Friday, 30 May 2008

More Fuel Anger

It’s been quite a quiet Friday so far. The two you-know-whats that have haunted me for months (if you don’t know whats then read some earlier blog posts) are both off today, leaving me with some piece. I’ve been able to plug myself into my iPod (actually, it’s not an iPod – it’s a Phillips GoGear 8Mb SA6185 – but no one would know what I meant if I called it that. It’s an amazing job of branding that Apple have done really when you think about it) and get on with some work.

By work, I mean actual work that I actually get paid for. I’m hoping that if I can clear away the crap that needs doing by three-ish, I can have a couple of sneaky hours working on Chloe’s Education. We’ll see.

I was watching Question Time last night and got very angry with a member of the Green Party who was an MEP (Member of the European Parliament). She was spouting on about how we shouldn’t complain about the cost of oil as the price now reflects the damage done to the planet, blah, blah, blah. In fact, she was advocating even more tax on petrol and other fuels. Well, it’s all well and good her going on about it, but she doesn’t have to drive 20 miles each way to work every day along county roads with no bus route that would be lethal for a cyclist. No, she gets a chauffer driven Euro-car. And then, once a month, the whole of the Euro-Parliament (her included) packs up in Brussels and moves to Strasbourg for a few days, before packing up and going back to Brussels. If she really wants to help the damn planet, she can fight to stop this stupid waste of fuel and and tax payers money.

I’m getting very close to going off on a rant again. You really should stop me when I’m doing that.

Thursday, 29 May 2008

I've had this sent to me today by e-mail – I'll let you read it before I comment.

We are hitting ?108.9 a litre in some areas now, soon we will be faced with paying ?1.10 a ltr. Philip Hollsworth offered this good idea:

This makes MUCH MORE SENSE than the 'don't buy petrol on a certain
day campaign that was going around last April or May! The oil companies just laughed at that because they knew we wouldn't
continue to hurt ourselves by refusing to buy petrol. It was more of an inconvenience to us than it was a problem for them. BUT,whoever
thought of this idea, has come up with a plan that can really work.

Please read it and join in!

Now that the oil companies and the OPEC nations have conditioned us
to think that the cost of a litre is CHEAP, we need to take aggressive action to teach them that BUYERS control the market place not sellers. With the price of petrol going up more each day, we consumers need to take action. The only way we are going to see the price of petrol come down is if we hit someone in the pocket by not purchasing their Petrol! And we can do that WITHOUT hurting ourselves. Here's the idea:

For the rest of this year DON'T purchase
ANY petrol from the two biggest oil companies (which now are one), ESSO and BP.

If they are not selling any petrol, they will be inclined to reduce their prices. If they reduce their prices, the other companies will have to follow suit. But to have an impact we need to reach literally millions of
Esso and BP petrol buyers. It's really simple to do!!

Now, don't wimp out at this point.... keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of people!!

I am sending this note to a lot of people. If each of you send i
t to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300)... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) ... and so on, by the time the
message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached
over THREE MILLION consumers! If those three million get excited and pass this on to ten friends each, then 30 million people will have been contacted! If it goes one level further, you guessed it... ..


Again, all You have to do is send this to 10 people. That's all.(and
not buy at ESSO/BP) How long would all that take? If each of us sends this email out to ten more people within one day of receipt, all 300 MILLION people could conceivably be contacted within the next 8days!!! Acting together we can make a difference . If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.


It's easy to make this happen. Just forward this email, and buy your
petrol at Shell, Asda,Tesco, Sainsburys, Morrisons Jet etc. i.e. boycott BP and Esso

Okay, read it? Formed an opinion? Good. Here's my take on this – WTF??? Okay, I can see why someone might think like this, and in some countries, say America, it might work. I mean, America is damn big and consumes a damn sight more oil than we do here in the UK. Do you really think that losing the British forecourt market would affect BP?

Let's get a few things straight.

Number one, BP and the other large oil companies do not make huge profits at the petrol pumps. In fact, they make hardly any money there at all. BP and the others make their money from taking the oil out of the ground and processing it. The money they make from that dwarfs the money they take at the pumps. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that for someone like BP, small petrol stations are almost a loss-leader, a way to keep their name in the public consciousness.

