Iceland - great place for writers.

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 07 Dec 2013, 17:30

Oh that's so sad. I don't know why this sort of thing happens, but it does, and as you rightly say, lies can be told and there's always someone who'll think "there's no smoke without fire". You didn't have to prove anything Gary, but I imagine that it was upsetting, to say the least, and so you wanted to show that things hadn't been as your mum said they were.

I personally feel that if folk don't believe you or don't want to hear the truth, then it's THEIR look-out. There's no point in trying to convince someone who's already made their mind up about you. They have to find out for themselves, but sometimes it's easier to believe someone who's close to you - such as a mother or father. After all, they don't lie, do they? Unfortunately, some do.

Not so long ago, my brother left his wife and children. The family were devastated, and he was called a few choice names. Having spoken to my brother on my own, I began to see another story emerging though, and I now know that he made a decision which wasn't taken lightly, but one which's working out for the best. He loves his children, and sees them regularly, and they get on well with his new partner, who's extremely sweet and treats them all alike. If you listen to just one side of a situation, or worse, listen to someone "in the know", the truth's often very different from the initial judgement. Luckily, we're a close family, and blood's thicker than water, but for those who still think that my brother was the bad boy, he doesn't even try to explain any more. People'll believe what they want to believe, and it's none of their business anyway.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 08 Dec 2013, 13:26

I understand, probably a whole lot more than you may realize.
My ex-wife's father worked for me as a driver.
We got along great together. But he still worried about his job when his daughter took off again for the fourth time.
I think he saw the handwriting on the wall, that she was the problem all along.
Funny actually. He invited me and Ruth to dinner at his house often, while he worked for me.
We also visited and stayed with her relatives when we went to Rolla for the fair.
When Ruth died, four of my ex-wife's relatives drove to come to her funeral.
We are now like 25 years down the road, and Debi and I stopped to visit one of my ex's relatives.
Me and her uncle walked down to his lake, and Debi and her aunt stayed inside to fix dinner.
Now although Debi does get along with a couple of her ex's relatives, and we have been invited to their house a few times. She always felt it was the most unusual thing about her.
After my ex's aunt talked to Debi for a couple of hours. Telling her many things about my ex, that I wonder HOW they ever learned of them. On our drive home, Debi told me most of what she told her. But the thing that surprised me the most. My ex wife's uncle ran my ex wife off his property and told her never to come to his house again. While I was welcomed with open arms.

Neither of my kids knew much about their mother. I never talked about her behind her back. Never used them as a go-between either. But as they got older, they must have picked up things from their mother or someone else.
I remember once, long after my son was married. He privately asked me about something concerning his mother. He rattled something off and only asked if it was true or not. I said you were old enough then, you remember what took place, and complained to me about it.
He said, yes I remember the incident, but never knew why until recently.
All I'm asking is if the WHY I just mentioned is the truth or just another story.
I asked him what his mother said. He said she said it was true, but for a different reason.
So I confirmed what he said was true, then asked if she gave a reason.
When he told me the reason she gave. All I could say to that tall tale was. I think you know your mom better than that by now. What do you think? I never filled in the blanks for him, because I felt it was not my place to do so.
Besides, I'm sure how I see something and the way she sees something is totally different anyhow.

As unbelievable or impossible as this sounds, I'm going to tell you a little true story.
I'll let you determine how it transpired. Or what made me take the long drive.
My son was only 15 months old at the time. And up to that time, I only had recent suspicions and no facts to go on.
Later I learned it was not her first time. But that has nothing to do with this story.
It was not uncommon, after I got home from work and we had dinner, for my wife to go meet some gals from work, her sister, or spend time with one of my aunts. In later years, my aunt became one of her excuses too. But I should deviate here.
To get back on track, we finished dinner, and I knew on that particular night, she would meet her sister. Her sister's wedding was coming up soon, and she was late getting home, as they were making plans for her sister.
I don't know if it was the way she said it, the look on her face, or what it was. But the wife said, I will be really late tonight, remember, we are having a bridal shower for my sister and afterward we are all going out like usual.

I got around town quite often in my pre-married days, and often after we were married. And even though we did tool around the south city and county areas a lot, we never went as far south as this story is leading toward. Nor did we ever cross the river into southern Illinois towns off the foot of the bridge. It was a rough area, but not as bad as East St. Louis.

Normally, after dinner and playing with my baby boy for awhile, trying to wind him down to get to sleep so I could work on one of my hobbies. I didn't watch TV much back then either. But tonight something just wasn't right. I was to antsy to work on any of my hobbies, and my boy was no where near wanting to go to bed. He also did something unusual for a 15 month old baby. He kept pointing at the door and running to me with his coat. I sorta felt like going for a ride myself. Get out of the house for awhile, perhaps grab and ice cream and come back home.

