Should You Self-Publish?

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published?  If so, have you received multiple rejection letters from both large and small publishing houses?  If you have, your first thought may be to give up.  Of course, it is your right to do so, but did you know that you do have other options?  One of those options is to self-publish your own book.

Before examining if self-publishing your own book is right for you, it is first important to familiarize yourself with self-publishing, namely what it is.  Self-publishing involves writing, developing, and selling a book without the assistance of a third-party publishing company.  Book authors are responsible for writing a book, editing a book, and finding a company to print the book, as well as selling the book.  Self-published authors typically sell their books on their own websites or they approach retailers, both on and offline.

As for whether self-publishing a book is the right option for you, there are some signs that you will want to look for.  A few signs that self-publishing may be your best option are highlighted below for your convenience.

Sign #1 – You Have Received Multiple Rejection Letters

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What it is first important to understand about the publishing process is that few authors receive offers from publishers on their first, second, or even third try.  In fact, some authors try as many as fifty times or more to get just one book published before they receive an offer. 

As a good rule to set for yourself, be sure to send your manuscript to as many publishers as you possibly can, especially those that are looking for what you have, such as an environmental themed children’s book or a science fiction novel.  When there are no more publishers left, consider self-publishing.

Sign #2 – Despite Rejection Letters You Still Believe You Have a Good Book

Self-publishing is a wise choice for many, but for others it can be a costly mistake.  Before deciding to go ahead with self-publishing a book, it is important to make sure that you are fully behind your book.  Do you honestly and truly believe in your heart that you have a good book on your hands?  If you do, self-publishing may be for you.

Sign #3 – You Have a Book with Limited Readers

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When many of us think of publishing a book, we automatically think of captivating stories.  Fiction books are not the only types of books written, although they do typically tend to have the largest audiences.  If you have written a how-to book or a guide on a specific area that is likely to only draw in a limited number of readers, self-publishing may be your best option.  Many well-known publishers tend to stay away from books that only have small target audiences.

Sign #4 – You Want to Retain the Largest Profit

Self-published authors stand the best chance of making the biggest profit.  This is because publishing fees are not taken out of their profits.  With that said, it is important to remember that self-publishing is not free.  You will have to pay to have your books developed in print, but that fee is typically smaller than the cut that many well-known publishers take.  There are always ways that you can save money with self-publishing, like by printing on demand, as opposed to a large quantity of books on hand.

Of course, it is important to remember that just because you want to make money, it doesn’t mean that you will.  If you want to make the most money with a self-published book, you must do the proper amount of marketing.

As a reminder, it is important to remember that there are several pros and cons to self-publishing.  With that being said, self-publishing may be the best option for you.  If you truly believe that y. have a book that will sell, you are encouraged to closely examine self-publishing, as you have nothing to lose by doing so.


Publishing Mistakes to Avoid

Do you have a book that you would like to see published?

If so, you may be interested in getting started right away. As soon as an author finishes their book, they want to start approaching publishers as soon as possible. While it is more than possible to take this approach, you also want to proceed with caution. There are many common mistakes that new authors make when looking to get a book published. These are not mistakes that you will not want to make.

One mistake that many authors, especially new authors, make is assuming that others will like their book, no matter what. It is important to remember that just because you think that your book will be a bestseller, it does not mean that others will. You do not want to be negative, but it is important not to be overly positive as well. In fact, that is a good reason you should consider using the services of both an editor and a literary agent. At the very least, consider asking a few close friends or family members for their input. This can serve as a mini focus group for yourself.

Another common mistake that many new authors make, when looking to get a book published, is by assuming that it is easy to do. The reality is that it is quite difficult to get a book published, especially if you are an unpublished author. If you wish to see success, there is a lot of time that must go into your work. Simply drafting a book is not enough. You need to do the proper amount of editing, proofreading, and so forth. Although it can be very time consuming to get a book published, the reward is more than worth it.

Giving up after the first, second, third, or even forth rejection is another common mistake that many new authors make. It is no secret that rejection hurts. The last thing that any author wants is someone to state that their book is not good enough. With that said, a rejection is what you will likely receive. Did you know that many of the most well-known authors today were first greeted with rejection letters? As previously stated, it is not easy to get a book published, but do not give up.

One of the biggest mistakes made by authors looking to get their books published is with publishers. Here is where you want to proceed with caution, as your chances of making a costly mistake are remarkably high. Never submit your manuscript to a publisher without first doing the proper amount of research.

Many publishers, especially those that are well-known or large, want to do business with authors who have literary agents. With that said, you do not need to have a literary agent to see your book published. However, if you do not use an agent, do not send your manuscript to publishers that do not accept unsolicited manuscripts or those without agents. This will likely result in your work not being looked at and you may also not even receive a reply.

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Speaking of knowing what book publishers want, one mistake that many hopeful authors make is not doing the proper amount of research. Invest in the $20 that it takes to purchase the Writer’s Market guides or other similar resources. They give you detailed information on what publishers accept and from whom. For example, you may already know that Harlequin specializes in romance novels, but you may not know the specialty of other smaller publishers. You do not want to send a romance novel to a publisher that is only seeking science fiction books and so forth.

Another little factor that you will want to take into consideration is something that will not have an impact on a significant percentage of writers, but it is still a key point to make. Do you smoke? If you do and in your office, your papers may end up smelling like cigarette smoke. Many publishers have noted this as being a major inconvenience and turnoff.


Legalities to Writing Your Book

Are you an author who just received an offer to have one of your books published? If you have, congratulations! There is no prouder moment in the career of a writer than having a book published. With that said, it is important to proceed with caution. You do not want your excitement to cloud your judgment. For that reason, there are a number of important questions that you will want to have answers to before accepting an offer from a book publisher. A few of these questions are highlighted below for your convenience.

Question: How will I be paid?

Answer: Chances are, a publisher will outline payment for you when first accepting your book, but it is important to make sure that you have as much information as possible. Will you be paid a flat rate fee, an advance payment, royalties, or a combination? It is also advised that you receive an exact amount of total payments, although this can be difficult if your payments are based on royalties, which are impacted by your book’s sales.

Question: Can I get an advance payment?

Answer: Typically, you will find that publishers who offer advance payments offer them. With that said, not all companies do. Asking for an advance payment is something that many publishers come to expect, but you will want to proceed with caution at the same time. If you are in financial despair, it may be a good idea to ask a publisher about advance payments, but keep your public perception in mind. If you will be paid a flat rate, as opposed to royalty payments, consider waiting the few months that it will likely take for you to receive payment.

In fact, when you can expect to receive payment is another question that you will want to ask.

Question: Will I get free copies of my book? If so, how many?

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Answer: Although getting free copies of your published book isn’t as important as making sure that you get paid, it is something that is of great importance to many first time writers. If this is the first time that a book of yours has been published, you will want to have a copy of your book to show off to your close friends and family members. In fact, you may want to have copies to send to them. Most reputable publishers will at least provide you with a free copy of your book, but additional copies will likely depend on the publisher in question.

Question: Will my book be published in foreign countries?

Answer: It is important to know the answer to this question, as it may have an impact on the royalties that you receive. If your book is sold overseas, you should be paid for those sales as well. Never let a publisher convince you that foreign sales are different, as they should pay the same way, although a different rate may be agreed on.

Question: Will you retain the rights to your book or your characters?

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Answer: The answer to this important question will all depend on your contract. That is why it is important for you to thoroughly read a contract before agreeing to sign it. Be sure to ask any additional questions that you may have. For example, if the book is successful, will you be the one to write sequels? What if someone wants to turn your book into a television show or movie?

The above mentioned questions are just a few of the many that you will want to ask a publisher before accepting their contract. As a reminder, never sign a contract without knowing as much as you can about the agreement, as well as the publisher extending the offer. For that reason, you are encouraged to sit down and make an additional list of questions that you would like to have the answers to. Be sure to do this before you make contact with the publisher in question, as it will help to ensure that all of your bases are covered and the first time.


Getting Your Book Published using a literary agent.

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If you are an author who is shopping around for a publisher, you may find the phrase “agented submission only.”  What does this mean? This means that the publisher in question will not even look at manuscripts that are sent in directly by the author. Instead, a professional literary agent must make the approach.

Since many large, well-known publishers only accept book manuscripts that are sent in by a professional literary agent, you may decide to use the services of one. If so, that will likely be a viable choice on your part, but there are some important points that you will first want to take into consideration. Please continue reading on for information that you and all other authors should know about literary agents.

It is first important to know exactly what a literary agent should do for you. A literary agent will essentially submit your book to a publishing company for you. The entire process is just like what you would do at home, but it is different because new doors are opened for you. A professional literary agent could submit your book to publishers that would not even look at it if you submitted it on your own.

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As for the benefits of using the services of a professional literary agent, they are experienced in the field. A successful literary agent has spent years, months, or at least weeks researching publishers. They should know what publishers look for, in terms of themes, and they know what publishers do not want to see. This research allows many professional literary agents to know what publishing houses are likely to accept your book, often within a few minutes of reading it.

If you do decide to use the services of a professional literary agent, it is important to know that you may be screened. This means that a publisher may examine your book and then decide not to represent you. This often occurs for two distinct reasons. The first being that the publisher tends to specialize in a specific genre, such as children’s books. The second being that your book is not good enough. Having a well-known publisher stand behind your book is not enough to get it published; therefore, many well-known agents are precise with the clients that they choose to work with.

Speaking of being fussy, you should also be careful with the literary agent or agency that you choose to work for. Many experts in the field of book publishing state that having a bad literary agent is worse than having no agent at all. This is because many well-known publishers are aware of literary agents that have poor histories. In fact, some publishers may completely overlook manuscripts that are sent in by a bad agent and you do not want yours to be one of them. That is why you need to carefully find and choose a literary agent, should you wish to use the services of one.

When examining literary agents, examine specialties, success rates, reputation, and so forth. If you genuinely want to become a successful and well-known author, you should spend just as much time searching for a literary, as you would searching for a publisher. With that said, it is important to remember that there are publishers who will read your manuscripts even if you choose not to use a literary agent.


Some more thoughts on Getting Published

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You just wrote a book and one of the next steps you will need to take involves finding publishers to approach. For many new authors, this is the most overwhelming part of the entire process. The good news is that there are multiple ways that you can find publishers to send your book to, but which way is the best?

Before focusing on what ways are the best ways to find publishers, it is important to get a clear-cut definition of the word best. In terms of finding publishers, you will want an approach that is easy, time saving, as well as an approach that will produce the best results.

When it comes to doing any sort of research, even research on book publishers, the internet is one of the easiest approaches to take. For that reason, you may be interested in using the internet to help you find book publishers. When doing so, you will find that you have several different options. If you already known of a publisher or two in your genre, consider performing a standard internet search with that publisher’s name. This should lead you to their online website.

Another approach that you can take, when using the internet, is to perform a standard internet search with a generalized phrase. This phrase can include “science fiction publishers,” or whatever your genre is. Your standard internet search will likely lead you to online websites that function as directories for authors seeking information on publishers. These websites are nice, but be cautious of the information that is provided to you. Still visit the online website of a publisher to get as much accurate information as possible.

