THE DIARIES OF PAUL K LYONS - 2004
And so, struggling with my almost complete freedom from any responsibilities (EC Inform closed down, Adam at sixth form college, Barbara having long since bought a house with her partner in Guildford), I took on a couple of projects. One was to set up a personal web site - www.pikle.co.uk - which would present a variety of my writing projects over the years, not least this journal. Another - which occupied me for several months through the spring - was “London Cross’. This was a walk through London along a straight line from north to south. It was written for the internet in 84 chapters, with the text hyperlinked to information sources. A third project was to undertake a series of short courses at Sussex University on landscape/environment/archaeology. I liked some of lectures, all the research and essay writing, but hated the exams. I was also interviewed for a serious job with the Royal Society for Chemistry, which triggered lots of self-examination.
Kip Fenn rejections continued to land on my doormat, and, by April, I was beginning to contemplate publishing the book myself. In June, I made the decision to go ahead, which triggered a large amount of work (setting up a new publishing company, proof-reading, ISBN registering, finding a printer, artwork for a cover, marketing and promotion etc.). In late August, 800 hardback copies of ‘Kip Fen - Reflections' arrived at Russet House. I sent out maybe 100 for review (hence so many copies subsequently for sale on Ebay/Abebooks). It didn’t take long to realise, however, that the same factors dictating against any agent/publisher giving the book consideration, were also working against it when it came to reviewers. My hope had been to attract at least one national newspaper or magazine to review the novel (given its unique premise, very topical themes, and various other original aspects), and thus get a ball rolling, as it were. But, a few inconsequential local newspaper reviews was all that came of all my efforts.
In the autumn, I went on another organised tour (after those to Egypt and, with Adam, to Kenya/Tanzania). This one was for two weeks to Sri Lanka, and the most astonishing thing happened to me there: I fell in love with Cora, another of the tour members and some 20 years younger than me (Diary 79 - not transcribed). We came back, more or less, as a couple. Thereafter, my diary is full, chock-a-block, with wonderment, at Cora, at myself, and at our relationship. Also that autumn, I chanced on some voluntary for English Heritage, taking photographs of listed buildings, which was right up my street. The forthcoming dark depression (or breakdown) that I had been predicting for myself, was very much on hold. (Diaries 77, 78, 80)
Paul K. Lyons (November 2017)