We bundled up and got in the car and I pulled out of the lot with the intent of going to the ice cream shop. This strange feeling came over me, and I thought to myself, I'm not going that way, if I do, I feel I might be in an accident or something. So I turned to talk the long way around.
From this point forward, it was like time stood still and my directions were being controlled.
I have no idea of what roads I took, I do not recall crossing the JB bridge, if that is the bridge I took, nor how long I had been driving. My boy was still wide awake, and I pulled into a parking lot of a closed shopping center. So I knew it was late, very late. I pulled in and parked to change his diaper, well, big boy pants. At least I had the sense to grab the bag when I left my apartment, just in case, or out of habit.
After I finished changing him, I looked around, trying to figure out where the heck I was. I did not recognize the names of the stores, and knew I was somewhere I had never been before in my life. And I had been one heck of a lot of places, but never here. Was I in the twilight zone? It sure seemed like it.
I saw a group of four come out of a door at the very corner of the parking lot. My boy fell fast asleep almost as soon as I change his diaper. I started the car and pulled to that end of the parking lot, to ask where I was. Before I reached the corner, I saw the car I bought for my wife parked in the end space around the corner. And one of those four that came out of the bar, looked like her from where I had stopped. Two went to one car and left. The other two stood there talking and necking and whatever. At first they were leaning against another car. Then they were leaning against my wife's car. That's when I could tell for sure it was her. I figured I had better get out of there before I was spotted.
I had a break when they got into his car, so I swung out of the parking lot and headed down the main street toward the direction of lights. Figuring I would find a gas station or something open to learn where I was.
I was caught by a couple of red lights while traveling that route. And when I came up at the next red light intersection, there was only one car in front of me, stopped at the red light. I was sure it was a couple of kids as they played Chinese Fire Drill.
That's where they hop out of the car and run around the car and get back in.
After the driver got back in, the gal continued around the front of the car another half-lap and stopped to kiss him in the window. Then she ran around the back of the car heading toward the other side.
Suddenly she froze dead in her tracks, staring at me like a deer caught in the headlights.
You know who came back to my car and began yelling at me for following her. And then cussed me out for having the baby out at two in the morning. The light turned green and a car behind me started honking. She ran and got into the car in front of me and left.
I had no idea where I was, so drove until I found a gas station. This was the first I learned I was in southern Illinois. I had to buy a road map to find my out to the highway that would take me across the J.B. bridge to get home. At least a full hours drive with no traffic. It was around quarter after three when I got home. I put the baby to bed, and braced myself, figuring she would be coming through the door soon after me.
When she didn't show, I figured she may have beat me home and then left again. The sky was getting light when she did get home, but not all that close to sunrise yet. She walked right past me and into the bedroom and jambed the door shut with a kitchen chair she grabbed as she passed the kitchen.
I was still dressed, and left for work at my normal time. Which was probably a good thing. Because it gave her time to think, and realize, there was no possible way I could have followed her. She did go to the bridal shower, she met with some friends afterward at a place she had never been to before. And when she passed our apartment on the way there, my car was still in the lot. And even she didn't know she would be heading across the river. Nor had she ever been at that particular place before.
When I got home from work, she had dinner fixed, the baby fed, and said she wanted to talk after dinner. It was not what it looked like is all she would say until later.
When later came, I doubt if one thing she said was true. Or even close to it. At least not for another few months anyhow.
She had claimed it was someone she worked with, and after the shower and a few drinks at the first stop, he came in the door and they left with another couple to go where I found them at. She was just having some fun is all.
A few months later, this fellow did start working across the street from her, and she quit her job and moved over there to work. They got together again, broke up as she had another fellow in the wings for awhile, then went back to him again a few years later. But then dumped him again.
I always left the door open for her. But around seven years later, she finally left permanently.
And such was my first thirteen years of married life.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 08 Dec 2013, 19:45

Oh dear! I don't know if that was sad, or just plain horrible to read about.

It's weird though Gary, because maybe in your subconscious, you suspected that something wasn't right, and intuition can play a big part in these sort of things. I'm not saying that you followed your wife - although plenty WOULD have, given all the times she made excuses to go out - but common sense'd tell you that if she was up to no good, she wouldn't be in the vicinity of where she SAID she'd be, and therefore, you probably drove away from the usual places to have a scout round. Then you found out in an unpleasant way, but it's surprising how people "playing away" can give off little clues which partners (sometimes even unknowingly) pick up on.

Whatever, your wife should've got straight into your car with you and your son, NOT gone in someone else's. That much alone proved that she was hiding something, no matter what excuses came out. Yes, it WAS sad, actually. There's always one who gets hurt in these situations, but you eventually found out what was what. Sorry to hear it though.

I think it's a shame that you didn't fill in the blanks which your son later asked about, but I can understand you not wanting to bad-mouth the woman to him. It's very difficult in these situations, because either your son'd believe his mother's version of events, or he'd forever be left wondering. Unfortunately, women can be more plausible than men when it comes to making their own side right, especially if they don't want their children to think badly of them, and women are very adept at this. It's one of nature's "gifts", rightly or wrongly, which's used for protection purposes. A woman can be good or bad, but when it comes to her children, nothing's out of the question, and it's a rare mother who wants her kids to think badly of her.

As things turned out, it looks as though those years of marriage were wasted, if not a sham, but there was also some good to come out of it. Firstly, you DID have your son, and when it boils down to it, if you'd carried on accepting the situation, you probably wouldnt've experienced the events which've led you to meeting your present wife. So - advantages from the bad, if you like. I always say that experiences might be painful, but if we can learn from them, then they've helped.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 09 Dec 2013, 12:39

Our brains have a way of toning down the bad stuff and magnifying the good times.
But that doesn't mean we forget. We learn and grow from our experiences.
The hard part for me, was getting over blaming myself as the reason she did the things she did.
Which is probably why I kept taking her back and tried to change myself for the better.
In retrospect, I can look back over those years, now that I am apart from them, and see what went on, more as an outsider. And of course, learning more about what did take place and when.
She even admitted, the problem never was with me. She just didn't like being stuck, and wanted her own lifestyle.
Interestingly. Her lifestyle never changed much for the next thirty or more years. And even then, she only eliminated a couple aspects of it. Mostly due to age. Unfortunately, she never grew in morals or wisdom. And sadly, they rubbed off on our daughter.

If you recall, I'm twice a widower, yet the first wife, the ex, is still around to taunt me from time to time.
Now that both of my parents are gone. I don't have to worry about her showing up at family functions.
Although she still has, for short moments, at one cousins. Yet nobody knows why.
When I went back home to visit my son for three days. She came by at least four times and stayed for over an hour each time.

All of the twenty years Ruth and I were married, we belonged to a psychology group for blended families.
Probably one of the best things we agreed to do together, as a family, from before we were married.
Interestingly enough. We had a couple in our group, the woman was much like my ex.
Her new husband was like her fourth. Like my ex, she always visited her childrens paternal grandparents, and go to other family functions where the children were invited.
In sessions, she said she was always scared to go, not knowing what someone may do to her for being there.
But somewhere along the line, she finally admitted, she was drawn to the stability of her first husbands family.
Her fourth husbands family offered a similar stable environment. And she was ready to settle down.
We did learn that although his family may have appeared more stable to her. The whole family was party goers.
So, in a way, she did not give up much of her old ways. Just found someone that fit in with them, while still offering her what she missed from her first husband. She stopped going to her first husbands functions after meeting this guy.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 10 Dec 2013, 09:06

I don't know whether these groups help or not. Perhaps once you start to get knowing folk better, and relaxing in their company, you're able to start talking more about yourself, and then seeing that something either was, or wasn't, your fault - simply by listening to others who might be in the same boat, and analyzing the situation.

Some people DON'T ever change. You know what they say about a leopard and its spots - but actually, I don't think you should ever expect someone to. When you first meet someone, you're attracted by whatever reasons, but you accept them warts and all. If you don't like what you're getting, then unless you have enormous tolerance, things're only going to get worse or drive you to despair, so it's best not to go there in the first place.
This's why I think it's imperative to get to know someone as much as possible before you take the relationship further. It means a lot of frank discussions and being honest with each other. So long as you aren't so blinded by love that you can't see the flaws, a person's true personality and nature shines through pretty quickly.

