Starting Out…. Yet again….Journeys, Triumphs and Mishaps

So, here we go a variation of a theme…No that doesn’t read right….Just give me a moment…..

If anyone has read the older blogs, as stated in the previous blog… a change of direction….(I suppose that’s one way of putting it, reads like a bit like I’m re-launching a public company, but it will have to suffice for the present)

My fantasy world…..Pardon?…..No! Not that sort of fantasy world! I meant the one I created for my novels! It seemed to be quite a solid platform to work with, leastways some folk have said. Thus shame to let it go to waste, time to see if it works in a serious novel.

This will be about the sort of challenges a writer of little or no success gets into when they face up to the fact that a new road needs to be taken. You’ll read something about the book I’m working on, but hopefully I will be able to concentrate more on those problems such as character development, structure of the narrative, continuity, spilling….err…spelling (c’mon work with me Spell Checker!) and other facets I’ve not yet thought of but are bound to surface.

Just to clarify this work is a Fantasy Novel but if you don’t care for the genre stick with the blog because, to confirm it will be about writing and being a writer.

Being singularly unsuccessful can sometimes be an advantage; after all if you are in the same position, then it’s nice to know you are not alone, isn’t it? One other quirk of an advantage here is that if  as you are reading you begin to think ‘That doesn’t make sense’, then that’s fine, someone else’s mistakes are better than your own. If you experience that sensation then feel free to take a look at someone else’s more successful blog, make comparisons and take note (literally- memory can be fickle)

Ok, good place to end this post.

Best wishes to all. Keep on keeping on.

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Chill Winds Refresh

Ok, so starting a blog was another attempt to push my trilogy of Fantasy Books into the public domain.

The idea being to produce these surrealistic part imagined, part fact-based fictional events which readers would find either compellingly odd, strangely funny, or knowingly filled with the truths all to well-known to writers and thus raise my profile and thus make my work known to all

Errrr….didn’t seem to work, well judging by WordPress stats page anyway and no comments. Well with thousands of new blogs turning up, guess that was a risk. And then there was the reading of established blogs; first response being….eeeeek! How do you compete with that?

Then there was the plucking up of courage and showing the books to the harsh light of professional review, and whoops…..Lots of potential but also lots of work to do too…..In fact start from scratch time. (Then there was a UK wide book chain not being able to allow me to sell my books at their store, and getting the short stories based on my books rejected so fast they had cyber friction burns)

So hacking away at this project for something like 15 years and should I give up because of a little thing such as no progress?

Hell no!

There is something which can be quite exhilarating about failing to meet your wishes. In the first case giving it a try and not succeeding is better than not trying at all. Next it’s a question of picking up on the positive; I have been told I have a good imagination; now if you are writing fiction what could be better? (Probably works for those who write non-fiction books of the predictive sort too) The foundation (no, not that Foundation!!) of the world was ok too; that’s nice to know, took me 15 years to get it right (there’s a religious analogy there somewhere, but this an’t place to start on that road!).

Also there’s the age issue, approaching 65 and all. Well, we have to face up to the idea that I am not half-way through my life and time is sort of limited. THUS GET WORKING MAN!! TIME’S A’GOING!!!

So it’s time to let go of the weird blogs and let the dear three volumes sit there with their ISBN numbers in glorious but unknown immortality and on with the serious side of the same project.

And this time read other fantasy writers, not to copy but to learn. But I hate to learn from others because I have my own style and what do they know about that, and…..(pause for breath and medication……)

Oh yes, of course, they are published. (Note to myself- stop ranting an’ get writing.)

If anyone reads this one…..Keep on keeping on….

PS: I quite like Brandon Sanderson’s work.

A Sojourn of Dignity Through Rejection of Another Story

Ah me, another rejection.

This one came back much quicker than usual; within 24 hours. I quickly took comfort in the story of Frank Zappa passing a place where the then unknown Alice Cooper were playing; the audience were streaming out, apparently Zappa was impressed; if a band could cause that reaction they must be worth looking at. But there for many obvious reasons, the least of all being that I am not a performance artist,(unless watching political news on tv) the comparison must end.

It was time of course to once more take the whole business in a solid, mature and dignified way. To re-appraise my style and structure in comparison to other writers. Thus I sought out a few fantasy novels at a local charity shop; for a start the money would be going to a worthy cause. It was then time to consider and compare; constructively.

