Saturday, 15 December 2012

getting closer

It's been months since I updated my blog and there's a reason for that. Two in fact.

The first is that I'm lazy and as I'm not on my bike trip anymore I haven't got anything exciting to say.

But the second reason is that I've been working on my book. I've written 150,000 words and it is currently being edited. I'd really like to think that I could have it published by next May (In time for the UK HUBB meeting) but that is looking tight.

It might take another two to three months to finish the editing stage and then it could take two to three months to get published. I'm hoping to self publish which means I pay an online publisher to print the book. I think I'm going with which is the company Norman Magowan used to publish

My biggest headache at the moment is that I just can't think of a title for the thing. And without a title I can't start setting up a website to advertise the book. I also need to plan a cover and and stuck on that as well. The two things people look at when deciding to buy a book -  the title and the cover - and I'm stuck. No point having 150,000 words if I don't have a title.

I was thinking of just  "thedomwayround" as that worked for the trip and blog but I've been STRONGLY advised against it as it looks like I'm copying Ewan and Charley. I understand why that is the case but I still like it as a title because what I did was the Dom way round.

Anyone got any suggestions?????

Sunday, 8 July 2012

HU meeting

Rain, mud and bikers. What a great weekend. Just got back from the HU meeting in Ripley. Another great time meeting up with other adventure bikers and hearing stories of people's travels around the globe.

I did a talk (which in all honesty didn't go well as I tried to cover too much and never really got to grips with any of it) but Heidi managed to win the "most travelled bike" competition. I'm so pround of her!

Heidi lined up in the bike competition

The weather wasn't kind but it most certainly could have been worse. It actually cleared up on the saturday but I think the weather put a few people off and numbers were down on last year.

I've pick up a few ideas on where to travel too next and I got some advice on my writing which I hope to move onto the next stage within the month. I spoke to Ted Simon and he's looking forward to getting my manuscript so I'd better get on with it...

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Going to the HU meeting...

I lied about going to Scotland. The weather was so bad here that we just didn't bother. Tom did turn up however and it was good to catch up with him.
I'm off to the Ripley HUBB meeting this weekend and am doing a presentation on my trip. It's hard to cover the whole thing in 45 minutes and I've got a powerpoint with 250 pictures on it. I'd better try to cut it down - or talk quickly!
I can see the light at the end of the tunnel with regard to my book. I'm only a few weeks away from being happy enough with it to ask for some help. It's taken a year to get this far, but I'm almost pleased with what I've produced. I'll be getting in touh with the The Simon Foundation at the end of July and will hopeful work on it over the summer holidays.
Am definitely going to Scotland in the summer. I promise - even if its raining.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Off to Scotland

Off to Scotland on Saturday. Tracy and I are taking Heidi up north for a week. Hopefully the weather will be kind, when it is Scotland is a wonderful place. I'd like to get over to the western isles. That's just about the only place I've not been too on a bike, but it depends on the weather. watch this space!

Monday, 7 May 2012

Adventure Bike Rider Magazine

Fifteen months ago, when I was in the UK for a month between Panama and South Africa I bought a copy of Adventure Bike Rider. The last page had a "readers exposed" section where they invited readers to write in. So I did. I sent a few pictures of my North America trip and answered their questions:

Most expensive bike accessory?
Ideal travel partner?
Most dangerous moment?
What do you miss the most when traveling?

That sort of thing.

Then I totally forgot about it. And to be honest I totally forgot about the magazine as well. Then, yesterday at a service station on the M1, I was browsing in WHSmith and saw a copy. I just picked it up and bought it. When I got home I flicked through it and was amazed to see my article on the last page. I had no idea they'd used it. Bit of a shock really. (Mind you - the article says they give you a years free subscription if they use your article and I haven't heard anything from them - so I'm emailing them today!)

As it's May it should be great biking weather - but it just isn't. I'm hoping we get some sort of summer soon. I've got a weeks holiday at the beginning of June and am planning on going somewhere with Heidi - and Tracy. Scotland possibly.

Tom is coming over to the UK this month. Tom is the American I rode though Southern Africa with. He left his V-Strom in Germany last summer and is back in Europe to do a tour this summer. Hopefully he's stopping off with me for a day or two on his way up to Scotlnad at the end of this month.

I have finished my first manuscript. 1000,000 words on North America, and about 60,000 on Africa. I'm not totally happy with it and I know it needs a lot of work but it's a start. Tracy is in the process of reading it through at the moment and when she tells me how crap it is I'll just pack it all in! Or if she says there's hope I'll work on it a little more and then ask for help from the Ted Simon Foundation. It's taken a year to get this far. I wonder how much longer? How much more time?  Actually riding around on a bike was the easy bit. Writing about it is hard. I've developed a whole new found respect for travel writers, that's for sure. Still, the buzz I got from seeing a very small article in a bike magazine by me has given me a liitle spurt of enthusasim. I just can't imagine the excitement I would feel if I ever do actually produce a book.

