Books I loved reading.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Do you know what really gets up my nose?

For all you non-limeys the above phrase means: have you any idea what makes me testy?
    I love being a writer; I love everything about it, but nearly half way through my non-writing year after beginning another novel, the fourth in my trilogy, and without so much as a by-your-leave, another idea for a completely new novel crops up and will not be silenced. I have to start it - just have to.

    I tried, for the first time ever, a speed painting. I've never had the courage before because on Youtube they all look so good at it.

    Well it's done and I know it's rubbish, but do you know what, I actually enjoyed it. Now if I can just wrestle those two new novels (in my supposed non-writing year) to one side I'll try another.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Under a 44 ton truck

Today is the second time I've had the dubious honour of seeing the underside of an enormous truck.
    The first time was when one of the scallywags ran me down on my motorbike. Not much damage - to him, although my bike was pretty much trashed. Lots of sobbing from me and expletives from him.
    Today I was driving my boss's Mercedes when it happened. Never in my entire life have I seen such an enormous lumbering monster squeezing through the tiny little streets in Earls Court. And it's a good job German cars are so strong. Not too much damage; only enough to ensure me a serious telling-off from my boss, even though it was his  (the truck driver's) fault. But I'm home now and hopefully the only further peril I shall suffer tonight is terminal boredom at my wife's favourite soap on tv.

    I finally finished, which is to say that I got so bored that I can't do anymore, on my latest painting.

     Although I've got a sizeable chunk of my new novel done (in my head) I'm going to spend the next few weeks trying to sell my novels, especially after reading a famous writer/blogger a while ago who decided to increase the price of all his novels and as a result sold a lot.
     I did the same and sold none. Of course that could be because I've done absolutely no marketing at all. Now, I've just got to work out how to make my novels stand out amongst the other 100000000000000000000 on the market.
    If I do crack it you'll hear my squeals of delight from wherever you are.

Monday, 16 May 2016

A sentence I'd never expected to hear.

I mentioned a while ago that my beloved wife had lost her engagement ring. Notice the complete absence of expletives there?
    Anyway, the insurance adjusters called me today and began with the usual spiel about how diamond prices fluctuate all the time and are more expensive now, and even though everything increases in price, they inevitably decreased in value. blah blah, blah.
    I waited  in subdued fury until half way through as she took a breath, but was unable to say something that might have resulted in my arrest.
    "However, that's not the case here." I gulped in a breath of my own. "In the thirty years since you bought it, I'm happy to inform you that the value of your ring has doubled and we'll get one back to you commensurate with that value within one month."
    She might have said a lot more but I didn't hear it because I was blubbering like a girl.
    It's going to cost me a £100 excess but what I'm getting in comparison is more than worth it.
    The next time my wife so much as blinks with that ring on I'll strap her to the sofa and refuse to let her out of the house; and as for what next year's insurance premiums are going to be, I don't even want to think about it.
    However, wifey is happy and apparently that makes up for everything.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The last person in the world - as usual

I finally discovered Pixlr , a free on-line photo and millions of other things editor. That's what I used to change my book covers from boring 2d to slightly less boring 3d. Everyone else on the planet probably knows about it already. It's great and free. A word of warning, though. They do a desktop version but if you have windows 10 like lucky old me, (spit) it will download but won't work. So if you fancy a go, just use the on-line thingy. 

    Here's a painting I've been working on. It definitely shows some promise. The only thing is, I can't work out what to do with it next. Learning how to pain the sea has been the hardest job so far.

    Kongomato 4 is working out well. I've already got three chapters down. Unfortunately it's stored in what passes for my brain. I'll have to put it to paper before age and senility get the better of me.

    And for all of you over here who were asking for rain - thanks very much. It hasn't stopped p****** down here for two days. I've already gone through three suits, and it's only Wednesday. I'll be going to work tomorrow in a plastic mac.

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

My odd humour almost got me skewered.

Back in those long-ago days, by which I mean pre-mortgage, pre-child and pre just about everything else I suppose, I finally succumbed to my new wife's pleading and bought her an eternity ring.
    Early nineteenth century Victorian old cut solitaire of about two carats - I know, it means nothing to me either.
    What I did understand was the price. I think it was about £6,500. A lot of money in 1985, but as I said, we were earning well, and tax free to boot. Since that day she's refused to take it off her finger, not even while mucking out horses.
    Yesterday afternoon, as I was watching NCIS my wife squealed a particularly loud wail of utter desperation. 'Alright I'll switch it off.'
    Unfortunately she wasn't referring to my TV preferences but to the empty socket of the eternity ring - sans diamond.
     This is where an enormous carving knife almost was inserted into my spleen.
    'It's insured,' she wept, 'so we shouldn't have any trouble...' that's where she stopped as I, still more interested in Ziva flouncing about the squad room in a particularly fetching outfit, muttered that I'd er, forgotten, to renew the house contents insurance.
      If I'd thought the first squeal was loud it was nothing to what followed.
   Luckily I'm intact. The insurance process has begun and although my wife still isn't speaking to me she's finally put down that gigantic knife.
      Time to reassess my idea of fun.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

No more dams.

I'm going off scenery so here's something I began a few years ago when I first began painting and have now touched up a little.

    It was one of my first paintings and there's no cloning - mainly because I'd never heard of the cloning tool; and just to maintain continuity, my alleged daughter assures me that it's complete rubbish, especially my bananas of which I was especially proud.
    So, surrounded by such heart-warming assurances I've begun the fourth and final episode of my monster trilogy.
    Poor old New York. I loved that place, but as I've already destroyed most of England it seemed like a natural progression.
    Of course the ship hasn't arrived yet so if you'd like New York spared, let me know where you want my super evolved monsters to ravage.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Your dam's rubbish

Always full of friendly and constructive advice, my daughter looked over my shoulder and wiped the smile from my face.
    'That's the worst dam I've ever seen. And your water's defying gravity."
    I overcame the notion of slapping her senseless and reminding her that she'd never seen a dam in her entire short life and wouldn't know gravity if she walked into it, but as she's just bought one of my books I let it go and eradicated the dam for a dolphin, her fave animal after her beloved nags. 

    I don't know how many writers out there have tried to get their so-called family to read any of their work but for me it's been impossible upto now. And she'll probably never read it anyway. 
    'Daddy's little hobby' is how they laughingly refer to my writing and latterly daubing, and makes it sound as if I'm  doing something both immoral and illegal in my writing room. And no matter that I've been struggling with it for over twenty five years (long before the little brat was born) I still find it impossible to induce them to read my stuff.
   "Just tell me if it's any good, and then I'll change it if you think it's bad", I tried a few times to a conspiratorial sneer between them. But even that didn't work. Luckily I've found some good people, who with a reciprocal arrangement, read my stuff and tell me just how awful it is before I publish. 

    "And your rocks are totally awful," giggled my spawn half an hour later, "and I wouldn't set foot on that sand; it looks terrible," as she prepared to go off and do whatever it is young people do at night. I can't remember; it feels as if I've been stuck in this room writing rubbish and painting awful dams for decades.