My wife said she was all for constructive analysis and response, but there was no way she was going to allow me to replace our stock of toilet rolls with glued together pages from fantasy novels. I reflected that maybe my response was a measure too subjective. Perhaps I needed to consider character construction.

Her response was that my wish to indulge in a vigorous folk dance on two books lacked credibility both social and cultural, even when I claimed I was emphasising with the anger felt by the central characters.

Thus realising that my endeavours with other writers’ works was not going to be profitable I turned to honing my own writing skills.

Working on the basis that an intense period of stream of consciousness writing would be profitable in clearing out a slough of rejection, I visited some discussion sites, religious and political

There I commenced to support the opposite view to the prevailing one, not responding to any abuse or challenges, but in a dread kindly tone continuing to expound whatever came into my head and spreading apoplexy.

Feeling a little better and returned in more positive frame of mind to the question of failure to be published.

While reflecting on this, I took a card model I had made of a city building, and placed upon it a plaque with the name of a well-knowing publisher. Then set fire to it, considering the patterns and montage of colours in the flames and by this relaxing.

Still feeling some residual tension I considered some physical exercises would be beneficial. I achieved this by various facial contortions, including extensions of tongue and loud noises. So eager to do this I had quite forgotten my computer was on and displaying a montage of well-known writers, to which my contortions were being accidentally directed.

All that was needed now was by using one of my five alternative web-site identities,  I visited a few literary sites and posted inflammatory and highly critical reviews of recently deemed popular and well received books. I justifiably felt some contrast and tension was required in the debate. Considering I had not read any of the books I was very pleased with my work as true inspiration and free-thought.

And so with dignity intact and self-esteem renewed, to bed with happy thoughts on my next writing project.

The Freedom of Being a Bad Writer

One of the good things about being a bad writer is, as previously discussed, very few people will read you, now and make comments that will distress and discourage you, so that your words may be preserved for posterity (also previously discussed). Thus the following……

First manned flight

It is normally assumed that….

Wright Brothers- made the first sustained, controlled, powered heavier-than-air manned flight at Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina, four miles (8 km) south of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina on December 17, 1903. (3 flights between 120 & 200 feet)

But…..

A journal named an August 1901 flight by Connecticut aviation pioneer Gustave Whitehead as the first successful powered flight in history, beating the Wright Brothers by more than two years. (Also there’s no filmed evidence; only a newspaper article and as we know newspapers aren’t always accurate- but I suppose the journal in the spirit of solidarity with another published journal of 1901 felt inclined to make that statement)

And some will point out….

On Oct. 15, 1783, the Montgolfiers brothers launched a balloon on a tether with Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, a chemistry and physics teacher, as the passenger. In that era, nobody knew if a person could withstand the rigors of being up in the air…I have to asked, therefore was Jean-Francois a willing passenger or was he knocked over the head, tied up and dumped in the basket…maybe in previous years he had marked down a young Montgolfier’s homework

While others great really het-up about the Wright Brothers …(quote from a website)

“The Wright Brothers’ achievement is sometimes erroneously (emotive word-obviously someone has strong feelings on the subject) “the first powered flight.” Even that’s disputed. (wow!-hang on folks here it comes….) The first powered flight was Henri Giffard’s steam-powered airship (image below) in 1852. On Sept. 24, 1852, Giffard traveled almost 17 miles (27 kilometers) from Paris to Trappes moving at about 6 miles per hour (10 kilometers/hour). His airship could be steered only in calm weather though. In wind, it could fly only in slow circles.”

(yeh fair comment on the flight bit, but suppose you did not want to fly in circles-it’s hardly a commercial prospect, or a good sound basis for lambasting the Wrights who at least went in a straight line in rough December weather)

And apparently Clément Ader went half the length of a football field (I cannot confirm if this was a European soccer field or an American Football field)  on a bat-winged setup that many view as the first manned, powered, heavier-than-air flight in 1890. (well that might have an attraction in Gotham City….)….and it should be pointed out he claimed he flew 330 feet, doesn’t seem anyone was interested- you’d have thought someone would have noticed a bat winged craft somewhere above the roof tops of Paris.

Well that’s all very interesting but no one ever takes into account any folk who (for one reason or another) made tremendous leaps from one high place to another, or in some cases attempts at leaps from one high place to another. I mean, after all it is moving through the air, and not touching the ground, unless of course they didn’t quite reach where they were intending to go, but that’s just being picky if you ask me.

