I was determined not to write about it snowing again, but it’s SNOWING AGAIN, heavily. We had 3.5″ the other day. The temperature’s up, so it doesn’t last long – though it has been white outside for the last five days and it’s not as if I live in the Highlands. Oh, and there was a smash this morning at the Hara Kiri place. We get about one a month on that short stretch of road. The impression I am getting is that most of the cars I see upside down in the trees or fields have been avoiding overtaking cars coming straight at them (well, I suppose I would, wouldn’t I?). This crash looked relatively minor, none of the usual fleets of emergency vehicles, just a lone policeman in the snow.
Monthly Archives: February 2010
There is a peculiar and erroneous belief amongst some greener-than-greens that books are a waste of resources. Are they inferring that there are people out there who read books and then throw them away? Are they confusing books with newspapers? (It would be interesting to compare the annual tonnage of paper used for books with that used for newsprint – but these odd folk don’t mention newspapers). I suspect that this little falsehood is promoted by some sellers and manufacturers of eReaders. I’m not knocking eReaders, I have one; I am knocking those who seem unaware that these days trees are planted and harvested solely for papermaking. It is my eReader that isn’t green (it’s silver, but you know what I mean) because it contains nasty metals – but no more so than many other devices. I have this nagging fear that it will end its days on a mountain of electronics scrap on a distant shore, waiting to be dismantled by kids who will die prematurely.
The daftest suggestion I have read recently is that for every book you read you should plant a tree. That’s fine for people who read one or two books a year, but the rest of us would be knee-deep in trees in no time. And my daughter-in-law would have replanted the Caledonian Forest by now.
* Ancient Irish joke
Overheard on the bus today as I came out of Edinburgh. Man on his mobile: ‘The bastards handcuffed me. The CID kept my trainers, they won’t give them back.’ The mind boggles…
I was keeping to the limit on an ‘A’ road near home and approaching the brow of a hill. Over it, overtaking a line of cars and on my side of the road, came a large Audi doing at least sixty. One alternative to the emergency stop that I did was a twenty-foot drop to green fields. The other, of course, was a head on smash into cars. Our cars stopped dead, on ‘my’ side of the road, front to front and about twenty feet apart. The looks of the faces of the three passengers, all well-dressed businessmen, said it all – they had thought they were about to die (what a way to lose all credibilty with your mates). The driver gave me a sickly smile and a thank-you wave as he rejoined the tail end of the cars. What he should have done was get out of his car and fall on his sword.
A helpful person suggested to me that rather than put the first chapters of my novels on my website I should put extracts instead. It sounds sensible, so I shall do it… in fact I am already doing it. So far I have only changed Playpits Park. If you go to my website, click on novels and then on Playpits Park you will get my latest efforts (for some reason the layout seems infinitely more readable than the previous one).
I have never been one for self-promotion and when I started my website and blog I didn’t find it easy. Now it’s become tongue-in-cheek and I love it. I’m encouraged that with blog visits heading for 2000 and visits to my site in the hundreds (in only five months) I have had only two nasty comments. Both used the term ‘self-serving’, so maybe we are talking about one person rather than two. But what is a blog or website other than a form of self-promotion of an organisation or individual? It’s not as if bloggers hold people at gunpoint and force them to read. Am I serious? Does my face look serious? Pleeeeze click the link below. I’ve just stumbled upon it. Feel free to cringe.
*The Lauren Cooper character CT played made me cringe but she was bloody good.
More from the 3-year old. I did some emergency family childminding recently. The boy and I were sitting watching CBeebies programmes. ‘I bet babies like this one,’ I said about one particular show. ‘They don’t,’ he said. ‘They watch bad guy movies.’
With Snowdrops comes Spring of course, and BBC’s Springwatch. I have watched the programme a few times but there has to be a limit to the times you can watch stags rutting. Springwatch is minus Bill Oddie these days, who according to the news has been unwell with severe depression; perhaps he should never have left the programme. I’m sure he hasn’t abandoned the birdies, though. Years ago my son, armed with camera, entered a hide on a lakeside in Tresco. There was someone already there and when he returned to our hotel it wasn’t the birds he was ecstatic about, it was the fact that he had met Bill Oddie. ‘I’m sure it was him,‘ he said. It had to be him, didn’t it? Nobody could mistake anyone else for Bill Oddie. Besides, he had a timeshare on the island. I asked if they had spoken. ‘He said hello.’ Which isn’t at all bad from a birdwatcher. I’m no twitcher, I wouldn’t be able to keep still and quiet long enough. The few hides I’ve been in, speak one word and they want to kill you.
I deleted yesterday’s post. I haven’t done that before. It was rubbish. I must have been tired when I wrote it, too late in the day when my brain was in sleep mode, sure that I could just bash something out on the keys. As every writer knows, ‘bashing something out’ is not good enough. I have posted a pretty picture to make up for it, taken this morning during a trip to the Royal Botanic Gardens estate at Dawyck in an attempt to clear cobwebs from my brain. The air there was fresh. Bracing. Bloody cold. Cleared the cobwebs. Froze the spiders to death.
That’s covered the snowdrops. So what’s this about Snowbooks? You already know that I write. I have been within a gnat’s eyeball of having my work accepted (click this). Apart from the submission years ago to Random House I have so far submitted my work only to agents. Rumours are that the big publishers don’t bother with submissions from new authors, they rely on agents to do their sifting for them. A few years ago one of the best known agencies, Darley Anderson, asked me for an exclusive on one of my novels. Unfortunately it wasn’t the one they chose to take forwards. Unlike in the Olympics there are no medals for coming second and third. But could the rumours about not bothering with publishers be wrong? There are a lot of independents out there. Snowbooks (lovely name!) is one. They publish an ‘open rejection letter’ on their website and I have read it already, it’s a nice one. Could this mean that I don’t need to send them a novel…?
I have changed my header photo. And yes, it is the Forth Bridge, but not the picture I wanted to use. I have several others but they won’t quite fit the frame without cropping-off the top or bottom of the bridge, which would be a naff thing to do. I’ll have to get out there and take a few more.
You might have noticed that I have zapped Scott Pack’s blogsite from my ‘Blogroll’ list. I am no prude (I was a policeman, for God’s sake. Most were ex-servicemen and the air in police stations was blue with obscenities). But obscenities aren’t really necessary, are they, not from an educated man. Scott, you don’t need them. I would like to think that my grandchildren, as well as your own kids, can access your site without facing a barrage of ‘F’ words.