OK, so I know I have been neglecting this blog ….

… in fact I’m not sure what to do with it now. I started it as a way of keeping track of where I was with The Abigail Saltminder Project, hoping it might also prove useful to other people engaged on the same sort of journey as myself.

Well, now I’m three books in and am writing the fourth, and most of the queries and questions I started with have been (sort of) answered. The project has entered a different phase and I’m really not sure what to do with this blog.

I somewhat doubt it’s of much interest to anyone, although I get a steady stream of visitors probably hoping for more personal information and loads of photos, links and what have you. All the social media stuff which is still a mystery to me. I read an article the other day about social media which started something like ‘I’m assuming you’re all familiar with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram..’  Ha! Facebook seems intrusive, Twitter confusing but Instagram…? right now, I believe it’s something to do with photographs. And yes, I know I could look it up, the info is only a click away, but why should I bother? I have better things to do, like picking fluff out of my belly button or staring out of the window. Enough of this activity displacement! I have to decide what to do with this blog. Seems like I have the following options:

  1. (The nuclear option) Write a grand conclusion (maybe this post could be it?) and remove links so it isn’t reached by people looking for something more personal. Or
  2. (The evolution option) Change this blog so it becomes more personal. Or
  3. (The euthanasia option) Remove links (in FB et al.) and allow it to just wither on the vine until the site rental becomes due, then not pay it. Instead I could be more active on other sites (FB et al.) Or
  4. (The I’m already bored with this option) Just keep the blog going, posting whenever and see how it goes.

And right now, as it’s lunchtime, I’m going for 4.

Tootle-pip!

Hello to all my readers!

……. and a big apology for not having done anything with this blog for a while. To tell the truth I sorta thought no-one was reading it, so I’ve been in a ‘woe is me’ mode about it for a week or so. Anyway, here’s an Abigail Saltminder update:

  • Abigail 2 (‘the Underside’) has now been published, with a super-dooper cover done by Sally (note to self: add to this blog)
  • The website is now out there (note to self: add link to this blog)
  • I am currently 17k words into Abigail 3 (‘The Core’) out of a projected 20k. So that should be published maybe November. Again, it’s fast and pacy with plenty of things happening. By writing in 20k chunks I’m trying to avoid the mid-novel doldrums. You know what I mean: the boring bit in the middle between the big bang start and the explosive end. Usually when character is explored and relationships are developed and conversations are had, when all you want is for someone to come through the door with a gun and start shooting.

And in other news …… nothing. Still can’t work out what to do with FaceBook, so haven’t logged on for weeks. I hear they are adding a ‘dislike’ button. Sounds like one of the dumber ideas of our time, as surely it’s ambiguous? Supposing someone posts a selfie where they look awful with the comment ‘WTF! I look dreadful!’ And someone dislikes it, what’s that meant to mean? But then I’m coming from the standpoint of someone who’s never done a ‘like’ anyway.

And Twitter? I’ll try and do a tweet later today, but more and more Twitter resembles a crowded street where everyone is mumbling to themselves and no-one is listening.

So all is normal at planet Toby c. Zara!

‘Nuff said!

 

 

Sporadic diary entry 7

July 9 2015

Sadly, my web developer has dropped out of the picture. No explanation, nothing, just stopped communicating. Pity. Great pity. Anyway, Sally has said she’ll do it, using WIX so I’m more than happy with that. Not absolutely sure she knows any more about developing a website than I do, but it’s important to get something out there.

Also – God help me – I’ve been adding things to FaceBook. Little updates mainly as to what I’m doing. I should add a FB link to this blog, so’s people can go and have a squint, but I haven’t worked out that yet. Nor have I a clue about friends or how they work. Sally says just go around ‘liking’ things but it seems terribly promiscuous to me so I think I’ll give that a miss.

Also, weirdly, Google can’t seem to find the FB page either.

So in the middle of all this blather I’ve rather reverted back to what I know best. Writing. The first version of Abigail is finished and Sally is adding little chapter graphics. She downloaded a few test pages onto her kindle and and it looks really great.

