Birthday Gift

A friend’s father gave him 20 gold South African Krugerrands for his 21 Birthday.  He stuck them in a drawer and forgot.

The value then was $35 each = $700.

Now he’s retired and only has Social Security!

Remembering his father’s gift of 20 Krugerrands on his 21st birthday, he found the bag and took it to a coin dealer in Los Angeles.  The coin dealer valued the coins at $1,519.99 each.  This totaled Thirty Thousand Three Hundred and Ninety-Nine dollars and Eighty cents.

What a nice 21st Birthday present!

Another Hysterical History

England is a small, old country.  Soon they started to run out of places to bury their dead. So they would dig up coffins and take the bones to a bone yard and reuse the grave. When the coffins were opened 1 out of 25 had scratch marks on the inside and they realized people had been buried alive. So they would tie a string around the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the ground and tie it to a bell.

Someone would have to sit at the grave site all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell, thus someone was “saved by the bell” or was considered a “dead ringer!’

Happy Healthy Happy 100!

My wife, Norma, and I just attended a very informative seminar given by Jerry Kornfeld MD “Living to 100 with Quality”.  He told us Aging Is Not A Disease.  There are more 100 year old people today than ever before.  He expects the next generation will live to be 120 and the following generation 135.

His theory is simple:   DEA = Diet, Exercise and Attitude  

Diet = no Red Meat – or  no more than once a month. Fish and Shellfish the main protein, along with chicken, fruits, nuts and vegetables. Red wine in moderation, and low or non-fat dairy products.  No deep fried foods –  fat turns into trans-fat when heated … a heart attack waiting to happen.

Exercise = Brisk walk 30 minutes or more 5 to 7 days a week.  Dr. Kornfeld showed us pictures of a woman at 86 working out on parallel bars. A man breaking the Senior Record for the 100 yard dash at 98; the previous record was set by an 82 year old.  We can firm up our muscles at any age and lower our BMI.

Attitude = Quit saying we are old, or too old to do this and that. We have the power to control our health with positive thoughts and actions.  What we think we become.

Join us on our Quest:  Norma and I are planning to live to be a Happy, Healthy 100!

Critiques Wanted

Need Your HELP:  Please give feedback on Alan’s new book Across the Pond, Chapter 1, and for all the submissions on Authors Preview!  The web Site is FREE to help writers improve their skills.

PLEASE!  We need your help with critiques.  Write on the Web Site (No spelling mistake!  I thought write might be cute)

So Writers should help other Writers – we are all one big family, and only as strong as our weakest link!

Valentine’s Day Potluck


Valentine’s Day Pot Luck Brunch for Writers: The Writing Group of Woodland Hills, CA, plus some members of California Writers Club – San Fernando Valley Chapter.

The famous Life Style writing coach, Bernard Selling, center in the visor, spoke about adding “Internal Thoughts and Feelings” to improve any story, for which he received a prize. Gail, back row 5th from the right, sang beautifully and also won a prize. Jeri , peeking out right front, won the top prize for continuing to give the very best critiques, which is so important in helping writers improve their writing skills. Judy, in the hat, was also presented a prize for continuing to provide the conference room at Bella Vista for meetings of The Writing Group of Woodland Hills.

Alan and Norma Wills were the hosts. Alan is in the red shirt with his hand on Bernard Selling’s shoulder.  It may sound crazy but Alan and Norma also hosted a Valentine’s Day Dinner, that same day, for 22 friends! Alan was the cook – Baby Back ribs were enjoyed by all.

NOTE: Both Writing Groups are open to new members. Call or email Alan for the dates of the next meeting of either group: 818-222-9923

The FREE web site welcomes more submissions: Short Stories – Poetry –even a Chapter from Your Book … you can include an e-mail where your book can be ordered. Send a picture and a short Bio, along with your submission to

40 Is The Number You Can Count On!

Forty is the only number in English whose letters are in alphabetical order
Minus 40 degrees or 40 below is the only temperature that is the same in
both Fahrenheit and Celsius!

There are 40 Spaces on the standard Monopoly board. Proving that life is
a gamble, the game gives players equal odds (40 to 1) of going to jail!

Forty is the maximum number of players a Major League Baseball team
can sign on the roster at one time.

Forget 9 months.  The average pregnancy is 40 weeks!

It took chemists 40 attempt to develop WD 40!

Also 40 is the number of winks for a perfect nap.

