How've you been?
Missed me? I've missed you all... In the past eight months since I last blogged - You remember, it was about my daughter running away to live with her boyfriend like a thief in the night* Did you know that a few of the 'Agencies' that publish stuff that makes you think around the Internet picked that up and it was quite popular for a few minutes. They did the same with my piece about trigger warnings too, if your remember, which was lovely - I went all warm and fuzzy for a swift matter of moments.
So now, much as Randy Quaid's character, Russell Casse, said as he nosedived upwards... Wait, can you nosedive upwards? is it a noseclimb? Is noseclimb actually a word? From now-on "Noseclimb" shalt be the word that one Chimping Dandyist can use to identify themselves to a similarly encumbered person - Don't say I never give you buggers anything.
Anyway, Dennis Quaid, noseclimbing into the alien ship in Independence Day with a jaunty, "Hello Boys, I'm back!" - Which is what I'd like to say to you, because I sort of am. Kinda. It won't be every day by any means. More like once a month hopefully - At the moment that's the plan, maybe on a Friday or something, as I don't work Friday afternoons anymore.
Anyway, back to what I was originally going to talk about. Obviously a lot of water has passed under my own personal bridge since last year, some ploots** of it more oily and foul smelling than others. But the three main ones that spring instantly to mind are:
1: I have finally self-published the book that I swore I would never self-publish.
Yeah, I know, can you smell the disappointment in my voice? I had always said (And still do whisper to myself when I am locked alone in my damp writing tower and the rain is lashing against the leaded windows, the interior lit only by the dour flashes of lightning) that I would get the Windspider Chronicles published by a bricks and mortar publisher, with launch events and regional rights and a Korean language version. Etc.
So, true to my word, on the 4th April, I pressed the button that would self-publish 'Volume 1 - Child of Air' into the feverish hands of a waiting public. You can get it on Amazon - That link is to Amazon UK, but it's available on most of the Amazon sites that serve various countries / continents. Trigger Warning: It's only in English.
One of the few things that I did to try and convince myself that it was a real book, in much the same way that Pinocchio needed reassurance that he was a real boy, was to commission a professional cover artist to design the cover. This is what it looks like now.
|By the unfairley talented David R. Shires at TheImageDesigns.Com|
Looks bloody ace doesn't it? You should nip off and buy it, if you're poor, or you don't have space in your house for real books you can even buy it for The Kindle - or move house, which would be better in the long run.
2: I have become a Freemason.
Yes, the chaps who wear blindfolds and aprons and roll their trouser legs up at any available opportunity. We all ride goats and there's a mystical secret handshake, we can count on woodland creatures for help if we ever stray from the clearly signed path and go for an unscheduled trek into the undergrowth and I have a limited control over the prevailing weather conditions***
To be honest for me, being a Freemason is all about the camaraderie, the fraternity and the 'giving something back' through charity - No, really, I realise that doesn't sound like me in the slightest, but you should know that people can really change when they get old and worry about being closer to death - We try to pack some good Karma in whilst we can. Also we all get together for a slap-up feed and a few jars about once a month, which has got to be worth the price of entry alone.
As an aside, I'm happy to answer any questions that I can about general Freemasonry that you care to leave in the comments - Sometimes the answer will be, "Sorry, can't tell you that." But I promise I'll do my best to answer what I can.
3: I've had a stroke.
See, told you I was getting old. Well I say it was a stroke - It was actually a TIA, or Transient Ischaemic Attack. It lasted about fifteen minutes and I felt fine afterwards. I even drove myself to casualty (Safety tip, don't do that ever - There's a slim chance of something like an 'aftershock' happening a short time after your attack, which is something that you don't want happening whilst you're driving, you'd be putting innocent people in danger - Call an ambulance - In fact I'll go further and say that your consultant will tell you that can't drive for about a month afterwards. They're usually pretty clever, you should listen to them about things like this.)
So what happened? I was sitting at my desk at work when over the course of ten seconds, I went blind and I lost the feeling in all the diodes down my left hand side, couldn't move my arm or leg on that side of my body. I sat there in wonderment as I tried to feel my gums, which had also gone numb, and trying to talk - Which is a bit of a chore with only half a working mouth - fifteen minutes later, I was as right as rain again - All that it's really left me with is a solid gold excuse to get out of anything stressful at work, just by saying, "But I've had a stroke!" and wincing as if I have a headache and a need to take Clopidogrel tablets for the rest of my natural life.
But hey, it could have been a lot worse. The only difference between a TIA and a 'real' stroke is that the TIA's effect is transient i.e. there's no lasting damage - But I like to think that even if there had have been, I would have been able to find something funny for you guys to share about my situation.
Anyway, it's time for me to get back to the real world for a while, feel free to leave any questions, comments or naked photographs of yourself in the comments section below, and I'll get around to them as soon as I can.
*No, as it happens she hasn't come home as yet - She's set some particular way-points for that to even be considered, which have yet to come to pass.
**Yes, I have invented another word usage, 'Ploot' is a subset of a certain volume of water in a river, to be used when you really can'y be bothered to look and see if there is already a word for this.
***Some or all of these statements are made up - But then I would say that wouldn't I?