And there was an intention to move through the air from one point to another, while a leap is a sort of power.

So if you ask me, (again, that is assuming someone is reading this) these claims have to be put in an historical perspective, and as with so many cases in history, the matter is open to interpretation.

So Who Cares? No One Is Reading. The Freedom of Obscurity

Let’s Look On The Positive Side of Obscurity

Now let us be honest. Right. So let me be honest. No one is reading this blog; in the present that is, it is therefore a blog for the future. This gives me a great deal of freedom, as I do not have to worry about self-censorship or backlashes from any groups that were offended by something they read on the blog and are now cyber-heckling me. Nor do I need to worry about any legal action from any commercial concern; if folk who read blogs for entertainment are not going to read it, then why should I worry about commercial concerns with far more important things to do, such as making a profit or failing that a loss which they can shift onto some hapless soul who is not too swift on economics. Or cause even more pressure by expecting to be entertained, informed or enlightened by every blog.

So free of such constraints I am going to take my UK stand against commercial companies who send out junk mail in brown envelopes. For those who live elsewhere, it has been a decades old tradition that correspondence from central or local government should always be sent in brown envelopes. So if a UK citizen sees a brown envelope lying upon the doormat, then they have to prepare themselves for a dose of Officialdom.

But now in a sneaky attempt to get us to read things we don’t care to commercial outfits are sending their tawdry items in brown envelopes in the hope that we will unsuspectingly open them and be caught by snare of their words.

Well let me tell you Sneaky Company as far as I am concerned you take your product and imitate the actions of a suppository with it! How dare you try and use the noble brown envelope for such shabby business. If I had wanted your products I would have sought them out on the net! –

Ha!!

(Y’see any popular blogger would have to spend such a long time worrying about how to present that. Not me. Because no one is reading my blogs. Ha-ah! I am free to say just what I like and it is persevered for….errrr…well it is preserved!)

You see there are benefits to being totally unknown!

Things to Do While Waiting for Success (2- Perspective and the Future)

Ok, so nothing is happening to your work, and no one seems to care. There you are with your BLOG and your FACEBOOK account AND your TWITTER (thing?), with a #; but the only person who visits is yourself when you check just what you wrote last night (or three weeks ago, if you had been in a SFW mood).

It is therefore time to consider your work in the context of Human History, after all there will always be someone trying to find out just what ‘we’ were getting up to, during the ‘Past’ (or ‘Present’). Now since the vast amount of written work on paper will be lost, torn, burnt or shredded, any future historian will be so excited when they find a few bits of paper, from ‘long ago’, the more obscure the better. For an obscure person of today is the ‘Common Person’ of tomorrow and the voice of the ordinary person; just the sort the historians like to find.

Now it is very important that if you should wish to take part in this sure-fire way of gaining immortality, it is important to get a print-out of everything you have on the cyber world, because it is possible that (a) Civilisation will crash and how to make the stupid things from the 20th/21st centuries to work properly has been lost OR (b). Civilisation will not crash, but the computer technology will be so advanced that it will not be able to read such primitive stuff and in true programme fashion refuses to co-operate in any attempt to do so OR (c) A.I will flourish and the A.I community will calculate that no one in The Modern Era will be interested in the sort of stuff recorded in the 20th/21st centuries and wipe it clear to make room for the more important modern stuff.

So with this in mind get a good strong container, carefully wrap all your work within several air tight layers and seal it, then having filled a box (Oh come on you must be able to fill a box with your work; as an unsuccessful writer you should have a goodly collection of papers); prepare to fill another one. Thus will all your work be preserved!

Now at this stage before you get too carried away, you will need to plan where you will have your work stored, when you are part of history. Also you should ensure you have started to keep a diary as this will be essential for an Historian when studying the Common Person.

I tell you, it’s a certain way to gain immortality!

On Getting Noticed- As A Writer that is

While we are all thinking about ways to encourage ourselves during the long lean period of waiting to be recognised (see post 20th July 2015) it is worthwhile wondering about the strategies on how to be noticed. Of course there are many wise and helpful hints on how to do this. However in a realms where the blogs and tweets are as numerous as the stars in sky getting noticed about anything is hard work, never mind the circumstance of having to make people think they want to read your book (Oh yes, that’s what you are trying to do, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise; the niches and the genres are as full as a commuter transport device during the rush-hour and you are struggling for at least elbow room).

There are stratagems which although might not have been successful are worthy of comment for their heroic scope in determination and imagination.

