We’ve all been hurt and damaged. No one gets out of life alive. (We had better attribute that one to Jim Morrison of the Doors unless someone has an earlier reference. – STB) The reward for a lifetime of passionate love with your mate is that one of you gets to watch the other one die. This is the human condition. I am extremely sympathetic to these characters because I came from an abusive household. Their pain is my pain, though far from that extent. And yes, that kind of pain was as difficult to write as it was to experience. 

STB:  Why did you want to write a YA book after this horror novel? Was it a commercial or artistic decision or come from somewhere else?
RL: I have two young children and I wanted to write something they can read before they’re adults. My daughter is autistic and that’s a major theme in the family story at the heart of The Dream Palace fantasy series. She and her brother are the heroes. There are some fun sci-fi elements in addition to the overlapping dream/real worlds. In the next sequel, it gets steampunky in nineteenth century America and Germany. Basically, The Dream Palace is as light as The Book of Paul is dark.

STB: For prequels and sequels to The Book of Paul, are you committed to 500-page books or will you shorten the length?
RL: I’m not committed to any word or page count. I’m committed to the characters and the story. We shall see where the final period is placed. 

STB:  How long was your eBook for sale before you decided to drastically reduce the price and why did you make that decision?
RL: The eBook has only been reduced for this promotion. I’m not sure you can call the difference between $3.99 and .99 drastic. The full price is equivalent to a Starbucks Grande latte. 

STB. I guess people should be aware the book also has quite a bit of comedy in it. Was that the intention from the start?
RL: What can I say, I’m a funny guy. 

The Book of Paul is available in print and digital:

from  AMAZON
Here is our musical tribute:

-Bernie Dowling Sep 24, 2012

Critical readers have their say about 7 Shouts

A fun read June 10, 2012
By Jane.S
Bernie Dowling has a unique voice that really brings his columns to life. I highly recommend this to anyone that enjoys Australian humour. Even if you don’t laugh you will be entertained and informed. My favourite is the Slanguage chapter. For the record I say ‘marown’.
Bernie Dowling has compiled years of journalistic endeavors into one compendium, along with pictures (some of them quite funny), and has thus given readers “7 Shouts”. For the individual with a love of journalism, an open-minded viewpoint on all things living, and often insightful blurbs on life, I highly recommend this book. Love, tragedy, success, and history–it’s all there in the funny, intelligent, and sometimes satirical voice of Dowling. Definitely a getaway read for the nonfiction crowd 🙂
Read to the end
By Lorraine R. Noscov
Not often have I picked up a book to read and wanted to keep reading until I had finished the book. 
7 Shouts by Bernie Dowling is a light-hearted read of historical and some hysterical interesting snippets from the Northern Times Newspaper. It is a pleasant walk down memory lane for anyone who has lived in the Pine Rivers Shire, now Moreton Bay Shire, during 2001 and 2008.
Lorraine R. Noscov
Wonderful appreciation
R. Holt 
Author Dowling has a wonderful appreciation of the issues affecting local people and his witty use of the English and Australian languages enhance the book’s entertainment value. His ‘best of’ columns broadly range between being informative, questioning, educational, and humorous while he has a knack of subtly promoting local events and people. The cover is attractive and the book would interest readers of short stories involving real life events.
Instant classics
H.Pietsch
Easy and relaxing reading with interesting facts along the way. Some of the author’s comments, I like to declare as instant classics.
Customer Reviews
Average 4.0 out of 5 stars
Publisher’s summary
A comic journey from the edge of the city into the heartland of the metropolis passing through the mullet festival, the school fete and the rural show. 
Journalist Bernie Dowling and his readers embrace and defy physical prescriptions such as the Russell Crowe Law of Fame and the Barck Obama Version of Australian Slang.
Before their eyes leap cultural icons such as the french poodles Fi Fi and Fa Fa which enter the sheep-dog trials and the impoverished teenager trying to win a date with pop singer Delta Goodrem
OIympic athletes, a US president, a deposed Australian Prime Minister greet them along strange detours to solve historical mysteries.
Signposts along the way are unusual photos and links to crazy songs and weird facts.
7 Shouts is a classic contemporary doco of a world gone mad, but still a heap of fun.

7 Shouts available as an eBook from 

AND
AND
affiliated etailers
Thank you for 

flying BernieAirDepartures
Aside

Commemoration of the 30th Anniversary of 1982 Commonwealth Games protests: October 5-7, 2012 – Musgrave Park. Program of events The weekend of October 5-7 will be packed with activities to pay tribute to the important protests that took place thirty … Continue reading

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Qld Childrens Hospital Community Protest: QCH workers need your support

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QCH is a test case 650 workers at the Queensland Children’s Hospital site in South Brisbane have been in dispute and on a community protest since 6 August. Construction disputes do not usually go on this long. The bosses face … Continue reading

Make the sort of money your book, art or performance deserves

I had the privilege of listening to Dr Ernesto Sirolli for more than an hour today.

