May 11th, 2010

We 3,000 Bradford City fans jumped around and screamed ourselves hoarse, celebrating an incredulous ascent into the old League Division Two. Crowned as champions.  

On a bank holiday Monday, in the Lancashire sunshine, Yorkshire’s Bantams had clinched the Division Three championship with a 2-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers. On the pitch — as fans perched and balanced on terrace fencing — the players sang and chanted with us, throwing their sweat-soaked shirts into the crowd, and spraying magnums of champagne. More…

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March 25th, 2010

Exciting news – here’s the official news of my latest project as a ghost, as announced in a press release issued by the publisher:

“Publisher Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, has announced that Taboo – MC, dancer, actor and member of the six times Grammy award-winning, multi-platinum group The Black Eyed Peas – has signed up to write his memoir, FALLIN’ UP More…

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March 20th, 2010

When the collective focus is concentrated on when our troops are coming home, it’s pretty hard to say farewell to a loved one who is only just departing.

My nephew Alex leaves any day now for the Afghanistan hell-hole of the Helmand Province. We’d quietly hoped and prayed as a family that our boys would have pulled out before this day arrived. Instead, he and his fellow marines are among the last batch going in. More…

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March 16th, 2010

People’s lives are quarries and, somewhere buried deep, lies the truth that needs to be mined before this raw material becomes a memoir. An even deeper quarry is that of history.

Within the painstaking excavation of both, there will be emotions, details and certain accounts that will be dug-up and exposed. And then there will be fragments of imagination and fantasy, clinging to these truths like clumpy, wet soil. It is the job of the writer on this archaeological dig to know and then separate the two. More…

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February 17th, 2010

An old man is dying, approaching his final hour. Illness has deprived him of the ability to communicate. He can only blink now. His physical body has surrendered. Only his soul can speak. And these are the words it speaks to the wife by his bedside: his life partner, soul mate, best friend and fellow pillar of the temple they had built.  If we’re lucky, we might all share something like this: More…

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February 2nd, 2010

In the double-life that a ghost-writer leads, there is a randomness to be enjoyed; the randomness that comes with vicariously living another’s experiences for the sake of a richer narrative. And so, at the weekend, I found myself transported back-stage at the 52nd Grammys in Los Angeles. Yet another behind-the-scenes experience for which I am grateful.

It was to be a surreal evening, especially when More…

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December 5th, 2009

I’ve sat through some big headline-making court cases in my time. Brutal murders. Harrowing rapes. Witnessing justice. In most cases, a solid prosecution stated its case and the brilliance of precise DNA evidence indisputably nailed the defendant.

Yet in the edgy abeyance of jury deliberations – when one person’s liberty is balanced by 12 men and women with the argued evidence – I often wondered about the juror’s burden; imagining how sure I would need to be, how my conscience couldn’t find room to convict if there was one single remnant of doubt.

So I’m curious to know how the six jurors in Perugia, Italy, will sleep at night More…

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November 3rd, 2009

I feel an explanation coming on, because I did exactly what Britney asked.

“If you want to understand me, go talk to the people who know me,” she wrote in 2002, long before great misunderstandings took root within a very public meltdown five years later. More…

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November 2nd, 2009

 

photograph by staff photographer Spencer Weiner

photograph by staff photographer Spencer Weiner

Book reviews are like capricious bullets – prone to go in any direction. You might dodge them to write another day but, as sure as eggs are eggs, the writer’s ego will one day take a hit. The author’s challenge is to find objectivity within another’s subjectivity (and not look such a gimp posing between his books!) More…

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October 29th, 2009

Buried in the corners of newspaper ‘world news’ sections, a curious article about illicit arms trading probably went largely unnoticed by most people…unless you happen to be French.

A 468-page prosecution dossier “read like something from an Ian Fleming plot” (Daily Telegraph, London), detailing murky arms dealings with an ex-minister and a president’s son, facilitating   More…

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