Walpurgisnacht

Originally posted on TotenUniverse:
I won’t be calling it Walpurgisnacht next year. In its modern incarnation its origins are Christian. Like Halloween, there’s a lot of devilry, but look closely and you’ll spot the witches on top of the bonfires, not dancing around them. (banner photo Heidelberger Thingstätte by AndreasF) Statue of St Walburga in…

Walpurgisnacht Competition

Originally posted on TotenUniverse:
April 30th was a significant date in the calendar for northern European witches, mainly in Germany and Holland. On Walpurgisnacht witches would be drawn to the summit of the Brocken, the highest peak in the Harz mountains. And Walpurgisnacht seems to be the right moment to make changes to the TotenUniverse.…

Is this the end?

That sounds a bit apocalyptic, but I’m referring to the book sales. I have a plan that involves withdrawing all the ebooks from sales channels, offering them for free from the website and making money from other product lines. Does this sound like a plan?

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