The margins are coming for you in Paper Back.

Bartering in the USSR (Moscow)

Bartering in the USSR (Moscow)

We all knew this. The best way to learn to ride a bike is on an old one. I did on my mother’s bike more than seventy years ago. It did not have the crossbar which made hopping on easier. On my dad’s old bike I used to put one of my legs through the opening below the cross bar and managed to ride it that way. The bike would be ridden all askew at an angle because most of the body-weight was on one side of the bike. So did all of my friends. I don’t think there were even children’s bicycles available in those days. We all rode large bikes just standing up and in all sorts of manners.

I notice now that many kids drive cars to high school near where we live. There is a procession of cars with P plates driving to and from school each day. Jeez, do my grandkids expect a car in a couple of years? Even the smaller children are being driven to school at primary level as well. Huge SUVs, often coloured menacingly black queue up. The little ones, almost level with the bull-bar are scurrying to school. The mum or dad wave a bit nervously, and drive off. Many, as a matter of fashion, also combine all the manoeuvring of car and kids holding a carton beaker or cup which probably holds a coffee, obtained somewhere before, most likely perhaps pre-ordered on the mobile phone by text or other electronic messaging.

We live in a fairly small town, and where previously the foot was used as the main form of moving from a-b, now it has to be the car. If economic rationalism has at its heart a refusal to spend money on the unnecessary, who or what is now the determinant factor? Who decides? Should the customer be abolished? At the moment we must spend rather than save. Spending thousands to drive kids with legs to schools seem to be as irrational as anything.

I will just go on with my words. I am much relieved my paper back version of Almost There is also almost there. I had a heck of a time with formatting and checking the proofs. Consider yourself lucky I am still here. Boy, have I got a lot of Word files now. Next time it will be easier. The CreateSpace (Amazon) have an excellent way of helping the self-publisher with a most responsive web-site, guiding one along.

I even managed to survive the US Taxation jungle; I am now holding a “Certificate of Status of Beneficial Owner for United States Tax Withholding and Reporting (Entities).”

Almost There; ‘Fragments of a restless life.’ It sure is.

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26 Responses to “The margins are coming for you in Paper Back.”

  1. Carrie Rubin Says:

    I rarely got a ride to school when I was young. Rain, snow, or shine, it didn’t matter. My feet took me. Seems we have gotten soft in this regard.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I even walked to kindergarten. My mum was too busy with the other children in the family. We looked after each other. Now, children are getting obese and increasingly need even bigger cars to be driven around in. You wonder if legs will eventually disappear or become smaller.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. nonsmokingladybug Says:

    What is your book about if I may ask?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      You sure may,

      “If life is a journey, this Author’s search for the purpose of it started 3am at his birth in Holland on the 7th of August 1940. World War 2 was in full swing. Some 15 years later his parents with their children followed the huge European exodus by boat to a distant sun-drenched Australia.
      After a difficult adjustment there, he questioned if the migrant’s dream of own home on a forlorn suburban lot was inspiring enough.
      The outrageous seduction by his voluminous Maltese landlady while watching Bonanza on the b/w TV might well have been the spark that ignited future creativity.
      After his tumultuous early adulthood had settled, he found his future wife in arctic Finland. She helped him carve out a niche in his many artistic endeavors. Soon, three children came about followed by a fantastic vasectomy. This book is about hope, survival, and the overcoming of all.
      Through many delightful vignettes, this memoire gives a humorous account of a life well lived.”

      Liked by 3 people

  3. petspeopleandlife Says:

    I like the title of your book. It’s a “catchy title. I’m glad it’ll be available in the states. People take and pick up their kids where I live too. Folks are afraid to allow their children to walk for fear they will be abducted and some don’t want their kiddos riding the bus because it seems some of the drivers don’t pay attention to the speed limit. The school board and the police just turn a deaf ear or rather a blind eye.

    I drive my children to school until they each had an old car by the time they were juniors. My husband and I had huge arguments about me not allowing them to walk to school.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Thank you, Ivonne.
      In another week or so both eBook and paperback editions should be available of ‘Almost There, fragments of a restless life.’
      I am happy to say my grandkids all walk and take trains to school. They carry enormous backpacks as well, and resemble Sherpas on the way to the top of Mount Everest.
      I don’t think that in Australia, schools ever heard of lockers.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. kaytisweetlandrasmussen83 Says:

    My feet were my mode of transportation throughout childhood and early marriage. Interesting now that they have betrayed me. I’m happy there are always alternative ways to get around. Through the years I have watched those cars pull up in front of schools to let off or pick up the little darlings. They are cheating them of time to see the world around them, and make of it what they will. I did my best thinking on the way to school.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, and the adventures we got up to on our walks to and from schools. Mind you, throwing thistle-seed heads on unsuspecting adult’s winter coats was one of the least of our ‘past-times.’
      It is truly amazing that no matter how many of those thistle heads landed on the back of their coats, they kept on walking totally unaware of nature’s adornments

      Liked by 1 person

  5. elizabeth2560 Says:

    I agree that children get driven around too much, although as a mother, it was fear of ‘stranger danger’ that prompted me in that pursuit.
    I am so glad you are doing a paperback version of your book. Just curious, how does the US tax system work in regards to your book?

