Mittwoch, 27. Mai 2009

So, I'm off to Blighty tomorrow.
Haven't been there for about a year.
I know it sounds strange to anyone living in Britain but it really is like a familiar foreign country to me now.
It's hard, for example, to come to terms with people speaking English to me in a shop, say, or a pub.
It's not like I've gone native over here, in Jolly Old Germany; the majority of my friends are Brits.
But, that said, the preponderance of people with whom I have contact with, (workmates, business people, shopkeepers, the public in general) are all German and therefore German speakers.
The area where I live is VERY German. I have friends who live in Paderborn who only speak English to their workmates and friends. They work for the British Army and they drink in British style pubs. They watch English speaking television and enjoy a lot of things that my small sphere of Brit mates would give their right hand for.
Conversely, the area I live in is situated not far from the old Inner German border and a lot of the population are of Eastern European descent, so German obviously is the lingua franca. My workmates come from Russia, (and by Russia I mean what was once the collection of lands that constituted the USSR.), Romania, Poland, Croatia and Serbia and though they may try a couple of English phrases with me, we communicate in German.

To some Brits, who think the world speaks English; this may come as a shock. I know a lot of soldiers come to Germany with the impression that everybody speaks English; I know I did. My sister in law was somewhat taken aback to find that nobody in the shops could understand her when she spoke English.
"Well how do they sell anything then?" was her indignant reaction.
Which leads me nicely on to a subject close to my heart, namely The Division of the Damned.
You see, the problem I have is twofold. It's not only my massive lack of literary talent that sits in my way to being published, there's also the language barrier.
There are no agents or publishers in Germany that take on English manuscripts. None. Not one. Keine.
It's a given, really; which agent wants to travel to Britain or America to try and sell a book to a publisher from an unknown, inexperienced author?
Which publisher wants to print a book in a foreign language from an unproven, unheard of author for a reading circle that doesn't cover 0.1% of the population?
No one in their right mind, that's who.
The internet has made the situation tenable but that barrier between myself and publication just seems that little bit higher from my point of view. Not much, but enough to be telling.

"Why all the self pity, Reg?" I hear you ask.
No self pity, I just wanted to write something about my book or the situation in regards to that mighty tome I penned, rather than about my hopes that Barcelona smash Manchester United tonight.
That's all.

See you in about a week or so.
PS. I'm looking forward to being a rich man in Britain. The Euro is amazingly strong against the pound right now, almost one to one, so I'll be buying pints of good British ale for about three Euros a throw… nice.
PPS. Manchester will win. I'm not happy about it, but I am happy that it'll be one in the eye for Sepp Blatter and one in the eye for Michel Platini's UEFA; who definitely would not have been happy if two English teams had made the Champions league final again, for a second year running.

Montag, 25. Mai 2009

I follow a Blog by a Mrs. Jane Smith, " How Publishing Really Works " and it had another interesting article in it the other day.
It was about an independent publishing house that's experiencing some hard times at the moment.
The gist of the thing was that everyone, well all those who want to, should buy a book, just one, from this impoverished publisher.

Hey, you know what?
I'll put the link down then you can see for yourself. Go to:

And have a read.
Then, when you've finished reading, and maybe bought a book, have a look at the comments.
In the long list of good wishes and support for the idea, some crabby old has-been has written, "A fool and his money are soon parted." Or something along those lines.

Firstly Jane Smith puts him right on the quote, which was news to me because my Gran used to say it to me all the time, and then she asks him what his problem is?
The dude, who didn't even have the cojonas to use his own name, started on a rant that I thought was completely uncalled for, and totally out of place in the comments section of a public blog.
No bad words were used, just snide insinuations and odious remarks.
Now, I bring this up because I'm completely baffled as to how an appeal to help a struggling printing house could stir up so much bile and malice.
It's beyond me, it really is.
Why are some people such haters?
Well anyway, it backfired on lily-livered Mr. Anonymous I'm afraid, because I wasn't going to buy a book from Salt Publishing at all, but I will now.
One in the eye for Mr. Anonymous and a new customer for Salt publishing, now that's what I call the Free market, baby!!

Have a good one, buy a book and spit on the name Anonymous, which stands for all that's cowardly and churlish in this world.

Reg :-)
PS. I know this is not really about my MS or writing but I've nothing on the go at the moment.
I will soon though, I promise.

Montag, 18. Mai 2009

Just read a very good post on one of my fave Blogs.
Go to:

…and read what it say's.
It tackles a situation that I've never even thought about in regards to second hand books.

Now I, the cheapskate that I am, buy second hand books all the time.
When I go home, I spend at least one full day trawling the many charity shops that pepper my lovely home town, (Colwyn Bay), often flying back to Jolly Old Germany with a suitcase packed full of wholesome reading… packed full of wholesome, second hand reading, I might add.

"So what?", I hear you screech in abject frustration at my inability to get to the point.
Well, the thing is…
The thing is, everytime I buy a second hand book, I'm helping to nail the lid shut on the Great British Printing and Publication Industry!!!
(Gasp, shock, horror!)
No, seriously, it's not good.

It all goes down to who receives what in relation to a sold second hand book. If an artist has one of his pieces resold at an auction, he/she is entitled to some sort of second royalty on the work. A very fair and fulfilling situation, thinks I.
However, what recompense does the poor literary artist look forward to on the sale of a second hand book of his scribblings?
None. Nada. Nichts. Nothing.

