Hello to all you fellow motorhomers and welcome.
I hope you get as much fun reading this as I do writing it.

Tuesday, 27 December 2016


Somehow when I am at home and especially now over the Christmas period, though I take the dog out regularly each day, often meeting up with her friends, going for really long walks with her, tramping over the countryside and clambering over stiles, is not a regular occurrence. There seems to be so many calls on my time, being out and about and enjoying the countryside gets pushed way down the list of priorities.

There are some lovely walks around here.  I do remember going on several, after Ruby died, with only Amber.  Somehow these  long quiet walks with just me gave Amber a serene contentment which in turn enhanced my enjoyment and made the memory of these walks special.
I so wanted to have a photograph of Amber
and me walking the countryside. I found this very difficult. On one of our outings in the van I stumbled across a man taking macro photos (photographs of insects and other small things.) Anyway I asked him to take a photograph of us. Little did I realize this would be the only one I would have of Amber and me. It is not the best photograph but it has a special poignancy for me.

During my expedition to Luxembourg and Switzerland with Pearl this summer (2016) we, or rather I, managed to do several mountain walks. It was just "fab-u-lous" as a certain TV celebrity would say,  Since then I have wanted to do regular long walks.

I thought the ideal would be putting aside one day every month or so for a new and different walk locally. Well over this holiday period I have managed not one but two extended walks.  The first was delivering Christmas cards in the surrounding area. It was a lovely sunny day so I meandered about ending up at our local shopping complex.  In the short time since my excursion to Switzerland I have become unfit as this gentle amble exhausted me. Time to reinstate my daily fitness workout in preparation for the summer jaunts.
The second walk was the usual Boxing Day outing to the pub in the next village. This time I was accompanied by a friend. On the way across the fields we saw a group of men clay pigeon shooting. It was just as well I was wearing my hi-vis jacket. The pub was full of people and dogs. Very lively.  We had a couple of drinks and then took the shortest route home along the bridle path. Then we had some food.  A wonderful day and the weather was bright though the dog did get dirty as the ground was soggy.

Saturday, 17 December 2016

Writing Articles

The  photograph shows me with the book I have written  title "My Friend Ruby".  It is about my dog  Ruby and how she changed my life.  With me in the photograph is Pearl who is Ruby's great grand daughter.

This is not the only writing I have done recently. I have just completed a series of monthly articles published in MMM (Motorhome Monthly Magazine) called "Wonderful Walks which ran during 2016. These articles gave detailed instructions of 2 walks starting right from the campsite. Writing to the strict specifications of the magazine was difficult but extremely rewarding.

From the outset before I even did my research there was a list of criteria.

  • The campsites had to be all over the UK; - 2 in Scotland, Wales, North West,and the South West. The remaining 5 could be anywhere else.
  • I had to use some Premier campsites as they are linked to the magazine.
  • There were to be two walks from each campsite;- a short one of abut 5 miles and a long one of about 8 miles.
  • Each campsite and the 2 walks from it  had to have an introduction of about 600 words to encourage the readers visit and possibly do the walks.
2015 was spent going to the campsites and researching the information for the articles. Several of the sites I already knew and had an idea of the walks. Some were entirely new to me. I had many adventures and sometimes I had to go back to the campsite to adjust the information. I really enjoyed going to the different campsites and doing the walks. 

Collating everything to send to the editor was far more complicated and time consuming than I had imagined. The first article took ages and several attempts before it was accepted. After a couple of months I had a template and found it easier and quicker to prepare everything. 

I would like to do more of this.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Writing my Book

I restarted this blog as a result of the success of my writing efforts over the past months.

My first achievement I mentioned in the previous post the writing of my book "My Friend  Ruby". It has been an enormous learning curve. The actual writing of the book was in fact the easy part. All the problems came afterwards.

The first problem was getting the manuscript published.  The normal procedure is to find an agent who then presents the manuscript to various publishers. Hopefully one of these publishers will agree to publish the manuscript.  This can take a long time, sometimes years (This is what happened with J K Rowling. It was several years before her agent found a publisher willing to actually print and distribute her first book).

I did not want to go down this route as I was unwilling to wait years to see my manuscript become a book.  Also it was highly probable the manuscript would never make it into print as it is a very niche genre.

In this technological age there is now another option for authors.  That is for them to "self publish", which as the name implies is when author turns their manuscripts into a book. Of course this means they also take on all the financial costs.

This was my second problem. I knew nothing about the self-publishing industry. Although I was publishing the book myself I still wanted it to look professional. Anyway to cut a long story short (if I can!!) after researching on the internet, attending various courses and conferences I finally decided to use Silverwood Books to help me through the process. http://www.silverwoodbooks.co.uk/
SilverWood Books

The deciding factor in choosing this company over all the others;- they are based in Bristol. If I ever had the need to actually see them face to face I don't have far to go.
They have been fantastic and the book looks fabulous.                      

My third problem is probably the biggest.  Because I have self published it I am therefore responsible for marketing it. This is not especially difficult, it is soooooo time consuming. There is the need to increase my presence on the internet; get the book noticed by booksellers both real and in the cloud; find a way to get my book distributed etc.

The real dilemma of the whole marketing system for self publishers is

  1. Do you want to sell your books?
  2. Do you want a decent return on your financial investment.
If the self published author sells a books they keep the whole amount.
If a bookseller sells it ,the author only gets royalty which is only a fraction of the charge possibly if they are lucky £1.00.
If the book is sold through Amazon the royalty can be as little as 1p.

Amazon may be popular for the buyers but it is dreadful for authors.  Please consider this the next time you are thinking of buying a book. 

Instead can you buy it through the website of the author or directly through the website of a bookseller or even can you pop down to your local independent book shop to purchase it.  You may see something else that you are tempted to buy. If we stop using our book shops and libraries they will all disappear then we will have even less choice

You can buy my book from my website www.annachelmicka.me.  
It is dearer than Amazon BUT no postage makes it cheaper!!!!!!!!