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  • Writer's pictureMichael Parker

Getting my ducks in a row.

This was the week I celebrated my 79th. birthday. Once upon a time I was allowed to ‘celebrate’, now I’m afraid it’s ‘celebate’. C’est la vie! Pat has had a reasonable week, and I even managed to take her out for a ride in the car. Went down to Selsey and was out for about an hour. Didn’t get out of the car of course, but it gave Pat a chance to get some relief rather than going stir-crazy at home.

In accordance with the rules in place, Pat had a phone appointment with the haematologist confirming she was OK for her next chemo session on Monday. Obviously we can’t avoid it, but no-one wants to go to a hospital while we’re all worrying and wondering about the virus warnings. Yesterday afternoon I had to go to our surgery for Pat so I could pick up a prescription from the nurse. One of Pat’s recurring problems again, which meant I had to phone up (took ages to get through) and ask their advice. The nurse was able to make out a prescription, but it had to be electronically handled, which meant a doctor adding their pin before it could go to the chemist. Half an hour later I’m at the chemist but no prescription. Had to go back later.

I had planned to take advantage yesterday of Tesco’s shopping hour for pensioners between 9 and 10 o’clock in the morning. Then I thought about all those pictures I’d seen on social media and in the Press of huge queues and empty shelves and wondered if it was all worth it. And why be herded into groups, piling up against on-line shopping trolleys at the check-outs and risk picking up some bug? I thought better of it and went over my local Tesco Express and got the stuff I needed there.

So, what about my book world? I’m making very slow progress on my pulp fiction thriller. Not encouraging really, but at least I’m writing. Book sales are practically non-existent but could pick up later because I have my Book Bub featured deal on Sunday. Fingers crossed for that. I’ve also taken what I think could be a major step in my writing career (funny word that for an ‘old un’ like me); I have enrolled in Mark Dawson’s 101 course. Any budding writer out there who still can’t get their head round the minutiae of publishing, promotion and marketing should have a look at what the course offers. I’ve been an ‘alumni’ of Mark’s for something like five years now and have often wondered about the 101 course. I’ve seen podcasts with established writers who were struggling until they signed up for the course. It’s a bit pricey, particularly when you add the 20% VAT, but there are easy payment options. Incidentally, I’m not an affiliate of Mark’s, so I don’t earn a commission for recommending it. The link, if you want a peek, is

My reading this week is actually Mark Dawson’s latest book, The House in the Woods. I paused Scott Mariani’s thriller but will get back to it. Oh, and if any you like gritty drama, country music and damn fine singing and acting, have a look at ‘Wild Rose’ starring Jessica Buckley.

That’s it for now. Next week is chemo week and keeping my fingers crossed for book sales. Haven’t heard from Joffe Books yet, but at least they are digital publishers and can work from home. Hope so, anyway. Wish me luck!

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