Sunday, 18 March 2018

Spring had sprung, the grass is riz...

No it hasn't.

    I think Putin has become a little annoyed with us and sent over more snow from Siberia. For over twelve hours it's been snowing. I'll be damned if I'm going to trash a second motorbike within two weeks. If it hasn't gone by Monday I'll get the tube to work. There, I've said it. The tube!!!!! In normal times I'd rather crawl over broken glass than get the tube but unless I'm willing to do it for fifteen miles to get to there, and another fifteen just to get home, then it's the tube. That comprises three changes and a long walk at the other end. But there might be no other choice. Weather man one says it'll be gone by Sunday night. Weather man two says that snowmageddon has begun and hopes we bought a year's worth of candles.

    Harley, our fearless bengal cat decided to brave the blizzard today - things to kill and all that. Less than five minutes later the double glazed rear door almost shattered as he tried to force his way back in. I offered him another chance tonight but he almost dragged the sofa with him as I tried to prize the gutless worm free.

    I decided to do another edit of the book again today, just to reassure myself that all is well. By the end of page two I'd already picked up two mistakes. Or rather not mistakes but sloppy text I should have seen on edit one. I was just going for punctuation mess-ups this time. It looks like I'll have to do an in-depth job - again beginning tomorrow, hurricanes, white-outs and a living room full of cat droppings permitting.

    No, that's not a net curtain, or problem with my camera; those vertical rods are snow flakes hurtling down like meteorites.

Friday, 16 March 2018

One point three quadrillion

I read the other day that the world debt is a whopping one point three quadrillion dollars. This effectively puts my debts into perspective so from now I'm going to stop whining about my own measly little worries.

    That figure did seem a little high so I've since read, and worked out on my own, that the real world debt is just a trifling 300 trillion, so no worries there, then.

    To put some of those debts behind me I'm just about ready to release my new novel. The cover is completely revamped and (I hope) suitably vulgar.

    About one week to go and then I'll begin the process of reformatting for Kindle and or CreateSpace. It will be a real pain in the bottom but worth it in the end. After my first squillion or so sales I'm going to buy myself a new helmet for my motorbike. The cracks in my old one are beginning to whistle in the wind.

    I'll have a reveal-ette of the cover the day I put it on-line. 

Sunday, 11 March 2018

Groundhog day

Didn't I already say that?

    It seems like I've been doing the same thing ad nauseum. I get home, I edit a chapter, I go to bed. Oh, and occasionally I eat.

    I've just finished the seventeenth edit of my novel. I can hardly call it my new novel anymore since I know practically every word on every page verbatim after all the edits - and still I keep finding mistakes! It makes me think I should re-edit all of my previous novels as it seems unlikely that all my blunders have been on just this one.

    Good new, my cheapo Huion painting tablet is going well. I haven't really put in a marathon session yet but on the three occasions I've used it, there have been no problems. A slight lag on the larger brushes, perhaps, but that might just be down to the amount of clutter I have in my Start-up folder. Time for some spring cleaning methinks.

    For the rest of today I'm going out to ride my new motorbike before it gets dark at about three thirty pm. They say Spring is here but I see no sign of it.

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Found a new painting tablet

For a couple of weeks I've been scouring the net and all the shops for a new painting tablet ever since my last one finally bit the dust after six years.

    I'm afraid to admit that after the news that my favourite tech shop (Maplins) had gone into administration, I even popped into there looking for a bargain. It felt like devouring the still writhing remains of a wounded animal.

    Not that it mattered because the branch I went into didn't even know they'd gone into what in the US I believe they call Chapter 11. So much for caring management.

    Because one of my motorbikes didn't survive this week's awful arctic weather I had to replace it, leaving me almost broke. Eventually I bought one from the net. It was a reasonable price and after messing about for hours downloading up to date drivers for Win 10 and setting it to the way I prefer (which is to say a gawky left handed style), it seems to be working fine. It's a little smaller than my last one and doesn't feel the same - but it's working.

    It's called a Huion and came with four extra pen-ends. It cost me £45 if you include postage. 

    I'll let you know how it goes for the next few weeks since I've almost finished the 16th edit of my new novel and I'm going to take a couple of weeks off and paint myself to death.

   If it turns out to be great I'll let you know, and conversely, if it's just a load of old c**p I'll tell you.

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Somehow we've done it again.

For the second year running we've managed to find something even more stupid than me - according to she who must be feared.

    We've discovered a plant dopey enough to flower in mid-February.

    Don't know what it is so I've just decided to call it A.N.Plant.

    Everything around it, including me, is just a wasted, frost bitten mess. Yesterday I removed, from less than two feet away, an evergreen fir of some kind, the type allegedly accustomed to living in high alpine pastures and with few roots. It was dead, as were my hands after tearing it from the ground.

    Come summer when everything else is flourishing, my front garden will resemble a desiccated waste.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Finished the cover for Sods Law

It's taken me months but I've finally finished the cover for my new book. I know I've only been putting off returning to editing, but this weekend I'll begin edit number 16. As always I want this to be the best thing I've ever written and since I can't afford an editor I just have to do it myself. 

    It's amazing that every, I mean every time I edit it, I find things I don't like and have to add more and delete just as much. At 95 thousand words it's almost at my usual length for a first novel. I was trying not to freeze to death on my motorbike coming home from work the other night when a new idea occurred to me. It can't go into the first book so there'll have to be a second. So Snodden will have to wait a while. Conversely, Snodden might be the next and Arnold Pratt will have to wait his turn. Either way, I'm so glad I love writing. I just hope I get to finish them both before I freeze to death.

    This will be me if the threatened snow storm arrives tomorrow.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

It's cold.

I know England is just a drafty little island squatting in the North sea, but we're usually saved the worst excesses of weather by Ireland to our left and the rest of Europe to our right. 

    Someone obviously forgot to tell the weather man that because for the past two weeks it has been cold, I mean really cold. 

    Before you say I don't know what cold really is, I do. Five winters in the arctic showed me just how important it is to cover up and not sweat too much, and when a visit to the little boys room becomes unavoidable, then speed is of the essence, especially if you want to keep all your original equipment.

    No, it's been cold because it's still a little warm. A contradiction in terms I know. But when the temperature hovers between plus five and minus five or so the moisture is still in the air, draining your energy and darting through the heaviest of clothes with a jaunty smile. It's only when the temp drops further when said moisture freezes. After that provided all the necessary points on the body are covered, ie, the ankles, groin, wrists and the head (the places where all the arteries come to the surface) then one could effectively run around naked if one chose, and the police didn't arrest you, or a randy moose didn't mistake you for his next mate.

    In fact it's been so cold that for the first time in about four decades I toyed with the heretical notion of dumping my bike (into the nearest frozen lake) and getting a car. Coming home at night has almost killed me. Apart from the usual line-up of lunatics, the cold is so intense that my tyres never get warm and afford me as much grip as ice skates bolted to my wheels.

    But it's alright now; normal service is to be resumed and my bike is safe. The weather man reports temperatures in double digits for next week. Meanwhile, the next largest commercial channel says that we're in for another mini ice age. I'm not listening because I'm banking on the BBC being right for the first time in years. The law of averages has to be with them once in a while.