Reading, Writing and Rhythm

As we arrive into March of another year, like many people I feel I have to look back on how things have gone so far – and where I intend to go from here. To brighten up this post with a graphic it felt right that it should be one that reflected my working environment so I’m featuring an updated vision of my workstation.

Where most of the effort is put in ....
Where most of the effort is put in ….

What have I been reading?  ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen celebrated it’s 200th anniversary, so having had it on my Kindle for some time, I actually got around to reading it.  A full review is available on Good Reads, but for here, suffice to say I enjoyed it and now at least some of the comments made about ‘Elizabeth’ and ‘Mr. Darcy’ make sense.

I am presently taking my time as I read ‘Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee’ by Dee Brown.  Anyone who has read my poetry will know that there are several long poems and a four–part series featuring the noble Native Americans.

In one of my rare channel hopping moments, yesterday I came across a 1952 movie entitled, ‘The Battle at Apache Pass’.  I had to watch it because my memories of western movies go back a long way and I had to be reminded how the two sides were portrayed.  It was as close to truth as I suppose they dared go back in the ’50’s and I dare say if there was a remake they would tread even more carefully.

In other news, I am enjoying being a member (and pleased to have been asked to be a Staff Reviewer) on ReadWave.  It’s a great site and if you haven’t had a look, please do.  If you enjoy reading short stories there are lots on there to entertain.  If you write, there is a Staff Picks page which is used as the homepage where work is showcased.

I feel I should be spending more time reading other blogs but I’ve decided to cut down to what I did previously and only read a chosen few.  One person can only read so much online when the hours of the day are already being rapidly filled.

What am I writing these days?  I gave ‘Pawnee Express’ a revamp recently and entered it into a competition and then ‘Deadly Nightshade’ got a good overhaul too.  Another short story that went into a competition was ‘Through A Lens’, which started life as a 1000 word intro’ into a ‘racy read’ for an ITV competition.  I’ve just completed the first draft of ‘An Aspiring Writer’ which will find itself on ReadWave in a week or two when I’ve revisited it and tweaked it a bit more.

My ambitions in the world of eBooks have not ended.  I now have my novel, ‘Ten Days’ still on Smashwords, accompanied by the first five volumes of my poetry, classified by genre in my ‘Rhyme Scene’ series.  I’ve raised some cash for Comic Relief 2013, but not as much as I’d hoped.  In some ways you are damned if you drop the price to increase interest, or raise the price to try to increase sales.

My website has had a few more pieces of artwork and photos added and of course my updated short stories.

What’s in the pipeline? Well, apart from revisiting all my short stories to see where they can be improved, I have my short story, ‘Smoke and Mirrors’ being published in a new anthology titled, ‘Out of the Shadows’ by the Inkerman Writers, which will be launched in the next few weeks.  I’ll mention it again when I have a hard copy.

Comic Relief 2013 – Buy an eBook to help raise funds!

och aye the noo What can I do that’s different from other fund-raising ideas?  How about donating the proceeds of all sales from my novel and series of poetry books?  Sound good?  Okay, it’s a deal – and for the cynical among you, no, I’m not joking!

“I pledge that for a limited period, the proceeds from sales of my novel ‘Ten Days’ and my series of ‘Rhyme Scenes’ poetry books will be donated to the Comic Relief 2013 fund.”

Now we need some parameters to work from.  1. The figures will be calculated from Monday 14th January 2013 up to and including Friday 15th March 2013.

2. All monies will be added to the funds raised by other Ryman Limited employees.  I now work for our local branch on a part-time basis.  The Ryman stationery company is owned by Theo Paphitis, entrepeneur, millionaire, philanthropist and all-round good bloke.

Theo Paphitis
Theo Paphitis

On alternate years the company sponsors Comic Relief or Sport Relief as appropriate.  Cash is raised by selling sponsored items like ‘Red Nose’ pens.  ‘Comic Relief’ T-shirts are bought by the employees to increase the funds.  Hundreds of thousands of pounds is raised by individual employees and groups within the Ryman company – some of whom do very strange things for sponsorship.

If anything particularly eye-popping comes up I’ll mention it here.  With the best will in the world I could put my hand in my pocket and make a moderate donation, but I would much prefer to give more and with the help of my e-Books and the generosity of lots of other people I can do that this year.  Sales of my e-Books would be nice, but it would be more gratifying for me to be able to build a sum of money to donate to Comic Relief 2013.

So, what do you, my prospective fund-raising buddy need to know?

1. In order to make it easy I intend to maintain the individual prices of the novel and three of the poetry books at only $1.99 each.  It seems fitting that the first poetry volume, ‘Humour’ is a mere $0.99Any cash payable to me (after the tax man gets his cut), will be donated to the fund.  At time of writing $1.99 is approximately £1.30, which to most of us, is not a lot …

2.  The novel, ‘Ten Days’ is a romantic thriller, but can be enjoyed equally by male or female readers (honestly, I know).

3.  The four books of poetry are: ‘Humour’‘Love and Romance’, ‘Natural History’ and the latest release, ‘Military Matters’.  There will be more books to come, but at the time of writing these are available immediately for download.

By using Smashwords to publish, my novel or poetry books, they can be downloaded as: .mobi (for Kindle), Epub (for Adobe, Nook, Sony, Kobo, iPad, iBook), PDF (for PC or Laptop), RTF (for wordprocessors), PDB (for Palm readers/apps).

Direct link to the eBooks on my Smashwords homepage:

We can reduce this ....
We can reduce this ….

No pressure, but please remember, all the money paid for my eBooks between Monday 14th January 2013 and Friday 15th March 2013 will be donated to Comic Relief 2013.

Thank you on behalf of those who survive to become the eventual grateful recipients of our fund-raising.  Tom