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, but stranger danger is also much blown up by the media with instant graphic reporting.
      I filled in lots of forms and supplied my own Australian TF number to the US Taxation department. I pay 5% tax in the US on any royalties received on any paper back books sold. I think, but I might be wrong, I pay no US Tax on the e-Book version.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Dorothy brett Says:

    Hi Gerard you will be pleased to hear that children in Den Hague, Netherlands cycle to school in gangs, on properly designated cycle paths. My Grandson cycles 11 kilometres each way to school. In the worst winter weather the children are driven, but their father cycles to work most days in all weathers.
    But im with the other parents who hover and deliver by car to places.
    Dorothy

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Hello Dorothy.
      Of course they go and ride their bikes to school. I am so happy to read that Holland has the safest record on cycling even though no one, or hardly anyone wears helmets.

      The driving of kids to schools is silly. Guilt by parents is ramped up by the media who sells their rubbish papers by sensationalising ‘stranger danger.’ It sell copies!

      The statistics shows clearly kids are less in danger now than ever before.

      The biggest danger to kids is obesity and resulting diabetes, heart disease and many other health problems through lack of exercise.

      Like

    • Big M Says:

      I work with a Dutchman who used to cycle in spring/summer, and skate in winter. The challenge was to avoid breaking through the thin ice then incurring the wrath of mum. We always walked here in Australia. The car was reserved for important trips like driving dad to work, or the weekly shopping.

      People today are horrified that we still walk to and from work. “Can’t you afford a second car??”

      Like

  7. Julia Lund Says:

    It seems that everyone is always in such a rush, and The faster we get things done, the more things we can do. Multi-tasking is admired, aspired to. But I fear we lose a lot along the way, the art of being and noticing and just living without always doing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Julia. And rushing about is so fatal. It is best to take things easy. I can’t multi task, hardly capable of single task. I am now learning to put my socks and underwear inside the laundry basket instead of on top. It has taken this almost sixty years! Incredible.
      I like your last bit about ‘just living without always doing.’

      Liked by 2 people

      • Julia Lund Says:

        I’ve been learning this the hard way, with health forcing me to change pace. I could become quite evangelical about the dangers of too much poor quality living.

        Like

  8. Forestwoodfolkart Says:

    I was once of those negligent parents that encouraged my kids to ride to school, sometimes with friends and sometimes amidst ridicule!! Then high school came and it was time to catch public transport with the cool kids. Shame it is too hilly around here otherwise I would be biking more!! Well done on the US tax thingy. I too had to navigate that, but seeing my paltry amounts of US money being sent off to the US IRS was enough to spur me to navigate the tortuous system set up. Glad it is done!

    Like

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes,
      Forget about margins and formatting. The US taxation laws and requirements were a hurdle I almost gave up upon. Direct payments into Australia were possible on the eBook sales but for some unfathomable reason could not be done on the sales of paperbacks.

      It will now be done after royalties reach over one hundred dollars and paid for by cheque.

      I reached the state of making a potato and leeks bake. It is the only way to overcome despair. It works each time and is terrific therapy..

      Liked by 1 person

  9. stuartbramhall Says:

    Here in New Plymouth, our local bike advocacy group uses a government grant to train local school children in bicycle skills and to help schools develop rewards program for kids who bike to school. The trend of reliance on cars can be reversed but it takes organizing.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, NZ seems to have a social conscience that has evaporated here in Australia. Another refugee has set herself on fire at Nauru Island. The second within a week. NZ has offered to take several hundred but is not allowed by Australia as it would make it possible for the refugees to reach Australia by giving ‘a back door entry.’
      How an arse-hole country such as Australia could ever have fallen that low.?

      Like

  10. shoreacres Says:

    Well, all the blame doesn’t rest on the kids and parents when it comes to transportation to school. In many districts in this country, if you allow your child to walk to school, you will be arrested. Period.

    The bureaucrats who desire to control every aspect of life, and the helicopter parents who are so fearful they barely can go outdoors themselves, have contributed. The kids riding or being driven to school are a symptom of a larger problem. How we reverse any of this, I’m not sure. Sometimes I think about it, and sometimes I don’t. It depends on how masochistic I’m feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      I would be fearful too. Many Americans have guns and are allowed to own them openly. The horror of knowing people who, foes and friends alike, all might have guns would keep me cowing inside as well. Suppose someone has a bad hair day and you might say something that upsets them? Will they just snarl back or is there a chance they will pull a gun out of their wardrobe and shoot you instead? Many do.

      Like

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