Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Goodreads poetry winner

Barnaby was surprised and delighted when his poem 'Under the Table' was chosen as a finalist in the monthly poetry competition hosted by Goodreads. He was even more surprised and delighted when the poem received the highest number of votes. It's a true story.

Under the table

There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table,
That’s in a kind of runner down each side.
It should go round a pulley thing in order to enable,
Each of the extending leaves to smoothly slide.
But I think the springy wire must have fallen off the pulley
As the metal slider thingy doesn’t work.
Instead of sliding smoothly it no longer opens fully,
It just judders to a stop in little jerks.

So now I’m lying on my back underneath the dining table,
Trying to work out what’s gone amiss.
But the metal covered runner thing that holds the springy cable,
Is preventing me from seeing what it is.
I prod it with my finger and I pull the springy cable,
But I can’t see far enough along the track.
And the rail that runs from end to end that’s underneath the table,
Is digging rather sharply in my back.

I think that maybe if I took off both the wooden sliding panels,
I could re-attach the wire thing again.
As long as I could poke it back along the metal channel,
I might hook it round the pulley with my pen.
But, is it really worth it?  I can feel my will desert me,
When I see it’s held each side by seven screws.
That’s twenty eight in total just to get the beggar free,
And twenty eight to put back in once it’s been loosed.

Thirty minutes later and I’ve unscrewed twenty seven,
But the last one’s gone and got a busted head.
I wish I hadn’t started and I’ve lost the will for living,
But eventually I free the broken thread.
Now I’m studying the cable that’s fallen off the pulley,
And I’m blowed if I can see what holds it on.
But I poke it down the channel and I hook it back on fully,
Can’t help thinking that it won’t stay there for long.

Now if you think it wasn’t easy taking out the bloody screws,
It’s ten times harder getting them to go back in.
Because gravity’s against me and I’m really not amused,
Indeed my patience now is wearing rather thin.
But, finally I’m finished and that springy wire cable,
Is back around the pulley wheel again.
However, when I pull the leaf out to extend the flipping table,
Nothing happens to the one the other end.

So, was it all a waste of time dismantling the slider thing,
Two hours discomfort lying on my back?
Well, there is a tiny benefit from all that disassembling
No wire now hanging down beneath the track.
And the other little consequence of this minute adventure,
Is that I went out and wrote this little song.
So if you’re feeling musical, while I have your attention,
Why don’t you clear your throat and sing along …

 
…There’s a sort of springy wire underneath my dining table, …
 
  Barnaby Wilde (November 2008)

You can find this poem and many others in Barnaby's collection 'Tunnel Vision' here

You can read all the finalists poems here

For more information about Barnaby's poems and fiction visit www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk

Thursday, 2 April 2015

To swear or not to swear. The Clean Reader debate.

The following article is copied from the Smashwords website, written by Mark Coker (Smashwords founder)
***

March 25, 2015 - There's been a lot of debate in the blogosphere in recent days about a new e-reading app called Clean Reader, which can be downloaded from the app stores of iTunes and Google Play.  The app's default setting automatically identifies and blocks words it considers profane, and if the reader asks for a substitute word one is provided.  But the substitute word is not the author's word.  The app is powered by Smashwords partner Page Foundry in the sense it leverages the PageFoundry catalog of books and underlying app technology, but it is not owned by Page Foundry.  Last week I was surprised to learn that Smashwords books were included in the app.  After a few days of careful consideration, today I requested that all Smashwords titles be removed from Clean Reader.  Under the terms of our agreement with all retailers, retailers don't have permission to alter the words of our books.  In my judgement, by shielding readers from words, it represents a change to the book that neither Smashwords nor our authors have authorized.  Page Foundry responded immediately to my request and agreed to remove our books from the Clean Reader app in the next few hours.    Various interesting articles have been written on Clean Reader debate.  Check out Charlie Stross here, Cory Doctorow here and Joanne Harris here or Google "Clean Reader" for more.  Mark Coker's (Founder of Smashwords) view:  Although I'm generally supportive of innovations that make books more accessible to new audiences, and I can see some potentially useful application in terms of shielding children from inappropriate content, I think Clean Reader is a step in the wrong direction.  Books are works of art, and the art is manifested by the author's word choice.  You can't block, change or censor words without changing the book.  I also think such an app is counter to the best interests of book culture.  Books should be judged, celebrated and debated in their naked glory as their creators intended.  The sanitization of books IMHO leads to greater ignorance and intolerance in the world. Books don't need sanitization when proper categorization and honest book descriptions will do the trick.

***

Barnaby's View: You won't find a whole lot of profanity in Barnaby's books, but the odd swear word might creep in now and again if it is consistent with the character from whose mouth it issues. If that is the case, then it's there for a purpose and Barnaby would prefer that it's not artificially substitured by an  app over which he has no control.

Why not pop over to www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk and take a look at Barnaby's books for yourself?

Monday, 9 March 2015

New Collection - Barnaby's Shorts #10


Just published on Smashwords is the latest compilation of short stories in the series Barnaby's Shorts.

Volume 10 contains two new stories from the Vertigo Labs. In Amazonia, Jepherson Thomas builds an origami boat big enough to float a child, until things go wrong. In 'Another Ratt Tale' Dr Ratt reappears five years after disappearing half way through a magic act.

Emily has more problems with 'Grow your own man beans' in 'The Fab Aces' and 'Spider'.