You, personally, won't be the first or last to feel a degree of guilt, and blame yourself for when things started to go wrong. Sometimes, as the old saying goes, it takes two, and at other times one of the partners's totally innocent of any mis-doing, but in the latter case, someone can be so emotionally hooked, that they can't see the wood for the trees, and let's face it, when you really love someone, you WANT things to work. You keep hoping that the OH'll change, but underneath, they don't. So then each person in this situation has to find their own way of dealing with matters, and it can be hard. You either accept that this's the person you married or live with, or call it a day and find someone who's more compatible. If you try and mould someone into your ideal, they'll rebel eventually. Having said that, I think that forgiveness can be a very charitable thing. There are couples where one's gone off the rails, but only the once, and if their partners can find it in their hearts to forgive, and work through it, then sometimes the relationship can be cemented back together.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 10 Dec 2013, 10:35

Although I don't think shrinks help too much in most cases. Our group for blended families worked in two sessions. One for only your family and one where we joined a larger group of families. And part of the one family group was divided so the kids could speak without the parents being around. And due to Dr. Client relationships, they never told the parents what the kids said in private session. However, it did give the Dr. fuel to work with in a roundabout way. And in some cases, the Dr. told the kids they should tell us what THEY wanted, and why it would work better.

Our home started out as a three-bedroom home. Before the floods, we also had a normally finished basement.
We put the two boys in one room, and the two girls in the other room, when they were under 10.
After the first flood, and after taking backflow measures to prevent the same problems again. We finished the basement like an upstairs. Drywall walls and ceiling, instead of paneling and drop ceilings. And I built a master bedroom downstairs.
My wife and I used the downstairs bedroom. Gave the girls our upstairs master bedroom, and separated the boys.
I built a new kitchen in what used to be our dining room. Then the old kitchen was made into a bedroom.
So now each kid had their own room. The oldest girl got the master bedroom with bathroom. The younger girl didn't like using the hall bathroom the boys used, and the older girl didn't like the younger cutting through her room.
So I built a partition wall, making the master bedroom smaller. The hall led from the younger girls bedroom, past a new door to the older girls bedroom, to the bathroom door. This worked out great. We also installed a saloon type door on the side hall where the two boys bedrooms were. That way they could go to the bathroom, from their rooms, without being seen from the girls hallway, since those doors were often left open.
After the second flood, we only gutted the basement, leaving most of the studs, and just stuck some paneling up on one side to divide the workroom/office from a den and another between the den, bedroom and utility area.
Before Ruth became wheelchair bound, and could not make it down the stairs, my son asked if he could stay downstairs.
This second flood basically destroyed everything. The humidity in the house for the extended period caused all of the drywall and ceilings to become waterlogged.
So which bedrooms we used, was like playing musical chairs for a couple months as I rebuilt each room again.
A serious incident between my daughter and ex wife, sent her to live with her mother.
That was the point when I knew my daughter would start on her continuous downhill journey.
I was very sad about it, but there was nothing I really could do about it either.
I tried to help her as much as possible, which brought about several legal issues.
It didn't help that the person her mother was now living with, built his life by filing lawsuits against anyone about anything.
That is how he had lived most of his life. And I was no exception. And then their are the liars at DCSE who have the power to negate everything, even when you have all the receipts, cancelled checks, and subpoenaed bank documentation.
In other words, every time I tried to help my daughter, it got me into trouble with grave consequences.
After playing musical bedrooms, during the renovation, when all was said and done, each child had their own room, size based on their age.
After several years, my son was first out of the nest. In his mid-teens. He landed a job in west county and rather than drive so far each day, he stayed and grandma and grandpa's during the week. Only came home on weekends.
I had landed a writing contract and used his room as my office during the week for about a year.
Then my son decided to stay at my parents full-time, to help grandpa on weekends taking care of the yard and other duties.
I switched everyone around again, giving the oldest daughter his room, and I took the old kitchen, now a bedroom, as my office. The kids all loved getting a new room, because I repainted each in whatever colors they chose, and got them new furniture to move into the new room with.
The younger boy graduated and moved to Detroit with his job.
And the oldest girl, Ruth's, stayed on, even after her mother passed away.
Her aunts were always trying to get her to move out and get an apartment.
But it wasn't until six months after I married Debi, that she landed a higher paying job and took an expensive apartment in the city where she worked.
The nest was finally empty.

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 10 Dec 2013, 18:07

You did your best. That's all any parent can do for their children.

It's a pity that the incident between your daughter and your ex. wife had to turn unpleasant. Every family has their ups and downs, but we've been lucky so far. Any disputes're sorted out as calmly as possible, and by listening to all sides. Then you can only advise. Once you start "losing it" and laying the law down, kids rebel. I used to watch and listen to how my own parents dealt with matters. They're wise in their judgements, but I didn't always agree with them at the time. Now I look back and find myself doing the same thing. So far, so good. : )
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 11 Dec 2013, 11:01

My daughter is in her forties now.
She's been through thick and thin, got into scrapes I don't know how she got out of.
But still doesn't have the brains God gave a goose.
I see some of her posts on Farcebook and just cringe.
No matter how many breaks she has received to help turn her life around.
She always reverts back to her old ways again.
She's 100 times worse than her mother ever was.
But the saddest part. She's teaching her kids the same lifestyles.
I can hope they see what she is, and do the opposite.
The difference between her and my son is like night and day.
But my son could still use a bit of improvement, as we all can.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 11 Dec 2013, 11:42

Well Gary, the best of luck to both of them. Our children don't always do the things that we'd wish of them, but once they reach adulthood, the choices are theirs. Your daughter's chosen to live by her own rules, and so long as she's happy, then there's little you can do now. All good parents want only the best for their kids, and when it doesn't turn out quite as expected, it can be worrying or disappointing, but you can only offer to be there for them and offer help if you're asked for it. You've obviously tried your best - as we all do.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 13 Dec 2013, 10:38

