Too Many Projects

Is there such a thing?

We all want to keep busy because apparently, idol hands are the Devil’s tools. I guess that’s true if you’re evil and enjoy causing trouble. I like to keep busy. When one project finishes, another normally starts. However, this is not always the case for me. I get bored easy. So I flit from one to another. Let’s face it, I’ve never been a good finisher. I remember the immortal words of teachers gone by, “where’s your assignment Sandra?” These words still haunt me and every time I start something new, I wonder if I’ll finish.

At the moment, I have unfinished paintings, woodcraft, sewing and of course writing. There are so many ideas in my head when it comes to short stories that I often start them, save them and then discover them months later and wonder what the hell I was going to write. To top it off, I’m trying so hard to start running again, but that isn’t going as well as it was yesterday. It’s quite disturbing in some respects, but it does give you an idea of what sort of person I am.

For this reason, I try to steer clear of places such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. Sadly I’m often sucked into binge watching some sort of ridiculous show and then realising that during that time I could have put at least two projects to bed. It’s a situation I’ve become aware of as the years slip by and I realise that time is the most important commodity I have.

So, after thinking about it clearly and typing it out here, I suppose there can never be too many projects but there is, in fact, too much time wasting.

The Power of Positive Thinking.

I woke up the other day and the alarm was going off so, instantly I pressed snoozed. I don’t how many other people press the snooze button but I bet it’s more than a few. Anyway, I pressed it more than once. I’m not sure why I set the alarm to that particular time when I know I don’t have to get out of bed yet. I’ve always liked to wake up gradually and not jump out of bed as soon as my eyes open.

Anyway, after I dragged myself into the shower I started to think about the way I think. I’ve always tried to be positive and look for the silver lining. Sometimes it takes longer to find it but it’s normally lurking in there somewhere. That led me to think about the past few years and the upset that certain things have caused, to not just a few but millions. I started to feel thankful. I didn’t loose my life to covid and I suppose if I’ve gotten through it so far, I can continue. I can still work and my day job is quite an active one so being mobile is something else I’m thankful for. I can pay my own bills and I afford to keep a roof over my head. I have friends who like to spend time eating out and chatting about ridiculous things that don’t really have any impact on life. I have spare time to just sit and stare at the walls if I want to and thankfully, I don’t have to flee from a war torn country. I have peace of mind knowing that when I go to bed at night, I’m more than likely going to wake up when the alarm goes off.

So, after thinking in such a positive way for a few days, I started running again.

Listen….

I recently received an email from Google Play who now offer an auto-narrated option for eBooks. I’ve always been a reader and I don’t particularly learn anything from listening. I never listened to my mum, or my school teachers and I have sort of made my own rules up along the way. In short, I don’t like being told what to do.

So this got me thinking. Are there people in this world who like to be read to even as grown ups and if so what’s the attraction? When I read a book I sometimes have to read paragraphs twice because even though the story line is interesting enough to keep me engaged, certain words or sentences can evoke memories and sometimes, sidetrack me from the book. But if I was listening to the smooth, rounded tones of the reader, would it engage me or would I just nod off? Is this something you can do while you’re out jogging around a track or is it one of those relaxing in a big comfy chair type of activities? And, if I was listening to someone tell me a story, would I miss my train stop or maybe even get on the wrong train? There are so many questions that I have about this method but I feel as though anything is worth a shot. However, before I hit the go button, I probably should listen.

Hooked on Crime

At the moment I seem to be addicted to criminals and crime novels. In particular, Agatha Christie books. These cosy mysteries are keeping me up late at night and when I wake on morning,I reach straight for the current novel. I guess it’s better than reaching for the mobile or a bottle of something.

When I’m not reading about murders or working on an eBook,I find myself watching Sherlock on DVD. I know that I’m probably not alone and there are millions of people who do these types of things, but I’m curious about genre. What is it that attracts a person to a murder mystery and why do we find ourselves trying to work it out alone the way. When the clues come together at the end of the book, I kick myself for not working it out but sometimes they’re so subtle that they’re not easy to recognise. In some cases there doesn’t seem to be anything in particular that singles out one person and I often find myself wondering how the author thought up the case and how it was done. I guess it’s like any type of book because I’ve written crime myself and sometimes, I don’t realise how it’s all going to come together until just before I finish. I’m not really a list maker and I don’t sit there working out a plot like we were taught to do in high school. There isn’t a list of characters, they get invented along the way and sometimes, they become more prominent than I thought they would be.

Anyway, I doesn’t really matter how or why it’s written, that’s irrelevant. I love a cosy mystery and I suppose I always will.

The writer, the reader, the book restorer!

I’ve always been an avid reader. It makes sense that if you like something as much as I like reading, that you might want to pursue writing as a career. Anyway, I buy a lot of books in all different genres. I’ll pretty much read anything and every book I read adds to the knowledge that helps me to write.

Recently I purchased a book online. It’s chapter book that was read to the class when I was around the age of nine. The book, The Wheel on the School, by Meindert DeJong, is set in the Netherlands and the story has always intrigued me. So, when I found a copy online, I purchased it and couldn’t wait for my new prize to arrive. Sadly the book was covered in mold and there was even dry mould within the pages. Honestly, I don’t know why you even let a book get in this condition, let alone sell it online. I cleaned it the best way I could and then googled what to do. I had no intentions of returning the book as I had been searching for it quite some time. So trying to remove the mold from the cover of the book so that it didn’t spread was my only choice.

I found several helpful sites to help me with my problem. Although I know I can’t restore the cover to it’s former glory, I can remove the mold with a soft cloth and some hydrogen peroxide. As for the musty moldy smell, it seems that if you place the book in a bag with some bicarb or baking soda, it can take away the smell. So this is my project today to rid one of my favourite childhood books of the nasty mold.

