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No blue flashing lights

Spotted at Scotland’s Royal Highland Show.

I did wonder where they would put the stretcher. Perhaps, if they cycled in a synchronised way, they could balance it on the back, over those bags of defibrillators and other life-saving electronic gubbins (when I passed my first aid tests – rather a long time ago – we would have had bags of leeches).

Seriously – this is a fantastic idea! A great bit of lateral thinking by somebody in the NHS. Perhaps NHS could be spelled out in bigger letters? Don’t be shy, this is great stuff.

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Abseils in the sunset…

You might have got the impression that I have written a few books and not had any published. You are right (except for three short stories a few years ago). It is probably what happens when either (a) your writing is pants, or (b) when you don’t have to make a living from it, you get a few rejections so you can’t be bothered to submit any more, or (c) both of these things. With me it is (b). This isn’t arrogance, it just happens to be true. I am a good writer.
I’m not good at rock climbing, I wish I was. I’m rubbish at it, I always have been, it scares the hell out of me. I’m no good at maths. Nor ironing shirts. I’m not very good with a paint spray either, the paint runs everywhere. Getting the picture? As you get older you get to know yourself better and better. I’m good at fixing things, I can strip and rebuild an engine. I can build computers. I can shoot (well, I could years ago. I have shot at Bisley. No, not at Wisley, that’s the Royal Horticultural Society’s Garden in Surrey. They would not be pleased).  And I can write. 
One of my books is called Playpits Park (yes, you already know that, you have read that). It is the one I submitted to Random House and got that amazing response from the MD. After taking the trouble to say all those nice things and do all that editing (see Thurs 15th Oct) he said he didn’t know where to place it. At the time I sympathised. It didn’t fit a genre – or should I say, it didn’t fit one of the publishing genres, which of course are artificial divisions between fiction types.
These days I no longer sympathise, not when publishers seem to be able to find the money to pay millions for ghost-written trash-ridden memoirs of 20-something ‘celebrities’ (Hey – I’m not bitter, these are not my words but those of an agent).
So….. should I sacrifice Playpits? By that I mean should I give it away? I don’t mean self-publishing, I mean convert it to Adobe so it can be digitally read, sell it on ebay for £1 or build a website on which it can be downloaded free? This is my daughter-in-law’s suggestion and I like it. 
A good novel takes about a year to write. Then you put it away and revisit it later, spending another 3 months rewriting and an additional month editing. You spend a small fortune in coffee shops. And for this (if you are lucky – you probably have more chance of winning the Lottery than getting published) you get offered a few hundred pounds for it.
Yes, I think I will give away Playpits. Trouble is, it will take time to get the website set up. So hang about. Rome wasn’t… etc.

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