Monday, March 26, 2012

Getting Down To Business With Descartes

I shall be starting work on the next 3 books from about July onwards.

While I am still overseas, I can do some work towards two other objectives.

One is to win a Writers' News short story competition. I can clearly do this only if I enter the competitions. I have already sent in the entry for the competition which has its closing date in mid-March. For the next one, due in mid-April, the brief is to write a story of 1500-1700 words, ending with the line "Out she walked with a spring in her step." I have no idea what I shall write yet but will be starting work on it soon. I frequently find myself in the position of sitting down to start a story with only a very vague idea of what the story will be about. Some writers have the whole thing sketched out before they start, with copious notes about plot and character by their side. Others fly more by the seat of their pants and I seem to be one of those. Something about sitting with my fingers on the keyboard seems to produce words in an order of which I had been completely unaware a few minutes before, with people taking shape and events happening almost out of my control. I hope that will happen again this time - and of a good enough quality to get to the top of the heap.

I had no idea I was going to write all of the preceding paragraph, for instance, just that I need to get cracking on the next story. It's a sort of mechanical verbosity, I suppose, rather than the audio version.

The other thing I need to do before starting on the three new books is to produce the paperback version of "Vic's Big Walk". Fortunately, I have a friend who has published through Lulu before and Gay and I have a one-week visit to England booked for June, partly to spend time with Peter preparing the paperback version. In the meantime I can correct the few typos and errors which I have been made aware of in the e-version. For instance, when describing my walk through the town of Descartes, I said that Descartes the philosopher had not made it into the famous Monty Python Philosphers Drinking song. I even checked the song to make sure I was right about this but must have been suffering from word blindness at that stage because I missed the obvious fact that he was indeed a drunken fart in the song.

I also mentioned at one stage that Jean Mortensen was the husband of Stanley. Only one person has pointed out that she was actually his wife.

Both of those errors, and a few others, will be corrected before the paperback goes to press.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Never Give Up

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was over, it became a butterfly

- Proverb.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Vic's Shorts

And the third book? I mentioned that I have written many a short story for the monthly competition in Writers' News and Writing Magazine, being shortlisted several times.

The third book will be a compendium of a number of the stories I have written, and maybe one or two other items.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Swim The Atlantic?

The second of the 3 books which I am working on and which I intend to publish in the next 12 months has the working title "Swim The Atlantic?". It will be an autobiography.

If you want to know how I came by the title, click HERE to see a YouTube clip of the BBC TV news item about the finish to Vic's Big Walk:

Friday, March 9, 2012

Living On An Island

I thought I should include this picture of how hard I am working in such arduous conditions and climate down here in New Zealand while so many of our friends have been trapped in their homes by snow so recently.

I don't normally read in the bath, especially while using electronic devices, but I am taking quite well to writing in one.

I mentioned above that I intend to publish 3 more books in the next 12 months. The first of these will be called "Living On An Island", about the 8 years Gay and I spent living in Cyprus from 1995 to 2003. Cyprus is part of Europe and is now (but not then) a member of the European Union. But life and attitudes are so very different there to what we were used to before we went. I look forward to giving our take on it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


Oops, I accidentally put a report of the last day of our Rail Trail Walk on here instead of the "Vic's Big Walk" blog. I have now corrected that.

What a plonker.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Writers' News

Writers' News is a large circulation monthly magazine which, if you are a subscriber to Writing Magazine, comes bundled with it.

Writing Magazine is also available off the shelf at newsagents.

Each magazine has a monthly short story writing competition. For Writing Magazine there is an entry fee. The competitions in Writers' News are free to subscribers.

I subscribe largely so that I can enter the competitions. As I travel for several months each year I generally enter about 6 competitions a year, but now it is possible to enter through the Internet so I hope to be more prolific.

I have not yet been a winner, but have been shortlisted 5 times, which seems a bit much to me. It is about time I won, which is why I have set this as one of my writing objectives for 2012.

Today I sent off this month's entry. I had to write a story of 1500-1700 words, which was to be linked in some way to resolutions, New Year's or otherwise. My story is called "Two Pounds Below". About a father's obsessive desire to help his daughter succeed with her resolution to lose a few pounds, and the tragic consequences.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Monday, March 5, 2012

New Objectives

In 2010, to celebrate my 70th birthday, I walked for 70 days, at an average of about 30 kms per day, from my home in the French Pyrenees to the house of my birth in Northern England. The book about that walk, and much else besides, is called "Vic's Big Walk from SW France to NW England". It is available (in e-book version) from Amazon, Apple's iBookstore, Barnes & Noble, the Sony Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, Gardners, Baker & Taylor, eBookPie, and many more in the coming months.

The paperback version will be published by Lulu in June 2012, and, in order to keep the price down, will be available only from Amazon.

All proceeds of all versions go direct to pancreatic cancer research.

Click HERE to see the reviews of "Vic's Big Walk", which are all favourable, on Amazon:

My writing objectives for the next 12 months are to win a short-story writing prize and to publish 3 further books.

I will say more about those objectives, and the 3 upcoming books, in further posts on this blog.