Thing’s are okay with us

We finished off at P&K’s on Monday, me having popped down to Wells to complete Part 3 of my middle-leader course at Wells. Whilst, in the long term, I’d rather just be writing, these little excursions are fun and, should I stop, I will miss them. Anyhow 3 more sessions and 3×360 degree reports to complete, and I should be done. Fab.

the venue!

the venue!

Yesterday we drove up to Penkridge to look at wedding venues (etc) for Bex and Steven whilst they stick up hurricane shelters – the Bahamas are in the path of hurricane Mathew. It’s due there tomorrow. School is closed, so the pair of them have been out stocking up with supplies (mostly booze by the look at the photos). The government apparently turn off the electricity tonight at 10pm. Good luck to them! But, what an experience.

Whilst C has been doing most of the leg work I have concentrated on two things. First, getting the new solar panel to work. I hope I’m there after fitting the electrics today. But we won’t really know until tomorrow when Mrs Sun pops out.

Second it’s been about getting on with Chapter 4. Book 3 is already a bit darker and the first part of Chapter 4 describes a young woman held against her will in a superyacht. It’s not graphic, and it’s not sexual, but it’s tough to write and I think will be tough to read. But I’m sticking with it!

And what about the other two? Well FtF sold well over the weekend without any marketing. I had a stab again with the U.K. market, and nothing happened (I was using the video rather than a still to see if that helped.) Well, nothing happened so I switched the money to the US. And then, all of a sudden, I sold some books in the UK! You can’t win.

Anyhow, I’m 40 books short of paying back my small advance, and then any sales come to me (at 50% royalties). Yippee!

Heading east tomorrow, hoping to see ex-Army friends on Friday. And then back down to Bristol on Sunday. We’re following friends of ours on Facebook we met on our first 8-month trip two years ago. They’ve set off with their caravan to Spain for 6 months. How we envy them! But, we’re off to France for 6 weeks in a couple of weeks, so that’s a big hurrah!

Have a great rest of week!

Our sort of house sitting…

It’s been a busy couple of days. Thankfully we’ve had the benefit of an outdoor heated pool to ease away our stresses and strains. It’s a tough job…


First, Friday was my trip to Wells to present to the sixth form (all 200 of them) – the first non-music presenter in their new concert hall – was a scream. I do love interacting with kids/almost adults. My theme was ‘when I grow up’, and it was a combination of my career history and a bit about self-publishing. I enjoyed it, but I can’t vouch for the audience!

Saturday saw us walk P&K’s dog as well as, me, finish and review the prologue and first three chapters of the new book. I think it’s going to be called something along the lines of ‘Who can you trust?’ Certainly the word trust needs to be in there somewhere as poor old Sam doesn’t know which way to turn. I’m always happy when three chapters are done. They’re the most difficult to write, balancing introduction, new places, new people, with the need to excite and entertain. Anyhow, it’s done now. The next time I will look at them is when I come to review the whole book at Christmas. I feel so much more comfortable with the process third time round.

our sort of house sitting

our sort of house sitting

Today was about fitting the new 150W solar panel. It went swimmingly well, until the end. I needed to: stick the panel to plastic feet (screws); take off the old roof entrance box and clean the seat so I could stick on a new one; unplug the old panel at the regulator and remove the wire; widen the roof opening to take two wires; stick the new panel to the roof (Sikaflex – the business); push wires through the roof and stick down new box; connect/reconnect panels to regulators to batteries.

All good, accept I’d bought the wrong feet and, as a result, I have to put the panel at the back of the van. Thankfully we have a big roof. But it did mean that the special gauge wire I had bought wasn’t long enough. Anyhow, it took me 3 hours to do all that – with Mrs Sun out and about. Then, when I reconnected the old panel, it didn’t work. Damn. Or similar words. Eventually I discovered the problem. It wasn’t that I’d shorted the panel, or broken the regulator. No. The idiots who fitted the original panel, switched the polarity. So when I refitted the panel, the regulator was confused. Put brown where blue was, and vice versa, and hey presto – we have our old solar panel back. I won’t know if the new one works until I have some more 2.5mm2 wire.

And the books? Well I’ve not been advertising for 3 days and initially I thought sales were plummeting. But yesterday I sold 20 copies of FtF and 2 of UH all in the US. And today figures look set to be similar, if not slightly down. I’m not sure what’s happening (yet), but I have rebooted advertising in the UK having reordered the reviews. I’m still 100/755 book short of paying back my advance, but I’m almost there! Big slap up meal when that happens!

Anyhow, off to Wells tomorrow for some work. We leave P&K’s on Tuesday to look at wedding venues for Bex. Then off to East Anglia for Friday to catch up with old pals. France, and 6 weeks writing, is only 3 weeks away! Hurrah!