Well, I’m too old for full-time Early Years Teaching, I loved it but it really is a total slog. If you are now thinking about all those school holidays please turn your mind to having friends who are not teachers and need people who are teachers to look after their kids in the holidays as well as 34 four- and five-year olds in half a portacabin who you have to teach to read, write and add up while having a lovely and interesting time. I did literally give up full-time teaching to spend more time with my family. But I ’m too young to retire. I want to engage in useful activity where I interact with other people.
This morning I thought of the double-barrelled waste basket, with one bin for recyclables and one for non. It’s all very well having two big bins in the kitchen but what about the bathroom, living room or bedroom? I can’t be the only person standing over my two big bins and scrabbling through an old carrier-bag of used face-wipes to fish out the shampoo bottle the night before collection day.
But not only would I not know where to start with capital investment, bin design and so on but that might not be the sort of interaction I am after. And I like writing so I might as well do that. And if I’m going to do it, I might as well get stuck in. I am giving it two years, after that my Youngest will need money while he is at University, hopefully.
I can write stories; I have interesting ideas and ‘found my voice’, that is my own particular style. I can invent plausible characters and make them do things, describe, structure, plot and use spellcheck. Mind you, very few people can’t. And more and more of them are realising it too, so there are a lot of stories out there nowadays.
In 2014 the aptly named Alison Flood wrote that conventional UK publishers produced 20 titles an hour (Guardian 22 October 2014) and the trend is upwards, always upwards. And that was only the UK, lots of people read English all over the World and have publishers to serve them. And in 2014 excluding self-publishing from an article on book production was legitimate, nowadays increasing numbers of us are doing it.
It would be much more sensible to invent the double-barrelled waste basket, (the Siamese Bin?). Or, if I have to write, I should write romances or pure sci-fi; they sell. Comedy science-fiction adventures? What are they? I’m not sure and I write them.
Will people want to read my stories? I don’t know, that is why I’m doing this.
Why do I want other people to read my stories? I think it is for the interaction. I am a human being and therefore a social animal and I want to engage with other human beings. I have thoughts and want to know what other people think. What better way than putting something ‘out there’ and seeing if and how other people respond?
Last week my Youngest took some photos of his girlfriend in a couple of hats. At the weekend my love-partner-husband-friend layed them out rather well and over the next week or so Alex Cameron will be designing the cover for Changing the Subject. My friend Graham is giving me the ISBN numbers from an old book of 10 in exchange for a portion from a book of ten I will buy him when he needs it, or something along those lines. The penultimate draft is complete, with just one more edit planned so that it is up to date (Bloody Bo-Jo better still be PM in October. After that he can fuck right off) and I can do a few diary entries, work on Hausa Blue and start thinking about the next one after that.
Wish me luck