He was the keynote speaker at the inaugural Moreton Bay  

Creative Industry Expo 2012



Moreton Bay is a region of Queensland Australia and is where I live.

I will try to explain as simply as possible what Dr Sirolli had to say.

If I do what you consider a good job, please send a link to this post to everyone you know who is an independent writer, artist or performer.  It concerns how good artists can make a decent living from their work. Anybody working in the arts knows that is just not happening today.

 

Dr Ernesto says all work offered for sale involves three processes.

1.       Production

2.      Marketing

3.      Administration, including finances

 

 

The second point is no-one who has ever lived or who shall ever live has been, is, or will be excellent at all three skills.

 

What this means for an independent artist (a writer or a performer is an artist, in my book) is they need to find a marketing expert and a financial expert for their business to have great success.

 

You do not find these people through formal partnerships but by seeking out passionate people who may be retirees, students or relatives and friends who believe in your talent.

 

These people may work for free as volunteers or for the promise of payment when you are financially successful. If you think this is fanciful, remember that Dr Sirolli has helped create thousands of successful enterprises in 300 communities throughout the world based on these principles. He also cites this as the way billionaires such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates began their careers.

 

Dr Sirolli believes people within an industry can often make more money individually as members of a co-operative, either formal or informal. I am not sure if this follows from his basic principles but it is worth including for your consideration.

 

Also the “enterprise facilitators” – marketeers and financial people – have been trained by the Sirolli Institute to  create those 300 community success stories.

Obviously it did not take Dr Sirolli more than an hour to say what I have presented above.   But I promised to keep it simple and I believe I have.

 

The interpretation is, of course, mine but I believe it is faithful to the core ideas.

Now let’s watch Dr Sirolli tell it in his own words.

 

 

 

Let the conversation continue. Please leave a comment and we will start the ball rolling in our virtual artistic community.  If you want to run this as a guest blog, just ask.

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Gaza’s Ark

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Dear friends, Please find attached a new leaflet to help raise awareness of and funds for Gaza’s Ark. We urge you to print (and fold) the attached and circulate to friends, family and colleagues. We are of course printing some … Continue reading

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Police, media and government violence

last saturday, 15 september 2012, the very peaceful welcome to aboriginal land passport ceremony was held at the settlement, darlington, whereby a great time was had by all 300+ who attended. we were contacted by the redfern police, as is … Continue reading

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Refugee Italian Detention in Australia

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As we struggle to understand our nations obsession with detention, it is helpful to examine who else in our short history we have chosen to lock away “in the national interest”. Australia a nation founded on the need for England … Continue reading

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ILAN PAPPE IN AUSTRALIA: Interviews & lectures

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Editor’s note: Simply, the man is extraordinary – his intellect, his wit, his clarity, his moral integrity, his humility, his courtesy all combine to make him the most formidable speaker yet to talk truth to power. Ilan Pappe has had … Continue reading

What’s hot these days?

A MAN who has been dead for 30 years, an 80-year-old car and a teenager are the hottest tickets of the week.

More than 160,000  readers of  British music magazine NME voted John Lennon as the greatest rock icon of the past 60 years.
The top 10 are

  John Lennon
   Liam Gallagher
   David Bowie
   Alex Turner
   Kurt Cobain
   Amy Winehouse
   Jimi Hendrix
   Morrissey
   Noel Gallagher
   Ian Curtis

For the record Ian Kevin Curtis (July 15, 1956 — May 18, 1980) was the lead singer and lyricist of the post-punk band Joy Division.
Morrissey, is an English singer and lyricist. In the 1980s he was the lyricist and vocalist of the The Smiths before commencing a long solo career
Alex Turner[4] is the lead vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter of the English  band Arctic Monkeys.

If you do not know the rest, what are you doing still reading this; Move on to the car yarn.

Cashing in on a car
In 1994, Morrissey had a hit album, Vauxhall and I. 


I would love to say it was a humble British Vauxhall which fetched more than $5 million at auction but I would be lying.
At the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, UK, on Saturday 15th September
An extraordinary an unrestored 1928 ‘S’ Type Sports Tourer Mercedes fetched more than £2.8 million. Type Sports Tourer battleship grey ‘S’ Type was owned by the same family from new and had never been restored, retaining its original blue leather upholstery in its entirety.
Never has the tag “one owner” had so much value. Oh Lawd, won’t you sell me a Mercedes Benz.
A 1929 Maserati Tipo 26M four-seater sports racing car raised £1,681,500.
A1929 Alfa Romeo 1750 SS Competition Tourer went  for a lousy £1,099,100.
What the highest priced Vauchall went for is not recorded. Used to be such a sweet car, too.

