Thursday, 16 February 2017

Meeting with the lama

                    I had the great good fortune to meet up with Lama Rinchen Palmo yesterday. She is my spiritual friend. She was on a break from guiding folk through the winter retreat on the Holy Isle.

                    The lama is so wise and well practised that it is always inspiring to be in her company. I would really like to go on some kind of dharma visit with her, and I was able to make that offer to her since my central heating seems to be fixed without it breaking the bank. She took me to Bodh Gaya, of course, around Christmas 2014. Be great going somewhere with her again.

                      When we were talking about preliminary and foundational practises, she told me what I was doing with the heat/warmth was not a preliminary practise. It's the biz. I was so pleased when she told me that. She said the heat would burn off the neuroses. She made the future seem possibly glorious. I can hardly believe it with my bad habits and all. But I have been meditating for thirty odd years.

                       So I left her feeling pretty elated, which I always feel after speaking to her. I became an old age pensioner a year ago now, and my old age is going to just get better and better. I assume this will go hand in hand with my physical and probably intellectual decline. But my mind will get a lot better. The meditations are really galloping along now. It's as if it was pushing from outside, with a momentum of its own. Making an effort, trying hard, etc ... well, all this must get easier. The sensations will improve. The effect of purification on the sensations makes it easier to stay off the drink and tobacco, etc.

                        It's great to speak to the lama because no one else knows what the hell I'm going on about. It's a real shame that no friends of me got into the meditating, but that's not my fault.

                        I told the lama I really want to live now. If I could stay sober for the next couple of years ... and just keep meditating .... what a wonderful life I will have had.

                        Amazing how uplifting it is speaking to someone like the lama. Completely life affirming.

                        Raising heat is often mentioned alongside the illusory body and clear light mind. I had thought you'd have to have the first of the three before the other two. They might all show progress together. Anyway, she explained what illusory body means.

                        I said I liked the heat and that because it re-inforces my ignorance in that it shows that our model of what a body consists of is at best partial. She said it was crap.


Monday, 13 February 2017


                     I took a photie of snowdrops this afternoon up the allotment. I had to put it on FB. I'd stop posting stuff on FB if I could get the photie thing to work here. I've been trying to get it onto the blog, but the machines are in revolt again. As I was attempting to do this, I strayed into Google album photies, which I don't know anything about. So I found this photie there somehow. It's a picture of me and my old pal, Oliver Davey. That's us sitting in a Pollock Halls room circa 1972. Of course, it has to be at the bottom of this post because ... I can't get the cursor to go passed it!!

                     I've decided to try and write another Buddhisty book, but I'm not doing it unless there has been some significant developments with my meditations. I think that means when my inner heat practise ... well, when it starts producing real heat!! It'll be the last one so I'll have had to make some progress. I'll call it Stumblebumming Towards Enlightenment .... ,maybe not since I've not had a drink for two and a bit weeks already!!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Vase Breathing, Tummo and the bliss!!


Well, there seems to be some kind of video there, but the prose has now gone weird. Moving backwards. 

           I feel a weight off my back now that I've given up trying to get the Buddhisty books published. Kindle is really the perfect place for the book about Ecuador. I don't need what little money getting published would bring and whatever financial rewards would not compensate for the hassle. But I'm happy to put it on Kindle. Next week I'll work out how to do some kind of book cover.

            I haven't had a drink for a fortnight. Today I did the six three minute rounds of shadow boxing and I was really very happy with that. A fortnight ago, I did not feel so good.

            The hard time when not drinking is sometimes around eight in the evening, the time when you might have been used to having a bevvy. So I sat there n the floor, my girlfriend drinking wine and watching the telly, and tried to do a wee meditation, took a vase breath.
             It's as if there was a series of concentric rings. You're in the one right in the middle. Sometimes,  as the meditations develop, you feel as if you are moving into a bigger ring. The feelings will be exaggerated compared to the inner ring, and will feel a surprisingly different somehow. And there is an addition. Something has been added, but the main thing is that the mental/physical space has changed. You've broke out again.

             I have to mention this to folk when I have a chat. A wee bit like the elephant in the room, they cannot see it. There's no point in going on about it, but it's hard not to mention it.

Friday, 10 February 2017

Now that I'm sixty six!

          I'm trying to upload a video. Some hope. It was of my standing on my head and going into a sitting position. Just showing off really, but I wanted to post this when I became an old age pensioner last year, but
          I've tried three different ways to unload this video, but the machines do not like it. I put it on facebook yesterday anyway.

          I'm writing because I feel like this is a turning point. I've randomly emailed about forty agents and I haven't got anyone (I think) to read the Ecuador book yet. If you paint self portraits, you shouldn't expect anyone to buy them!! So I've decided to give up on the Buddhisty books for now. If I can ever dry off wet sheets using tummo, I'll write another one.

