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  1. #1

    Book promotion.

    I have written letters to the various establishments mentioned in this story asking them to put copies in their guest rooms, what do you think?

    A revised version of this has been added as post no. 13


    Sabre

    West Wales in early Spring is not everybody’s choice, that is one of the reasons I like it. Another is the variety, sometimes the weather is wonderful, banks and corners of fields are filled with snowdrops and daffodils in bright sunshine, others it is awe inspiring, rain passes horizontally and spume flies from breakers as they head towards destruction on the shore.

    I head for Nolton Haven, a long narrow bay of sand on a tiny road. When the tide goes out it is easy to imagine the way it once was, with one of the flat bottomed sailing vessels, that used to serve these tiny coastal communities, beached and discharging its cargo.
    At low tides one can round the point and head South across wide sands to Druidstone, where the hotel boasts a restaurant and bar that combine old world charm and culinary excellence. Returning it is safer to take the cliff top path and enjoy the view, than risk having to scramble over the steep stones at the cliff base if the tide has turned.

    On the North side of the bay there is no exit to seaward, but there is a small area of raised flat land before the cliffs rise to confront the sea. Long ago the local farmer built his stone cowsheds here in a C shape, back to the sea, and his successor has converted these to holiday cottages, where I stay. In the summer the bay becomes crowded with visitors, but in spring the caravan sites back from the beach are still uninhabitable; provided I avoid school holidays I am often the only outsider in the village.

    The solid, stone built, cottages are proof against the weather, and on wild, wet, days I watch the sea from the living room window, or sit up in the mezzanine, bedroom, where it is always a little warmer and the view will not distract me, and I write. When the weather is good I get out, sometimes I walk, sometimes I explore the rock pools for small fish, sometimes I will find an old fertiliser sack and pick up the plastic string and other man-made debris along the high tide line, I have even been known to dam the small stream that flows out across the sands or build sand castles. A lone figure on the sands my elderly eccentricities stand out a bit, but the comments in the local pub are always friendly, being a little out of the usual seems to be normal and accepted around here.

    I did not get the impression that the person staying in the other cottage that year took such a relaxed view. He did not follow any of my childish occupations, nor did he take his car to explore indoor attractions in nearby St. David’s or Haverford West on wet and windy days. A determined walker he and his dog appeared impervious to weather and set out each morning.Tall, dark, and upright, his home life appeared to be governed by brushes. Every morning he swept off the spotless slate slab that made a doorstep to his cottage, then sat on it and polished his boots. Exchanging brushes he meticulously groomed the already magnificent coat of Sabre, his dog, who stood patiently for and to attention, before his master came over to knock on my door.

    He would leave a note with me of where he intended to go. As he explained, the coastal paths could be pretty remote and un-walked at this time of year, ‘If it should get dark and he had not returned could I pass it on to the Coast Guard.’ There was no arguing with the rationality of it, but it was hard to imagine someone less likely to have an accident, or be unable to cope if he did. Still our short chat at the beginning of the day did not really impinge on my jealously guarded solitude.

    Naturally I admired the Sabre, he was of the type I knew as ‘Alsatian’, and I never saw him wearing the lead that his master carried, though he walked perfectly ‘to heel’. It was explained to me that he was, in fact, a Belgian Shepherd, ‘More sensitive and intelligent than the German ones, much more susceptible to training’, and that his master had ‘total control.’ He carried the lead for occasions when he was passing through fields with livestock, ‘not that there was a danger, simply to satisfy potentially irate farmers.’

    My own dogs had always been small mongrels, usually with a fairly high proportion of spaniel and collie in them, far more intelligent than some pure bred, but we had some common ground in that I agreed with him on the importance of good training. I had not even owned a lead for some of them, making do with a piece of old string in places where the regulations insisted on it. However, I doubted the concept of ‘total control’. Even in my shaggy, waggy, disorderly, bundles I still saw wild wolf sometimes, and this animal even looked the part. Still, his owner did not disturb my peace and it was not worth disputing so I did not disturb his.

    A few days later I was returning from ‘The Mariner’s Arms’ where I had been enjoying a pint and a single malt to finish off the day. As I crossed the stream, walking from the pub towards the cottages, I heard the long single whistle that was the call for the dog. I concluded that he had been out for his ‘business’ and returned when my torch flashed up the path and I heard the cottage door close, and decided to continue a short distance up the cliff path. There was some moon, the stars were brighter than they ever were in the city the surf shone phosphorescent at the edge of the tide, and the whiskey had left me in the mood to enjoy the remote and primitive night before retiring.

