Angelic Countryside

I went for a longish walk on Friday afternoon between a few villages that may influence ‘The Angel’ and took a few photos. This one was immediately after a heavy, thundery shower had passed over a few minutes before.

Slicing Wheat
Slicing Wheat

The light is very unusual — it was about 8pm so the sun was low and the light was diffused by the atmospheric conditions. The texture of the wheat is interesting — with the footpath and tractor tracks a very dark contrast. Also the expanse of the wheat contrasts with the village (Loosely Row) on the hill in the distance. (The photo is just off the A4010 close to the highest point on the pass through Saunderton — somewhere that can be surprisingly bleak in winter.) Perhaps just the sort of inspiration for an artist?

6 Replies to “Angelic Countryside”

  1. Good to see you back on the blog Mike – I am meeting up with Mike B tonight for a bite to eat and then we are going to that talk he emailed us all about on blogging/sales funels and selling you novel and other strange things…

  2. I would have liked to have gone to that talk but my wife is going to a work party so I’m stuck at home.

    I read a very interesting article about the publishing industry recently that suggested that it would be quite likely that book publishing would go the way of the music industry and that the prices charged for content would be drastically cut — or even eliminated. It suggested that, as with music, writers would need to generate income in other ways, such as personal appearances. It said that blogs, Facebook, Twitter and whatever comes next had a huge part to play in helping an author communicate with readers — and so any aspiring writer had better get blogging.

    I’d be very interested in what’s said at the event tonight.

  3. Hi Mike..just back from it…yes, blogs especially linked to Twitter seem to get you out there.The idea is that a kind of word of mouth wave of interst is generated from your blog by maximising the number of followers who will all twitter about you. Then they will anticipate the publication of your novel and all go out and buy it making it an instant best seller. The speaker also talked about blogs being picked up and turned into best sellers in them selves. Are you/your blog linked to it…I am not but think maybe I should do it BUT I think my blog is too pedestrian so maybe I need to rethink the image/style…I am dissappointed I have only 3 declared followers(one of whom is myself)!…


  4. This sounds fascinating. Where should I link my blog to?

    I get a reasonably high number of hits (in the hundreds) per day on this blog but I have no idea whether they are real people or search engine robots but I’ve had a few people chance upon it (see recent comments).

    The idea of getting people to build up to a critical mass of followers seems quite sensibe — and perhaps suggests that a desire to rush into print (as opposed to the websphere) might not be so sensible in the current climate.

  5. are you linked to twitter?

    How do I check the hits on my blog…is our City site still getting hits and how many hits has my extract had? Do you have any comments re my blogs and how its presented?


  6. No. I’m not linked to Twitter on this blog. I do tweet but not in a creative writing context — perhaps I’ll set something up. Some of the blogs I’ve linked to are twitter enabled.

    Not sure how you get stats on your blog as yours is hosted on Blogspot, which I think is part of Google. I administer this one myself so I can get simple stats from my internet hosting provider. I could get better ones if I install a piece of Word Press software.

    Novelists at City doesn’t get many hits now — equivalent of about one visit a day. Your extract is one of the most viewed but only a handful of times per week. The part of the site that gets most hits is the file telling Google NOT to index any of the site, which explains the low hit rate on the rest. I had to do this because one person expressly didn’t want his work searchable by Google — and if I’d ignored that wish then, in theory, I might have been able to be sued over copyright (one of the reasons I came to think the whole web site creation was a lot of hassle). Had we had more time then I think we could have taken a majority vote and decided what as a group we wanted to do and allowed anyone to opt out should we have wanted it searchable. I understand people’s wariness about Google indexing their work online but it seems that seems to be the way the world is moving now. This site gets about 50 times as many hits in a day as the City one — and it gets fairly decent rankings in search engine lists (type Penny Rudge, Kirstan Hawkins or Francesca Main into Google and this blog comes up on the first page of the results and it’s on the second page for Judith Murray).

    I’m not sure how much flexibility you have with your blog on Blogspot. There are probably various different layouts and colour schemes you can use but you’re under their control in that way — which is both good and bad. If you set one up yourself you have to find a way of dealing with enormous quantities of spam comments — your blog makes people sign in with a Google account and then type in some obscured letters to prevent this — but that may put off legitimate people from commenting. However, I think yours overall looks fine and it’s updated pretty often so worth visiting regularly.

    Are blogs and twitter increasingly the way forwards then for authors?

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