Mittwoch, 28. Oktober 2009


We all take it for granted; it's one of the standard addresses I always go to when browsing the net for a book or DVD, (we're not rich enough for a Blue Ray yet).
Whatever, the thing is that it's only now that I've started to think about how cool it would be to see my work proclaimed on its functional yet familiar pages.

"But why now?" You ask.

Well, "Gods Will Be Done" have released their new CD on an unsuspecting public. "The Book of Blood" was issued to great critical acclaim, and can now be bought in selected record stores or on the Interweb thingy.
Now, admittedly, I have a vested interest in this band doing well as any success they reap will automatically provide a side wind of glamour for my modest tome. However, that is not the real reason why I bring this up.
(OK, OK, it's ONE of the reasons)
My main motivation is to highlight how much we accept as a given certain things and yet these same circumstances can be the pinnacle of another's desires and ambitions.
Let me explain.
How many times have I, or you Dear Reader, simply skipped through the considerable list of books on Amazon's very user friendly pages, without ever sparking a single brain cell as to the effort that went in to each and every one of those binded gems?
Each book represents a person's aspirations and dreams; each title a slice of the writer's life that can never be replaced in time and effort given. Have you ever thought about how much joy was derived by that army of invisible writers when, for the first time, they saw THEIR name listed with the other ten thousand faceless authors?

I never have ,until I saw GWBD's CD being sold on the net. That's when I thought about it for the first time, and I'm one of the people vying to be included in one of those lists! How can you, Dear Reader, be expected to ponder such Zen concepts when you have no persoanl interest what so ever?
... And what does that say about how shallow I am??
Oh dear.

I have sweated blood to get a foot in to the Book marketing world; a journey that has taken literally years to travel and I'm still not even on the first rung of the literary ladder.
For me, to see The Division of the Damned being sold on Amazon would be the culmination of years of trial, endeavour, research, experimentation and hope. I have experienced so much disappointment, frustration and powerlessness with agent rejection and dismissal that, sometimes, only a 1930's American Dustbowl farmer could have outbidded me on the Misery Cup.
I'm not craving monetary success here, though that would be nice. I'm simply talking about me, Reggie Jones, ex of Tan y Lan council estate, North Wales, who left school at 16 and has worked every day of his blue collar life, achieving an ambition that seems so impossible in this hard hearted, nepotistic, discriminatory and overly exclusive business. Getting his book published.
Put like that, it all sounds so unattainable, doesn't it?

However, all is not lost and inspiration can be found in the most unexpected of settings. Seeing my mate's CD being sold by a multinational corporation like Amazon has given a lift to my ambitions. To know that I helped write the songs, (all be it with lyrics that nobody will ever read because quality libretto is not the mark of a good Thrash album,) is toasty consolation for the paucity of success with my manuscript.
It also makes me want to see my own work, created 100% by Big Ego me, being sold on some bland but practical webpage for the princely sum of €10.50, plus V.A.T. (free delivery with all orders over €20).

It could be said that hubris sometimes veils itself in the cloak of our ambitions, so am I being laughably over confident in my abilities?
I don't care to be honest. What have I to lose? The manuscript is there, it's not going away and if I'm hit with another rejection I'll just send it off again.
There is a light at the end of the tunnel and perseverance is the train that'll take me to it.
Well that's the way I see it anyhow.
Reg :-)
PS. It's a ridiculous name for a website really, when you think about it. A website that sells books, made of paper, made of wood from the rainforest… is that some kind of sick joke?
"Amazon: Forest decimation a speciality"
No, that's unfair.

Samstag, 24. Oktober 2009

Nothing in this life is easy and especially if you're red of hair, Welsh and me. I struggled with the website, stumbling around its cyber halls like an early Bill gates on a bad acid trip; my ignorance and inexperience showing like a white-headed zit at every computer-generated turn.
And yet somehow, and only The Maker knows how, I managed to sort it out to how I, (sort of) wanted it to be.
Happy days, one would think…
Alas, no. It was not to be. Once again that rancid harridan, Fate orally purged her stomach contents over my hopes and dreams.
Two hours of cerebral sweating for nothing; the bloody website wouldn't publish. :-(
The best bit is that they give a reason why, which is all well and good until you realise it's written in some kind of Masonic code that probably resembles the Mayan calendar in its portent, but obviously has me scratching my noggin like a nonplussed baboon.
Here, have a read:

COMMAND: Connect BlahblahBlahwebsite
STATUS: 220-Matrix FTP server ready.220-This is a private system - No anonymous login220-IPv6 connections are also welcome on this server.220 Please note: files for your website must be stored under the htdocs directory.COMMAND: Login passwd:****** Login Failed STATUS: 530 Authentication failed, sorry

What's all that about then?

What I don't understand is that they've written that I haven't logged in but you have to log in so as to make any changes. What are they wittering on about? Can anyone out there make sense of it?
Anyway, I've sent them an email and asked if they'd translate it for me into English.
The answer they send me better be good or there's going to be TROUB.
T.R.U.B.; trouble.

Have a nice weekend, I won't.
Reg :-(

Donnerstag, 22. Oktober 2009

Richard, of Struggling Authors, has sent me the key for the "Website Wizard" so I can update my somewhat neglected website.

Now, I am no computer, "I-can-disassemble-a-hard-drive-before-breakfast" specialist. In fact, I'm clueless.
However, my friend Tee assures me it's far easier than one expects it to be so I'm optimistic… I'm always optimistic; let's face it, the way I run my life I have to be.
Anyway, that's on the near horizon for the next couple of weeks, (and in reality the next 2 years as I procrastinate and vacillate on getting to grips with the cyber world).

