What a beautiful morning and perfect for the children's May Day celebrations. A complete contrast to last year when the entire thing was flooded out and had to be cancelled. It was several weeks before it could take place.
The children will be having a procession from the school to the church carrying little posies of flowers. Ollie will be pleased as his are all yellow. This was a great example of recycling, as they were the remainder of a bunch of flowers that I bought for Claire last week for our wedding anniversary which were still OK, so we cut them up and made a little bunch. I think that is alright, isn't it? Well Claire seemed somewhat perturbed that I wanted to cut up her anniversary flowers at first, but as I pointed out they'd be thrown away in another 2 or 3 days anyway. Waste not want not. Besides I couldn't be arsed to go out again last night and buy any more. I'm almost out of cash this week as it is thanks to the chiropractor fees, and £18 for Jamie's farm DVD.
In case you are wondering what that is, well last week, some people came into the Courtyard with a special booth that the kids sit in and are filmed. Did not quite see how it works, but the end result is you get a film of them which looks like they are driving a car through a farm meeting lots of animals and it really is amazing. Little innocent 2 year old face lit up with joy, a real treasure. The thing is 5 minutes long and £18 to buy so not cheap - and ordinarily I never buy these sort of things (pictures at theme parks spring to mind), but this thing is so cute and by far the best video I have got of him so I just have to get it. And it'll be brilliant for threatening to show his girlfriend in 15 years time if he's being an uncooperative teenager.
I spent £50 at the Chiropractor but it was really worth it. We had a long consultation before she treated me and I do feel much better. It seems that my discs are all intact, but my problems stem from the fact that I've at some point gone off centre. I'm tilting to the right, giving the illusion that my right leg is 1cm longer than my left, even though it isn't, in fact. She is helping me to correct this. I also have a similar problem at the top which could account for my history of neck pain. My head is also not quite sitting straight on my body. Apparently, this is something that can cause mental illness, and it is where the phrase "off your rocker" comes from. There have been examples of children who have been thought to have autism who in fact merely had this condition, and when it was put back into alignment, their behavioural problems disappeared almost overnight. In my case it is mild and clearly has not had any symptoms, as I am sure you will all agree I have a totally sane and normal personality, with no quirky traits at all. It's also easily corrected, so that's something else she's going to help me with.
My friend Dogger recommended this chiropractor and said it was the best £50 he had spent since he last went to Amsterdam, whatever he means by that.
On to the subject of writing - a comment added to my previous blog suggested that rather than write an original novel I should consider publishing some of this work. This is something that I have in fact been considering for some time - so thank-you Nat for prodding me in that direction, I think I needed someone to validate for me that it was a worthwhile project.
However, it is nowhere near as simple as just cutting and pasting all my blogs into a document, and publishing, job done. Reading a blog is a completely different experience to reading a book, and major changes and revisions will need to be made. Here's a few thoughts on things I will need to do to turn this into some sort of publishable book.
1) Consider the target audience. I'm selling worldwide, not just to my mates in Bicester. I can't just leave references such as "bumped into Dave in town" in without explaining who Dave is. So background material needs to be added.
2) Many blog entries will be of very little interest to the wider world, so will be taken out altogether. For example, a piece where I jokingly suggested launching Bicester's own TV station with programmes based on various local characters will be of no interest whatsoever to people who don't know any of these people. Likewise entries on current happenings at the time, e.g. the London Riots will not be of great interest to people now two years later.
3) Toning down language, swearing, for a family audience.
4) Cleaning up spelling and grammar - I do make mistakes when I dash these off and don't always have time to go back and correct them.
5) Cleaning up references to people and places that whilst I might get away with in a blog entry, referring to past enemies as "the evil witch" and suchlike may land me in trouble were they able to identify themselves.
6) Working out the target audience and focusing on that - this was always intended to be a parenting blog and that will be the focus of the book along with the title - it certainly will not be called "Bicester Blogger". I'm going to focus very much on the fatherhood thing, but like now, there will be whole chapters where the kids are not even mentioned, and many of the "funny" entries shall remain, as long as they can be understood by the wider audience. With regard to the fatherhood thing, well it seems there aren't a lot of books out there on the subject.
7) Formatting everything correctly for conversion to Kindle format, and adding all relevant additional material such as title page, contents, introduction.
So assuming I do all that and anything else I haven't thought of yet, I should end up with something that looks like a book rather than a blog, but still recognisably in a diary style format. A sort of Adrian Mole, Bridget Jones for the 40+ generation.
Who will buy? Good question. An obvious point is, why would anyone pay for this when all of the information is already available in public domain? It's a good enough question. But I do believe that there is an audience out there who like to sit down with a book, rather than ploughing through hundreds of random blog entries. Much of it will be changed by the time it's finished so it won't be the same anyway. Think of it kind of like the "Director's Cut".
I'm also not intending to charge a lot. My intention isn't really to make money, though I don't feel I can give it away. An enormous amount of my time and creativity has gone into this and it would be nice to reap a modest award. I thought about the idea of selling it for the sum of £3.25. Why that amount? Well that's the price of a pint of Strongbow in the White Hart. It's not a lot when you put it in those terms. If you decide to buy, think of it in these terms. That you are in the pub with me and decide to thank me for the last two years of free entertainment through this blog by buying me a pint. Or more accurately, 35% of a pint, as that's the amount of royalty I get.
Then, if you do buy, I ask two things of you.
1) If you like it, go out and tell all your friends and everyone you know.
2) You write me a review on Amazon. Preferably favourable, but that is up to you, I'm not going to tell anyone what to do. But lots of reviews on Amazon help to sell books.
Thank-you loyal blog fans, and I will get back to you as soon as it is ready, I think it's going to take me a couple of weeks perhaps to prepare, but I could be on the virtual bookshelves before you know it!
Feedback at this point massively welcomed, even if it's only to say Yay or Nay to whether you would buy.
If you have enjoyed reading this blog, please take a look at my books on Amazon (Paperback & Kindle), where you can read lots more of the same! Click here.