Not to change the subject, but it is related in a way.
I couldn't get my head wrapped around my editing. So decided to take the night off for once, and head on down to the house. (My office is in my garage.)
The show she was watching just ended, so the frau and I sat and talked.
Up she pops with a question about someone she used to work with. Her last known relative passed away, back when Debi was still working with her. That left only her and her four children.
Debi was trying to understand how someone could have absolutely no living relatives somewhere. Because families usually get larger. Said she has to have distant relatives somewhere.
I know from doing genealogy work, that not only is it possible, it is more frequent than one realizes.
I come from a very large family, even though at a couple of points, there was only one child, a male to carry on the line. It again expanded. My uncle, dad's brother, if you count kids, grandkids and great-grandkids, his family alone is over 200 now.
Then Debi asked about Barbara, my fiance that died, and how I ended up with her three children as foster-kids.
She had zero living relatives on her side, and zero on her husbands side.
When we first met, and I tried to put her genealogy together, we could only go back on her husbands side four generations, and on her side six generations. Going that far back, one would assume due to marriages and children, the family would grow.
On her husbands side, he was the only surviving child of an only child. His brother died at age 12.
On her side, she was an only child, but had three aunts and two uncles. Two of her aunts died young, the other married, but they had no kids. Of her two uncles, one was killed in WWII, the other married, his wife was killed in a storm, and he did not remarry until he was in his late 50s. They too had no kids. Going back to her great-grandparents, her mothers side, all three of their kids died of childhood diseases. On her mothers husbands side, only one child survived. But died before Barb was born. Only Barb's mother was still alive when we met, and she was in a nursing home.

Moving on to Ruth. Ruth had three sisters. Each of them had children. And she had a few cousins out there. Her father died when she was only 3 or 4. Her step-dad died when she was around 17. And her mother died when she was 22. Her oldest sister married and they had 4 kids. Middle sister married and moved to the New England states, 2 kids. The sister only a couple of years older than her, married, no kids, died before Ruth did. Her middle sister moved to Florida, her new husbands home. He died, so she moved back home, then she died, young. This left only Ruth and her oldest sister.
Ruth died at age 52, her sister soon followed at 59. All of her children were girls. No one left to carry on the family name.

The same thing happened on my mom's side of the family. They only had girls, so no one to carry on her family name.

Of all the kids above. Less than 1/3rd of them turned out anything like their parents.
Of Barb's three kids, only one girl is super nice, cares about everyone. The other girl, wild as a bobcat. The boy, just does his own thing, so to speak. A little on the rough side.
Of Ruth's kids, one is nice, the other nice but keeps to himself. I don't know anything about them after they left the nest.
Of my two, one is OK, the girl a real loser.
So I think the ratio, if you consider all the kids I reared, is on par with other families I have followed. 1/3 nice, 1/3 nothing like their parents, and 1/3 doing their own thing, contrary to upbringing.

Debi has a few cousins who are teachers. Of the many students they have taught over the years. They say none of them are like their parents, and half of them are total opposites of their parents. Both in behavior and skill levels.
In a family of three, it is not uncommon for one to be studious, one to be ho-hum, and one to always be in trouble. Sometimes serious trouble. Most often, it is the youngest child who gets into the most trouble.
What is interesting, in a family of only two. Both kids are usually fairly alike. Either more like their parents, or more like trouble on wheels, and the opposite of their parents. Often no ho-hum kids in 2-child families. They either fly right, or are trouble.
Of an interesting note: Girls tend to be more like their mother, and boys more like their father, most of the time.

I think that fits my family to a tee.

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 13 Dec 2013, 12:33

Hi Gary.

Yes, it's very possible that people end up with no living relatives. Over here the average 2.5 children per couple's dropped, and in turn, if those children leave their families until late or don't have any at all, you can see how families shrink and relatives die off before the younger ones are old enough to know them properly.

There are 6 children from my parents' marriage, and we're all different in nature, although carry facial resemblances of course. I'm the least academic of the 6, or maybe I just didn't have time to apply myself, but my brother and sisters are extremely bright people, and this seems to've been passed on to our children. My eldest son's incredibly intelligent for his age. None of us've ever been in any trouble (breaking the law, wise), but that's possibly due to our upbringing. When we were young, our days were filled with activities, so we didn't have time to go off the rails, and neither do my own two. We were encouraged to have, and to voice our own opinions, and then our parents' views'd be laid before us and it was up to us to decide who was right.

It's strange, because us children had to follow fairly strict house rules, and yet a look sufficed, rather than being told off, if we broke any. I suppose it made us feel guilty, or at least aware of our "wrong-doing", so we tried not to repeat the process, but there was no: "Do as I say, or else", type of threats.

Sometimes girls are like their mothers, and boys are like their fathers, but not always. Maybe it depends on the input of each parent towards each child? If my father was going to the market to get some produce, us girls went along probably more times than my brother, because he was the eldest and was developing his own life patterns by then, but we all liked helping, even though it meant being up at the crack of dawn, and we'd lug crates of stuff into the van and come home with aching arms! : )

I take after my mother in the way in which I deal with matters, but I have my father's ambitious streak and tenacity. The next sister up from me lacks my sense of humour and can be quite tetchy when provoked. I'm able to ignore many of the things which annoy her, but as I say, we're all totally different apart from when it comes to our respective families - who come first.

The incredible thing is, that we rarely argue, even though our ideas might clash. This again, is no doubt due to how we were brought up. We weren't ALLOWED to shout and scream at each other. My mother says that nothing's ever solved by losing control, and I agree with that. If she saw us glaring at each other, ready for a verbal attack, she'd separate us and tell us to work things out, out of earshot. Naturally, it harboured a bit of resentment, but as we got older, we saw no sense in breaking into a row, when a discussion worked out better. So we learnt to be diplomatic, if not ALWAYS tactful! : )

I think that upbringing and environment, along with our own experiences make us what we are. I had an old head on young shoulders by the time I was 12, and although I did some things which must've worried the daylights out of my parents, I never brought any shame on them or saddled them with trouble. Again, I think that when you're given a pretty long rope, and you're loved and trusted, there's no need to get into any scrapes just for "fun", because the freedom takes away any "naughtiness". I used to have school friends who'd deliberately defy their parents, because they felt stifled by rules and regulations. We didn't have that. We always had to let our parents know where we were and who we were with, and we were expected to be home by a certain time (not much choice really, because my father'd be there to pick us up!), but if one of us broke those rules, we'd just receive a gentle lecture on why it was important to understand their points of view.

I was always adventurous though, so more often that not, did my own thing, but I was always acutely aware of self preservation. I didn't hang around with people I didn't know, and because some of these friends were older and my parents knew them, they were OK with that.

