I'm quite excited. 48 readers have downloaded my book! That doesn't mean everyone will read it to the bitter end, but it's a lot better than for the book than its previous record. The page my book is on at obooko is linked here, so if anyone calls, hello and leave a message!!!!
Now I've started on the publishing spree, I'm keen to get my short stories in some kind of order. Some of them are quite good, I think. Others seem to have been written by someone trying to get a contract with Mills and Boone (that's a publisher of those soft back short novels you see in supermarkets. They have titles like Lavinia's last lover, or Dr Fred leaves his scalpel in the breast of a mysterious woman....) I once tried to write one after finding a list of does and don'ts for getting them published. The authors write to a strict code of practice and probably make a lot of money. But I couldn't get into the genre, so I gave up. Silly really. It would be foolish to think that authors have actually been through what they write about (most of the time). But I could not even contemplate being light-hearted, especially at a time when my life was a lot more tortuous and traumatic than it is these days. Could I make any of my experiences fit readers' demands if they are looking for romance, plastic surgery and violence? I've had no direct experience of any of those, with the possible exception of romance, which made a brief appearance in my life when I was young enough to qualify for it. Violence is something I cannot stand even to read about, let alone write about it, and plastic surgery is something I would not contemplate unless it were medically indicated. All those women, and even men, with puffy B O T O X written all over their faces. I'm growing old sort of gracefully. What you see is what you get!
I'll post a very short story now. Ida was my father's sister, but I don't think she had a latin lover and she never married. However, she went on coach tours all over Europe in the days when hardly anyone went abroad, so maybe she did have a secret or two, after all!.
There was nervous bustle as the relatives entered the lawyer's room for the reading of Ida's will. They weren't expecting much, but the formalities had to be completed.
‘She never had two pence to rub together,’ someone said. ‘Spent it all on bus tours and that fellow, what was his name again?’
‘At her age?’ two Canadian cousins exclaimed.
They were combining the funeral rites with a sightseeing tour.
The will was hand-written and the letters sprawled across the pages like spiders.
‘This is my last will.......’ the lawyer deciphered.
‘Will I get her dog?’ chirped nine year old Julian.
‘Certainly not, and shut up,’ his mother hissed.
‘....and to my dear devoted Pedro, I bequeath all my other earthly possessions.’
There was a universal gasp of horror.
‘Who the hell is Pedro?’
‘Well, so be it,’ the lawyer concluded, raising his arms in a form of blessing.
‘I want to know who Pedro is, too,’ said Julian's mother. ‘I thought Ida was devoted to Patrick.’
Patrick was sitting as far away from the others as possible. Now he stood up, his face furrowed and sad.
‘I was devoted to her, and she was devoted to Pedro,’ he confessed.
The lawyer was scrutinizing a second document.
‘My Spanish is a bit rusty, but this looks like a marriage certificate,’ he said.
‘Well, I never!’ said Julian's mother. ‘She didn't tell a soul.’
‘Why should she?’ said Patrick. ‘Bigamy is a criminal offence.’