Still a sweet girl

Abigail Gibbs, 18, has signed a six-figure publishing deal with HarperCollins for her vampirific novel.
Gibbs is  a sweet girl, and like Morrissey, a vegetarian. There the comparison  ens as the teenager can’t stand blood while Morrissey bleeds from the mouth,mthe ears and the amp.
Ì do wish people would stop writing things like six-figure sume. I have to count ion my figures to some up with $100, 000 or more.
I do hope these bidding wars for indie writers continue. One day they might get down to you or me.
HarperCollins’s publishing director, Shona Martyn, said: ‘I think this book has traction – Abigail’s storytelling is pacey and vivid; her characters and plot are sexier than Edward and Bella.’’
E&B, I presume, are characters in the Twilight series.
 In the meantime, this book has not sold for a seven-figure sum.

But you can buy it as it rushes past 7 reviews.

                  HERE   and HERE
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Stromboli – a review

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“I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me; I was found by those who did not seek me. To a nation that did not call on my name, I said, ‘Here am I, here am I.’” — … Continue reading

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QLD UNCUT – rally this Saturday, 1pm on September the 22nd at Brisbane Square!

With the LNP’s ‘budget of a generation’ fresh off the press, the full impact of cuts to the public and community sectors is yet to be understood. So far we know that the government has / plans to: – Cut … Continue reading

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Shabra and Shatilla: a Preventable Massacre

[Editor’s Note: See below an article in the New York Times about the US and Israeli roles in the massacres. Below I include film of a demonstration organised in King George Sq on hearing the news of the massacre. The … Continue reading

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Why We Need Class Struggle Not Parliament to Defeat the LNP

Why We Need Class Struggle Not Parliament to Defeat the LNP The mainstream idea coming out of Labor and the Queensland Council of Trade Unions is that we need to wait 3 years and just elect Labor to defeat the … Continue reading

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Saturday, 22nd September: Community Rally Against Cuts

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Join us at 1pm on September the 22nd at Brisbane Square to protest against Newman’s razor gang and their attacks on the community and public sector. Confirmed speakers so far: + Arlene Lewis – Co-ordinator, Ipswich Regional Advocacy Service Incorporated … Continue reading

RAC organising meeting

Organising meeting

When: 3pm, Sunday 23rd September. Where: Freedom House, 69 Thomas St, West End.

Getting there: Street parking. West End (199) bus from City and Cultural Centre bus station.

The main agenda item will be the planning of upcoming campaign events, including the Tony Kevin booklaunch of 17th October.

All refugee supporters welcome.

Further info: Paul, 3392 3843, paul@rac-qld.org .

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©2012 Refugee Action Collective, QLD | Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Developments in Renewable Energy in China Today

Address by Prof. Lianzhou Wang & Dr. Mingxing Zhang from Uni. of Qld. … followed by Chinese Banquet


Sunday 14th October
11:00am – 1:00pm
Joyful Chinese restaurant

5 Brereton St., South Brisbane
$30 Banquet

RSVP by Monday 9th October, to Don Wilson 3358 4385 or Ross Gwyther 0408 782 983

Dr Mingxing Zhang is the President of the Qld Chinese Scientists and Engineers Association. He will give a short address on the work of their association.

Prof Lianzhou Wang will talk about the latest developments in renewable energy in China. He is currently in Chemical Engineering at the University of Queensland . His research focuses on ways of developing cleaner and more efficient energy conversion & storage systems, including solar driven photochemical conversion, low cost solar cells, rechargeable lithium batteries, and water treatment membranes. He has worked at UQ for over 8 years, and was awarded the prestigeous ARC Future Fellowship for 2012.

Prof Wang is happy to show us over his research labs at some stage also.

After the talks and discussion with our two speakers, guests can partake of a Chinese banquet

The Australia China Friendship Society aims to promote friendship and understanding between the peoples of Australia and China. We hold regular informal lunches with guest speakers on interesting topics.

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World Cafe for the UN International Day of Peace

World Cafe Friday, 21 September 2012 19:30 until 21:30 Ala-din’s Restaurant, 1307 Beenleigh Rd Kuraby Brisbane Al Tariq is yet again hosting a World Cafe for the UN International Day of Peace. This year we continue our focus on the … Continue reading