Saturday, June 30, 2012

New Story 'A Man of Vision'

disclaimer - It didn't happen - this is fiction


                                     A MAN OF VISION  

       ©2012 Hazel D.Campbell    

The Jamaican flag
"Wake up! Wake up! David nudged his companion.    
"Tief! Tief!" Daggerman responded as he struggled to get from under his rags and cardboard cover.    
"No! No!" David reassured him. "Is not thief. I get the dream! I get the dream at last!"    
"Dream?" Daggerman sighed..     
David poked the others lying on similar improvised beds around him, but they only mumbled and shifted positions, so he blew his whistle. The shrieking yanked them from sleep and they hurriedly prepared to flee, for the whistle was the ultimate warning of - Gunman! Police! Thief! - the enemies which caused them to huddle together at nights for protection.    
"Calm down," David's voice still held the authority of his university lecturer days. " I get the vision!"    
The others grumbled as they remade their beds, for David was a man of many visions.     
"Listen nuh! I know what to do now."    
"Is midnight, man. Tell we later."    
"The real problem," David persisted, " is that nobody never claim this island for black people!"    
"Don't you see? When Columbus came, he stuck a flag in the ground and claimed the island for Spain. Penn and Venables planted the Union Flag and claimed the island  for England. When we say we get Independence in 1962 them just string up a flag and never claim nothing. Them even use the same flag pole that the British used. Them never plant the flag. Them never claim nothing for us. So how we expect anything could change? If things to change, we have to plant a flag and claim the island for the sufferers who make up the majority of this country."    
"What kinda flag?" Daggerman asked. He was resigned to losing the rest of his night's sleep. When David got one of his brilliant ideas, he could talk for hours. "What kinda flag?" he asked again.    
"The same one, but with red in it."

"I see it in my vision. Red in the middle for all the blood that fatten the land for the oppressors."    
"Where we gwine get a flag?" Maudie grumbled.    
"Plenty flag pon the pole them. Nobody no tek them down at night."    
"You have red cloth?" Maudie asked, knowing that she would be the one chosen to alter the flag.    
David grew impatient. " Details! Details!' He started giving orders " Daggerman,  go raid a flag pole. Wildman go find a good long stick. Maudie, tear off piece of your blouse....."    
Later that August morning, a small band of street people trudged single file up Duke Street.  A rag tag bunch of idlers soon joined the procession as it made its way past Gordon House, the seat of Parliament, past other government buildings and into the National Heroes Park. The park was the site of the monuments for others who in their day had also sought to make things better for the majority and were now honoured as heroes.    
David and his band stopped in front of Marcus Garvey's shrine. David solemnly unfurled his flag, a large one taken from a ministry building.  The centre where the black, green and gold met was covered with a rough red circle torn from Maudie's red blouse and tacked on with the few common pins she could find.    
"We are here this morning to plant a new flag and claim this land for black people," David began his oration. "We're claiming it for all who have to beg to get something to eat; for all who have to capture land because them can't rent or buy house; for all who can't get work; who can't send them pickney to school; who cyan drive big car......."    
His rabble audience interrupted him with loud clapping and cheers. The cheering attracted more people and the crowd quickly swelled to a mob. The park began to assume a carnival air with hastily assembled food and other vendors hustling business. Some people were ridiculing David and his decrepit followers; but some were listening. The noise irritated David, but he pressed on with his mission.    
"Poor people pay for this land with them sweat and blood. This land and its riches belong to us. Let us claim it NOW!"    
The cheering and jeering continued as Daggerman and Wildman ceremoniously dug a hole and planted the flag.    
"I, David Traffico, Defender of the Rights of Poor People, Rejecter of Every Colonial Connection, Anointed Visionary of the New Millennium for Jamaica now claim this land for the people of Jamaica and you are all witnesses to this act this Day of our Lord August, in the year two thousand and one.    
Inspector Whitmannore grumbled as he gave his orders. " I tell unoo long time that that madass David Traffico was going to mek big trouble one of these days. Who let him out again?"    
The persistent squawking of the sirens began to irritate the crowd even before the team of police cars raced to a halt at the entrance to the park. Stones and bottles materialized in frustrated hands fanned to fury by David's garbled rhetoric. Popular discontent which had been smouldering for some time flamed into rebellion. Amidst the barrage of makeshift weapons, jeers and taunts a frightened rookie reached for his teargas canister.     
The crowd fled leaving David's flag to be ripped from its lopsided stance by an indignant policeman. But David's speech had settled in fertile soil. The mob regrouped and spread out through the city angrily destroying the very inheritance David had sought to claim for them. One madman with a vision had started the revolution.

Check my ebook My Darling You at
Would love you to buy a copy

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

I don't go to movies made from books I love

You gotta read this

11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books

Read the full text here:
--brought to you by mental_floss!

 I had a mini similar experience locally when a camera buff 'friend' got a 'producer' interested in one of my stories.I was kinda horrified at the changes made. I have come to realize that writing a story is different from writing for a movie. Some of the things that work in words alone don't work as drama. Hence " Cut to the chase" "Put in a fight scene" "More steam in the love scenes" etc.

I was shown the script from my story, but it was mere courtesy, the producer nodded politely at my suggestions and knew he didn't intend to listen to anything I said. I was present at the first auditioning session, and that was the end of my involvement .The scenes were shot and I think it was edited, and never went further. I never found out why, and never saw the completed thing although my 'friend' kept promising to send me a dvd copy. But what could I expect from a movie titled 'Goathead'!!!!!!!!!!!by the producer

That was not a good experience. I was sent a contract which offered me J$100 upfront and I can't recall what percentage. AMATEURS !!!

