There are times when a poet must make a stand and say, “This has happened without my cognisance and I will not accept it!” Today has not been the best of days. Today I got a note from a patron. Common enough, especially from her, as she was always quick to praise, swift to encourage. But today the note had a bitter flavour. She was sitting awaiting death. A week? Longer?
And what can a poet do? A poet can protest, a poet can stand tall and say firmly that this will not do. A poet can bang the table with his wine glass obvious of the fact it has shattered and the pieces lie glistening but incoherent, shards of dreams never now to be dreamt.
Others have known Sue for longer than I, others will doubtless feel the grief more keenly, will mourn longer, but my job as a…
As predicted, the public’s response to my latest novella The Forgotten Peoplebeing published, is practically non existant! This is the reality today. No one wants to read any more! We who don’t hide our heads in the sand, unlike the vast majority of writers today, have known about and followed, each and every subtle move towards this eventuality for some time now (in effect for almost three years).
Now knowing what I know, it should come as no surprise that hardly anyone has even bothered to use Amazon’s ‘Look Inside‘ feature to see what its all about. To date just four copies have been bought. Even the ‘I want it free’ brigade to all intent and purpose, didn’t bother. Only eighteen free copies were grabbed. Nor are the pages being read. How do I know? Simple – the Pages Read section on KDP is nil for The Forgotten People!
Hardly an auspicious start, according to my fellow published scifi author, Richard Dee, for what is ‘a clever premise and one that deserves at least as much attention as any other theory’. Then again, what the hell do we know – we only come up with these ideas and write them down for you to read! Oh wait a minute, I keep forgetting, according to you lot reading is no longer cool – right!!
PS – If your conscience is bothering you (which at best is highly doubtful these days), to buy a copy on Amazon.com, click on the upper red link, or Amazon.UK on the lower one.
Yet again the reading public has let me down, which means in simple terms I’m not a happy bunny.
Today Greece celebrates 200 years of her declaration of the War of Independence, which freed the country from 4 centuries of Ottoman rule. The Greek Revolution was waged between 1821 and 1830 by Greek revolutionaries against the Ottoman Empire. The Greeks were assisted in their efforts by Great Britain, France and Russia, while the Ottomans were aided by their North African vassals, particularly the eyalet of Egypt.
The start of the revolution. Photo: Benaki Museum
The annual national holiday of March 25th, despite being marred by coronavirus restrictions, is being touted as a new starting point after a very difficult decade. Years of painful austerity drove the country deep into poverty, making one in two young Greeks unemployed and forcing more than half a million people to leave the country to find work abroad. No sooner had the economy started to recover, than the coronavirus pandemic hit and Greece slipped…
Good question? What is next for me? I always get like this once the book I’ve put my heart and soul into for many weeks, sometimes months, is finally published and waiting to be found, read and reviewed by you.
To be honest at the moment I’m not sure what’s next for me – many weeks reading is one thing I’m definite about. After all, out of reading other writer’s work come inklings for a future book. Those of you who have followed me from day one know that my number one literary passion is Science Fiction. Maybe I’ll write another, maybe not.
For those of you who have already bought and read my latest The Forgotten Peoplethe idea for it came from a strange thought that occurred a few months ago when I was reading about early mankind – where did we come from? I firmly believe that we are not another branch of the large Simian family as many scientists and scholars claim. The facts simply don’t stack up against the so-called evidence gathered, for them to make their wild assertion! In other words, what no academic can definitely say, simply because there is no categoric proof, is that we are descended from apes. My theory in The Forgotten People about us being created as an experiment that went drastically wrong by a superior humanoid race makes far more sense. One thing I point out in the novella is why is it that no academic has ever found out why the cultured Sumerians suddenly appear soon after the European looking Egyptians who ruled over Egypt’s largely arabic population die out? Come to think of it, where did they come from in the first place???
PS – I can’t speak for my fellow writers, but I always feel drained after I’ve finished writing and publishing a book, which is what I’m feeling right now…
Readers here in the UK – click on the red link above to purchase my latest book The Forgotten People and see if you agree with my ideas. As for the rest of you, you’ll find it at the Amazon site you use. Just type in my name and the novella’s title.
Today is the beginning of Spring, accurately at 10.37 AM! I know it because at the same time begins the Persian new year. In the Islamic/Persian calendar, it is the year 1400. And in the old kingdom calendar, it is ca. 2570. The Islamic/Persian date begins with the Hijrat (move or escape) of Muhammad, the prophet, from Makkah to Madinah. And the only difference with the Arabic calendar is that the Arabs count their time lunar and not solar.
