When I was a young girl I used to go to the library with my mother and she let me take out books on her library card but this one particular library trip when I think I was about eight or nine, she wanted to take out a lot of books and so did I. We were standing at the desk and the librarian was watching us and my mother said to me as I stood there with a stack of books in my arms, “I think you’ll have to put some of those back.”
Understandably my face fell and the watching librarian said to me, “Why don’t you take out a library card of your own and then you can take out all those books?”
I felt like I’d been given the keys to paradise and I remember being really excited. I remember it being one of the most exciting events in my childhood and certainly something I have never regretted.
So what about you? When did you get into libraries?
This is a poem I wrote a while ago. Using it now is probably wishful thinking as the last few days have been so hot I would actually welcome a bit of cooling rain right now.
Curtain of water,
Familiar blanket of wetness,
Grey skied creator of puddles,
Stealer of the sun;
Drowning warmth in your cold dampness,
Sliding over the street and dripping from drainpipes.
Playing on the ground.
The advantage of living in Bath, apart from all the wonderful eighteenth century architecture, is that there are lots of great attractions here. Just one of them is the Jane Austen Museum. The house it is in is not actually the house Jane herself lived in but it is almost exactly the same as the house Jane lived in was only about two doors up the street and the layout inside is identical.
The first photo is of a sort of writing table that Jane Austen might have used. The second photo (who is that elegant woman?) is me wearing eighteenth century type clothes. And the third photo was taken on a day when the Jane Austen Society in Bath all dress up in period clothing and have a parade in Bath. I only found about this by accident. When I first saw them all, I thought it was a film set (not unusual in Bath).
It wasn’t until I asked someone that they told me. Everyone looked much more elegant than I did because my photo was just a quick snap taken inside the museum whereas they had all made their own costumes and lavished a great deal of time and effort on looking the part. I think they all look wonderful!
I’m never sure how much to share of my work in progress on my blog. I worry about boring people with it so by the time I’ve finished they’ll be already sick to death of it and then I worry about other people stealing my ideas. And there’s the problem of how much to share and how often. Surely no-one want’s to know every time you move a comma but if you start talking to people about the work you’re doing then when do you stop.
I’ve decided to experiment a bit with this idea and so in this post I’m including the first four pages of my current novel of which the working title is Dead in the Water. Bear in mind it’s only a first draft.
Dead in the Water
There was no moon that night which made the stars look bigger and brighter than Patrick Ryan had ever seen them. He felt as if he could reach up with his hand and pull them all down one by one.
“You idiot” he said out loud shaking his head.
“Talking to yourself Paddy; it’s the first sign of madness.”
Patrick looked round to see Captain George Morrison looking at him with that huge grin on his face.
“You shouldn’t sneak up on people like that Captain; it’s not polite” Patrick complained.
“I’m not polite” the Captain said.
“You got that right” Patrick agreed sending his cigarette stub over the rail in a tiny arc of fire.
The ship’s engines throbbed their endless refrain; the sea was as smooth as a mirror as the huge oil tanker nosed its way through the Indian Ocean. With the coast of Somalia only a few thousand miles away, piracy was a real danger in these waters. Patrick lifted his binoculars and scanned the surrounding water but saw nothing.
“Keep watching” the Captain said as he slapped Patrick on the back nearly knocking him off his feet. “We don’t want to lose another security guard.”
Patrick grunted by way of a response. The incident eight days ago had rattled everybody’s nerves. A group of Somali pirates had attempted to board the tanker but fortunately the state of the art radar system and the armed security guards paid for by the Arab sheiks had been enough to beat them off but not before one security guard had been shot and two of the pirates had been killed. It had been the Captain’s decision to post some lookouts on deck just in case the radar missed anything. It was an unpopular job, keeping watch because it was boring and dangerous at the same time but no-one complained.
Ducking his head Captain Morrison went through the hatch and climbed up a ladder to reach the bridge. The first officer, Richard Bradley, was checking the weather systems on the computer.
“All sunshine and smiles” he said as the Captain came over.
“At least the weather’s good” the Captain replied. “Nothing on the radar?”
“No Sir” said the crypto logic technician who was sat in front of the screen.
“I’m just going for a coffee; take over Number One” the Captain said.
The Captain left the bridge and went down the corridor, ducking his head through the hatch that led to the canteen. The men all leapt to attention when they saw him.
“At ease” the Captain said.
The men returned to their meals. The captain signalled to the cook, Davy Pratchett, known as Crockett, to all the crew, to get him a coffee.
“One double espresso coming up.”
“I hope Bug-eyes is paying attention” Crockett said.
The Captain smiled, knowing that Bug-eyes was the nickname of the Crypto Logic Technician.
“He’d better be or he’s going to be feeling my foot on the seat of his pants.”
“I have no doubt of it Captain.”
The men who were off duty were playing cards, reading or sleeping in their bunks but the Captain could sense a restlessness in the air. It was like the electricity before a storm and it was making everyone nervous.
The first officer’s voice came over the intercom.
