cyclist's blog

Festival time

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Well, that is the Shrewsbury festival over for another year; source of so much of my inspiration. Some wonderful music, old friends popping out of the woodwork, and very sore fingertips on my left hand. Last year I played so much and so enthusiastically I snapped a plectrum; this year, I just broke a string on the last evening.

Already planning next year! I will try to remember to print off all my train tickets this time, rather than just the cycle reservations...

The Job on sale

The Job is now going through Amazon's machinery and will be available in the next couple of days, assuming all goes right. It can be found by searching on Amazon (using the BCTS links) under Sussex border stories. Clicking on my author name once there (S.A.A. Calvert) brings up my author page with the rest of my books.

Jobbing writer

Well, time for a decision. I was asked, quite sensibly, if that was the last chapter of The Job. It is an obvious place to end, and a scene I loved writing, but Diane still has a long way to go. So...

Do I continue writing this as one book?
Do I split it and start another book, continuing the story, as I did with 'Ride On' and 'Too Little, Too Late'?
Any sensible ideas for a title if I make the split? I have some already.

Cold Feet in Australia

Some years ago, I cycled through a remote part of Western Australia, meeting a lovely man, an ecologist called Gary. I put him into my book 'Cold Feet'. Tonight, by chance, I saw him again, in a wilderness programme on ITV. Enjoy, if you can see it. It really captures the land I wrote through, and Ray Mears, unlike the pillock and egomaniac Bear Ghrylls, comes across as a lovely man.
https://www.itv.com/hub/australian-wilderness-with-ray-mears...

Sisters

The latest offering is now up on Kindle. Search for Sisters, with the author name S.A.A. Calvert. It should also come up under 'Sussex Border Stories' in a couple of days.

The book reference number is ASIN: B076KB1C8H.

Please remember, if you can, to use the Amazon link on the BC home page/below, as Erin and her elves get commission..
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3...

A Longer War

Following superb work by Julia P I have just finished amending the formatted manuscript she provided (some other errors I had already seen, plus a couple of revisions, as well as copyright, 'other books by', etc) and now published it on Kindle. It will take a day or three to surface, but it will be along in short order. Remember that this site provides links to Amazon that earn commission.

Sparkle

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This coming weekend sees the Manchester Sparkle event, written of by Bev Taff a few times. I will be there from Saturday afternoon as I will be working on one of their 'market stalls' all Sunday for my support network.

If anyone is about, stop by and say hello!

Better things

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I am coming to the end of another book, and it is triggering all sorts of thoughts about my life. I went through transition some years ago, from a hairy rugby-playing 'bloke' with a beard to a plump woman with bobbed hair and a taste for print dresses. I went up to York a week ago, for what used to be the Cyclists' Touring Club's annual rally, and I rediscovered myself.

Shooting

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Just finished a conference by phone, and it was chaos. There has been a stabbing, shooting and murder-by-car at our Parliament, and many of the people I was talking to were in lockdown, literally. Everyone I know (including one member of the House of Lords) in the area is safe.

Arwel Powell

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One of my favourite characters is a deep, loving man of fierce protectiveness and uncommon good sense. His name is Arwel Powell, and one of the best descriptions of him is as an iceberg, showing very little of the depth of his personality on the surface. He is based on a real person, a family member, and I found out today that the original for my character has just been given five months to live.

Words do fail me occasionally.

Cost of living

Well, it had to happen. As a state employee my pay has been cut every year since this government took power, and I am now taking home less money than I was in 2011. At the same time, available housing here is quickly snapped up by the well-off for "buy to rent", and with no controls on said rents they charge what they like and bump it up each year simply because they can. Their costs aren't increasing, just their avarice. My landlord has just put up my rent again, and it now exceeds 40% of my income.

A Place By The Sea

I had a particularly bad shift involving yet another transphobic assault, and in my down time the rest of the Ebrahimi story emerged, as linked to in the story comments. Tired, fed up, hormones doing the things they do, I wrote a brutal story in one sitting. Trouble is, all I did was hold a mirror up to the reality of 'welfare' at the moment.

I wept as I typed. Enough said. I cling to my professed faith in family and friends, but then I look at poor Mr Ebrahimi and, well, shit.

Photos

For anyone interested in how life and art can converge, I have put some photos up on my author Facebook page (SAA Calvert) of the wonderful Kathryn Tickell performing at the weekend. Tall and lean? Tick. Fiddle? Tick. Long hair now red swinging about as she plays? Oh, very much 'tick'!

Black dog

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The black dog, for those who are unaware, was Churchill's term for depression. Well, it's standing next to me at the moment. Work problems are somewhat awful right now, and getting worse, and together with the PTSD and GID I am not doing very well. Not cycling, not even going out the front door except for work and to get food.

Writing has taken a back seat, as you may have noticed. The dog has me by the throat and won't let go. Normal service may or may not be resumed at some point.

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