Challenges are opportunities for you to change.
When I first heard that I though “Yeah, well I’ve had my fair share of ‘em!” So, does that mean I’m some kind of chameleon?
Take this past week, for instance. Or even this past couple of days. I have made myself consciously aware of all that is going on as it is going on in my life. You know when you first learn to drive a car – you have to be conscious about all the little things that you’re doing. Mirror – Signal – Maneouvre – ABC (accelerator, brake, clutch – if it’s not an auto, of course) and all the rest. At first, when you start off, it’s all bumpy and jumpy and not a very pleasant ride. But eventually, you get the hang of it and it becomes natural, to the point when there comes the day, many years later, that you’re driving along not even thinking about what you’re doing. In actualy fact, you’ve parked all those instructions in your unconscious mind. Well, I’ve made it a plan for myself: to ‘learn to drive’ in the car of life – and not allow it to become part of my subconscious mind.
To say it’s difficult, would be an understatement. And I’m telling you, if you want to slow those special little sections of life down, then you only have to do this.
And you know what? It’s a wonder I have never given up before now!
I think if I didn’t have this ‘can do’ and ‘keep trying’ attitude about me, then a long time ago, I would have been sitting (no, slumped) down wondering what the hell it was getting at me for.
Even down to the point of picking up Gelbesacks at the local store (Gelbesacks are the German equivalent to recycling bags that you fill up with plastic bottles and the like and leave it outside your house on alternate weeks for the men to come along and take it). Given that the whole of Germany has a constant supply of them, I can’t get any! They’re constantly out of stock.
And setting up BewleyBooks has been a challenge – a big one. BewleyBooks has always been a dream of mine. I want to help other writers get their work out there. And I’ve been helping one writer recently put his book together. The sad thing is, in one form or another, he has decided that this isn’t the route he wants to go. So, his book is being pulled from the virtual Kindle shelves and he’s chosen to do it using another method.
Good luck to him, I say. I hope he succeeds. I wish with all my heart that he has made the right decision and that life will be good to him.
I can’t say that I’m happy about it. How can I be when I’ve devoted so many hours – when I could have been concentrating on other life challenges? But sometimes, you have to know when to let go. And I’ve learned from the immensely big challenge that he presented to me.
You win some. You lose some.
Back to the drawing board.
BewleyBooks is going for it now. I have two wonderful author’s with their brilliant books in my hands – all ready to be put into motion. Applying for ISBNs and prepping their books for the formats of e-book, paperback and hardback. I think they’re just about as excited as I am!
Also, put a competition out there. If you’re interested in writing a mere00 3,000 words – or a pen and ink drawing - for the chance of publication in a book – then check out the site: www.BewleyBooks.com.
Blogging hasn’t been my top priority of late. Keeping this diary up-to-date has been put on a back-burner too. The reason? The death of my father.
The man I loved … all too well. Daddies girl? Perhaps. But he was a good man. One of the best. He never gave up on love, had six children, his work ethic was perfect – in fact everything he created with his own bare hands was solid and reliable. He was kind to animals and humans, he had diligence, patience and a deep acceptance of all the pain and torment that he suffered throughout his life.
Strong in spirit, weak in body. At the end anyway.
It was a blessing to be there with him at the end. To hold his hand as it grew cold after he took his last breath.
In that, he taught me another lesson – not to fear death. He went through it courageously even though he didn’t want to die, he knew it was coming. He just accepted the inevitable with that little saying of his “That’s the way it goes.”
His last request? A cup of tea.
I fought with the nurses who said I shouldn’t take his mask off. But he was adamant. And who were they to deny him his last wish?
I granted him it and got him his tea.
Three cups, in fact. And he held each one.
After he took his last breath, I kept wanting him to take another one. When I went to see him in the mortuary, I kept thinking I saw his chest moving, as though he was still breathing. Just like stepping onto a still escalator, my brain expected movement, so it saw that.
I kept stroking his abundant mop of grey hair. Still in that Teddy Boy style he had always had, with the quiff over his forehead.
I am proud to have been his daughter. Honoured to have been his first born child. He gave of himself, and provided an example, simply by being.