  1. Standley Bunchberry:-a person who struck his impressionable teens during the 1960s and opted for the angry, brooding, sardonic personae really got into his stride by the turn of the millennium by gaining access to an empty building opposite a bookshop on the day a much touted and commercially sound author had their latest release. Standley with a hundred copies of  (by his own admission) his masterpiece ‘Breaking Scones at The Bus Shelter’ threw out copies of the said work while crying loudly ‘Save You Money, and your Intellect! Read this!’ He’d failed to remember that the avant-garde of the late 1960s-1970s with its intention to shock and surprise both physically and mentally had faded from the population, in particular the physical bit. People who had grown up with that had got older and thus tetchy. Younger people objected to having their personal space intruded upon by 200+ bound pages.Everyone had something, not very favourable to say about it. Although he realised early on that in the name of art the crowd were not likely to stop the police stopping him, he quit, leaving his books behind. He was obliged to change his name, hair colouring and location to avoid the authorities, those struck or nearly struck by the books and also the few who had actually read some of the said work.

2. Curdley Hollinbrou: decided one needed to stand out, and managed to take a mundane route. He firstly changed his name to Plain John Smith, and people kept misunderstanding  by thinking he was making reference to his name and so recorded  him as John Smith and his submissions were confused with thousand of others by folk who were using the name same literally or ironically. He then changed it to Not Henry Jones and offended several people in the publishing industry either with that name or had close associations with a Henry Jones and wanted to know just why he did not want to be known as Henry Jones, which flustered him a little and as his style of explaining irony was not very effective he just came across as someone who objected to the name with such a vehemence that he wished the world to know about it. He finally settled on K. Henning. Bradspie; people wanted to know why he had punctuation in his name, he said he hadn’t noticed, it did not leave a good impression, but he stuck with the name and opted for writing works with very odd titles. ‘Under The Florid Visage  of The Lock Keeper’s Daughter’ failed because he could not get beyond the title. ‘Looking for Bunchberry and Other Recipes’ an internet serving only served to get him hit in the face by a total stranger who said ‘leave me alone’. ‘Uncle Soloventure’s Last Ice Cream’  was sent to a possible publisher wherein sat a sub-editor of a compassionate nature who misconstrued the metaphor and ‘K’ was visited by the police and social services who both expressed concern for his mental stability and potential for self-harm. After this he turned his skill to criticism and now spends his time long, involved and disgruntled reviews on Amazon which no one understands, much less feels inclined to comment on.

3. Harriet Jasmine Lentil. Upon deciding that  she was wasting her time with publishers, agents and other such stuff took to self-publishing on a grand scale. As there is no one to stop her, she has currently accumulated a catalogue of some 53 books, covering such subjects as Cooking: ‘Shrimps and Mashed Swedes in  Ten Ways’; Travelling: ’10 useless travel guides’ (not subject to court action as none has noticed it); Biographies :’ Beans and Gladstone’ Military History: ‘ Waterloo- Montgomery’s First Gamble’; Romance: ‘Pale As The Gooseberry Hairs’ and Action/Thriller: ‘Let Slip The Dogs That Chew’. She possesses 10 Facebook identities; has 3 Twitter accounts, 4 websites and contributes to 50 forums. Apparently not even trolls have noticed her. She views it all as Very Promising.

I am sure there is inspiration enough for everyone.

Things to Do While Waiting for Success (1-look what others say about not getting there)

It is all well and good reading accounts by folk who said they spent a number of years in obscurity before they became an overnight success I have no argument with these and wish them well.

It is also worthy for successful folk to feel that the right thing to do is to tell you there will be many disappointments but to persevere is the right thing; there is nothing quite like achievement to prove to be a soothing balm to the past.

These positive statements can be a bit of a pain at the time when one is in slough of despondency after another rejection.

What is actually needed are wise words which are of comfort for folk who are facing the fact that they might never, ever see their words have some popular acclaim. Such as:

“A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.” George Bernard Shaw. (Be fair that’s just the sort for thing you need to now, after all  what could be more noble than carrying on in the face of failure and having it endorsed by such as Shaw)

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Edisdon (Now that is just the one you need as the rejections pile up.)

So get onto the net and type in searches for Quotes on failure and ignore the smug ones put out by folk who want to step on someone and print out the most uplifting then stick the quotes to your writing machine.

In the next post we shall look at what ways we can invent of our own to staunch the urge to give up.

