The trees and shrubs know better weather is coming, along with my second novel of which the final text is now with publisher Silverwood Books. Please do sign up to receive our free quarterly newsletter, to hear a bit more about Them Roper Girls and see in full the A-side of A Boy Named Bill (Hate) published in my March post.
A Boy Named Bill (Love)
Well I never did know my dad and mom
So I guess I’ll just call ‘em May and Tom
A GI Joe and a pretty little English girl.
He left her when I was minus zero
So you can’t call him my boyhood hero
Even if that weren’t exact how it did unfurl
And ten verses more …
All the best, David.
Ecuador 1 v 1 Argentina
Mil gracias a Oton y la familia extendida ecuatoriana. Empate revancha para 7 septiembre 1983 y final feliz como ambos equipos van a Qatar!
Many thanks to Oton and the whole Ecuadorian family. Revenge for 7 September 1983 in B.A. and happy ending for both teams heading to Qatar.
If he was still alive like his pal Elvis, the Man in Black would recently (26 Feb) have celebrated his 90th birthday. One of the few whose name stands comparison with his, Springsteen did a song about a guy with the classic knuckle tattoos, except not love and hate but love and fear. It came into my thinking on two versions of a humble tribute. This one is hate.
A BOY NAMED BILL
Now my daddy was just a GI Joe
Or at least my Uncle John told me so
l couldn’t ask my mum and looks like I never will.
He left her when I was less than zero
That chickenshit yankee local hero
Gave me just his name, said they used to call him Wild Bill.
Might have even been true, but I’ll be blunt,
I reckon he was just one lying ****(BEEP)
And still I tried to be my father’s son.
Don’t know John and June was really kin,
But they was good enough to take me in
Then must have wished a million times they hadn’t done.
Not once did they throw back in my face,
When I brought home only shame and disgrace,
Wild Bill, King Billy were my playground names.
When I hit my teens things could only get worse
For all June would cry and Johnny curse,
School done for me once I sent it up in flames.
Now it was Mildenhall in mid-July
On the US base I was kind of high,
A local girl I don’t recall her name.
I asked her nice if she wanted to dance,
I really thought I had a chance,
Till a yankee voice said ‘Buddy what’s your game?’
Well I never did find out who he was,
I tell you it hardly mattered much because
It weren’t about him nor the girl who caught my eye.
They may have called me Billy the Kid,
But in time of trouble I never hid
‘I’ll show you game all right, you little shite, if you wanna try.’
I gave him my best shot across the jaw.
Maybe he weren’t coming back for more.
I leave him there and things take another course.
Tho I never come near to takin his life,
I did notch his face with a Stanley knife
When they sent me down they blamed me for not showing no remorse.
You know that I’ve done time since then,
You could say I grew up in the pen
And not just because that’s where I turned twenty-one.
I couldn’t be trusted out on parole
And I had a few jobs but mainly dole,
Getting paid for the things I had and hadn’t done.
John could only ask me why
Guess he was sicker than I was seeing Aunt June cry
Had to leave them good folks behind and be on my way.
One more time I had to beg their help again
Look after my own boy David Wayne,
Don’t be like me son, every night I pray.
Course when he was born I gave it a go
Playing happy families with him and Jo,
Didn’t last long though we both gave it our best shot.
The child wasn’t planned you fuckin kidding?
And she wasn’t a girl set to do my bidding
Some men can live with that, and some will not.
I’m a reader, had the leisure
While serving time at Her Majesty’s pleasure,
I know there’s a tide in the affairs of men.
So I’m a rigging myself up a jury mast,
A rope, a chair, a kick and I’m past,
The fret of another stretch of five to ten.
And I won’t be crying for my mum at my final twitch,
But still kickin and acursing ‘Dad, you son of a bitch.’
The Christmas decorations long down now, but trees can also look fine in the raw. With the first edition due to be published within the next few days, please do sign up to receive our free quarterly newsletter, to hear a bit more about my next novel Them Roper Girls and read A Girl Named Crisis. All the best, David.