I asked the vicar to read a verse from Grey’s Elergy for him:
“Here rests his head upon the lap of earth
A youth, to fortune and to fame unknown
Fair science frown’d not upon his humble birth
And melacholoy marked him for her own.
Large was his bounty, and his soul sincere
Heaven did a recompense as largely send
He gave to misr’y (all he had) a tear
And gained from heaven (all he wished) a friend”
Just like him.
As well as watching past episodes of Nip/Tuck, I’ve also been updating the BewleyBooks.com web site. Some of the pages have been hidden from public view ready for the launch in July.
I’ve ’retired’ my Slippery Frog/Obedient Dog books (hardback and paperback) from the Lulu system as it isn’t working very well for me. The web site creation is a bit limiting and produces an amateur kind of look to the book. You only get it to look professional when you use their services – at great expense I might add. So, as I want to do the majority of the work myself, I have another plan up my sleeve. I’ve managed to locate another company that I can produce work with and am investing some serious time, effort and money into making it work.
Another thing I’ve been able to do is secure my first fiction author! Yay! He’s written two books so far, but his work isn’t selling very well. One of the problems is that he has lobbed them both onto Amazon and left them there in the hope that they will sell themselves. We all know that’s not gonna happen. So, I took a look at his work, they have the theme of death about them and will prove fascinating reading to those interested in history as told from the grave.
Published ‘Depression – how to help yourself through it’ on Lulu today. I know I shouldn’t have done it, but after spending all week on weeding out the typos I had to go and read through it again today.
Cringe! I saw a couple and kicked myself.
But someone told me “Don’t sweat the small stuff – just get on and do it.”
No, he doesn’t work for Nike, but he has that kind of philosophy about life and I like it.
On the whole, I like my book too. It’s always a little nerve-wracking putting on display something that you’ve put your heart and soul and experience into. There are the inevitable bunch that will come back with a criticism, but I think I’ve learned to accept those as ‘lessons’ to learn from and tried not to take them too personally. Still, you can’t help but feel it!
The book itself delberately takes the lighter view of depression while briefly discussing the downside of it, the reason for it and examples of it – then goes on to show people how to get out of it – their way. In the original version, I put lots of pictures on the pages. But I thought this looked a little trashy so took them out and littered the text with quotes that might mean something more to someone.
To promote it, I did the usual – tweeted, fb’d and updated www.BewleyBooks.com – offering a discounted e-book version of it online through the web site instead of through Lulu.
Purely selfish reasons really. Lulu would (understandably) take a cut from something they haven’t even done anything to – and on the price I’m charging for the e-book version, that would leave me at a loss! So, even though it may take a little longer for the ebook to get to people (I’ve guaranteed within 24hrs), at least I’ll receive a little bit of profit on it.
All I’m hoping is that it can bring a little light into the dark that depression brings into people’s lives.
As of this moment in time, several web sites promote my writing.
I don’t take much notice of the ranking system, but think I should seriously think about it. In particular, the Authonomy web site has a system where your points push you up the ladder towards the Editor’s Desk. Currently, I stand at about 2,502 points away from it (and the dreaded red arrow affixed to that figure). That, to me, is rather a lot of rungs to climb. Even though I’m on 12 watchlists and have had 43 quite favourable comments, I’m left to wonder if I’m going to have to raffle my dog (or perhaps the bird) to get more votes.
Having said that, the people I’ve encountered have been kind to me. They are, like me, authors who want to promote their work. And, yes, it does get a bit tedious when the only email you get is one that asks you to ‘rate their work’. I thought I had countered that with my polite request. It asked people to read my work before asking me to rate theirs. To no avail, of course. I guess it could be likened to a kind of authorised ‘spamming’. If you’re on the site to promote your work, and the only way to do that is to get other people to ‘star’ it, then you’re going to have to get out there and do the ruff stuff.
Nevertheless, it is a good site. One that I do advocate any author worth his salt to make use of it.
I’ve uploaded a selection of chapters of a book I’ve been working on – memoir type fictionalised facts. Most of which have provided chuckles for some. I’ve also been able to iron out editorial mistakes through the kind-hearted and well-intentioned comments received.
www.authonomy.com – then search for ‘Wiivers’