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Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Polished off



Blow your trumpet, You've earned it. I've earned it!

Polished off the 50 grand last night, I crossed the line sometime after 1.00 am local time. Had a brew and crashed.

Now comes more polishing, working through the text to make sense out of it.

That's the idea, getting back into the swing of tackling a sizeable piece of writing and taking it onwards. Hopefully with a bit of blogging on the way. 

All you guys who stepped up to the challenge, either for the first or the umpteenth time, well done for picking up the baton, if you've crossed the line already. Cheers and huzzahs all around. 

Still heading for the finish? Keep going you know  you can do it.

Good luck

Martyn

Thursday, 31 October 2019

That time of year again!

The clocks have stepped back from Summer time and the temperature's dropping. The air tingles with anticipation. There is tension where worlds will shift around one another and doors will open between them.

Once more as the clock approaches midnight a void lies ahead.

Paper or screen, the choice is open.
The witching hour strikes and the first blow falls in the swish of a pen or tap of a key. There is no turning back, only going forwards.

Vibrant creations, worlds and characters will fill the space and charge headlong, day and night,  until the stroke of midnight signals the 1st of December. A breathless hush will settle as word counts are verified and winners receive their reward.

NaNoWriMo is here.

Whoever you are, wherever you write. May your words flow and your ideas sparkle, dazzling in their wit and imagination.
First timer, or veteran of many campaigns,  go well on your journey.

Welcome to November.

Martyn



The bird has flown!

The seagull has flapped its wings and flitted.
I gave it a lot of thought, discussed it internally at great length and finally decided that the website should fly under a new banner.  For a while cheekyseagull will drop you on the homepage, but flying at the masthead will be the banner of Grange Tales.
Drop in and have a look.
Martyn

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Reviewing the situation, still at it...

Lionel Bart's Musical interpretation of Charles Dicken's novel, Oliver Twist, simply entitled 'Oliver!' has the criminal ring leader Fagin, considering his options when confronted by a change in circumstances. The version I always think of has Ron Moody in the role of Fagin, hunched, crooked nosed and grubby in attire and demeanour "Reviewing the situation," prior to making his next move.

That's the gist of my absence for the last few months. I'm working on a shift in emphasis regarding the naughty old bird and a move to a more considered approach to the writing and blogging.

Life, bless it - it's a damn sight better than the alternative - has a way of chucking a spanner in whatever works you have going on and sitting back to watch the resulting antics.

The situation reviewing continues, it's just taking longer than originally anticipated.
It might be a couple of steps forward and one back, but then the progress inches forward.

Keep smiling, people will wonder what you are up to, and have a good day, wherever you are.

Martyn


Saturday, 24 February 2018

Working things through

Occasionally the best decision is to pull back, regroup, lick your wounds and work out a new way forward.

The seagull question raised its head once again, and I know that previous considerations have ended with a decision to stay with the old bird, this time it's different. I'm letting it go.

Recent events have brought about a change in perspective. A reconsideration of my outlook.

So, with that in mind, from the 1st of March the Grange thrillers will undergo a thorough overhaul.

The Grange series will remain available, but the texts will be worked on behind the scenes. The idea is to reboot the series under a new flag later in the year. Dates and times are still in the formative stage but I'll try and keep you posted on how things are developing

The website, cheekyseagull.co.uk will remain as a limited footprint on the Internet for the immmediate future.

Now, I have work to do, so if you will excuse me.

For the time being, Cheerio.

Best wishes

Martyn

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Much the same

What goes around comes, around. Aware of my absence from these pages for quite some time I picked up the threads with a tweet that bounced into an email this morning with a sense of deja-vu.

Amazon and the big publishers apparently having a bit of a barny about ebook pricing. Amazon's VP of Kindle Content, David Naggar, in the Daily Mail suggested the publishers drop their ebook prices to match the 99c price tag offered by the self-published and Independents on Amazon.

It didn't go down well and the Daily Mail and the Bookseller take the story further.

For me, it was like picking up an old chestnut. The shine had gone and the familiar wrinkles and dark tones were there, nestling in the palm of my hand.
A familiar tale and one that could be easily discerned as settled into two halves, Indie Self and Big Pub.

Yes, 99c can sell, and it does. However the danger lurks in the price that the Indie is undervaluing the work.

Stack it high and sell it cheap has lifted more than one supermarket or trader to a dominant place in the market, but that wasn't the thing that made me smile.

Publishing is a game of two halves, Independent and the Big publishing houses. Bill Shankly, the legendary manager of Liverpool once said about football being more serious than a matter of life and death. To paraphrase and shift the context slightly, he was commenting on the dedication needed to succeed.

The analogy can be transferred; Now, there are a handful of major publishing houses, and within their corporate body are the remnants of many smaller publishers, whose names linger like ghosts as imprints of the commercial giants. Consumed in the drive to survive and succeed.

I digress slightly, the analogy that came to mind is occasionally attributed to the early days of sport's coverage on the radio, but may be much older.

Back to square one.

As far back as the Nineteen Thirties, Association football, soccer, was regularly covered by the BBC and a helpful grid was provided in the Radio Times magazine, dividing the pitch into numbered segments, and during the game the announcer would report that play had moved back to square one. Urban legend tagged that as the original of the phrase.

I don't really think Football can take the credit here, although it's a good one for the pub.

The tradition of football commentary and the distortions of language that accompany it have become a part and parcel of the English language. The Plain English Campaign, an organisation focused on the demolition of gobbledygook have a variation of their gobbledygook generator dedicated to the language of the football commentator.

There is a traditional children's favourite that goes back to the late 17th Century that begins and ends on Square One, a much more likely originator.

Hopscotch; the numbered boxes can be chalked, scratched in the dirt or the sand, perhaps painted on to the schoolyard. The player moves along the squares, starting at one and progressing to the highest, which can be either eight or ten, and then returns to number one.

Having been away from the blog for a while - pretty much most of the summer. Coming back to it has a similar feel, of going back to square one,  and the ebook pricing discussion reinforced the feeling.

I may be exaggerating, but it's how I feel right now, so, here we go again.
What is the optimum price for an ebook, assuming it doesn't come free.
How much does the price of an ebook influence your appreciation of the quality of the work?

Something for the experienced and the aspiring independent to weigh in the balance, and I'm not sure their is a wrong answer to either of them.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

Grab what you can...


July is here, and The Grange series is enrolled at Smashwords in the Ninth Annual Summer/Winter Sale. 


Whatever the season, wherever you are;  the discounts are lined up, the best sellers of the future waiting to be discovered and enjoyed. Iceline is, as ever, free to grab, and for the duration, Control Escape, What You Ask For and The Obedience of Fools are yours for half price, a 50% discount on their normal retail price, click on the link and enter the code SSW50 when you make the purchase.

Have fun, grab a piece of the action!