John Barrett Rose
I have for many years loathed the authors of boy’s stories, and non more so than G.A. Henty who wrote the most glorious nonsense about adventurous young men and the apparently splendid adventures they got up to.
So it was, when I reached the ripe age of thirteen and my parents asked me what I intended to do with my life, even I realised that the Wild West and a Colt cap-and-ball revolver were both past their expiry dates, and plumped instead for a life at sea.
I wonder how many other lads found themselves by reason of boyhood reading in a profession which was neither romantic nor exciting other than when matters went awry, and entirely unsuited to a young fellow with a romantic imagination and no common sense whatsoever? Er, yes, I do refer to myself.
I went into a nautical training college, the General Botha, and after graduating joined a British Shipping Company as an apprentice; subsequently obtaining a Second Mate's ticket in London in 1955. I then helped deliver a ship to New Zealand and remained ten years on the NZ Coast where I learned some mighty useful practical seamanship in somewhat primitive conditions, and passed examinations for a Foreign Going Mate's certificate with a Home Trade Master's endorsement.
The necessary foreign-going sea time to qualify for a Master ticket was very hard to come by in NZ, so I went out to the China Coast in 1965, and had some adventurous if not always pleasant times in tramp ships where the seamanship learned in NZ proved a blessing. After gaining my FG Master's ticket I remained in Hong Kong for ten years, working at first for local shipping firms, then for the Marine Department, later working five years as a Marine Surveyor.
Much of the remainder of my time was less exciting. I was ashore in Bushire handling cargo for the nuclear power plant site when the Iranian revolution broke out in late '78. I was ambushed and stoned during the kerfuffle but escaped if not with much dignity, at least with my life and a busted head.
Presently retired and writing fiction, something I should have done from the beginning. It does take we fools a while to sort out our priorities.
Moral of all this is, if you wish to write, go to university, where, with luck, you might find somebody wise enough to teach you how to do this. Adventures may provide the material, but not the skill to set it down in writing.
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Six One Act Plays
A selection of plays for amateurs, suitable for play-readIng evenings.
Temper The Wind
For Lonnie Lonigan, Veteran of the Lafayette Flying Corps, war is seven years in the past when a tall beautiful, clever, fiery, girl drives a shot-up automobile into his garage, starting him off into violent adventures in the company of the most interesting woman he has ever met.
Romantic Novel: A girl lives in the American West of the early twentieth century, where life is hard and dangerous, demanding courage, and steadfastness. One hundred years later her descendant re-lives that life through her great-great-grandmother's journal. A bond is formed that reaches out to infuse a sensitive girl of the twenty first century with the love her great-great-grandmother knew.
The Heart Of Charity Jones
This stage play was written at the time of the Bosnian war. It considers the Honorable Profession of Arms, the Questionable Profession of Publicity, and the Peculiar Profession of Law. Callous self-importance suffuses all three.
This play is not suitable for amateur production.
The Third Day
An Easter verse play. Not, perhaps, what the blindly devout might expect. Ordinary folk. Miracles debunked and then performed without warning on stage. Cynicism. Comedy. All of this in blank verse, not for amateur players, although perhaps, interesting for an amateur play reading group to try privately.
Do not even think of a public performance without first obtaining permission. Okay?
A Sword For Arthur
Sardonic Novel: There is so much nonsense written about King Arthur that one can easily forgive students for being confused by accounts written centuries after Arthur's time.
Here we bring you personal accounts by People Who Were There. Personal perspective, Time Slither, sheer terror, and certain anomalies in the Time Equations are all properly considered.
Make what you can of it. Good luck!
O the King!
This play was written with a large but reasonably well trained theatrical group in mind, such as a high school or university drama club accustomed to reciting blank verse. It also calls for a composer, singers, and dancers.
Playwright's delight - a play within a play.
Actors trying to get a Shakespearean play on stage, and also trying to find their own identities in the ephemeral world of Theatre. Many of the elements of this work are true although the totality is fiction.
This play is not suitable for amateur production.
Flights of Fancy
Stage Play: Did you really think the first powered flight was made at Kitty Hawk in 1903? Oh, Ha, ha!
The first powered flight was made in California, (where else?) in 1893 by a slimy Limey rascal anxious to escape the natural consequences of his behavior. If it wasn't that everybody concerned lied like the devil, the facts might have come out earlier.
Rising in the West
Was the Old West really won, or merely stolen? Opinions differ on that one.
We go back to a time when Law was more or less what men made up as they went along.
Looking For The Road To Wisdom
Sardonic Novel: Pornography.
Not that I think much of porn; to me it's usually lousy writing for sex maniacs who cannot manage the real thing for themselves.
So, here you have the subject ridiculed, the practitioners ridiculed, and the ludicrous pretensions of various self important folk also put to the literary sword.
I won't promise you'll laugh, but you might perhaps smile as you read it.
For The Love Of Charley-Am
Edition 5. Charley-Am Watts is a pretty young widow making a meagre living in Vienna. Hugo Renner is a tough, suave cop charged with protecting the Austrian Constitution. He is faced with uranium smuggling, murder, a bungling British agent, a vicious CIA rendition squad, all somehow involving Charley-Am. There is mystery, humour, high courage and low trickery in this novel.
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