The Emergence Of A Notable New Literary Critic


It appears an ever younger readership is attracted to my new book, “The Man Who Missed the Boat” as exhibited by the thorough and unrelenting inspection of syntax and grammar being undertaken by a five month old literary critic otherwise known as my grandson, recently photographed engaging with the novel.

No doubt, as his mother battled with pressing household tasks, our young hero sought escape from boredom and selected a random novel to help pass the time. As yet his extended review is not available, although some notable comments in the form of gurgling and hand waving are with the baby translation services awaiting scripting into comments more intelligible to older and more tired minds .

That being said, some of his initial responses have been made available and read as follows. “This book does not taste nice.” and  “The picture on the cover looks nothing like my granddad: he needs to be quite a lot fatter.” are two of the strikingly accurate observations  leaked by translators to a bewildered public and we look forward to the full rendition of his freshly minted opinions on this, one of the first books which has come to his attention.

We hope that he will not be alone in expressing an interest in the book and that, unlike my grandson, many of you find the book does taste good, or at least is to your taste. That is my hope.

If you read it and review it, be assured waves of gratitude will flow towards you from myself and all the curious characters who find voice in that exotic place otherwise known as my imagination.

A link to the book is situated on the right side of this Blog and a simple click will transport you to Amazonia were a wealth of reading awaits those who seek entertainment.

Posted in character, community, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells, writing | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Picture Of A Man Holding Another Book

I’ve already done this post, but I pressed a button and it vanished, which isn’t very clever is it. Anyway, I was mentioning that my new book, “The Man Who Missed The Boat” is now out on Amazon in Book and Kindle form. For those of you who have already commented I apologise for the strange behaviour on Countingducks, and I will be talking to our Technical department shortly.

Here is a photo of a man holding a book, and also smiling, because he’s very pleased to have a copy in his hand

A Boat Picture

The Amazon links are ( USA )

and the UK link is

If any one would like to review the book that would be very nice. Just leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you.

Thank you all for your encouragement and heart-warming support

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See You Mate

When Gerry fell down while walking back from the match I laughed out loud, because falling down was one of his tricks, but then he didn’t get up. Not at all: not ever. Gerry was a man who often played the fool and “Kept it light,”  while others buckled under the weight of that self-induced chaos some of us call a life.

I remember him sitting up at the bar with me after one of his divorces singing. “Marriages, I’ve had a few, but then again, too many to remember” and I laughed with him, despite the mangled scanning  of the lines, because he always refused to take life seriously: flippancy was his strength and weakness. Apart from me I think Drink and Gambling were his closest friends and we all know they make unreliable companions.

Still,nothing seemed to get him down. “Rough and smooth mate, rough and smooth” he used to say, and he took most of it in good part.  I don’t mean the guy was without talent, far from it, but he didn’t take his gifts or circumstances seriously, or most of his jobs, or even his wives, one of whom was quite nice, but he was loyal me in his own way, and always willing to overlook his own failings, and some of mine. I remember him saying to me, “Never marry someone you like. It ruins a good friendship” and then he chuckled.  Sometimes he might end up at my door after some self-organised cataclysm, bag in hand, saying, “Got any clean sheets mate” and I’d just open the door and let him in, because that’s what you do isn’t it?.

I’m not saying my wife Jean liked him because, quite frankly, she didn’t; especially after he made a drunken pass at her at my birthday party one year, and you know how these things can lead to awkwardness, but good news for some, he and I agreed to let that go. All in all, I admit his sense of moral geography among politely directed folk, was not what it might have been but he won’t be the last man with that difficulty

But to say he was merely a loose moraled individual is to paint too shallow a picture. Among the poor and homeless, among whom no acting was required, he discovered levels of compassion few of us connect to, and with his death, “Ladies and men of the street” as he called them,  lost a gentleness of caring few have ever experienced. He was good with dogs, for many of us the final friendship in a disconnected world, and never passed a homeless guy without asking if he was alright, unless he was not alright himself, but then he knew what it was to be unfortunate and, among the dispossessed, the truculence and recklessness for which he was known, were replaced by astonishing sensibility.

I can’t say the church was packed by the “Respectable,” but, how they got to hear of it I cannot say, a significant number of the local destitute and their carers attended the buriel as well as myself. Owing to financial constraints there was no wake as such and it may not surprise you to know that Jean refused to go.



This is fiction by the way, and my last post before “The Man Who Missed The Boat” is published and, lets face it, that  title could have been used for Gerry’s biography !

Posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Peter Wells, Relationships, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 21 Comments

A Life-Changing Meeting With Dr Odd

I lived in the age of social engagement where we chatted on Blogs and even smiled at dentists before they drilled holes in our teeth: a celebration of biological generosity, spreading our DNA to the four corners of the surgery.  “Being open and friendly,” was MEE.  It’s what I was, regardless of how many teeth I had left. It defined me. It regulated me. It… Oh well you get the picture.

“Making it real,” not letting us become prisoners of our  cultural norms and formalities;”Hanging it out there,”  like it was the last load of washing  before Oblivion visited us in the shape of an impressively large meteorite.   (On that subject, I recall Dr Odd, a notably languid member of the local sub-intelligentsia, saying as his last words, “Impressively large” just before said “Rock” blotted out the sun and then our lives. For the record some noted astronomer was also heard to murmur, “This eclipse is twenty-four years early” as a casual demonstration of academic excellence, which words ended up being his final statement, apart from some screams uttered in the falsetto register which newspapers had no opportunity to record  )

I learnt all this in the waiting room outside the “Infinite Experience”  facility otherwise known Purgatory, before our finale destination was revealed to us,  but that is another story. ( See a previous post ).  This tale concerns me. Did you hear that. Me ME MEEEE. ( Oh God this is fun ) and what I felt about life, you lot, and that troubling pain I got in my wrist every time I tried to use the can-opener; which, to me, was the device which made the difference between starvation and putting on a decent amount of weight  while watching Television: the defining advance in life-style engineering enjoyed by the final generation.

By the way, this rambling post is brought to you courtesy of the “Random-Experience-Process Facilitator ” which I was introduced to at birth. Let me give you an example. I spent a large part of my early employment as a traffic warden, posting tickets on the windscreens of upscale cars. A profession I chose on the basis of material envy, mean-spiritedness and lack of career satisfaction, but which meant I could blight the lives of the successful, until a freak incident catapulted me to national stardom.

During a general election, when politicians were pretending to be nice, and not gloating over their status and fame at the “Your Vice Is Safe With Me Sir” nightclub for decadent Notables,  Sir Reginald Worthless, leader of the “Honest Laundry Party” came across me as I was ticketing his Bentley Continental, while being followed by TV cameras.

In order to make his point, He waved his arm towards me and said, “Should I be elected as  your next Prime Minister, this finely groomed gentleman will become my Minister of Transport. I turned towards the camera, and smiled in a way which says, “I am too modest to reveal everything I understand about life but it’s quite a lot you know,” and somehow I grabbed the public imagination as an example of an extraordinary talent trapped in an ordinary job, house, marriage and salary.

The rest is history, or embarrassment, depending on your point of view, but suffice it to say, after a brief period of notoriety as a minister in Her Majesty’s government  and the chance to explore Vice on the basis of an inflated salary, I was sacked for telling the visiting President of the  United States that his car was parked illegally outside a small hot-dog stand in the West End of London where he was engaged in buying a snack with  small change supplied to him before he left 10 Downing Street, while  smiling for the cameras to show he was just an ordinary guy at heart, albeit one with strong opinions on catering, and integration strategies in a multi-muddled society.

My last words to you before I am moved to my final meeting with Dr Oblivion are . “Just because it is in the brochure, does not mean it’s real”  I was invited to experience the world beyond my station and lived, or died, depending on your perspective,  to enjoy the consequences.

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The Creative Abyss

I spent my twenties, which seems like youth to me now, working as an unpolished clerical worker for a paper merchants. In those days they tried to define your job in terms of its function and status and “clerk” seemed correct to them and the inescapable truth to me. Nowadays, no doubt, I would be called a “Success Liaison Consultant,” or some other rubbish, but we hadn’t fully discovered the selling power of self-importance in that unpolished era.

Through lack of money, connections or social presence, my life was pretty much free of  intercourse with females, though once my head lay on the pillow it filled immediately with dreams of sweet romance; and girls who identified with me as if we had a secret pact: I never played the hero, even in my dreams.  My musings were not strictly carnal but more to do with recognition, tenderness and coming home; a place with which I had little familiarity.

In the evening , sometimes and for no reason, I would attend a  “Creative writing course” at the local college as a way of marking myself out as someone who sought for self-improvement. Even then, “self-improvement” was a recognised goal, albeit one not yet sought for with the aid of machines, measuring devices  or bending your upbringing towards  freshly-minted systems of belief.

There I met Maurice Le Garde, not his original name I’m sure, who eked out a living teaching ‘creative writing’ on the back of a couple of undiscovered novels. On account of his being a lecturer and a writer of sorts, he had a kind of “allure.” “mystique,” or whatever you might call it, and he was at that perfect age for creative girls, it seemed to me: somewhere in his early-forties where he could impress as the spiritually well-travelled older man but still with enough stamina to follow through on his promise, and yet not too old to unsettle, or too young and gauche to disturb that subtle beautiful women with presence and sensibility who was my obsession. No names because I will admit none, but in my day-dream I could describe her to the final hair.