Number two, let's say we do stop buying petrol at garages with the BP logo above them and instead go to the likes of Tesco, Sainsbury's et al. Where do you think the supermarkets get their petrol from? They certainly don't take it out of the ground themselves. The petrol is brought from the large oil companies – the likes of, yes, you guessed it, BP.

Number three, petrol and diesel are so expensive in the UK for one reason, and one reason only – TAX. We pay twice as much tax on our fuel as they do in Holland. Over half of the £1.10 per litre is made up of tax. The Americans are hurting because they are paying $5 per gallon. We're paying the equivalent of $10 per gallon. Where does all that extra money go? Yep, the Treasury. It's all tax. Fuel duty and VAT.

The government want us to believe that petrol is so expensive because the cost of oil is high and would like us to forget that the more oil costs, the more they take in tax. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it turns out that this 'campaign' e-mail originated in Downing Street.

This government could help out the "hard working families" they claim to represent quite easily – by cutting the tax on fuel. But they won't. They will claim it will be too expensive. And yet they could afford to give us all an extra £120 in our pay packets by raising the personal allowance and borrowing billions to do so because their own MPs were angry.

So, my final word on this – Gordon, Alistair, sort it out and stop trying to blame everyone else.

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

A Writing Choice

Okay, a sensible, writing-based blog entry today. None of that getting distracted by the you-know-whats that I work with.

I’m still working on Chloe’s Education, but now I’m on the ‘home stretch’ so to speak. I can see the finished first draft in my head—I just need to get it out of my head and onto the screen. But… I’ve got another of those choices to make. You know the kind—what would the character do. Or should that be “what should the character do”. I’m not going to go into details, but I’m talking about my hero, Adam, of course. He has an… opportunity. And I can’t decide if he should take it or not. It won’t really affect the ending of the story either way, but the choice he makes may well affect how the readers look at him for the remainder of the story. So my dilemma is this, should he do what I’d expect a 19 year old young man to do when presented with this opportunity (ie, take it) which would almost certainly mean that the readers think a little less of him. They might see him as weak. Or I could take the option to keep him the ‘hero’ and turn down the opportunity. It’s one of those dilemmas that as a writer, I hate. Do what’s best for the character so that the readers continue to like him, or try and stay true to what the character would do if he were a real life, flesh and blood person-even if it means he’s just that little less likeable.

I think I know what I’ll do. I don’t even think that when you weigh it up I have much of a choice given that the story may well be marketed as an “Erotic Romance”. But still, I guess it means I’m still human if I’m thinking about these things rather than just mindlessly following the formula (even if I do follow the formula in the end).

Tuesday, 27 May 2008

Aimless blogging

It was the Eurovision song contest this past weekend, but we didn’t win. I’m not going to bitch about it but… No, I’ll stop myself before I get going on this ‘song’ contest which is more about National popularity than music. Since the voting has switched to “televoting” by the public rather than voting by a panel of ‘experts’ some ten years ago, I’ve yet to see the best song win. Still, at least Terry Wogan was his good old self.

I had planned on doing some writing this weekend, after all it was a Bank Holiday and the weather was shit so what else could I do? Certainly I wasn’t going down the allotment in the wind and rain, thank you very much. However, I rediscovered Football Manager. Not a good idea really as I spent almost four solid days playing the damn game. It’s so bloody addictive and gets more so with each iteration. Naturally, I cheated by using the pre-game editor to make my club of choice the strongest and richest in the world thereby ensuring I’d have no trouble in attracting the best players and almost certainly guaranteeing victory. I’m currently 3 months into my first season and 17 points clear at the top of the table.

On a different subject, I’ve had to replace the hard drive in my laptop with a bigger one. All that porn… I mean music taking up the space. I still haven’t finished re-installing all my software (or copying over my porn… I mean music) so I haven’t been able to update my website in a while. And it does need an update. I’ll get to it sometime, but I don’t know when yet. Perhaps it’s time to try a different web-editor. I don’t know, I’ll have to think about it.

