Welcome to this October/November 2018 edition of Hackwriters. We are traveling in the USA for a while - so no updates after Oct 14th until we're back late November. Meanwhile read our amazing archives. 19 years on-line, 7500+ articles - reviews - stories - travel - share any feature you like and pass them on using the links.
Once again celebrating Hello travel.com - Hackwriters Best Travel blog 2018
Editorial: October/November 2018 - Next Issue December 1st
Bucket Lists. We’ve all heard of them and some might even contemplate putting one together. I guess one for your twenties, another for your thirties, forties and so on. The places you have to go to, things you’ve never done, the adventures or affairs you never had. A bucket list could be anything I guess. This is my year of the bucket – somewhat interrupted by my sister’s illness and my seeming inability to commit to buying a house or even a location.
First I went to Cape Town, met up with friends and family, hired a car and drove up the Garden Route. I finally got time in Knysna where I had promised myself when a mere boy that I’d live one day by the ocean, right there, up on the cliffside of The Heads facing the Indian Ocean, or at least a hut on Leisure Isle. Must have made that promise to myself fifty years ago at the very least. Now it’s just a bucket moment, although, yes, I’d still like to live there. A hut by the ocean now costs around 12 Million Rand, (around £800,000 at the very least), and I significantly failed to make any money in those fifty years, or probably spent pretty much all I earned on ‘living’ and cars. Everyone else seemed to get rich on the property market, but every house I ever bought took years to sell and I never made a penny. Timing is everything I guess. I timed mine with every darn recession there was. And here we go again; I’m about to buy when the economy is about to plummet in the UK. Trying to be sensible and buy something that can be improved. A 1930's semi that's had only two owners in nearly ninety years! It needs work.
Previously I went to Spain to look at houses by the sea – and yes I could just about afford to get near the Med, but what with Brexit and a new Socialist Government there I figured it could be a risk to be English in Spain come 2019. If I’m wrong I guess I’ll live with the regret, along with all the other regrets I’ve gathered over the years. I’m guided by our Spanish correspondent James Skinner who is convinced Brits will be confined to three-month visas and denied access to free healthcare etc post Brexit.
Now October is here I am really taking the bucket thing seriously. I’m going to cross the Atlantic in a bucket. OK the bucket is the Cunard Queen Mary 2 and I’ll have to wear a suit and tie to dinner, but nevertheless it will be a box to tick and an ambition attained. I missed out on flying Concord to New York by about a £1000 quid twenty years ago and Cunard isn’t cheap either, but it’s now or never before I buy the house and all the money’s gone again forever. I’m not just ticking one box on this trip but flying down to Miami again. I was going to take the Silver Meteor train to Florida (30 hours travel time. Average speed of an American train is 25 mph and it’s like a 1950’s time capsule). I just couldn't face being on a train for that long, going so slowly. Memo to Amtrak - see Bullet Trains that travel at 600 kph. All that quantative easing and they did absolutely nothing with it, no new infrastructure, it's a disgrace.
Last time I was in Miami with Kit there was Hurricane Irene flooding the place including our hotel - so I’m hoping it won’t be repeated – although I had a lot of fun witnessing it. I feel sorry for those on the Gulf side of Florida Oct 11/12th, Hurricane Michael shattered parts of the panhandle. Given that so many people didn't leave their homes they got lucky so few were killed when winds of 155mph hit the beaches. I have fond memories of Florida during my Trekamerica driving days and the white hot sands of Panama Beach and tiny beach bars. Curiously I remember there was a toppled block of apartment blocks on the beach from a previous storm, so I guess the residents are pretty used to this weather.
Now back in Miami 19 years on from my last trip, things will have changed, new art galleries and new Lincoln Boulevard cafés and lots of vegan restaurants. I love long walks by the ocean spray and slow flying pelicans. I’m hoping to sketch out my new book as I travel. It’s been gestating for a while now. Have the idea, the characters, but no ending. I’m relying on those pelicans to lead me to the right destination. I don’t really want to start a book until I know roughly how it will turn out. You can get pretty lost at the halfway point without a map in the glove box.
Last item on the bucket list is teaching a couple of days at Bridgeport University in Connecticut in November and I’m looking forward to that and meeting the students. That, and watching the November mid-term elections in the USA. Pray that the Democrats come out to vote this time. Save America – hell, save the world from fanatical Republicans. *See James Campion on why he loves American politics and why America is so angry right now. Truly Trump is remaking the USA in his own bullying, destructive way of living. It doesn't bode well for civic life there after the mid-terms. Perhaps Kavanaugh and Trump are thinking women will get back in their box and stay quiet as all their well-earned rights are slowly stripped away from them.
