Phnom Phenh, 2nd September, 2010.

The “Home” page is my daily blog. The remaining tabs contain previously blogged, episodic ‘stories’, which are now re-published in chronological order.

On  2010/08/30 at 11:44 pm, Rebel wrote:


Very happy you are alive and well. It would be great if you posted a sentence or two every few days so we know that another post is coming.

Nothing like changing the oil by taking short jaunts to make you appreciate where you live.

You may want to think of hiring a ghost writer for a novel ?

Why the sudden interest in earning money out of curiosity?

My response:

I accept that it is somewhat irresponsible of me to disappear from my blog for more than a couple of days, bearing in mind the fact that my life style will always lead to concerns about my well being.

So for the future I will do my best to just post a few lines as you have suggested, or give due notice of my intention to take a break.

To answer your question about earning money, I will say it is something that has occupied my thinking for quite a while, and the worry of it has also contributed in no small part to my depression.

Don’t get me wrong – I am a long way from being broke, but where a few years back I was definitely set up for life and the rate of my spending barley made a dent in my overall wealth, these days my financial situation is nowhere near as secure.

A combination of an extremely avaricious wife, the building of a house that got way out of control, along with its very high maintenance expenses and last but by no means least the worldwide stock market crash have all conspired to give me some concerns as to whether I will have sufficient income to provide for my advanced old age, always assuming I manage to reach that exalted point.

I am still comfortably off by any standards, and when my enhanced UK State pension kicks in next June, things will be even better.

But the fact is that I lost an enormous amount of my assets in the crash, and to this day, some of my major investments are still only worth a fraction of their former value and are effectively ‘ring fenced’, rendering them virtually ‘untouchable’ for the foreseeable future.

I have a lot of cash invested in funds such as the UK property market, and second hand endowment pensions, which were all doing great until the crash.

None of my investment funds have gone bust, and in time they will almost certainly recover, but that could be years away, and I’m not getting any younger.

It’s really difficult to assess how much I am worth and how long my money will last. Not least of this multi-faceted conundrum is how long will I live? At my present rate of progress, I doubt I will make 75, but who really knows. I’d hate to be 80, sick and broke. It’s a prospect that haunts me somewhat.

Hence my desire to try to earn some money – not a lot, but sufficient to supplement my current investment income for a few years until I get too old and weak to continue my current lifestyle.

As you are well aware, it is very difficult to get any work or become involved in any business in Thailand due to the work permit situation, and in any event who in their right mind would hire an old drunken sot like Mobi?

I have always enjoyed my creative writing, and for the most part have revelled in the fact that I do not need to write for a living so I can write whatever I choose to write, without having a publisher or an agent leaning over my shoulder and criticising and steering my efforts in a particular direction..

The only critiques that I choose to accept are those from my readers, and for the most part, they never or rarely criticize my writing style, but confine their comments to the content of my blog, all of which, of course, is true – not a work of fiction.

However, it would be nice to earn some money from my writing; firstly for the ‘peace of mind’ it would give me for my old age, and secondly I feel it would give me a discipline in my daily life which has been sadly lacking since I retired from work 10 years ago, and is undoubtedly a further factor that has contributed to my alcoholism and depression.

I am sure most of you would agree that there is more than enough material already published in my blog to make at least one full length novel – or maybe even two, if I include as yet unpublished material that still lurks in my brain.

I have previously blogged that I did have a volume of short stories, or more like ‘novelettes, published ten years ago, and have written a complete, but unpublished novel.

I’m sorry, Rebel,  but the very idea of “ghost” writer fills me with horror (no pun intended)

If I cannot succeed in getting my writing published by the sweat of my own brow, then I am simply not interested.

Whether my writings could form the basis of a novel or a volume of short stories I have no idea. I do know that most publishers are simply not interested in publishing short stories, and many say so in their ‘blurbs’ to would-be authors who wish to submit manuscripts for consideration.

It seems that the only short stories that are published these days have been written by already established authors,(Jeffrey Archer & Ruth Rendell for example), who are indulged in their whims to write a collection of short stories, and, of course, because of their ‘name’, they will sell quite well.

Some time back I did make contact with an agent who liked my novel but told me it needed some major re-writing. He wrote a very long detailed list of the issues he felt I should address, and offered to help me further for a “fee”.

This was all happening at the same time that I was divorcing my fourth wife – Noi – and moving to Thailand, so I let the whole project lapse. Since then I have concluded that the novel isn’t really worth resurrecting and my time would be better spent in new creative writing – hence my blog and my autobiographical stories.

I certainly wouldn’t be averse to working with someone who could nudge me in the right direction, offer professional criticism of my writing and suggest possible ways to seek out a suitable publisher.

But where to find such a person, and where to find a publisher?

Who in their right mind would be interested in a ‘nobody’ like Mobi?

9 thoughts on “Phnom Phenh, 2nd September, 2010.”

  1. hi i googled liver transplant thailand and foumd this nice page..i am in new york cuty but want to come to thailand as a medical tourist and get my brother a liver transplant..what would you recomend..


  2. The site looks good, few things tho… Fonts too large, menu runs onto 2 lines, the picture in the header is distorted as its stretched to fit.


      1. Its still huge, try a fixed font size, in pixels, like 11px or 12px, these are the most common size fonts for ‘normal’ text on the web. Headers, like H1 tages, are usually between 12px-15px.

        By using fixed types fonts, in pixels, you blog will render pretty much the same on all browsers.


  3. Mobi, I have read your writing and it is very good. Making it into an autobiography will take some work but is well possible. And as for the short stories, “Nobody reads them anymore.” That’s rubbish. Steven King still sells plenty of his. Someone once told him he didn’t know why he bothered, because they earned him the same as a plumber in New York (I think). It’s in the intro in Skeleton Crew. And George Mackay Brown, an author from Orkney, well respected in Scottish Schools, said in his autobiography, “I wonder how many a good book has been burned on the fire, having done the range of publishing houses, and rejected.” Under no circumstances let someone ghost it for you. I am currently re-reading Howard Marx autobiography “Mr Nice” and it was getting someone to ghost the first book about him that caused him a lot of well, *****. You should read it. Mr Nice, I mean. Your style looks a lot like his and he did well out of it. the best, James.


    1. I have already replied to your comment, but it seems to have vanished! Anyway here goes again, albeit much shorter than the original.

      It was the UK publishers who stated that “Nobody reads short stories any more”, not me.

      The exception to this rule seems to be short stories written by well established authors, such as Steven King.

      There are many famous authors from the 19th and first half of the 20th century who made their names by originally writing short stories, but these days it is all but impossible for writers of short stories to get published.

      As the publishers say – there simply isn’t a market for this genre if the author is unknown.

      Apart from the possibility of publishing a novel based on my autobiography, I am working on the ideas of writing a new volume of stories, but all linked with a central theme, and even having many of the same characters. Much like Damon Runyon, but with none of his unique brilliance.

      Maybe this might break the mould. Who knows?

      Although not short stories, even the great Charles Dickens had all his stories published in instalments in magazines – a little bit similar to what I am doing in my blog.

      But he was paid for his efforts yet I receive nothing. Not that I am really complaining, but I would appreciate a much wider readership.

      I’ll probably be rich after I die!!!


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