From the nature of this post (a bit rambling and not really saying much) you might have guessed that I’m ‘avoid work’ mode. I’m in the middle of P11D forms and they are horrible. So I’m trying to find other things to do. I’ve made my first Online Submission of a VAT return, set up payments for VAT and PAYE for this month and now I’m writing aimlessly in my blog. If anyone wants to do my P11Ds for me, please e-mail me. I can’t pay you, but I’m sure we can come to some “arrangement” – particularly if you live in the UK, which I suppose you’d have to in order to know anything about P11Ds in the first place.

Do you remember me mentioning the distracting nature of the two rather attractive 19 year olds in my office (actually, one of them just turned 20)? Yes? Good. Well, since the weather has gotten worse, I’d expected the distraction to die down. Unfortunately, the younger of the two (but still of legal age, I’m not that kind of pervert, thank you very much) has come to work today wearing a very lovely pair of tight black trousers—and damn! What an arse that girl has. I hadn’t really noticed it before as my eyes were focused a little higher and on the front of body not the back. But Damn! That’s one fine booty. She’s got T&A in abundance. Not size wise, as neither T nor A are that big, both quite small really, but they are a wonderful shape, the T and the A.

Excuse me, I need to wipe my mouth.

There, that’s better, where was I? Oh, yes, Kylie. Kylie Minouge is 40. 40? Can you believe it? I remember when she was a wee slip of a thing fresh out of Neighbours. I tell you what—it doesn’t half make me feel old.

Now, I’m off to listen to write some smut. Bye.

Monday, 19 May 2008

Damn you Tax Man, Damn you!

It’s Monday again, and it’s also almost the last week of the month, which for me means one thing – Payroll processing. And I’m not looking forward to this month’s payroll for one reason. Alistair Darling. Last week, our Chancellor of the Exchequer did a massive U-turn on behalf of the government designed to make amends for the utter cock-up over the 10p tax band. I guess at this point I should elaborate for those of you who don’t reside in this Kingdom we call United (shame it isn’t all that united really).

When Labour came to power as the government of the people after many, many long years of the Tories, Gordon Brown introduced a new, low rate, starting tax band. Put simply, instead of getting a tax free allowance and then moving on to basic rate tax, everyone now got a tax free allowance, then paid 10p in every pound on a small portion of their income, then moved onto Basic rate tax (22p in the pound) and, if they were high enough earners, higher rate tax (40%).

But in his last budget before he became PM, Gordon got rid of the 10p band and reduced the 22p band to 20p. This had the effect of ensuring that a great many middle-income families were better off by a few quid a month – ideal for a PM who might want to go to the polls. wouldn't you say?

But Gordon didn’t go to the polls. He chickened out because he though me might actually lose. And now the 10p tax has come back to haunt him. Even though he announced it in March 2007, the measure didn’t take effect until this past April. And the problem with it is that there are a lot of low-income families who are actually paying more tax as a result, not less. The type of families that Labour claims to represent. Oh, sure, some families will claim tax credits or other state benefits and be better off, but there are still millions of people not entitled to these credits who will lose out – such as the three sexy 19-year-olds in my office………





Sorry, lost my train of thought there. Can’t think why. Where was I? Oh, yes. Sexy 19-year-olds. No, that’s were I got lost. Oh, yes, tax.

So, Gordon got rid of the 10p tax band and lots of people lose out. Lots of people are upset about this, including many Labour MPs who can see their majorities slipping away at the next election like, well, like voters choosing to vote for the Tories again. But the problem is now Alistair Darling’s to solve. So what does he do? The only thing that’s really open to him at this point. He increases everyone’s tax free allowance so that all the people who lost out, no longer lose out. Well, most of them anyway. Of course, the fact that the rest of us also gain by around £120 per year is no bad thing either – especially if it means we still vote for these idiots, which I’m sure some people will.

But here’s where it affects me. I’ve got to run payroll today. And tax allowances are determined by tax codes. So do I have to change everyone’s tax code? Or do I have to wait until I get coding notices from HMRC? And if I have to wait, how do I explain that to 30 workers eager to see their payslips showing less tax paid? As you might guess, there’s nothing about this on the HMRC website. No communication sent out to us poor saps that have to process things.

