Lucky day

Yesterday promised to be wet and miserable until we had a phone call. ” Is that Mr Round?” asked the voice. ” This is the surgery.”

” No, it’s Mrs Round.” I replied.

” Do you think Mr Round could come in today for his Covid vaccination?”

” I’m sure he could. I’m three months older than him.”

” Could you come , too?”

We are nearly 80 but I didn’t expect to hear until February. I feel very grateful. I didn’t realise what a difference it would make to my mood. They were very quick and efficient and today the sun is out. There are some advantages to being old, after all.

Flash fiction challenge

Too late I read Hugh’s blog about a flash fiction challenge. He asked us to make up a story with stones and butterflies but send it by yesterday. I don’t want to waste it, so here it is, in 99 words.

” What are you doing, Jimmy?” asked his sister as she joined him at the bottom of the garden.

“Just playing,” he answered, looking sheepish.

“What game?”

“Just throwing.”

” Throwing stones?”

“Yes.”

” What are you throwing them at?”

“Just in the air. I’ve had enough now.” He got up and walked away.

Lucy looked at the colourful flower border. Was there something moving, fluttering, trying to fly?

It was a butterfly. At least, that’s what she thought it was, but then she heard a tinkling “Thank you” as the fairy flew away.

Public Lending Right

A friend in my writing group suggested that, as I had donated books to our local library, I might like to ask for Public lending Rights. This is the kind of royalty that the author gets when their book is borrowed. The PLR use a sample of areas to discover books due to this money and if the books have been borrowed within that County you get 9.55pence for each time a book is taken out.

I don’t think my publisher sent any of ” More Fish in the Sea” to libraries so I didn’t get anything for that but lots of people have read my first book which is quite exciting. I wasn’t going to give the library ” Penny Down the Drain” as it is very slim and would get lost among the larger books on a library shelf.

I still haven’t finished the jigsaw and wonder if I ever will.

Dog diet

It is difficult not to spend all our time caring for the dog at present. Some days he seems OK and others he looks as if it is too much effort to get out of his bed.

In an effort to make his life more bearable I have been researching diets for dogs with kidney failure. It seems that, as well as the food the vet has prescribed,( which he doesn’t like) we can introduce more butternut squash and sweet potato ( which he does like) He has to have less meat and salt but he can eat egg, especially the white.

He is drinking more water without encouragement and loved the chicken I gave him yesterday, although he took the carrot out of the dish and set it down on the floor. He will eat rice, specially if I mix it with boiled fish. He seems to manage peas and potato but spends most of each meal time looking longingly at us as if he wants to share what we are eating.

None of the diets online seemed to give advice about sugar so he does get the odd piece of pastry or biscuit! I get the feeling his nose works better than all his other senses but while he still wags his tail when we talk to him I’m hoping his quality of life will help him stay with us a little longer.

Tidying

I spent the morning trying to tidy my Goodreads books. I have over 400 that I have read since I started recording them and I wanted to get rid of the ones I gave two stars to or gave a critical review.

I try to review everything I read but as I read a book a week it mounts up. That’s what comes of using the library and charity shops. I really ought to list my favourite authors and try to read all they have written but I don’t . I just pick up novels that loook interesting and about two out of each three are well worth reading.

It was fun reading my old reviews and finding I did not always agree with other folk. However, if I only list books I like it will not be much help to anyone else who wants to know my opinion. I am reading Winnie the Pooh books at present but I don’t think I’ll list them!

Precious Pooch

Our little terrier finally had his back claws cut yesterday. The vet wouldn’t let us go in with him but he had been sedated so he went quite quietly. I was worried because he had an upset stomach. It is difficult to know how well or ill he is as his dementia makes him so lethatgic. We usually tell by feeling his nose. It if it is hot we change his meals to fish and rice and if it is cold we assume he is OK.

He is doubly incontinent, but only about two days a week. We put him in nappies at night. He still has a mental clock which tells him when it is meal times and loves barking at the foxes whenever we let him into the garden. They kept me awake until nearly three last night, howling out the front, but he is deaf so they don’t wake him up.

I have finished reading all the novels in the house so will have to start on the nonfiction or go hunting for some more. I think the railway station has a charity bookshelf but I am not inclined to troop down there as the covid warnings are so clear. Is looking for something to read a vital journey? I think not.

Back to my jigsaw this afternoon I suppose, although it’s not my idea of fun.

Dare I be happy?

After nearly a month I at last have Penny Down the Drain on Amazon. All the twitter promotion I did was probably wasted as folk who said they would read it couldn’t find it. It may be too late but I still have high hopes as I have never had such a good reaction from readers of my books as I have had this time.

As an ex teacher I love the idea of giving pleasure to children while entertaining and instructing them. The problem is that if I give books away they don’t get reviewed.Lockdown has stopped me posting off more copies as I don’t want to go into town on the bus or use the busy post office. Like everyone else I shall try to be patient and wait for things to improve. I had a whole day yesterday without going on the computer and I felt so much better. I don’t know about ‘dry January’ but I do think one day a week off screen might be a good idea.

I am trying to think of another author whose books I enjoyed as a child but when I looked at the Just So Stories I realised Rudyard Kipling was essentially of his own time and , although I loved his writing style, and will never forget ‘the grey, green, greasy Limpopo river’ there is no way I could update his works or encourage today’s youngsters to immerse themselves in his way of thinking. Pity, because I did wonder about doing ‘How the tortoise got his shell.’

Back to the drawing board!

Promoting Penny

I have spent most of today trying to undo a previous error. I did actually find a human being to talk to, but it didn’t seem to result in any change. Maybe I’m just too impatient.

It just proves how careful one has to be when filling in forms on line. Never mind, Penny has has a good reception without amazon and I have written a short piece to send out when the lockdown is over as a kind of second launch. I intend to use a load of postcards as I cannot afford to send out free books for reviews.

Beverley Nichols wrote ” A Tree that Sat Down” in 1945 and in this updated follow-on Miss Smith, the witch, has three new toads and can order items on the computer, namely a drone that she uses over the magic mountain. I guess there aren’t many people who have read the original but if they have I hope they will be delighted to find she is still flying, but still thwarted by the animals and children in the castle.

Poor photography.

Maybe I should get a new phone. I can’t seem to take good photos with the one I have at present. I tried to take a picture of the back of ” Penny Down the Drain” to show the blurb and ISBN number but, as usual, it is out of focus. I’ll show you what I mean.

Never mind, I’m getting some very favourable reports from people who had copies as presents and am hoping to have a second launch in February.

Happy New Year, folks.

Following

I think it is time I started to follow some more folk. I might find more comments like that as a lot of the people I used to communicate with have gone.

It isn’t easy to make contact, especially when you are stupid enough to make an elementary error on line which results in amazon putting ” Penny PennyDown” in the title of my new book so nobody can find it. It was my fault and I hope it hasn’t done too much damage to sales. Now to find out how long it takes to get it corrected. I sorted it within a week but it doesn’t show yet.

Being on twitter has been interesting during the Brexit debate. I can see both sides but only time will tell is we get any benefit. I suppose it depends if the EU flourishes or dies.

Today is cold enough for me to try to defrost the freezer. I put the food in the garage while the ice melts. One task a day is enough at present. Best Wishes to all.