I've also stumbled on a new Blog, "Secret office confessions".
Normally I wouldn't bother with it but it's somehow hooked me. Basically it revolves around the characters, the loves, the jealousies and the private wars in an office environment. Not recommended reading for the normally romantically cynical Reggie Jones but, damn and blast it all, I like it.
I don't know if it's a true record of an actual situation, but I do know that it's extremely addictive.
Read it at your own peril at.

Well that's it for today, have a great weekend and wish me luck with my website… alright, don't bother.
Reg ;-)

Dienstag, 20. Oktober 2009

We spent last weekend with friends in Würzburg.
What a great city: the history, the ambience, the whole Würzburg "feeling". It actually inspired me, in one of my more fluid moments, to make a promise that I'd write at least a short story set in that great medieval, castle-dominated Stadt.
I was convinced I could capture the admiration of its architecture and character and carry it over to a reader who would then consequently also fall in love with the city.
Of course, in the cold, blinding, headache-inducing glare of sobriety, I realised that would never happen. To be able to portray a place, be it country, region or city, and to invoke the same love that I experienced in Würzburg whilst under the influence of her Dionysian charms, I'd have to be a master scribe of Zarathustran proportions.
Which I am definitely not, unfortunately.
It brought home how good some of these travel book writers are. Those unsung heroes of the written word who cleverly manage to sell a concept of a place rather than the place itself.
The idea of being a travel writer seemed almost as bad as being a journo, but on reflection, I can now understand their talent.
I've always kept my locations down to a minimum of metaphors, relying largely on the characters of my book and the situations they land in to prod the reader along.
For actual place settings, of which I have many in "Division", I generally tended to ignore the specifics, relying on the reader's imagination to beef out the scenery.
That said, conversely, I read a book about Atlantis, written by a man who specialises in underwater architecture. In the book, when our hero finally finds Atlantis, the author wrecked the whole ending by scribbling reams upon reams about its sub-aquatic ruins. It was so tedious that I actually started skipping pages. Awful.
What's my point here?
I don't know, to be honest.
Würzburg is a great city. Whilst drunk I fell in love with her, all be it briefly, and wantonly yearned to dedicate a story to her. The next day I felt different and broke off our engagement.
Did I, a philanderer and rake, use her?
Würzburg, am I guilty of breaking your fragile heart?
Will you wilt and die for the love of a staggering Welshman?

Reg ;-)

Dienstag, 13. Oktober 2009

So, a new look blog for a new look week…
Well, not exactly a new look week but the blog is different. Scroll down, dear reader, and read about Shasta and the Green Kiddies…
All sounds very mysterious, doesn't it?
Well, the thing is, my mate Tee very kindly put up the synopsis for "Division" on her blog. So I thought to myself that it's only fair if I do the same for her.
Then I was smitten by yet another thought, (yes, I know, two in one week. Thanks for pointing it out to me), Richard Grayling at Struggling Authors has always been ready with a helping hand, why not put his up too?
Why not, indeed.
No sooner thought than done, et voila, Shasta and Green Kiddies receive some free, if not limited, exposure. Hoorah!!!
So please feel free to scroll down and check them out, especially if you're a prospective agent or publisher…

I feel so good about myself now; I think I'll have a beer.

Sonntag, 11. Oktober 2009

Sunday and I'm cream crackered.
Nightshift tends to take it out of me nowadays, though I don't know why as I'm only 42!!
Whatever, time marches inexorably on…
… and I still have yet to put pen to paper.
Tomorrow though, I'll do it tomorrow, honest!

Recently I stumbled on to a blog written, or serviced if you will, by a friend of mine. Simon Wangerman, (Wangerman is a nickname, don't ask me why though) scribbles down his views on music, (mostly heavy metal), the interweb thing and life in general.
He's a funny guy actually and manages to do something that not many Germans can; that is, master the art of being wittily droll.

I know lots of Germans who are cleverly caustic. They use spit and vinegar metaphors to portray an air of blasé loftiness that, to the uninitiated, comes off as sad old Teutonic arrogance.
However, Wangerman has discovered the knack of verbally escorting you to his luxurious, stress-free Penthouse apartment; to admire a song or a group in such a way that either raises a polite eyebrow or lures an indulgent smile.
Though I will add that if a subject does raise his blood, then it receives a full on Neuhochdeutsch version of an Ark Royal broadside, with a machine gunning of any survivors in the water afterwards.

Unfortunately he writes in German so if you can't "speako da lingo" I wouldn't go there. However, if Deutsch is your lingua franca, give him a go.

Have a nice week.
I'll have something down next time I write.

Donnerstag, 8. Oktober 2009

Had a good chat with my mate George the other day.
I asked him about what his thoughts are on the article I sent him and the new project that I started.
He liked the article but found it a tad too Blackadderesque, however he did not like my latest idea for a story.

I pondered long and hard about this because we are both of a very like mind in a lot of things and I respect his opinion. He felt it was too far into the realm of fantasy, too far fetched to make an impression, and I can understand this point of view. It is VERY far fetched.

However, I like the idea for the story and I want it to work. So I'm going to give it a shot. Dinosaurs warring against a Napoleonic Europe is a wacky conception and no mistake, lol. Let's see where it goes to.

George mate, if you're reading this, thanks for the spur to the flank that set me off again.

Reg :-)

Sonntag, 4. Oktober 2009

So I sent the write up to Richard at Struggling Authors, he reckons it'll do nicely for the December update.

I've also written the lyrics for two songs, "In nomine Dei" and, "Black Agenda". So, as you can see, I've been a busy bunny this last couple of weeks.
I still can't get myself going on the manuscript front for some reason. I am now literally bursting with ideas but sadly lacking in motivation.
I wonder what's wrong with me?
Whatever, that's all the news I have for now.
Have a nice week.