On another occasion I was paid to write a script from scratch. This went much better and I think it would have worked, but it wasn't taken any further by the person who commissioned it. Ah well!!

check my ebook My darling You at

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Why is it not working?

Okay! So why is this not working. I am doing all the recommended things.( except paying for advertising- no funds ) Persons are clicking on my blog (can't tell if  they are actually reading it, though) and sales are almost nil for my ebook,up on Kindle from April14. My Darling You ( love stories-sort of) 

I have a couple of good reviews and I am using social media as recommended. Any ideas, anyone? And yes - the stories are worth reading.

If  you are curious as to why I used the subtitle love stories-sort of, scroll down and read my other blog entries.

see my other blog for writing for children

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Why I dedicated my stories to Whitney Houston

The stories in My Darling You ( love stories-sort of) are dedicated to Whitney Houston. I have been asked why. There is more than one answer.

First, I was completing putting them together in February 2012 when she died, and everybody was playing her music. I started listening keenly and fell in love with her voice and personality. The title, My Darling You, comes from I Will Always Love You. Nobody can sing that song like she does, even if they copy the range of her voice, her timing,control and emotion elude all imitators. The emotion she puts into that song reaches every woman who has had to step away from love. At one of her performances, I  watched a woman in the audience re-living her personal experience while Whitney sang. When she holds on to 'I' and 'You' as her voice climbs up and down the notes one understands why they are called personal pronouns.

Listening to her recordings is great, but her performances were outstanding.(Thanks Youtube)  She was bubbly, charming, witty, graceful, beautiful – one could go on and on. The comments on Youtube, for example, show how overwhelmingly she was loved, despite the relatively few disgruntled idiots who must always give vent to their negative feelings.

So after watching those performances (as well as the many interviews), she didn't feel like a stranger any more. My favourite performance is Live in Washington 1997 (the second performance).

Then there were the songs like: All at Once, Heartbreak Hotel, Where do Broken Hearts Go? Didn't We Almost Have it All – If there is a theme for the six stories in this collection, My Darling You, it is that love is a choice and sometimes the main characters (as in real life) do not get to choose. Some of Whitney's songs reflect that theme.
So there you have it.

It's only $2.99. Hop across and buy a copy

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

THE SEARCH from My Darling You

I had started exploring the thinking behind the stories in my ebook My Darling You (love stories-sort of) and this is the continuation of that exercise. The last story is titled The Search, and is perhaps the most enigmatic as it suggests rather than spells out what happened. My stories are usually event driven (the influence of writing for children) but this one is an encounter between lovers long after the affair ended.She had disappeared after an accident and he had spent quite some time trying to find her. When he does, she tells him “I have a new lover, you know.”
What is he to make of this? She has moved on to a place he cannot follow. He is probably the least pro-active of my hero types. Usually they are very sure of themselves and laugh a lot. (as in Emancipation Park, another of the stories) I was sorry for him. 
Once, there was a lady who appeared in one of the videos I produced and she wanted to send a copy to a male friend in another Caribbean country. Then she hesitated and admitted that he was a former lover from her younger days and she didn't think she wanted him to see her as she looked now. I think that conversation stuck. It's one to which  many women can relate. That partly influenced this story, I think. One can never really be sure. There are so many echoes. 

Buy a copy of My Darling You on Amazon . Only 2.99 and tell me what you think. ( There's a free app which will allow you to read kindle books on your PC)

Friday, June 8, 2012

Singerman published by Peepal Tree Press

A couple of years back I had a website with geocities. They discontinued their free service and since then I haven't had the energy to make a new website, instead I have been concentrating on my blogs. Here's one of the entries I had on the website. It's an an extract from Singerman my book of short stories published by Peepal  Tree Press. Still available here

This extract is actually from the title story and my favourite in the collection.

SINGERMAN (extract)

Once there was a black Starliner, a floating ship in the Caribbean Sea to which history gave power long before anybody in western seas would think that power could be black.

The Starliner sailed proudly, flying its black flag. But it had to make its way in a hostile white-foamed sea. Its course was a lonely one and its isolated existence helped to breed excesses among certain of its officers.

Successive captains lost their way in the uncharted waters of the Caribbean. From time to time the crew mutinied. Once or twice pirates plundered the Starliner, and as the years passed the ship grew shabbier and shabbier, and the crew got poorer and poorer. Nothing, not even the the proud memory of the ancient black moorings from which it had been so crudely cut off; not even the beauty of the ancestral art; not even the mixed-up memory worship of the gods of the forefathers could save them from the storms which the sea god put in their path year after year after year.

One day, after a long spell of foul weather,the crew mutinied again,and the baby-faced captain was forced to abandon ship.

As the ship seemed to be floundering , once again on the brink of disaster, other ships surrounded it and threw leaky rafts and bad rations to the crew.

"Steer this way," some of the onlookers shouted.

"No! That way," others directed.

Some only looked on, because they thought they had no right to interfere in the ancient Starliner's business. But some modern day pirates watched in the hope that,although it was only a very poor ship flying a black flag, perhaps, just perhaps, there might be booty.

 Haiti, I'm sorry,
We've misunderstood you,
One day we'll turn our heads
And look inside you .........
(chorus from Haiti by David Rudder 1987)

From the Peepal Tree Press website 

"Realistic and magical, sombre and deeply comic, heroic and full of ironies, these stories explore the complexities of Caribbean reality through a variety of voices and forms."

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

September Blackspace course

sample accomodation
Erna Brodber's Blackspace weekend school starts Sept. 14, 2012. 3 hours for PROSE FICTION and exposure to Black History each. Meals included. Accommodation available. For further info, please contact 1-876-410-8737(digi), 1-876-610-9352(lime), email