All posts by Dougie Brimson

Why we must do more than ‘Keep calm and carry on’ to win the war on terror.

family, terrorist, parliament, veteran, warThis is a picture of my late granddad. He was an ARP warden during the war and his beat was the East End of London which, for those that don’t know, was bombed pretty much constantly by the Germans during the second world war.

Almost every night, he would go out walking the streets making sure people were safe and reporting on bomb damage, sometimes even as the bombs were falling. After that he would go home, not knowing if his own house was still standing or his family still alive, before heading off to do a full-time shift as a porter at one of the big London markets. That went on right through the blitz.

I mention him now because in the wake of the terrorist attack in London yesterday, much is being made of the fact that we, as a nation, have a spirit which means that we will never be defeated by these cowards who are now seemingly hiding in our midst. And of course we won’t, just as we weren’t by the Nazi’s or the loathsome IRA.

Some call it the Dunkirk spirit, others refer to the ‘Keep calm and Carry On’ mantra which has become synonymous with our nation in recent years but whatever it is, we have it, in spades. And it will see us through these worrying sad times just as it always has.

However, there is a huge difference between the Britain we knew in the blitz and even during the reign of terror imposed on us by the likes of Martin McGuinness in the 70’s and 80’s and it is becoming an increasing concern to me. It’s nothing to do with government, immigrants or even religion, it is to do with our individual selves. Or more specifically, what kind of Brits we are.

Much is being made of the selfish acts carried out on Westminster Bridge yesterday, and quite rightly so, but how many simply people walked by? How many were so obsessed with taking photo’s of the carnage lying on the road in front of them that they failed to offer a single ounce of compassion let alone help? The answer is too many. Far too many.

OK, I know there will be those who in moments of panic, default to their phones and others who, handcuffed by fear or even language, will have simply stood transfixed. But there were others who actively moved around taking pictures or film to upload onto social media or better still, sell for cold hard cash.

I won’t even ask how those people sleep at night because chances are, they will sleep just as they always sleep. But the fact that this mentality exists at all saddens me greatly because this isn’t the country that my granddad put his life at risk to protect.

Instead, we have become a nation which has a cancer running through it. And that cancer takes the form of selfishness. Far too many people these days have little or no concept of either personal responsibility, duty or even basic courtesy whilst both the law and authority have come to be regarded almost universally as some kind of enemy (until they need them of course).

Policemen, medics and even firemen are all too frequently abused and even attacked whilst simply trying to do their jobs whilst our servicemen and women, both serving and veterans, are regarded in some quarters as a cross between vermin and lepers. Marine A being a case in point.

Yet these are public servants. Their job, vocation even, is to protect, defend and aid society, our society. And the fact that they do that, by choice, should be applauded, not ignored. After all, can you, hand on heart, say that you would walk toward danger rather than run away from it? Yet that is what they do, some of them do it every single working day.

But we should not simply respect these people, we should aspire to be like them. For the way to defeat terrorism isn’t simply to ‘keep calm and carry on, because all that does is invite more of the same. The way to win the war on terror is to be better than those who wish to harm us.  And that’s what we have to do, all of us, be better. Better at caring, better at helping and most of all, be better at being citizens.

Do that, we don’t just win, we win big. 

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fartMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.


Tales from my father. Volume One

Derek Brimstone, father, folk singer, comedianMy father died recently, he was 84.

I won’t go into the medical details other than to say that whilst it wasn’t exactly unexpected, his ultimate demise was quite sudden but it was also very peaceful. I know that, because I was with him when he died.

He was a great man my dad, a legend in fact. I know many people says that about their fathers but in his case, it was true. Indeed, he is cited by many of his peers, including Billy Connolly and Jasper Carrott, as being one of the most influential figures on the British folk scene that exploded in the 60’s and 70’s.

However, it wasn’t simply his undoubted abilities as a musician that earned him that accolade, it was as much his skills as a story teller. Oh yes, the old boy could certainly tell a tale. Indeed, a quick search of Facebook will reveal numerous threads containing ‘my favourite Derek Brimstone’ joke.

I mention this now because one of the questions frequently thrown at me is how, and indeed why, I made the transition from humble serviceman to best-selling author and screenwriter.