We aim to publish next couple of weeks. Gulp. I’ll have to see if my Amazon self-publishing ID is still active, and maybe create a business account for all the takings.

Ha! I wish!

Sporadic diary, entry 6

June 30 2015

Oh my word, Sally has inserted a firecracker up the backside of this project. I have now got a FaceBook page, and I’ve been trying to add things to it. It is hard to overstate how much I hate doing this. All the problems I have with FB (see earlier entries in this blog) have come to the surface, so I really am stuck. I offered to just make something up, but she said when I become famous it would come back to haunt me. I dunno, not so sure myself. I think most people would prefer to read something interesting and exciting rather than of a boring little toerag tap-tapping away and growling at family, friends and visitors.

I am rather warming to (again) inserting my vectorised mugshot into historical events, a la Forest Gump or (a better film) Zelig. As long as it was outrageous enough, surely it wouldn’t matter?

June 28 2015

Ha! Things are looking up! Lotsa stuff has happened recently, and I’ve been so busy I’ve rather neglected this blog.

sally cover 2First up, Sally has produced a cover we’re both pleased with. I’ve bunged it out on the front page, but here it is again.

Uncomplicated yet dramatic enough to hold the attention.

Would you think to buy this book? Yes is the only answer that really works for me.

Yeah, OK, using eyes like that is now something of a trope, but then again, all cliches are shortcuts. You know what they mean. And in this particular world of kids ebook covers, eyes indicate either a benign wise person overseeing all, or (as here) an evil remorseless presence relentlessly hunting down the good guys.

 

Second up, (and as important) the web developer has come back! If you remember I sent him Abigail 1 to read and he immediately went quiet. So I thought whoops!  He hates the book (or doesn’t think it’ll sell) so that’s it, all over, I’ll have to do the website myself, more substandard bodged work.

But no, he’s just been moving. So we’re fixing up to meet. Haven’t asked him if he’s read the book. I daren’t. What if he says no, which rather implies he’s doing it to add to his portfolio? I don’t want to paint myself into a corner, which is something I’m prone to do.

Trouble is, not sure we’ve got enough images for him yet. We’ll see.

And yet more news! One of Sally’s friends has offered to proofread  for a £10 and a bottle of booze. I immediately queried if he actually knows what proof reading entails (must be the most tedious thing in the world, outside mucking out chicken shit) (And that’s a job I’ve done) (and no, that is not a euphemism). So the price is like super cheap. Usually it’s something akin to £10+ per thousand words. Abigail 1 is about 20,000 words, so even I can do the math.

But he does know what a proofreader does! On the gift horse principle, seize with both hands! So that should be taking place today! That’s why I’ve been so busy. Spent 3 days in intensive rewriting bootcamp. Even (nearly) missed meals! And believe me that shows considerable dedication on my part!

Oh God, just look at the number of shriek marks (!) in the last para. Excited? Moi? You bet!

Sporadic diary, entry 5

June 25 2015

Well, my Uber Editor has now pulled out. Pity. I told her we’d got a cover and asked if she’d like to provide some images for the website, but she wasn’t interested. I think she might have been over committed, but more likely was getting lukewarm over the whole project. Great pity, but sometimes things just don’t work out, and it’s senseless to keep going when they don’t. Sent her an email wishing her luck.

So now, it’s just Sally and me.

Onward! Upward!

Meantime continuing to proof-read first Abigail book. Hunting down invalid hyphens and rewriting as I go.

 

sporadic diary, entry 4

June 24 2015

have started proof reading first Abigail book. God, it’s hard. Was advised by Sally to at least try and get it grammatically correct regarding colons. Being used to writing business docs, I’d got into the habit of using them before any list, regardless of if the actual items in list were separated by a semi-colon. And also using a colon instead of certain words. For instance: ‘Abigail considered what Tom had said. Then: “OK, we’ll do that.”‘

Also my use of dashes – such as this – for asides. 9 – 12 year olds, she claimed, don’t get them.

