anthology

I now have 50 copies of our anthology, “Reflections, Then and Now” to start distributing. A few will come to the jazz with us tonight. Then I’ll have to get some envelopes for the ones ordered that need posting. I actually sold the first copy in the printers’ while I was collecting them. I showed it to another customer and he bought it on the spot!

“That’s the way to do it!” I never stop feeling excited when I publish a new book and maybe my enthusiasm is catching. The friend who did the cartoons hasn’t seen the finished product yet. She’ll be there tonight so I hope she likes it. I suppose I am a dreaded vanity publisher but the others haven’t contributed any money. They will have to pay for all but the first copy. I should make a small profit which will go to charity.

As long as I see it in print I’m happy, especially as all our other books are listed in the back. I have taken the advice to put contact details inside. I’ll put an example in my next post.

Character interview 2.

“Why did you threaten the job centre employee, Mr Sharp?”

“They didn’t have to call the cops. I didn’t hurt anyone!”

“I’m not a policewoman – I’m a Community Support Officer. I’m only here to help you. Do you feel calmer now?”

“Women! I’m surrounded by women. That stupid bitch insulted me.”

“Did she? How did she do that?”

“She told me that if I couldn’t find a driving job I could try being a cleaner ME, a cleaner! That’s women’s work.”

“Maybe she was thinking of cleaning jobs that needed muscle, like managing a team or cleaning vehicles or roads.”

“I’m not a bloody skivvy! I’m 55 years old and I don’t want to be told what to do by a bit of skirt like that.”

“I’m sure she didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, but your shouting frightened her.”

“Sorry, I’m just fed up. I can’t afford to set up my own taxi business or I’d do that. What else is a redundant coach driver to do?”

“Have you asked for a personal interview. or looked on line?”

“Can’t cope with the computer. They ask too many personal questions. If I ask for an interview I’ll only get another bloody woman, won’t I?”

“How about if I find out if there’s a male adviser for you? You won’t make any more threats to staff, will you?”

“Wish I didn’t have to come in here at all.”

“Don’t lose hope, Mr Sharp. Do you have references from your last employer?”

“Somewhere at home. My wife told me to make a CV but I don’t remember all my exams and things. It’s all right for her, she’s got a job. She’s a hairdresser.”

“Is she sympathetic?”

“She was at first but over time she’s stopped talking about it. She thinks I’ll never get another job.”

“Wait here, Mr Sharp. I’ll have a chat with the staff and see if we can’t prove her wrong.I’m sure we can reach a positive outcome.”

“Positive, smositive! Don’t be long. I need a drink!”

( From one of the two main characters in ‘Never Run Away.’)

Interview

“What can I do for you. Mrs Walsh?”

“It’s a bit delicate, doctor. You know my husband’s condition?”

“Yes, but apart from a missing limb he’s quite well, isn’t he?”

“He’s very fit. He’s enjoying working with children. He makes a fine teacher  -but that’s part of the problem?”

“I don’t understand. You are getting on well together, aren’t you?”

” In a way – but he is asking me when we can try for a child of our own.”

“And you don’t want to?”

“It’s not that I don’t like children. If I could be sure our baby would be all right I’d love to start a family.”

“What makes you worry that it wouldn’t be?”

“My father. He isn’t very clever and he has serious hearing loss. If our child was like him I don’t know if I could cope.”

” Mrs Walsh, there’s no reason to believe such things are hereditary and even if they were they are much more manageable that a lot of other inherited problems. Is your father happy?”

” Yes, my mother is a great support and they have a good social life. I just remember how hard it was when I was growing up. Other children teased me about him and it took him a long time to find a job.”

” Have you discussed this with your husband?”

“No. I don’t think he’d understand. He thinks every disability can be overcome with enough willpower – typical soldier- and he wouldn’t like to think I was worrying unnecessarily. He wouldn’t know what to say. I don’t want to admit how I feel. It would upset him.”

“Think of it like this – any child can be born with problems but there is nothing to indicate a child of yours would have any greater chance of a disability than any other child. In fact, with a strong young father like Ryan there’s more likelihood of it being a strapping youngster. We’d keep an eye on you through the pregnancy. There’s absolutely nothing to worry about. Go ahead while you are still under thirty. You are more likely to have a healthy child while you are young.”

“Thank you, doctor. I do feel a bit better,now. I’ll talk to them at the clinic. I know my mother would love a grandchild.”

“If you want me to talk to your husband, I will, but I’m sure when you think it through you will make the right decision.”

( The characters in “Lane’s End” “Unstable Lane” and “The Third Lane.” after the trilogy has ended.)

Sorry You Missed Us

People supporting Armed Forces Day, leaving the Steyne

Umbrella’s up – racing to get out of the rain

Their duty done, tombola tickets bought

And sympathy extended to the belly dancers

Gyrating in the breeze, smiling at the applause.

Now homeward bound along the prom

Coat collars up, hoods hiding hair.

A coach load of day trippers from Wales

Running from the windy pier – glad to be going home.

This is Worthing on a cold summer Saturday.

Even with the Artists’ trail to follow

It is not a place to stand and stare

Or look at a flapping gazebo of books.

Six local authors see their hopes

Swept away as folk speed past.

The weather beat us, as we shivered,

Our precious offerings ignored.

“I’ll come back” said one lady,

“I’m doing the trail – you’ll still be here?”

A young man stopped, demonstrating to his friends

He could appreciate words on a page

But gave an excuse, leaving without a book.

A huddle of students ran across the road, not looking back

We stayed, unnoticed, shivering in the wind

So sorry you missed us.

 

Marking time

The pantomime has been put on hold as I realised that, although when I wrote it the references were topical, things change so quickly that the world could seem a very different place by Christmas. No matter, I have had a great response from folk who want to participate and I have noted their contact numbers for when I have updated the script.

The poetry anthology is nearly ready. I don’t know how many pages it will be until we get the layout right but there is a fine mix of thoughtful and funny verses.

I am about to revamp my website to emphasise the fact that I am happy to give talks. At the moment the books take centre stage but only the most recent one seems to be selling and the others deserve a look, especially “Never Run Away.” Every time we go to Morrisons I think of the action on the railway line in the story. Morrisons have changed the road layout and a lot of people are getting confused by the new one way system. Time will tell if it is an improvement.

Poetry anthology

Being an editor/publisher as well as a novelist means I get the opportunity to select and revise as well as create. At the moment I am choosing poems for the second anthology by four local writers and they have come up with some very good work that is more serious than the rest of the verses I had selected.

I think, maybe , that this book will turn out very different from ‘Honey and Humbug’ our first anthology, which made people chuckle and is now out of print as all 100 copies were snapped up in a few months. I did not ISBN it as I was warned that not many people bought poetry books and, actually, a lot of them were given away as presents. It did prove that our efforts were appreciated and hence the new book.I do sometimes include a poem or two in my talks to the WI so my copy is very precious.

I am now researching local printers to find the most reasonable way of producing the anthology as I do not want to use Print on Demand.