My glass may be nearly empty, but this was at the end of last year, we now have an almost full new one to savour.
Happy New Year, everyone. Although 2021 was not to everyone’s taste, let’s look forward rather than back and hope 2022 allows us the health and energy to be as happy as we can and productive as we want to be. I was satisfied in 2021 to publish my novel Seventeen through Silverwood Books and set up this website with the professional support of the Bookswarm team. I look forward to putting something different out there in 2022, a contemporary family saga now almost ready for submission to publishers, Them Roper Girls, while Joe will I think have positive news about an exhibition of his work. To keep up to date on developments in more detail, and give us a steer on what you would like to see more of, please do sign up to receive our free quarterly newsletter, the first of which I hope to email subscribers in early February.
All the best, David.
For me an early sign of Christmas is the Santa Fun Run. With the emphasis very much on the first two of those three words, I try to take part in one every year. The realistic high-quality costume serves also for Christmas morning until I have to get seriously kitted out in new gifted gear. A friend of mine, in the long long ago when people still wore neckties, received two from his wife one year. Thinking to please, however over-dressed it made him feel, he reappeared for Christmas dinner wearing one of them. “What’s the matter with the other one then?” the wife wanted to know.
Whether you are a first-time or return visitor, I hope you find something to make you want to keep coming back to this site. If you feel minded to give the blue-sky Santa above a little gift before you go, you can use the Contact Me feature to share your own jump start Christmas tradition or crackerjack joke, and please do sign up to receive our free quarterly newsletter.
All best wishes for a jolly healthy holiday season, David and Joe.
David, pictured here at Hunt’s independent bookshop in Rugby High St, featured in his publisher Silverwood Books‘ Meet the Author series on 10 September 2021 discussing Seventeen, his adventure fantasy novel aimed not only at adolescents but anyone who has ever played with soldiers or dolls. A slightly amended version of the interview is reproduced below. If you have any questions of your own, please connect with David G Bailey via this website or on Facebook. Or get your copy of ‘Seventeen’ from Silverwood Books.
Where are you from/where are you based?
I grew up in East Anglia but am now based in the Midlands.
Do you write full time or do you have a ‘day job’?
I write full time in the sense that writing insurance international market reports as a freelance consultant is my day job, while I try to work regularly at new fiction and never fail to keep my diary up to date.
Has your other work influenced your writing?
Not especially, and particularly not in works such as Seventeen which go back to childhood inspirations. My familiarity with insurance makes it tempting to set characters in that environment, and I have succumbed at times despite the fact it is hardly noted as one of major excitement and general interest.
What is your favourite book?
The best novel I have read is probably Anna Karenin, but my favourite may be One Hundred Years of Solitude. I also greatly admire the Aubrey-Maturin series.
Did those books or any of their characters inspire any aspects of your book? If so, how?
My inspiration here was more from popular films and comics. In Cibola, The Magnificent Seven plus Legge’s Eleven can make Seventeen!
Where is your writing space? (Where do you like to do most of your writing?)
It is an office that’s not too proud to double as a spare bedroom. When not travelling I have worked from home for over a decade now, so have a small room with a desk and laptop set up. I used to write first drafts by hand but now I put them directly onto the computer.
Are you currently working on anything new?
Yes, I am struggling with The Tuesday-Thursday Tontine. Before that I hope to bring out next year something in a different vein from Seventeen, a contemporary fiction focusing on the lives of four sisters over a span of sixty years. Watch out for Them Roper Girls!
How does it feel to be a published author?
It feels like a graduation, one I have worked hard for, but that has probably taken longer than it should have. The important thing now is to build a career from it, to keep producing new work and to keep publishing.
Publication day of Seventeen was 17 (not coincidentally) July 2021. It was a bold move, adding another book to the inhouse stock against express instructions to reduce it!