There were nearly 100 colons in the first book. All that now remain is 10, all of which are legitimate. And I’m re-writing as I go.

I just hope I don’t squeeze all the spontaneity out of it, to make it as flat as Holland.

Just had an email from the student. She doesn’t think she can do the sort of strong and dramatic illustrations she needs. Pity. I email back wishing her luck.

Two days ago There were (sort of) 4 of us. Now down to 3.

Sally has come up with a stonking cover! But I can’t post it as in wrong format.

Life trundles on.

June 23 2015

Had a good meeting with Sally:

  • Agreed on the cover (hurrah!)
  • Decided to ask student if she has done more dramatic stuff (good!)
  • Talked around the points system (oh, do keep up!)
  • Discussed proof reading Abigail book 1 (yawn)
  • Sketched out the website (hurrah!)
  • Binned advertising with a banner towed by an airplane (Sob)

And probably some other stuff which I’ve forgotten and as my meeting notes are downstairs and I’m too full of baked beans to run down and get them.

I then had lunch, walked the dog and in a moment or two intend starting my action points from the meeting. Oh grief, they’re part of the notes I’ve left downstairs.

So – as usual – I’ll just busk it.

Sally also advised me to start reviewing the books I read, and to make sure I read books by writers in the same genre as Abigail. Good advice. I like being shirty. Might do film as well.

But I must proof read Abigail. Life suddenly seems less exciting.

June 22 2015

The fourth entry in my sporadic diary, and today’s the day I get hold of this project (again). So where are we?

Well, there now seems to be 3 good and talented people (+ myself) working on it/might be working on it for a share of future profits.

A friend’s kids of the right age are reading the first Abigail adventure, and I hope to hear back positively from them soon. I haven’t a clue what I’ll do if they hate it.

The ebook cover is on hold while I make up my mind.

The chapter heading drawings (I’m keen on these: Sally I think is not so keen) haven’t been started yet.

The Abigail website needs constructing (by me) but I haven’t got enough images for that yet. In fact the only image I actually have that I’m happy with is my own cartoonised mugshot, which I’m using for Twitter and expect to use for Facebook.

Twitter has gone moribund because I don’t know what to do with it.

Facebook: a bit like Twitter, ‘cept I haven’t even started it yet.

And now it’s raining.

Onwards! Upwards!

sporadic diary, entry 3

June 21st 2015

Nothing from the student, or the web designer. Pity.

Ah, prelim drawing from Uber Edit. She’d said she didn’t think there would be any room for detail on the other side of the grid, and she’s right. So said I’d have to think about it. The ebook cover saga continues!

Nothing much else happening, so I’m going to polish up the second Abigail story.

(later)

Didn’t get around doing that, but my student has come back with some fine drawings and I’ve been having a rethink about the cover and so everything’s up in the air (again). Sally has told me I should make up my mind. Cruel person. Told Uber Edit to hold back on the cover and she replied she never much liked the idea anyway.

Watched ‘The Devil Rides Out’ a 1968 horror film based on a pot boiler by Dennis Wheatley. God, they don’t make them like that any more, with the big chinned hero wearing his tailored three piece suit and tie regardless of what he was doing.

Also found one of my old radio plays in BBC archives, so listened to it. Clunky? I’ll say. A page turner? Too right.

June 20th 2015 (yep, yet another diary entry)
thecomplex3_final version

My chap from PPH has delivered the final version of the ebook cover. (If you’ve missed out on the epic tail of the cover, click here) I sorta like it, but Sally (came on board yesterday to handle marketing) doesn’t.

Read more

Sporadic diary, entry 1

This is the first entry in what will be a sporadic diary of the project as it evolves. Sometimes there’ll be a few days per entry, or if I get a big day, then only one. We’ll see how it pans out.

Yep, OK, so I’m reverting to a more conventional blog/diary …. well, it just seems simpler …..

Read more