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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Puzzles and more puzzles

Bit of a bumpy ride with Pat this week. Her next appointment is twelve days away, and as much as I hate to say it; I can’t wait for her to go back on chemo. The only medication she’s on at present is a beta blocker and a blood pressure pill, so we’ve no idea what her real situation is. I try to make decisions based on Pat’s apparent condition and what she admits to. I use the BP monitor to keep an eye on her and today I bought a Finger Oxygen monitor. I'm beginning to feel like a doctor, or Quack! Her weight is stable, thank goodness, and she seems to be in good humour, except when I ask her to do some colouring pictures with me; then she acts like a truculent ten year old and won’t. But she does at least attempt the quiz book for seven year old kids. One page every morning: Sudoku, that kind of thing. But that’s for her mental state. So we’re winning there.

Back to my other world. I came to the end of my AMS advertising in USA for my book, The Boy from Berlin. Very poor results. I complained to my mentor, Bryan Cohen, who responded with a daunting challenge to put the ads back on with a new campaign that will result in sixty ads. He has given me explicit instructions on how to go about this. I must admit it makes me nervous because AMS ads can sometimes run away with you. Needs careful monitoring two or three times a day: something I have precious little time for these days.

My book sales for No Time to Die are trickling along, and the page reads are slowly climbing. I will be coming to the end of those particular ads next week, but will start again with a whole new bunch of keywords. I am slowly beginning to understand spreadsheets: something that is a helpful part of preparing an ad campaign. Made some mistakes in the process though. Two days ago I built a column of sixty ASIN numbers and began the process of copying in the relevant search results on Once I had the information I wanted, I edited the results, removing all the characters like commas, colons etc. that are not wanted as keywords. End result? I’d managed to edit my ASIN numbers too because I’d left them on the spreadsheet. I was really annoyed with myself because it took about an hour to meticulously prepare the ASIN numbers. UGH!

Next week, on Wednesday, I am going to the Chindi group’s Christmas Book launch. The book is a collection of Christmas stories pertinent to West Sussex, written by some of the group’s members, and available now. The launch party will be opened by best-selling author, Beryl Kingston, also a member of our group, so it should be a good evening. You can see the book here:

I had a quick look at my pulp fiction WIP last night, but soon realised that I simply don’t have the inclination to spend any time on it. Probably won’t now until after Christmas. Then maybe I’ll be able to knuckle down. Wish me luck!

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