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Welcome - The International Writers Magazine - May Editorial 2011
Welcome to the May edition of Hackwriters.

Hubris is the theme this month. I'll leave to our contributors to reflect on the death of Bin Laden. A good thing, no doubt about that, but worth remembering the myth of Hydra's head at this time I think. At least the world didn't end this weekend. Judegement Day postponed again - phew!

Noted that the former Head of the IMF is either a fool or falsely accused (Read Dean Borok's piece on DSK here). Meanwhile the US President is in Ireland and the UK this week - a relief no doubt from the relentless politics in the USA.

Caught the movie Win Win this weekend. - Could have been funnier I guess, but there's quite a genre building up on American life in this prolonged recession and the consequences of not being a success or thriving within it. One of my early favourites in this genre was Wendy and Lucy starring Michelle Williams. Life is a lot tougher than it used to be and I can't see it getting easier. At least American movie makers are dealing with it. Good to see Terence Malik winning the Palme d'Or in Cannes. I look forward to seeing 'The Tree of Life' this summer.

Last weekend spent a pleasant Saturday in Bosham with Kit. For readers of history this is the place near Chichester where King Canute tried to send back the incoming sea in attempt at regal irony. Sadly for him and history no one quite got the irony part. Good fresh fish in the waterside pub though and it was a delight to catch the setting sun glinting in the house windows on the inlet. Constable (the artist) would have loved this place I think.

Kit woke up the other day and watched a duck with her many brood walking up Guildford High Street. Something to cheer us up or make us fret at the begining of May. Life it seems goes on. I just hope they found their way to water before all the shoppers arrived. Spring is here with a vengeance. Flowers blooming early, even my strawberries coming along. I await a June deluge but farmers and fire-fighters in the UK can't wait that long, the land is parched and bracken on fire. Climate change at work? England without rain is a different country.

Photo: © Carine Kitty Thomas May 2011
wedding Wedding fever has finally subsided in the UK. Sometimes it's good to know we have all these regular events such as bank holidays and horses races on the calendar and life is so well organised. Is this the secret to contentment that other places don't have? We live to a rythmn of ritualised events and each month is marked by such things as the Chelsea Flower show, The Derby, Wimbledon... it keeps us busy, distracted...

It’s hard to get a handle on the world at the moment. We listen daily to the news of bodies piling up in Syria, Libya and elsewhere as people in the Middle-East struggle for freedoms we all take for granted here in the UK. Why don't the people of Syria go on General Strike. Wouldn't that bring the Dictatorship down? Sure they might go hungry, but how long could they last if no one went to work? Disturbing that the tyrants are targeting doctors and nurses now. I’d like to think we will defeat the tyrant of Tripoli soon, but fear there is little we can do to help for the twenty million people of Syria who have endured forty years of oppression.  It does beg the question though, why the hell are we still in Afghanistan defending a wholly corrupt regime that allows its most lethal prisoners to dig tunnels and escape?  Your average American and British soldier has died to put those terrorists there and for what?  Are we going to keep Afghanistan ‘safe’ forever?  Is there an endgame? Good news from Marwan Asmar though our Jordan correspondent as he says Jordan remains calm and 'safe'.

Meanwhile Japan struggles to recover from the earthquake and nuclear reactor fallout.  They will come back strong, one can be assured of that, but individually many lives have been ruined and 28,000 lost.  The children of that disaster will remember this event all their long lives.  So it is worth thinking about India where they are proposing to site a new and huge nuclear reactor in an earthquake prone area.  Japan coped (barely) with the disaster.  Imagine the chaos if India had such a problem.  Nuclear reactors are sited at the coast for a reason (they need coolant) but a serious rethink is required globally before more are built.  Global warming issues have been a good curtain to hide behind to restart the nuclear industry but Japan was a timely reminder that it can kill and poison a wide area in an emergency.  It is 25 years since Chernobyl blew up.  The area is still poisoned. (Read Martin Cruz Smiths thriller ‘Wolves Eat Dogs’ to get a brilliant flavour of life in the area now). 

The UK is vulnerable to power outages in the future.  Our nuclear reactors will be retired soon and still no new ones have been built.  As Japan has discovered, if you lose electric power, factories and shops go on short-time.  In the heat of summer they may not have enough for air-con.  The UK will have to go on three-day weeks to survive unless something is done about power provision in the next three/four years.

I am encouraged to see so many people fitting solar on their roofs now and this would be an obvious answer.  Right now it is hugely expensive and takes around ten years to pay for. But if the Government was thinking straight, they should provide it free (or tax deductible) for all homes in the UK and they wouldn’t need to build any new power stations.  It would provide a boom in jobs and is good for the environment. I guess it’s too obvious a solution…

Meanwhile on May 5th in the UK we had local elections. Many people with very short memories elected Labour councils and will live to regret it for the next five years, fortunately most didn't and Conservatives still hold sway across the land. People also rejected AV (Alternate Voting) by a 70% margin. That is democracy at work. American elections are a year away and it is very hard to see who will challenge Obama. It certainly wont be Trump. Never trust anyone with bad hair.

God knows what I was thinking when I put my house up for sale on Jan 1st.  Here I am in May and still awaiting a decision from my buyer who first viewed in January. Apparently it is like this for everyone.  I put offers in for houses, get surveys done and then the vendors pull out.  It’s getting expensive.  Something is wrong with this system I think.  I wish I hadn’t started the process.  More on that soon – maybe but as if today - still no progress.

Meanwhile one of our former writers now working in the Charity sector is off to Ethiopia for a month. So keep safe Rox. We will miss you.

**Hackwriters exists to give a platform for emerging writers and a forum for our regulars. If you find something you like let the writer know and spread the word.
© Sam North update May 23rd 2011
Author of 'Diamonds - The Rush of '72'
The Fantastic True story of the 1872 Diamond Rush in the USA

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Editor – Hackwriters.com

Many thanks to all those who have contributed to this April edition from all over the world. Many thanks too to those who have bought my books recently (Discounts now available via Lulu). Another Place to Die has passed the 3000 figure now and that cheers me up. I will be discontinuing this title soon as I am in the process of selling a new version of it to a mainstream publisher. Now if I could get Mean Tide or Diamonds to sell as well, I'd be really happy. It really does help keep Hackswriters going. Take care out there.  Get writing.

By the way enjoy Modern Thai Food. Read Oi's fantastic recipies
Mean Tide by Sam North *Buy now and get 25% off
Mean Tide - a tale of spiritualism and a young boy's fascination with a murdered man. Lulu Press - ISBN: 978-1-4092-0354-4
Review: 'An engaging, unusual and completely engrossing read'
- Beverly Birch author of 'Rift'

His father has disappeared, his mother is sick. Oliver, recovering from chemo, is sent to live with his psychic Grandma by the river in Greenwich. Oliver quickly discovers he is living with a world of strange people. When he finds a dog with its throat cut on the riverside, everything changes. Oliver wants to find the people who did this terrible thing and discovers the terrible truth about himself. (Young Adult Mystery)

The Curse of the Nibelung - A Sherlock Holmes Mystery
by Sam North
*Buy now and get 25% off
ISBN: 13: 978-1-4116-3748-1
302 pages - Lulu Press USA
'Chocolate will never be the same again' - Sunday Express
Buy from your favourite on-line retailer

Amazon UK
Amazon USA
Barnes and Noble
& Waterstones
*New revised ebook edition due June 2011 -

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