Thursday 29 December 2011

Time to send another book proposal.

Hi Folks.  Hope you had a great Christmas?

Well folks.  The manuscript is finally  complete(is a book ever finished?) and my old friend (he's younger than me), has proof read and edited it for me.    I have also paid a on-line illustrator to draw me a sketch for the front cover of the book.  I have never had such a professional approach to my writing before.  I don't know why I never had such a professional approach before?  Every day we learn something new.

I suppose its pretty naive to expect somebody to read a tatty book proposal?   Don't send your book proposal on the back of a old envelope or cornflake package.  I tend to send my proposals by email - it's easier for them to delete them, isn't it?

My manuscript is a humorous travelogue memoir of a certain part of Southern Ireland.  Yes of course there have been books written on the same area: McCarthy's Bar - Pete McCarthy for example.  We both share the same county of birth and we both had an West Cork/ Irish parent also.   I think my book proposal is funny and informative and maybe even have have a few sprinkles of pathos?

Anyway.  I am almost there folks.  Ready to share my memoirs, opinions and amusing anecdotes to the publishing world and hopefully find my 'book wooky' on Amazon.  I might even earn a few bob and have a holiday in the sun or even Scarborough.
There's nothing wrong with Scarborough.  I spent many a holiday there.  The fantastic film: Little Voice, was filmed there.  Perhaps I should write a book about Scarborough?   Anybody spent many a hour in Peasholm Park or walking round the Castle and watching the Bachelors and the Grumbleweeds...?

Viva La Scarborough!!

Happy new year to all my readers!!

Tuesday 20 December 2011

Is It Time to Go Back To The Horse And Cart?

I was sat in the car the other day watching all the cars going round the town centre.  The world and his wife seem to have a car today.  I wonder how much carbon monoxide and all the other fumes are damaging our health?  Did you know that there are over 32 million cars in the UK alone?  Do you think there are too many cars on the roads?  How many will there be in twenty years time?

I would love to go to the Ukraine (rural society) or America to see the Amish people riding around in their horses and carts.  There is something noble about the horse.  Eight million horses lost their lives serving their countries during the First World War.

Years ago in the late 1960's (before) the EEC came to Ireland.  I used to go to West Cork to stay on my grandparents farm in West Cork.  We used to pike the hay by hand (pike) onto the cart and take the milk churns to the 'milk stand' by horse and cart.  It was a wonderful and sedate experience and I often wonder why did the horse and cart die out?

No longer do we see the blacksmith or the harness maker or the hay made by hand.  Harry Ferguson designed the 'three point linkage' and his tractor rarely went lame.  Did you know that it was quicker to get round London in 1830 by horse and carriage than it is by car today.  I guess we call it progress - I call it sad.

What do you think readers?  Should we only be allowed one car per household?  Does anybody really care about the environment?

Have a great Christmas readers!

Sunday 11 December 2011

Do You Know A Smallholding/Smallholder Like This?

Now and then we passed through winding valleys speckled with farms that looked romantic and pretty from a distance, but bleak and comfort less up close.  Mostly they were smallholdings with lots of rusted tin everywhere-tin sheds, tin hen huts, tin fences-looking rickety and weather battered.  We were entering one of those weird zones, always a sign of remoteness from the known world, where nothing is ever thrown away.  Every farmyard was cluttered with piles of cast-off s, as if the owner thought that one day he might need 132 half-rotted fence-posts, a ton of broken bricks and the shell of a 1964 Ford Zodiac.

BILLl BRYSON, Notes From a Small Island, 1996.

Do you live in or know one of those weird zones; allotment shed roofs held down with lumps of concrete, an old Wellington boot for a rubber gate hinge, a car for a hen house, Tesco shopping trolley for drying the onions....?

For those of you don't don't know.  I am the author of a daft book about BALING STRING and its many, many uses.  The main character in the book is called: Archie Sparrow.  He's a Lancashire smallholder and  married to his long suffering wife Jenny and shares a pint or ten of Thwaites and 'Freeman's' with his best pal Mickey Disney.  

Archie is completely daft and is the pubs un-official Sky News correspondent for his local pub: The Dog and Goldfish.  We've all know an Archie or three don't we?

"Bring back the birch!"

"And the conker tree!"

The book is for sale on Amazon for a very reasonable price (less than seven pounds) and they will even gift wrap it for you for Christmas.  But not with 'Baling String' - sadly!

Monday 5 December 2011

Am I half way through writing my book or is it nearly finished?

My travelogue memoir is now up to 34000 words.  I have been reading and re-reading it, over and over again. It's good, informative, entertaining and also very amusing.  You see I can't write 'serious' for very long.  I could never write a serious 'how to' book.  'How not to' - no problem!  I'm one of those writer's who find life very amusing and I have a zany approach to life. What do you think dear readers?  I know I have two (three if I include myself) regular readers.  Are books far too 'serious'?  Should we be laughing our way along life's conveyor belt?  How many words do you think there should be in a travelogue?  When is a book finished?  Is it time for me to write another zany book?

Answers on a postcard or maybe a comment or two.  Ta very much.  And to quote that Monty Python song:

"Always look on the bright side of life.."

Did I see you whistling then?

Two Charity Shop Vases Full Of Feverfew.

"The 18th Century Aspirin Plant." I have this plant growing in my veg garden at the moment.  It is supposed to be brilliant for al...