In literature 40 is the number of thieves Ali Baba clashed with in Arabian Knights.

In religion:
Jesus spent 40 days and nights being tempted by the devil.
The great flood lasted 40 days and nights.
The Jewish people wandered the desert 40 years.

When do men get the 7 year itch to be unfaithful?  At 40 years of age.

When do most people need glasses?  At 40 years of age.

If you think 40 sounds a lot? How long do most people work?  40 Hours a week!

And More Hysterical History

In England houses had thatched roofs made of thick straw, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm. So all the cats and other small animals lived in the roof. When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would fall off the roof. Hence the saying:  “It’s raining Cats and Dogs!”

Also in England, many years ago, bread was baked over the open fire.  When it was done, it was divided according to status. Workers got the burned bottom, the family got the middle, and guests got the top … or:  “The Upper Crust!”


When Will Rogers was being taken to the White House to meet President Calvin Coolidge, he was cautioned not to try to be funny because the President had no sense of humor. The undaunted Rogers bet he could have Coolidge laughing within 20 seconds. When the formal introduction was made, “Mr. President, may I introduce my friend, Mr. Will Rogers,” Rogers held out his hand with a questioning look and said, “Pardon me, I didn’t quite get the name.” Coolidge roared with laughter, and Rogers won the wager.

More Hysterical History

The next time you wash your hands or face and complain the water isn’t just how you like it, think about how it used to be!

In the 15 hundreds: Most people got married in June, because they took their yearly bath in May, so they still smelled pretty good in June.

However, because some started to smell, the brides started to carry a bouquet of flowers to hide their body odor. Hence the custom:

Why brides carry a bouquet today!

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house always had the privilege of the first bath with nice clean water.

Then other males, like brothers or sons  in age order. Next the wife, the sisters or daughters, and finally the babies.

By this time the water was very dirty and you could actually lose someone in it! Hence the expression

“Don’t throw out the baby with the bath water!”  

Alan’s thoughts for the day!

 Worrying is like a rocking chair.
It’s something to do but you won’t get very far!

I’ve been doing so serious thinking
A thought just came into my head
You’d better have some fun while you’re living
As you’ll have a hell of a job while you’re dead

Live for today! No one gets out of here alive!

Hysterical History


There is an old pub at Marble Arch, London, which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course)  to be hanged. The horse-drawn dray, carrying the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like “One last beer?” If he answered YES, it was referred to as “One For The Road!”

 If he declined the prisoner was referred to as “On The Wagon!”

 So there.  Alan’s Blog gives you more Bloody History!


They used to tan animal skins with urine, so families used to pee in a pot (called a po in London) then take it once a day and sell it to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were labeled “Piss Poor!” But worse were the really poor folks, who couldn’t afford to buy a po, so they were said to “Not have a pot to piss in.”

Other words for Po:  thunder mug – chamber pot –gozunder (because it goes under the bed).

Usually a china pot big enough to sit on, with a handle, and could be plain white or with a design.


Woman using chamber pot      (Athens, Greece,   480 BC)

More bloody history from Alan’s Blog!


“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” 


 I’d like your Critique:   Cover:  Confessions of a Wanker – Chapter 1  and  Chapter 1:  After the War    …before I publish! 

Cover:  Following the description of the book, take a look at the cover.  Does the cover adequately explain the word WANKER?

Chapter 1:  Tell me what you think – Don’t be shy!

See Confessions of a Wanker – Book 1, Chapter 1


The First Month Results

August ended our first month of
What a month it was for submissions:

9    Short Stories
2     Poems
2     Book Chapters
4     Blog Entries

We are now also on Facebook and Twitter.

I encourage readers to submit your Critiques on the above works!

This web site   is FREE and available to all LifeStyle Writing Groups and Writing Classes around the world!   Submissions and Critiques from readers around the globe will make all of us better writers!

Some of the comments we have received:

Q.  Why are you doing this? How can you make money?
A.   Unlike many of the other Writing Forums, we are not trying to make money! web site was created to encourage new writers to show their talents, and get Critiques from readers and other writers, which will make a better writers’ community worldwide!

Q.  How do you plan to compete with so many other Writers Forums?
A.  Word of Mouth. There are hundreds, even thousands, of LifeStyle Writing Groups in the U.S. Plus every school and college has writing classes.  Add to that the numbers of writers who now Self Publish, and our prospective audience worldwide is in the millions.

