24 February 2017 - Is it 'Just Deserts' or 'Just Desserts'?

Is it Just Deserts or Just Desserts?


G'day folks,

Here is another tricky expression. 


These two terms, though only one letter apart and pronounced identically, have different etymologies. The particular sense of desert that appears in just deserts ultimately derives from the Old French verb deservir meaning “to deserve,” and has been around in English since the late 1200s. Dictionary.com defines desert as “reward or punishment that is deserved.” The idiom get/receive one’s just deserts means “to be punished or rewarded in a manner appropriate to one’s actions or behavior.” The expression just deserts, often following the words “get one’s,” “have one’s,” “receive one’s,” or “meet with one’s” has been used in English since the 1300s, and is still popular today.

Dessert with the double s ultimately derives from the French desservir meaning “to clear the table.” Dictionary.com defines dessert as “cake, pie, fruit, pudding, ice cream, etc., served as the final course of meal.” While it is certainly true that a meal of cake, and cake alone, could be called “just desserts,” this is not the spelling or meaning of the phrase that has been around in English since the late 1300s. Next time you’re talking about someone’s comeuppance make sure you use just deserts with one s.

Clancy's comment: Mm ... So many things to remember, eh?

I'm ...




23 February 2017 - 'BOLD JOURNEY' - GREAT REVIEW


G'day folks,

I've probably mentioned previously that my first book, 'Gunnedah Hero', will soon be a movie, produced and directed by Australian film maker, John Campbell. John has been a fan of all my books, and he has just read and reviewed my latest. Here are his comments ...

"I have read all of Clancy's books to date, and enjoyed every one of them. This, his latest publication, 'Bold Journey', is no exception. As an evening reader, I do lose far too much sleep reading his books. I always find myself wanting to read just one more chapter. Fatal; five chapters later, out come the matchsticks to 'prop up the eyelids'.

Truly an author who keeps you on the edge of your seat. You never know what shock he has in store for you on the very next page. So it was with 'Bold Journey'. Having read the back cover, I couldn't wait to get a copy myself, and find out more. I was not disappointed.

Clancy is a skilled artist with words, and he taught me the technique of writing brief and to the point sentences in my film scripts. His descriptive narrative immediately draws you deep into the story from the very first paragraph.

It was at dinner one evening, in their little Italian Village of Santorini, that Severino Angelli proposes to his family that they pack up and emigrate. "Where", gasped his startled wife, Anna Maria;  "Australia!". Soon the Angelli family find themselves aboard the 'Achille Lauro' destined for a brand new life on the other side of the world. Waving goodbye to their relatives and friends, and severing his fond attachment with each of his brothers, Severino suddenly realizes the impact of his decision.

Life aboard ship soon dispels the initial shock, as the Angellis befriend the Ginellis, another migrating family, with whom they are to forge a close friendship for many years. Severino's son, "Fozzie" and 'Cat' Ginelli instantly become inseparable friends aboard ship.

Later, Cat and Fozzie go their separate ways, embracing very different careers in their new country, but each possessing a compassionate feeling for others. Much later, they do meet again, but under the most unexpected circumstances.

Cat is a nurse, working with the starving and dying masses in Ethiopia, caught in an impossible quest; Fozzie, a successful journalist, feels drawn to investigate their plight. Back in London, a severe, life threatening illness, brings Cat to the bedside of an unconscious Fozzie.  Do they ever come together again?

I love the way Clancy weaves into his stories, the most complex and unexpected outcomes. All the usual joys and tragedies in life, beset his characters, but I recall in each of his works, he builds a passionate and lovable nature into many of his youngsters.

Some friends tell me that they feel Clancy writes his stories for young readers.  Whilst heroically featuring the outstanding lives of some of the children and young teenagers in his scripts, he enthralls adults of all ages, and keeps everyone poised right to the very end.

So, 'Bold Journey'. A slow, but probably necessary beginning, steeped in the historical detail of a city I know well. I loved it and give it an A1. rating, Clancy. As you say, it would make a great movie. I agree!

John Campbell. Film Director, Victoria, Australia."      

John Campbell

Clancy's comment: Thanks, John. Much appreciated. So, folks, if this review has whet your appetite and made you curious, head up to the top right-hand side of this page and purchase a copy of Bold Journey - paperback or E-book. 
In regard to the movie, Gunnedah Hero, I will say more about that in the coming weeks.

I'm ....