Most writers probably feel the same way about the lockdown situation we’re currently suffering. The degree to which this pandemic is affecting you will vary, but it hasn’t really changed the way a writer operates day to day.

For the past seven years I’ve intermittently shut myself in isolation for five or six hours a day – only emerging for food and an encouraging hug from my wife.

All we can do is hope and pray we come out on the other side of this sooner rather than later.

I learned how to video call my grandsons the other day. They wanted to SEE that we were still OK, despite reassurances from son and daughter-in-law that we were fine.

I wish I was more technically proficient. Maybe, I could use some wizard app that allowed me to chat with each one of you – to check for myself that you were OK.

So, what’s been happening since my last Newsletter?

Book #4 ‘Deadly Formula’ in the Freeman Files Series was published last week. Some of you may already have it. If you want to read and review it then just let me know and I’ll gladly forward a .mobi copy.

I started writing #5 ‘Final Deal’ straight away. The sooner I can add to the list the better. Day One of the BookBub Featured Deal exceeded all expectations yesterday. There were 20% more copies downloaded than forecast, and Day Two is only just underway.

I guess with so many people forced to stay home there’s going to be a surge in demand for free books. It’s an ill wind, as they say. I don’t want to take advantage of that without giving something in return.

One thing my wife and I have noticed when we venture out for our one ‘exercise trip’ per day, is that despite crossing the road to avoid passing close to one another almost everyone we see says ‘Hello.’ Before Covid-19 we could walk miles, and nobody lifted their heads. I hope this phenomenon is something that lingers long after restrictions are lifted.

I ran a weekly quiz night for over eleven years, and I retained almost all the items I used. So, every day I now post a #tedsbittohelp item on Facebook & Twitter. Every Tuesday, I intend to include an idea for a family game – based on things we did when I was a lad.

Some of you might know this already, but I had 2 aunts who were schoolteachers. When we visited them my cousins and I played a game called Animal, Vegetable & Mineral. We’d sit around the large farmhouse table in the kitchen with an oil lamp in the centre – it was ten years before electricity came to their village. When we weren’t creating animal shadows on the whitewashed walls with our fingers, we struggled to find answers for a letter of the alphabet not just for Animal, Vegetable or Mineral but ten or fifteen other categories too. My Aunt Margaret told me when I was older that it was designed to stretch vocabulary, improve spelling and encourage competition. We thought it was just a game!

So, games like that are being posted as Ted’s Tuesday Tips – in the hope it will offer a solution to a beleaguered parent or carer, who’s run out of ideas on how to fill the hours.

Every little helps, and helping one another is a surefire way to get through this.

I’ll be back with an update in May. Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler

Categories: The Long Hard Road