: The RaggedTrousered Philanthropists- by Robert Tressell was published in 1914, he died in 1911- lesson – you never know when your work will strike a chord

Lack of Success and subsequent Writer’s Block. Strategy and Tactics.

Well of course it is bound to happen. The struggling writer ends up with a few months’ worth of rejections and most ordinary folk begin to conclude that there is something wrong with their output in either substance, style, or both, or maybe because their pen-name is all wrong (Perhaps Prehenderghast Devilblade sounds better as a character?). Anyway the flow of creation grows sluggish and thence stagnant, and it is very depressing to be sitting there at a keyboard with the minutes seeping away and nothing but ‘There was…’ on the page. (Although though give Derryk his due, he did send that off to a poetry magazine, in the hope that someone might read something into it- apparently they didn’t)

One answer to this is to start off with the vaguest notion of a plot or even just an idea and then give way to the Stream of Consciousness approach to writing, not even bothering to wonder about structure or even content, just bang out the words as they flow from your mind, considering how the character might feel if you were the character and not someone who you thought might be the character…….. Think of the work as a loaf of bread, a number slices which individually looks small but placed in a wrapping has a substance which says unto the world ‘I Am Bread!’

And speaking of Bread I don’t know how things are in the rest of the world, but in the UK, when sliced bread came out first and developed we had Thin Sliced Bread and Medium Sliced Bread and finally Thick Sliced Bread, but gradually the Medium became the Thin and the Thick Became the Medium and thus did the manufactures lead into the realm of Extra Thick or Toasting Bread to make us think we were getting something extra!

‘Getting something extra. When we are just getting the same for a higher cost,’ Garnstang said bitterly and ground the half smoked cigarette into the pavement, noting with grim satisfaction the look of distain from the approaching young woman; he’d forced her out of her fashionably secure bubble to make her fashionably reactive pose’

Now you carry on like that for an hour or so, with a cup of favoured herbal brew at your side at that stage you should stop because you might be getting out of breath, or annoying another householder by the sound caused by the frantic tapping of the keyboard. Anyway you’ll have to go back to Spell-Check to make adjustments and also there will be time spent make dismissive noises at Word’s accusation of you using Reflexive Pronouns or Fragments.

You should then consider does this stand as a narrative or could you take portions and put them in other places or adds bits on. Taking the example above:

‘Think of work as a loaf of bread…..’ that could be said by another character desperately trying to find a way to justify their humdrum existence.

‘And speaking of bread….’ Could be amended to ‘Huh! Don’t’ get me started on Bread’ which could be spoken by a second character and adapted into their view on consumer society.

The other bit of Garnstang should stand as if is. One should always have a bitter character who is being obnoxious.

(In the 1950s- 1970s in the UK you couldn’t move for these types spitting out their bile or ‘earthy’ (moronic) views at hapless and passive other characters. Apparently all were metaphors for what was wrong with Society while the author missed the entire point that what was wrong was with the character themselves….Looser!! They seemed to be more nuanced these days and tend blame corporations, governments or small town social groups)

Anyway there you have the start of something, three disaffected folk in a town, there’s bound to be something you can do with that.

Annnddddd you’ve started writing again!!!

‘Who cares about those editors and agents! What to they know’ you say to yourself and stride forth once more on another venture and this time….It will be different!!

(Go writers! Go!!)

On Dealing With Rejection

By this I do not mean social or emotional. We are of course dealing with the day we get the notification our latest effort is not wanted. Of course it could argued that getting a letter from a publisher or literary agent which, no matter how they phrase it, says ‘Go Away and don’t bother us’ comes under both categories. That aside this missive contains suggestions on how to deal with the business; while maintaining the fiery independence which makes you the writer you are. (Yes I know the word ‘unpublished’ springs to mind, but let us not quibble with trifles at this juncture. We are seeking to maintain the small, slender flame of your will to carry on)

Emotional Responses

One should not be afraid of letting go, after all you have spent time crafting this, and who are these people NOT to appreciate the efforts which have gone into this work? Did they bother to read the whole depth and ponder on the underlying sub-texts and the subtle crafting of the interplays of imagery?  Did they? Huh-did they-huh? You get the idea don’t you?  So the important thing to do is to give vent to your feelings to work off the disappointment and not give way to woeful despondency and fall into the trap of thinking ‘Oh woe! What a pitiful creature am I! I should bother the world anymore with my scribblings?’  