Speaking of visiting the online website of a book publisher, this is the best way to find the publisher that is the perfect fit for you and your book. Most book publishers have detailed information for authors, including writer’s guidelines and other rules and restrictions. Many publishers also have detailed information on their current books, including pictures and short descriptions. Reviewing this information first can help you determine whether your book is what the publisher in question is looking for.

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A few printed resources are also available to help you find information on publishers. One of those resources is the Writer’s Market books. They are developed for several different genres, including children’s books. These books outline publishers that accept manuscripts from both agents and authors without agents. Information on guidelines and what is in need is also outlined.

In keeping with printed resources guides, to help you find publishers, you will find that they are very affordable. In fact, the popular Most Writer’s Market books can be purchased for around $20 or less. Although these books are available in most public libraries, purchasing your own copy allows you to write your own notes in the book and highlight essential information. The ability to write your own notes and create your own categories helps to simplify the process of finding publishers.

Another straightforward way that you can go about finding publishers is by using the services of a literary agent. For the standpoint of ease, this is the easiest approach. A literary agent will help you find the perfect publishers for your book and do a significant percentage of the research for you. As nice as it is to rely on the professional knowledge, experience, and expertise of a literary agent, their fee may be a turn off. If you intended to submit your own book to publishers, which would only cost you postage, this unexpected fee may be too much.

As you can see, there are a few uncomplicated ways that you can go about finding publishers to help you publish a book. As for which approach is the best for you, it will depend on your own personal preferences. If you feel more comfortable using a computer, the internet is advised and so forth.


Get a Book Published Fast

Are you an author who would like to get a book published? If you are, you may have heard that getting a book published is a lot easier said than done. Yes, this is true in many cases, but it is important to know that you should have access to a few resources that can help you improve your chances. A few of those resources are highlighted below for your convenience.

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Printed publishing guides are a must have resources for all writers that want to get a book published. The most well-known of these guides is that of the Writer’s Market. The Writer’s Market books and other similar printed resources outline publishers. These publishers are often categorized based on genre. Information that you will find may include addresses to send your manuscripts to, the average number of books a publisher puts out each year, book themes that publishers are looking for, as well as rules and restrictions on submitting book manuscripts.

The good news about using printed resources, like the Writer’s Market books, is that they are easy to come across and affordable. These books can be found available for sale online, as well as in local bookstores. Many libraries also have them available free of charge. Although the cost of buying is likely to vary, most publishing guides can be purchased for a few dollars/pounds or less. So, pick up a copy of the Writer’s Market or another similar book for yourself today.

When looking to get a book published, the internet is another resource that you should use to your advantage. In fact, the internet holds a wealth of information for writers who are looking for publishing help. For starters, there are several websites that list information on publishers in specific genres. In a way, these websites resemble an online version of the above-mentioned Writer’s Market books. You may find these websites, as well as direct links to well-known publishers, by performing a standard internet search. Use phrases such as “children’s book publishers,” “science-fiction publishers,” and so forth.

The internet can also be used to help you find other book publishing resources, one of those being information on writer’s conferences. Each year, multiple conferences are held for writers and across the United States. They often include several educational and fun activities, such as meet and greet sessions for writers, sessions that cover the art of drafting a book, sessions that cover the publishing process, and much more. Many of these conferences also have well-known or at least published authors speak. Costs will vary, but any admission fee is usually more than worth it.

Writer’s critique groups are another resource that you and other writers can benefit from being a part of. These groups are typically small and they often result you being paired with another writer or two. Typically, what happens is that you will share your book with others in the group and others will do the same as well. Information, tips, and feedback will be exchanged. Many unpublished authors find success with writer’s critique groups, as they serve as a miniature focus group.

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Like a writer’s critique group, editors are also valuable resources that unpublished writers can benefit from using. Of course, a good book theme and story is important to get a book published, but proper grammar is important as well. If you do not like proofreading or if you know that you miss common mistakes, it may be in your best interest to hire the services of a professional editor. Typically, you will find their affordable costs to be well worth it. Agents should also be examined.

As previously stated, there are a few resources that hopeful published authors, like you, should have access to. Since many of these publishing resources for authors are easy to gain access to and affordable, you should try them. The more resources that you use to your advantage, the better your chances of getting published are.


Here is a thought if you have a great idea for a book!

Finding a Writer for Your Book!!!

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Internet niche marketing campaigns can often be managed by one person with one small exception. Unless the person orchestrating the campaign is a particularly gifted writer, the creation of content relevant to the niche should be overseen by a professional writer. The required content may include concise content for e-newsletters and websites or more in-depth content for full length eBooks. eBooks are the electronic version of books. They are distributed in electronic formats and made available to readers via email or the Internet. This article will focus primarily on eBooks and will discuss the subjects of outsourcing an eBook and finding the best writer for the job.

Outsourcing Your eBook

Those who are involved with promoting an Internet niche campaign are likely very enthusiastic about their niche subject but their passion alone does not qualify them to write an eBook on the subject. They should be heavily involved in the creation of the outline for the eBook and they should have final editing rights on the eBook but a professional writer should be the one responsible for writing the initial draft of the eBook. They may also be responsible for making revision based on the comments by the marketer and his staff.

For this reason, many Internet marketers are outsourcing the writing of their eBooks. This is a wise decision because keeping a writer on staff exclusively for the purpose of writing eBooks can be quite costly if there is not a constant need for eBooks. However, outsourcing the work to independent contractors can be a much more affordable option. In this scenario, the marketer can negotiate the writing of each eBook individually or they can enlist and individual or consulting firm to complete a set number of eBooks.

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Finding the Right Person for the Job

Once you have made the wise decision to outsource your eBook, it is time to begin the process of finding the perfect writer to complete the eBook. There may be several factors you consider in choosing a writer. Some of these factors may include price, previous experience, and quality of provided writing samples. Prioritizing these factors is the first step in the process because it will be extremely helpful in the decision-making process. For example if cost is the highest priority followed by quality of writing samples and then experience in the niche you might be tempted to hire a writer who is slightly less adept but willing to work for a lower fee.

The search for the talented writer to assist you can begin either locally or globally. You can conduct a local search by placing an advertisement in local newspapers or trade magazines. A global search can begin on the Internet where there are many websites available for those who wish to outsource work. In either scenario your advertisement should suggest relevant information you would like applicants to provide.

Whether you decide to conduct your search locally or globally you will likely receive multiple responses to your advertisement. Begin evaluating these responses by eliminating those that are of mediocre quality. This is important whether quality of work is your top priority because poor work is not worth even the most affordable price. Next evaluate the remaining applicants according to your prioritized list of criteria and rank them accordingly.

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Now consider contacting the top three applicants for an interview. The interview can be conducted in person, via telephone or online. This step is important because it will give you a promising idea of whether you think the applicant will be able to meet your expectations. During this time you should also discuss scheduling to determine whether the applicant is available to complete the project according to your timeline.

After this interview process, it is time to decide. Just because it is time to decide does not mean you have to outsource your project to one of the applicants you interviewed. Your decision may be to hire one of the applicants, interview a few of the applicants who were lower on your list or repost your advertisement and solicit new applications.


Finding out what Publisher is looking for.

Continuing with the theme from my last post – finding what a particular publisher wants. It’s a good idea to track progress with every publisher you approach.

Are you an author who has just completed writing a book?  After your book has been written and edited, you may be ready to start approaching publishers.  If you are like most authors, there is a good chance that you will send your book manuscript to several publishing companies.  After all, the more publishers you approach, the better your chance of getting a book published are.

Although sending your book manuscript to a few publishers is likely to increase your chances of getting your book published, it also increases the chances of confusion and error on your part.  If you do not create a system for you to use and record your findings, you may end up making several costly and embarrassing mistakes.  That is why it is important to know what publishers you have sent your book to, which publishers have responded, what their response was, and so forth.

As it was previously stated, not being organized, when trying to get a book published, can have a few consequences.  One of those consequences is that you could mistakenly send your documents to the same publisher twice.  This has the potential to be very embarrassing and you may also, unintentionally, create a bad name for yourself.  If a book publisher sends you a rejection letter, you do not want to resend them your book, especially if you didn’t make any changes.

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Since it is important for you to create a book publishing system, you may be curious as to how you can go about doing so.  The good news is that you do have several different options.  For starters, it is important to first know what information you should include on your documents.  You need to know what publishers you have submitted your manuscript to.  You should also include the date that your information was sent out.  Next, be sure to have a spot for responses from those publishers.  Did you receive a rejection letter, a request for a meeting or more information?  Also, record the date of this information. 

As for how your information can be arranged, you will find that it all depends on your preference.  If you are computer savvy, you can use your computer.  You can create a spreadsheet.  Be sure to include the information outlined above, including the publisher’s name, the date the information was sent out, the response, as well as the date that response that was received.  What is nice about using the computer is that you can easily add information right away.  This allows you to keep a continued list going.

As nice as it is to use the computer, some individuals feel more comfortable keeping important information in print.  The same approach can and should be taken though.  Create a chart for you to use.  Be sure to keep it in a well-known place so that you do not accidentally lose your important information.  Also, be sure to remember to update every time that you decide to send your book to new publisher or if you receive a response letter.

As you can see, creating a system for yourself that allows you to track publishers that you have sent or intend to send your book to is a lot easier than it originally sounds.  As a reminder, there are several benefits to staying organized and up to date with your information.


Find Book Publishers

For my first books I chose to self-publish on Amazon. For my detective series I will be looking for a publisher, so I found the following advice really useful!

Are you interested in getting a book that you wrote published? If you are, you need to find the publisher that is the perfect fit for you and your book. Unfortunately, this can be easier said than done. Book publishers are fussy about which books and authors they choose to work with. The good news is that there are hundreds of publishers for you to choose from, depending on your genre.

Once you have written and proofread your book multiple times, you will need to start researching and examining publishers. Unfortunately, this is a step that many hopeful published authors do not take. Many simply just send copies of their books off to publishers that they already know of. This approach is okay, but it limits your chances of getting a book published. Instead, you will want to examine as many book publishers as possible. Even though this sounds like a very time-consuming process, it is a process that is much easier that many imagine.

One of the easiest ways to find book publishers is by purchasing printed resource guides for authors. These guides come in several different formats. Many are categorized by genre, such as children’s books, Christian books, and so forth. What they typically do is outline publishers that accept manuscripts, as well as other detailed information. These printed resource guides are usually updated often; therefore, if you do make a purchase, be sure to purchase an updated guide. Speaking of making your purchase, you can find these publishing guides for authors available for sale online and in most bookstores.

As previously stated, there are a few printed resource guides for authors that you can use to go about finding publishers to submit your book to. One guide that comes highly rated and recommend is that of the Writer’s Market. The Writer’s Market books cover several genres and they are updated on a yearly basis. Information that is included tends to include themes that book publishers are looking for, requirements on submitting a manuscript, the address in which that manuscript must be submitted to and much more. The Writer’s Market books are also well-known for their expert tips and advice, which is typically provided by experienced authors.

Although most Writer’s Market books and other similar printed resource guides for authors can often be purchased for under $20, many people do not like paying for something that they can find for free online. If you are looking to use the internet to find book publishers, you will find that you do have a few different options. For starters, you will want to perform a standard internet search with the phrase “book publishers.”  If you are targeting a specific genre, such as children’s books, be sure to include that in your search phrase. Your standard internet search is likely to produce several different results.