Each family brings their children up as they see fit, and in the main, they mean well when they have rules which they want their children to follow, but how these rules're implemented, and how the parents react when they get broken can mean all the difference between a child turning out good or bad.

We were all made aware of the need to reach our potential and to aim for what we wanted, but not at the expense of being miserable. Whatever we said we wanted to be, our parents encouraged us, but everyone was treated the same, and when you get respect, you give it back.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 14 Dec 2013, 11:21

You sure put all of that wonderfully. My life was about the same.
But being one of the oldest, it seems I also had many responsibilities the younger kids never had to do.
There are several things and times when I feel I was treated unfairly over something.
But as I got older, I realized that parents are always more strict with the first, and by the fourth, almost anything goes.
By the same token, being first sometimes has its advantages. My mom actually ironed my diapers, hi hi...
By the time the fourth kid came along. She just pulled diapers from the bundle dropped off by the diaper service.
But some things drove me nuts. I had to wait until 13 to get a 26 inch bicycle. My brother only 12, my next sister only 11 and my last sister had one by 10. And it was that way with most things.
But dad did make one major exception between me and my brother. He knew I took care of things. Whereas my brother would break or lose things. This has never changed our entire lives.
When all the kids were getting stereo's, I told dad I really didn't want one. Records don't last that long, and they cost money. I said if I could have an old used wire recorder, that would be better for me. He did find one for me, used, then watched how I used it. It was old and did not function real well. But I cleaned it and worked with it until it was OK.
Come Christmas, he surprised me with a VM-Tape-o-matic commercial grade reel to reel tape recorder.
Did I take care of it? You bet your life! I used it all the time, passed it on to my own son to use for a time. He gave it back, and I still had it until I moved south. I could no longer get parts for it, and it sold at the auction along with everything else. I still had every single part that came with it too. It still worked enough to demo at the auction.
I had another surprise the following Christmas. Dad got me a nice stereo and tons of records. This item, like many others, as I got new, they were passed along to my brother, who broke his. My brother got new too, but he usually broke something within a month or two. It's just the way he is, hi hi...

Getting back on topic. I think my parents wondered a little bit about me when I was young. I would rather keep company with 60+ year old aunts, than hang around with other kids. Part of that had to do with my being older than the other kids. The other part is that I was inquisitive about everything. I learned many valuable things from the oldsters. They were all very wise in almost everything they would tell or teach me about. A lot of it no longer relevant, as times and devices have changed over the years. But I learned many skills too. Sewing, quilting, needlepoint, cooking, etc. I always ironed all of my own clothes too, from a young age. But I hung around the older uncles also. Heard many stories, some of them true, hi hi... But from them I leaned many valuable skills also.

In my early working career, I always selected Tuesday as my day off. Tuesday's were the perfect day to go around to various companies. Back in the day when they were GLAD to show you around their operations, how they made their products, etc. Some would even teach you how to do a certain aspect of their job.
Today, it is rare for a business to let you know how they do something, and very few will take you on a tour through the working end of their companies. They either don't want you to see how they do what they do, or they claim insurance regulations prohibit anyone in the back room.
But these Tuesday outings is how I learned so much about business and manufacturing. And not to be funny. From visiting like kind companies, I could see what worked best at each one, and where problems cropped up in others. This served me well in later years, as I helped several companies with their efficiency, by showing them other ways of doing the same thing, faster and with less down-time. Heck, I almost went into that field, as some of these companies cut me a nice check, even though I was doing it for them gratis.
One of the first companies to take my advice for free, who later sent me a healthy gratuity check, was a small parts packaging company. The type of company who placed many parts into a single package, like all the parts to assemble a desk. Only they were more related to industry than home assembled products.
Their operation was already about as efficient as one could get for that day and age.
Long conveyors ran from one end of the building to the other, and workers were lined up along the conveyor.
The employees used two hands, taking a part or parts from boxes in front of each hand and placing them in the flat or bag as it passed down the conveyor. Some employees only had one box in front of them, because they had to count out X number of parts then drop them in the box. And this is where the errors crept in. If it called for seven pieces, they could make a mistake and place 6 or 8. And you know what it's like to come up short a piece when putting something together.
So this is where I focused my attention first. And depending on the item, I came up with various ways to insure no mistakes.
Many of my mini-inventions for them were quite simple. The 'why didn't I think of that' type of fix.
Oh, they did think of it, but in a backwards sorta way, that took too much time to use. A double-step operation.
For example: A small item, of which six went into the bag, the boss placed a hinged box with six slots in front of the worker. They put one item in each slot, then when full, flipped it over in to the bag passing on the conveyor.
This slowed down the operation, because the conveyor was not continuously moving. Each worker had a pedal, and most of them just left their foot on the pedal. But the conveyor had to stop right under this little flip-over box. The box emptied into the bag, then that worker tap their peddle to get the conveyor to advance one step.

I had our local welding shop take a screwdriver and bend it 45 degrees at the handle, and weld six small cups to the screwdriver shaft. The cup size was such that only one piece would stay in each cup. The user only had to scoop into the bin and they had exactly six pieces, they could dump into the bag as it passed, without stopping the conveyor.
I had similar devices made for other items along the line. But not all items could be handled in this fashion.
We didn't have electronic scales back then, hi hi... Nor seeing eye counters, etc.
And although I could use a vacuum type of pick-up wand on many things, they had several items sorta like rings. Which could not be stacked to get the count, like coins. And they had to come from a large box/bin. Something with a hook would not work, because it could hook one ring while still holding another ring by the ring it just picked up.
A vacuum device could not work either, due to the hole in the ring. I did try to make one that would only hold the rings by their edge, but it was too problematic.

I came up with a little semi-motorized device that did not use electric, air or any external power source. It utilized a rubber wheel that rode under the conveyor, on the returning belt to drive the turning axles of the device. It was a lot simpler than it sounds. No gears, just a wheel touching the lower conveyor belt and an upper rotating bar, like a miniature rolling pin. These two parts held in a metal frame and connected together with a small motor belt.
The rolling pin was fitted with tiny hooks to grab a ring, and to prevent it from holding a second ring by the first ring, had a little cone to hold a flat ring away from the hook. It didn't matter how many rings the rotating part picked up, because the hooks were on a spiral around the rolling pin. As it turned, it would dump the rings into a chute which opened to a flat U-channel with an adjustable stop at the far end. This stop was moved and clamped so only the correct number of rings were lined up in it. It didn't matter if some were still in the chute area when the pedal was pressed to dump the rings into the workers hand. A flat piece of metal blocked the chute as the fill end of the chute lowered to the workers hand. It was faster to do it this way, that let it dump the rings into the bag, else it would mean stopping the conveyor.
The operator did have to watch the chute to make sure it did not overfill, and another pedal would lift the drive wheel off the conveyor to stop the rotation. Although I said rings, these were more like hose clamps. Which means they could not be stacked like coins to get an accurate count. My little gizmo device did free up three line-workers to do other items. Because previously, each worker only handled five or six rings, to keep the line moving. Now, one worker was handling all 20 to 30 that went in the bag or box.

