Friday, 21 October 2016

Some responses from literary agents.

          I got a message from David Haviland, the fiction guy from Andrew Lownie. The next day. I mean, that is what you want. It doesn't matter if they don't want the business. But it does make a difference if you think these folk actually look at their emails. I wouldn't be surprised if they get hundreds of emails every day.

          Anyway, David Haviland asked for three chapters and a synopsis, the way they always do. I cannot understand this. I do not think folk deal in hard copies these days.

          Last night, several days after sending the first batch of emails, I got a response from Angus MacDonald of Artellus Ltd. He asked the see the Ecuador book!! I was really surprised. Once the folk in New York didn't get back to me, I kind of gave up on that.

          I'm trying not to deal with more than one agent at a time, but David Haviland is a fiction guy and Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador? is never going to interest a guy like that!! So I've just replied to both of them and sent on the fiction book to the fiction guy, and the Ecuador book to the guy who must be Ecuadorean though he sounds pretty Scottish, being Angus MacDonald.

          |Nobody wants to see the two books for ten to fourteen year olds. These are the best!! But nobody wants to see them. There can't be any money in kidsbooks. Just ask JK Rowling.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

My guru!

          \I managed to post this by copying it from facebook!! This photie was taken last week down at the Samye Ling. Very pleased to be able to post it here!!

           I haven't heard from the fiction guy at Andrew Lownie yet. Of course, if he doesn't fancy the stuff on my Amazon book page ... specifically, I directed them to the two books for young adults and the one about blowing folk up. If he doesn't like the look of that, there's no reason for him getting in touch. I'll give them till the end of business on Monday and then go again.

          |I don't really care about getting published because I don't need the money, or any aggravation that might ensue, but I'm going to make the effort because I told my guru I'd try to get her some money to develop the muddy field she's making into a dharma centre in Belgium. You can't dish money out if you haven't got it. And there's no good reason for wanting stuff published unless it's for the money.

         We chatted about deity yoga. I'd read about yogis being able to imagine deities until they seemed to be there and could imagine them so well that they could view them from different angles. The lama said when you imagine the deity above your head, it frees your mind and your mind can them go and have a look from the front, side, etc.

          From my personal experience, that still seems almost impossible. However, my visualisations are getting better although they are still very poor. Of course, these visualisations are supposed to be done with your eyes open. When I gaze at something for a wee while, the whole of my visual field starts to distort. Sometimes things meld into each other and sometimes light seems to cover the edges of stuff. If you just let this process go, sometimes the thing you are looking at almost disappears. Perhaps it is from this kind of visual field that the visualisations are possible, but I don't know. |The lama told me that the distortions in my vision were normal.

          The effects of vase breathing particularly are running away with themselves just now. I wanted the lama to tell me where all this might lead. She smiled and shrugged. We do not know, but forward, forward ... all my plans are simple!

          It was nice to hear some response from Andrew Lownie. |I means the email I sent isn't a complete turn off.

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Not a cheep out the them yet!

                      There was no response from anyone today from the six emails I sent last evening. This is not a surprise!! Some time ago I was trying to get an agent for two books I'd written for ten to fourteen year olds. Despite having two adult books published, having eight plays produced, being a school librarian, and having an awful lot of glowing questionnaires, I managed to get one person to read one of the books in ........ two years of trying!!

                       The two books I got published were published because I knew people. C'est la vie!

                        Emails tonight to:
Sarah Ballard at United Agents
Christopher Little
Wylie Agency
Euan Thorneycroft at AM Heath
Andrew Lowrie

The photie is from the Sikkim trip from this Spring. No, I still cannot get photies off my phone onto this blog. Bugger the machines!!

I just got a response from Andrew Lowrie. That took less than fifteen minutes!! Says a colleague dealing with fiction will get back to me. So, hurrah for them.

Monday, 17 October 2016

More agents stuff!!

                  It is now more than three months since I sent Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador to William Clark Associates, so I tried to prod them into a response of some kind with an email. Well, I had to send it through their query email thing, and I haven't had a response.