So I guess I’ll have to muddle along and when the complaints come in I’ll explain that you’ll probably get your tax gift in one go later in the year.

Sometimes, I hate this government. No, wiat, make that just simply, I hate this damn government.

The Britwriters

I have today made my first post on The Britwriters blog. Go read it.

Friday, 16 May 2008

Kicking the Habit

I’ve had Chloe’s Education open on my computer all day and as I write this at three-thirty I’ve written a sum total of 70 words. Yep, you read that right, 70. Not 700, or 7000 (that would be a good day), but 70. It’s piss poor really. And I’ve got no excuse—it’s not like I’ve been busy today. So why then have I written so little when today is an ideal opportunity? MySpace. Damn MySpace. It’s a habit I really need to get out of. Some people need to give up smoking, I need to kick the MySpace habit. But whereas smokers get patches and gum and lots of NHS help, what will I get to ditch my vice? Nothing. Not a thing. Zilch.

I wonder, if I appeal to Gordon directly, will he start a “Get clear of MySpace” government program? He might, I mean he’s pretty desperate at the moment and I tell you, if he diverted government money my way to help my get over my MySpace addiction – I might actually consider one day maybe voting for him. A couple of million should do it.

So, there we go. I need the help of our dour PM. I wonder if he’s on MySpace, I’ll add him and then leave him a comment asking for his help.

Thursday, 15 May 2008

The BritWriters

Yesterday I was invited to join a new Yahoo! group and blog – The BritWriters. As the title suggests, the group is for and the blog will be written by writers who are, for want of a better word, British. All are authors who, like myself, find that their publishers and indeed the majority of their readership are on the other side of a rather large stretch of water known as the Atlantic Ocean. I think the main objective of the blog is convince our American friends (and Canadian and Australian – in fact the whole rest of the world) that we Brits don’t all walk around in bowler hats with black umbrellas under one arm and a cup of tea in the other.

You can find the blog at I’m not entirely sure what the significance of the “Wulfwaru” is. Perhaps I’ll ask one day and let you know. Or Google it. In the meantime, pop along and enjoy the blog. I haven’t posted to it yet, and when I do the first will probably be just a “Hi, I’m me and I’m here too” type of post. But from the plans I’ve been hearing on the Yahoo! group, this will develop into a very interesting read.

Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Love Romances Cafe Author Questions part 2

Here is the second part of the questions asked of Phaze authors during Monday's Yahoo! group chat.

Where do you envision your writing career in the next 2-5 years? Have you even looked that far ahead?

Gee, I don’t know. If I ever finish Chloe’s Education I’d like to see that published. Beyond that there are two stories I would like to rewrite as I’ve never really seem them as finished. I’ve got a ton of sub-plots and character development I’d like to add to Reunion and College by the Sea is something that’s been annoying me with its unfinsihedness for ten years.

I guess I’d like to become ‘established’ – still writing shorts for Ruthie’s and publishing a novel or novella a year.

If you could have 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

It’s a Cliché but… Health, Wealth and Happiness. For me and my family. Is that selfish? Yeah, but do I look bovvered?

What other titles do you have scheduled right now for release in 2008?

Lost & Found is released next month. That’s about a man who flies across the Atlantic to comfort his cyber-lover in her hour of need. That’s all that’s scheduled right now, but I’ve got a few shorts in the fire which I’d expect to finish and send off to Ruthie’s before the end of the year. And who knows, if I work really hard and finish Chloe that might see the light of day before the end of the year (but I doubt it very much)

We all like to dream of that one movie star that we would love to think would fall in love with us on site <G> What celebrity would you love to get to know better?

I don’t need to dream of movie stars – my wife is enough of a star for putting up with me. What d’you mean that’s a kop out answer? Oh, okay, you’ve twisted my arm. Just point me in the direction of the lovely Ms Knightly and I’ll be happy.

