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Patience, where for art thou?

We obviously did not cross enough fingers, toes legs or arms last week, because on the book front, there is just the noise of tumble weed rolling down the street. I am a patient person and I understand processes take time, but being of an old fashioned persuasion I like to be kept in the loop, as it were, so today I have requested an update telephone call from the publisher. Ahh, telephone calls: remember those? The modern world is one of instantaneous gratification – with perhaps the exception of the publication of our book – where the mantra is “I want it and I want it now” and modern marketing instils the belief that your life is worthless unless you do have it. Cannot afford it? I don’t think anyone cares about that. I also find it has become a world where humans seem to have stopped talking to each other. Why pick up the phone (it’s no longer called a telephone anymore and our editor stated that there is even no longer a need for the leading apostrophe) and have a two way conversation when you can send a text or email, await a reply, reply to the reply etc. etc. It is so much easier to talk, but it appears I am old fashioned in my outlook.

If the printing of the book is stalled, did that mean we had a week off (from the book). No chance of that; creative brain-storming meetings i.e. Judith and I grabbing a drink and a notepad and sitting in the sunshine in the garden (it’s been a lovely week), are held most days as we continue to update our social media strategy. I have to admit that we had hoped to have an approximate publication date by now, and having that would change the marketing strategy, but we don’t, and my patience is waning.

On the plus side, our short and long metadata book descriptions have been completed, along with the bio. We are currently working on choosing genre’s and keywords. One would think that would be easy enough to do, right? Oh no, it was never going to be simple, was it. The more I read about Amazon’s algorithms and making one’s book ’visible’ on their site, the more I am thinking about not wasting yet more of my time on the subject and am starting to wonder if there are different ways of giving prospective readers the opportunity to discover our tome. Early research suggests there maybe for first time authors like us, who are not trying to make a living out of writing.

Having said that, over the past week we have had dealings with relatives on both Judith’s and my side of the family. Scenario’s have been thrown up where we have said to each other, “ Wouldn’t that make for a great TV comedy sketch show” and it got us to thinking that maybe we could write a novel based on our two dysfunctional families that we again jointly narrate. The seed has been planted, time will tell if we water it enough to allow it to grow.

One of the incidents concerns one of our younger family members who lives on a smallholding that borders a lane with a sharp 90 degree bend at one corner, and frequently has vehicles, normally with young drivers, who fail to negotiate the the bend, end up going through the hedge and into her field. This week, the car did not go through the hedge but hit an electricity pole (situated on her land) before bouncing back into the road upside down. The family did not hear this crash; they were eating a meal when the inside lights began to flicker, not an unusual occurrence in a rural setting, but then did notice blue flashing lights in the trees outside their dining room. Soon after emergency vehicles began arriving. Believing another crash had occurred and wondering what the flashing lights in the tree was, they went outside to explore. They soon realised the cause of the flashing in the tree; a live overhead electric cable had come down following the car hitting the pole. Immediately ringing the energy company, they were told to keep a minimum of 5 metres from the pole, which the police and the recovery vehicle were not doing. With good intentions they approached the police officers to explain the safety issue, but were brushed off, which did not go down well. Being patronised and spoken down to, is not something any of us like, but one has to be a little circumspect when one has had a few drinks. One may be right, and the officers wrong, but telling one of them that he was “a thick fuck” was perhaps not the way to get one’s point across, even if it was one of safety. The lad got away with it, but I told him that in our novel he would get arrested and banged up for the night. To appreciate the ending of the second tale would require me to write several thousand words to lay the scene, so that story will be saved for the novel, should it ever be written.

To finish this week, I will mention my annual health check or MOT as we refer to it (in the UK cars over 3 years old have to have annual Ministry Of Transport road safety check), and unlike our car, which passed it’s MOT without issue, I failed mine. My bad cholesterol is too high, as is my BMI and I was advised to reduce my drinking. This latter, I told the doctor, would be a problem because 1) I am a Manchester United fan and they are playing shit at the moment, and 2) I asked her if she has ever tried writing a book, because getting it published is stressful, and when stressed, I stuff my face with comfort food and drink. I’m not sure she appreciated my attempt at humour.

That’s it for another week, I have some chips to cook and a vodka to pour.



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