                   Somewhat disappointing when agents do that.,,, ask you to submit something and then completely forget about it. Non satis. In future, I'm not giving anyone that length of time.

                    What I think I should do now is put the Ecuador book straight onto Kindle and forget about it, but I did tell Lama ,Rinchen I'd try to make some money to help her with building on the muddy field in Beaumont, Belgium.

                      So I'm going to try and get someone to sell the two young adult books and the crime book. That's Remote Control plus Bugtown and In the Land of the Demon Masters.

                       This evening I sent out five emails to.
Ivan Mulcahy
Jeffrey Simmons
Malcolm Imrie
Angus MacDonald
Jonathan Pegg
Jenny Brown Associates.

The emails to Jeffrey Simmons and Jonathan Pegg didn't work!! So I sent three emails. Doing this business stuff is not very interesting!!! It's not as if I even need the money.

Thursday, 29 September 2016

More Remote Control stuff

          This blog isn't read by hardly anyone these days, which is alright, but it is going to prove useful for keeping tabs on how agent/publisher hunting is going. As I| recall, that was the reason I started blogging about ten years ago. Some things don't change as much as you'd like!

           Ten days ago I sent an email to Contraband. Well, I sent an email to someone!! Anyway, no one got back to me, so I sent another email just now. I think the person might be called Saraband.

           I haven't done anything about agents/publishers for the last ten days because my life in far too chaotic at the moment. I don't seem to be able to find the time to do much writing either. I'm really, really primed to start work on this play as well. Next week! New rules for next week!

Monday, 19 September 2016

Contraband and Remote Control

          I haven't heard anything from William Case Associates about the Ecuador book yet. Must be a couple of months since I sent it to them. I do not expect a good result from this connection, so I've decided now that the summer if over to start working again.

          I read something at the weekend about a Scottish crime imprint called Contraband. I've just contacted them about Remote Control. Anyway, I think I've contacted them! I sent the email to Books from Scotland. At least, I've started trying to hustle again.

         I have worked out how to finish Jock Tamson's Half Hearted Transformation. It'll be back to two acts with an wee intermission.

         So everything seems to be okay. I'm thinking of putting the Ecuador book straight onto Kindle when the New York folk knock it back. But we'll see.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

More Jock Tamson stuff

          I'm just back from reading the stage version of Jock Tamson's, or at least  what will be the first half when I'm finished it. That's about the first forty odd pages. So I'm going to write a play in two parts which was my original intention, I think. Anyway, after reading the shortened radio version and the stage version, I think I| can get a play out of this after another two drafts. That's one draft to restore the stage version in two halves and add the stuff developed in the radio version, and then a final draft to polish it (off!).

          With the Brexit vote and the added problems with Scottish sovereignty, this play is bang on in terms of dramatising something that is in the air anyway, but I'll write it just because I want to. I think it'll have as much chance of being produced as I have of becoming Prime Minister. But it is something I really have to finish considering the time I've spent on it over the years.  I started working on this play about twenty years ago.

           The meditations continue to develop wonderfully despite my chaotic social life. And I'll need to get a better routine in my life or I won't be able to write anything!! I need to instigate a regular writing time and stick to it. This seems oddly difficult right now!!


Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Jock Tamson's Half Hearted Transformation.

          I've just finished reading the version of Jock Tamson's I sent into the radio folk a couple of years ago.I did that re-write near the start of my bereavement just to get on with something. Anyway, the trouble with the version I left unfinished about twenty years ago was that there was no second act. That means there was no proper development of the themes in the middle of the play. You have to have set up something in the middle so that the denouement works. Well, the play doesn't resolve itself properly even yet, but I think there's enough there to do another stage version. Since it was set in one locale, it would never have worked really on the radio. I did know that before I sent it into the beeb, of course, but at the time it made me feel as if I was in some kind of recovery.