I was called back out to that company a year or so later, when they had to package individual packages first, and then place those packages in a certain place in a tight fitting cell in a blow molded divider box, along with several loose items. Their problem was, certain large items had to go in the box first, then smaller items fitted both over and around it. And the little divider boxes caused items to bounce into the wrong slots. Meaning the items could not be dropped into the cells from a vacuum wand or by hand.
The fix for this was so simple, it was yet another one of those 'why didn't I think of that' type of things.
If you are familiar with the cardboard cone found inside of large spools of thread or string. I made cones similar to these, only I had a tinsmith make them and affix them together into a single unit, with stop bars with wheels at the bottom at one end. The wheels were to keep the stop bars from causing wear to the conveyor belt. The unit itself was mounted to an eccentric disk so when the unit raised, it did so by pulling away from the plastic tray, else it could dump the tray over.
The operator would lower the unit onto the tray, dump his parts in the proper cone, then raise the unit allowing the tray to pass underneath. It was cheaper to make several identical cone units, than make them with only one cone on each. At each work station, the cones not applicable to that station were capped with a cover. That way they couldn't get their item in the wrong cone.

OK, I'm rambling again.

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 14 Dec 2013, 13:32

Hello Gary,

Well you DO seem very adept at solving manufacturing/machine problems. It seems a shame that you didn't go into design engineering, or offer your expertise to a wider audience. Someone in my family designed a multi-million pound machine for use in the mining industry, and sold 5 of them. As he was working for someone, he unfortunately could only take a cut from each sale, but it was still very profitable for him. Of course, a few years on, competition in the field's fierce.

My brother was in touch with Sir James Dyson recently (of the Dyson vacuum cleaner company). They only employ graduate engineers, who're left to fathom out easier and cheaper ways of producing what's needed - so in other words, they're expected to use their brains and come up with something new which'll "set the world on fire". That sort of thing might've appealed to you, with being able to see ways of making something that's more efficient than the current items in use. If you have any brilliant ideas on how to better their, or other vacuum systems - get writing to him! These are the sort of people that he looks for, and the engineers work on their own projects.

As for learning valuable things from older people, I agree with you, but you have to be of a certain mind to WANT to take these things on board. Some folk can be shown how to do something a hundred times, and they still can't grasp it, whereas with others, it just clicks. You were fortunate that what you learnt, you were able to put into practice later on, such as learning how businesses run. People over here can still ask to go round manufacturing companies and be shown how things work, and most places are only too happy to allow school students to take a look while they're doing business studies. Places like water treatment plants even arrange for school trips, so that the kids can understand what happens to their drinking water from the moment it falls from the sky. Obviously, scientific faculties - labs, etc., don't extend this hospitality to all and sundry, but to a degree, science students get a glimpse of the work that's being carried out, and sometimes they don't even have to be studying in that line. I was allowed into 3 seminars at a teaching hospital. I was given an insight into cytology, histopathology - and watched an autopsy being performed, which I thought was wonderful, and another medical procedure, after someone'd died of a heart attack. Excellent stuff, and one which I might've pursued if life hadn't taken a different path, but I have no regrets.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 15 Dec 2013, 10:17

Good Morning Icey

I just looked at the length of my last post. Sheee, just call me motormouth, hi hi...

I did love doing that type of work. But as you said. Companies only hire those with pieces of paper saying they know what they are doing. We've been through that one before, so I digress. Or is it regress?

Dad and I both came up with an idea for an electric shaver that reduces shaving time by at least two-thirds.
They were the same principle, and dads was easier to implement on vibrator type shavers and mine was easier on motor driven shavers. But as an attachment, dad liked what I came up with best. Over time we modified and improved the system. Yet no shaver manufacturer was interested in the idea. Which surprised us, because a couple of them could add the change internally without changing their own case design one iota.

Due to my unusual medical condition, changing career paths every five years, has given me a most interesting life. I'm not discounting how hard it is to completely start over in a new career. But the benefits and change of scenery, so to speak, has given me a wonderful life filled with amazing memories. Working in fields most may stand in awe over, even though most were only simple trade jobs. It is only the projects I worked on in a small way, which made mention of them interesting.
Although it was really no big deal at the time. How many folks can say they took part, even in a small way, in a major project? Because of these adventures, I sometimes love to boast about the nationally known projects I did work on over the years. I mean, how many can say they worked on a Space Capsule, Lock n Dam, Highways & Bridges, Floodwalls & Gates or a major tourist attraction like EPCOT? Plus the many smaller projects I did more or less on my own. Rooftop hydroponic inner-city greenhouses, feeding systems for public and private zoos. How many do you know hold Patents? Or have a two decade old tabletop business that remains stable year after year, and only requires physical labor six days a year?

I may not have much money, after two floods, the medical bills for late spouses. But things have always turned out for the best, if you find happiness a far better asset than money. At least I can say, I'm happy and contented.

Which means I have time to think about stuff and complain a lot, hi hi...

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 15 Dec 2013, 13:01

Hello Gary - oh lol - no, what you've said's spot on.

There's nothing better than experience and in being able to look back on achievements, and if that includes blowing your own trumpet now and again - well I don't blame you.