Is that fair? Is that really in the spirit of the free market?
Well, yes actually it is in the spirit of the free market. However, fair it is not.
If you read my comment, I state clearly for the whole world to see that I do buy cheap, delicious, irresistible, second hand books, for a whole menagerie of reasons. I was forthright and proud in my statement.

However, I must confess to a slight twinge of, well, conscience now, actually.
Damn, I hate my conscience. Why can't I be evil?
Ok, ok…
You know what; I'll go halfway on it. I'll boycott the one penny books on Amazon, and only buy new ones online. How's that?
However, I'm not sure if I can live without my second hand book day when I go home. It's a part of my holiday, the only day I have for me, (without going to a pub, that is.)
It's a tradition!!
I mean, let's not flaunt tradition, right kids?
Right Reg.


Mittwoch, 13. Mai 2009

Kid's birthday today, they're both 12.
So it's presents and good moods all round, lots of sweets, ice cream, jelly, sugar tantrums, tears, thrown teddies and a round of vomit to finish off the day… and that's just me!

This fathering lark is harder than you think.
Whatever, like Gloria said,
"First I was afraid, I was petrified. Kept thinking I could never live without you by my side. But I spent so many nights, thinking how you did me wrong, I grew strong, I learned how to carry on. And so you're back from outer space. I just walked in to find you here with that sad look upon your face. I should have changed my stupid lock, I should have made you leave your key. If I had known for just one second you'd be back to bother me! Go on now go, walk out the door. Just turn around now, 'cause you're not welcome anymore. Weren't you the one who tried to hurt me with goodbye; you think I'd crumble, you think I'd lay down and die. Oh no, not I, I will survive, as long as i know how to love I know I will stay alive. I've got all my life to live, I've got all my love to give and I'll survive, I will survive. It took all the strength I had not to fall apart, kept trying hard to mend the pieces of my broken heart. And I spent oh so many nights just feeling sorry for myself, I used to cry. Now I hold my head up high and you see me, somebody new. I'm not that chained up little person still in love with you, and so you felt like dropping in and just expect me to be free now. I'm saving all my lovingfor someone who's loving me."

Deep lyrics… very deep… Not sure what it's got to do with being a Dad but, hey, it's my Blog, right?
I can do what I want, right?


Don't ask me why but I'm in a bloody great mood.

Have a good one,
Reg :-)

Montag, 11. Mai 2009

Spent the whole weekend laying the slabs for the patio wood to rest on.
I used three spirit levels, string, cement and a lot of cursing; my wife has learnt quite a few new words over the last couple of days.

Then this morning was early shift. Alarm set for 0430 and then off to work with a song on my lips and a whistle in my heart… really must see the doctor about that.

Now I'm about to spend the next couple of hours with mister Spirit level and friends… My life is such a joy., I'm so happy we built a house and didn't buy ready-made…
Yeah, and that's it.
So bring on the back ache, it's mix that cement time again…
No writing done but plenty, and I mean PLENTY of ideas.
I've had a great idea for a new book too, but it'll have to wait.
Whatever, where's that spade...
Reg :-(

Donnerstag, 7. Mai 2009

… and it didn't stop there!
The next day I received an email from the (very nice) lady who answered my call, to tell me where my MS actually was in the great scheme of things.
Now you could say I'm being overly grateful, maybe even to the point of stomach churning obsequiousness?
However, I think not; for my experience of the literary world is one of, not dog eat dog, but blue whale swallows plankton.
So this email was like a civility bolt out of an endlessly unavailable blue, an experience sadly lacking in my catalogue of agent/publisher communication. Hence my good humour today. :-))
I even saw the word, "Thanks" in there somewhere!!!

Well, whatever, I thought it was nice.
'Nuff said.

I seem to have struck an iceberg.
I've had some great ideas for short stories; and I mean ideas that have had me sit up in bed in the wee silent hours, noiselessly mouthing the word, "Wow" to myself.
But I just don't seem to have had the time recently to sit down and work them out.
This situation sucks, to be honest.
However, I've set myself a deadline. I'm to be rid of all my household jobs and projects by a certain date, so as to then spend a couple of months getting back into the swing of things.

"H" Hour is midnight, on January the first, 2015.
Then watch out Short Story City, I'm coming to getchya !

Just joshing, have a nice day.
Reg :-)

Montag, 4. Mai 2009

I just spent the weekend in Paderborn.
The band I write lyrics for held a listening session at the studio where they recorded their CD.
The press were invited and certain close friends of the band. Drinks and food were laid on and all in all it was a very nice day.
The evening was taken up by a gig, which entailed lots of free beer, loud music and slurred speach, lol.
I spent the night at my mate's Irish pub, Limerick's in Paderborn; more free booze, loud music and slurred speach. I've turned into such a freeloading lush... I hate myself, I really do. :-)
The CD has turned out spectacularly well and I'm very proud to be associated with it, very proud indeed. The band won't be playing Top of the Pops in the near future, but they will enjoy a measure of success with it that I could only dream about when I was beating the skins in a band… all those many years ago, lol.

Then, today, I did the unthinkable.
I phoned up the publishers and asked them if they actually send rejections out or if there's some kind of time limit as to when I should consider my manuscript unwanted.
Well, the lady on the other end was very nice and told me that they haven't actually started reading the December manuscripts.
So basically I'll just have to wait. Fair one.
They must really read everything, which is a good sign in itself, thinketh I.
Mmmm, I seem to be reading portends and promises into everything nowadays.
You know what? I think I'll pop out to slay a goat and check its innards for any more signs and augurs…

Have a good one.
Reg :-)