A glorious blue sky winter Sunday. There is beauty on this Earth and perhaps we are the only entities of the universe to possess the emotional and intellectual pathways to discern it. In the bare trees around me, the merciless crows scrabble for nothing other than survival and dominance. Unlike mankind, they know not cruelty but only indifference. Surely we are both saved and shamed by beauty for what we do is in its presence. Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going? Gauguin did not know and we are no nearer the answer today.
The poet Oscar Sparrow loves to quote these lines. He comes to mind because his collection “I Threw A Stone” is free today on Amazon KDP. I am delighted to use my little blog to display his own take on the matter. Don’t forget there is a full audio track for free with the e-book. Any one who witnessed him revealing his “Erectile Dysfunction” at the Bedford Festival of Romance now has the chance to re-live the moment.
A few years ago I went to a public auction with a friend who was looking for some furniture. Whilst we were waiting for his lot to come up, an enormous quantity of cuddly toys came under the hammer. It seemed that it was the entire contents of a bankrupted shop. The price started somewhere at the edge of the cosmos and came down to something I could afford by raking about amongst the fluff covered boiled sweets in the sofa. Within a few seconds I owned several hundred cuddly giraffes, tortoises and some things that looked like socially disadvantaged wildebeest at the end of a hard day in the stampede. I applied for a pedlar’s certificate and set out on a career as a door to door salesman. The giraffes and tortoises flew out of my sack. I sold only one wildebeest to a guy spaced out on wacky baccy who thought it was an alien.
Plan B in my retail conquest of the planet was a market stall. That weekend I was at the town tat-fest with my trestle table loaded with cuddly alien cattle. I figured that since the goods were not selling I would offer them at 50 pence each. After lunch I reduced the price to zero but still the poor beasts could find no homes. Then, a fellow trader wandered over and looked at the creatures and declared that they were from a top designer label and that by giving them away, people thought they were junk. Accordingly I increased the price to £5 and added a sign saying “Top Designer Brand”. By dusk, the herd of alien wildebeest had gone. I shared the spoils with a guy who had lent me a truck to transport them and the market stall authorities. There was enough left for a good old fish and chip nosh up and a week’s caravan holiday. (It rained and the kids were sick). So much for my flirtation with Capitalism.
So it is with some worldly experience that my poetry collection “I Threw A Stone” is offered for free until the close of play on the 18th December. It is of course a top designer brand. So far I have shifted one copy in the UK and have zoomed up 900,000 places in the charts. Sales are probably not helped by the fact that Amazon UK have removed all but one review apparently on the basis that people liked the book. (One could become quite annoyed about all this but poet karma keeps my thoughts on a higher plane).
Well, the old boy did it. Oscar’s book of poetry has gone live on Amazon Kindle. It’s called ‘I threw a stone’ and he kindly asked me to write the foreword. Not only is it an e-book, it also includes an audio album with all the poems read by Oscar. I find all this uploads/downloads stuff a bit bemusing but I managed to get the audio onto my Kindle. All this new interconnected media gives writers the chance to produce some unique kinds of work. Oscar’s book has a music intro as well. I believe that the e-book is not a competitor with the tree book. The e-book is actually a wide exciting medium in itself and can provide far more. The book trailer is here if you want to take a peek.
Apparently, this Christmas will in fact be Kindlemas. This is the year when the e-reader will be the must have item in Santa’s sack. I think the old dead tree books will still have a place. I have shelves of them to show folks how learned I am. While books proclaim what you like folk to think you have read, the e-reader hides what you actually like to read. You can sit on the commuter train to a posh job in the City with your Kindle reading “Confessions of a Harem Handyman” and no one knows.
I have parked up the bus for the holidays now. Soon I will be going home to France for a holiday season of ruthless dieting, cold baths and exercise. On the other hand I might get out the foie gras, un bon Bordeaux and catch up on some reading. I wonder if we Brits will be turned away at the border by the Sarko police? His eyebrows really do look like circumflex (little roof top) accents, the presence of which in French denotes that a consonant used to be present in a word. With Britain missing from Europe the look on Sarko’s face takes body language to new heights.
Emma thinx: Europic – a new serious vision problem.