         So I've got fifty pages of something that was originally about seventy pages long. So I chopped it down to an hour, but I can look at the original and it shouldn't take too long to bulk it up.

          I don't think I'm in one place at the moment long enough to commit three or four hours a day to writing a novel, but I can work on a play for an hour here and there, and that should do it, especially since the play is three quarters written already.

         After that, I may take a look at the crime book I abandoned when I retired about five years ago.

         I still haven't heard anything from William Clark Associates. I did read a comment from someone who said they took three months to get back to them. I wish I hadn't sent it to them now. Three months is too long to wait. That's four rejections in a year!! An author I know sent his first novel to over three hundred folk before he got it published. When  the rejection from these folk in New York arrives, after that the book will be going out four at a time!!

        Anyway, I'm going to New York in November for three nights. Love New York.

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Vase Breathing Instructions

       Image result for three central channels nadis

  Rajujublog, which I used to write when I blogged anonymously, gets hits every day - more than this blog anyway - because it comes up third when you google vase breathing instructions. Since I haven't received the rejection yet from William Clark Associates, I thought I'd write something about vase breathing since I know a bit more about it now.

          I've never used the vase breathing instructions that are in Rajujublog. I started getting an interest in this juju after I read The Bliss Of Inner Fire about fifteen years ago now. Because of reading this book, I took refuge as a Buddhist so I could get a guru since it said you needed one in the book to do the meditations.

          But you don't really need instructions from a guru if it's there already in the book. Anyway, I didn't follow the instructions on vase breathing techniques in that book. This is partly because I was warned off doing this stuff by my root guru about eight years ago and partly because I was never able to do the visualisations sufficiently well, I thought.

           Both sets of instructions tell you to move the attention up through the chakras as you go along. I think the dodgy guru's instructions tell you to do twenty vase breaths per chakra once you get it going. Since I was never able to get the visualisations steady, I've mostly kept my attention on the navel chakra symbol, though most times I wasn't even able to visualise that.

           So I've been practising  vase breathing and deity yoga for about fifteen years, but have never been able to visualise very well. My assumption was always that if you couldn't visualise the symbols and channels properly then you would never be able to consciously move the heat (when you got it!) up through the symbols in the central channel. Or, this might be dangerous.

            However, I was told by one of my gurus about three years ago that my channels were opened up. If that is the case, they'd been open for years and have continued to open up. I think this is because of the amount of bliss I've been getting for years.

             Anyway, despite everything (including my very unconducive lifestyle!!) I seem to be getting heat these days. Usually, I have to be meditating for a couple of hours beforehand, but the amount of heat I'm getting is certainly on the increase these days.

             So it says in The Bliss of Inner Fire that these kind of meditations are suitable for westerners because you don't have to believe anything for them to work. You just have to do them. Well, I'm living proof of that. It's obviously going to take a long time for them to work if you live like me, but I do seem to have got them to work a bit. Sufficiently anyway to make the rest of my life far more interesting than it would have been!!


Friday, 26 August 2016

Milk by Ross Dunmore: Traverse fringe.

          Just read a moody review of this fine piece of work in the Sunday Times magazine for last Sunday. The reviewer seemed to think that this debut play was not the kind of thing that the "once reliable Traverse" should not have put on as a main event.

          Well, I would just like to disagree. The guy in the Independent, the "I", said the play came off a slush pile for one thing. I can only remember the Traverse doing one play in all the years I've been going there that was sent in "blind" by a new writer. This is most heartening since the Traverse is supposed to be about encouraging new writing. Putting on a play by someone quite new is just what the Traverse is supposed to be there for.

          Also, I thought it was extremely well written. If someone at the Traverse reads something like this and doesn't want it to be staged .... well, that's really what you might expect. Also, with new work there has to be, of course, a high standard of writing, but there should also be the right to fail.

          There might have been some questions about the shape of the play, but for a new writer I thought it was a great debut. I don't know if Ross is a male or a female, but if the Traverse were to commission a new play from her(him), I'd certainly go and see it. Anyway, Milk was the best thing I saw on the Fringe this year.


