Compulsive Writing

I once abandoned a novel after running out of steam. It was 2002 or thereabouts and I never thought I’d write another one. Now, if I don’t write something every day I shake like a man totally wired on espresso.

Fred Dibnah

There are men who can run as fast as gazelles and women who can dive to great depths holding their breath for up to twenty minutes. But one man from Bolton could defy gravity. Fred Dibnah.

A Familiar Formatting Problem

Originally posted on TotenUniverse:
Most self-published authors will have encountered Smashwords’ notorious ‘meatgrinder,’ and few of them survive unscathed. They know what I’m talking about, but for those of you who haven’t come across this Gilliamesque monster, it’s the automated system Smashwords uses to convert uploaded files into various ebook formats. And it doesn’t work.…

Why Does Everything Cost 99p

The world does not need a five pound coin. It doesn’t need a commemorative silver guinea or a special three pound coin with the queen’s head on it. What the world needs is a 99p coin. (If you’re reading this blog in some other economic zone substitute pounds and pence with your own currency.)

Latest Spam no.4

There’s been quite a lot of spam recently in response to The Agent’s Cipher blog post, but that is now closed to comments, so those adverts for American football shirts will be coming your way soon. Today, I received a very nice comment from a man called Xoy Chaopi, who might be Aztec, I’m not … More Latest Spam no.4

Latest Spam no.3

Once again I am being visited by kindly souls pleased to have the opportunity to interact with greatness such as I. But there are times when I wonder about their motivations and grow a little suspicious, so forgive me if I come across a bit grumpy this time around.

Subbuteo

Falco subbuteo, to all you thickos who don’t know yer birds, is the Latin name for the Hobby. And with that sentence we learn why a table-top football game entered the world with such an obscure name. It makes sense in hindsight. At its peak of popularity, Subbuteo was more realistic than the real game. … More Subbuteo

Latest Spam no.2

Another lonely communication between the nether regions of the internet. And continuing my generosity in helping the sad and confused (kindred spirits) I’m sharing another message in the hope that some of you might find sympathy and empathy with our less fortunate cousins.

Latest Spam no.1

I often read posts and articles about people who are inundated with spam, bothered by scamsters and what have you. Unfortunately for me, the TotenUniverse is such a lonely place even the spammers don’t come by very often. But occasionally one gets through, like today, so instead of hitting the delete button I thought I’d … More Latest Spam no.1

Ads and Adblockers

I was in a shop recently, a real bricks-and-mortar high street shop. I bought a magazine and the shopkeeper said “no, it’s free.” Free? He pointed to the walls of his shop, floor to ceiling advertisements. “Everything in the shop is free. My income comes from the adverts.” “Good for you,” I said before realising … More Ads and Adblockers

A Typical Job Advert

In Lancashire there is a popular garden centre and they regularly have job vacancies on the website. Let’s, for legal purposes, call them Horton Close Garden Centre. On their website they describe what makes a good employee, what they call a ‘Horton Closer.’ But based on the details found on their website I think their … More A Typical Job Advert

Marketing And Creating That Killer Brand By New York-Based Consultant Theo Rand

Following the arson attack in Managua during the central American leg of Toten Herzen’s Malandanti world tour (unofficially retitled the Let the Insurance Cover It tour) Alien Noise brought in brand management consultant Theo Rand of New York firm Solid Gold to advise on damage limitation. Alien Noise, in an uncharacteristic act of altruism, invited … More Marketing And Creating That Killer Brand By New York-Based Consultant Theo Rand

Decent Writing Places

What makes a good writing cafe? Well, the one I’m sat in at the moment. Quiet, stylish, refined. Has a touch of class about it, which suits my status as a professional internationally acclaimed author. In fact, I should have worn my new watch, a Christmas present that sits on my wrist like something built … More Decent Writing Places

The Agent’s Cipher

No, it’s not a new book by Dan Brown, it’s an earth shattering discovery revealed on an obscure website so secretive I’ll be hung from Blackfriar’s Bridge if I reveal its name. Every UK literary agent’s rejection letter contains a secret code. You thought rejection letters were standard replies? You and me both. Assuming agents … More The Agent’s Cipher

Are We Idiots?

I recently wrote a post asking if we were weird, now I’m asking if we’re idiots. A lot of companies seem to think so, the latest being Lulu, the book publishers. They’re giving away free money. Read on to find out how you can get free money. In fact, not even free money: FREE MONEY!

Apologies

I should start by apologising for the inclusion of football in this post, but I won’t because this post is not about football, it’s about apologies. Institutional apologies. But quoting Valencia football club (which some would say is still not about football) leads me to my conclusions on when things go wrong and someone needs … More Apologies