Where can readers contact you? I’ll answer any mail I get, unless it’s been filtered out by my spam filter. So don’t write telling me about great deals on little blue pills. Apart from anything else, I don’t need them. (wink, wink)

What do you think readers would be surprised to discover about you?

I think if any of my readers heard me speak, they’d be shocked. Far from sounding like a fine English Gent, my Black Country background mean I sound more like Ozzy Osborne than James Bond.

What can you tell us about any works you are writing now? Can you share a little bit about that with readers?

I’ve mentioned Chloe’s Education a few times, so I guess I’d better elaborate. Chloe is a teenage movie star but as she turns 19 she decides to take a break from the biz to study for a degree. Naturally, while at Uni she meets and falls in love with an ‘ordinary’ man, Adam. But the course of true love never runs smooth (as they say) and it’s even less smooth when you have two such different backgrounds. Will the young lovers make it safely to the other side of the Ocean of Love? Or do stormy waters lie ahead.

What song would best describe you?

I don’t know. I missed this question out, thought about it for an hour and I still don’t know. How about Wonderful Tonight by Eric Clapton? Too cheesy? Just a bit.

What is your favourite travel spot? Where have you traveled that you would love to visit again?

The Alsace region of France. Lovely villages, great scenery and fantastic food and wine. What more could one want?

Where would I love to go again? As soon as Nobbs Jr is old enough to appreciate it, I’m taking him to Disney World.

Do you fall in love with the heroes you write? Who is your favourite hero from any story you have read – one of your favourite books?

That’s a questions aimed at the female authors, isn’t it? So let me talk about my heroines instead. I’ll admit I fell for Beth from Lost & Found in a big way. She’s so spunky and alive, but at the same time so alone and venerable. She’s the sort of girl you can have a lot of fun with, but who still needs you to hold her in your arms and tell her everything will be alright and that you’ll look after her. She’s very special.

Actually, a lot of my heroines are like that now I come to think of it – does that say anything about me do you think?

What is your favourite food?

Now that’s a silly question. Let’s just say it starts with “C” and ends with “late”.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Love Romances Cafe Questions part 1

Yesterday I was chatting for a short time at the Love Romances Cafe Yahoo! group. As usual with the monthly Phaze Chat there, Dawn posted some questions for us authors to answer. Here are my responses to the first set of questions.

How long have you been writing? What inspired you to pick the pen up one day and create characters that capture the imagination?

I was bored. No, seriously. It's that simple. I used to read a lot of so-called erotica on the a.s.s newsgroups. Some of it was good, most of it wasn't and Igot bored with it. I thought I could do better.

What influenced you to get published? How long did it take for your first book to get published?

That's a difficult one to answer really. Charlotte's Secret was originally published at the website "Ruthie's Club" and they hada six month exclusive contract on it. I wanted to find it a home after that and subbed it to one of Phaze's "Coming Together" anthos. It was considered too long for the antho, but Alesia asked if she could sub it for regular publication instead. After acceptance it took the best part of a year to bring it to market. The story has changed from it's original publication at Ruthie's –not the plot, but the writing has been tightened, the characterization strengthened. So not your normal route to publication, I'll admit.

What do you think is the biggest misconception in erotic romance fiction?

That it's all about sex. Yes, erotic romances have sex in them – explicitly described sex a lot of the time – but sex without plot, character development and conflict is just porn. And erotic romance isn't porn.

What makes your characters so vulnerable yet strong? Can you describe them to us? What do you do when characters stop talking to you when writing?

I'd like to think that my heroes are a bit different from most you'll find in romance by simple virtue that I'm a man and I tend to write from the heroes point of view. I don't think of my heroes as alpha males – at least they aren't intended that way. Take David from Charlotte's Secret. What drives him is his relationship (or rather his lack of a relationship) with his father. Everything he does in this story is motivated byhis desire to "be there" for his son because his father was never there for him. As he says to his son at one point– "I've said it before, Benny, and I'll keep on saying it. I am never gonna let anyone hurt you. D'you hear me? Never."

When a new book comes out, have you ever been nervous over readers' reaction to it? How much does reader reaction mean to you as an author? What do you hope readers get from your books?

