Blogpost: Living with Luke

Communities / Wed 5th Mar 2014 am31 10:24am

ONCE again we dip into the popular blog of Steve Hannam which chronicles his life with his son who is on the autism spectrum.


This week I wrote a book.

Well…that’s not strictly true. This week I published a short story, I actually wrote it about 3 years ago. Nothing like a bit of spontaneity is there? And this is nothing like it either.

It is a story about my pirate creation, Captain Square Jaw and I wrote it as a proposed sampler for a re-launch of my other Captain Square Jaw book, which I had re-edited. Sadly, it didn’t happen and the story sat in my pc files whilst I ummed and arrred about what to do with it – and not in a pirate way either.

In the meantime, Tiddles started to drift away from me, developed Epilepsy and was discovered to have high levels of Mercury and Arsenic in his body, which meant that he could not have his favourite foods. What it did mean was that he was now having to take any number of supplements in an effort to rid him of these heavy metals.

We managed to secure funding for a few months, but after that ran out, we had to find ways of paying for these supplements on a month to month basis. We sold some things. We used credit cards. But what else could I do to help with this? Hang on…I had a short story somewhere didn’t I? Couldn’t I sell that as an eBook? No agents commission, no publishers commission, I could sell it cheaply and get 35% as a royalty!

So last week, after much editing and re-editing and a huge favour from Geordie Jim Thompson with the cover, I published ‘Square Jaw and the 49 Page Adventure!’ through the Amazon KDP platform. Lots of interest from everybody, which if I can turn into sales would go a long way towards another months supplements.

Admittedly, it’s a long shot. The supplements cost over £300 per month and as I’m selling Square Jaw for about £1 a time, I get 35p for each copy bought. I’d have to sell over 1000 copies to stand any chance of it working successfully. But, as I keep saying, what else can I do? What would you do? I have to hope that this works even a little bit, so that Tiddles stands some chance of making progress. I can only keep stressing that he is my boy, my son and I am doing the best I can for him, with what I have available to me. I’ve given up the hopes I had for becoming a successful writer because money needs to be earned, for him. I suppose you have to keep the faith. He is one of the most important things in my life and it kills me that he reacts the way he does to me. If my writing this story and any subsequent stories can help re-build that bond, that bridge, through these supplements, then I have to take a chance on it, don’t I?

Tiddles was acting very strangely on Thursday. Now when I say strangely, I mean this not in a bad way. He was very attentive toward me and I couldn’t figure out why.

“Well, he loves his daddy…” remarked TCMH, which I conceded might’ve been the case if i hadn’t caught him eyeing my iPhone on Thursday evening. I’d seen that look before. I let it pass, because he was sitting with me and it’s always a bonus when he does that these days. Then he did it again, this time moving his hand as if to pick up my phone.

“He doesn’t want to sit with me,” I sighed to TCMH, “he wants me to buy him something…” And sure enough, upon asking him what he wanted, he replied,

“The New Adventures of Superman…own it on DVD…” mimicking the trailer for the TV series.

“Is that what you want?” I asked. He nodded his head. ”Yes, what?”

“Yes…please.” came the reply. As is now sometimes the way, Tiddles had an ulterior motive for sitting with The Old Man, and it is usually something to do with me buying something from Amazon. He didn’t want me, he wanted my account!

Nice to know that I am good for something that isn’t just making up recipes for food he can eat. With all the stuff that he CAN’T eat it does tend to get a bit like the Culinary A-Team here at times, adapting recipes to remove the sugar from one thing or some herb from something else.

But I love it when a flan comes together…

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