Panic Time

From time to time I post about my cycling activities. Just lately however I don’t seem to have had a great deal of time for cycling – either too busy with other things or the weather just hasn’t been inviting (I’m a bit of a fair weather rider). Occasional rides out on wet roads have needed major bike washing sessions on my return.

Revised Book CoverOne of my main excuses recently has been my latest book ‘Simply Elfje’ which is now nearing completion. The picture shows my revised (final) version of the cover. I have given myself an Easter deadline to get it done and that is fast approaching. The reason for this particular deadline is that I have so much coming up during the lead up to and after Easter that if I don’t get it done by then it will end up not getting done until July or August. So far I am on track. Fingers crossed.

Working on the book though, as I said, has made it difficult to get out on the bike very often and this is my reason for panic. At the end of April we are hoping to do a 45 mile charity ride in aid of our local hospice and then at the end of May we are already booked for a 40K Classic Road Race Bike rally in Spain.

I have mentioned these events before but I’m panicking because I haven’t done much training and now I’m really getting a bit worried that I won’t make the distance. On top of that we will soon be away for at least a couple of weeks as we are taking our yacht over to France. While on the boat I won’t be doing much cycling. Yes, we do have folding bikes on the boat but these are not good for serious cycling over long distances. They are a boon for going shopping or local sight-seeing, but a long ride? Forget it! We’ve tried it – jolly uncomfortable!

I have been getting out on the bike more over the last few days and today would be a good day for a ride too but I had to stay in this morning waiting for a builder to come and look at a little problem with a leak in a corner of our conservatory and also I’m so far behind with the boring things like house work that I do desperately need to give the house a blitz. On top of that I still have work to do on the book (final proof read!) and I’m expecting a visitor later, but maybe I’ll fit in a short ride after that. Tuesday and Wednesday mornings are out, so is Thursday afternoon – I have other engagements, but with a bit of luck I might fit something round those. I’m just going to have to make the effort. I’m loving my modern Raleigh road bike but I do need to get out on the classic bike soon too and once more get used to fact that I haven’t got as many gears to play with – those hills will get tougher!

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Nearing Completion

A book nearing completion
is exciting and frightening.
I keep checking and checking.
When is enough enough?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The files for my new ‘Simply Elfje’ book are almost ready to submit for printing. I keep checking them and still find the odd problem. The latest? – ‘is’ instead of ‘in’, a simple thing so easy to miss and it makes me wonder how many others I have missed, so I check again!

I try to take comfort from the fact that even in main stream published books I often find mistakes, but it seems to me that in self-published books people are too ready to sneer and say it is obviously amateur whereas in a ‘professional’ book they are happy to overlook the fault. Then I remember an old friend once had a T-shirt that stated ‘Pobody’s Nerfect’! Eventually I have to accept I have done my best.

Elfje Book

Announcing my next book on http://simplyelfje.wordpress.com. I am still trying to contact contributors so please read to the end if you have contributed but not heard from me yet.

Simply Elfje

Simply
Elfje book
of the blog
coming soon. Watch this
space.

© Elizabeth Leaper
_________________________________

Hello again. I’m back here briefly to tell you about my new project. I am in the process of preparing a book of Elfje poems. This will be both print and e-book and will contain many of my Elfje that have appeared on this blog. There will also be an updated version of the article on how to write Elfje and it is my hope that the book will continue to further awareness of this lovely little form.

There have been so many Elfje on this blog over the years and I can’t possibly include them all; this is why I have chosen to focus on my own ones. However it is my intention to include a selection of Elfje from the contributors to this blog and I have been contacting these people for their…

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Coming Soon

It has been a long time in the making but my new book is coming soon. It is an illustrated story for approximately 3-6 year olds.

The Thirsty Flowers coverI first wrote this story in the late 1970’s as a bedtime story for my nephews who were living in Nigeria at the time. We used to send cassette tapes backwards and forwards (yes tapes, no Skype in those days) and it occurred to me that it would be nice to have something specially for the children to listen to. My husband read it on the tape. I then looked for something else to do with the story and submitted it to the BBC for their ‘Listen With Mother’ radio programme. It was accepted and  broadcast on 26th April 1978, under my maiden name and with a repeat at a later date. Unfortunately this previously daily programme is no longer broadcast as children’s TV has taken over.

After that I gave the story very little thought until, a couple of years ago, a friend of mine paid an illustrator and published a story she had written, mainly to sell to friends and relatives. She followed this up with a sequel. This set me thinking about my old story; surely I could do the same. I have to say it took me some time to find the story as I have changed computers several times since then and couldn’t find a print-out. Happily I did eventually find it on an old floppy disk, from my ‘Word Processor’ days (between typewriter and computer), after ‘borrowing’ the technology from my local IT shop to see what was on the disk and retrieve it! I have brushed it up a bit for this first printed version of the story.

My two previous poetry books had been entirely self-produced and all the net profits from the sales I donate to children’s charities. I also want the net profits from this book to go those  charities. I had done most of the black-and-white illustrations myself for the poetry books, but this book was different – it needed to be well illustrated in full colour to a standard that I felt was beyond my ability. I knew my friend had paid quite a lot for her book to be illustrated, virtually wiping out any hope of profit and this I wasn’t prepared to do.

So I placed an appeal on my local community Facebook page, explaining the situation and appealing for an illustrator. I had several responses and amongst them was a very talented young lady called Kerrie Mccauley, who hopes to be a children’s illustrator. She seemed to understand what I wanted and was also happy to do the work as part of her CV for her University applications – this was round about a year ago and she started University this autumn. We have had some ups and downs along the way and it has taken rather longer than I had hoped but it has been a learning curve for both of us as I had never produced this kind of book before either.

At last we are on the final straight, there are just one or two minor tweaks to be made to a couple of pages then we should be all set to present it to my local printers. I had done a lot of research on printing costs for the book, which were bound to be more than my previous poetry books, and in fact my local printing firm (which was where my friend also had her books done) proved to be the most reasonable. With a bit of luck the book will be ready in time for us to benefit from some Christmas sales so watch this space. A soon as it is finally at the printers I will set up a pre-order system.

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