The Little Alfie Christmas Message – 2013

24 Dec

I did one of these for 2009 in the opening days of 2010 and managed to depress myself so much that I dismissed the idea as soon as it occurred to me twelve and twenty-four months later. Mind you I was unemployed and getting over both Swine ‘Flu and the very recent sudden death of my Brother-in-law at the time I wrote the 2009 piece so the circumstances weren’t, perhaps, ideal.

And then, when I looked at doing something similar for 2012 (which was quite a happy and exciting year, all things considered) it occurred to me that nearly all the good and exciting stuff has already been recorded in the “On the Road” and “Italian Job” series’ that I posted at various times throughout the year so it all seemed rather pointless really!

However, this year I thought I had better say SOMETHING, especially as I haven’t posted anything at all for the last couple of months!

“And why is that?” I hear you ask.

Well, I have been trying (without too much success) to progress both of the “Novels” that I have started and to bring up to date the memoir concerning my annual fishing trip. The novels remain at one complete chapter apiece and the Fishing notes are still four years in arrears.

So, to try to get my creative writing mojo working again I decided to attempt a new project – turning this blog into a book!

This is not as egotistical as it might sound!

To start with, I am not into “vanity publishing” which means that for such a tome to be printed at all would require that I already be famous for some other work and have publishers clamouring for anything else I may have written – which is not at all likely!

I am also unable to comprehend why in this day and age anyone would go and buy a book comprising content already freely available online.

I do, in fact, have two purposes in doing this: I want to be able to read my own stuff on my Kindle when the Internet is not readily accessible to me and I want my own collected works incorporated into the “Family Archive” that I started with my late Father’s writings for the amusement and enlightenment of my descendants.

The “Book of the Blog” is not, however, simply a joining together of the posted articles; I have tried to emulate one of my literary heroes, Isaac Asimov, by including a Foreword and an Afterword to each piece. These go into details of how and why I came to write the article in question, my inspiration for it and, for those including particularly “good” puns, how long I had to remain in hiding afterwards!

It’s a long job and so far I’m only up to postings in the first half of 2010 but if you’d like a copy in Word or PDF format when it’s finished, please let me know.

Anyway, that’s my excuse for not posting any highly entertaining stuff for you recently – I’ll try to do better next year, although I may have to wait until the considerable work required for my “Father of the Bride” speech next March is complete.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a hugely enjoyable and, if that’s your thing, deeply religious holiday period.

In other words (as I STILL get a big kick out of saying) “A Merry Christmas to all my Readers!”

Best wishes for 2014,


1 Comment

Posted by on December 24, 2013 in Uncategorized


One response to “The Little Alfie Christmas Message – 2013

  1. Vincent

    December 25, 2013 at 8:23 am

    Happy Christmas and a Merry New Year, Alfie (check your inbox if you ain’t already).

    I bin down THIS road! I too shunned the idea of “vanity publishing” and opted for SELF-publishing, when friends convinced me I actually SHOULD “write a book” (Mark Twain and others had done likewise, so why not?)

    Of course, that was before I got on-air (online). It cost me GBP (no pound signs on computers anymore – only $ and €) 2,250 for 2,000 copies – compositing and printing complete.

    Then all I had to do was SELL ’em. Long, long, LONG story short, I sold 150 for actual MONEY (like PULLING TEETH it was – got a rubber stamp made up, then set up appointments, suited up and repped it m’self – gross: around GBP 500) and GAVE AWAY another 350 or so.

    About 50 I left in hotel bedside cabinets (I would suggest they’re more entertaining than Gideon Bibles) – the rest, mostly sent to publishers and reviewers, some just given to ANYONE. I even set up a stall at a craft fair (and JUST covered the entry fee).

    Thus there are 500-odd copies OUT THERE somewhere (I’ve seen ’em for sale on the Interweb for 30 quid – being sold as collectibles – but TERMITES got most of the remainders, so there’s that).

    But the FREE, ONLINE, EXPANDED version is on WordPress (I only wrote the damn thing to HELP people – even though fame and fortune WOULDA bin nice).

    You can find it here… About 3,500 hits (although how many people read the WHOLE THING is anybody’s guess) plus (given books and mags are read by an average of 2.4 people) around 1,200 reads – so at BEST it’s likely to have been read by barely 5,000 people.

    And those reads have COST ME around GBP 1,750 (although allowing for travelling costs, the GBP 500 got more than swallowed UP – so back to at LEAST GBP 2,250 then).

    And since all of that was when people still READ – I’d suggest you do as I WOULD have done back in ’94, had THIS medium existed in its present form: PUBLISH IT ON WORDPRESS!

    It’s what I did with my two attempts at short-story fiction – they are on… (my best work, period) and (a little darker, but still fun)

    Enjoy, anyone who passes this way…


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