Auntie Doris’s Road to Publication #1: Word Counts

Word CountsIt has been almost painful watching my nephew Michael this week. If you ask me, he had got to rely on me that little bit too much. Now that I have put my foot down and refused to do seven or more little homilies a week for him, he is moping around like a little lost lamb with a face as long as a miserable donkey.
It’s not as if he hasn’t got anything to do. He is supposed to be editing the stuff that I have been writing through him for the past year, and getting it ready for publication. But something like that is out of his ruddy comfort zone. So he has been finding plenty of excuses not to get on with it. In fact all he has done so far is to print out the complete Auntie Doris Years from 1900 to 1999 and use his ruddy computer to find out how many words are in it. Apparently there are about 58 thousand. This has disappointed him a bit, because that’s only the same length as “The Wind in the Willows” which is only half the length of “Fifty Shades of Grey” and about a third of the length of “The Da Vinci Code.”
I told him not to be bothered with that. Everyone knows it’s not size that matters, but what you do with what you have got. “The Wind in the Willows” is miles better than them other two books, which are basically a load of shite. “The Auntie DorisYears” is quality. And I should know, because I wrote the ruddy thing.
For some reason, this didn’t seem to cheer him up, and he starts moaning about work needing to be done, and using his big long words just because he went to university all those years ago and probably swallowed a dictionary while he was there. “Ohh” he says, “It needs structure, and consistency, and themes, and sub plots. It needs conflict and resolution, rising and falling action, and a beginning a middle and an end…” He had my ruddy head spinning. I have never heard so much nonsense in all my living days. The only bit that I properly understood was the last bit, and that’s obvious. The beginning is on the first page and the end is on the last, and the Middle is on the page that goes on about 1950.
Any Road, I said to him, if you want all that ruddy fancy stuff in it, you had better sharpen your ruddy pencil and get on with it then. You can ask me questions, but you are doing the writing from now on, and I hope you don’t ruin the ruddy thing with your clever clogs ideas.
So I shall be taking a back seat and watching him struggle a bit while he tries to make sense of it all. Do you know what else he has done? He has got himself a big sheet of squared paper and he has written the years along the top, and drawn a line representing everyone’s life on it. Mine, my Raymond’s our Madge, my Mother and Father, April May and Cyril, even himself! Then he has put all the events of the century on, and the things that happened in people’s lives, so that he can “see it” he says. It strikes me that he is just playing for ruddy time rather than knuckling down and getting on with the job in hand. But isn’t that men all over? It’s a wonder that any of them ever gat to finish their ruddy novels. I can’t see Barbara Cartland messing about like that, or Jackie Collins either. Women know how to get the job done. By getting on with it. Not by messing about with Ruddy graph paper.
Any road, I’ll be off and let him get on with it for a bit. I’ll do another report next week. If there’s anything worth reporting that is…

Auntie Doris’s All Things Must Pass #12: Auntie Doris


I had been dead for about 17 years before I first manifested myself through that ruddy nephew of mine. At first I was just helping him out with clairvoyant acts now and again, which was just basically him showing off in front of his mates down at the pub. I still do a bit of that now. I’ll be doing a pantomime with him this year at a proper ruddy theatre an’all, just like I did last year. But when it boils down to it, he’s still just showing off in front of his ruddy mates.
It was my idea to start writing these little homilies every day. I started writing them on the Facebook last October, with Auntie Doris’s Guide to the Zodiac, and after that I developed a taste for the writing, so I carried on with it. My ruddy nephew thought he was onto a winner. After a few months he decided that I was too good for Facebook, so he starts having them put on what he calls a “blog” on the WordPress, and by then he was pushing me to write 500+ words a day. But do you know what? I ruddy enjoyed the discipline. And so did he. Although part of his discipline was wearing a pair of my old tights to help him “summon my spirit” even though if I have told him once, I have told him a hundred times that he doesn’t ruddy need to. The filthy so and so.
Any road. I have now been producing an article a day for a year. And it is time to stop. No more daily homily from me. I have had enough of it. All things must pass. But don’t go thinking that you have heard the last of me. Ohh no.
Michael’s idea was that he would collect all my little homilies and then try and get them published under a title like “Auntie Doris’s Almanac,” and then, with my help he would become a world famous writer. But as things developed, we both changed our minds. That’s why we are both comfortable with having all the articles since March on that WordPress Site where all and sundry can find it and read it to their heart’s content. And once we are not writing every day, the ones from before last March will be going up soon, so you will be able to see how much better I am at stringing sentences together than I was last October.
When I was a young lass at school, I had an art teacher called Mrs Johnson. And in one of her lessons I drew a picture of the King in his carriage in London with all the horses and soldiers and that. Some of it I copied out of a book, and some of it was out of my imagination. Mrs Johnson said that it was a vet good picture, but I thought that she was being kind. It was ok. But the horses’ legs looked a bit wrong, like they came out of the wrong parts of their bodies and were a bit wonky. The Kings fingers were the wrong size for his hand, and the wheels of his carriage were all wrong. I took it home and worked on it for three nights, rubbing bits out here and there, re drawing bits, and slowly improving it. When I took it back to show Mrs Johnson, she really did seem thrilled, and made a real fuss of me for going that extra mile, and making something that was good into something that was really, really good.
And that’s how I feel about all this writing. I’m not letting my ruddy nephew waste it by publishing something that’s only half polished. And that’s the main reason that I am not going to write daily homilies any more.
Here’s the plan. Me and Michael are going to put in some real work on “The Auntie Doris Years” from 1900 to 2000. Expanding them and filling in more detail about the history involved, both the textbook history and the stories of how me and my family responded to it. Its not going anywhere to be published until I have all the horses legs, the kings fingers and the undercarriage worked out properly. Then we will see what happens.
I’m not leaving the ruddy internet alone completely though. Theres still about 28 Tarot Cards to do, and I’m not stopping the Sunday Posts until I’ve done them. And I will still be doing the occasional “Auntie Doris’s Book Club” and stuff like that. I will also be doing a regular weekly post about how the work on the other stuff is coming on, without giving too much away, so that people will still want to buy it when it comes out as a book. And then there’ll be negotiating the film rights. I have thought about it, and want that Helen Mirren to play me. And Timothy Spall to play my nephew Michael. He has just the right gormless expression.
I will only be putting the writing on WordPress from now on though, and just linking to it from Facebook. I know that many of my l;oyal Facebook friends will consider this to be a bit of a pain in the arse. But there you go…. All things must pass.