As we've said before, the financial aspect of these ventures could've been lovely, but I'd rather have nothing than kill myself over work. I'm certainly not lazy, and've probably done more in my life than many folk of my age, but when all's said and done, happiness and contentment don't cost anything. For those who find it, it's a richness beyond measure. I think you've done beautifully!
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 16 Dec 2013, 11:30

Debi thinks I work harder now than I have in the last decade.
Things we want to get done with the house are on hold, as I try to make the funds necessary to do them.
Years of experience in changing gears when I needed to, helps considerably in how I keep my drive for doing something different motivated.
Things I used to do diligently, because I had time to do them. Are now on the back burner as I gear up for the next project.
I suppose, from the outside looking in, I've abandoned old projects, some left uncompleted. And in their eyes, they should take priority over something else.
Rather than finish the room addition that will become Debi's art studio. I used the funds for that, to get her a newer car. To her, the car seemed most important, so I dropped the studio for the car. Medical bills and a few other unexpected expenses, drained my hip national bank. So now I'm working on building that back up again, before something else happens. Just paying for her insulin takes more than we make. I'm a diabetic also, but so far, can control it with diet. Which means I cannot have anything I want to have. I forgo a lot of things, just so I can have a nibble of something I like from time to time.

Most writers never make money from their works. But we can make a little. I honestly do not want to land on the best seller list at my age. But I would like to make enough to pay a few bills and restore my little nest egg. And I figure, if I handle book sales in the same manner I have ran my other businesses. I should be able to achieve the goal of a slow steady income. I wouldn't complain if I did hit it big. But I know I won't be traveling around to promote or go to events. I'm not that type of person. I just wanna hide in my garage and do my own thing, hi hi...

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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 17 Dec 2013, 13:16

Nothing wrong with that Gary. My author friend's attended half a dozen book launchers, umpteen radio chats and TV appearances, along with many, many talks which she gives at libraries, universities etc., and quite frankly, along with two plays she was in and helping out with the Olympic parade, it tired her out somewhat! She felt that some of these things were just people gushing to her - false - and then they move onto someone else, so I think she'd agree with you that being in the limelight isn't always a good thing, but almost a necessity if you want to promote your books.

Re. money, we all need it. The upkeep of our house's huge, but we manage. The thing is, some people LOOK for work. I don't see the point. If you're happy and comfortable, then why change things all the time. New this, new that - it doesn't interest me. We have what we need, and we don't have to justify ourselves to anyone or keep up with them. I hate that sort of thing anyway. If friends don't like our 70- year old rug, they know where the door is, sort of thing, but no one takes the blindest bit of notice - probably because they're the same. : )
Good family, good genuine friends - who needs much more?

I appreciate about your medical bills though. They can be horrendous, and I'm so sorry that you can't get your insulin for nothing. We take it for granted over here, and pharmacies deliver to diabetic patients for free as well. It catches up with everyone in other ways though - taxes and more taxes, plus massive fuel bills. We pay £1. 39p for a LITRE of diesel, and when your vehicle's heavy on gas, it soon tots up. So we win in some ways, and lose in others. I wouldn't mind writing a blockbuster childrens' book - my own income'd allow me to stop having to explain every receipt to the OH!! : )
Last edited by Ice.Maiden on 17 Dec 2013, 17:34, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 17 Dec 2013, 14:28

Only because I work with several authors who have tried almost every method of generating sales. I learned there is only so much a person can humanly do. Referring to in-person appearances. The results are usually dismal at best, unless you are already well known. Most of the time, you are just throwing money away, because you cannot draw a large enough crowd to sell the number of books necessary to cover your costs.
But, that same amount of money, or less; and many less hours of your time, can be used for non-personal promotions, with far greater results.

Print books usually stay on a booksellers shelf for only six to eight weeks before being sent back to the publisher for credit. A wise author will buy all of these returns and stick them in his garage to sell himself. And sometimes, it will build his name up to the point, folks begin asking at bookstores for their works again. I've seen it happen a few times.

One writer, well beyond her retirement years, tried something and sold over 44 thousand copies of her book over a two year time span. It took that long, because she didn't have the money to do it the way she wanted. So she tried it on a small scale, and used the profits to build up her campaign. The first run of her book was only 10 or 15 thousand copies. She was going to quit after they were sold. But her last ad campaign brought in orders for 8 thousand more than she had. Her small little personal ads were finally working for her, plus word of mouth from those who did buy her book.

Trouble is, another author tried her approach and it didn't work for him at all. He only sold perhaps five books for every 500 ads placed. His brother managed to get a small picture of his book jacket placed on the back of the program for a free event at a large auditorium, estimated 20 thousand attended. The title of his book was of the same theme as the program. Within days of the event, sale of his book crossed the 500 books sold in one day mark. Then died back down for about two weeks, when sales jumped back up again and began holding at around 45 to 55 books per day for over a month. The nearest he could figure was those who saw it at the auditorium, bought and read it, told their friends about it.

A Catholic lady wrote a YA novel, geared around one of the miracles. Sales were zip. At that time, the Sunday bulletin distributed in Catholic Churches, had all the masses for the month in them. She bought the smallest ad space possible on the back, and had to scrimp to come up with enough money. She was lucky, her ad turn came up in November, when folks were considering books for children or grandchildren. She did not know the circulation figures for the publication. But she knew that had to be where her sales originated. Between November and Christmas, she sold over 800 of her books, all within her immediate area. After that, sales came from a larger circle and out of town too.

I only personally know perhaps four authors who crossed 100k in a given year, after I met them. I do know several who did much more than that, but they were already up there when we met. I don't know them as personally as I do the ones I have worked or met at writers meetings. But since e-Books, I know several who make a small but steady income. Plus a couple who's income grows a little more each year. Still nothing to write home about though. Unless you consider an extra 200 to 500 bucks a month a killing, hi hi... I sure could use an extra 200 bucks a month, but don't know if I would be happy if I made too much more than perhaps 500 more per month. I don't want to become rich, as that opens a whole new can of worms, I don't want to deal with again at my age.

