• Michael Parker

I’m sitting here eating a bowl of cornflakes wondering what the day will bring in my on-going struggle with Pat. She’s fast asleep on the settee having been up since about 4.30 (and a pit stop during the night). I just love the way she catches up on her lost sleep while I mooch around, bleary eyed, showered, changed and wondering why I’m eating cornflakes instead of a full English to build me up. Yesterday we were expecting a nurse to come and change Pat’s dressing. I phoned at 5.45 and asked where the nurse was only to be told it had been deferred until today. I blew my top: why didn’t we get a phone call? This happened last Tuesday as well, but they managed to find a nurse quick after my mid-day call. Last night two ‘Twilight’ nurses came and changed Pat’s dressing. No doubt the day nurse will turn up today. Or maybe not.

Now, I have a BIG, BIG decision to make. Tuppence is coming home on Monday. She’s been having a wonderful time with two doggy friends, playing together, going down the beach and even going in the sea. Now, our No.2 son, Terry, has suggested that he takes Tuppence to live with him and their little dog, Saxon, until…. Well, even Terry couldn’t say ‘Until Mum dies’. Sounds awful, doesn’t it? I have to admit that it would probably be fairer to Tuppence, rather than getting under my feet, getting into trouble and not getting the exercise she needs every day. The problem of course is me: I don’t want the little blighter to go. But my heart needs to be ruled by my head in this case. My son is coming over tomorrow to talk about it and will almost certainly persuade me that it’s the right thing to do, given the circumstances.

Now, about my book world. We won’t even talk about my book sales. I made a decision to finish with Voracious Readers. Over the last year I’ve attracted about 300 subscribers through giving away The Devil’s Trinity. (A lot of them unsubscribed as soon as they had the book). I think I attracted a handful of reviews on Goodreads. I’ve been thinking for a while about finishing with them, but it took a new venture to persuade me. I’ve joined in a promotion being run by a 10K FB author Mike Donald. He’s new at it and wanted to give it a shot. But to achieve the email sign-ups, I had to upgrade my Book Funnel account. I did this and cancelled my VR account. Works out about the same price each year anyway. Once Mike has all his ducks lined up in a row, he’ll start the ball rolling. It will take very little of my time to support the promo although I don’t hold out much hope for it; these things never seem to work for me. So, all I have to do is hang on to that hope and make a decision about Tuppence. Wish me luck!

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  • Michael Parker

If I had to write up a detailed report of what has happened to Pat this last week, I would be able to publish it in book form such would be the number of pages. Suffice it to say we have had four visits from medical professionals, a late evening consultation with an emergency nurse, and the delivery of a contraption to help Pat get up and down: the first of several items promised, including a hospital bed. In the seven days since my last blog post, Pat has had one good day. She was so bright, I even managed to persuade her to let me take her out for a drive. This meant the ramp had to be assembled, but that didn’t prove a problem. In fact, I was so pleased with it, I gave it a second coat of paint. If Pat recovers some of her good health, I will get her out a little more often, but at the moment she is too unwell.

My book sales are just holding at one sale a day spread between Amazon and D2D. Total sales 31. Cost of ads? Massive! Doesn’t make sense to carry on at the rate I’m spending money. But I remain optimistic and will start another campaign on BookBub, which seems to outsell Amazon in my case, and keep an eye on targeting etc. I do have small opportunities from time to time to look at my results and figure out what kind of changes might improve my sales. What I can’t do though is spend time on videos and following explicit instructions.

Oh, I made a pitch to an on-line publisher too. Well, not so much a pitch, but a tongue in cheek approach that will almost certainly yield nothing. The SPF bosses, James Blatch and Mark Dawson, have set up an on-line publishing company called Fuse Books. They have one author on their books (yes, one). They have asked the members of the SPF group for crime/mystery submissions but have warned that they will only take on a couple of authors with at least 3 books in a series. My tongue in cheek submission was to offer my three Marcus Blake thrillers which were never intended as a series. A betting man wouldn’t put money on my books even getting past first post, but I live in hope.

A book was released on Amazon yesterday: one in which I contributed a small piece. It’s called With love, comes hope: stories & inspiration during the 2020 pandemic. It’s available here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Comes-Hope-Inspiration-Pandemic-ebook/dp/B08CRWWT82, and all proceeds go to Bridge 2 international humanitarian charity based in Guernsey. Why not have a look? My piece is on page 242.

I made a decision this afternoon to send Tuppence away for a short period, simply to stop her leaping all over Pat, getting under our feet, barking at every Tom, Dick & Harry, and generally being a nuisance whenever the nurses or paramedics turn up. I contacted Barking Mad, a franchise dog boarding organisation I’ve used a few times, and within one hour, the agent was here having sourced a ‘host’ for Tuppence. The woman who will be looking after Tuppence has had her before. So, two hours after making the decision, Tuppence has gone and peace reigns in the house. Aahh….. Wish me luck. (Well, Tuppence really).

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  • Michael Parker

It never rains but it pours. Poor Pat has been in the wars again. She has now just about lost the ability to stand under her own strength and consequently cannot walk without help. I was doing exactly that two days ago, trying to get her back into the house, when she collapsed on to her knees, even though I was holding her. She cut her ankle badly. I called 999 who responded very quickly. She was taken into hospital and released yesterday. It never rains but it pours.

Apart from looking after Pat this week, I’ve managed to do two major jobs: the fish tank and build a ramp. The fish tank was something that was needed, so I took the opportunity mid-week and gave them a good clean. I even introduced some colour into their dreary existence. After all; if me and Pat can’t have extra colour in our lives, why shouldn’t the fish? It took most of the day because of essential stops as the time went by mostly on Pat.

The next big job was to build a ramp up to the house. It was because I was struggling to get pat up our steps on Friday that she fell. So, on Saturday morning, while Pat was in hospital, I shot down to B&Q, bought some wood and spent the next eight hours cutting, sawing, drilling and painting. The hospital called to tell me Pat was ready to come home just as I was painting the last piece. I got the ramp assembled on the step ready for the big test. It worked, although it can’t be left in place. It is now dismantled and stowed conveniently for when I have to take Pat out of the house again.

My book world continues to be just above dormant. My BookBub ads have resulted in 12 sales of Roselli’s Gold so far. My Amazon campaign has achieved 11 sales. And to date I have been credited with about 850 page reads. All in all that would equate to a total of 26 books — one a day so far. I have a short promotion this weekend for A Dangerous Game, which I hope will bring me new readers. I am still managing to attract subscribers with my free book offer, but I’m seriously considering giving that up; just seems to be very little mileage in it for me. I get the odd review now and then, but nothing to write home about.

I finished reading Paul Asling’s crime thriller, The Carter’s Wars in West London. I enjoyed the book. It was what I would call a fun read. You can tell it was written by an ex London cabbie, but at least it gave it an essentially local flavour. Fans of London crime books should enjoy this, and I’m fairly confident Paul will sell a few and attract new readers. I hope so; it’s a tough old world out there in the crime business! You can learn more about Paul Asling and his books at www.amazon.co.uk/CARTERS-WARS-WEST-LONDON-ebook/dp/B08BVWS9RJ

That’s it for this week. We have our granddaughter, Gemma coming over for lunch with our great grandson, Orin, and her brother, Adam. Gemma is bringing the meal over. She’s a Vegan, which means I have to help her save the world — just for today. Wish me luck!

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