I’ve been posting to this blog for over six months now, and it’s attracted a surprising amount of interest in terms of the volume of comments received. There are, however, some notable similarities about these contributions. Some of them assure me, in a chummy sort of way, that my posts are utterly brilliant and that I should keep it up, sometimes even referring to me as a ‘friend’. But few seem to have anything specific to say about the posts themselves, preferring to mention that they have shoes, or headphones, or video games available on a site of their own. Some tell me that I am missing magnificent opportunities to vastly increase my site’s traffic, and direct me to places where I can pay them to learn how it’s done. Some are sufficiently keen on my posts as to remark on each and every one, but always with the same comment. Others so yearn to approach me that they forget to form their remarks in English, or form them in a barely recognisable version of the same.
Anyway, if there are any actual human beings reading this blog then they will be pleased to learn that I have now installed an anti-spam system. And as for the spammers themselves, my views are not fit for reproduction in a family column. Genuine readers may also be pleased to hear that I am now, at last making real progress on my new (second) novel. Although I’ve had the plot worked out for a good while now, it takes trial and error to work through how best to tell the story. Establishing the right foundations is hard, particularly in terms of creating characters that a reader can empathise with and revealing the right things at the right points. I now have the prologue and the first chapter done to my satisfaction, notching up the first 7000 or so words, and I can now move onto surer ground and move faster (I hope).
Genuine readers might also share other interests of mine, beyond the literary and the historical. I see lots of live music and have recently attended four fabulous concerts in a row at the Brudenell Social Club in Leeds. There was reformed Leeds band Cud (so exciting there was a stage invasion), then U.S soulman Barence Whitfield (amazing energy, and guest M.C. Andy Kershaw), then Melt Banana (clattering Japanese weirdness), finally Chantel McGregor (a thrilling young guitar virtuoso, playing in a seventies rock style). I think that William Windham, the hero of my first novel Bring Him in Mad, would have really enjoyed this sort of thing, though unfortunately rock music was yet to be invented in the 1860s. The internet spammers of today may also benefit from going out and engaging more with the real than the virtual world, as contact with humanity might dissuade them from wanting to exploit others.