BATDIG – the Paper Version!

Mr Snail-of-Happiness’ first novel will be available in paper format in the next couple of days!
We have celebrated with homemade strawberry shortcake and a nice cup of tea – we know how to live the high life here chez snail!


BATDIG on CreateSpaceBATDIG on CreateSpace

At last, a copy of BATDIG you can safely read in the bath*! Both parts of the novel first published for the Kindle together in one predominantly papery place** plus some Author’s Ramblings about the creation of the story and a short excerpt from my next novel, Kirkenes Blue, which I guess I really must finish now.

BATDIG will be available on Amazon in the next 3 to 5 days ( so around the end of May then) but is also available from CreateSpace themselves, although only for American readers (at



* Bath not included.

** I think there is a bit of cardboard in there too.

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NaNoWriMo and NaBloPoMo

BATDIG CoverAs many of you will know, November is National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo for short, during which participants each attempt to write 50,000 words of a novel. Mr Snail of Happiness has participated in this event in the past – resulting in the first half of his novel BATDIG in November 2011 (the second half was completed a bit later). Last year he was less successful, as he suddenly got swamped with work and did not have time to write the target of more than 1600 words each day.

Anyway, here we are again. Mr S-o-h has decided to accept no external work this month and is focusing on a whole new novel, which means that I will have plenty time to myself whilst he is busy writing. I certainly don’t have a novel in me. I love writing, but have no ideas for stories and no desire to be a novelist. Over the years I have had various pieces of work published (including a chapter in a book about restoring land after opencast mining, various articles in the local newspaper, a piece in Natur Cymru about teaching natural history, and a book on scientific writing) but it is blogging that I have found most inspiring. I think that this is because of the opportunity for direct feedback and seeing that people are really engaging with what I write.

NaBloPoMo November 2013So, I have decided to show my support for Mr S-o-h and write something here on my blog every day this month. My posts probably average four or five hundred words, so I’m not going to get anywhere near the NaNoWriMo-ers, but it will still be quite an endeavour. It turns out that I am not alone in wanting to do this, so I have joined NaBloPoMo – National Blog Posting Month. Hopefully, over the next four weeks, I’ll entertain you and give you some things to think about in relation to living more sustainably… so please try to visit regularly and see what I’ve been up to… and read yesterday’s poem if you missed it (it was NaBloPoMo post #1).

A Blatant Plug

Are you looking for some summer reading (or winter reading for my antipodean friends)? Well, now is your chance to get a copy of Mr Snail-of-happiness’ first novel on Kindle for free from Amazon. The offer only lasts for a few days, so be quick!


A Blatant Plug.

A year and a day

Yesterday was my blog’s first birthday, and I missed it – I’ve never been any good at remembering anniversaries.

Over that year I wrote 120 posts and had more than 7000 hits. I wrote about floods and other water-related issues, gardening, death (human and chicken), starting a business, permaculture, knitting yarn, ethics, food, money and naming my hens after Terry Pratchett’s witches.

It turns out that the most common searches that have brought people here (other than ‘the snail of happiness’) are ‘eating slugs’ and ‘knitted bath puff pattern’… and, sadly, in both cases the searchers will have been disappointed. My conclusion about slugs was that, although you can, you probably wouldn’t want to; in the words of Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall when discussing recipes he’d tried that included slugs:

leave out the slugs

And as for the bath puffs – crochet them, you get a much better puff.

There have been quite a lot of searches for snail cake, and I feel compelled, at some point to make a snail-shaped cake and write a post about this because it seems a popular subject. Mind you, the searchers might be looking for some sort of cake to feed to snails and that’s something I’m not willing to explore. Although I was recently involved in a discussion about starting a snail farm, which might be a good way to feed the hens.

There have also been some inexplicable searches that have led people here; I have no idea what a ‘finger lime tree’ is, nor why anyone would be searching for ‘work in the same box’ and I don’t even want to consider ‘soiled mice caging’. However, most of the searches are relevant, and I hope that readers have found answers to at least some of their questions or pictures of the things they were looking for. One or two of my posts have been inspired by searches, such as ‘can I keep chickens in a fruit cage?’ although, on reflection, it’s probably too late once the search has been done!

So, what’s to come in the next year? Well, hopefully reports of huge abundance in the garden, progress with my diploma in permaculture design, the etsy shop finally opening (and being successful) and lots more inspiration from comments, questions and reading other blogs.

And finally, one thing that has happened, but I have not blogged about is that Mr Snail-of happiness published the conclusion to his novel BATDIG on Kindle a few weeks ago. Check it out here.

BATDIG CoverBATDIG Part 2 Cover

NaNoWriMo widow

In case you don’t know. November is National Novel Writing Month, known to its friends as NaNoWriMo. Which, according to their website is:

…a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30

I know this not because I am writing a novel, nor even ever plan to write a novel, but because of Mr Snail-of-happiness.

NaNoWriMo 2011When I first met him, he was part way through writing at least one novel and this continued for many years, with nothing getting finished and drafts being abandoned. Then last November he decided to participate in NaNoWriMo… and wrote 50,000 words in a month. Well. in less than a month because he had some work to do for the first week before he could get started. It turned out to be part one of a story that, with some editing and extra work was ready to be published as BATDIG. It’s started receiving some good reviews, so that’s encouraging. Now the second part is underway, along with the beginning of another story, and so we return to him spending his free time in November in front of a computer screen tapping away, or not as the case may be. He’s even blogging about it (not sure that isn’t a waste of words!?) and tracking the amount that he writes each day.

However, the purpose of this post is not to give support to all of you others out there writing madly, but to give a big shout out to all the NaNoWriMo widows… those of you who have some lonely evenings ahead for the next few weeks, who will have to walk the dogs alone, do the shopping alone and watch whatever you like on the TV alone… hang on, that’s a bit of a plus isn’t it? Conversations will revolve around word counts, plots, characters, writer’s block and writer’s block (yes, I know I’ve mentioned it twice, but it does seem to be particularly important), and meals will be hurried affairs before the writer in the family disappears again to engage with whatever literary odyssey they are embarking upon.

Don’t get me wrong… I think it’s a great idea, I just think that the Office of Letters and Light, who run the thing, shouldn’t just provide pep talks for authors, but should have a support group for NaNoWriMo widows and orphans… I know I’d be joining!

Free BATDIG for all!

Mr Snail-of-happiness’ book is currently available free for Kindle… this is the last day so please support him by downloading it and writing a review if you like it!


Available NOW!

Just a very quick post to say BATDIG part 1 is now free for five days (until midnight on the 26th June 2012, in fact) on Amazon – I have checked the site and there it is, in all its free glory but .com doesn’t seem to have caught up just yet. Apparently it can take hours for the various sites to show the promotion after the start date. And I thought technology was fast…

There’ll be another ‘proper’ post in a day or so – work and rain* are taking up my time at the moment. I also have the Stephen King book “On Writing – A Memoir of the Craft” that I want to read now as it is apparently an excellent guide to writing amongst other things.

OK, advert over.


* We have new chickens that need to be separated from the old chickens but we have…

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