I am an Englishman stranded, by choice, in France for many a long year. I eat, drink, write, design, occasionally paint and even more occasionally carry out household improvements. I enjoy most things stimulating, with the total exception of rap music which I detest. I feel one should detest something to exhibit some form of intellectual maturity, so there you go. I feel I am beginning to grow up because I listen to jazz from time to time and am totally unimpressed with a lot of popular music since the 1990’s.
I also find that I see a lot of popular modern art for what it is, that needs no amplification I feel. I dabble in local politics, mainly because it is so completely different from my native culture, naturally I leave not one hint of an effect. I am also beginning to detest those scroll down things to enter your date of birth in all those stupid forms you have to fill in to get anywhere on the internet, it takes for ever to get to 1942! Anyone over 113 would have a hard job getting accepted on a social network, age discrimination at it’s most blatant.
Last winter I was turning out a load of my old junk and came across the manuscript of a novel I wrote back before the turn of the century, twenty first that is, I could establish the period because it made use of the Ecu as a currency. I read it and found I laughed out loud, not because it was laughable, but because it was funny. This succeeded in annoying my wife no end because she was in the middle of a hyper depressing novel about a gloomy policeman who was getting Alzheimers and as she cannot read English well enough to share my enjoyment, she suggested I get the damn thing published and one day she would share the humor, if it could be translated into French. That is mute point, because besides the fact it needed to be published first, I doubt the humor would transcribe into any French equivalent, a stumbling block between our two cultures.
I am rambling! To the point, I tried the quick way and scanned it into character recognition software and the result resembled a technical report in an obscure far eastern language that relied heavily on pictograms. It was printed on an old dot-matrix printer and was impossible to convert to modern computer text, even by experts in Paris.
So I have re-written it, BY HAND, well thats a lie, I typed it on the computer of course. I think it’s harder than writing from scratch, but it is now finished, edited and in ebook format. That is a learning curve by itself!
During the gestation period I got friends to read it and the most constructive critique was from a retired well know theatre critic who suggested it was far too long but would make a great film script. So I chopped out many of the sub plots and have now nearly finished a second book from the entrails.