The is the link to the page I found online which was the most helpful. Who knows, you might actually need it yourself one day.

https://biblio.co.uk/book-collecting/care-preservation/prevent-remove-mold-mildew/#:~:text=For%20a%20paperback%20book%20you,the%20book%20thoroughly%20but%20gently.

An offer I decided to refuse

I haven’t posted for quite a while because sometimes, life happens. So let me bring you up to speed.

I recently published a new eBook and did a bit of updating and advertising. Meanwhile, I got an offer from an online publisher to publish and help promote The Landowner’s Secret. This meant a lot of research on my part and a good look at what they were offering and the type of writers that they have helped in the past. It would be nice to have my eBook in a more tangible form and have it shipped out to bookstores and libraries, but the offer didn’t seem right for me.

As an author, I have spent many hours planning and plotting to come up with the goods that I think might entice more than a few buyers and although I would love to see my eBook in print and hold it in my hands lovingly, I need to think with my head and not my heart. At this particular time, the offer wasn’t quite right for me, but it doesn’t mean that there won’t be offers in the future.

So it’s a continuation of what I’ve been doing so far and an email of thanks but no thanks to the organisation who spent hours reviewing and deliberating on my behalf.

It’s published!

After months of writing and reading over every word of The Scam, I’m happy to announce that it’s finally published. I uploaded it to Amazon this morning which doesn’t mean it’s available for another 72 hours, but time is ticking.

There’s something therapeutic about finishing an eBook. I can’t quite put my finger on it, but the feeling is a cross between relief and euphoria. It’s almost as if I’m floating through the day with a constant smile. I haven’t finished there though, I also have to add it to my smashwords, google and apple profiles and advertise on Pinterest and pay for some email advertising. The list doesn’t end with the actual publication, this is only the beginning. Then once that’s all done, I need to add it to my website with the links for purchase. It’s not easy, being a writer, but it’s a lot of fun and if you have the chance to read The Scam, I hope you won’t be disappointed. I’ve never written anything like it before so I’m hoping for some favourable reviews. The setting is British and I don’t wan’t to spoil it so I can’t give away too much, but it’s quite funny and I found myself laughing as I wrote it. I’ve kept it short and punchy so the reader won’t get bored along the way and the characters are ridiculous, but you might just recognise some of them as they have the same sort of habits and traits that a lot of people have. Above all, it’s a book that can be enjoyed. At least, that’s what I think.

Reading owb’s

I love a good read and reading more helps to improve your writing. You can examine other styles and the way the author describes people and places, so it’s always interesting picking up another author’s work. I’m one of those readers who will enjoy any genre as long as it holds my interest. At the moment I’m enjoying a book of short stories. Murder Most Fowl is exactly how it sounds. A book of short stories about murders. Some of the authors included are Agatha Christie and Dorothy Sayers. They’re two of my favourite and I’ve read numerous books by these amazing crime writers.

Short stories keep the reader interested. Normally there will be a certain word count so each word within the work is important to the story. A lot of competitions are like this. Hundreds of writers enter comps so it’s crucial for the judges to get through the work and also find a winner who can fit an amazing story into the word count set out. The story has to paint a picture that shows the audience exactly what’s happening and give the reader just a hint to help imagine the setting and characters.

So, reading owb’s – other writer’s books, is important. Especially if you take yourself seriously as a writer!

Now and Then..

When I was a child life was a lot different. We relied on our imaginations. There was television and radio but no internet. So a lot of my time was spent reading. I loved to immerse myself in the stories of others and imagined all sorts of different paths that I might explore as I grew up. The novels I read had lots of description and writers such as Dickens could take you back immediately with the swish of his magic pen. The depiction was slightly flowery and a touch dramatic but it worked at the time because, let’s face it, that’s all we had, our imaginations.

Today, the world is at my finger tips and writing has changed. The only way you can buy an eBook is via the internet. So, one would assume that you have the same advantage as me and can look things up at the drop of a hat. Which means that we don’t have to be so descriptive when we write. I would never try to steal someone’s imagination from them so some creative thought is still required, but because there is access to everything and everywhere via the internet, writing about a particular place or thing allows the reader to search and view it online. Even so, when I look back at the books I’ve read, there have been authors who have loaded their books with dialogue instead of description. Agatha Christie was one such author who had this amazing talent. She used the dialogue to paint the picture and the stories were driven by characters and not particular places but still made the reader curious as to what might happen next.

It’s strange to think about how much the world has changed and although I still love the feel of the book in my hands, I also love the fact that I can put my work out there for the entire world to read.

What if?

Of all the questions ever asked, those that begin with what if, are possibly the most powerful and leave us wondering as we follow a different path in our minds. I don’t think I’m alone when I ask myself questions about different decisions I’ve made throughout my life. The question that haunts me the most is, what if I couldn’t read? Every time I finish writing something or I finish reading something written by another author or just a note from a friend, I often wonder what I might have missed out on if I’d never learned to read. It blows my mind when I think of the thousands of books I’ve read and the discoveries I’ve made because of something that I constantly take for granted. I wonder if I would have travelled as much as I have or whether I would have settled into a humdrum life within a comfortable place and not bothered.

It’s so difficult to imagine another world than the one I’ve created for myself. I wouldn’t be writing this blog or looking at which song is up next on my playlist because I wouldn’t have the ability. This realisation makes me feel sort of ill and my heart goes out to those who don’t share the ability or have the love of literature that I have. I guess they’re probably doing something they love right now, and wondering what if, about their own skills. Perhaps, because they don’t know what they’re missing, they don’t miss it. I suppose I’ll never know.