Usually, my answer is something along the lines of ‘it was the only way I could think of to earn a living sitting at home watching football’ but the truth is, it was because of my father. For he was the one who taught me not only how to to weave a tale, but to construct humour. Be it as a simple one-liner or in a full length novel such as Billy’s Log.

Sadly, I never really acknowledged that until recently and I certainly never thanked him for it. But the truth is that every book and film I’ve ever written has the DNA of my dad running through it and for that, I will be eternally grateful.

RIP old man. Thanks for everything but especially the laughs. On which note…  Derek Brimstone at his finest. 

@dougiebrimson

Dad’s funeral will be on the 24th March. If you would like details, please drop me a line at dougiebrimson@me.com

derek brimstone, folk singer, banjo, guitar, musician, comedian, cockney, cambridge folk festival

Writers, why your ideas are currency.

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritanceIf you talk to any writer, they will tell you that their heads are, generally speaking, pretty fucked up. Not in the sense that they/we have some kind of mental issue (well, not all of us), but in the sense that our brains are constantly filtering random thoughts and ideas. Be they for books, characters or even simple scenes.

This is especially true of those writers who tackle contemporary issues because if we have any intention of injecting reality into our work it is vital to actually get out there and experience a bit of it. In my case, as someone who tends to feature football in most of my work, watching games really is research (which is why my local and most fabulous Watford FC supporting tax officer always tells me to deduct it against my tax!). It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it.

Sometimes of course, an idea will fly in and fly out, other times it’ll hang about for a bit and then be forgotten whilst a few will eventually find their way into a project. But there are others which, by virtue of the fact that they are just too good to ignore, simply wedge themselves into my consciousness like some kind of mental post-it note. And if an idea can survive my Alzheimer like memory, it generally means it is worth taking notice of.

I have a few of those hanging around and hopefully, most will see the light of day at some point in the near future. Indeed one in particular already has me buzzing even though I have two books to write before I can even think about tackling it. And much as I’d like to tell you what it is, I can’t. Or rather I won’t.

Because you see in my warped world, ideas are currency. They are after all, the very basis of my creative output and so I need to not only nurture, but protect them!

I mention this now because my new book, a comedy entitled Wings of a Sparrow, is the result of such a process because it stems from an idea I first had over six years ago. I actually pitched it to my publishers at the time and even though they turned it down, I knew it was a great idea which is why I kept tinkering with it. Now, thanks to the joys of self-publishing, it will very shortly see the light of day. Hopefully as soon as the first week in December.

Full details of what will be my fifteenth book (how did that happen??) can be found on its dedicated website but I have to say that I am genuinely excited about this one, more so in fact than I have been about a project for a long time. It just feels…. well, right, although ultimately of course, that will be for you lot to decide!

And now, having finished Wings, I am already onto the next one which is, as promised, the sequel to Top Dog, the third book in the Billy Evans trilogy.

The plot-line I’ve developed is quite possibly the best I’ve ever come up with and as I’ve been fleshing this out, I’ve been buzzing with ideas including some which will involve characters from the previous books. Indeed, I am almost certain that I’ll be writing this in a way which means it will be quite difficult to read it without having read the previous two. To me, and to others I’ve discussed it with, given the nature of the central character and the world he inhabits, that makes perfect sense but if you have any thoughts, please let me know.

Two things I am certain of are the title and the fact that it will be released as an eBook initially, all being well around late spring.

But in the meantime, I have the release of Wings of a Sparrow to deal with and that should hit the online stores in the first week of December. Test-reads have been universally positive and hopefully, given the subject matter (and the fact that there is no mention of hooliganism!) it should attract some decent press.

As ever… watch this space!!!

violence, racism, racist, anal sex, oral sex, bum,
The Crew. Still #1 after 15 whole months!

I know I seem to say this every month but thanks to everyone who continues to keep The Crew at number one on the free soccer book download charts of both Amazon and iTunes.

That’s into 15 straight months now which is some kind of achievement and something I am incredibly proud of. Top Dog also continues to sell really well (it’s currently at #2) so here’s hoping the new book does just as well.

Happy days indeed!

