Tag Archives: blogger

Armchair tourist

Hi, my name is Andrew and I’ve been a TV addict for 33 years.
teacher, mother, secret lover
Television is, for me, the single greatest invention of the last hundred years. I know we have cured diseases, travelled the world, travelled the stars, built communication networks and seen the birth of the computer. I’m not saying that all of these are not important, it’s just that they’re not TV. Television allows me to do all of these things vicariously, and for that I love it.
I love the fact that I can trek through the stars, I can enter a courtroom, I can see into the past and can even get to know the people I admire better. What TV does best though is allow me the opportunity to travel the world. I don’t mean documentaries or travel shows, I’m talking about something much more fun. American crime drama. Here’s my top 5 wish list of crime capitals as portrayed on TV.
las vegas strip csi
1) CSI Vegas. I used to watch all the CSI series, now I don’t watch any. Actually that’s not true, I have recently started to watch the first few series on re-runs, only the Vegas one though. So enamoured were myself and the wife with it that we decided to go. The casinos on the strip, the desert, the odd people who live there and the allure of the tables. I had visions of strolling from casino to casino, losing a fortune and looking like a rockstar in the process. The reality was so much better and so much worse in equal measure. The downside was the fact that it takes 20 minutes to find your way out of a casino let alone get to the next one (at least another 30 minutes). Playing at the tables was really intimidating, like being a kid at the adults table, it was serious stuff. The upsides were as follows 1) You got free drinks, even if you were only playing on the slots. 2) Our room (booked by my lovely wife) was bigger than our flat and had a TV in the bathroom. 3) The shows were amazing. We saw Elvis, MJ, Madonna and old blue eyes in the same show. 4) The all you could eat breakfast spread spanned the length of a couple of buses. 5) It was so weird it was like being on a different planet. If you’ve been you know, if not you should. Blimey, that was lengthy. Maybe I should make it a top 3.
Jed Bartlett for president
2) The West Wing. What a show. Smart, funny, satirical and smart. It showed you what life would be like as the leader of a superpower and what goes into it. It’s one of those shows that disproves the myth (perpetrated by Brits) that the people of the USA are stupid fatties. I would love to visit the white house, do the tour and make the famous pose in the oval office. The last part is less likely but never say never.
get your white t's here
3) The Wire. Possibly the best show ever. This show though made me realise I didn’t want to go to Baltimore. I’m quite happy watching it through the screen. The grit, the despondency and the ease of which drug and gang culture can swallow you whole. I am sure that it has some very nice parts and would make a great holiday destination. The reality though, I would imagine, is that it has done more in deterring tourism than promoting it.
The nearly made it list…
Sex and the City. Not my cup of tea really but instrumental in our (mainly the wife’s) honeymoon choice. A winter wedding with a weeks honeymoon equalled New York. And yes, we did the tour. It showed off New York beautifully and led to us seeing parts that we might never have thought of.
sex and the city bus
NCIS:LA. I would love to visit LA. The beaches, the bars and the beauty. The strange thing is that I never watched the original NCIS series but the new one really appealed to me. I think the perfect holiday would be being shown around LA by LL CoolJ. All the best sites and you’d never get mugged.
mama said knock you out
A bit of a bucket list? You bet. I have a dream of retirement (many years in the future) where the wife and I can tour every state in America. Maybe staying in swanky hotels, maybe in an RV or maybe just sitting at home all day watching old re-runs of our favourite shows with a nice cup of tea.
Enjoy your weekend.
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How to get published

I am now the proud author of 5 published books. It’s quite amazing really. I have been asked by many of my friends how it all came about, how I got published. Did I send of my manuscripts to hundreds of agencies? Did I go, cap in hand, to publishing houses and alike? The simple answer is no. The simple answer is that I wasn’t really looking to get published at all.

I wrote the original Squidge book for a wedding, my wedding in fact. I decided that the kids at the wedding should have something to take away with them. The name of the elf was my affectionate name for my wife. I wrote the story, printed it on a standard printer, nicked loads of images from a royalty free website and laminated the front cover. As far as I was concerned, that was the end of it. I got married (December 2008) and the book was left on my computer.

Fast forward 2 years. I have new baby boy, and I hadn’t thought about Squidge in many months. I met another new father (our wives had met through a push chair exercise class. Seriously). He mentioned that he was branching out into publishing and my wife, not me as my memory is sieve like, mentioned I had written a book. He said he would take a look, I emailed it over and the following things happened…

1) my publisher sent it to the editor, she gave it the thumbs up.

2) the editor found many, many, many punctuation errors and typos. She suggested some small, and very good changes, I agreed and sent it back with my my very own thumbs up.

3) we got an illustrator involved. He sent me the first draft of Squidge (which, he won’t mind me saying, I wasn’t keen on), I sent off a descriptive paragraph, he tweaked it and Squidge had a face. And A very cute one at that.

4) the book was digitally put together. This is the bit I have no idea about. I know what an editor does and how they do it, same with an illustrator. The digital side is a mystery to me. It looked awesome though.

5) the book was released. Kinda says it all really.

And there you go. Maybe not the nuggets of info you were expecting but it does go to show that it can happen any place, any time.

As an aside we decided to put together an education pack and free fun downloads. All here www.squidgeelf.com

I really enjoy writing (both blog and books) and hope that people continue to care enough to read them.

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