Bi-Weekly Muses -Strange Dreams and the Battle to Publish

Recently my dreams have turned pretty grim. In one, I’d gotten up to go downstairs, but then as I walked down the stairs, I decides to lie down, feeling low for some reason, before going back to bed, and feeling an enveloping blackness closing in around me. I then woke up for real. In another dream, I kept needing to pee, and couldn’t get way from this feeling, and this left me in a really bad mood – until I woke up and realised I really needed to pee.

On a side note, I had a dream that one of these was buried in a field near my house, and I was looking for it.

I can only imagine these dreams are a manifestation of the current, seemingly endless issue of the pandemic, though there’s other stuff too. I am finding myself contemplating that I will forty in the not-so-distant future, and I am wondering if that represents the halfway point in my life – and what that means. My daughter will start secondary school next year, and I can only grip hope tightly that it is a good experience for her – it was a mixed bag for me. What I am grateful for is that my daughter is inheriting my love of Nintendo.

For better or worse my daughter has become a fan of Breath of the Wild. The game – and story – has captivated her, and from there she’s gone on to find other Nintendo stuff, such as Pokemon, which she absolutely loves. It’s nice to see the next generation embrace what I love – though she’s not remotely interested in Star Trek! She’s inherited her mother’s love of Star Wars though, as well as a love of Doctor Who, so we’re doing something right!

Yeah… surely Pikachu will be level 9999 by now, and capable of vaporising cities with a small discharge. Ahem.

Going back to dreams for a mo…

Right, this is where things get super weird. The other night I dreamed I was involved in some kind of high-octane car chase around Monaco, which also involved making models of F1 cars with my Mum and Dad. At some stage during this I wound up working at a crematorium-type establishment (only it wasn’t a crematorium), which was struggling to stay in business, so we were trying to find ways to make money to keep it afloat. Cue Father Ted (from a Channel 4 comedy series of the same name) trying to help us stay solvent, and me making a lasagne that soon became an apple pie. I woke up then, thoroughly confused.

Publishing is Hard

Since self-publishing my book to Amazon, I’ve been exploring other means of publishing as well. I’m keen to push and promote as much as I can, though there is a limit to what I can achieve on my own, so getting published in the traditional way would be a major feather in the cap.

Achieving this is proving quite the challenge. I’ve exploring a couple of options (for both publishing and marketing), but the results keep proving to be very expensive, and in the case of one publisher they ask for a considerable upfront payment, which bucks the accepted trend of traditional publishers (who ask for nothing upfront and get a cut of the royalties). £2,500 is a lot of money to put up without any guarantee of making it back. They’re not technically scamming anyone (the author of Writer’s Disease makes that point), but they’re taking none of the risk and making a lot of money out of it in the process, whereas the author – who has written the work, investing a great deal of time and effort into the process – is taking all the risk. There’s no incentive to take that kind of leap.

Snotty Season

The kids have barely gone back to school and inevitably there are sore throats and runny noses running around everywhere. I’ve been feeling run down lately, as has my wife (and no, we don’t have Coronavirus, but this serves as a lesson, which I’ll come to in a mo), thanks to my daughter getting a cold and spreading it through the house.

Kids spread colds very easily, without necessarily being major sufferers. Case in point is Covid-19 – children are more likely to have very mild symptoms, if any, but they’ll spread it around quickly and effectively. It is not surprising that a number of schools have had to close or part-close already, less than a month after the term began. I’m not sure what other outcome the government expected.

Well, the weather has definitely gotten colder, despite a brief reprieve – this isn’t a surprise, we’re on the cusp of Autumn, so it’s time for the rainy season – or for the rain to get colder. In one month we have Halloween, though whether we actually have Halloween remains to be seen, what with the spike in Coronavirus cases. Who knew that urging people to return to pubs, offices and schools would lead to an increase in cases?! What a shocker…

I’d be amused at this latest display of Tory ineptitude if it didn’t carry such deadly consequences. They’ve tried to blame matters on the general public for flouting rules (but let’s not forget, the government can break the law in a specific and limited way, or breach lockdown to test one’s eyesight), but the reality is the Tories have never had much of a strategy, and the strategy they did have has been poorly implemented. Now, with colder weather typically bringing an increase in cases of colds and the flu, we’re going to suffer.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to go back into lockdown. It’s the last thing I want. However without any kind of meaningful handle on this crisis that’s exactly where we are headed, with all the ramifications of it. Ultimately if we have to lockdown again I will do so to save lives, though I hope we can find a way to protect people and live vaguely normal lives in the process.

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