          So if I try to sell anything else, it'll be Remote Control or the young adult books. When I'm writing now, I'll concentrate on developing the plotline of the second crime book.

          Wrote an email to my lama yesterday. My meditations are going so, so well. I think it will be amazing if I can stay alive for another couple of years!!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Another change of tack!!


          I've just sent about ten random emails to agents about the Buddhisty books. A couple of days ago I sent out a similar number and got no responses at all. So if I don't get anything from this raft of emails, I'll just give up trying to flog the Buddhisty books. I'm sure they'll get pub'lished sometime, but I'm not going to get an agent sending out random emails. I might start trying to flog Remote Control and the young adult books, but this whole publishing thing will have to go to the back burner.

         It's my birthday today. I'm sixty six. I'm going to stick a video on FB showing me doing a handstand and then a lotus upside down, and then bending into the sitting position. I'm going to show. I'd never have thought I'd be able to do stuff like that at this age.

         The photie is of my "shrine". I sit in the lobby. The shrine is on the floor.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Some responses

          I was a wee bit surprised at the lack of response to the random emails, but checked my spam folder (for the first time in years!) and found two knock backs. The response from A.M. Heath was the usual brush off, meaning that they probably didn't bother reading any of the stuff I sent. However, Dan Herron, who is an assistant at PFD, got back to say they weren't interested, but they had obviously looked at the Amazon web page.

          I think AM Heath and PFD are big agencies. You probably won't get published unless you're with a big agency, but that doesn't matter. I'm pretty resolved now to get on with this even if I don't think there's much chance of getting those Buddhisty books published. I can get some of these emails read, it seems, and I think the three books are really exceptional in terms of the subject matter. I don't think there's anything like it around.

           Now that the flu is gone and the New Year at last dead for another year, I'm very optimistic about things. I will try to get the books published and make a good effort, but I don't care. My meditations are so wonderful just now, that's all that matters. Liberation through samedhi is what the man in the dream said to me. So much bliss; so much bliss.

Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Another submission!

                  Anyway, if you don't send stuff out .... I found a list of fourteen agents who are supposed to be interested in personal memoirs, so I sent out the stuff about the three buddhisty books to the first person on the list. Rob Kirkpatrick of The Stuart Agency. I'll send out a similar email every day until someone gets back to me. Of course, I'll have to be able to find the list again!

                 The photie is a random one taken at  Inverleith Park last year,

Sunday, 29 January 2017

A change of tack!

                    I've had the flu for the last week or so, but this has given me a little time to think about my tactics,vis a vis, trying to make some money for my lama.

                   Well, Remote Control is an alright thriller, but it would only make me a grand of so and the agent, if he sold it, would want more thrillers. An agent isn't going to sell a thriller and then say, "okay, lets sell non-fiction books about mindfulness." No, I do not think so. It would be the same if I managed to get an agent to punt Bugtown or the other young adult title on my amazon author page.

                    I don't mind writing thrillers. I really enjoyed writing the young adult books, but the books I've written which couldn't have been written by someone else are the ones I want to keep writing. Well, I've got three done just now. When I've got a lot better at raising inner heat - maybe when I can dry off wet sheets - I'd like to write a final book for the series. I'd prefer writing something that might actually do someone some good.

                    So I should really go back to the beginning. The book that Dave Baillis and the Domestic Bliss liked was The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf. I think that's probably the best one as well, but I should get that published first, obviously, since it was written first.

                     I think I should continue making an effort with this, but my heart isn't really in it. What I might do is put is a hour or so every day for a month and then just forget about it.

                      Anyway, I can get on with this tomorrow when the flu remnants will be hopefully gone.

                     The photie is from nearly two years ago. It was taken about late March maybe in 2015.




Monday, 23 January 2017

Someone to read the play!!

          The email to Catherine Makin, the Traverse person, was useful. She put me onto something called the Scottish Playwright's Studio, and it seems there is some kind of national play reading scheme on the go these days. They said if you sent them a script with the pages numbered, they'd read it. Nothing like that was around when I was doing plays.

          They say the play will be read by a theatre "professional". This reminds me of a director I used to know who admitted that he couldn't judge the worth of a play by reading it. He was a top "professional" as well.

          Anyway, I'm pleased to get someone to read it. The guy said I'll hear something in two months. The Traverse won't read anything till August. I should really try hustling this play around, but I'd rather kick it into the long grass. My inner heat stuff is going so well right now!!!

          I think I can get current photies onto the computery thing now, but this photie was taken last autumn in the allotment.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Ecuador and Jock Tamson's

                  I had a very busy day today!! First of all, I read Are There Any Buddhists in Ecuador? and I really enjoyed it far more than I expected. After the second person I gave it to didn't finish it, I thought it would be much worse.

