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Robert John Goddard
Seeheim-Jugenheim
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 14-year-old son, Anton. I also have a 38-year-old son, Alexander, from my first marriage. I have written 6 novels and 2 novellas as well as several short stories and a book for university teachers entitled: "Teaching English for International Business." People frequently ask me what my books are about! That is a difficult one to answer but I often begin my reply by saying the books are not about me or my life and, to a certain extent, this is true. However, there are a number of themes that I come back to again and again. The first of these is how the past can impact on the present, and the second theme, perhaps related to the first, is the relationship between parents and children. Why is this? Perhaps because I have been fascinated by history as long as I can remember and that fascination remained intact even after studying the subject at university. History has not helped much in my academic career but it has clearly influenced me in more subtle ways that I only now recognise. When I am not writing, I do some teaching; I study German and keep fit by cycling and walking in the hills between Darmstadt and Heidelberg either alone or with my wife and son.
Recent Activity
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One way to deal with fears we might have concerning the time of Corona virus, is to go the whole hog and imagine the worst case scenario - and then, write your novel - if you live long enough to write it. I would start my novel in 2025 and... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Thoughts and words
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But let's be clear at the outset; isolation and solitude are not the same thing. Solitude is something that many people might seek in order to think or to write or to just get away from it all; but isolation is a mental state of "aloneness" and, I would add,... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Thoughts and words
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Who are these people, socially distanced but fretting their presence upon the Zoom screen, acting out our realities, throwing them back to us via YouTube and then - disappearing in the unheard applause and a pinprick of zooming light on a computer screen? Who are these people? On the first... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Thoughts and words
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Do you know when shoemakers decided it might be a nice idea to make a shoe to fit the right foot and a match it with a shoe on the left foot? Do you know when men's shoes and women's shoes began to differ from one another in style, colour... Continue reading
Posted May 19, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Putting your thoughts into words is difficult, especially since we humans do not usually think in words. The smell of wood smoke, or of grass, for example, can be so...well...what exactly? "Evocative" is a word that comes to mind but evocative of what and why does it evoke this "what"... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Do you know this song? The link is below if you want to listen to it. "Then I fell in love, head over heels in love, with the most wonderful girl in the world We would take long walks by the river or just sit for hours gazing into each... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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The May edition of the New Yorker offers a review of Richard Nelson’s new play, “What Do We Need to Talk About?” The play is performed on "Zoom" and the first performance was streamed on YouTube at the end of April. The play concerns a group of middle-aged siblings who... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Relationships will always be a source of inspiration for writers. The fictional world a writer creates would simply fall apart without the problems and joys that relationships give to that world. Further, relationships offer the writer timeless themes to explore, for example: jealousy, love, unrequited love, hate and passion. So... Continue reading
Posted May 12, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Relationships will always be a source of inspiration for writers. The fictional world a writer creates would simply fall apart without the problems and joys that relationships give to that world. Further, relationships offer the writer timeless themes to explore, for example: jealousy, love, unrequited love, hate and passion. So... Continue reading
Posted May 11, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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There is no question that the enforced immobility that Covid-19 has imposed upon us all has set my mind travelling to earlier days of movement, and being in motion makes me feel alive, although "alive" might not be the right word and the more precise word could well be "rejuvenated."... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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My question is: how accurate are our memories? How many of them are fabrications fashioned from a vague picture of the past and coming alive in the present? In other words, how reliable are these recollections and what exactly is the association between memory and current identity? In literature, for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 26, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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I have read that one of the beneficiaries of the current Corona "crisis" is the earth itself, and I have read articles about animals returning to the streets in Australia, skies being bluer and reports that pollution levels have already fallen in some parts of the world. My own experiences... Continue reading
Posted Apr 22, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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It is now the fourth or fifth week of lockdown here in Jugenheim and I am wondering whether I will ever be able to walk confidently into an office or supermarket again! Will I turn my head and reach for one of the many face masks I keep in my... Continue reading
Posted Apr 16, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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When we look back at WW2, most of us are aware of the major battles, the high points and the low points and, above all, we know that the Democratic powers emerged as the winners - both from a political and a military point of view. We know that, for... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Is this our generation's World War 2? Is it the event that, in the future, we will use to place everything we do in time's perspective? If we do, then everything we do may later be prefaced by expressions like, "Before Corona," or "After Corona" or "During Corona." Our children... Continue reading
Posted Mar 22, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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When I finished Follow your Heart by Susanna Tamaro, I decided to stay in the Italian groove and look around for another novel in Italian. I soon came across this little oddity, published in 1984, by the Italian writer, Francesca Duranti. Make no bones about it, I was attracted by... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2020 at Thoughts and words
Robert John Goddard is now following HarryPanda
Feb 12, 2020
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When Nicholas arrives at the funeral of his father – the author Charles Saddler (1920-2010) - he is greeted with suspicion by the half-siblings he has never met and fascinated by the behaviour of his half-sister, Josie. Their father’s wish that his ashes be scattered on a mountain in the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 2, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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There seems to be nothing new about nationalism, racism and prejudice regarding minorities. Here is part of an article I wrote and published in 1994 after a 3-week stay in The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. The frightening thing is that I could have written it yesterday and about many... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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It is summer 1990, and novelist, Tommy Mostyn, decides to spend his last holiday in Verona, Italy. He sees his visit as a reassessment of a time in which he experienced true happiness through first love. Or did he? Tommy needs to know whether his memory is accurate and not... Continue reading
Posted Jan 24, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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The new cover for my novella "Because it was you" actually gives potential readers an idea as to what the story is about. This cover replaces an old stock cover from Amazon. The old cover was on the novella for one year. I will report back on any changes in... Continue reading
Posted Jan 23, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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"The Day the Earth caught Fire." Is this a headline in a newspaper? The title of a book? No, it is a film that will burn itself onto your memory. But, joking aside, is this film based on fact or on fiction? The purpose of this short piece is to... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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So - why am I writing a piece about love? Partly because Marcela, a Columbian lady friend living down the road from me, inspired me to read about love from a South American point of view and how this point of view was very different from that experienced by an... Continue reading
Posted Jan 13, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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We already know that the titles of newspaper articles are designed to make us read the article headlined but these headlines can stir the imagination, create amusement, anger and enough curiosity to read on. In short, newspaper article can inspire writers to write novels. Here is a selection of titles... Continue reading
Posted Jan 9, 2020 at Thoughts and words
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Does it matter which part of the world a writer comes from? Would I have appreciated "Pedro Paramo" more had I read it in a dark and dingy hotel in Mexico? Would I have understood Marquez's masterpiece, "Love in the Time of Cholera," had I been on holiday in Columbia?... Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2020 at Thoughts and words