I’ll be planning a whole new bucket list for 2019. Who knows what will happen. Most likely it will involve cursing the money-pit I just bought and wondering what on earth possessed me. Long time ago I was good at making the right decisions about life and that skill seems to have completely deserted me. I wonder how many other people in their sixties that happens to?
The next issue of Hackwriters won’t be up till December now for obvious reasons. It’s a very slow journey back to Blighty. Take care out there - a lot can happen at this time of year.
© Sam Hawksmoor October 2018
Meanwhile there's still tons to read in our archives - and it's well worth exploring. You never know what you will find. Do explore our archives - there is bound to be something you'd enjoy and want to share with someone.
*As ever Hackwriters is supported by sales of our books - so do buy, print or kindle, we aren't picky.
The Sam North Novels - still available to order on Lulu or Amazon
** The Heaviness, Another Place to Die: Endtime Chronicles are recommended also read
The Repercussions of Tomas D
||Girl with Cat (Blue) - Shortlisted for the Rubery Book Award 2018
'London doesn't exist; has never existed and those who say it does are liars... '
review: 'a funny, bloody, colorful narrative that never fails to surprise the reader. Girl with Cat (Blue) provides great entertainment'.
|J&K 4Ever - Love and Devotion in the Wastelands
Sixty years after the end of everything the city of Bluette survives, controlled by a malignant sect. A place where men rule, girls receive no education and are matched at 16 to the highest bidder. No one is ever permitted to leave the city and outside is a murderous wasteland of despair. Orphans Kruge and Jeyna have been devoted to each other through all the years of terror in this harsh regime and sworn never to be parted. But the beautiful Jeyna has been betrayed by the Warden. Kruge has been swiftly banished to the Scraps, under the control of the Keeper. Jeyna is heartbroken; she will not accept her fate and escapes to find Kruge. She is pursued by ruthless Enforcers on horseback, whose task it is to bring runaways back, dead or alive. 'A genuine romance in a bleak but plausible and terrifying setting'.
||MARIKKA- exclusively on Amazon Print and kindle 2
Based on a tragic real life event, Marikka flees from an arson attack on her home to the sea, where she meets Starfish boy – a runaway working for Jackson, a scarred man hiding a sinister secret from the world. Meanwhile her real father searches for her with the aide of Anya, ‘the girl who can read objects’. More about the writing of this book
‘Long after my tears dried, my heart stayed with Marikka, Starfish Boy and the strange girl who reads objects.’ CT
You will smile, you will gasp with shock, and you will struggle to read the words through your tears. Gemma Williams - Amazon.co.uk 2015
The new edition of 'ANOTHER PLACE TO DIE: ENDTIME CHRONICLES
By Sam Hawksmoor & Sam North
Could you live in a world where antibiotics no longer work?
Print & Kindle
Q&A interview with the authors here
A city gripped by fear as a lethal virus approaches from the East. No one knows how many are dying. People are petrified of being thrown into quarantine. Best friends Kira and Liz once parted are scared they will never see each other again. Teen lovers, Chris and Rachel, prepare to escape to the islands. Do you stay and hide, or do you flee?
Review from the First Edition:
'Beautiful, plausible, and sickeningly addictive, Another Place to Die will terrify you, thrill you, and make you petrified of anyone who comes near you...' Roxy West - Amazon.co.uk
||Spy/Romance thriller set during the Blitz in WW2 - Kindle download
All proceeds go to keeping Hackwriters going
The Repercussions of Tomas D
A Hero? Or Englands Greatest Traitor? USA Paperback here
'Disturbing and very poignant YA love story that presents a chilling alternate future for an England that lost the war.' Marcel d'Agneau
'A brilliant imagining of living in the Blitz, well researched.' Amazon UK
'This is Man in the High Castle for teens and scarily plausible with alternative facts '
*download the Kindle version or buy the paperback from Hammer & Tong
|'The Heaviness' for any reader who likes to think about such things as betrayal, revenge, relationships and the laws of gravity. An original Genie Magee story
Genie & Renée have just 36 hours to save Rian or he dies
'Without a doubt, one of the best YA Sci Fi series out there.' Evie Seo Bookish
Kindle & print
Thanks to readers who have been buying this title. If you enjoyed it, please post a remark on Amazon or Goodreads. It all helps. * Now published as Rüya by Marti Yayincilik - The Turkish publishers of TOZ & Golge
Back to Index
Hackwriters.com 1999 - 2018 - (19 years from beginning to end)
We are Carbon Neutral
LIFESTYLES - REVIEWS