                  I've got a lot of prose I've never had published which I think is publishable (the young adult books and Remote Control, etc.), but the stuff I'd like to get published is the Buddhisty stuff. However, it seems to me now, after reading the Ecuador book, that I should go back to The Buddha and the Big Bad Wolf and try to get that published first. You could spend all day sending off emails, but hardly anyone answers them!!

                    But I did get a reply from Catherine Makin at the Traverse. In all the time when I knew something about how the Traverse operates, they only did one play they hadn't commissioned. There's really no future in writing plays on spec. I think that's one of the reasons it was okay to give up trying to get ahead in drama!!

                   Anyway, Catherine Makin put me onto the Playwright's Studio Scotland. They say they will read scripts for free, so I emailed the play to them. Obviously, I don't expect the play to be produced. What I miss now is the Playwright's Workshop. I know if it was okay if I could hear a reading.

                   The photie is of my best Christmas present, Lama Rinchen and me at the Samye Ling last autumn.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

Enquiries to the Traverse about Jock Tamson's

                    I've just sent and email off the a Catherine Makin at the Traverse. I re-read the play. I don't think I can do anything else to it just now. I think if I sat through a reading, there are bits I might trim back, but I think if it was performed at the right energy level, the bits I think now might be a bit slack could be alright.

                    I checked the Traverse webpage. They have a month in August when you can submit unsolicited scripts. You cannot submit a script right now. I suspect the email from the Traverse, if I get a response, will advise me to send the script to one or other of the theatres who don't do unsolicited scripts either. And there it would just die in the ditch.

                    What I need is to find someone who wants to put a play on at this year's Fringe, but hasn't got a play yet. Maybe I should look for an agent who deals with plays. Hmmm?

                     My problem is that I'm not going to get off my arse. I like the writing. Everything else is just a waste of time.


Monday, 16 January 2017

Is this the end for Jock Tamson?

          I read the latest and, hopefully, last version of Jock Tamson's Half Hearted Transformation. It's not likely to get any better, so that's that. I'll send an email to someone at the Traverse and see if I can get any idea of what anyone would do with a play that no one had asked for. You'd have to know folk or at least try to get to know them and ... well, maybe I'll find someone to send an email to first of all.
And then give up. At least, it's finished.
          I got hold of a copy of Pure Land by Alan Spence. Loved the beginning ... but when will I read it? I might have only read one novel last year, if you could call Hons and Rebels a novel, and ... well, I will read it.

          The birds were on Linlithgow Loch and the allotment was lovely today. Clear enough sky. Sun still pretty low in the sky

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Feels like a new beginning!

          Now that I seem to be able to download from my phone camera .... well, back to blogging!!

           I got no replies from any agents to the five emails I sent out yesterday, so later on today I will sent out another five emails, but I'll change tactics for the moment. I'm going to start sending them out five at a time in a much truncated form .... so there will be only a couple of lines asking if the agent is interested and I will deal with agents one at a time. This means I  can get looking for agents down to ten minutes or so a day.

           Today I will have a read at the second half of Jock Tamson's and get a print out of the play as it now is.

            I went to the Botanics and the allotment for the first time this year. I couldn't go to Bellshill because of the snow, but there was little snow here till about half two.



Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Jock Tamson's Half Hearted Transformation

          I think I might have finished the first half of the re-write of Jock Tamson's Half Hearted Transformation. I think this is where the play was weak i.e. in what would be a second act of a three act play.

          It was a bit of a hassle re-writing this since I had to check on the version I worked on eighteen months ago .... you end up with the play on the screen and two versions, pages fluttering around et al, and this is a bit frustrating. But now I have the first half more or less finished. There isn't much to do in the second half, I hope, so I could have this off my hands by the end of next week.

          When I've finished it, of course, there's nothing I can do with it. I'll try to get someone at the Traverse to look at it, but I know no one is going to do a play by someone they don't know, whom they've never heard of. But that doesn't matter. I don't want this play in a state I'm not happy with.

           After that, I'm going to work on the second novel about the guy from Remote Control, but I'll work on it as a screenplay till I've got the plot complete, and then I'll fill in the prose. This is the method I used in writing The Real McCoy.

           I tried once again to get the photies off my phone onto this laptop and once again it failed. Right now, I'll spend half an hour sorting this out ... but, of course, in the war against the machines the machines always win since they steal your time away, and you can't get that back.

            I have been posting some current photies on facebook, something I used to use the blog for. But the photies not working ... anyway, folk on facebook seem to think I'm  a grumpy basturn, so I'm going to stop posting on that. It's back to the bloggy for me!!

           The photie is from the Singalila Ridge from last March.


Monday, 9 January 2017

More agent emails

            Today I sent out five emails .... to:
Caroline Michel PFD
Laura McNeill PFD ... just realised this is a duplicate. No response last time.
Alison Bonami
Francesca Dymond at
Yasmin Standen.