As for what your standard internet search will produce, you will likely find websites where a wide selection of publishers are listed. These websites may either list publishers with detailed information or you may be provided with a link to a publisher’s website. Speaking of publisher websites, these websites can also be found mixed in with your standard internet search.

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If you would like to directly find the online websites of book publishers, a standard internet search with the publisher’s name should produce the results that you are looking for. Most have guidelines and other information posted for authors on their websites. If you are not already aware of publishers, you may want to go through the books that you have in your home or visit your local bookstore. In fact, most online retailers will list what publishers books are published through. This can help to give you some publisher names to checkout.

As a reminder, it is important to find the publisher that you think will be the perfect fit for you and your book. Therefore, look for publishers that are seeking just what your book has to offer.


Find a Literary Agent

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published? If so, you may want to use the services of a literary agent. Also, if you are an author who has been shopping your book around without success, an agent may be worth examining. Unfortunately, many new authors are unsure as to how they can find and choose literary agents. If you are one of those individuals, you will want to continue reading on.

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Before highlighting a few of the ways that you can go about finding an agent to help you publish a book, it is important to examine the pros and cons of using a literary agent. For starters, if you choose an agent that is well-known or one who has a proven history, your chances of getting your book published tend to increase. This is because professional literary agents and agencies know where to look. As for the cons or downsides to using a literary agent, their cost is the biggest.

When it comes to finding a literary agent, you will find that you have several different options. One of your options is to turn to printed resources. There are a few books that are available for sale or books that may be found in local libraries that can help you. These books are often how-to guides with information on how to find, approach, and research literary agents. Books that are updated on a yearly basis are likely to include the names, information, and contact numbers of literary agents that accept new clients.

As previously stated, there are a few guides that you can purchase. One of those guides is the Guide to Literary Agents. This guide is like the ever so popular Writer’s Market books. These Guide to Literary Agent books are just a few of the many available for sale; however, they come highly rated and recommended. When buying a literary agent guide, be sure to examine contents. The best guide is one that not only provides you with helpful tips, but also one that gives you the contact information of literary agents that may be able to help you publish a book.

In addition to using a printed guide to help you find a literary agent, you can also use the internet. When using the internet to find a literary agent to help you publish a book, there are a number of different approaches that you can take. For starters, perform a standard internet search. Your search should at least include the phrase “literary agents.”  Your standard internet search for literary agents should produce several different results. These results should include websites that function as literary agent directories, where multiple literary agents and their contact information is listed. When using this approach, be sure to check for dates, as you will want to make sure that you have updated information.

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Another way that you can use the internet to find literary agents involves using business directories. Many of these directories, such as the ones for Yahoo, also work in conjunction with standard internet searches. What you will want to do is choose a location, such as a local location or a well-known location like New York. Then, for the business enter in literary agent. This will likely provide you with the name of individual literary agents or literary agencies, as well as their locations, websites, and telephone numbers.

As highlighted above, there are a few different ways that you can go about finding literary agents. As easy as it can be to find a literary agent to work with, it is important that you do not just choose anyone. You need to remember that literary agents have all different experiences and success levels. Be sure to examine rates, quality of work, success rate, and feedback from past and current clients. This will not only help to increase your chances of getting your book published, but it will also prevent you from losing money.


Do not Get Burned – Watch out for Publishing Scams

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Are you an author who would like to get a book published? Of course you are!!! If you are currently an unpublished author, you may do just about anything to see your book in print. As good as it is to have goals and dreams, it is also important to have knowledge on your side. If you do not proceed with caution, you may find yourself falling victim to some common book publishing frauds.

Unless you decide to self-publish a book, you should never have to pay a publisher to put your book in print. In fact, it should be the other way around. Yes, most publishers will take a percentage of the money that you make, but that percentage is not even always talked about. Most well-known publishers will either offer you a flat fee or an advance payment. If royalty payments are decided on, a specific percentage will be agreed upon.

Individuals or companies who claim that you must pay to have your book published are likely just trying to swindle you. They are either after two things, your material, or your money. Chances are, your book may never even be published, but if you sign a contract, the individual or company in question may then own the words that you wrote. For that reason, never, under any circumstances, should you pay a publisher to publish your book for you.

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In addition to book publishing companies, it is also important to proceed with caution where literary agents and editors are concerned. Editors are recommended, as they are likely to find grammar mistakes that you may have missed. What you will want to do, however, is be cautious of who you do hire. Never pay someone to read your book that you have not heard of before. Since you may not know many editors or any for that matter, the proper amount of research should be done. Look for editor reviews online or ask other published writers for recommendations.

In terms of literary agents, the same amount of research should be done. Did you know that many publishing companies avoid collaborating with certain literary agents? Those who do not properly screen their books or those that misrepresent their books, develop a bad name for themselves. The last thing that you want is your name and book attached to a literary agent with a bad reputation.

As for the frauds that are associated with literary agents, it is important to be cautious with pay. A literary agent or agency that asks you to pay a fee upfront is a good sign of a scam. This fee is often called a reading fee. What you need to know though is that many literary agents take a percentage of the amount of money that you make when you sign a contract with a publisher. In a way, this can serve as a guarantee that you will be receiving quality, guaranteed results. Publishers who accept upfront fees may later choose to not accept you as a client or they may just take your money and run.

When looking to get a book published, the above-mentioned frauds are just a few of the many that you will want to keep in mind. If an offer, a literary agent, or an editor sounds too good to be true, chances are it is.


Digital Publishing

Are you a writer who has tried and tried and tried again to get your book published? If you have and if you have only been met with rejection letter after rejection letter, your first impulse may be to give up. The decision to do so is yours to make, but if you do believe that you have a delightful book on your hands, you may want to consider transforming your book into an eBook instead.

A nice as it is to hear that you can take your book, transform it into an eBook, and sell it, you may be curious as to why you should do so, as well as how. The good news is that creating an eBook is a lot easier than many imagine. In fact, the hardest part of about creating an eBook is writing one and you should already have this step accomplished.

As for the benefits of creating an eBook, it is first important to know what they are. eBooks are defined as electronic or digital books. The materials and stories covered in eBooks are just like printed books; however, the overall format is different.

As for who reads eBooks and how they are read, you will find that it all depends. There are several small handheld machines that are used to read eBooks. These components upload an eBook, often through a small connecting cable that is connected through the computer. As popular as this approach is, many eBook reading machines can be costly; therefore, many readers choose to simply just read eBooks from their computer or print them. The most avid readers of eBooks are those who are internet and computer savvy.

The main benefit of transforming your book into an eBook is that the process is easy. In fact, many first-time authors are surprised just how easy it is to create an eBook. Although you do have a few different formatting options, many choose the popular PDF format, as most computers already have free reader programs installed. This means that your buyers will be able to read your eBook right away.

Since all publishers require book manuscripts to be in printed, computer format. There is a good chance that your book is already saved on your computer. What you will want to do is use a program, like Adobe Create a PDF Online. Simply follow the directions and your book will automatically be transformed into a PDF file. As for creating an eBook, this is really the only step that you need to take.

As easy as it is to create an eBook, selling it can be more difficult. The good news, however, is that you do have a number of different options. One of those options to sell your eBook on a third-party website. These are websites where a diverse collection of eBooks are listed for sale and written by different authors. The only downside to this approach is the fact that most third-party websites take a small percentage of each sale or they charge a monthly fee.

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In keeping with selling an eBook, you also have the option of creating your own website. What you will want to do is create a webpage that offers detailed information about your eBook, such as its title, the basis of your storyline, or what readers will learn if your eBook is a how-to book. This approach is the most cost effective; however, it is important to remember that internet users will not just be able to find your website; you also need to market it as well.

As for accepting payment, many eBook authors use programs like PayPal. If you do choose to create your own website, you can also purchase your own shopping trolley software. This should allow you to not only accept payments from PayPal members, but major credit card holders as well.

As a recap, transforming your book into an eBook and selling it online is a nice alternative to print publishing and self-publishing. If you are unable to get your eBook published by a well-known publisher, it is an approach that you will want to examine.


Some quotes about success – Keep writing!!

“Believe in yourself. You are braver than you think, more talented than you know, and capable of more than you imagine.”― Roy T. Bennett

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”― Robert F. Kennedy

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”― Theodore Roosevelt

“Develop success from failures. Discouragement and failure are two of the surest stepping stones to success.” — Dale Carnegie

“The road to success and the road to failure are almost exactly the same.” — Colin R. Davis

“Failure is success if we learn from it.” – Malcolm Forbes

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” — Napoleon Hill

“You have to be able to accept failure to get better.” — Lebron James

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill


Letters from France?

Sitting here today working on part of my Inspector Flaange detective series and I suddenly remembered the term ‘French Letter’ as a euphemism for a condom.

So I wondered why is it ‘French Letter’?

Any ideas?

I found this quote “In Britain, this is a rather old-fashioned euphemism for a condom; in France the phrase ‘capote Anglaise’ is comparable and would be translated as ‘English overcoat‘. It seems that the term is first traced to the 1850s, a period of great tension between the two countries and in which in Britain local militias (groups of male volunteers who dressed up in fancy uniforms with guns and paraded around a lot) were formed because of fears about a French invasion. Other concerns became pressing during the period of the First World War concerning venereal disease, with official recommendation that troops sent to fight in France should either remain ‘pure‘ or use condoms to protect themselves. The worry was not for the women concerned, but keeping the men in shape in order to send them to the front.”


Some thoughts on Self-Publishing

Are you an author who has a book that you would like to see published? If you are, you should know that you do have a few different options. While the most common approach taken involves relying on a third-party publishing house, you do also have the option of self-publishing your own book. At the moment I have two books available on Amazon, though be warned, I like dark and crazy humour!

When an author makes the decision to self-publish a book, he or she has complete control over the entire process. In fact, that is just one of the many pros or plus sides to self-publishing, as many authors like having complete control over their works of art. As for the responsibility of an author in terms of self-publishing, an author must draft the book, edit it, find a company to manufacturer the printed book, and sell it. Although the process does seem relatively easy to most, it is important to remember that there are several pros and cons to self-publishing.

As it was previously stated, a self-publisher is responsible for the sale of their book. For many this is a tiring process. When a third-party publishing house is used, they take on most of the work associated with selling a book, such as marketing. This is not how self-publishing works. Many self-publishers set up websites where they list their books available for sale. Even then, however, that website must be marketed so that visitors will find it. Self-publishers also have the option of approach retailers, including bookstores, hoping to get their books available for sale locally.

Another con or downside to self-publishing is the cost. Technically, you could say that even when using a third-party publishing house, you still pay for the cost of getting your book published. This is because your publisher does take a fee out of the amount of money that you are paid; however, many authors do not even take this cut into consideration. Even though it will cost money to have your book transformed into print, there are steps that you can take to reduce the cost. The most common approach involves having your book printed on demand, instead of having books on hand.

As previously stated, some self-publishers find it difficult to sell their books. Yes, this process can be difficult, but many other self-published authors have seen success. When you put the proper amount of time, research, and energy into selling a self-published book, you stand the most chance of making the biggest profit. This is because, aside from the cost of your expenses, you can retain all your profits. There is no one else that must share your profits, unless of course you decide to hire help.