Sunday, 15 April 2012

no news - sorry (Great title Dom)

I feel with so many people looking at my blog I should come up with something interesting to say. Sorry.

Tracy and I did go down to the south coast (of the UK) last week. We went from Portsmouth west across to Plymouth. At Plymouth we stayed with David and Jill (Travelswithnancy) whom I met in Canada and the US on my trip. David plans to head up Norway to beyond the Artic Circle next month. I'm really jelous.

I've tried to spend most of this week working on my maniscript. It's taking a lot longer than I though but I'm actually enjoying it as I can finally see something emerging that might eventually be printable.

This time last year I was in Nambia.........

Sunday, 18 March 2012

March update

Another month and again not as much progress made on my writing as I would have hoped. At the moment I'm not sure I can see the end of this project and wonder if I've bitten off more than I can chew.

Anyway, I have managed to get the first draft done. I've written 120 pages (85,000 words) on the Americas section and 99 pages (67,000 words) on the African section. Now I'm going back over it, improving, changing etc. This will take me a month or so I guess. Then I'll need to get some professional editing help. This will be the scary part. I'll send of what I think is a good manuscript only for it to come back with loads of comments and criticism. I think this part might be hard to take. We'll see.

I've signed up for the HorizonsUnlimited bike rally in the UK in July. I'm going to do a talk on my trip agian - not sure anyone will be interested as I did it last year, but I'll offer it) and at the beginning of April Tracy and I are going off to bike around the south west of the UK. Down to Cornwall for a week. Hopefully we'll visit David and Jill ( Travels with Nancy) who I met in North America last year.

I also got a phone call out fo the blue two weeks ago. Nevil, from Canada, rang me just to say hi (Those long winter nights in Canada....) He's planning a bike trip from the UK to Monglia for next year. I also got an email from Tom (The American I rode thorugh Africa with). He's going to be in the UK in May, so I'll hook up with him which will be nice. I regularly "talk" to Darlly who's working in Canada. I believe he hasn't been able to get his bike on the road yet as it's still winter up there.

As I'm actually taking Heidi out in two weeks I'll post a few photos in April of us on tour in the UK. Every time I go out on my bike I still get a thrill from knowing that the bike I'm riding around on in the UK is the very same bike I rode in Alaska - through the US - down to Panama - from Cape Town to Nairobi. 

So, sorry again to the peope who are visiting my blog at the moment. Not very exciting I know. But if you scrool down, or look at a different page you can catch up on what I did last year. This time last year my bike arrived in Cape Town and I was about to set off on the African section of my trip.......

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

February update

OK. February - not a great month for riding a motorcycle in the UK. Heidi is parked up outside and I haven't been out on her since before Christmas. I'm thinking I might take her out soon, but we're going through a cold spell at the moment.

This has meant, however, that I've been able to do some more writing. I've written about 140,000 words so far and I'm nearly at the end of my trip. By the end of this month I will have finished the first draft (how many drafts will I have to write? I have no idea) Once I've finished the first draft I'm going to go back through it checking it all and re-arranging some stuff to try to make it a little more interesting. Then I guess it will be time for a professional editor to step in and tell me its crap and I've just wasted six months :)

I'm of to Iceland next week for three days. I've always wanted to see the Northern Lights and this year is supposed to be a good one. So we have three nights to see them. I hope that's long enough. It's a long way to go if we don't see them.

I also have the first two weeks of April as holiday and really want to go somewhere on the bike. Early April is a little cold to head through Europe so it might have to be a trip around southern England. Perhaps not as exotic as Africa but I have't been down to Cornwall for a while and just riding Heidi anywhere sounds good at the moment. And April can be warm...

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Tunisia - without Heidi

I was just about to sit down and do some more writing when I had a look at my blog. I'm getting more hits on it than I did when it was actually active and I was travelling. Weird. Who are all you people? I assume it's through the Ted Simon Foundation which means lots of people are logging on to read about motorcycle adventures - sorry, you'll be disappointed.

All I can say is, I'm trying my best to get this damn book thing done. I hope to have finished a first draft by Easter and then, no doubt there will be months and months of redrafting etc etc etc.

I did go on holiday over Christmas - without the bike. To Tunisia. And I can highly recommend it as a destination. There are NO TOURISTS there at the moment, great roads and wondeful Roman remains not to mention, in the south SAND! What more could an adventure biker want :)