He talked a lot about “defining the moment” and could look towards the window and say, in his slow drawl with a hint of foreign accent, “Life is just a moment, and the colour of it changes with our understanding and experience” and then he would turn from the window and look towards us, or more particularly Helen who was an artistic truth-seeker in her early twenties. She had played a guest role in my dreams, I admit, but there was a sense that she played a larger role in the ennobling life of  Maurice Le Garde.

On those grounds alone I developed an anger towards him which I lacked the character to express until one day, when he was going on about “Moments” and “Inner sensibility” I said, “What do you think about social progress and responsibility. That is more than a ‘moment’ surely?” I noticed with inner satisfaction that Helen turned to look at me, and I had drifted towards becoming a “Person of note” in this class at least.

As I began to celebrate this brief elevation, that disturbing sub-foreign accent cut across my thoughts saying, “After dark, when your thoughts are free of inspection, there is no social responsibility.” and Helen moved her gaze from me back to our noble teacher. It was the nearest I got to gaining her attention, and the last time I attended his class

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Hope By The Glass

So I’m talking to my friend Greg.  Him for whom each new girl was, “Real ” at least for a weekend, although most weekends for him were spent taking a rest from life and romance, until he met his wife Sandra,that is, when the clouds cleared briefly, before he settled down for a career in domestic servitude. I mean who needs too much intensity anyway, and he seemed happy enough living by someone else’s agenda. We all like a little fun but now he looked down in the dumps, even by his humbling standards, and then it got worse.

“Do you believe in Hope?” he asked  me, and I’m telling you, there is nothing worse than an introspective depressive, unless you are talking a drunk introspective depressive or the final challenge, a drunk introspective depressive talking  to his oldest friend, which is what I am, about philosophy

I mean normally what’s not to like: he’s “One of the pack,”  good to know, buys his round, loyal to a fault, and that pretty much defines friendship in my book.   He has failings: he’s clever, but in that wasted “Off the wall”  way that teachers don’t recognise, and girls always seemed put off by his outsized chin, till he met Sandra, that is, but then we can’t all be floored by inner beauty can we, and she’s no oil painting herself, and if she were an oil painting, she’d require a pretty big frame if you’re hearing me. But I’m straying from the point again. The question he posed was, “Do you believe in hope?” and do you know what kind of people ask that question? The people who don’t feel any.

Lets talk solid here. You don’t get a guy walking out for the  best night ever with a girl who adores him on his arm, clutching a winning lottery ticket saying “Do you believe in hope?” because those people are too busy having fun to talk philosophy. Philosophy is for  miserable people making an excuse for not having fun, or being passed over for promotion or just passed over: period, and that I suppose pretty much defines our Greg.

Still, I don’t want to leave the guy drowning on his own so I ask him, “Are we talking deep- space hope or just “Will I get a holiday?” hope, because, deep-space wise, life’s just a black hole Greg, and I snort a load of beer down my shirt because, lets hang out the truth here, I can be funny.

OK, more truth, Greg wasn’t laughing so I asked him what his problem was and he said, “It’s all deep space to me Fred, and Sandra’s left me” and there you have it. He’s” Clever in a wasted way” and so I raise my glass and give him the only advice I have to give. “While there’s beer there’s hope and I’ll keep drinking as long as you buy the rounds”  and he walks off to the bar  without a word. After all, what are friends for!

Posted in character, creative writing, Fiction, humour, Love, Peter Wells, writing | Tagged , , , , , , | 22 Comments

“The Man Who Missed The Boat:” Here’s The Cover


Quick View Peter

The Man Who Missed The Boat,

Pre-order available for Kindle, delivered to your device by mysterious means on 9th April

Paper-back published 10th April

How it Begins:

He did not really have a career. More a series of jobs, which took him to different experiences and outlooks, and that is how he sold the situation to himself. Simon Baxter was one of those people who, armed with a clean shirt, could enter any room or salon and be taken as an equal until someone asked him what he did.

“I can’t remember,” sometimes sprang to mind and got a laugh, but the probing might continue. Finally, it might dawn on them that he did a bit of quite a lot of things, and nothing.

You could watch the shadow pass across their faces. Suggestions about good restaurants would die on their lips, and he became what he always became: the polite outsider, the enigma, the man who missed the boat.

Can anything happen, planned or unplanned, which will change his life ?

Read the Book and find out. I did !

Posted in creative writing, Fiction, humour, Life, Love, Peter Wells, Romance, writing | Tagged , , , , , | 36 Comments