Thursday, 22 September 2016

Fame caught up with me - briefly

I called a garage today to arrange some work for my boss' car.
    "What's the car, what's the problem, what's your name" he demanded in a bored monotone, so I told him.
     "Wait a moment, Are you Roger Lawrence the author?
   In that one moment twenty years of slaving over a computer and several hundred large notebooks fell away. This was it; I was famous. Heavenly choirs murmured joyfully about my head.
     "But how did you know?" I asked, my natural scepticism already beginning to stir.
     "Have you got a couple of motorbikes?
     "Yeeees, maybe."
     "I used to work on reception of the motorbike shop you use."

     In that instant all the joy spluttered away like water down a particularly cavernous toilet bowl.
    "Yes I'm fine," I droned, arranging the work for the car.
The guy had stumbled upon my blog purely by accident a few years ago - and he didn't even buy a book.
    Now I'm going to be depressed for the rest of the night and there's nothing anybody can do to stop me.
    So there!

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Oh, dad...

I knew it was too good to be true. After about ten years of pleading, my darling daughter (allegedly) agreed to read my novel, The Book of Pain. 
    'It's only the proof,' I told her, 'so there's bound to be some mistakes. So just mark them and fold the page and let me have it back when you've done.'
     It was my own fault. 
    Three days later I found the book under the several hundred pounds of stuff she abandons every time she comes through the front door. I've long since given up asking why she can't put it where it's supposed to go, because if you've heard: "You hate me and wish a bulldozer would drive over me,' etc etc, so many times, that I just don't bother anymore.
    Anyway, she'd read the book and now it looks like it's been run over by a bulldozer. 
    'Just the mistakes,' I said to a scornful glare of utter malice.
    'I did, look for yourself!'

    Next time I won't bother, which was probably her aim in the first place.There must be a thousand red marks and every one of the 412 pages are folded over. I gave up asking her just what was wrong with a sentence beginning with a capital letter and ending in a full stop after she stormed from the room in fury.

    I don't know what it was they taught her in that school she supposedly attended, but it wasn't English.

    And another thing. I finally transformed my (hopefully) bug free book to paperback. But in the final copy, there's a blank page right in the middle. I haven't lost a page of the book but they've just put a random blank page in it. And there was me thinking CreateSpace had got their act together.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Book of Pain Mk2 finally done.

After messing about for over two weeks on the brand new bluetooth keyboard I bought for my tablet which turned out to be utter rubbish, and now resides in the garbage bin, I finally went back to the even more awful virtual keyboard that came with it. And I've finished new and hopefully improved version of The Book of Pain. 
    I thought I'd done it properly the first time, but after years of pleading my daughter finally deigned to read one of my books and immediately pointed out several thousand errors with great glee. Apparently the pages of the proof copy were just the wrong shade of cream, and the cover material aesthetically unpleasing (her words). In fact it was about thirty errors in all, but those which I should have picked up before uploading it the last time.
    CreateSpace is churning over the paperback edition since I changed the rear cover yet again after spotting another spelling mistake, while Amazon is doing same with the Kindle version. If all goes well they'll be up in a couple of days.  
     Now I can go back to my newest novel - Kongomato 4, which is burning a hole in my brain. In my feverish mind, at least, I've already sent several thousand people to grizzly, horrible ends. Can't wait to get typing.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

I wish I'd paid attention when I took that editing course.

I've just begun editing the Book of Pain for it's conversion to paperback and as usual it is full of errors. That's not what annoys me so much; my novels are always full of typos before I upload them. What does really get up my starboard nostril is that I edited it to death before I uploaded it to Kindle. Now I'll have to do it again.
    But I'm being clever this time. I'm editing the original MS which means that once it's done and CreateSpace has it, I can just alter the line spacing and send it back to Kindle in it's corrected form. Although since the pirates picked on me I'm not selling at all, hence the move to C/S
    I wonder how many times I'd have to do it before it was error free; although having never read a book in my life without at least half a dozen mistakes it's hard to know if it's even possible. That doesn't excuse me but makes me feel slightly better. 
    I'm going to try to produce a completely error-free novel. I wonder if I'll be the first.

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Something potentially libelous

Or maybe it's just me being stupid.
    While attempting to conform to CreateSpace's strict demands re converting Docx to PDF I thought I'd download their PDF and fix it the easy way before re-uploading it again. My first problem is that I don't have the software to edit PDF's. I then downloaded Wondershare PDF editing software - which didn't work.
    I then uninstalled it - or so I thought. When I rebooted, up it popped asking me if I'd allow it to make changes to my pc. I clicked no and tried to remove it manually. I found every instance of it on my hard drive and deleted them. It didn't work. 
    Now I'm not claiming this software to be malware for fear of getting sued, but try as I might I could not get rid of it and looking through several dozen forums only showed me that thousands had tried, and failed before me.
    I finally went through ctrl/alt/del then Processes then going to containing folder and disabling it. It isn't popping up any more but it's still there and short of reformatting, which I'm not sure will work, it's still there lurking and refusing to go away.
    I even tried my old favourite, Ccleaner which will get rid of everything - except apparently Wondershare.
    I don't like messing with the registry after several earlier disastrous attempts, but if someone knows how to eradicate this pest I'd be your slave forever.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Still waiting.

A few weeks ago (before I had to trek to the tea-less wastes) I mentioned that I'd finally pulled out the proverbial finger and converted my books to paperback via CreateSpace.
    Well they still haven't come. I'd be a teensy bit more understanding if they were coming from The US or even somewhere distant like, say France. But they're being printed in England.
    You could run the length of this soggy little island, all the way from John 'O Groats to Lands end in about twenty minutes.
    so: I'm waaiittiing!

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Antibes was a breeze

Well actually it wasn't. Not so much as a whisper of wind disturbed me for six whole days.
    I'm amazed that I used to live down there for over a decade and laughed at 40-45 degrees (that's 110-120f  in old money). And all those years I lived in the arctic in the Royal Marines I used to sneer at -60/70. I'll bet I wouldn't be laughing or sneering any more - probably crying like a girl. It's just age I suppose.

    I met and worked with a decent Bulgarian bloke while I was over there, a man whom I first thought was being annoyingly obtuse until he told me that bulgarians, or at least in the part of Bulgaria he comes from nod their heads when they mean no and shake when they mean yes.

   And there was no tea!!!!!!

  I'm glad to be back and the next time I start whining on about the continuous rain in England just tell me to shut my yap.