Another pro or plus side to self-publishing is the fact that unknown authors are given the opportunity to shine. Some of the best-selling books today are written by authors who already have an established history or name. In fact, unless you have an amazing book or a well-known name, there is a good chance that many publishing companies will not want to take a chance on you. This does not mean that your book is a poorly written one or that it has a bad story line. It just means that the publishing market is a tough one.

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One of the biggest signs that self-publishing may be right for you if you believe that you have a book that will sell, but you still receive multiple rejection letters from well-known publishing houses. Self-publishing is also an ideal approach for authors who write books that will sell, but books that only have a limited targeted marketed. For example, if you are interested in authoring a book on your city or town, your targeted market may be quite small and publishers may not want to take a chance with that.

Since there are several pros and cons to self-publishing, you should take the time to decide if self-publishing is right for you. Additional research can help you determine if self-publishing is truly your best option.


Some thoughts on Children’s Book Publishing

Are you a writer who would like to write and publish a children’s book?

If you are, you should know that you have a lot of work ahead of you. A lot of new writer’s believe that children’s books are easy to write. Yes, children’s books are easier to write but that does not mean that children’s books are easier to get published.

I know this is stating the obvious, but, the first step in getting a children’s book published is to write a great children’s book. You will want to write a children’s book that kids cannot wait to read or a book that kids do not want to put down. This is most often the case with chapter books or books for young adults, but even picture books must be interesting and captivating.

One of the best ways to ensure that you write a good children’s book is by talking to kids in the age group that you intend to write for. Are you a parent yourself? If you are, speak to your kids. What would they like to see in a book? If you do not have any kids, consider asking your younger relatives or the children of your friends.

Also, if you are a parent, you are at an advantage because there is a good chance that you have read stories to your children before. What books did they find the most interesting? Which books did you like to read to them the most? Examine the themes and layouts of these books and consider making yours similar in nature.

After you have written a children’s book, your first thought may be to start approaching publishers right away. This is a step is one that should wait. First, it is important to proofread and edit your book. Unfortunately, many new authors assume that this is a step that they do not have to take. Many mistakenly believe that since children’s books are shorter in length that there is much less to edit. The truth is that you should proofread and edit a children’s book more. Since there are less words, publishers expect every word to be written perfectly. If you must, hire the services of a professional editor.

Join a critique group. Writer’s critique groups are easy to find and they have several benefits. The best way to find a writer’s critique group is by using the internet. You may be able to find online critique groups or information on local groups. Depending on what you find, you may need to pay a small fee to join a critique group, but some out there do not require the payment of a membership fee. When becoming a part of a writer’s critique group, you share your book with other group members and they will do the same.

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Whether you use the services of a professional editor, join a writer’s group, or just let your friends or family read your book, it is important to take all advice into consideration. Of course, this does not mean that you must completely rewrite your book, but you will want to take all suggestions into consideration. Your friends, editors that you pay, and other members of a writer’s critique group want to see you succeed, not fail. This means that the advice that they do give you is useful and helpful; therefore, it should be taken into consideration.

Have you written and published a Children’s book?

If so let me know!


What about Literary Agents?

I decided to put together some articles about publishing your work. The articles will examine things like different genres, self-publishing, publishing tips, children’s books etc. I thought I would start with some thoughts about literary agents.

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Are you a writer who would like to get a book published? If you are, you may have heard that you should hire the services of a professional literary agent. Yes, there are several benefits to using a professional agent, but is one really needed?

As for whether you use should use the services of a literary agent, there are a few key factors that you will first want to take into consideration. One of those being your book. Have you already drafted your book? If you have not, you may be at an advantage. For example, you can take the time to first research publishers and what they are looking for. When you can tailor what you write to exactly what most publishers are looking for, you are more likely to see success, even without the help of a professional agent.

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If you have already drafted your book, you may still be able to get it published without using the services of a professional agent. What you will want to do, however, is find the publisher or publishers that are the perfect fit for you and your book. This will involve a little bit of research on your part, but it is often a lot cheaper than using a professional literary agent. As for how you should proceed, if you are a science fiction writer, only send your book manuscript to publishing houses that are looking for science fiction books, as opposed to those who are requesting romance novels and so forth.

Although it is possible to get a book published without having a literary agent by your side, there are times where a literary agent is needed. For example, many of the larger, well-known publishing houses do not accept manuscripts from authors who are not collaborating with an agent. If you have your heart set on seeing your book published by a larger, well-known publisher, as opposed to a lesser known, smaller publisher, an agent may be in your best interest. If you do decide not to use a literary agent, just be sure not to send your book to publishers who request that their authors have agents, as this can create a bad image of yourself.

If you do decide to hire the services of a professional literary agent, you will want to proceed with caution. For starters, anyone can call themselves a professional, but that does not mean that they are. For your best interest, it is worthwhile to research and examine several literary agents before making your decision. Compare costs, quality, and success rates. If you are targeting a specific genre, such the children’s market, try to find publishers that specialize in the field of children’s books.

For the ultimate level of protecting your best interest, examine literary agents who only get paid when your book gets published. In all honesty, these types of literary agents and agencies are few and far in between and many only extend this offer to a limited number of authors, but you do not have to worry about losing money.

As a recap, there is no rule stating that a literary agent is required to get a book published. That does not mean, however, that you cannot benefit from using the services of one.



Hey I just got this from Daily Motivation site .

Keep going with your writing!!

You are capable of overcoming the challenges you face in life.

No matter what happens, do not let yourself get bogged down by fear, and negativity.

Be patient with yourself as you work through whatever life throws your way.

Give yourself some time to process your negative feelings and then allow yourself to move on. Things can change for the better.

You are attracting the greatest moments of your life. Be open to miracles. You deserve positive experiences.

You deserve happiness. You deserve a beautiful life. Keep going.


Catching up

I haven’t posted for a while. I kept my focus on completing another task.

When I have an idea for a book I sit with an old fashioned writing pad and a fountain pen, and I let the ideas flow. Sometimes when I look back I can’t read my notes as I was writing so fast at the time! Then I leave it until I am ready to start typing it up.

In the summer of 2015 I was visiting some friends in Istanbul. With a long flight each way I have to take something to read. I had downloaded a book about the History and Mythology of the Celtic peoples, onto my Kindle. I no longer have that kindle so I can’t give an actual reference to the book I was a reading.

Anyway, I read the story of the Sons of Turenn and the slaying of Kian, and the ensuing Magic tasks set by Lugh to settle the blood feud. Then I imagined my heroine, Fairy Hanny, being dropped in to help the Sons of Turenn to solve the riddles and complete the tasks.

Thus began ‘Fairy Hanny and the Sons of Turenn: The third in the tales of Fairy Hanny.’

Life can be too busy!

I carried on writing as I returned to my job in Kazakhstan, filling in bits and pieces when time allowed – the school I worked at was very busy, I had a fantastic social life (which will be the subject of a travelogue soon) and my mother became ill and died. However I managed to finish the draft by the end of June 2016, and put it to one side while I though about it.

I spent most of July 2016 in Peniscola, Spain, then in September I moved to a new job in Gran Canaria. The book sat on one side while I worked on other ideas. September 2018 I moved to Casablanca and left my draft in storage in the UK.

Suddenly it is October 2021, and I am back in the UK. Out came the draft and out came the wordprocessor. Yesterday I finally finished typing up the second draft. Now it will sit while I print it out and edit – I find it difficult to edit onscreen, as it is too difficult to flip between pages to check for continuity errors.

My plan is to get the final version on to Amazon before the end of August. If anyone would like to push me on that please feel free to email ppswifty@gmail.com



Continuing with my writing of the latest book – Fairy Hanny and the Sons of Turenn.

Looking back at the things I referred to yesterday as I worked on the latest chapter…

Other words for Turd…

Lyrics to Nature Boy…

Spelling of Diarrhoea… Lots of possible variations!

Google translate…

Shades of Red…

Varieties of Persian Carpets… Different cities have their own patterns.

Buy the Books!

Hannys first tale

Hannys second tale



I am working on my third story featuring the beautiful Fairy Hanny. As I worked through the latest chapter I found I was researching a lot of things, including @The Whore of Babylon’ and a ‘Lakeland Rill’.

I also had to check my spelling a lot as my mind moves a lot faster than my fingers.

And I came across a delightful riddle that I can use in my Physics classes…

“What moves faster hot or cold?”


Staying relaxed

Looking for the good in all aspects of life.

I have spent a lot of time over the last year destressing. I had a bad case of Covid-19 just over a year ago. There is a week of my life for which I have very little memory. My temperature was spiking at 41C (about 106 F) and I was hallucinating and being a horrible patient. Since then I quit my teaching job in Azerbaijan and came back home to Merseyside, to be with friends and family.

I keep finding great quotes to help put life into perspective, and I enjoy sharing them here. If any of you keep a blog and you’re looking for some articles to use check out this link.

Enjoy this quote.

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Breathe, stay calm and avoid unnecessary drama. We cannot control other people.

But we can set healthy boundaries to focus on our own needs and protect our peace. It’s up to you to decide how much you’re going to let other people’s behaviour affect you.

Worrying about other people’s behaviours only steals your joy. Direct your energy towards developing your emotional intelligence and living a happier life.

Whenever you find yourself getting frustrated over little things, practice taking a pause to shift your perspective and avoid making the issue bigger than it needs to be.

Write down your thoughts to objectively reflect on the annoyances you face in your everyday life.



We have had a few public holidays here in UK. I celebrated by drinking lots of wine. And I feel guilty. I suppose I have little choice as I was brought up Catholic. By the time I was seven years old I had been convinced that it was my fault that Jesus had been nailed to the cross. That’s the kind of indoctrination Nuns and Priests can instil.

I broke the indoctrination and I still have the guilt. So I was delighted to find this quote on Daily Motivation.

Many of us struggle to overcome the feelings of guilt for past mistakes.

We tend to assume that if we let go of these feelings of guilt and shame, we will end up making the same mistakes again and revert to our old selves.

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That’s not true. Our daily habits make us who we are.

If you appreciate yourself for recognizing where you mess up and put in the effort to reinforce a helpful belief, you will strengthen your ability to overcome guilt.

You now have the chance to do the right thing. Acknowledging your feeling and focusing on growth can help you move on.

Be kind to yourself. The emotional pain of the past will ease with time. “


Writing and thinking

I love writing!

I am working on the third Fairy Hanny story and my first detective novel featuring Inspector Flaange. I also have some Maths and English books that I am editing, and an outline of a book on Motivation.

I get an email every day with a Daily Motivation. So I will share this one;

You are blessed in so many ways. Live your life with gratitude. Notice the little wins every day. There are so many good things you have already received.

So many things go right in a day.

Savour the good. 

Don’t let the good moments pass without celebration.

Spend some time cherishing them and hold on to positive emotions a little longer. Appreciate the hard work you have put into the things you have achieved until now.

Savour the sensation of being grateful. Learning to notice and enjoy what’s around you makes it easier to snap yourself out of negative thoughts. 


Be strong!

