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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Mystery upon mystery

We all like a mystery, right? Well, I was walking along the beach with my dog, Tuppence, the tide was out and just a couple of dog walkers around. I trod on what I thought was a plastic bottle, but when I looked again, it was more like a gun than a discarded piece of plastic. I picked it up. It was quite heavy. There were a couple of dials on it, and also some switches. Plus, a port that looked the same as the one on my phone. It was definitely something electronic. I wondered if it was some kind of signalling device; you know, a short wave transmitter. Perhaps there had been some illegal activity on the beach. Smugglers? I pulled out one of Tuppence’s poo bags and put the device inside, and looked forward to discovering what this mysterious object was. When I got home, I showed it to my wife, but she couldn’t help me out there. So, using my research skills, I went on to Google and began dialling in some of the letters and numbers that were barely discernible on the side of the object. And as I got closer to the truth, I began to wonder what planet I lived on. Am I so far out of it now that I couldn’t recognise an electronic cigarette? A vapour thingy? Ah! Then I thought about how life changes, pulling the rug from under your feet. The world and his dog would have known what it was. But I likened the reality to my Granny and her hearing trumpet. What would she have made of my modern hearing aids? When I smoked years ago it was a packet of cigarettes with twenty fags inside. I’ll just have to keep taking the tablets. Oh, and the vapour thingy has gone into the bin.

Yesterday I went along to Crawley library for their ‘Book Fest’. It was a first for the library, and they made a good show of it too. It was limited to twenty authors (all pre-booked). We had our own allotted space with a small, printed poster attached to the front of the table. I only sold one book: one of my religious books. It was only £1, which is practically the same as giving them away. My son and grandson came along for an hour. They live close by, so that was a bit of a bonus. It was good to meet other writers, many of whom only had one or two books to show. I think I made a mistake by taking too many book along, but it’s all part of the learning curve. I’ll have to remember that “Less is more” in future. I left two of my hardback titles behind for the library. They accept donated books.

I don’t know what Facebook are up to, but they suddenly ‘disapproved’ one of my ads for “profanity”. The ad in question was one I ran through September and had been inactive for two weeks, and contained no profanities at all. I let them know in their ‘appeal’ box that they had made a mistake. So why is it that big companies can’t apologise? They sent me a response to say that my ad had been approved and I could view it etc., etc. The ad wasn’t even running! I’m still failing miserably with this advertising game, but I will persevere. Yesterday I had an ‘uptick’ (I like that word) in my sales, so perhaps I’m doing something right.

My WIP moved on a notch, and I have managed to get to the fifth character that needs introducing. It’s still early days and I’ve only written about 4000 words. Just 76000 to go and at least eight or nine months maybe. We’ll see. Wish me luck!

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