Slim Chance.

The things you find when clearing out your office!

(This was written many, many years ago for my wife’s Slimming Club, when she was expecting our second son. It’s a humorous but hopefully inspirational tale produced principally for women seeking to lose weight.)

Bloke readers also welcome, of course.

SLIM CHANCE.

‘Fat can be beautiful,’ or so I was told
As I undid my corsets and watched the ripples unfold.
But given the choice, I’d rather be lean,
An hour-glass figure was my ultimate dream.

But dreams turn to nightmares as we all know,
And this weight-losing business can really be slow.
So I bought some diet-biscuits to help me get slim,
They said on TV that they’re just the thing.

But after a month, I’d gained three more pounds!
I turned the air blue with cursing sounds;
I didn’t understand – how could it be
That such a dreadful thing be happening to me?

As the days dragged on, I grew more annoyed,
My life became empty- a proverbial void.
ANOTHER FOUR POUND INCREASE? This could not be real,
I’d eaten those biscuits after EVERY meal.

Ah. So that’s what went wrong. I’d now seen the light.
I gave up all stodge and continued the fight.
I resolved to try real hard, no cheating, then who knows,
This time next week, I could re-sight my toes.

But it didn’t work out, my toes stayed in the shade,
And I pondered exactly what mistakes I had made.
Matters got worse and sometimes I was ill,
Then it dawned what had happened – I’d forgotten my Pill!

I WAS PREGNANT!

I really was ‘in the club’ – and not a slimming one,
But it guaranteed a weight-loss second to none.
No exercise programme; no diet sheets needed
And seven months later my tummy receded.

Now eating for two is a hard habit to break,
But I tried to cut down for the housekeeping’s sake.
But like all ‘best-laid plans of mice and men’
It wasn’t too long till I was fat again.

Come bath-times, I looked like a beached baby whale
And all magazine diets were doomed to fail.
Obviously now, something HAD to be done,
Drastic measures to be taken – but which way to turn?

THEN A FRIEND SAID:

“Go try a slimming club, they’ll help you cope,”
So I wobbled on down, my heart filled with new hope.
“Please help me lose weight, I beseech. No, I BEG”
“No problem,” they laughed, “We’ll cut off a leg.”

All joking over, my statistics were taken,
The truth was out, there could be no faking.
“Cut out the chocolate and alcoholic drink,
And it won’t be too long till your tum starts to shrink.”

They suggested I take a more positive view
And in a few weeks there’d be compliments due.
But if friends start to laugh, think “Nuts to them all,
I’m not overweight, I’m just under tall.”

My stomach was rumbling – a real weird sensation,
But I would not give in to this evil temptation.
They advised me at meal-times don’t over indulge
And I’d soon have victory in this Battle of the Bulge.

And slowly but surely I began to lose weight,
First a pound, then five, and eventually eight.
It gradually got easier by doing as they taught
And not being discouraged by negative thought.

And within six weeks I’d shed a whole stone
And all carbohydrates were banned from my home.
My clothes no longer fitted, but it was small price to pay –
I liked the new me, and I was here to stay.

__________

READERS IN U.S.A. – now it’s your turn.

Mrs. G on October 1, 2016

Format: Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase

Oh my goodness, what’s not to love about this book? The author is supremely Scottish and it’s all about antics with animals. I haven’t laughed this hard in a long time. I’d hire Mr. Jackson to care for my pets in a heartbeat–except I think I’d prefer to go along on the walks to see all the adventures myself.

This marvelous narration takes the reader through the ins and outs of life as a Pet Care Professional. Dog, cat, and bunny lovers will all find moments they recognize as well as plenty of surprises. The writing is engaging, real, articulate … in a word–BRILLIANT! My kindle’s pages are marked all over with passages that had me in stitches. Mr. Jackson could surely make any profession or commonplace activity sound far more entertaining than it really is, but when the spirited cast includes these special dogs (and one alarming hamster in particular), it’s even better.

Since this is a real life story, I don’t know how we wrangle a sequel, but I certainly want to read more from this author!

This is it!
The last hurrah for my first book,  ‘DAMP DOGS & RABBIT WEE.‘  In celebration of its second anniversary, you can buy the Kindle version for a measly 99 cents until 17th August. 

It’s time now to concentrate on my new work, the long awaited, much vaunted, light-hearted fantasy that is ‘Evhen & Uurth’ (I know, it’s a dreadful working title, and it will change.)

