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Monthly Archives: September 2020


Popped round my local Sainsbury’s this morning for a bottle of milk. The staff are all regulars and I know them by sight. This morning however, there was a stranger there too – 40s, fat, male – I clocked him as some sort of area manager.

He was telling one of the staff where to put the produce.

I decided to buy some cheese but when I went for it, it had been moved. Which, I guess, is the function of the area manager, to move stuff. Because someone, somewhere, years ago, decided that it was a good idea to move produce on regular basis. And ever since, area managers have been touring the country telling the staff where to move things. Which seems the sort of job that would make Sisyphus blush.

People. They’re wonderful strange.

admin 2

I sorted out my Amazon page, both the .com and the .co.uk versions, and got most of my books uploaded. There are two or three writers called James Ross out there, so it can get confusing. If someone looks at my page, it should be clear which books are mine.

And I don’t think this throat infection if covid 19, but I’ve been and got tested, just in case.

The publicity for Border Bob is underway (and it’s on free kindle download ’til the 30th). I need to get the details onto this site. I might think about rejigging stuff, I got rid of Story of the Month a while back, so I might chop some other things around.

More to do.


I write, which is my main creative outlet, but I also play saxophone, which is my penance.

It’s a debt that I pay, daily. I have no expectations.


The next couple of weeks will be all about admin.

  1. I asked Lucas to find me some information, which she has, and I need to chase that up.
  2. Advertising for Border Bob is underway from 11.15 this morning
  3. After that I need to focus on Jago & publicity
  4. I really need to sort out my Amazon page – which I’ve never managed properly – cos there are books on there not by me and there are books of mine that are not on there.
  5. I’ve also got lots of stuff at home to sort out too.

Oh, and somehow, I’ve caught a cold. Very strange!


I’ve spent the last few years reading nothing but thrillers & fantasy fiction, with the occasional history book thrown in for good measure. I stopped reading ‘literature’ when I was about nineteen, having devoured my local library, and only a brief interlude to do a degree and MA in my late twenties interrupted my diet of pure popular fiction.

However, the lockdown has provided me with a lot more time and I thought I’d maybe try and read more quality books. More non-fiction, more history, more quality fiction. I might create reading list. Apply myself.


Walked to the beach the last couple of mornings, still able to dress in t-shirt and shorts. The wind was mild, the sun strong, and it was very acceptable.

This morning, however, it’s raining. And at just before 9am I still need to put on the light to write this.

The sun heads south. Autumn has arrived.

single line space

The edit is going well.

Having an English specialist edit my work both for Anglicisms and SPAG is stressful but rewarding. So far, apart from the spellings and punctuation malarkey, here are the things I’ve learned: Americans don’t do fancy dress parties (they do costume parties), they don’t pull a face (they make a face), and if it’s dark they don’t use a torch. They use a flashlight.

Up to page 75, single line space, so that’s bout 35,000 words completed. 30,000 to go.

Faster than I thought.


There are so many media platforms that the idea of committing solely to long-form* written texts as the focus of my creative output might seem perverse. I’m not hugely successful and don’t expect to be, I’m not on FB or Twitter, I don’t have an instagram account or a YT channel, I’m not on radio or TV, I don’t make films or lifestyle podcasts, I don’t game, I don’t collaborate. I don’t even listen to advice on the most sure way to become successful (genre fiction, apparently).

All I do is write stories.

It’s a bit like being a stonemason in a world built from concrete and glass.



* I don’t write short stories any more. I was faced with a choice some years ago. Long. Short. I chose long.



Formally began my edit of Jago today, c/o the work done for me by online college and pal Kelli, of EPCC.

Should be finished it a little bit quicker than I thought, maybe a week to ten days. I’ll do a minimum of an hour a day, I’m not sure my brain can cope with more than that. Then I’ll need to re-format to ensure it fits the Amazon template.

All good.


That’s not to say the easy choice is the right choice.┬áBut as a sage said:

Easy is right.

Do it right, and it’s easy.