Whenever the fear of uncertainty creeps in, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself that the future is not yet real.

By staying focused on worst-case scenarios, you fail to keep an open mind about the situation at hand. We can only control ourselves in the present moment.

Think of your past experiences. Life has always been full of uncertainty. And you were always able to cope.

You’re now wiser and have more insights on how to deal with things. You are perfectly capable of handling uncertainty.


Do you need to make some changes in your life?

Signs to look for…

You feel lost or stuck in life

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Do you feel like you are stuck in a rut, and you have lost your purpose? This is a sure sign that a change is needed. Everyone has a purpose, but it is not always easy to identify it. Also, your purpose can change as you get older and go through life’s experiences. So, if you feel like your life is not your own anymore, it is time to make a change.

Your mood is consistently flat

Another sign change is needed is if you find your mood is constantly flat. That is, you do not really enjoy anything anymore. You do not have to feel depressed to make a change, simply feeling constantly flat is another indicator your life is not satisfying.

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Think about the things that used to make you feel good. It could be that you once enjoyed your career. If you now do not like your job, it is a sign you need to make a change to get back to feeling that initial excitement.

You suffer with poor self esteem

Low self-esteem can develop for a lot of distinct reasons. However, it tends to be more prevalent in those who do not take care of themselves. If you lack self-care, you may criticize yourself more or feel like you are not worth much.

Over time, poor self-esteem can lead you to feel like you do not deserve good things in life. This in turn can cause you to give up trying to be happy. If you suffer with poor self-esteem, it is a good sign you need a change.

You have very little energy

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Having little energy throughout the day could be a sign of poor sleep. However, it can also relate to a deeper issue if you are constantly tired. It may mean that you have lost your passion and interest in life. When you spend a lot of time doing things that do not inspire you, it can zap your energy quickly.

So, if you wake up feeling tired and drained consistently, take it as a sign you need more self-care in your life. When you are taking care of yourself, you will feel energized and ready to take on anything.

As you can see, there are a lot of signs that could point to the fact you need a change.

Self-care can really help to improve self-esteem, give you a sense of purpose and help to make you feel happier and more energized. So, if you want to make a change, recognize where your current issues lie and use self-care to eliminate them.


The First Step to Change is to Recognize it is Needed

I recently went out for the evening in Liverpool, to celebrate an old friends birthday. Before I left home I cooked some Chicken legs, using a homemade marinade. I put them into the oven as I rushed around, tidying my apartment and preparing for the evening. I took the chicken out of the oven and left it to cool on my hob. Then I left home and forgot about it.

I had a great afternoon and evening catching up with friends, some of whom I hadn’t seen for almost a decade. I suppose that is because I have spent most of the last 15 years travelling and teaching in countries such as China, the UAE, Kazakhstan and Spain. However, we are all still alive and it was great to catch-up. There was a black sense of humour abundantly displayed that evening, with several people commenting that maybe our next gathering will be at someone’s wake..

When I got home I decided to eat a couple of the chicken legs. I could tell there was something not quite right about the two I ate. However, an evening of drinking beer does tend to cloud judgement…

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The first kick back came at 5 am. I woke very early, feeling nauseous. I just about managed to reach the bathroom before being violently ill! I can’t remember the last time I vomited, though I think it was at least 30 years ago. I went back to bed after brushing my teeth and drinking a pint of water.

The joy was repeated at 6 am. This time the retching was also very painful. More toothpaste and more water and back to bed.

At 7.30 am the big one came! I didn’t quite make it into the bathroom this time. And the retching! The dizziness! The light headed feeling! It seemed to go on and on and on…

I finally got out of bed at 11 am. I spent the day drinking water and watching terrible movies on Netflix. I reflected a lot on the sickness that day and over the following week.

I decided I needed to change a few things.

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The First Step to Change is to Recognize it is Needed

If you are struggling to make healthier changes in your life, it could be that you are not convinced a change is needed. Many of us are also great at avoiding change. It tends to be something we dread, rather than look forward to. However, if you want to live your best life, it is imperative you recognize when a change is needed. So, how exactly can you recognize that change is needed in your life?

In my next post I will suggest some of the signs to look for when you need to change.

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Another adventure for Fairy Hanny

I can’t let a week go by without a little bit of self publicity! I corrected the misprint on the back cover, so you missed you chance to get a unique copy!

Hanny is still the heroine, despite the shenanigans of Ken Tucky and Wayne Downe, the two Elfs of some renown. They speak Elvisthank you very much!

The First Adventure of Fairy Hanny is still available on Amazon. However that will soon be updated too, as I now use a new email address to access KDP. It will also mean a new cover too.

I am now learning how to link the books as a series on Amazon, though I am not 100% sure I will do it properly. I will keep you updated.

Meanwhile checkout Strange Things From Uranus. It is a very funny story. When I originally wrote it I didn’t see the link between my title and that wonderful American expression STFU!


Stay focused

I’ve been reading a lot recently about motivation, inspiration and focus. I’ve also been thinking a lot about my past, missed opportunities and some of the crazy things I’ve said and done.

Now I am forgiving myself so I can move forward with my writing, teaching and online business. That might explain why this meme appealed to me;


Just do it!

Today I was talking with an old friend about creativity. She had just had an argument with her mother along the lines of ‘why don’t you get a real job’.

Anna is an artist I met in Almaty. We have been friends for almost 8 years now. She is planning 6 new exhibitions this year, now that covid restrictions are lifting in Kazakhstan. I am working on three new books! We talked about the way many of the people in my past ridiculed my desire to write, telling me to just be happy as a teacher.

The funny thing is, I am happy as a teacher. And I also love creative writing! I have two books on Amazon, and there will be more by the end of this year. I have my heroine, Fairy Hanny, who lives in a strange world of Elf’s, Pixy’s, trolls and time travellers. I also have the black humour of my crime series, Inspector Hunter Flaange and his partner Jason Beaver. Then I have my travel diaries from Switzerland, Kazakhstan, Morocco and Azerbaijan. Plus the semi-autobiographical tale of growing up in the 70’s, 80′, and now, called Going to California.

I found this quote from DailyMotivation. I wish I had it 30 years ago.

“You have to believe that you can do it. Out of all the obstacles you will face in your life, a lack of belief in yourself is the biggest one.

Unless you believe in your abilities, you will limit yourself no matter how great the opportunities are around you.

Being confident gives you a feeling of certainty that you’ll figure it out somehow and make the situation work for you. Choose to be confident.

You can accomplish whatever you set your mind to. Take the moment and make the best of it.”


A friend of mine from Kazakhstan has just had to give up her job. She was working in a big restaurant in Dubai, and has now returned to Almaty to look after her mother. Over the last few years Mom’s eyesight has been deteriorating. Now she is completely blind. Manshuk has taken Mom to various hospitals and even went to see a German Ophthalmologist who was working at a clinic in Astana.

Nothing is working, and there is no cure.

I found this quote as a way to help Manshuk through these tough times.

“Things can change for the better very quickly. Don’t get discouraged because of what you’re going through right now. You do have the strength to keep on living.

Life will give you a chance to smile again. Trust that life has more in store for you than just sadness and misery.

Shift your focus from the paralyzing negative thoughts to helpful thoughts that calm you down. Let go of things you cannot control.

Remaining hopeful is a practice. Open up to the possibility of positive change. 

There is a whole world waiting for you on the other side of pain. 

Good things are coming.”


Am I getting stressed?

Ok I am back in the UK, and I have a temporary job as a College Lecturer, teaching basic Mathematics. Now I am looking ahead to the next academic year. What should I do? Should I hope for an extension of this contract or secure another International Post?

Thailand looks good…

Anyway, I thought I would share another idea from the daily Motivation team. This is a problem I have with strangers. I either clam up and say nothing, or I give them my life story in 2 minutes!

Let me know what you think.

“Feelings of anxiety, poor boundaries, or attempting to be more relatable can lead to oversharing. Talking impulsively can have some unpleasant consequences.

You might say the wrong thing, or make other people feel awkward by sharing intimate details of your life.

Moreover, excessive self-disclosure to the wrong person can lead them to take advantage of you. Be mindful and embrace whatever each moment brings with a calm attitude.

Active listening will allow you to pay attention to social cues and be more aware of how people are reacting.”


Cut down on what you worry about each day.

 Very few things actually matter in life. Simply focus on those things and let everything else go.

Worrying about things you have no control over disrupts your overall wellbeing and erodes your life satisfaction. Decide what matters to you right now.

Protect your peace by controlling your attitude and the things you tell yourself.

Each day, take time to be still and reflect on different aspects of your life so you never lose sight of what truly matters to you.


Trans Uranic Elements

Don’t forget, this is still available on Amazon. Get it before I do the update on the jacket blurb. There is a spelling mistake, so if you get it now you will get the rare copy!

The Dark Side of Uranus https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B09SL7VMXB?psc=1&smid=A3P5ROKL5A1OLE&ref_=chk_typ_imgToDp

Thought for today

I’ve been working a lot on my latest book in the Fairy Hanny series, so I took my eye away from my blogs. Suddenly a few weeks have gone and nothing has been submitted.

Then I started to get some emails in saying ‘daily motivation’ and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of them. Here we go…

“Life never stops moving. Every stage of your life will push you to adapt and grow. You can’t really go back to your old self.

You may retain some aspects of your old self, but you have to acknowledge that you’re not the same person anymore.

The experiences you have gone through have shifted you from who you used to be. Focus on growing from the lessons learned and embracing who you are now.

Develop a sense of gratitude for how things are in the present.

Honour your journey.”


TransUranic Elements:The Dark Side of Uranus

When I was very young I heard this song being played on an LP by Steeleye Span. (For the youngsters -LP means Long Playing vinyl record.) It stuck in my head and many years later came out as part of my inspiration for this second book featuring Fairy Hanny. It is an old English folk song. Bedlam was the name given to Bethlem Royal Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in London. It was deemed a hospital for the insane in the fifteenth century, though these days we would say it deals with people who have extreme mental health issues.

At one time wealthy people would pay to visit the hospital to watch the lunatics, a sad case of modern day car crash addictions. Google Bedlam to find out more.

Bedlam boys

For to see Mad Tom of Bedlam, 10,000 years I’d travel
Mad Magdalene goes on dirty toes, to save her shoes from gravel.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

Her staff has murdered giants; her bag a long knife carries
For to cut mince pies from children’s thighs, with which to feed the Fairies.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

I went down to Steven’s kitchen, for to beg me food one morning
There I got Soles piping hot, all on the spit a turning.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

No gypsy slut nor doxy shall win my Mad Tom from me
I’ll weep all night, the stars I’ll fight, the fray will well become me.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

There I picked up a cauldron, where boiled 10,000 harlots
Though full of flame I drank the same, to the health of all such varlets.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

Spirits white as lightning, shall on my travels guide me
The moon would quake and the stars would shake, when’ ere they espied me.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

It’s when next I have murdered, the Witch King into powder
His staff I’ll break, his dog I’ll bake, there’ll howl no demon louder.

Still I sing bonnie boys, bonnie mad boys,
Bedlam boys are bonnie
For they all go bare and they live by the air,
And they want no Drink nor money

So, Drink to Tom of Bedlam, he’ll fill the seas in barrels
I’ll Drink it all, all brewed with gall, with Mad Magdalene I will travel.