Is pie-eating Wayne Shaw a victim? Or the catalyst football needs?

wayne shaw, pie, sutton united, FA cupAs most people will by now will be aware, Sutton Utd’s reserve goalkeeper Wayne Shaw was forced to resign today after admitting that some of his mates placed bets on him eating a pie during last nights FA Cup tie against Arsenal.

This decision has met with pretty much universal sadness by the footballing public who have come to regard Wayne as being something of a hero, albeit a naive one. After all, as a footballer he would have known full well that a player being involved in anything related to betting on a game they are actually involved with is totally illegal so to go on TV the following morning boasting about it to the loathsome Piers Morgan wasn’t exactly the best idea.

However, his naivety isn’t an issue to me nor indeed, is his appetite. Personally, having spent the previous week having the piss taken out of him by the tabloids I think he had every right to try and make the most of his time in the spotlight. But what does sit very uncomfortably with me is the fact that to my mind, he was effectively set up. Not just by the tabloids or the betting company concerned, but by the FA.

I am not a betting person but rather than investigate Wayne Shaw with all the vigour they can apparently muster (and one has to wonder where this sudden rush for the truth was when the rumours of child abuse were circling over 30 years ago) maybe the FA should be looking at the bigger picture and clarifying what actually constitutes a legitimate football bet. Because if we have got to the stage where the pie-eating antics of a substitute goalkeeper are legitimate reasons to offer odds, then the relationship between football and the betting companies needs serious examination. Or has the game actually sold its soul that far into the depths that the betting companies can do what they like and pretty soon we’re going to be offered odds on the number of players who take a dump at half time?

OK, I’m being flippant but something is seriously out of kilter here and as footballs governing body, it’s up the FA to get our already tainted game back on track.

And fast.

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fartMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers, The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

 

Offended on Twitter? Maybe the problem is you.

twitter, writing, social media, indiefilm, screenwritingTwitter, as anyone who uses it will know, is a funny old place.

From genuinely household names to people who are little more than legends in their own minds, it plays host to every kind of character from every corner of this planet we call earth.  And I love it.

It’s fair to say that I’ve met some brilliant people via the little blue bird and I’ve certainly sold lots of books. I’ve also obtained a reasonable amount of work and even achieved the odd thing of which I feel quite proud. But more than that, it’s a huge source of entertainment. 

From football to films or military to moron, there isn’t a subject or issue imaginable which isn’t being talked about at the exact moment you log in and want to talk about it. And in an age which is being increasingly dominated by Brexit and Trump, it has become the perfect place to poke and prod the opposition both for sport and for personal gratification. I mean,  what’s not to like about that?

There is of course, a flip side. There are some seriously deluded people out there and if you let it, Twitter can eat up time like nothing else on earth. Not so good when you’re a writer on a deadline, not so bad when you’re bored and there’s nothing on TV.

It’s also troll heaven but as long as you know how to deal with them and understand that most are too stupid to realise when they’re being mocked, they can actually be great fun. They certainly make me laugh.

But at the end of the day, Twitter is whatever you want it to be. Toy or tool, whatever works for you.

Just take it seriously at your peril.

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fartMy numerous books including the football comedy Wings of a Sparrow and the #1 thrillers,The Crew and Top Dog are available from both Amazon and iTunes.  

Please click on the relevant link for more information.

The two keys to keeping your inner writer motivated.

writer,writing,motivation,author,screenwriterAs a professional writer, I’m often asked what I find most difficult about my job. Aside from the obvious answer of ‘getting paid’ my usual response isn’t finding an idea, nor is it getting motivated, it’s remaining motivated. Indeed, when a project will inevitably take many months to put together, it takes a special kind of commitment (or madness) to keep the enthusiasm and motivation going long enough to be able to sit down every day and drive it along to completion.

However, it is important to remember that motivation isn’t within us, it’s something we have to provide for ourselves. And having been at it for over twenty year now, I have learned that key to doing that are two things: routine and reward.

WRITING ROUTINE
There is no way to write, only ways. Therefore it is vital that you find what works for you and stick with it.

For some, that will mean an office, a quiet corner or even the sofa whilst for others, it will mean Starbucks or even the local beach. Some like to write in silence, others like noise, some in the morning, some late at night. Whatever it is, once you have established a routine, stepping into it will help your creative mindset and you’ll be away.