            I also sent a reminder to Angus Macdonald about the Ecuador book. He didn't reply to the last reminder.

            Thank Christ that the holidays are over. This is really the time of year that I dislike the most, but thank God it's over now. On the 9th January last year I started the nine weeks retreat on the Holy Isle so it's now a year since I last had tobacco. This year I'd really like to stop drinking, but we'll see.

             I'm really looking forward to writing again. First of all, I start on the play. When I'm done with that, I'll try to develop the plot of the crime thriller and I think at first I'll try to write the dialogue. Basically, I'll do a screenplay and if the plot works, I write in the prose.

             For some reason I couldn't get a coloured background (where did that come from?) off the email to the agents. Wasted half an hour on failing to do that.

             I'm writing this on a laptop which I took down to Newington last week. I stopped working for several days. I was told it was knackered because I'd carried it around in sleep mode. Apparently, these machines can get broke by doing that. Where did it say that? Anyway, I plugged it in again yesterday before handing it in for repair and it came on fine. No reason for anything. I hate these machines. When I start writing prose again, I'm thinking I should go back to a typewriter.

             My camera still isn't downloading to the computer, so the photie is from almost two years ago and was taken in the Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills. How I'd love to be going on retreat right now!!!!

Monday, 19 December 2016

No bites yet!!

          I only got one response from the last group of five emails and that was from James Gill of United Agents. I thought maybe they'd have a policy of checking emails so I sent another two out to United Artists. No, three: Jon Elek, Jodie Hodges and Robert Kirby. Also, one to Darley Anderson and Doreen Montgomery. Might be an idea to list all the folk I've sent emails to so far.
Jeffrey Simmons
Malcolm Imrie
Jonathan Pegg
Jenny Brown
Sarah Ballard
Euan Thorneycroft
Andrew Lownie
James Gill
Laura McNeill
Zoe Waldie
Araminta Whitney
Susan Smith.
           The only stuff outstanding is the Ecuador book which is with Angus MacDonald still. I've managed to illicit negative responses from David Haviland, James Gill and I'm still waiting on Angus.

           At least, one in five emails seems to be getting read, so it's probably worth continuing with this emailing stuff.

           The photie is of me at the Zen Mountain Monastery in the Catskills last spring. Seems like an awful long time ago now!

           Just checked my emails. Seems Uuited Agents have gone on holiday already! So I sent another one to
Charlotte Howard.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

More agent emails!

          Two months ago I started sending out emails for the thriller. Before that I spent three months waiting for news from a New York agent to get back to me. At least I think I did actually send the Ecuador book to them. I thought I'd sent the thriller to David Haviland and spent six weeks waiting for him to get back to me only to discover that I hadn't sent that to him! Anyway, when I did sent it to him, he rejected it straightaway.

          Angus MacDonald is still looking at the Ecuador book, I think.

           So today I have sent off five more emails. I really don't enjoy doing this stuff. Hustling your wonderful writings is always disappointing. And I don't need the money right now, but I did promise one of two folk that I'd try to make some and I think the books are okay, so ....

           The photie was taken in Central Park at the start of spring in 2015. Seems like an awful long time ago.

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Writing Plans

          At last, I am about to start writing again! This is good. I haven't written anything since March.

          So I read the problem section of two drafts of Jock Tamson's, and I know what I need to do there. I don't think it would take me too long either. So I guess I should start with that.

          Very pleased with what I read of Cold Killing. It's a couple of years since I had a look at that and I was surprised at how much of it there was. About seventy five pages. Not all of them all that good, but it's something I could be working on for a year or so.

           I will start writing again. Just thinking about it has really cheered me up.

            The random photie has an advert for a mule ambulance on it, I think.

Monday, 5 December 2016

No news is no news

           Perhaps one should let sleeping dogs ..... trying to upload recent photies onto this laptop has become even more difficult than before. Now this pile of annoying stuff refuses to recognise even the existence of the phone.

          Anyway, it's six weeks since I sent out Remote Control and the Ecuador book. Whenever I've had something accepted by anyone, it's always happened almost right away, but if I can start hustling agents again soon, that'll make me feel as if I'm working.

         In the last six weeks I haven't written a word. I'd like to start tonight. The play. The problem is that I'm trying to stick the bits from the "radio" version into the stage version and ... well, it's just a hassle having all these drafts to look at: one on the screen and two printed. What kind of writing is that?

         Anyway, I'm pretty sure to start this week since I've cut out the visit to Kathy this Thursday to clear some space. My meditations are going brilliantly. That's the main thing these days.

Next day: David Haviland got back to me first thing this morning. They seem dead efficient. I do not seem so efficient since it seems that I did not send him the book in the first place!! One of the many reasons that I need an agent!!

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.