    I heard the soft, warning growl before I saw him. I turned the torch on him, and for a moment thought he had killed, before the smell reached me and I realised that whatever it was he had been rolling on had been dead for some time.
    “Hello Sabre”
    I said softly. He had finished rolling and backed up, stretching a piece of intestine from the nameless corpse, before he showed me his bottom teeth and repeated the soft growl. It was warning, not threat and I backed away quietly, quite un-afraid, we recognised our shared wolf and parted in mutual respect. I was settling down that I heard the soft whine next door and the cottage door opening and closing.

    In the morning Sabre stood to attention for his morning grooming, slightly fluffier than usual, washing up liquid has that effect. His master came over with his daily itinerary on their way out, neither of us passed comment, other than on the weather.

    “Sabre” is by Oliver Buckle, who is also the author of “A Read for the Train”, to provide a taste of his writing.
    “A Read for the Train” is an eclectic collection of short stories, flash fiction and verse, which may be purchased at
    Self Publishing, Book Printing & eBook Publishing | Lulu.com.
    and read anywhere, including on trains.
    Last edited by Olly Buckle; January 17th, 2012 at 11:39 AM.
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  2. #2
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    Eeek. I read the first paragraph only and then I got out. If the rest of it reads the same, and if I’ve interpreted the promotion angle correctly, I think you may have shot yourself in the foot by sending out un-proofed work. This stuff needs the eye of another going through it, and a joint effort aimed at putting forward the best possible face. With respect, at the moment it seems to not have that. Can you temporarily rescind those requests, with some story about a mistake or something?

    Edit: very quick look at the rest. I stand by my original remark.
    Last edited by The Backward OX; December 24th, 2011 at 11:03 AM.

  3. #3
    I have written, but not dispatched. Any constructive comments are welcomed.
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  4. #4
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    I’ve spent over two hours on this. It’s less than 90 minutes to Xmas Day down here and I’m pooped. Someone else can pick up what I’ve missed. Good luck.



    Sabre

    West Wales in early Spring is not everybody’s choice, that is one of the reasons I like it. Another is the variety, sometimes the weather is wonderful, banks and corners of fields are filled with snowdrops and daffodils in bright sunshine, others it is awe inspiring, rain passes horizontally and spume flies from breakers as they head towards destruction on the shore.


    West Wales in early Spring is not everybody’s choice. That is one of the reasons I like it. Another is the variety in the weather. Sometimes it is wonderful, with bright sunshine spreading over banks and into corners of fields filled with snowdrops and daffodils. At other times it is simply awe-inspiring, with rain passing horizontally and spume flying from breakers that head towards destruction on the shore.


    I head for Nolton Haven, a long narrow bay of sand on a tiny road.
    A bay on a road? You can do better than that. When the tide goes out it is easy to imagine the way it once was, with one of the flat bottomed sailing vessels, that used to serve these tiny coastal communities, beached and discharging its cargo.
    At low tides one can round the point and head South across wide sands to Druidstone, where the hotel boasts a restaurant and bar that combine old world charm and culinary excellence. Returning it is safer to take the cliff top path and enjoy the view, than risk having to scramble over the steep stones at the cliff base if the tide has turned.



    I head for Nolton Haven, a long narrow bay of sand lying to the South-West of a tiny road. When the tide goes out it is easy to imagine the way it once was, with one of the flat bottomed sailing vessels that used to serve these tiny coastal communities beached and discharging its cargo. Note absence of commas.

    At low
    tide one can round the point and head South across wide sands to Druidstone, where the hotel boasts a restaurant and bar that combine old world charm and culinary excellence. Returning, it is safer to take the cliff top path and enjoy the view than risk having to scramble over the steep stones at the cliff base if the tide has turned.

    On the North side of the bay there is no seaward exit; instead there is a small area of raised flat land before the cliffs rise to confront the sea. Long ago a local farmer built his stone cowsheds here in a C shape, backs to the sea,
    Are you sure? The satellite picture tells a different story and his successor has converted these to holiday cottages, where I stay. In the summer the bay becomes crowded with visitors, but in spring the caravan sites back from the beach are still uninhabitable; provided I avoid school holidays I am often the only outsider in the village.

    The solid, stone built cottages are proof against the weather, and on wild, wet days I watch the sea from the living room window, or sit up in the mezzanine bedroom, where it is always a little warmer and the view will not distract me, and I write.This sentence is far too long, besides being architecturally incorrect, and needs to be broken up. When the weather is good I get out, sometimes I walk, sometimes I explore the rock pools for small fish, sometimes I will find an old fertiliser sack and pick up the plastic string and other man-made debris along the high tide line, I have even been known to dam the small stream that flows out across the sands or build sand castles. A lone figure on the sands my elderly eccentricities stand out a bit, but the comments in the local pub are always friendly, being a little out of the usual seems to be normal and accepted around here.

