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Robert John Goddard
So - who am I? I was born in Thames Ditton, Surrey, in 1952. I attended the local school until 1963, passed the 11 plus exam and went to Rutlish School, Wimbledon. I have a B.A. in History (1976), a Postgraduate Diploma in International Marketing (1990), and a Masters Degree in Education (1996). I have lived and worked in Italy, Portugal, Jordan and Germany. All of my novels contain elements of my experiences in these places. I currently live near Frankfurt with my German wife and 11-year-old son, Anton. I also have a 36-year-old son, Alexander, from my first marriage.
Recent Activity
It seems to me that the name Helle Nice is largely unknown today. Strange when we consider that Until WW2, she was one of the most famous women of her day. However, allegations of collaboration with the Nazis in France during the occupation finished her. Despite the fact that the... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Thoughts and words
I started learning to dance about 3 years ago and, until now, I have not used this new joy of movement in my books. One of my favourite dances is the Tango and I am considering using its steps, turns and rhythm to suggest sexual attraction between the two principal... Continue reading
Posted Sep 19, 2018 at Thoughts and words
"Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. It seemed to me I stood by the iron gate leading to the drive, and for a while I could not enter for the way was barred to me." Writing about your dreams may be of interest to a writer but... Continue reading
Posted Sep 16, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Writing fiction has a variety of side effects. Jumping at will out of the head of one character and into the head of another and asking yourself questions concerning how a person feels or how a person might react in a certain situation has made me develop empathy to a... Continue reading
Posted Sep 13, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Now is the hour - now is my moment - now is my time to write it. After all, we have all had a few days to reflect on England's performance in the World Cup and although I am not qualified to write about football, I have reflected on other... Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Treasure box of your life.... Here is something to inspire any would-be author! An exhibition in Wiesbaden with the theme: "Treasure box of life" or what people have put in boxes to pass down to future generations. Given the chance, what would you put in yours? Below is the website.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Cecil Roberts (1892-1976) was an English novelist, poet and dramatist. His books include: A Terrace in the Sun and the Pilgrim Cottage trilogy. When I was around 16, I read A Terrace in the Sun. This novel introduced me to the idea of the past returning to haunt or delight... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Of course, the only wrong choice, perhaps, is not making one. Anyway, who cares whether or not I go to Nuremberg, visit Zeppelin Field and stand on the podium on which Hitler and other high-ranking Nazis stood while presiding over the rallies held there between 1923 and 1938? Actually, I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 7, 2018 at Thoughts and words
At first, The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton (below) does not appear to be a novel about war. Appearances notwithstanding, it is a novel about WW2 but the war is revealed from a different perspective. The year is 1943, but there are no descriptions of combat, of troop movements,... Continue reading
Posted May 30, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Sometimes a piece of music strikes a chord - if I may put it that way. This morning, on a whim, I played extracts from the operetta Das Land des Laechelns or, in English, The Land of smiles. Written by Franz Lehar, it was first performed in 1929. The operetta... Continue reading
Posted May 27, 2018 at Thoughts and words
One day, one hot and sunny day, when Roddy was 6 years old and learning to read, write and spell at school, the bailiffs came and dismantled his life forever. Later in his career, when he had already written several novels, Roddy understood it was not the bailiffs who had... Continue reading
Posted May 21, 2018 at Thoughts and words
... as a theme for a book, I mean. After all, we - the out-patients of a rehabilitation clinic near Frankfurt - enter the world of the sick every day. It is a place of crutches, swollen knees, massage, of sport, hip replacements and herniated discs. It is a world... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2018 at Thoughts and words
A willingness to struggle against the odds and a belief that what you are doing is the right thing for you to do are characteristics that this blogger admires in people in general and in writers in particular. Take JK Rowling, for example. Unless, the story is simply image-creation, it... Continue reading
Posted May 8, 2018 at Thoughts and words
I wonder if I can do this. At the end of the day, when all is said and done, sooner or later, ultimately and in the long run, all things come to an end: youth, our school days, relationships, holidays, books and, indeed, life itself. We writers may well choose... Continue reading
Posted May 6, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Walking is an activity that needs little conscious effort and, therefore, enables the mind to wander off in all sorts of directions. And some of these directions involve the walker's mind freely dipping in and out of the past, the present, his/her senses and related associations. The first time I... Continue reading
Posted May 3, 2018 at Thoughts and words
One of the walking wounded would describe my position during a recent stay in the local hospital and, as such, I was able to observe the workings of the doctors and nurses. They turned up in jeans and pullovers - just the sort of people with whom one might have... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2018 at Thoughts and words
I'm pretty sure that several of my childhood memories are actually memories of seeing myself in photos. I am equally sure that I remember the events shown - especially since the memories in question are ones I have had since... well, since they happened, of course, at some point in... Continue reading
Posted Apr 15, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Recently, I read that, in David Copperfield, Charles Dickens was exorcising childhood trauma. I also read that Isabel Allende's The House of Spirits began as a letter to her dying grandfather when she could not reach him in time. There is also no doubt in my mind that WW1 played... Continue reading
Posted Apr 14, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Well written! What does that mean? Does it mean that the grammar is correct? And if it means that the grammar is correct, I will ask to which type of grammar the speaker is referring - prescriptive grammar or descriptive grammar. The first is grammar that tells us how we... Continue reading
Posted Apr 13, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Here is a picture of my writing room. As you can see, it is plain and white and uncluttered. I like it that way. People often say (they don't ask) that writing must be a very lonely task - sitting in a white and uncluttered room with only yourself for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 6, 2018 at Thoughts and words
In this article, originally entitled "Stiff upper lip - memoirs of a non-combatant" C.A.Goddard reflects on his time at an English boarding school (Ottershaw) in the early 1960s, on stiff upper lips and changing attitudes. A feature of our leisure time at Ottershaw was the Saturday evening entertainment. This took... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Cecil Roberts (1892-1976) was an English novelist, poet and dramatist. He was a prolific writer and his novels were very popular in his lifetime. He is now almost forgotten. His books include A Terrace in the Sun and the Pilgrim Cottage trilogy. During my teens, I read and enjoyed many... Continue reading
Posted Mar 26, 2018 at Thoughts and words
One of the disadvantages of writing fiction oneself is that it can make you (with the emphasis on the word "can") rather too critical of the work of others. But the opposite can also be true. Just before Christmas 2017 I was searching for an additional present for my wife.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 23, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Imagine you were desperate to get into a relationship. Along comes a suitable candidate - just the right age, the right educational background and sexually attractive, and she seems willing to accommodate you. Sounds great! But there is a catch. In order for you to be considered a good match,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2018 at Thoughts and words
Memories of old friends/lovers. The end of a relationship and the feelings of loss that can follow and linger for a long, long time. Memories of old friends/lovers are a great source of inspiration for writers. Think of The Great Gatsby, The Myth of You and Me by Leah Stewart,... Continue reading
Posted Mar 18, 2018 at Thoughts and words