Opinions.

There must be one hell of a sale on these little gems because every soggy blighter has one.

There are those who like to wield their opinion like a rusty broadsword dipped in rabies-juice and rolled in rainbow sprinkles of  bubonic plague. They jab their colourful little swords, digging in deep, laughing at their keyboards, enjoying being mean for the sake of it.  The internet has been to trolls what the cane beetle was to the cane toad. Glorious opportunity.

Admittedly, trolls aren’t worth the energy it took to write that paragraph about them but I wanted an excuse to mention a broadsword and rabies and bubonic plague in the one sentence.  So thank you to all the mean boys and girls out there.

Moving on, there are other types of opinions, of  course.

Some people are adept at handling theirs, they generally keep it indoors, feed it a healthy diet of informed tit-bits and substainably sourced, ethically harvested unicorn tuna.

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(It’s a thing people, and it is quite frankly magnificent.)
Very occasionally these people will take little Oppy the Opinon-oodle for a walk. They strap on the little guy’s harness and trot the lovable ragamuffin over to their good friend’s house where it can play in the sandpit with other little blighters.  But playtime is generally harmless, a little grit may get in some eyes.  A light-hearted flinging of sand may occur, a few badly made castles may get stomped on, as the wines go down on empty stomachs BUT at the end of the day no one really gives two shits what Oppy the Opinion-oodle’s thoughts are on the latest state of the weather, sporting thing-a-mah-jigs, the Transformer franchise, or  important stuff like one’s ability to keep up with the Kardashians, or one’s ability to go with one’s Pokemon or, of course, whether one is  Team Hiddleswift or Team make-it-stop-for-love-of-god-make-it-stop.

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At these little get-togethers there is inevitably going to be a less well trained Oodle.  These Oodles run free, kicking up their little Oodle heels, looking incredibly cute as they do so. They yap-yap and it’s kind of adorable, you play ball with them for hours, and really, quite a fun time is had. Then out of nowhere, they poop on the carpet. And maybe gnaw off your hand.  (That didn’t happen, but this photo needed to be used.)

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Point is they piddle on your fire-hydrant-of-possibility and then trot off to wherever it is that flesh eating Dachshunds might go. You stand there staring at your dripping hydrant wondering how such a tiny little Oodle could have such a large bladder.

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I would kill for a Snickers, thank you random body-less hand. Though I do like to think of it as a little whinge, not full blown crankiness. But yes, you got me.

Hand over the Snickers and we’ll talk.

I got thrown at a recent catch up with fellow writerly types. I was gleefully declaring that I had recently booked an editor and cover designer, and that I was going to…..

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Self-publish.

Release the Oodles!

Immediately I was informed, by a particular little Oodle I did not know that they would NEVER, do that.

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Followed by –

Self Publishing

Which to my self-pitying ears  sounded more like –

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Anyway, there were then facts and figures thrown around about how you had to go trad pub to get books in shops, again how they would never self-publish (in case I missed it the first time) how much hard work it was in terms of marketing, and how much more you earn with a traditional publisher.

After a little tete-a-tete it turns out that the Oodle in question had never had an interest in self pub or even e-books for that matter and as a result didn’t know much about either. They didn’t realise that it’s really not black and white when you try to compare figures for paper books and eBooks due, in part, to Amazon’s super-secret-squirrel ways when it comes to disclosing eBook sales figures and in part due to the lack of need for ISBNs in the eBook market. They had never heard of Smashwords. As for marketing itself, traditional publishers leave a huge amount of that up to authors themselves (having to do your own selling/marketing is often one of the gripes peeps have with Self Pub)  nowadays.  Ironically the Oodle admitted that, even after landing a Trad Pub deal, this was indeed the case for them.

Ok, so suck it up Princess, I hear you bark at me. Everyone has an Opinion Oodle. And Self-Pub v Trad Pub  would probably make a more interesting film than Batman  v Superman.

But that’s when it struck me that what had bothered me so much about this particular Opinion Oodle was that the little guy had peed on my fire hydrant, pooped on the carpet and had no idea why.

It was, I realised, not one of these. The startlingly beautiful, but increasingly rare –

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The Informed Opinon Oodle.

It was peeing on fire hydrants of possibility for no particular reason. That rug it had just shat on could well have been priceless, and made the most incredibly comfortable doggy bed that Oodle had ever seen.

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But that Oodle may well never know.

It was a good day in the end. I resolved to take my own Opinion Oodle to the nearest shelter, and set out on a quest to find that shy little four-pawed mutt of mystery,myself. Because I too, fair reader,  too often have to clean up someone’s carpet and apologise for the brown footprints all through the house.

Me and my Opinion Oodle would like to thank you for listening to his incessant yapping.

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