Debi is trying to get some help with her insulin costs. Our combined income is low enough she should be able to, but other factors always seem to blow it out of the water. Our house is paid for, so we have no mortgage payment to show. She has a very small IRA from where she worked, which is counted as available cash. But we have no other investments, and our savings was wiped out from the tornado/hailstorm and automobile repairs. Every place we try, always has one gotcha that we cross by 50 to 200 bucks too much money available to use. Usually, it is the IRA causing it. If not that, then they say we show no housing costs. They don't count taxes or maintenance costs, only monthly rent or mortgage payment. So, we get no help. Now if we lived in Free Public Housing, we could get Free Cell Phones for each of us. A new Lexus every year. And enough Food Stamps and Welfare, to furnish our apartment with all the latest and greatest electronics. It would also increase our income by several thousand dollars a year. Actually, it was calculated out to 4,200 dollars per year increase in our annual income, and with no maintenance, insurance or tax expenses on our shelter that we currently pay out.
Ironically, even though we cannot get help with her insulin, we can qualify for public housing. Amazing...
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Ice.Maiden » 17 Dec 2013, 18:15

Starting from your last paragraph, it IS truly amazing! To get free phones - and cars!?? Wow, that's generous. Nothing like that over here. People on very limited incomes can apply for either a grant, which has to be paid back out of their benefits, or, if they go through various agencies, they can get basic furniture if they're lucky enough to have a roof over their heads. This furniture's second-hand though - cleaned up, but pretty rough. There are no luxuries though, just things like a bed, cooker, fridge or fridge/freezer and something to sit on. If they have absolutely nothing, they can get a few kitchen utensils, plus bedding. Food and bills come out of their benefits, although they probably qualify for full Housing and Council Tax benefits, but they still have to pay for water and heating costs - plus their food and clothes, so it leaves next to nothing, as you can imagine, and that's if they're careful. It's dreadful for folk in this situation, but it's difficult to find work which pays enough for them to come off the benefits, because once they start earning, they have to contribute to their rent and so on, which makes them no better off - even worse in some cases. The only advantage, if you can say that, is that any property repairs are maintained free of charge by the Councils or Housing Associations.

As for the book sales, well my friend started off selling way below the figures you quoted. She paid for her first 2-3 books to be published herself, and the most she sold in one month was about 100. Her advertising campaigns weren't based on actual ads. She had flyers printed, which were hung up in local shops, libraries and places where her launches and talks were to be given. Attendance's been pretty good actually, especially at universities. The lowest amount of people who turned up was 15 - at an old peoples' Day Centre, but now she supplies Waterstones, who phone her up and tell her when they've run out.

As I was telling Glenn, one of the UK's top e-Book writers used a different ploy at the beginning. He offered his first book free. He did this for a month, then withdrew the offer, but by then, avid readers were only too happy to have a read for nothing. Word spread rapidly, and when his second book appeared, his fans were only too happy to stump up. Word of mouth travels fast, and he said her soon found himself in demand.

He trawled round small old bookshops who agreed to accept his paperback versions on a sale or return basis. The author offered 40% of each sale for their trouble, so naturally, the owners were happy with that and helped to push the books for him, as it benefited both parties.

As the author said, in a list of tips for would-be writers, you don't have to play by the rules. For some it works, for others it might not, but he now makes a tidy living from his writing; not huge, but enough to live on, and I think that'd satisfy most authors, as each new book now brings in more and more sales. I can't remember this guy's name, annoyingly, but I'm going to try and find the article again for Glenn. His approach was very interesting, and if I dare say it - novel. : )

There are thousands of people who feel they have a flair for writing though, and only a few make it big time. The author suggests that no one gives up their day jobs, and said it was important to have a professionally-produced cover, and then to take on an agent asap. That's all very good and well though. Many folk can't afford to do this, but the way to reach people's to use the media and internet sites such as ... gulp ... Facebook. He advises to be subtle though, and not to flood anywhere with mention of the author's name continuously, because over exposure can have the opposite effect.

It's difficult to break into writing in a profitable way, but now and again, someone produces something which stimulates the reader's imagination, and then others want to read it as well. All of a sudden, they have THE book, which must be fantastic for those who've been hoping to make it, but frustrating for the rest - who probably think they could do better! The point is, they HAVE to, or they're not going to do very well out of their venture.

I admire anyone who goes for it though. If nothing else, writing's a pleasure for most authors, and as this guy said, you have to love the characters you dream up, because if YOU don't, then no one else's going to. I personally think there's some truth in that.

I haven't the time to write as I'd like to, but one day things could change. It's then that I'll drag my best stories out, and see what happens. Nothing's going to be changed. They're written, and I like them as they are. If others disagree with me, then so be it, but I've already tested audience reaction, by reading these things to children in the age group they're aimed at, and every response was positive. Not one child said they didn't enjoy it, so that's good enough for me. I really don't care what a publisher thinks. These stories'll be turned into books, even if I have to staple the pages together and distribute them myself. : )
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Re: Iceland - great place for writers.

Postby Kellemora » 19 Dec 2013, 12:44

I think what irks me the most about some authors. They write horrible stuff, but do so in a genre where most of the people who read that garbage wouldn't know if it was good or bad writing. And they hit the top of the charts and become rich.
The exact same story, presented in a quality fashion, and without the garbage, will sit on the bottom rung of the ladder forever.

In our Writers' Guild, we have a fellow who has numerous children's books for sale. I've read at least six of them, and felt they were not at all captivating. The grammar and formatting are perfect, and the images included are OK, not great.
He spends a lot of time promoting his books, so does make a good living off them. But readers don't seem to promote them for him, as would be expected if they were of higher quality, more captivating stories.

We also have a woman in her early 30s who has written only three children's books so far. She does not do book signings or set up tables at local events. I read one of them at it was awesome, and would easily hold a child's interest. What she did do was place one book in school door prize baskets for free. Sent one to each older child day-care center in the area. Then sat back and waited. No paid advertising and no events did she attend, compared to the the first fellow I mentioned above.
Her monthly sales remain fairly steady, and at least four or five times higher with only three books, than the fellow who is out all the time promoting his latest seven or eight books.

I see the first fellow with BUY MY BOOKS type of posts on Farcebook and Twitter all the time. The lady has never made a public post about having books for sale. Although she has responded to questions about them casually and without hype. No links from her responses to a point of sale either.

Did I mention earlier about a young author, probably 24 or 25 years old. Who's father paid big bucks to take his writings and have them professionally edited and rewritten until they are deemed nearly perfect. A lot of that money went to developmental editing to get the stories to read well. Then he spent another fortune to get the word out about the books.
In over three years of paying for advertising and probably doing a lot of arm twisting. His books just won't move well. No where near enough to recover the amount of money spent on them. All of them fall in the Terror genre. Which is a fairly well moving genre. I have never read one, so do not know why they don't sell.
My point in mentioning it is simply. No matter how much money you burn to make something happen. If it don't cut the mustard, it isn't going to happen. That being said, maybe his books are good, and he just has not hit the right audience yet.
But it seems to me, with the number they have placed with the public, and the number sold from advertising and other promotions. If it was good, more would have sold from word of mouth advertising.

Crazy business. I guess it's like playing the lottery. You either hit or you don't. And based on some of those that have hit it big. Quality doesn't seem to have a thing to do with it.
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