State Of Play

The situation is in a state of flux. Everything always is, said a friend. Metamorphosing he said. I dislike saying what I am going to do because it might not happen. As Spike Milligan said, I have no plan so nothing can go wrong.

Be that as it may Shinobu has said she can lend me 500 euros towards the publication and printing of my proposed book, which exists in the ether of this computer on which I write. Politics has been described as the art of the possible.

I texted my solicitor, Gus Cullen, asking should I buy an ISBN number for it, which is not a legal requirement. Mainly this book will be sold locally, perhaps through one bookshop and two hotels of a friendly nature, but 50 or so individual people have said they will buy. They need no ISBN, those individuals, of course.

ISBN numbers cost 100 euros plus VAT for one or 250 pounds sterling plus VAT for ten. I may self-publish on Amazon, not the book I am proposing getting printed locally, but a variation of it, of a higher page count. As a POD and also digitally, if I get around to it. I like to keep my options open, but not forever.

I would not have to borrow if I was not broke. There is some kind of Arts department of the local county council which apparently give grants in some circumstances. I spoke with their representative after a poetry reading I gave at Arklow culture night and she said they would give a grant towards the cost of bringing out a book.

A visual artist I know said they are no good, they promise a grant and fail to keep their promise.   My sister, who knows that artist, said that is just him. I said the silly bitch did not have a card. My sister said if I call her that I won’t get any money. I suppose she’s right, my sister.   She sometimes is.   I am trying to avoid being annoyed with the world and all its works and pomps but am having difficulty doing that. Restraint is a virtue at which practice makes perfect.   I’m not there yet.

Maeve Binchy said she does not agree with subsidised art, neither do I. Beggars can’t be choosers. There’s no harm in trying. They can only say no, although I foresee having to jump through many bureaucratic hoops before achieving a result, positive or negative.   Bureaucracy and me are not good friends. A bureaucrat thinks rules are more important than people.

I was never too proud to be on the dole. If the county council come up with the goodies I could return it at a later date. There is always that possibility. Bob Dylan took some time deciding whether to accept the Nobel Prize money. I myself walked to the dole office on foot, not barefoot. Through the snow.

That then is the state of play. Situation normal, all fouled up. A solicitor I worked for said to a client “We will wait until the situation clarifies itself”.   Situations don’t clarify themselves, you have to clarify them.   Or in this case, me.   I must be the clarifier. With help from my friends.

Thanks, Shinobu. Also to others who would blush if I mention their names.   Humility is the greatest virtue. But you know that already.

I will work it out as I go along, crossing my bridges as I come to them. That is my plan. But what did Spike Milligan say? “I’m walking backwards to Christmas”.

And so say all of us.

Tich Ennis

10th August, 2017

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