    The solid, stone built cottages are proof against the weather. On wild, wet days I watch the sea from the living room window, or sit up in the mezzanine bedroom, where it is always a little warmer. Here, there is no view to distract me, and I write. When the weather is good I get out; sometimes I walk, sometimes I explore the rock pools for small fish, sometimes I find an old fertiliser sack and pick up the plastic string and other man-made debris along the high tide line. I have even been known to dam the small stream that flows out across the sands, or build sand castles. As a lone figure on the sands, my elderly eccentricities stand out a bit, although the comments in the local pub are always friendly. Being a little unusual seems to be normal and accepted around here.


    I did not get the impression that the person staying in the other cottage that year
    took such a relaxed view. He did not follow any of my childish occupations, nor did he take his car to explore indoor attractions Eh? How does one get a car indoors?in nearby St. David’s or Haverford West on wet and windy days. A determined walker he and his dog appeared impervious to weather and set out each morning. A determined walker comma apparently impervious to weather, he and his dog set out each morning. Tall, dark, and upright, his home life appeared to be governed by brushes. Every morning he swept off the spotless slate slab that made a doorstep to his cottage, then sat on it and polished his boots. Changing brushes he meticulously groomed the already magnificent coat of Sabre, his dog, who stood patiently for and to attention, I know what you’re saying here, but it’s an absolutely dreadful way of saying it before his master came over to knock on my door.
    He groomed, his master – wrong!


    He would leave a note with me
    detailing where he intended to go. As he explained, the coastal paths could be pretty remote and un-walked at this time of year,surely they're always remote? ‘If it should get dark and I have not returned, could you pass it on to the Coast Guard?’ If you want to use quotes, indicating it’s him talking, these changes are essential There was no arguing with the rationality of it, but it was hard to imagine someone less likely to have an accident, or be unable to cope if he did. Still, Don’t understand the rationale behind “Still”. There’s been no previous mention of anything about jealously-guarded solitude our short chat at the beginning of the day did not really impinge on my jealously-guarded solitude.

    Naturally?? I admired the?? Sabre. He was of unnecessary
    the type I knew as ‘Alsatian’, and I never saw him wearing the lead that his master carried, though he walked perfectly ‘to heel’. It was explained to me that he was, in fact, a Belgian Shepherd, ‘More sensitive and intelligent than the German ones, much more susceptible to training’, and that his master had ‘total control.’ He carried the lead for occasions when he was passing through fields with livestock, ‘not that there was a danger, simply to satisfy potentially irate farmers.’

    My own dogs had always been small mongrels, usually with a fairly high proportion of spaniel and collie in them, far more intelligent than some pure bred, but we had some common ground in that I agreed with him on the importance of good training. I had not even owned a lead for some of them, making do with a piece of old string in places where the regulations insisted on it. However, I doubted the concept of ‘total control’. Even in my shaggy, waggy, disorderly, bundles I still saw
    wild unnecessary
    wolf sometimes, and this animal even looked the part. Still, his owner did not disturb my peace and it was not worth disputing so I did not disturb his.

    A few days later I was returning from ‘The Mariner’s Arms’ where I had been enjoying a pint and a single malt to finish off the day. As I crossed the stream, walking from the pub towards the cottages, I heard the long single whistle that was the call for the dog. I concluded that he had been out for his ‘business’ and returned when
    my torch flashed up the path and I heard the cottage door close, How are these two things related? and decided to continue a short distance up the cliff path. And how is this related to the two previous items? There was some moon, the stars were brighter than they ever were in the city comma
    the surf shone phosphorescent at the edge of the tide, and the whiskey had left me in the mood to enjoy the remote and primitive night before retiring.

    I heard the soft, warning growl before I saw him. I turned the torch on him, and for a moment thought he had killed, before the smell reached me and I realised that whatever it was he had been rolling on had been dead for some time.
    “Hello Sabre”
    formatting needed

    I said softly. He had finished rolling and backed up, stretching a piece of intestine from the nameless corpse, before he showed me his bottom teeth and repeated the soft growl. It was
    warning, not threat these two words are sufficiently close in meaning that one of them needs to be changed and I backed away quietly, quite un-afraid, unafraid we recognised our shared wolf and parted in mutual respect. I was settling down that when I heard the soft whine next door and the cottage door opening and closing.

    In the morning Sabre stood to attention for his morning grooming, slightly fluffier than usual, washing up liquid has that effect. His master came over with his daily itinerary on their way out, neither of us passed comment, other than on the weather.

