Astray On The Bike During A Busy Weekend

‘Interesting title,’ you may be asking yourself, ‘but what on earth does he mean?’

Well for one I was busy moving the website over to a new service provider. In fact make that two websites! [SHOCK HORROR – He used an exclamation mark – more on that later]. A few years ago I purchased and set up the original website alistairlangston.co.uk – it served its purpose and I felt was quite a well designed website even if I do say so myself! [EXCLAMATION MARK]. The only downside was that I was restricted with how much I could do to the site. To cut a long story short I subsequently purchased the alistairlangston.com domain with improved web hosting. This subsequently led to the website that you are now viewing. However there was a downside due to the limitations of the the original alistairlangston.co.uk site I as unable to point it to the new website or for that matter duplicate the new website on the.co.uk site and the host of the .com website would not let me transfer an existing .co.uk domain over to them. For non-techies stay with me after all we still have to discuss the exclamation marks I was left with two very differently designed websites. Last week I decided I had to resolve the issue and find a way of merging the two websites into one. After a some lengthy time spent googling I found a company that could not only cater for my hosting requirements but also let me transfer the .co.uk site over to them. I quickly signed up and after a couple of days resolving me initial technical issues I was able to rebuild the website on the new server accessible by whichever link you may choose to access it.

This naturally took care of Friday evening and pretty much all day Saturday. I say pretty much because I spent an hour fixing a new saddle to my bike and give a good check over with the intention of taking it out for a short ride on Sunday. The first ride since I broke my wrist back in January! [yep there’s another of those damned exclamation marks]. And that is precisely what I did… well almost. You see once I was on the bike (and just in case anyone is in any doubt we are taking bicycle here as opposed to motorbike) I just get pedalling. Much of the outward journey was spent on a cycle path that followed the route of a former Victorian railway line; though open countryside and past Scottish villages. It was a breath of fresh air, quite literally, and after a couple of hours I reached the town of Greenock and was sat on the waterfront looking out over the Clyde estuary. The only problem was there had been quite a long and steep descent into Greenock and as it was my first trip out on the bike in five months I didn’t fancy going back up it. Instead I took a detour along the a coastal path before I had to double back and return to the road. Rather than stay on the busier A road I turned off at the first opportunity and headed down a quieter B road. Quieter it may have been but flat it certainty wasn’t and the next few hours were spent at snails pace as I headed back home. My legs were certainly aching through a lack of recent cycling though it has to be said that the new Brooks leather saddle certainly lived up to its name and did not require a surgical procedure to have it removed from my rectum at the end of the journey! [Yippee another exclamation mark]. Late afternoon was spent recovering from the unexpected expedition and sleep came early Sunday night.

You’re bored now aren’t you? I know. You’re only reading on to find out about the explanation marks!!!!!!!

Before I go on perhaps we should take a look at what we use exclamation marks for. The well known online encyclopedia, Wikipedia, states ‘A sentence ending in an exclamation mark is an actual exclamation (“Wow!”, “Boo!”), the imperative mood (“Stop!”), or intended to be astonishing or show astonishment: “They were the footprints of a gigantic hound!” Exclamation points can also be placed mid-sentence with a function similar to a comma: “On the walk, oh! there was a frightful noise.” Casually, exclamation marks may be repeated for additional emphasis (“That’s great!!!”)…’

So what’s this all about? Well it seems I used too many of them in my novella Damon. Yes okay perhaps a total of 161 exclamation marks anongst 30,000 words could be thought to be a little excessive by some people but its certainly not used every other line as described by a reviewer going by the name of Meghann on Amazon.com . To be honest I’m surprised that she even thought to leave a review because she obviously didn’t like the story and certainly didn’t ‘get it.’  As for my reading of decent or mediocre fiction … well I currently have over a thousand books around me at the moment and I have read every single one as well as books from the library and a large collection of ebooks.  I guess the one star was probably because one of the characters is named Megan though I’m surprised she didn’t complain that I spelt the name wrong! Am I bitter? No, not really but if any of you reading this have enjoyed reading Damon, or for that matter Aspects of a Psychopath then why not pop back over to Amazon and leave your own reviews.

Incidentally there are 55 exclamation marks in the first three chapters, or 15,000 words, of the classic novel Dracula  which the aforementioned reviewer gave 5 stars!!!!

On a final note Amazon has ended the free downloads of Damon and the price has reverted back to $0.99 or the equivalent. Within ten days there was a total in excess of 15,000 downloads of Damon and a substantial improvement was seen in the sales of Aspects of a Psychopath. With the exception of Meghann I hope the majority of people out there have enjoyed sampling my writing.

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