We encourage you – our reader – to tell all your friends, family and other writers about

Looking forward to many, many, many more submissions in September.

News:  Bernard Selling, the author of Writing from Within, the “Writers’ Bible” used across the U.S by thousands of LifeStyle writing groups and classes, will be submitting chapters in September.   Bernard currently has five published books on writing, which he will share with us in the months to come!

Talk about on all the Social Media sites to help build our website!

Bad Choices Make Good Stories!


I couldn’t resist buying this T-Shirt: Bad Choices Make Good Stories!

I’ve written four very humorous autobiographical novels which didn’t say anything nearly as profound! I wore the T-Shirt to my outstanding writing group, called The WritingClass, of which I’ve been a member for ten years, and no one thought it as cute as me! Oh well, maybe some of you, my readers, will get it, and become inspired … to write and share on this web site a Short Story based on Bad Choices Make Good Stories!


  1. How do you know an old man in the dark?
  2. It isn’t hard!

I’d like your critique of the front cover of my first book Confessions of a Wanker, shown above Chapter 1 under Writings!

Also, I’d like your critique of Chapter One, positive or negative!

I don’t swear to the accuracy of these, but they are cleaver!

  • There’s an old Hotel/Pub at Marble Arch, London, which used to be adjacent to a gallows. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged. The horse drawn dray, carrying the prisoner, was accompanied by an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like “ONE LAST DRINK?”

If he said “YES.” It was referred to as “ONE FOR THE ROAD!”
If he declined, that prisoner was said to be “ON THE WAGON!”

  • They used to use urine to tan animal skins!  So families used to all pee in a pot and once a day, it was sold to the local tannery.  If you had to do this to survive you were “PISS POOR!” However, if your family couldn’t even afford a pot, it was said you were the lowest of the low, and didn’t even “HAVE A POT TO PISS IN!”

Silly Person?

Feedback from my first blog:

John C form Palos Verdes: Why have such a silly picture of yourself?

Alan: Because I am a silly person. Didn’t you read Alan thinks “Life is too important to be taken totally seriously!”  Thanks for the feedback John C.

Don’t worry John.  There will never be a comprehension test on my blog.

Kathy from Ventura: Re: Your picture coming out from behind the tree. I love that you commune with nature.  You are the type of man I have been looking for!

Alan: Take it easy Kathy! I am a happily married man with 6 kids and 12 grandkids.

Michael R from Woodland Hills: You look like a real nut coming out from behind a tree!

Alan: Michael, look at the relief on my face and you will know what I was doing behind the tree.

Betty: You look like a silly ass poking out from behind that bloody tree.

Alan:  English Betty – better to be a silly ass than half-assed.  Just ass yourself this question:  What was that silly person doing behind that tree? See Michael above for the answer!

The Miracle of Spell Check!

How did I become a writer? Being a creative speller I was ashamed to let anyone read anything I wrote.   So I didn’t write!

Then the miracle of Spell Check!

I loaned a girlfriend money which she was unable to repay. To settle the loan she gave me a Commodore 64 computer.

Next I fired an order desk person, who I would classify as nebulous.  So much so, I don’t even remember her name. She came into my office to say goodbye, and handed me an envelope, telling me not to read it until I was on the plane to Paris on a business trip. To which I complied.  I was impressed by the poem she had written, expressing her unrequited love for me, her boss. I was astounded by how few words she had used, and the impact they had on me.  Being somewhat of a chauvinist, I thought if that ordinary girl can write so well, so can I.  On the back of the envelope I wrote my first poem to my daughter, as I would be away on her birthday.

My little girl is eight today
Business takes me so far away.

And ending with:

How I miss my Julie Ann
Daddy is coming as fast as he can.

Not great poetry but she loved it, and it encouraged me to take down the Commodore and learn how to use it.  Spell Check was an epiphany that led me have the courage to write, and even let others read what I had written.

I was going through separation from my wife and children, which led to divorce. I was very alone in my little house.  It was like holding a full bottle upside down and removing the cork.  My emotions poured out … in poetry, and eventually into my first book Cockneys Ain’t So Tough.  That book eventually became Confessions of a Wanker; the first chapter is available on this website

As you can see from my photo I consider life far too important to be taken totally seriously. Confessions of a Wanker is a humorous look at my life growing up in England. It is currently being published and I will let you know where you can order.  I hope you enjoy it!