A traditional approach is to grasp the letter firmly in both hands and tear it into small pieces, which can be dropped into a bin. This is slightly pedestrian in my opinion and is just the sort of thing the writer  of this rejection would expect and shrug over. Now some might say the pieces should be dropped into the toilet and flushed away, however being very domestic on this approach I would suggest writing paper or printer paper (if you had an e-mail) is not designed to be co-operative with lavatory mechanics and the bits will simply float there mockingly, now some might say this is fine because the next time you…..but no we shall not dwell any further, let’s look at more imaginative approaches.

With the letter firmly grasp(ed) growl with a passion and tear at it with your teeth, and spit the bits out into a bin (one must maintain a certain respect for hygiene).  True this may lack a certain dignity that some folk might look for, but others feel it can show the correct amount of justifiable rage the writer might feel. Swallowing the pieces is not recommended, apart from the possible disagreement with the digestive system, there is the metaphorical image of the writer ingesting, excreting  and thus taking to heart the words of the rejecter which is quite the opposite intention you wish to convey.

Now another: Carefully holding the letter with a suitable pair of tongs, set fire to it, ensuring the entire wretched thing is consumed in flames. The ashen remains should then be dropped to the floor and ground beneath your feet while you intone suitable epithets. I personally sing ‘Less than the dust beneath my chariot wheels art thou / More worthless than the used snuff are thee / Of more value is the fluff from the kitchen corner / Oh wretched purveyor of trite stuffs may gloom stalk thee everymore/ (By the way this practice should be carried on outside in the case of accidentally dropping the still burning paper will resultant distress. In addition grinding a burnt paper into a carpet or a kitchen floor will cause domestic upset as other people will not be that sympathetic with your distress.). I have thought about filming the event and posting it on YouTube or Facebook, but fate being what it is there is a chance of minor self-immolation and of course what self-respecting camera operating person would not hurry off leaving you in distress to promptly post a what they think unkindly as hilarious event on the Internet?

Methodical and Psychological.

An associate of mine, Phineas (it is his real name, and he has not spoken to his parents for many years now) a fellow of previous monumental output and matched in direction ratio by lack of success decided very early on that what was needed was to treat those who he began to see as the foe in like manner. So he collected and filed all of his rejection letters very carefully, while also noting with equal precision those submissions he did not receive a reply to.

After two years of careful preparation he released his revenge. Those who had sent letter received a letter from him; his letters varied in style and exact wording in response to the rejection letter, but followed a basic format. This was a rejection of their rejection in which he stated the failings in their rejection; he would cite insufficient information as to why they had rejected his work, or find errors in their use of English (to be fair to the publisher/ agent Phineas was using 19th Century rules of grammar which would bring a grim nod of approval from the stoniest of pedants of those times). He would then conclude that as they had shown failings in these areas he had to conclude they had not understood the body of his work and should (note not ‘would’ that was far too a submissive word for him in this mood) thus re-consider his submission. Much to his own grim and perverse satisfaction he never received a reply except for instances of the work returned with compliment slip bereft of comment. He would thus say ‘Ha! Typical!’  and go seeking out others to torment.

His downfall was when he came to tackle those who had not replied in the first place. He had set up a website called ‘Donotwasteyourtimewiththeseignorantfolk.com’ and listed each and every one stating the date he had posted submissions to them. There was the rather obvious failing that he had only sent submissions by postal services without making any arrangements for proof and receipt of the said work so burden of proof was hard, which might have been overlooked if he’d been a bit more diplomatic in the naming of his website. However the comments he made against each alleged recipient did in some cases positively leap over the bonds of libellous. Luckily for him as with most of us, his efforts were obscure and largely overlooked. Truth be known the only contact he had was from his brother-in-law who in addition to being a lawyer of some talent is very caring of the welfare of his young sister who had alerted him to her spouse’s current polemic. The contact as we say in the UK Civil Service covered the 3 Cs Clear, Concise and Correct, an e-mail which said ‘What the hell do you think you’re playing at???!!!’. Frantic phone calls and further more detailed correspondence explained possible civil action through the courts encouraged Phineas to shut down the site quickly, expunging its comments (well he hoped)

These days he restricts his literary efforts to genuine helpful hints on gardening forums for therein lies his true talents, in this he is happier, but occasionally he looks back to those heady times with touch of nostalgia.

It’s the most many of us can hope for. Bloodied but unbowed.

Here to make other writers feel good about their work