I don't think one would be human if one weren't nervous. Of course reader reaction is important. After all, if no one likes what you do, they won't read your work in the future. And if no one reads your work, what's the point in writing it?

What is your writing process? Do you outline, fly by the seat of your pants or a combination of both? Do you use mood music, candles, no noise, when you write?

I tend to have an idea of where the story is going, then I listen to my characters and let them dictate the detail. Sometimes you have to force them where you need them to go – and those are the hardest parts to write for me. As for writing atmosphere. I can pretty much write anywhere. I sort of shut everything out and just get on with it.

What do you feel is the most important aspect for all new authors to remember when writing or creating their own stories? Any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn the craft. Join a workshop group like Desdmona's fishtank and listen to everything the more experienced authors tell you. Take their advice, but use your own judgment too. It's a hard slog this writing lark. And believe me, you need a tough old skin – so grow one quick.

The editing process is an important aspect of an authors' life. How do you define the editing process for any of your books? Do you have a routine you follow when in editing mode?

Editing can be tedious, it can be hard work. But I treat it as a chance to strive for perfection. Everyone knows a first draft is far from perfect. But in the editing, you can improve it no-end. My next Phaze release "Lost & Found" benefited hugely from the work I did with my editor, Loukie Adlem. The story is better and the characters stronger because of it. Especially the main protagonist –The Colonel. He's the character I've seen come alive the most in the editing process of any book or story. I was really quite amazed at how he developed.

What is on tap for the rest of 2008? Do you have other WIP's you want to get published? Can we get a taste of what is to come from you in the future?

"Lost & Found" is released by Phaze in June. And that's all you'll see from me for a while I'm afraid. I've been working on a book with the working title "Chloe's Education" for over a year now. It's the biggest thing I've ever written. It's about 80%done, after which I'll see if Phaze want it. If they do, I expect it'll be at least a year before it's ready for sale. But trust me – when it is, it'll be worth the wait. Authors always think that the last thing they've written is the best thing they've written –but in this case, "Chloe" really is the best thing I've ever written.

What do you think is the level of sensuality/heat in your books? What can readers expect from your books with respect to sexual content and sensuality?

My writing background is one of pure erotica – I still turn my hand to the odd stroke story – so expect explicit sex, vividly described in detail. We're taking what goes where and how often. I guess as I've aged, I've mellowed and the sensual side has become more important. There are some very tender moments that, while sexy, don't actually have any sex in them in "Chloe's Education". But I expect most women will be squeezing those thighs together while they read.

Monday, 12 May 2008

SUnny Weekend

It’s been a glorious few days here in Blighty – can it last? Who knows? But, the weekend was stunning. Bright, sunny, hot. What more could one ask for in early May? Mrs Nobbs’ parents were visiting us this weekend from France. We’ve had their camper van parked on our drive for 5 days. But, they proved useful. Because they were here to see Nobbs Jr rather than me or Mrs Nobbs, we got a chance to work on the allotment. In fact, Father-in-law-of-Nobbs helped out—he enjoys that sort of thing.

Here are some photos of what we got done.

My Raspberries and Loganberries are off to a good start.

And the cauliflowers are looking good.

I’ve got my Tomatoes in, but I don’t hold out much hope for them in our climate.

Although a good crop of strawberries would be nice.

The onions are growing well

And my spuds are finally starting to break through.

Friday, 9 May 2008

Charlotte’s Secret has had another good review. Romance Reviews Today – erotic awarded it a “Missionary” rating with their review. Here’s some of what they said.

"Yes, CHARLOTTE’S SECRET is about sex outside the marriage vows, but Marc Nobbs puts a unique twist on the subject to not make it unpleasant. Readers will feel the pain David and Charlotte are experiencing over losing each other..... be prepared for a nice little surprising ending to this pleasant tale."

If you’re reading this on MySpace, clicking on the link below won’t take you to the full review because Mr Murdoch has disabled the link saying that this is a naughty site. So copy and paste the url into your address bar instead. The review is about halfway down the page.

Charlotte's Secret is a contemporary erotic romance story, which is just perfect to waste a hour or so on. Why got give it a try.

