A calm Sunday with tea and hot baguette served in bed while church bells marked out a time beyond my own boundaries. How lucky I am. How wretched the lives of so many others. I have so much because so many have so little. Well, today I have been writing. Fellow writers will know that there are always 50 reasons not to write. The trouble with computers is that once you switch them on the world reaches a hand out of the screen and grabs your throat. Since I have been Kindlicated I have been on Twitter – or rather I should say that Gilles has been putting me on there because I keep pushing all the wrong keys. Today I saw that a guy called Bert Carson was following me. I clicked his link and got to his books. Now, this guy served in Vietnam, has been a priest and a car salesman. Now, the the last 2 jobs are probably fairly similar – but this guy writes like he was born with a pen in his hand and jumped out of helicopters into leech infested mud. Now, just think about that. My only contact with rice is when I cook a curry. So, e-publishing has finally swept away the gatekeepers of the “who is allowed to be a writer club”. He’s too old for any tree book publisher but finally we are allowed to read his stuff.
This kinda thing gives me real hope. However, be sure that the old elites still have wealth and control of other media. I listened to a book show on the BBC yesterday and a couple of old tree book writers, (You know- the kinda people who are introduced as Yvonne Yourleatherboots – the famous novelist and literary critic), talked about “my bookshop presence”.(Look – the only literary critics that matter now are YOU lot). These guys are in denial but soon enough the old gatekeepers will try and stage a counter-offensive. Outfits like Amazon will not control who uploads their stuff but they can control who gets seen, talked about and read not least by pricing policies. I’m reading Bert Carson’s “Fourth and Forever”. My review will go on Amazon. If you check out this guy just remember that this is a revolution. It will have to be defended and re-won probably several times. The French Revolution led to the dictatorship of Napoleon. But they got there in the end.
God – I’m getting to be an old battle-axe. Just checked in the mirror. No whiskers yet. And that brings me on to the subject of hairdressing. In central St Savinien there are 3 bakers, 2 butchers, 1 pharmacy, 1 bar and at least 6 hairdressers. This gives me a huge choice and I must make an enormous confession. I have never used any of them! For the past 15 years I have been loyal to the same hairdresser in the UK. Luckily business allows me to return to England every few months and I try frantically to get an appointment- even if it means a kitchen table special out of hours. Now, men have witnessed my child-births but not one has been allowed to see me in mid foil bleach spiked head red faced mode. In this transcendental phase the same hairdresser has learned of my loves, pregnancies, careers and romantic heroes. If a woman is not loyal to her coiffeuse then there is no hope. There is also the small matter of what she knows about me, even though I’m almost certain she’d never say a word….. The fact that there are so many hairdressers in a small town must mean something. I think that important government statistics should produce ratios of population to hairdressers. It’s the kinda media guff that gets that final news slot.
Big treat tonight. An English roast for my man. Chicken is so dear here but I bought one. An evening chicken for a morning hot baguette is a fair reward.
Emma thinx: That loser – what’s his story?
Emma. Great words about this new age of publishing. The Big 6 must change or will be sucked under by the new talent– even if they're not so young.
Bert Carson is a great writer and I love your statement. Like he was born with a pen in his hand. He really does put you there! Bert is one to watch as you are as well!
Great post. I just finished Southern Investigation, and I have read Bert's blog – he does have a way with words. I'll be reading Fourth and Forever next.
Thanks Dannie and Renee for your kind comments.