“Battle stations; incoming.”
There was a flurry of movement as meals, drinks and cards were abandoned. The Captain raced for the Bridge.
“Situation report” he barked.
“A small unidentified vessel approaching 25 degrees, port side” Bug-eyes said.
“Get the security on deck, all of them! Hail the oncoming vessel.”
The communications officer tried to establish contact but no-one answered.
“Fire a flare, light them up” the Captain ordered. “Keep trying on the radio.”
“The security are saying they can see shapes but nothing definite; they’re awaiting your orders Sir” the Number One said.
“Anything on the coms?”
“Security say that the flare shows a group of people in what looks like a dinghy; they appear to be wearing dark clothes and look as if they’re attempting to board; they want to know whether to open fire.”
“If they try to board then tell them to shoot.”
Only the beeping of the radio and the voice of the Communications officer could be heard. Then there was a crackle of gunfire. Then silence.
“Status report?” the Captain said.
The Chief Security Officer came on the intercom “Captain I think you’d better come down.”
“On my way.”
On the deck were a group of people. There was a young man shouting “What have you done?” A young woman was crying and there was a body of another woman lying on the deck. Her balaclava had been pulled off and her blond hair streamed around her face; she looked about eighteen and she was undoubtedly dead. A camera tripod was still gripped in her left hand.
“What the hell?” the Captain said.
“Murderers! Fascists!” the other young woman threw her self at the Captain.
“Who are these people? What is going on?” the Captain asked.
“EAA Sir” the Chief Security Officer replied. “We thought she was carrying a gun.”
The young man confronted the Captain.
“We are the Environmental Action Agency committed to saving the environment by direct action. You’re just not going to save the planet with a leaflet campaign. Our aims are…”
“Put these people in the brig”, the Captain said.
“You have no right. I know my rights. I want a lawyer. This is false imprisonment” the young man in charge yelled. The other five in the group murmured their agreement.
The Captain just walked away. He turned back.
“See she’s taken care off”, he nodded in the direction of the body.
Hooray! The brilliant news is that I have self-published another book on Amazon, bringing my grand total of works available to three! My lovely shining new book on numerology is for sale at the extremely reasonable price of 99 cents or 77 pence. It’s only a short book which is why I’m selling it at such a good price. This is a fabulous wonderful momentous book and I should know because I wrote it! (LOL).
Have taken a short break from writing so since finishing “Numerology for Daily Life” I haven’t written anything for a few days. Am finally getting back into the reading again which is good. Have renewed my library books and been for a dentist appointment. Not a lot else going on in my life.
Oh the scaffolding has been put up and the builders are coming back next week to start repairing our roof.
Am I am still spending too much time on Facebook but that seems to be the way it is right now.
Well back to the grindstone! Have started typing up the Christopher Lee interview for the book that lovely hubby and I are doing together. Have started (yesterday) on my Basics of Astrology book. So the writing part of my goals is going pretty well. I’m aiming for consistency of effort rather than huge word counts and hours at the keyboard. As long as I’m working towards my goals every day then it doesn’t matter too much how many (or how few) hours/words I do.
Have put my new numerology book on Amazon’s KDP. So the putting my work out there goal is doing well. Had a few problems with the cover which involved a great deal of swearing and intervention from lovely hubby but I think (!) its all fixed now. The book isn’t live yet and I won’t really be able to tell how it’s worked until it is.
The reading is progressing very slowly because I keep buying more books or borrowing more from the library which means although I’m reaing all the time my ‘to be read’ pile isn’t getting any smaller.
Still spending too much time on Facebook so no change there.
Firstly I have almost finsihed my numerology book. I wrote twelve thousand words of it in January which I’m pretty pleased with. Then I finished (successfully) the Ultimate Blogger Challenge. I posted a new blog post every single day in January so I’m pleased I managed to do that. I will be blogging less because a) blogging every day is a bit of a bind b) I was running out of things to say and c) I have other writing projects that are more important to me.
The reading is still a bit slower than I’d like but its coming along so I should probably stop fussing over it.
As far as putting my work out into the world goes, well I haven’t specifically put any more work out but I’m always moaning about how crap I am at marketing and how much I hate it. Well lovely hubby googled my name and between us we found four and a half pages of stuff about me! I was gobsmacked! There’s my blog, my Facebook page, some reviews I’ve done on Good Reads, blog posts I’ve done for other people; there’s just loads of it! I’m always saying that I can’t build an author platform and I can’t manage to make myself a brand and I seem to have done it without even knowing I’d done it!
Done a few more pages on my numerology book. Haven’t been reading most of my library books and have realised that I don’t like at least two of them so will probably be taking them back unread. I use the library as a testing ground for books and authors I don’t normally read and sometimes I find great new things and sometimes I don’t.
Haven’t put any new work out and am still spending too much time on Facebook.
Got some very sad news from my mother today. She e-mailed me to say that her cat Littley had to be put down. The poor thing had cancer, she had two huge tumours, one in her throat and one in her tummy. She will be much missed.