Thursday, 21 July 2016

Still no news from agent.

          I was hoping to put some of the photies I took at the weekend onto this blog, but as yet I cannot get the photies onto the blog. So I put up with random one. Might be of the Trossachs, but probably not. I was spending the weekend in  Callendar with my girlfriend. What a good time was had by all!

          Anyway, I haven't had anything from the Wm Clark Associates yet. This is hardly surprising since I sent the stuff to them just about a fortnight ago. But I have little hope of them wanting to represent me and would really like to get on with this and be finished with looking for an agent by the end of the summer. Then I could put the Ecuador book onto Kindle and get on with writing something else.

        Patience is a virtue, try it if you can .... I'll give them another couple of weeks and if I haven't heard by then, I'll contact them and ask if they want more time. Of course, they won't reply to that and I'll feel free to look elsewhere.

          Photies taken  up the allotment last week.

Monday, 11 July 2016

Craigmillar Castle

           I was at Craigmillar Castle today and it was well worth the visit. Andrew was very good at showing us around which really made the visit a bit special. Otherwise you are just wandering about a half wrecked ....well, castle. I worked in Craigmillar for more than a year and didn't even glimpse the thing. But it is there.

          Since William Clark Associates said they'd look at the Ecuador book, I feel kind of stranded. Sending lots of emails was what I thought I'd be doing for the next wee while, but there's no point till these folk decide they don't want it.

          Politics is going mad in this country right now!!


Thursday, 7 July 2016

William Clark Associates

         William Clark Associates got right  back to me and someone there (I suspect it won't be Mr Clark) is wanting to have a look at the book. This was a bit of a surprise. Someone on the web was saying it took three months to get a reply from this agency for one thing. Also, I suspect that New York agents aren't looking for British writers, so I hope there is a quick rejection which will let me keep at it. Now that I remember ... there was a request of a chapter by chapter synopsis ... which I forgot to send. Oh, well. I'll send another email with that attached later today!

          I got a letter from the council telling me to clean up my allotment so I'll go up there this afternoon. Looks like a really nice afternoon out there.

          The random photie today is of me on the Indian/Nepal border, on the Singalila Ridge with my back to three of the four biggest mountains in the world. Unfortunately, the mountains are just above the horizon and they didn't come out!

Monday, 4 July 2016

William Clark Associates and the Andy Ross Agency.

          Since I got no response to the first two emails I've sent, I've just sent another two. I googled for agents interested in religion/spirituality books and came up with two agencies: William Clark Associates and the Andy Ross Agency. So I've just sent them emails. Since both these agents are based in the states, they probably don't deal with foreign writers, but what the hell. I should be visiting New York and California before the year is out anyway.

          Today I was definitely getting heat during the meditations. How weird and bizarre! I sent an email to Lama Rinchen about it, just to let her know. She has really been a huge help in getting on with this stuff.

           The photie is of me at a monastery in Sikkim. That's only been two months ago, but seems like such an age!

Friday, 1 July 2016

Second approach to agents

                     I didn't get a reply to my email to Laurie Fox out there in California, so I sent out another one just now. I googled Buddhist literary agents again and Margaret Sutherland Brown came up. She seems to have just started with the Emma Sweeney Agency in New York, but she seems to have edited a Buddhist magazine at some point and that's a wee bit encouraging. |Of course, since the agency is in New York, they probably aren't interested in authors from over the water.
                       The photie was taken in Darjeeling train station a couple of months ago.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

First approach to agents!

          Today I started looking for an agent for "Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador?". Googled buddhist literary agents and the first likely one I surfed to was the Linda Chester agency. It's a New York agency, so they probably don't even take folk who aren't from the USA, but that's okay. It's a start. The agent I contacted is called Linda Fox and she's based on the West Coast.

           I got an agent for TheBlissBook within a week of finishing it, but he didn't look at The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf. I'm wanting any agent I might get for the Ecuador book to at least be aware that it's one of a possible three.