Another extract for your entertainment

One of the joys of writing a book is that you have in effect created a whole series of blogposts! Here is another extract from my latest book.

The original, which introduced the delightful Fairy Hanny, is also available on Amazon.


“So, as we sip our cold beers, brewed to perfection in silly Suffolk, our eyes are cast upon this beautiful woodland glade.  

(Don´t worry about the cast in your eye, you´ll grow out of it. Well, that’s what the doctor said to me.)

At this very moment, in what we choose to call Time, we find ourselves watching a scene unfolding, not too far from the Magical City of Setebos, the seat of the Fairy Kings, where King Innocent the Foetid is the centre of all wisdom, on a planet largely devoid of common sense. It is also devoid of incense, ten cents and senescence.



City of expiring dreams and chocolate covered ice creams! Where poets die and crooner’s cry! Though it’s not unusual and you don’t have to be rich! A place for doves to cry and spies to spy! Where watching birds can catch your eye! A city for tourists and two men with four wrists! Where boozers booze and cruisers cruise! Where the Fairies are light and airy, and nothing is dreary! And if you want to go home just find a Gnome! If things get too tricksy just find a Pixy! Where Bigfoot sits Leery whilst eating a canary!

Chomp! Chomp! Chomp!

Was it a yellowy canary or just a parrot looking scary?

Cities all over the Multiverse and Yorkshire have their concentrations of rogues and villains and scum and scavengers and Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves, and Thugs and Yobs and Yahoos and Bullingdon Bores and Lying Bigots dressed in Blue; wherever you go you can be sure they’re there! And if you don´t know where you are going then you will definitely end up on Uranus.

Setebos -Your streets are paved with a Golden Vision and there are golden showers everywhere; your bars are decorated with lasciviousness; there are pretty Fairies all over the place; but sometimes the sky is grey, and we wonder how tomorrow could ever follow today. City of perspiration and inspiration, of expiration and exploitation, of generation and a railway station! Oh Setebos, Mother of Invention and Zapper of negativity, even when it doesn’t pull you through. When the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness comes running through, that is when we see what is owed to Autumn, when the trees do a shimmy of golden-brown leaves falling all around.

Then we know it’s Time to be on our way.

Anyway, on this most auspicious of days, the Sun shines her long-lost rays into this comfortable clearing, dancing from leaf to leaf, roots to branches, catching diaphanous wings of Mayfly’s, who hunt the wilderness for their one day of fame, seeking insectile eroticism before death takes them prematurely to the great Entomologists Display Case in the sky.

A leaf falls silently from the highest branch of a Rowan tree, oscillating left and right as the drag competes with gravity to slow its descent. It caresses the ground like a kiss from a rose, delighting a woodlouse in its humdrum day of decay. A beautiful white rabbit pops into the scene, slowly rubbing shampoo from his eyes; he wasn’t going to worry about being late as this is not the tale of his tail. Soon those stinging eyes perceive a flickering ghostly image, which becomes a shimmer and a glimmer as the light gets dimmer. The rabbit scurries away to a hole in the ground, from which there will eventually emerge a Magnificent Mathematical Yarn – but that’s another story. As the rabbit disappears with his ears, from the twinkling manifestation, appears the delicately roguish Mad Tom of Bedlam; wild silver hair and deep blue eyes trying their best to regain focus.”


More from Fairy Hanny

I am very happy to say I just published my second book on Amazon. So for the next week or so I will be promoting my work – just like I said I would on this blog!!

The story is the second in the series featuring my heroine, Fairy Hanny. She is a tough go-getter, and also stunningly beautiful. A sort of Amazonian with wings! The first book is also available on Amazon, and I am working on the third in this series.

I thought some extracts might amuse people. So here we go.

“Things are not as they should be on Uranus (I´m sure you know the feeling); someone is fiddling with Time; jiggling about with the quantization of wormholes (how many would you like Madam?); disturbing the elasticated fabric of the raggedy arsed eternal soldier as he wends his way through the Political Battles of Carpathian Princes pretending to be Vlad reincarnated. Maybe it was God playing dice with the Universe, though Albert said there was no chance of that happening. Maybe God was spinning a roulette wheel with a few Russians and they were betting on red all the Time. Yet still Wolfgang said no chance my good man.

Hurry, Hurry, Hurry!

Turn and turn and turn and turn…

Another turn around the wheel!”


Extract – The sons of Turenn

Well it is out there. The next instalment of the Tales of Fairy Hanny.

TransUranic Elements: The Dark Side of Uranus.

And now I am working on the third book, so I am putting a section here, for your entertainment. Enjoy.

First one is still there too..

The Death of Kian.

“What was it that led you to kill the mullet headed Kian?”

A great question.

So great Hanny had to ask several times.

Before her sat the sons of Turenn, now united in sporting Curly perms. Though it could be said that Dennis had developed his look to be something like a curly mullet. And Wayne had grown his hare back. They sat there, dressed in orange and green, though sometimes they dressed in black and tan, especially when being total bastards.




Came three answers of sorts. Hanny thought they were about to shout, ‘Baby Jump’.

Hanny looked upon her new companions with awe. Bodies sculptured to impress the ladies; faces sculptured to win any gurning contest. Why was nature so cruel?

Gorgeous women with pea sized brains.

Physicists lacking social skills.

Politicians lying for a living while claiming to help.

Celibate priests buggering about.

And Princes raping young girls at twelve million quid a time.

There are strange things and strange worlds and strange rules and strange things from Uranus.

The sons of Turenn sat at the great table. They had been eating for hours and now the chicken legs, racks of ribs, Olives and jelly’s had all but disappeared. It was time to dismiss the rest of the revellers and reveal their revelations. Time to confess their misdeeds, without admitting the truth to All and Sundry, especially on Sunday. After all, All was one of the biggest gossips in the Turenn Household, and Sundry was a right twat.

Hanny would be thrilled to hear the truth, if it ever came out. Though coming out as the ‘truth’ was not quite the same as living in a closet.

So it came to pass, alack and alas, that Kian wanted to pass through the Lands of Turenn, on a secret mission to the west, at someone’s bequest though we don’t know the rest. He knew his ridiculous mullet would make him recognisable to anyone in the Turenn tribe. So, he conjured up a little bit of that old black magic, the type keeps you in its spell, that old black magic that you know so well. Then with a whiz and a biz and a fizz Kian turned himself into a pig. In more recent years it has become common place for Politicians to familiarise themselves with pigs, though at the time of Kian it was a novel approach; he wrote a book about it.

Kian, disguised as a pig, believed he could tootle his trotters across the Land of Turenn and continue with his mysterious quest.

“Stupid fecker,” said Brian. “As if we wouldn’t notice a pig with a mullet!”

Thus, it was that Brian, Dennis and Wayne chased the pig with the mullet and speared it. Then they ate fresh pork chops that night, having first buried the entrails in the local dung hill to keep the dogs away.

As he lay dying the pig/Kian cursed the sons of Turenn.

“At first I thought he had ‘spare’ wounds,” explained Wayne. “I am dyslexic, even though such a diagnosis does not exist in the Legendary Land of Faery. What could be so bad about a ‘spare’ wound? Hey how many wounds have you got? Any spare ones so I don’t have to go over the top?”

Hanny looked perplexed.

“When I realised they meant ‘spear’ wounds, I knew things could be falat!” continued Wayne.

“Falat?” asked Hanny.

“He means fatal,” said Dennis. “The dumb fuck can’t even say his lines dead proper.”

“Falat – that’s what I said!” said Wayne.

“That pork was rather tasty,” smiled Brian.

“You can’t beat fresh Prok,” agreed Wayne.

“Anyway, once we had scoffed the lot and stored some Kian sausages in the freezer, we got an angry call from Lugh,” explained Brian.

“Where is my mullet headed son?” cried Lugh.

“We turned him into pork scratchings,” laughed Dennis.

Lugh was as angry as Rottweiler on speed.

“Nobody kills my kin or my grunters!” shouted Lugh, for he was sad at the death of his dad.

And so it was that the sons of Turenn were beckoned to the High King Daffte at Tara to say goodbye to their freedom.

They admitted to their guilt at eating the porcine father of Lugh, but hey, a bit of crackling never did any harm. And what of the battle of the hairdo’s? To pay or not to pay, was that the question?

“Oh, wonderful King Daffte, what is so wrong about spearing a pig, even though it is sporting a mullet?” asked Brian.

Brian suggested that maybe an avant-garde pig keeper was very fond of mullets on his pigs. How were they to know? If a pig specialist had decided on interesting hair styles for his charges, how were the sons of Turenn to distinguish between black magic Kian and an audacious swineherd? The sons of Turenn felt they had won a logistical victory.

King Daffte turned to Lugh.

“What do you reckon? Reasonable mistake? Especially as they ate the pork!” said Daffte

Lugh lifted a pint of fine dark ale and cried copiously into his beer.

“Oh, marvellous King. Lord of Lords and owner of swords! Dou you have any boards? Or rope we can call cords? Or sections of circles, also chords, though spelt dead different?” screamed Lugh. “These twats murdered and barbecued my Old Man! They should die! Die! Di diddly eye tie die die!”

Daffte was not so daft.

“It could have been a genuine mistake. Some of the swineherds have taken to sending their pigs to hairdressers to smarten them up. A pig with a mullet is not that unusual these days,” said Daffte. “I tell you what; you suggest a punishment for these lads. It can’t be outright death, though it could be a fatal task!” said Daffte.

Lugh sat alone on his seat of stone and munched and mumbled on a bare old bone.

“Are you excited?” asked Daffte.

Daft question.

Lugh was planning his revenge.

“I have a list of eight tasks to complete,” declared Lugh. “If they get the lot done then I can forgive them, Plus I will be better off too and I can mourn my old fella.”

“Did your cock drop off?” asked Daffte.

The sons of Turenn, Brian, Dennis and Wayne, huddled together for a few minutes. They stood and looked directly to King Daffte.

“Whatever,” said Brian. “Whatever this knob end asks, we will do it.”

“Wow!” declared Daffte.

“We are Rick hard! Hard as Nials!” declared Wayne.

“Do you mean as hard as Nials the Merciless?” asked the King.

“No, I mean as hard as nials you knock into wood with a hamour!” said Wayne.

“Seems a little fishy,” said the King.

Hanny decided it was time for a parse into the narrative. Was it ok to make fun of dyslexics? She decided it was ko and let the story continue; it would still be a knockout.

“Ok what is the list of the tasks?” asked Hanny.

Brian, the oldest son of Turenn, stood with his hands behind his back, as though he was about to recite a poem about Father William.

He looked toward the ceiling, which was a wonderful counterpart to the walls.

“We have to collect three apples, the skin of a pig, a magical spear, a chariot with two horses, seven swine, a hound, a cooking spit, and then give three shouts on a hill,” he explained.

“It sounds straightforward enough,” said Hanny.



“Well, every single one is magic and none are in Faery!” said Dennis.

“Feckity feck! More travel!” shouted Hanny.

“Lots more travail,” said Wayne.


