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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Tolerance and Tuppence

Monday kind of started well; Pat seemed to be improving, although just a little. But it was a comfort to know she wasn’t dealing with chemo as well as the after-effects of a mini-stroke. This emboldened me to spend a little more time in the garden, clearing away a lot of stuff that was taking over. It left little time for creative work in front of my PC, but I am trying. We had a church house group meeting here on Tuesday. This is good for Pat’s stimulation: mostly women! Wednesday I took Pat over to the house of one of our church friends so she could spend some time with two more ladies having a natter in a beautiful sun-filled conservatory. All good for Pat’s mental recovery. We had a visit from our Pastor. He’s younger than our youngest son, but a smashing bloke, so that was good. And through all that we were getting photographs of our grandson, Sam, getting married to Taryn in America where they live. Naturally Pat and I would have been there, but Pat’s illness made that impossible. It was good to see lots of photos though on Facebook.

On the book front, I did manage a couple of lines of my pulp fiction thriller. I managed to write the incident on the bus that I needed to move our hero forward in the story. Now he’s off the bus and about to help one of the victims of the incident. Very Jack Reacher! I’m now about 2000 words into the story, so a long, long way to go.

My book sales still suck. The Amazon Ads School, of which I am a student, isn’t helping much. No doubt that’s down to me because I’m not really paying attention. I will soldier on for another week and then, reluctantly, scrap the ad and begin again. The annoying thing is that the book I’m advertising has a blurb written by Bryan Cohen, one of the top men in the business, and the jacket design by Stuart Bache, another top industry man. The only answer I can come up with is that my marketing skills, like my sales figures, also suck.

My number three son, John, phoned during the week to tell me he’d read my latest book, No Time to Die. Took him one day! He thoroughly enjoyed it (I would know if he was lying), but pointed out some typos and another observation he had to make about the page numbers. Fortunately I was able to correct all that in about ten minutes. I have uploaded the edited files and have ordered one copy, just to check. I made a small change to the jacket as well.

Mark Dawson’s Self-Publishing Show Live event, of which I spoke last week, has really taken off. So much so he has had to hire another venue having sold over 800 tickets for the event (he expected about 300). Members of the group are coming in from all over the world for this. Some of them are staying on for the London Book Fair which begins the day after. And one thing that Mark and his team do at each event they attend is to offer to buy the SPF members a pint at a local hostelry (this week it’s in Vancouver), and he has put out the same invite for next March. It now looks as though he will have to hire a venue just to get the people in so he can buy them a pint. It doesn’t take much stretch of the imagination to see that it could become a big annual event if Mark and his team decide to run with it. They already have some top authors lined up for March, so it isn’t unreasonable to think it could become permanent.

And today I had to take our little Cockapoo, Tuppence, to the vet. Poor little girl has some kind of problem that the vet believes is pain in the hip joint. She had an injection (the dog, not the vet!) and is on tablets. No walkies then for a day or so. And I have a pain in my wallet; it cost me £65 for that consultation, and Tuppence didn’t even blush when I paid it. Now I have two sick girls to nurse at home.

But tonight I will at least be able to watch one of my favourite sporting events: it’s the British Speedway Grand Prix at the Principality Stadium in Cardiff. It’s often billed as the biggest indoor sporting event in the world. I don’t know if that’s true, but I know I’ll enjoy it. Wish me luck!

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