Available Now!

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Split Personality

I have to admit to living two lives. I guess that these days a lot of people are the same. I’ve got my Real World life – the one in which I’m an accounts manager for law firm responsible for the correct administration of our client’s money (in excess of £5 million most of the time – around $10 million). In my RWL I’m happily married (although we do fight like… well like husband and wife actually) with a two year old son who’s lovely most of the time and a pain in the arse the rest. I have an allotment, watch TV, you know, all the usual middle class suburban shit. In RW I’m still called Mark – but with a ‘k’.

Then there’s my online life. The one in which I’m Marc Nobbs – author of erotica and erotic romance (yes, I believe they are different and one day I’ll say why). Marc has his own website, is active on MySpace, not so active on Facebook (cause it’s filtered out by Mark’s work servers) and has had work published by Ruthies’ Club and Phaze.

And these are two different people – that’s why one spells his name with a ‘k’ and the other spells it with a ‘c’. These two people fight for control of my free time. One wants to spend it with his son – desperate not to miss out on the short time he’s got before he becomes a surly teenager embarrassed by his old man. The other wants to write, edit, promote and write. It’s hard keeping them apart. It’s hard reconciling their opposing wants and needs. But I manage.

Now, I’ve got a problem. It’s called friends reunited. You know, the website that lists all you old school friends. It’s great – a way to keep in touch with all the people I’ve lost contact with after leaving home (and moving to another part of the country). But my problem is that it’s an online thing. And online, I’m Marc. But for friends reunited, I need to be Mark – or else no one will know me. That means I now have to be three people. Online Marc, Online Mark and RW Mark. Talk about a split personality. I think I’m heading for a breakdown.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

It was a public holiday here in the UK yesterday – and wouldn’t you know it, it didn’t rain! I swear, I nearly keeled over and died in shock. It was lovely and sunny all day – very pleasant. Which is more than you could say for our lunch. We went to a nice little pub called “The Fox & Hounds”. The food was very nice, but Nobbs Jr. decided he didn’t want any and first I had to run around the garden with him while Mrs Nobbs ate, then she did the same while I ate. Not exactly a nice family meal. He’s only two and a half, so I shouldn’t really complain, but he’s going through an “I don’t want to eat” phase, which is really annoying. Especially when he wakes up at 4am and starts moaning that he’s hungry.

To other matters. “Charlotte’s Secret” made it into the Phaze top-twenty bestsellers for April – this despite only being released on the 21st of the month. Okay, so it was only in at number 19, but that’s not bad going. One of the books released on the same day didn’t make the top twenty at all. Mind you, one of the other books released on the same day polled a lot higher. Still, I guess I can call myself a ‘best-selling author” now – or is that going too far?

I’m currently working to bring some of the short stories that are no longer exclusive to Ruthie’s to my website (for free) as e-books. These include “Six-Thirty Sleeper”, “Private Party” and “Public Performance”. I’ll keep you posted and let you know when they are available for download.

I’ve also been working on hard on “Chloe’s Education” (which I still consider a ‘working title”). I’ve got past the ‘crucial’ turning point of the story – now all I need is a little reflective pause in the narrative before ploughing ahead to the finish line.

When I’m done with Chloe, I’ve decided I’m going to do a total re-write of two older stories which have been bugging me lately with their “incompleteness” (incomplete in my eyes at least). More news on that if and when I ever finish Chloe.

Finally, I can’t post a blog without mentioning good ole Boris. Boris Johnson was elected London mayor last week. And I do believe we are in for an interesting four years with him at the helm. Who knows, if he does a good job, maybe one day BJ will get the proper top job. I can just see him and Hilary at a G8 summit right now – a match made in heaven. (That said, Boris will probably screw things up and Hilary will lose out ‘cause she’s a girl).*

*I should just say for the sake of it, that I have no preferences in the US presidential race. How can I have, I don’t get a vote. I guess the rest of us will just have to like it or lump it when the pregnant chads are counted and the legal battle in a Floridian courtroom is all over. Er... I mean, when the votes are in.


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