A Brief History Of Lies

This book started as an idea in December 2008. I thought at the time it would be a popularist book and that someone must have written something like it, but when I researched I found a lot of books on lies in particular areas and a few seriously academic books but nothing light-hearted, easy read with a punch. Why do we lie to others seems simple but why do we lie to ourselves? I finished the book in March 2009, Penguin kept it for four months before turning it down saying they could not publish enough copies to make it a viable project. So I am doing it myself through createspace, Amazon’s publish on demand outlet.

Whilst I can see this is useful as a way of being published I do not lose sight of the fact that the work must stand on its own two-feet, be of a standard, proof read and well edited and have a strong conceptual basis. POD is not a magic wand that will get one noticed, but it is a way of circumventing the wholly business orientated world of publishers and agents and the deeply corrupt way they do business. The last thing I need to do is edit in the cartoons.

I shall post for information in the coming days.


Words pander to the literate. In doing this weblog I do not want it to become a kind of psychoanalysis, something to which I am not much given. Many years ago my mother told me that Ted Hughes used words as a form of therapy for some darkness within him. The reason why he is not a true poet. But in a way everything we write, do and say demonstrates our psychology even if as observers of the world our art is to imbibe the psychology of our fellow human beings and reflect it back to them with mirror-like perfection.

When I was growing up I used to have this terrible feeling that if I concentrated on someone giving a recital too much, I would become that person, and make an awful mess of things because I did not possess the skill to do what they were doing…be it talking in a foreign language or playing the piano. I was in my thirties before I learned from my mother that she also had that exact same idea when she was a teenager. There it was. Whatever synapse or connection my brain had made the thought was as much inherited as the capacity to have it.

And that is why I know sixty thousand years ago on a warm, mild day in a different Africa a man was walking with a burden on his necessarily naked shoulders when he saw a fruit tree. Apple, pear or some other known or unknown fruit. Putting down his burden he went to the tree and touched its bark with his splayed hand, watching the skin under the fingernails change colour with the pressure and stroking the bark with his thumb he felt connected,

“Thank you for your fruit, ” he said ,”I will be coming this way again and before I ate I wanted you to know my name is Daniel…”

And then there was me…

I could say this is all new to me but words are my life and no place where words flow could ever be alien to me. It is more strange to be setting up a weblog that is principally about my work. Advertising has never been my forte but here it is, and here I am, 2010 and starting to publish my work. Telling the world I am here when the world rarely pays attention. It is also strange to be starting this one month before my fiftieth birthday but actually that fits perfectly with the upside down nature of my life. When others are reaching thoughts of retiring I am commencing the great journey we all call ‘a career’, and when the annals are written of my time on Earth they may well say as I do, that I spent my early years in retirement and my later years working. It’s good to be different but strange to be standing on one’s head.

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