The Women Furies quiz team from the Poachers Inn catch a ghost in 'Things that go bump in the night'.

Romance, Sci fi, humour and even a fairy tale in this new collection of coffee break sized stories.

How does a six foot ten inch tall Princess find the Prince of her dreams? How do you end up in a Shopping Mall five miles away when you step onto a ladder in the loft of your own house? How does a tongue tied young man finally meet the girl of his dreams?

Answers to all these questions and more in Barnaby's Shorts (volume ten)

You can find the new collection to sample or download in all ebook formats here

All Barnaby's other titles are available here, including the first nine volumes of the Barnaby's Shorts collections.

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Sale Time Again - Read an ebook week - FREE books! - Reduced books!


Read an e-book week runs from March 1 - 7 2015. It's your chance to download any Barnaby Wilde title, in any format, for bargain prices. Some books are FREE, many are 50% off (see below for examples).

Free titles









 Barnaby's Shorts - coffee break sized stories in a wide variety of genres





Quirky Verse for those with a sense of humour



 
Volume 1 of the Tom Fletcher Stories
 
 
 
Flowers for Mercedes - Volume 1 of the Mercedes Drew Mysteries
 
 
 
50% discounted titles
 
 
 
 










 Go to https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/barnabywilde for details of these books and more,  including download instructions for any kind of reading device (e-reader, smartphone, tablet, PC etc)
 

Thursday, 12 February 2015

LOVE a new anthology of short stories by Barnaby Wilde



New collection 'LOVE' now available for download at Amazon for Kindle. You can download a version in any ebook format from Smashwords.

Ten tales about love, romance, meetings and partings. Gentle humour, a touch of pathos, and just a little wishful thinking.

You can still find all Barnaby's other titles at www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk

Go on. You know you want to.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Recent New Titles from Barnaby Wilde

  Recent titles from Barnaby Wilde include three collections of short stories. Stories to read with your coffee, on the train, in the bath, or on the beach.


Vertigo -- The collected stories from the Vertigo Research Labs.

How can stairs stop working, when up becomes down? Can something be bigger on the inside than it is on the outside? Jepherson Thomas, janitor at the Vertigo labs, tells all in eleven humorous stories from the world's most unlikely research establishment.     Sample or Download here

Review by: Elizabeth Rowan Keith  (Jan 2015) *****                       
            'Barnaby Wilde makes me think. And I have fun doing it.' 


Chameleons -- A woman dreams of chameleons every night; a man in an orange jumpsuit finds himself marooned on a featureless plain; the first confirmed message from an extra terrestrial source; a cube with a mind of it's own and a bored space explorer all feature in this collection of eleven sci fi short stories in the old style.

No magic, no wizards, no warlocks, no werewolves and not a vampire in sight.

Sample or Download here


Barnaby's Shorts (volume 9) --  Ten tales which are just the right length to read in your coffee break, in the bath, or in bed. Emily finally finds a real man in 'The Problem with Beans', The Poacher's Inn quiz team discuss the finer points of cycling in 'The Dandy Horse' and there is another tale from the Vertigo labs in 'Whichcraft'. Humour, mystery, sci fi, romance and more in this new collection.     Sample or Download here
Review by: Tracey Howard on Oct. 27, 2014 : *****
                       
 'an excellent collection of short stories that will leave you, in turns, feeling nostalgic, puzzled, delighted, sometimes even baffled'

You can find all Barnaby's ebooks and print books by visiting www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk or follow on Twitter for news of new books and special offers @barnaby_wilde

Saturday, 17 January 2015

FREEBIES!

If you're spent out after Xmas and January Sales, here are a few ideas that won't cost you a penny.

There are two recent editions of The Australian Times Poetry Magazine which can be downloaded for FREE. Both contain a wide variety of poetry from home and abroad to suit all tastes.




You can find the two online magazines here and here








The following books are available as FREE downloads from Barnaby Wilde


http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/105222I Keep Thinking it's Tuesday, volume one of the Tom Fletcher novels.

Tom Fletcher sometimes sees people as donuts and uses Exchange and Mart as his guide through a life populated by topless dancers and hippopotami. Frogs, pizzas, water beds, pygmies, licorice flavoured condoms and an ostrich all have key parts to play in this murder mystery; or perhaps it's a love story; or is it just a tale about a man who doesn't own a decent jacket? … and who is Geoffrey?





 Animalia  Quirky verses with a loosely animal related theme, including armadillos, camels, stick insects, elephants and dodos, but not necessarily in that order.

 Flowers for Mercedes  A girl on a motorbike, a hit and run, a detective called Flowers, a warehouse robbery, a train derailment, a missing cat, arson, kidnap and more in three complete stories about Mercedes Drew which, together, form the first part of the Mercedes Drew mysteries.                                                 
Will Mercedes Drew ever find true love? Will Detective Inspector Flowers solve the mystery of the missing cat? Who is stealing the covers off the drains? Why won't Mr Chatterjee say who set fire to his restaurant? Who is Dogtooth? Where is the lead from St Stephen's Church roof?
Answers to these questions and more in Flowers for Mercedes (volume one)
 




Barnaby's Shorts (volume 1)  Ten short stories, including The Monkey Faced Boy, The Holey Oak, The Accidental Bank Job, The Horse that ran with the Wind and others. A mixed bag of tales ideal for reading on a plane or in a train. Gentle humour, a touch or sci fi, and a twist at the end.




You can find all Barnaby's other books at www.barnaby-wilde.co.uk