Friday, November 17, 2023

Comic Cuts — 17 November 2023

And so ends a somewhat chaotic but productive week. I'm now close to having the latest two Bear Alley books finished and it's only two months since the publication of The Trials of Hank Janson.

We have signed off on A Laverda Journey, George Coates' memoir of his trip around the world by motorbike. There were a couple of minor problems that we picked up at the final proof stage that have now been fixed and as soon as I get a chance to set up an account for George, we will go to press.

While I was waiting for his OK on Monday, I took the opportunity to give the Badger Books' book – Beyond the Void – a good, hard Paddington stare and spotted a couple of pictures that I'd managed to use twice. These have now been replaced and the whole thing has been proofed, although I fear that the moment I send off for a printed proof, I'll spot a typo or a picture will have slipped over a footnote. These things happen, but I make every effort to try and correct everything beforehand and that the first printed proof off the presses is good enough to sell.

On Tuesday I had to start the research phase on another obituary for The Guardian, while keeping tabs on the gasman doing a safety check on our boiler and cooker and on the progress of a package from Amazon. I finally relented and bought another 8tb of external hard drive storage. So that's my weekend sorted... copying files around various hard drives to free up space on some of the others where I'm down to a couple of hundred gigabytes of free storage space. Everything is backed up onto two different drives, and I also have files stored on both my PC and a laptop... and for very good reason.

The PC isn't going to last forever and is sometimes desperately slow. On Wednesday morning it decided to do an update, which can take a while, so, as this was Mel's day off, we went for a walk. Arriving back 45 minutes later, I was greeted with the message "Restarting"... it still hadn't finished the update!

It seems to have worked OK and everything is working, touch wood. My email problems aren't solved but I have a workaround; and with the notion that problems can crop up unexpectedly high on my mind, I have just backed up onto a little thumb drive the latest version of the Badger Books' book and the obituary I'm working on.

I also have a front cover for Beyond the Void thanks to the man who has often saved me from catastrophe, Martin Baines. I won't show it off until next week because I still have to sort out a back cover, but I think you'll like it.

The icing on the cake is that I've now managed to sort out the last of the Christmas presents and cards I need to buy. I shall now return to writing an obituary, and reminding myself that happiness is only fleeting and death awaits us all. Happy dreams, y'all! (I'm only kidding.)

And that was going to be it, but I went to switch off the PC and it did another update, so I sat here for five minutes not knowing how long it was going to take. Then I made a sandwich and started reading a book that I had sitting on the pile next to my desk – a copy of A Very British Coup by Chris Mullin, which I picked up from one of the book banks in town. I've watched the TV series, which was terrific, and even the remake (Secret State, 2012) was pretty good thanks to Gabriel Byrne. The update eventually took 20 minutes and I was able to shut down the computer.  I am definitely going to have to read the rest of the book, which has many hints of the kind of thing happening in the current climate of "populist" presidents and prime ministers appealing to the lowest common denominator.

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