WRITING REWARD
 A simple love of writing or a desire to tell a specific story may well be all the reward you need but for others, like me, there have to be two specific and personal incentives. The first when you hit your daily word count can be something as simple as a glass of wine or a Mars bar and the second, when you hand over the finished work, can be something major such as a holiday or even a new motorbike.

Whatever they are, keep them fixed firmly in your mind (maybe even write them as your screensaver) and make sure that when you’ve earned them, you take them and you savour them.

Fairly soon, these, like your routine, will become part and parcel of your writing life and with any luck, the process of writing won’t ever be a chore, it’ll become relatively easy. Which is pretty much what’s happened to me although to be fair, I have been doing it a long time.

So I know what works for me, the question is, what works for you?

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart


Just in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from bothAmazon and iTunes

 

hooligan,hooliganism,writing,writer,author,screenwriting,greenstreet,sex,

Why the remainers must stop whining and embrace Brexit.

brexit,leaveEU,government,europeRemainers really are a funny bunch.

Not content with refusing to accept Brexit, they seem determined to convince those of us who voted to leave the EU that we are somehow inferior to them.

We were lied to (read stupid), we didn’t know what we were voting for (read stupid), we are racist (read stupid), we are guilty of selling future generations down the river (read stupid) or best of all, if we could vote again, we would vote to remain (read stupid).

Condescension is of course, a standard tactic of the modern day left and despite the fact that it has failed them spectacularly for over ten years, there seems little indication that things will ever change. Indeed, when condescension fails, the default is now hatred and if you doubt that, post something pro-Tory, pro-UKIP or pro-Trump on Twitter and see how long it is before you come under attack.

The reason for this is of course, that a change of tactic would involve admitting that a different opinion has a degree of validity and since there’s more chance of Diane Abbott becoming PM than of that ever happening, it’s far easier (safer) to continue doggedly along the same badly worn path and suppress (shout down) those who don’t agree with the party line.

However, this lack of respect for differing opinions is not only staggeringly offensive, it also has consequences and those consequences are potentially dangerous for all of us. The left might call for free and open debates on a regular basis but they know full well it will never happen. After all, how can you ever hope to have a discussion on anything when one side is hampered by the petulance and arrogance of the other? The truth is that you can’t, yet thanks to the rantings of the left in recent years, that is where both politics and our supposedly free society have ended up. That’s incredibly sad because such arrogance can only result in one thing and that’s division. And what does division cause? Anger, suffering, hatred and ultimately, failure. 

I’m not saying that everyone on the right is an angel, far from it, nor am I saying that there is no place for an opposition because obviously, be they left or right they have a vital part to play in the democratic process. But with intransigence seemingly part of the average lefties DNA, on the issue of Brexit there has to be a point where those who are opposed to it take the individual decision to set aside their bitterness and start helping to make the best of what the nations voters have delivered.  

Patriotism might be a dirty word to many on the left but it is a fact that the only way to secure our future prosperity is by backing ourselves and our country to the hilt. Failure to do so can only spell disaster.

In other news:

Three Greens is on it’s way to pre-production and the team is hoping to be able to make a huge announcement about our principal cast within the week.

In addition, I’ve been working on an entirely new project which I hope to be able to announce after the Berlin Film Festival which is currently in full swing. 

Positive vibes please people! The more the better!

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

screenwriting, author, ebooks, kindle, green street, writing, brexit, trump

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Women rule the world? Please god no.

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fartI am, as many people will be aware, a male of a certain age. To be specific, I’ve just turned 58 and am proud to say that I have lived something of a life.

This has equipped me with all kinds of beliefs and opinions the bulk of which have been forged by two things that have sadly become under-rated commodities these days; experience and common sense. Indeed, I have often thought that politics should be divided not on the concept of left or right but on the basis of smart and stupid.

As a consequence, I have long held the opinion that the country, if not the planet, should be run by women. OK, they have their failings (handbags, cushions and the Kardashians being amongst the most obvious) but generally speaking, they are far more sensible and practical than we males. My dad for example, is a reasonably intelligent bloke but if bringing up 6 kids had been left to him we’d have been feral within weeks.

However, and it pains me to say this, that belief has been tossed aside in recent weeks. Not because of the laughable anti-Trump protests or even the infestation of Twitter by a growing legion of rabid leftie tarts, but because I have been writing the sequel to my novel Billy’s Log.