Fairy Hanny and the Sons of Turenn

This is the third book featuring Fairy Hanny. For this one I am reaching into a story from my Celtic heritage to place Hanny into an old myth. I will put some extracts from work in progress here.

Across the Universe.

” I take it you’re bored Hanny,” suggested Mad Tom with a face like an Alsatian licking piss from a nettle.

“Too firkin right Tommy boy! I have hunted Witches, Trolls and Ogres, and aided a Pixy in his quest to defeat the Ceramics! I watched the beheading of a beautiful Witch and the trepidations of a winking wan King! And now I am attempting to help a dilettante Monarch come to terms with his overeating and personal hygiene issues! Give me a sword and a quest and I will be a hero!” said the rousing Fairy.

“Maybe you need a Heroine Quest,” asked Magdalene.

“Is that the same as a Hero Quest?” asked Hanny.

“Similar but it comes in a different box,” explained Tom, proving once and for all that he is totally Mad.

Hanny continued to sit up in her chair at the table near the bar.

“Do you crave another adventure?” enquired Tom.


Curing Piles!

Closing down a RING!

Watching Gremlins paint the town red!

Aiding a Pixy overdosing on magic underpants!

Now that was an adventure!!

“Is there some other crazy Witch or Warlock or Wizard or Warden wanting to disturb the flow of Time across the Universe?” asked Hanny.

“There always is some eejit plotting such a ruse, but that’s not what we need you for this Time,” said Tom. “This Time we need you to transfer to another Time and another place and another land. To a Time out of Time to lend a hand to a band of brothers,” continued Tom. “We need you to go to the Land of Faery, to the days before days, to fight evil ways and prevent the malaise that lays over the sons of Turenn. To a place where magic fills the air and it’s hard to find a chair when you go to the pub on Friday.”


“To days of old where Knights are bold and beds are cold and slaves are sold and put in a hold!”


“We need you in days gone by, where eyes will cry and the Autumn moon will light your way!”


Mad Magdalene began her shimmering dance, her translucent skirts flowing and blowing and growing.

“Still I sing; Bonny boys, Bedlam boys are bonny!” she sang.

Hanny had survived fire and ice and things not nice. She had danced topless to stir some life into a dead Kings todger. She wanted chapter and verse if she was to cross the universe. What is it they wanted her to actually do?

Tom asked Magdalene to pause her dancing as it was a fabulous narrative effect, a potential Dickensian cliff-hanger.

Sadly, it didn’t work.

And so the two danced very closely together, without music. On observation Hanny could tell they danced the tango as they slapped each other’s faces. Magdalene rose with a smile across her rosy red cheeks.

“Hanny! Hanny! Hanny!” she said.

“There is only one of me!” said Hanny.

“Of course, you’re unique,” agreed Magdalene. “But Hanny; we friends on the Isle of Faery that need your help. They are the Sons of Turenn. Lugh has set them a series of tasks to complete and they could do with someone with a bit of intelligence to join them to achieve success and not get killed. Please say you will help us again Hanny.”

“The sons of who? Is that one of the big Fairy families in Setebos?”

“No, it is in Eiran and the Isles of Faery.”

“Here, put this on,” said Tom as he handed her a Donkey Jacket, which matched perfectly with her boots.

“Why have you given me this?” asked Hanny.

“It’s what they wear where we’re going,” said Tom.


Establish Your Nightly Routine & Stick To It

Human beings thrive on routine. If you are a parent, you know how true this is. And while most of us will do a good job setting and sticking to a routine for our kids, we don’t do as well for ourselves. It’s time to change that. Let’s talk about what you can do to establish a nightly routine and how you can stick to it until it becomes a habit.

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

It all starts with the decision to get a better night’s sleep. And you do it with a daily routine that includes getting into bed at the same time each day – including weekends. It also helps to get up roughly at the same time each morning. Sleeping in a little when you get the chance is fine, but don’t make it more than an hour or two so you can still fall asleep at the appropriate time. That might sound hard at first, but the more you stick to your routine, the easier it will become. After a few weeks it will become a habit. You’ll know you’re close when you start to wake up a few minutes before your alarm.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Going to bed and waking up at the same time are the cornerstones of your routine, but you don’t want to stop there. What you do in the hour or so before bed can make a big difference in how easy it is to fall asleep and how soundly you’ll sleep through the night. There is a lot you can do to set yourself up for a good night’s rest. A warm bath, reading a book, leaving your phone in the living room …

Take a moment to sketch out your ideal night time routine. Keep it simple and start small. What are two or three things you can do consistently before you go to bed at night? This could be brushing your teeth and washing your face. It could also be lighting a candle and reading or journaling for a few minutes right before bed. Or how about sipping a cup of herbal tea?

Write down our first take at a bedtime routine and try it out. How did it feel? What works for you, what does not? It’s okay to make changes over time and tweak it as needed. The only rules are to stick to your bedtime and to eventually land on a routine you can stick with until it becomes an automatic habit.

Once you’ve found your routine you should stick to it for a few months. After that you can make the occasional exception. You’ll be surprised how much easier it will be to fall asleep with a good bedtime routine in place.

Photo by Ketut Subiyanto on Pexels.com

Relax Your Body With A Warm Bath Or Gentle Stretches

More ideas to help you sleep. Then when you wake up you are ready to concentrate on the day ahead.

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The key to a good night sleep is being able to relax in the hour or two before you climb into bed. It makes sense, doesn’t it? If your body is relaxed, your mind will follow. There’s a lot you can do to relax at night. Read a good book, meditate. But two that are particularly helpful both physically and mentally are a warm bath and stretching. Let’s look at those and how you can include them into your bedtime routine.

How Stretching Helps You Sleep At Night

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Doing some gentle stretches or a little relaxing yoga can be a great addition to your nighttime routine. The key here is gentle. This isn’t a workout. It’s part of relaxing and getting your body ready for sleep. Roll those shoulders, work out the kinks in your neck, and stretch those limbs.

You can find plenty of stretching and yoga videos online. While it’s usually a bad idea to use screens at night, you can use them for a few evenings until you get the routine down. Or, if you are familiar with the concepts and can do so safely, feel free to come up with something individual that works for you. After all, we don’t always carry tension in the same parts of our bodies each day.

Pay attention to how you feel when you get into bed after spending a few minutes stretching first. Does your body feel warmer? More relaxed? That’s what will make falling asleep much easier and you end up with better rest.

The Benefits Of A Warm Nighttime Bath (or Shower)

Photo by Armin Rimoldi on Pexels.com

Another great habit to get into is taking a warm bath or shower at night. Not only does it feel good to be clean when you slip between the sheets, it also helps relax your muscles, your body, and even your mind. You can even combine it with gentle stretches.

There’s an additional benefit that has to do with some of the processes inside our body as we transition from being awake to asleep. When you sleep, your body temperature lowers. This is closely connected with feeling sleepy. In your brain falling asleep and a drop in body temperature go together. Taking a warm bath taps into that connection and hacks it to your benefits. Take a warm bath or shower an hour before you’re going to bed. Make sure it’s long enough to warm you up. A minimum of ten minutes is good. Then, as you lay in bed, that temperature slowly starts to drop, making you feel a little drowsy and ready to fall asleep. Give it a try. You’ll be sold.


A bit more from Teds and Beatniks

Just then there was a noise.

“Sorry about that; flatulence is a family trait,” said Ken.

“Noses run in my family,” said Wayne slapping his thigh with glee.

Just then there was a noise.

“Bloody Time travellers. Can’t you keep things straight?” shouted Hanny.

“Did we just skip that bit?” asked Ken.

Just then there was a noise.

“Oh, for firkin feckity fecks sake will you stop with your stupid games Tom!” demanded Magdalene.

“It isn’t me!” protested Tom.

Just then there was a noise.

And in that instant there emerged four grotesque Teddy Bears, seemingly from Nothing.

“Feck!” said Tom. “How did they get here?”

Tom was taken aback and Hanny was taken a’front, while the Elves were taken a’sideways. Magdalene stared with keen interest at the four emerging Ursines.

Dressed in drape coats, tight jeans, white shirts, Bootlace ties adorned with silver and gold, crepe shoes and hair slicked up into a ducks arse, these were Teddy Boy Teddy Bears. Menacing claws and insanely sharp teeth made them different to the ordinary Teds that will appear sometime in another History. By the looks in their fierce red eyes it was clear they had a particular dislike for Tom and Magdalene.


The Teds are Time travellers too, but they only travel one way. Which is interesting really because if you’re going forward or backward you are still only going one way at a Time. It was infuriating to these guys that Tom and Magdalene could travel in whatever direction they wanted and yet the Teds could only go one way.

Now if you were to ask a layman (not necessarily a man who lays) his opinion on how Time travels he would give one of the following answers.

  1. To the left, to the right and up.
  2. On a bus, on a train, on a plane.

To Tom and Magdalene both answers are true. Tom once carried a watch from Ipswich on the National Express, all the way to London Liverpool Street, across to Heathrow and then on a flight to Doha just to show that answer number two makes great sense.

We digress. (Actually it is just the author who digresses and tries to put in stupid Physics jokes, explained Mad Tom of Bedlam)

Did Tom just come back from the future to rewrite this bit?

We knew he would.

“Well, well, well!” said the first of the four bears.

Tom looked him the eye.

“There are five of us,” he stated.

“Well, well, well, well, well!” the bear corrected himself. “If it isn’t Insane Tom of Bedlam with his Motley Crew. Though I must say those two Elves look more like a couple of hors d’oeuvres to me! A fortuitous plop in the stitch of Time dropped me and my boys right on top of you!”

“You’re actually several metres away,” corrected Tom. “And yet it is always lovely to see you Rutherford. Where have you been up to?”

The Gang of Four bears grinned like foxes licking piss from a nettle.

This could be trouble, thought Tom. Should I stay or should I go. If I go it could be double. He considered the chances of his crew surviving a smackdown with these guys. The Elves would be out in seconds, ripped apart by the ferocious claws of these roughie toughie bears. Hanny could handle herself.

Tom recognised all four of the Teds.

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Beside the apparent leader who called himself Rutherford, a rather positive bear by all accounts, there was the gimpy one called Planck, the neutral one called Chadwick , and the philatelist Thomson who could be quite negative at times. Alone each would be easy to tear down, but their combined mass could change the future of the Universe – well this one anyway.

Magdalene could make a plank out of Planck and shove Chadwick in a wave tank. That would leave Thomson and Rutherford for Tom and Hanny. Things looked good.

“I see you’re working on the possibilities,” said Planck.

“Have you been reading ahead?” asked Tom.

“There is always that chance,” said Planck.

“Then that is unfair,” said Tom.

“You should see what we do in the woods! Now that’s not fair or funny!”

All the bears laughed at this one, clearly an in joke amongst the Ursines.

Insane Tom looked to all four bears. It was hard to tell how they would react. He knew them well through many millennia of pointless conflicts. Rutherford could be positive, Thomson was always negative and Chadwick was neither here nor there. And as for Planck – he was constant.

The Teds moved forward.

Tom and Hanny stepped back; Hanny drew her sword.

“This is not time for an art class,” said Tom.

Magdalene slipped almost unnoticed to the side.

Thomson stared at Wayne with eyes that could scare a monster.

“I just want to be your Teddy Bear,” laughed Thomson.

