Auntie Doris’s Road to Publication #4: The Oxford University Press

oup1To the chief commissioning editor
Oxford University Press
Oxford University
Oxford
Oxfordshire
UK

Dear Sir (or Madam)
My name is Auntie Doris, I died in 1995 at the age of 81. However, since I arrived on the other side I have developed the ability to contact the land of the living by manifesting myself through the body of my nephew, Michael. Although he is a ruddy useless so and so, I have managed to use him to write a number of little homilies and articles on a range of topics, including life after death, swearing, astrology, tarot reading and metaphysics.
He has put most of these pieces online for me, and this “blog” thing that he set up now has literally dozens of followers from all over the world, even as far away as the antipodes, (and as an educated person you will know that you can’t get any further away than them without actually getting nearer to where you were in the first place. Unless you blast off into ruddy space of course)
Any road, what with me now being internationally famous, I have got our Michael started with editing some of the articles into a proper book. “The Auntie Doris Years” which is my guide to the 20th century with stories about all the main players such as Hitler, Charlie Chaplin and Alexander Fleming, mixed with stories about people in my family, such as my Raymond, His brothers Cyril, John and Bernard, and my sister Pearl, (who didn’t speak to me for about ten years because she thought that she was entitled to that Chinese Tea Caddy that mother wanted me to have after she died)
The articles are all written, but they just need editing and tittivating up a bit. Our Michael, being the lazy lump he is, is taking his ruddy time over it. Mind you, he works for the council and is getting on a bit himself now, so he hasn’t got the energy that a younger man might have.
I was wondering if you could give him a boost by saying that you would publish the damned thing when he has finished it. Perhaps under the title of “The Oxford Auntie Doris.” I’ll leave the finer details like that to you though.
If he thought he was working towards something like that, he might get his ruddy skates on. He has always liked Oxford University, anywhere that they taught, Thomas Moore, Edward Gibbon, Graham Greene, Billy Bunter and Harry Potter would be right up his street.
There would be no need for a cash advance or anything. As I said, I am dead and our Michael already has a job, so he doesn’t need any money.
Then again. If you were able to offer him somewhere to write, some old ivory tower that you are not using, I am sure that I could help him to earn his keep by doing a couple of lectures a week on the paranormal or something. He might even stretch to marking a few essays. He is a qualified academic. He got a 2.2 in philosophy and religious studies from Newcastle University in the 1980s.
So there you go. I look forward to working with you in the near future, and you should rest assured that when you bring the book out, it will earn your university a packet. You might even be able to bring them tuition fees down on the strength of it. Perhaps
Regards
Auntie Doris.

Auntie Doris’s Road to Publication #2: Queen Victoria

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He has finally got started, our Michael, editing and enhancing or whatever he wants to call it. All I know is that whenever he gets down to it, he still has to put the ruddy tights on. Filthy so and so.
He still wants my ruddy help an’ all, and I suppose he reckons that wearing the tights helps to make the connection.
Any road, he has been getting me to talk to my mother and other people about the early 1900s. What it was like and all that. He has also been coming up with all sorts of ideas, to avoid getting On with it. He has been after me doing a series called “Auntie Doris’s Eminent Victorians” which I reckon is a ruddy good idea actually, but I’m not letting him do it until he’s sorted out this “Auntie Doris Years” thing, and it’s on the ruddy shelves in WH Smiths.
So today he has been marvelling at just how long Queen Victoria was on the ruddy throne. Which was sixty three years and a few months. But then the present queen has done sixty ruddy two, so I reckon the daily sodding Mail will be working on the commemorative pull out section for next year already.
You would think that sixty years would be long enough for anybody. It doesn’t do to stay on the throne too long. Particularly if you are very old. Just ask Prince Charles. It must ruddy irritate him his mother being on the throne all the years that she has been. He will have been having to use the upstairs throneroom for as long as he can remember, and although I bet it’s almost as posh as his mother’s throneroom, it’s never as good when you have to keep dashing upstairs every time you want a proper sit down, just because your mother insists on doing her business at all hours of the day.
Somehow, I don’t think that Queen Victoria’s lad. Prince Edward would have been as bothered. He looked like the sort of bloke who could conduct his business wherever the fancy took him. And he was probably smoking one of them ruddy great cigars whilst he was doing it. And looking at a postcard of some lass with hardly any clothes on. The filthy so and so. You couldn’t help but like him though. And you couldn’t blame him for turning out the way he did with a mother like that.
Our Michael has only just got up to him though, and seeing that he only finally managed to place his arse on the downstairs throne in 1901, you can tell how slow he is going. At this rate, he won’t be ruddy finished until 2024, and he’ll be ruddy sixty odd himself by then.
He has started putting up the early homilies I wrote for the Auntie Doris years on WordPress though. (Anything to get out of doing any real work) he put my guide to the zodiac up this week. You can find it by clicking on “archive” above. He reckons that he will put a few more on whenever he can from now on. But I wouldn’t hold your breath. I’ll keep you informed about his progress.