SJB Gilmour Writes

…and rants and ruminates…

Category: Uncategorized

Birthday Resolutions

You know what?  Screw New Year’s Resolutions.  It’s my birthday tomorrow, and I’ve had seven months to think about what I really should be doing, you know, resolution-wise.  So, I’m making my Birthday Resolutions.  Come July 30, 2019, apart from still being alive and not in prison, and in no particular order, I hope to have:

  • Read 52 books,
  • Lost weight,
  • Written and pubbed at least one more book,
  • (censored),
  • Blogged more frequently,

There are a few other things I’d like to do, family-wise, but I’ll not list them here…


My Shrinking World Is Awesome

Social Media.

Say what you like about Facebook etc, but for me, as an indie writer, it’s a goldmine.  Sure, I can waste an awful lot of time on it, but it’s also a wonderful resourse.  I’ve found beta-readers, cover artists, and just this morning, a new editor for my latest book, Troopers.

Rock On!

Sticks And Stones And Facebook

Go home, FB.  You’re drunk.

Here’s the post I was trying to boost:

And here’s their response:

And there you have it.  Apparently a pen is offensive.  What do you think?


Facebook’s being a right knob by not letting me promote harmless links to my books on Smashwords.

So, to get around them, I’m putting the links in this post.  Both are available in mobi an epub formats.

The Department

Angela Of Troy

So, Facebook, you can kiss my ass!



Don’t Be Afraid To Point Out The Tell

It’s a chicken and egg thing.  When I’m up, I write.  When I’m coming up out of a down swing, I start to write.  When I swing back down, all writing stops.  I don’t know if writing is a symptom or a cause of an improvement in my mood, but I know I can only do it when I’m up, and the longer I do it, the longer I’ll stay up.

Problem is, the longer I stay up, the deeper my next down might be when it comes around.  For me, it’s writing, but I’m pretty sure for other people, the same can be applied to all kinds of pursuits, be they artistic or not.

I’m probably not alone in this sort of thing.  If someone you know has mood swings, and a noticable tell – meaning you can spot a trigger or pattern of symptoms/causes that alerts you to them – don’t be afraid to let them know.  It took me years to realise the two were related for me, and much trouble could have been avoided had I known.

You Must WIP It

WIPs.  Works In Progress.  Yes, I’m talking about plural here.  I have 3.  Frustrating.

One is the last short for my Pack Coppernick series, after which, I’m putting it to rest.  I know I said there’d be more, but to be honest, I’ve just run out of steam with the whole thing.

Two is a new adult futuristic Sci-Fi trilogy, and absolutely no spin-offs for this one.

The third is one that hit me on the weekend, and it’s kinda taken hold in my brain.  It’s set in the current day, and is another YA set.  What I hope makes this different, and I hope appealing to readers, is there’s not a single character in it – well none who survive, that is – who has any redeeming qualities at all.  I know that every time I watch a movie or read a book, somehow, I always find myself either sympathising with, or downright supporting the antagonist.  And, I reckon I’m not alone.

I read the first chapter to Miss11 yesterday and she loved it.  This is a girl who loves the good guys in most of the books she reads etc, but deep down, thinks Harley Quinn is the BEST CHARACTER EVER.  You know what? I think she’s probably right.

The Big Facebook Cleanup

As I write this, I have 4353 friends on Facebook.  I reckon only a small percentage of those are people I actually know,  or correspond with, with any regularity.  So, I’m making a list of people to stay friends with.  Everyone I message or chat with, everyone who posts something I like, or likes something I post, plus a few actual friends and family, will go onto this list.  Then, come March 24 2018, everyone else will be unfriended.

I’m not doing this to be an asshole.  I’m not doing this to follow the hipster trend of dumping FB.  I’m doing this for money, boys and girls.  It’s that simple.

In the past few months of selling plants, planters and garden beds, I haven’t made more than I have by writing, but I have made it faster.  So, I’m going to keep my friends list below the 5k limit between now and March 2018.  I’m also going to only accept friend requests from people I know, or Melbournians who may wish to buy stuff from me.  Then, come March 24, 2018, I’m taking a razor to my friends list.

So, if you want to stay in touch, like this, or any other post, between now and this time next year.  If this has rubbed you the wrong way, unfriend me.  I won’t mind.  You’ll be saving me some time.

My New Half Price Herbs Group!

There’s a saying in retail: “Raising prices opens an umbrella for your competitors.”

When I first started selling my herbs, I set the price at $0.50 for small pots, $0.75 for large pots, and $0.25 for Tomatoes Of Mystery (all self-seeded, none of which I could identify as this variety or that, so they really were a lucky dip!).  I sold out pretty quickly.  So, I raised myt price to $0.75, and sold out almost as fast.

Now, at the urging of Superwife, and encouragement from some customers, I’ve raised it again to $1.00.  That’s double my original price, and it made me feel edgy.  So, I created a way for savvy customers and my precious repeat customers, to get them at my original price of $0.50 for small pots of herbs, and $0.75 for large pots.  All they have to do is join my Bandannasam’s Half Price Herbs Facebook group, and they’re eligibale for the reduced price.

Right now I have small pots of Common Mint, Vientamese Mint, and Basil – all listed elsewhere ar $1.00, but for group members, just $0.50. Also, I have large pots of Common Mint, normally $1.50, but just $0.75 to group members.

Take that, Bunnings!

Also, I just got some pics from a local childcare centre, to which I sold my first batch of raised planter boxes.  Look pretty good, don’t they?!?

If you’d like some, I knock them together for $50 a box.  They’re made out of repurposed wood from forklift pallets.

I also sell vertical wall planters like this one:

Small: ≤ 80cm² $15
Medium: ≤ 100cm² $20
Large: ≥ 120cm² $25

These too are made from forkilft pallets, and come lined with plastic so your plants won’t dry out.  Me, a gardener.  Who’d have thunk it???




My New Gym

There’s something vety satisfying about being destructive.  Last night, I bashed and pried apart a couple of forklift pallets – I need the lumber for some box planters I’ve been comissioned to make for a local day care centre.  Once I’d done that for about half an hour, I’d worked up quite a sweat.  Then, I took a break for dinner, then went out and did it again for another hour.

My arms and shoulders hurt.  In fact, just about everything hurts.  But, it’s a good hurt, and I know if I keep going at this rate, it can only be a good thing.  Now all I need to do is just sit down with Superwife and figure out what days I can ride to work to burn off even more calories.


And Another Thing…

Just two additions to my New Years’ Resolutions:

  • Get more exercise.
  • Blog more.

There.  That’s enough to keep me going.  So far, so good.  I’ve done some scribbling.  I’m reading, (or at least I should say I’m re-reading,) one of my favourite books.  It’s the Samuel Johnson Series by John Connolly.  If you haven’t read it, shame on you!

I’m also gearing up for the weekend.  TGIF, because tomorrow and Sunday, I’m doing my Half Price Sale on Gumtree.  I can’t insert the link here yet because the ad’s not active.  Instead, my weekday ads are here and here.  If you live near me, and want some cheap herbs (Sage, Basil, Oregano, or Mint,), email, reply here or msg me.  Here are just a couple of pics.


Mint (Common) – Weekdays, $0.50.  Tomorrow and Sunday, JUST $0.25!!!


Oregano, (Greek) – Weekdays, $0.50.  Tomorrow and Sunday, JUST $0.25!!!

I’m also offering up a wall planter made up from a recycled forklift pallet.


Weekdays, $30.00  Tomorrow and Sunday, JUST $15.00!!!

(pick-up only.)

Till next week,