Ken shat himself.

Magdalene tossed some travel gravel to Tom.

Hanny, who by now felt angry enough to take on all four Teds, saw the flying stones as an act of betrayal. No way was she going to be left here to be ripped to shreds by these Bastard Bears as Tom and his bird sailed back in Time to start the adventure all over again. How many times have they led me to my death, she wondered?

“Feck this,” said Hanny and readied herself to charge.

Just then there was a noise.

“Not this bollocks again!”

And in a flash Tom and Magdalene were back but looking different. They stood in black jeans, black leather jackets, black berets, black T-shirts, black pumps and black sunglasses. It was like a scene from Schiphol Airport. Black everywhere.

“Hey, look at you Rutherford, you’re a shape in a drape!” said Magdalene.

“Claws sharp too,” said Tom.

“I don’t like the look of Planck; has he got bright disease?” asked Magdalene.

“And that Thomson looks like a Gin Mill Cowboy, I hope he isn’t Dixie Fried,” drolled Tom.

“I see you cats are interviewing your brains, so maybe I will leave you alone,” crooned Magdalene.

“I hope you know your groceries so you can noodle it out before you get a zonk on the head. You’re slated for crashville, and you will be toast!” declared Extremely Irate Tom.

“Focus your audio Rutherford!” said Magdalene.

“I think he’s got X-ray eyes,” said Tom.

The Teds, staggered back slowly, heads flipping side to side, looking for assurances from each other.  Tom and Magdalene slouched toward the Teds, hands sliding up and down their black leather jeans, heads tilted, sunglasses glinting in the sun.

“Hey baby this is a groove! What are you doing Daddy-O? Black leather, black leather, crash, crash, crash!” they sang in unison. “Black leather, black leather, bash, bash, bash!”

Rutherford stood up so tall he looked like a new clear model; Thomson ate a plum pudding; Chadwick waved goodbye; Planck decided he would be the only constant in this Fearsome Foursome.

Then shazam!! They were gone!

“Wow! What the flying feck just happened?” asked Hanny.

Tom and Magdalene broke into hysterical laughter, doing high fives, low fives and five bob should pay for it all.

“We’re Beatniks baby girl-O. We moved with the man with a plan and bam! We threw those babies out of the balcony. They are used-to-Be’s! Gone, Gone, Gone! Hit me with a groove sweet thing!  Teds are gone. Those guys just don’t like Beatniks.”

“That was Magic!” said Wayne.

“Has anyone got any toilet paper?” said Ken.


Dealing With Stray Thoughts & Worries At Nighttime

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Do you ever have one of those nights when you can’t turn your mind off and end up tossing and turning? We all have days and nights when our busy minds and worries keep us up. Thankfully there are some simple strategies you can employ to deal with them, leaving you to enjoy the remainder of your night in restful slumber. Let’s look at a few you can try whenever you need them.

Distract Yourself

If you had a rough day or are going through stressful times, it can help to distract yourself before bed. Read a good book. Watch a movie. Catch up on your favorite show, or play a video game in the hours before bed. For the last hour or two before you lay down, it’s best to avoid screens. Reading or listening to a podcast or some engaging music are great ways to distract yourself. Or how about a good conversation with a loved one, or some private time with your spouse? Get your mind off what’s worrying you and do what you can to leave it until the next morning.

Journal Before Bed

If I can’t sleep I get up and write down the things that are bothering me

If you can’t quite distract yourself, it’s not a bad idea to face and acknowledge what’s worrying you. Take out a notebook and journal for a page or two. It will help you process whatever is going on in your life. And by writing it down and getting it all out before bed, it can help clear your mind.

Journaling isn’t a quick pill fix. It can take some time to see the long-term benefits. Give it a few weeks and see if it’s something that works for you. Or maybe you’ll get lucky and one night of journaling is enough to calm that busy, anxious mind. After all you only have a page, some ink and a few minutes of your time to lose on this simple exercise.

Nighttime Meditation

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If journaling isn’t your thing, or it isn’t quite enough to help on its own, try meditating. Meditation any time of the day is a great way to bring calm to your day and reduce stress. It’s particularly helpful right before bed.

It makes sense, doesn’t it? If you’re anxious and worried when it’s time to go to sleep, mediating can help you shift into a calmer, more centered and present state. Short, guided meditations are especially helpful for beginners. Find one online, plug in your earbuds and give it a try.

Keep A Notepad On Your  Night Table

Last but not least, here’s something anyone can do. Go find a little notebook, a notepad, or a piece of scrap paper. Put it along with a pen or pencil on your nightstand. When your mind gets busy about all the things you need to do the next day, or something pops up that you don’t want to forget, write it down. It gives great peace of mind and may be just what you need to fall asleep.


A bit more from ‘Trans-Uranic elements.

This book should be on Amazon by the end of January 2022. Here is a little bit for your entertainment.

Of Teds and Beatniks.

Meanwhile back in the fart filled foetid swamps of Witchland.

The influence of the Thinking winking wan King of the Witches can be smelt emanating from the rotten Dahlias of Doom, like the putrid cabbage smell derived from certain family members who really ought to see a doctor and get it sorted. Our Five Fearful Fellows forge forward through this phantasmagorical fantasy fuelled fable.

Mad Magdalene goes on dirty toes to save her shoes from gravel.  Irate Tom of Bedlam is looking remarkably spry for a man of his indeterminate age. Ken and Wayne, never the smartest of shroom cultivators, are somewhat bedraggled, and are finding the oppressive nature of the swampy woods rather takes away their joy of shouting ‘Wurlitzer!’

Oh! how they didn’t laugh.

These two pesky varmints were known for the japes and capes and jokes and pokes; they normally frolicked like new-born lambs in a cataclysm of clichés. Now it was more likely they would just say ‘frolics to it all’.

And what of Fairy Hanny?

Well, it will be of no great surprise to realise that this stoic Handmaiden of the Fat King Innocent, Carried on Regardless. She would have preferred to Carry on Cruising with her cousin Mutch; however, she’d accept she would have to Carry on Camping with this bunch of buffoons. The swamp wood was depressing, and she understood that soon they would have to Carry on up the Jungle in order to locate the Castle of Grumbleflick. Her only real concern just now related to the creepy looks she sometimes got from Ken Tucky; looks that said he’d like to Carry on up the Khyber.

What a Carry On!

And then there were the Carrion. Vultures without Cultures, Eagles eating Beagles, Magpies with Stag pies, and Ravens with cravings for tomato chutney; waiting (waiting), waiting for you!

Then one day, one special day they passed that way, and spoke of many things, of fools and Kings, and Cabbages and things. The air grew less tiresome as the land rose slowly from the swampy stuff and the land beneath their feet began to dry out. There was a slight rise in ground level allowing for precipitation to run off to lower points, which is a sort of gravity thing, water tending to fall downhill except when it can flow up hill. Which is never. Except when you get the kiss of Poseidon. The dead Dahlias had disappeared to be replaced by more charming flowers such as the periwinkle, foxglove and red-hot poker.

“We must be in the Land O’Bloom,” said a Slightly miffed Tom of Bedlam.

“How do you know that?” asked Wayne.

“Two things; I’ve been here before; and there is a sign up ahead that says, ‘Welcome to the Land O’Bloom’.”

“So does that mean we’ve all been here before?” asked Ken.

“We have all been here before!” stated the existential Magdalene.

“If I had ever been here before I would probably know just what to do!” said Hanny.

“Excuse me?”

“If I had ever been here before on another time around the wheel I would probably know how to deal with all of you!”

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“She always says that” declared Tom. “Gives me a distinct sense of Deja vu.”

Hanny paused – she sensed she’d been through this conversation before.

The practical side took control.

“So, I take it that means we’re now not too far from the Castle of Grumbleflick the Witch king and therefore the Witch Iz.  We can get in there, destroy her Time pulsing RING, save Uranus and get back to Fairy Mutch?”

Tom sniffed. The damp of the swamp had given him a slight chill, so he was trying to prevent having a silvery line of snot laying across his philtrum. Hanny thought he was being derisive.

“Are you being derisive Tom? If so don’t blame me if your meat and two veg part company!” threatened Hanny.

“Just a snotty nose,” replied the sinus infected traveller.

Poor choice of words in his reply. Hanny was well known for her sense of superiority (and her big tits).

“Are you implying that I am a conceited arrogant Fairy?” she asked.

“Tut tut!” said Magdalene, “this happened next week as well. No dear he has a slight head cold due to the inclement conditions; he is trying to prevent the nasal mucus from besmirching his upper lip. Hence the sniff.”

Hanny glared a glaring glare. She slowly allowed her anger to ebb away, assuming the adverse conditions and the impending threat of death were starting to get to her temper.

“Conceited arrogant bitch,” muttered Magdalene.

The Land O’Bloom was developing as something of a macabre tourist destination. Way off to the east in the land of the Fairies, Pixy’s, Elves, Dwarfs and Orcs were far more settled. The Orcs had mostly given up the practice of eating others, preferring instead to spread fear as Financial Advisors and Tax Inspectors. Yes, there were occasional bouts of silliness when the Gremlins got out of hand, or if a Twisty Headed Fire Dragon went on the rampage; but generally, things were super safe. Even the attempted coup by the Trolls and the raising of the Trolletariat had faded to nothing eventually; just slightly better conditions for those that live under bridges.

Here in Witchland there were genuine scary things to see and be frightened by. Vampyres, Zombies and Witches patrolled the streets, whilst having their photographs taken with and by the tourists, occasionally marking out some unfortunate soul who would not be going home that night. It’s the risk. Not that it makes any sense to me; like trawling through graveyards to find the last resting place of rock stars.

‘Here lies the remains of Lazarus Git, lead guitarist with the Rooty Toots, gigging in the great club in the sky. Rock In Peace.’

The change in altitude and humidity had done wonders to perk up the spirits of Ken and Wayne.

“Frabjous Day! Wurlitzer! Thankyou very much!” they chorused. “Time to lay off my blue suede shoes!”

“What does that mean?” asked Hanny.


“Lay off my blue suede shoes!”

“Oh, it’s something we get the chickens to do back in the Ghetto (In the Ghetto). If the chicken stands on your shoe and lays an egg it is a sign of good luck, especially if you’re wearing blue suede shoes. So ‘lay off my blue suede shoes’ means ‘wish me luck’.”

Hanny had a face pursed up like a cat’s arse as she stared in disbelief at the dancing duo.

“Do you remember next time we were here,” asked Tom. “What happened next?”

“Your memory is getting frazzled Tom! It was a few times after this that we were here next. Don’t you remember, you misdirected the tachyon neutrino cross flux discombobulator, detached the alligator sprockets, pushed the banjo junction in the wrong union and almost ran out of Travel Gravel? So, we went forward a bit, back a bit, left a bit and tried for a Golden Shot with the Monkey Man. Then you reversed the neutron polarity and the electron spin and went back to the beginning of the book. I think you need a session with some of the Warriors on the Edge of Time!” recalled Mad Magdalene.

Hanny, Ken and Wayne did not have a clue what that last conversation was about (and neither do I). Some sort of pseudo-Physics quantum telemetry gluon theory. Possibly the tenfold way and maybe that’s the way God planned it.”