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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Reaching Out.

It’s our son, John’s birthday today. Takes me back to when he was born in a small, cottage hospital in Ely, Cambridgeshire. I had to look after his two brothers, both toddlers. Perhaps I should write a book about the fun we had!

A couple of months ago, a local chap contacted me through my website asking for advice about getting a book into print. We met up for a chat in the local pub where I was able to give him the advice he needed. His book is now in print and available on Amazon. It’s called Rising Sun Memories. (ASIN B01LZ90BQY). He writes as Stuart James. The story is a mix of fact and fiction, semi-autobiographical and covers three years during the Japanese occupation of Singapore. I’m sure this book will appeal to fans of war stories, particularly those penned from eye-witness accounts. I’ve downloaded a copy and enjoying what I’ve read so far. Incidentally, it’s well written too.

I made some progress on my WIP, although I decided to cut the last 1000 words I penned during the week. I’m sure most writers have this problem when it comes to forcing yourself to cut something you worked on and thought was the right direction; you just don’t want to do it. How does that old saying go? The moving finger having writ, moves on. Nor all you piety or wit can erase but a single word of it. Something like that anyway. Despite piety and wit, I’ve scrapped thousands of words in the past.

Last Monday evening at the CHINDI writers meeting, we met up with Jamie Dyer of South Waves radio ( We’re hoping to strike up an ongoing connection with Jamie. His radio is devoted to the Arts, which includes the written word. Because it’s a local, on-line station, it will be an excellent platform for us as local writers, particularly as it broadcasts 24/7.

We covered a lot of ground at the meeting, talking about promotions and what we have all been up to individually. There are so many different avenues and events to explore that you realise you could be out on the streets week in week out, trying to flog your books. Obviously it’s far better to get the readers to come to you, and to that end we have arranged a ‘Love to Read’ party in Chichester where we hope to attract a good gathering of interested book lovers who want to talk to authors about writing, reading, learning and generally getting a real kick or benefit from this type of gathering.

Those of you who have looked on my website will know that I published a religious book called A Word in Your Ear (How God changed my retirement plans). I gave one to a neighbour of ours whose husband died recently. He was a retired minister. She came over last week and asked if she could buy two copies to pass on to her friends, one of whom is a visiting minister from USA. I think I’ve sold one since publication (not counting those I ordered for myself), so to be asked for two is something of a bonus. I gave the neighbour the copies; didn’t have the heart to charge her.

We added fish to our fish tank this week. A dozen, Neon Tetras, six Guppies (one jumped out, so now we have five) and four Mollies. The tank is like a living picture against the wall. Hopefully I can keep it that way.

I finally managed to crack the Ingram Spark problem. It was just my lack of knowledge with PhotoShop, but I got there in the end. Oh, not quite. When I downloaded the eProof, it only had the even page numbers at the bottom of the page. The Word doc was fine, but in converting to the PDF file with Open Office, the page numbers turned out wrong. It’s sorted now, so hopefully I’ll soon be holding the hardback version of my latest novel in my hands. Wish me luck!

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