          The photie is one of me up the allotment a couple of weeks ago.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

New Bog

          I was hoping to show some photies of my new bathroom. It got finished (apart from a wee bit of painting!) a wee while ago, but to get the photies onto this blog, I have to go right through every previous photie on my phone .... I love the machines!! I love them! Anyway, the photies are of a sleeping dog in Darjeeling and my meditation spot in the lobby.

          Since I have been kept out of my flat for the last week, I have not progressed any with the finding of an agent. But I did stick Buddhist literary agents into Google and a few folk came up, so I should be getting on with that next week.

          Unfortunately, I haven't yet got a settled view of the book, which I would really like to have before sending it out, but this was not helped by all the word processing screw ups over black lines and whatnot. Perhaps I could just quietly read through it over the next couple of days. Maybe not. Maybe it would be better just to sit on this one and stay retired!!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Got a book!

          Brian Wilson, that fine figure of a man, seems to have sorted out my debilitating problem with the black lines on typescript of Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador? This means that I can start looking for an agent next week.

          I'm going to look for an agent for the three books I've written with Buddhisty stuff in them: The Buddha and the |Big Bad Wolf, TheBlissBook, and now this one, Are There Any Buddhists In Ecuador? Of course, I do not expect to get these books published, but if I could get the three published in one volume, I'd call it, "Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment".

           I sent a copy to my wee French nun so she can check that I haven't libelled her.

           My bathroom is getting renovated this weekend. Oh me miserum!

Monday, 6 June 2016


            I took some photies up the Botanics today, but the machines won't let me post them here. I did try for a good half hour, which I should have spent writing, but that's what the war against the machines is all about. Wasting your time.

           I'm up to chapter nine in the editing of the Ecuador book. This is where the problem with the thick black lines starts. Two other folk have told me they have had the same problem and only got out of it by cutting and pasting. Cutting and pasting because of stupid word processing is not writing.

          Everything else is going brilliantly! My "channels" continue to open. This is both wonderful and inexplicable. I'm happy with the way my book is going and my life seems to have settled down so that I can have the great summer I've been looking forward to.



Friday, 3 June 2016

End of the diggings!!

          Thanks for the advice on how to download photies from the mobile phone, but that would take me another hour, which I do not get paid for, to sort something which I didn't break, so these are photies I took in Sikkim, or India, or Nepal.

          But everything else is going great. I have today finished digging the allotment and it is largely planted out. This means that for the rest of the summer, I can keep the weeds down, cut the grass and largely forget about any aggravation.

            I've edited the Ecuador book up till chapter nine. This is the chapter where the thick black bands started to appear. Trying to get rid of this crap should take me a day or two of editing time. At least. Anyway, I was feeling rather unenthusiastic about this book for a while there, but I think I'm feeling a wee bit better about it now.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

In the war against the machines part 234

          I was hoping to post photies of the allotment and such like. I| was going to blog photies of the plants I put in today. I built a cage of green netting. There was also a photie of a seed that flies through the air for a day or two every year at this time, and I saw the clouds of them today and I wanted to know what it was. This seemed appropriate since a friend noticed a great hatching of insects on the Inverleith Pond at the weekend, but couldn't find out what kind.

          My friend pressed the wrong button on this computery thing and I now have windows 10. After hating windows 8, but getting used to it, I did not want windows 10. I want the machines to stay the same since every change costs me time. The war against the machines is about resenting the amount of time these machines take out of my life.

           So the windows 10 seems not to be as good as windows 8 when it comes to uploading photies from the mobile phone. I think you have to download some kind of app. It seems to want me to do something about backing up the photies using Google or something. Anyway, today I spent about an hour or so on trying to sort this, and, of course, I have failed.

           The Yahoo Mail thing came on with big, big letters, like for the semi blind, and it took me a while to sort that too.

            I hate the machines. I needed a good electric typewriter with some memory. Had I had such a thing today, I would have spent all the time spent in the war against the machines in writing my Ecuador book.