    “Sabre” is by Oliver Buckle, who is also the author of “A Read for the Train”, to provide a taste of his writing.
    “A Read for the Train” is an eclectic collection of short stories, flash fiction and verse, which may be purchased at
    Last edited by The Backward OX; December 24th, 2011 at 11:06 PM. Reason: Removed a crit after realising I was wrong

  5. #5
    Thank you for that, some very good points there. I shall probably be well occupied for a day or two, what with in laws Boxing Day, but I shall pay it good attention when I re-write after Christmas.
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  6. #6
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    I wanted to sleep in, to catch up on the late night. However, some of your stuff got into my head and that was the end of that bright idea.

    This sentence in particular is sufficiently “interesting” for me to go into more detail than I did previously:

    “Exchanging brushes he meticulously groomed the already magnificent coat of Sabre, his dog, who stood patiently for and to attention, before his master came over to knock on my door.”

    The first half, with “he groomed”, is written from the POV of the man. The second half, with “his master”, is written from the POV of the dog. Mid-sentence changes in POV – even mid-paragraph or mid-scene changes - are just not on. Errors like that are so fundamental as to be expected from a kid with his first pencil, not from someone like you.

    The underlying point is that if you wish to have readers holidaying in West Wales saying what a good writer this Buckle chap is, and telling others, then everything, and I mean everything, needs to be spot on before it gets out of the starting box.

    Edit:

    (Sorry, I didn’t notice this previously)

    The first five paragraphs are present tense. The remainder is past tense. I question whether this is a good thing.

    Edit:

    And something else’s been bothering me about it. What you’ve written, to me is part travelogue, part man and dog story. What could be an excellent piece on West Wales has been dragged down by the man and his dog. If it were me, I think I’d write two separate and expanded pieces, use man and dog elsewhere, and send only the travelogue to the establishments mentioned.

  7. #7
    The first five paragraphs are present tense. The remainder is past tense. I question whether this is a good thing.
    To me it seems right, the first part is setting the scene, a scene which has always been and will always be there, I would call that the habitual present.
    Then I get particular, and site it in the past.
    I did not get the impression that the person staying in the other cottage that year took such a relaxed view
    So I switch to the past.
    I see little point in providing the travelogue bit to people staying on the scene. They must have some reason for coming and there are already leaflets and maps provided of local attractions and walks. The idea is to give the story an immediacy and relevance for the readers and to give the proprietors reason to leave it out for their guests, remember I am not really writing a story but an advertising leaflet. The 'dogs are wolves' story came first by the way.

    I don't understand the POV thing, to me the entire thing is seen through the eyes of the narrator who looks first at the man and then at the dog, admittedly the dog standing 'for' attention is a subjective evaluation on the narrator's part, but people make them all the time and it seems a relatively valid one.

    I see what you mean about the commas, I think I will try re-phrasing it as well

    'At low tides' is giving me a problem, originally it was 'Around neap tides' but I wanted to chop the first bit down some, and still do it is distracting, so you see it is 'tides' because it is not all of them, maybe 'the lowest tides', neap might be a bit too unusual as well.
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  8. #8
    By the way, I am very grateful for all suggestions, but what I really meant was what do you think of the idea of using my writing ability to advertise the book?

    Thing is I am really not in physical condition to get out there pushing it, and I am very chary of spending my meagre income on providing copies to people who may or may not read it, let alone review it. On the other hand It is a bit much asking people to buy a self published book by someone they have never heard of, so I thought it a way of providing them with a sample of my writing.
    I am now trying to think of other places where I can situate a story and people have time to read it, ladies hairdressers for example.
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  9. #9
    Honoured/Sadly Missed The Backward OX's Avatar
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    If, in any story, one comes across words indicating that a man groomed a dog, then that particular part of the writing is from the man’s point of view.

    If, in any story, one comes across words indicating that a dog’s master went anywhere at all and did anything at all, then that particular part of the writing is from the dog’s point of view.

    The fact that in this story they occur in the one sentence is an irrelevancy as far as POV is concerned.

    I am now trying to think of other places where I can situate a story and people have time to read it, ladies hairdressers for example.
    Down the labour exchange; in any phone booth used exclusively to connect to any govt dept, bank or public institution; or in any home where one is waiting for a plumber or electrician to arrive.




    “Sabre” is by Oliver Buckle, who is also the author of “A Read for the Train”, to provide a taste of his writing.

    You’re always promoting the idea of “things that go together.”

    Try this: “Sabre”, by Oliver Buckle, provides a taste of his writing. He is also the author of “A Read for the Train,” etc etc.





    Last edited by The Backward OX; December 28th, 2011 at 03:33 AM. Reason: Housework

  10. #10
    Member Rustgold's Avatar
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    Just one very quick comment. As Ox seems to have noticed, if you're writing about real places and want them to help promote the work with copies in their guest rooms, then being more descriptive of the places would be beneficial.
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