But we could have another date, namely from the beginning of the Persian empire, 550 BC. Therefore, I had added an astronomical year, may someone give any prize!
Actually, I don’t care much about it. It is the beginning of Spring, and it is the point! Although, by the way, I’m in a twilight feeling, at the same time, I have a funeral case behind me…
In my haste to get my latest novella – The Forgotten People, noticed. I seriously contemplated doing business with one of the many online book promoters that try to sign you up for a fee. Thankfully I came to my senses. While many of them sound plausible, they’re anything but! I began to fill in the ‘sign up’ form of the one I’d chosen. After all whats $15 these days? Nothing, providing they promote the living daylights out of my novella to the right readership. Then I regained my common sense and stopped what I was doing!
In the twenty-six years I’ve been in the writing game, never before have I contemplated paid promotion – not once. So why do it now? Out of sheer desperation is the reason! Too many books fail because of Amazon’s Algorithm, designed to bury a book within a fortnight. Unless it is immediately bought in the thousands, The Forgotten People is destined for Amazon’s equivalent of a literary garbage dump! The algorithm doesn’t give a damn about how much work has gone into writing any given book, it just cycles each one quickly and efficiently away from the public’s gaze! Unfortunately until Amazon relent and actively advertise all e-books, not just those penned by well known authors, but also Independants like myself, the algorithm will contine to commit literary genocide!
Anyone who signs up with these money grubbers needs to realise, the only ones who benefit financially are them, not you! The same applies to paying someone to create a spectacular cover. I did that once only. The book in question – Celeste, never sold enough copies to recoup the £120 I spent on the cover! Don’t get me wrong its a beautiful cover, but…
At least if and when someone buys a copy of my latest , I’m making money. Peanuts I grant you. But it belongs to me and not some fat cat getting rich at my expense!
Everyone, who has been teaching for many years now, knows how learning has changed, since we started. We are now requested to be entertaining, dynamic, technological and on this purpose we are continuously overwhelmed by new educational theories in a sort of didactic frenzy. Another thing I keep observing every year is that school books have become way less extensive than they used to be with a great deals of patterns, photos and alluring covers. When I was a high school student, schoolbooks were made of words only, dull and the very few pictures were usually/unfortunately placed at the very end of the book, so when we had a daily assignment of twenty pages, twenty meant twenty, no discount.
Books nowadays are 50% made of pictures. Learning must have a visual and quick impact to catch the students’ interest, who actually strain in being focused for more than 20 minutes…
At last the two day ‘giveaway’ is over. Unlike previous ones, this one clearly demonstrated the fact to anyone in our industry, the current apathy towards the written word. Not long ago, how many free copies were being taken was a rough indicator of how well a new book was likely being recieved. No longer. The final count is eighteen! So far its recieved just two four star reviews, both singing its praises from individuals who actually bought a copy. If any of the individuals who got themselves a free copy bother to review it positively, if at all, I’m not being cynical when I say – I’ll believe it when I see it! No. It’s a clear sign of the movement away from the written word in recent years. A sad day for mankind!
If you do buy a copy, and more importantly – enjoy it enough to want to review it, I thank you. Without reviews we writers can’t gauge how well a book has been recieved by you, that rare breed these days – the reading public.
PS – one copy was reviewed on Amazon.com yesterday by an American who complained about the spelling. Why? Because I use English spelling, not American. There is always one ignoramus! The last time I was told I didn’t know how to spell was several years ago. In that instance by an American English teacher! I felt sorry for his pupils being taught bastardized English based on a now largely unused West Country dialect, the language of the Pilgrim Fathers in the 16th century!!
For around five years, I posted a haiku every night at midnight.
I like the constraint of the seventeen syllables of the classic ‘haiku in English’, exploring brevity to capture multiple layers of meaning. I like the discipline of writing at least one poem a day… for a poem demands engagement from a different part of the mind than a factual or opinion piece, even though a poem may be both. And I like the personal challenge I set myself most days, of dredging up a random photo from the tens of thousands on my computer and writing the haiku about that photo without argument.
I do rather miss writing them now. So, instead, I put a year’s worth of them into a book. It was curious to see how they worked together, running into each other and illuminating the ideas each poem held.
Here’s food for thought. The notion of how I would like to be remembered surfaced the other day from among the morass of thoughts that is my mind. I took it a stage further. If I had an epitaph, what would it be?
Always assuming of course that someone has the presence of mind to erect a head stone over my grave, apart from my name, age, dates of birth and death, the one thing I would like to have engraved below all of that, quite simply is this;
He was not politically correct, neither did he suffer fools gladly
Most people who know me personally would agree with those sentiments. How about your epitaph, what would it read?