            The photies are of Sikkim.

Monday, 30 May 2016

In the summertime!

          I now how no appointments, dates, arrangements or anything else I have to do, have planned to do, or are going to do. I have no holidays booked. I am looking forward to unrehearsed and unexpected events!! This is the part of the year I've been waiting for. So far this year, I've been nine weeks on a meditation retreat and just over two weeks in India/Nepal/Sikkim, and all during this I've been waiting for it all to end so I can get on with just enjoying my allotment and the summertime.

          The editing of the Ecuador book is going well. There's always nervousness at the start, but I did start last week and I'm  going to do just enough to keep me enjoying doing it. I think I might have a version I can start to try to interest an agent in probably quite soon.

          The photies are of the trek to Sikkim and the Singalila Ridge, or whatever it was called!

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

The editing begins

          I'll put random snaps from India/Nepal/Sikkim trip on the blog because it takes to long to sort them out. They all might be from Kalimpong and Gangtok. The last one is of a hand made paper factory.

          Things have settled down now since I got back from India a week and a half ago. I'm really looking forward to this summer. All I have to do is see as few people as I can manage and everything will be alright.

          After a dodgy start .... this is because I haven't really been working on the book since I got home from the Holy Isle a couple of months ago ... I'm now into re-writing the Ecuador book. I want to meditate in the morning and write in the afternoon. That's the way to do it!!

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Apple blossom time

          I had a lovely day today! What a lovely day! The allotment this afternoon was bathed in sunshine. Did some digging and read the paper. Great.

          It always takes a while for things to settle down after these long flights, but I feel almost human again today. Some things make me feel better and I put them all into this perfect morning: dog poses, back bends, headstand, tai chi set and about three hours of meditating. That makes me feel good.

           Next week I'll try to start work on my book again.

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

More photies

          Putting photies on this blog is proving to be a pain in the neck. Because I had a half decent camera with me, I took a lot of photies, but I know only how to upload them to the blog one at at time, so I'm abandoning this photie business now. Maybe you can load them en masse, but I have yet to get a victory there in the war against the machines. C'est la vie.

          I was not looking forward to going to Sikkim, but I had a really, really good time. This was largely because I was able to meditate a lot. The best bit of the trip was walking along the Singalina Ridge. I could practise walking meditation and when we stopped, I could practise sitting meditation. In the evening, everyone went to their tents at about half seven or eight and since I had a tent to myself,(best £100 I ever spent) I could sit and meditate for about three hours at the end of the day. There really wasn't much else to do, especially when the wind was just about blowing folk over outside.

          At the moment, I'm feeling a bit crap. Jet lag, I guess and drinking too much last night. Anyway, I am starting a diet (which means I'm  not a vegetarian anymore) to try to kill of harmful yeasts. I'm not one for fancy diets usually, but my lips are getting scabbier and scabbier, so I want to do something proactive. One of my fellow trekkers advised me to do this diet and she treats folk for this kind of thing as a means of making a living. It won't do me any harm. I'm also going to have to give up alcohol and any boost in that direction is a good thing. Also, I am thinking seriously about starting a three day fast next Monday, thinking of starting that by drinking six pints of slightly salty water. The internety thing says that the nasty yeasts live in your colon. Well, drinking the six pints with give that a kick up the backside.

          I am really looking forward to this summer!! I'll have a read at my Ecuador book and decide on the editing and re-writes. I'll probably be looking for an agent in a month or so, but if it's not up to scratch, I'll just start something else, probably a drama or some fiction.

           I'm going to the allotment this afternoon and will probably take a look at the Botanics. The channels keep opening. If I can stop drinking for a few months, I will become a happier guy!!

Monday, 9 May 2016

Sikkim trip photies

          Got back near midnight last night after travelling for about twenty four hours. Three flights. Hoping to stay put over the next six months. I'll upload these to the blog (which is a pain in the arse!) because I said I would. I'm having to upload them one at a time. I do not think this is a very efficient use of my time!