If you’ve read the original, you’ll know that it was (is) an examination of romance from a male perspective and in it I explored the idea that the whole thing had become skewed to the point where far too many men had little or no idea about what made the average female tick let alone what they actually wanted. 

Thankfully, I seemed to hit the mark with it and for ten years, people have been asking me to do a sequel if only to see how the hero fared. Much as I loved the idea, I was reluctant to revisit the subject matter because I was concerned that not only would it end up as little more than a celebration of loserdom but also that it would lack any real substance. I need not have worried because if anything, the world of the desperate male singleton has become even more confused over the last decade.  Primarily because women seem to have become even more crazed than they were ten years ago.

Indeed, one of the problems I’ve had with this book is not what to put in, but what to leave out although I’ve been helped by the fact that there are issues that I’ve been reluctant to explore too deeply, even from a comedic aspect. The world of internet porn being just one example!

I have a few tweaks to do yet (and a decent title to find) then it’ll head into the publishing process but suffice to say, Billy’s Log 2 is on the way. I hope it’ll be worth the wait. 

In other news:

Three Greens is on it’s way to pre-production and the team is hoping to be able to make a huge announcement about our principal cast within the week.

In addition, I’ve been working on an entirely new project which I hope to be able to announce after the Berlin Film Festival which starts tomorrow.

Positive vibes please people! The more the better!

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

football, soccer, comedy, cost of football, manchester united, liverpool, derby, watfordJust in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information at dougiebrimson.com

screenwriting, author, ebooks, kindle, green street, writing

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Graham Taylor. Watford legend.

watford,graham taylor,epl,premier league
Such sad news and there’s nothing I can write here that will make it any easier to bear.

Graham Taylor wasn’t just a former Watford manager, he was the man who took our little club and built it into the entity it is today. Not once, but twice.

Indeed, amongst the thousands of memories he gave me over the decades following Watford, one of the best was the play-off victory over Bolton which took us into the Premiership for the first time.  Not just for my sake, but for his. As a slap in the face for all those who had criticised him for his time with England, it couldn’t have been any better than that. Not that you would have heard him say that because he was far too much of a gentleman.

RIP Mr Watford. You’ll be sadly missed for sure, but you’ll never be forgotten.

Come on you Horns.

 

The joy of Brexit… and Trump… and ‘Yes’.

brexit, trump, EUI am, by nature, something of a miserable sod. Indeed, as anyone who knows me will know, moaning isn’t just second nature to me, it is my nature. Football, work, politics, telly… the subject is irrelevant. If it irks me, I’ll moan about it. Often for days.

There will however, eventually come a point where I’ll say ‘f**k it’ and move on. For even I will realise that the only thing moaning will ever change is my mood.

Sadly, this is not a lesson the ‘remainers’ of this little island of ours seem capable of learning. For despite it being months since they woke up to the gut wrenching feeling of being proved wrong, they are still moaning about the result of the EU Referendum. And they’re not alone. The tide of bitterness which followed the Scottish referendum shows no sign of abating and now they’ve been joined by the anti-Trump brigade. A group who are giving new meaning to the term ‘bad loser’.

Now whilst their continued angst is all highly amusing to those of us who voted to leave the EU, to remain as part of the Union or to put Trump into the White House one does have to wonder how long they are going to continue whining before they actually accept the result. Because at some point, like it or not, they are going to have to and that’s going to be a huge problem for them. Mostly, I suspect, because the vast majority aren’t football fans.

You see those of us who follow the great game are all too familiar with the gut-wrenching feeling of defeat and so are quickly able to put it behind us before moving on. Those who don’t, have no idea what humble pie tastes like and so would rather choke on it than swallow it.

OK, I know I’m being flippant, but be it in the UK or the US, there has to be some reason why people refuse to accept the outcome of a democratic process which millions have died to defend. And that reason has to be more credible than the idea that those individuals are so arrogant that they are incapable of accepting that they are in the minority.

Doesn’t there?

.

@dougiebrimson

sex, lads romance, love, vibrator, george clooney, fart

Just in case you didn’t already know, all of my books and DVD’s are available from both Amazon and iTunes.

Further information can be found at dougiebrimson.com