Independent publishing — what a joy! You can make up the rules as you go along. Only problem is...your audience!
If a teacher of the internet got me by the scruff of my unwashed neck, he or she would be horrified by my abysmal grasp of the internet. If I paid a lot of dosh, I might be put into the first class (for slow learners) of the last primary school for adult tryers at Internet Studies. But I doubt it.
This morning I sent details of my novel to a friend and tested whether the link worked. I had tapped into my Samsung Galaxy tablet (eight point zero, I think) the following :
and I was using LINE. To my surprise and utter confoundment, it worked and I got through to the novel with the unpromising title "Collected Selected Words". I glanced at the cover-page to confirm that the hornbill was still there and was still flying towards Pattaya carrying a warning : " Porn Bills Pattaya", and it was! As a keen twitcher I know that birds are never there when you want them, so it was with pleasure and surprise that I noticed my very own hornbill had not flown away (to grace another cover of a better book).
I scrolled down and to my increasing bewilderment I noted that for today anyway the novel seems to have moved in rank (unlike my great hornbill) and was climbing away from its upper-echelon stance in the massive millions and even aspiring however temporarily on getting a breather in the thousands.
But beware! I may have got it wrong because I am not a good student and am still in shorts, shirt and tie in the bottom class of the last primary school for adult tryers.....
But feeling optimistic, I decided it was high time to blog out a purple passage from the book, a purple passage very near and dear to my heart and hopefully to the hearts of all hornbill lovers (and I know there are plenty of those around).
This purple passage I am about to produce...who has decided its purple and a passage? Why me, of course. That's just another of the delights of iindependent publishing. You can make up the rules as you go along. The only problem is you're bragging to a public that might not be in love with hornbills let alone big heads who proclaim they can write and then single out for praise their very own purple passages.
Well aware that the selected passage from the collected passages, themselves selected (oh, well, I give up on clarifying that one!)...well aware that the passage is far from purple, as most people know that colour, and hoping all my readers will be colour-blind for at least today, I set it out here. It seems to me a bit black and whitish but I'm going to be colour-blind, too, just for today.
You take a track on your right that peters out into dirt and sand and you manoeuvre your motor bike through the sand which is not easy to do, given scooters like hard stuff and sand is not. The countryside around you is average flat and there may be one or two bee-eaters munching bees, and a drongo dunking flies. (If you’re an old hand you can be forgiven for moaning, “Not another drongo!”) However, in the near distance is water and it broadens out into a tropical stretch with exotic plants lining the bank. There’s a resort on your right with a Cambodian cleaner watching you, a seemingly make-shift religious site on your left which you quickly realise is a permanent place of Buddhist worship, and it is surrounded by gorgeous, lasciviously lavish-lush, fruity trees. Steps with wooden bannisters lead from it down to water’s edge. Bang in the middle of those trees is a broad-branched king of a tree. You don’t quite know the treat that is in store for you because it’s quiet (but about every fifteen minutes the tree fills up with hornbills). For the time being you are staring at the waterways that seem to stretch to the far corners of the earth and maybe you are even thinking Joseph Conrad and Heart of Darkness. I wouldn’t put it past you but there again I won’t hold my breath. Most of us also simply stand and stare because what with the tropical water-plants and the sheer stretches we don’t know if we’re looking at sea, river, estuary, or strange lake. Down at the water’s edge there don’t seem to be any fish, just queer clumps of bushy vegetation, treey bushware, slurping and rooting and foraging in the shallows like aberrations. The water looks briny and of interest. It is while you are contemplating the water and confusing yourself about the bushware that my certain tree tunes up. Yep, it’s hornbill time and the great birds fly in, making a commotion and noisily proclaiming their presence. However, even with the binoculars up, they’re not easy to see. You can scan the branches and upper foliage for a minute or two before you realise there must be at least fifteen oriental pied hornbills in that one tree. Like the metro they depart and return with a regularity that charms their lovers who twitch and prick up their ears as the great air whooshes and stirs. Up there they get noisy. How many families of ….bills are there, cackling away? I haven’t a clue. And neither have you so don’t give me a hard time. When you do get one in your sights, it’s a delight. At about seventy centimeters it’s not the biggest hornbill around but it is bold and beautiful and black and white, yellow-beaked, yellow-casqued, with a large, prominent, bold, black eye encircled with white. It looks at you looking at it and crunches those branches, breaking up the upper tree and putting back a great meal into the bargain. And the grub seems never-ending because one group wheels off and another arrives. Or are they the same birds? With so many big birds in just one tree the choir is ready to let rip. In fact, it has already done so and with big movements in the upper echelons of that tree, with vegetation and fruits going down the hornbill throat and into the brilliant-white hornbill-belly, the birds communicate and sing if that is the right word for kleng-keng kek-kek-kek-kek-kek and ayip-yip-yip-yip. It’s all boisterous and branch-breaking. Lusty noise and great fare. Bird larynx song sanuk and bird larynx sanuk song. The ornithological equivalent of wine, women and song. Flocks of lusty birds making half the noise of Walking Street at a quarter to eight on a quiet evening before the real action gets going.
Notes : sanuk (a transliteration) meaning fun
Walking Street, Pattaya's most famous (notorious) street