Right, gotta go. I’ve got a psychopomp with a ‘history’ and a  bad tempered crow … sorry raven, to sort out.

DESIST, ASSIST and PERSIST.

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It’s now five years since I published my first book, ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’

Get me –  ‘first book.’ Now I’m talking in some kind of author-type language. Like I’ve got another book in me. Well …

I’ve learnt a lot these past twelve months: I cringe now when I think of the number of exclamation marks I used in my first drafts of ‘Damp Dogs;’ I now understand why many readers dislike the overuse of adverbs; head-hopping can become confusing and overuse of ellipsis (oops – see above) and quotation marks can becoming annoying.

I’ve also learnt to cultivate a thick skin – this being the result of submitting pieces of work to Critique Circle. Boy, can they be brutal? (See? – in the old days, I’d have had an exclamation mark just there. And there.)

But most of all, I’ve realised that to be a writer, successful or otherwise, you need to learn to desist, assist and most of all, persist.

STOPDesist from talking-down your book. Understandably, you will be unsure as to how it will be received. Will it merit many / any ‘five star’ reviews? Will it attract any reviews at all? Authors writing in the same genre are far better and more experienced than me. Those thoughts, and others, can easily lead to the conclusion that the best way to prepare for disappointment is to get your strike in early. Lower the expectations of any potential readers and work from the ‘promise low, deliver high,’ perspective.

Logically, this may be a sound approach. Except that the number of potential readers may have been greatly reduced as a result of the author’s perceived negativity.

Don’t do it. Tell the world how great the book is. Show some belief.

Sheepish modesty may be cute, but it doesn’t sell books.

You Can HelpAssist other aspiring authors in reaching their goals. Whether this is through constructively critiquing their work via online writing groups, or re-tweeting details of their work / special offers, or sharing links to their sales pages on your social media / blogs, it doesn’t matter. Writing is fun, but it’s kinda lonely. Not in a sad way, but it’s good to talk as a wee bird once said.

Mutual back scratching is way better and more productive than mutual back slapping. Be honest with your comments to others, but be positive. And guaranteed, you’ll receive the same benefits in return. Authors are a breed apart, but form a tight-knit, worldwide association.

I know from experience, I’ve had invaluable help from The Inca Project; Scribophile members; the CLOG group on Goodreads; Clean Indie Reads and numerous individual writers.

Show support, and if at all possible, buy their books. Kindle editions normally cost only a couple of pounds. I’ve read more books this past twelve months than at any point in my life since leaving school. And all have been from indie authors, the majority of whom have not yet made it into the High Street stores.

There are some tremendous stories out there.

PERSISTPersist with your belief. Writing a fabulous book is the easy bit. Telling the world it even exists, especially with no marketing budget at your disposal is another thing entirely. It’s a slog, I know, but a little bit of work, even just through social media can pay dividend.

This past week, I’ve run a low-key promotion in the UK – there will be a bigger effort made in the U.S. market after the Olympics. I spent a total of £10 and that was on a donation basis to a site that promoted ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee.’ The direct results of that promo were poor, but through my own efforts of persistence, I managed to sell another twenty-six books.

No – it’s not big-time. And no, I can’t yet give up work to become a full time author. But it’s all relative, isn’t it? The fact that the book rose from around 200k to circa 12k  in the Amazon Kindle rankings was good enough for me.

UK Promo -pre campaign - KINDLE27th July - 9am - KINDLE

 

 

I’m not writing for money – just as well, eh?. I’m writing for experience. So that I may learn how to make more of a success of the comedy-fantasy, ‘Soul Survivor’ that I’m currently working on.

Success is all relative. I started out as the hopeful writer at the start of the ‘desist‘ paragraph above. I reckoned that if I sold about thirty books to family, friends and clients, then I’d be happy. So, having sold over two hundred and seventy (when the average for a debut effort from an indie author is, I believe, ninety) I’ve now embraced the mantra from the end of that section.

It’s not rocket science, and it’s all been said before. But after a year, the penny’s finally dropped. With all your invaluable assistance and support, even from just reading this blog, I know both ‘Damp Dogs & Rabbit Wee,’ and when ready, ‘Soul Survivor,’ are / will be successes. Even if just in my own head.

See you on the shelves of Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.

Wimbledon 2015b - 200

(Cee Tee)