M. H. Holmes – Eddie

HolmesM. H. Holmes is a radio producer who has worked for over thirty years in RTE and Raidío na Gaeltachta.  Here, he gives tips on how to upload your own stories or poems to the Amazon website*, for sale on the Kindle or the iPad.  Based on experience, he shows how proper preparation helps you avoid problems.   His e-book of amusing poems for children, Wicked Chizzlers, is available at http://goo.gl/6LhXQk. ” It has been described as a “humourous Modern Classic” –  downloadable for the huge sum of 86 cent!



(Who had appalling table manners –but did not care.)

A crack in Mother Nature’s mould
Makes some children really bold.
They do just as their Mum would rather
They did not…likewise, their Father.

You want a list? Oh, you should know!
They bury kittens in the snow,
Or, drop red paint on Fido’s tail
Or, make a sandwich of a snail !

For most good children, lads and lasses,
‘Tis just a phase which quickly passes,
But, not for Eddie who for years
Brought family and friends to tears.

Truth can be ugly. It’s no fable
About his conduct at the table,
As he with gaping mouth would chew
With every morsel in full view.

Say, mushy peas, and carrots jumbled,
Through white lemonade they tumbled.
Like in a mixer for cement,
Round and round the veggies went.

How his siblings’ lips would quiver
While viewing Eddie eating liver
And, oh my dear, with every drink,
He gurgled like the kitchen sink!

That strange word “Yeuch!” was often cried
By the others, when they spied
Where sausages and spuds and beans
Swam up and down like submarines.

Ignoring all, their every plea
With “Suit yourselves and I’ll suit me,
I’ll ventilate my grub, I will.”
And Edward opened wider still.

But, now, before you snore in bed
Let’s hear what fate awaited Ted.
A bead-eyed magpie in a tree
Croaked “This is just the job for me.”

It spied our hero eat a herring.
Then, suddenly, with swoop of derring,
Swooshed through the window like a bullet
And stuck his beak down Edward’s gullet.

Oh, how the pair soon shared a fate,
Though brothers pulled with all their weight.
The story’s end? – Atrocity
Because of bird velocity.

The Magpie’s head was jammed so tight
For want of air, it was…Goodnight!
As exits go, for boy or bird,
You can’t deny, it was absurd!

In Magpie Lore, it’s one for sorrow.
Now you’ll remember why, tomorrow!


* School pupils of the 1960’s spent a lot of time memorising stuff “off by heart.” I’d bet that most of us, if challenged, would have no bother in reciting the line that comes after “The curfew tolls the knell of parting day.” It was, though, a quote from another part of Gray’s Elegy which came to mind recently. In the famous poem we also hear that, “Full many a gem of purest ray serene” might be found hidden and uncelebrated in the depths of an undersea cave.

I remembered those particular words on hearing that Amazon, the internet company has been, for some time now, promoting their own publishing service. They invite any novelist or poet, whose genius has gone unrecognised by traditional book publishers, to upload material to be purchased and read on Kindles and iPads. The company asks people to search for their old manuscripts, forgotten gems in drawers…..or even start from scratch and send in their newly polished sparklers. Within twelve hours, they say, you can have your efforts out there – as your very own e-book.

I gave it a go, more in jest than in the belief that I owned a submarine cavern packed with literary diamonds. They promise that you can upload your stuff in five minutes and get it on the market in half a day. Yes, this is true, but a fair bit of donkey work has to be completed beforehand . It takes time to shape the text into a form suitable for e-books.

A free downloadable publication called “Building your book for Kindle” is very handy – essential maybe. If I’d known about it, early on, I’d have wasted less time inserting page numbers and “headers and footers” into my e-book of childrens’ verse. (Traditional page numbering is not used in e-books.) There is also useful advice on preparing an attractive cover and an index. You’ll come across other complications, but it doesn’t take long before you find yourself setting a price and launching your own e-book. A neat facility is that you may, even after publication, update the work or eliminate spelling mistakes and typos. The service is free to use, but Amazon, of course, will take a share of any profits from sales. The amount varies – but all details may be found by typing Kindle Direct Publishing into a search engine. It’s worth a try and good fun!

M.H. Holmes


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