On Writing Daze we ask our visiting authors to share with us their Five Laugh About it Later Type Moments. Nemo James, author of Just A Few Seconds, A Story from the World ofMusic and Beyond shares his moments with us.
About Just a Few Seconds, A Story from the World of Music and Beyond
Nemo James dreamt of becoming a professional musician from the first time he picked up a guitar following a talent content disaster. Thought of by his friends as being the person most likely to make the big time he turned professional but was continually side tracked by the need to earn a living from music.
His journey takes him all over the world from private gigs for the rich and famous to the roughest pubs. Starting in the late sixties when heavy rock was born, through to the 1980’s and 90’s when discos and electronics decimated live music dance halls.
Just a Few Seconds is an amusing and heartrending story of perseverance showing how the road to success can lead us down the strangest of paths.
1. Suspected Hacker
It was late at night and I had just started draft 15 of Just a Few Seconds when I went to bed leaving my laptop on as I usually do. The next morning I woke up and it was obvious that someone had been using the laptop during the night and changed all the settings and the only explanation was that a hacker had accessed it. The worst thing was the screen was upside down so it was really hard to work with as everything was upside down and back to front. In one of my lives I was a network engineer so I am well clued up on internet security so I couldn’t understand how anyone could have hacked in. After spending an hour getting it back to normal I spent the rest of the day going through everything, checking all the logs to see what had been accessed and tightening up security. Fortunately all my files were ok and hadn’t been accessed so I had no idea what was going on. A couple of weeks went by with the occasional suspicious goings on and it wasn’t until I got up in the middle of the night that I finally discovered who the hacker was. I saw Jutko (our cat) sitting on the laptop keys looking very pleased with himself and relishing the warm keyboard and gentle humming of the fan. Every time he moved he must have hit a different key. It was a relief knowing it was nothing sinister but I still cut his meals down to seven a day to punish him.
2. Password Panic
When I first started writing my book it was on computer and I thought I’d be really clever and password protect the document. After the first 80 pages I did a tour of Switzerland and when I returned I had completely forgotten the password. All I knew was it was a really clever one that no one would be able to guess… including myself. I knew nothing about password crackers in those days so I had to start all over again. Then when I finally finished the book I discovered that the absolute maximum word count for a first time author is 120,000 and I had written 220,00 so I then had to go back and cut out a lot of what I had rewritten.
Being an autobiography most of the research I did was inside my brain which was a pretty weird place to spend a lot of time. I suppose having spent so many years learning thousands of song lyrics and long complicated classical guitar pieces I developed a good memory so I had no problem calling on it. Being a devout dreamer I spent most of my time walking around in a daze as I relived episodes of my lives. I really felt at times that I was living in the past and in my sleep characters often came to life although there were plenty I would have preferred to have forgotten about.
4. Ex wife
A lot of Just a Few Seconds involved my ex wife with whom I have not had any contact for over 20 years since we divorced (we have no children.) In my writing I tried to be as fair as possible and emphasize her many good points but there were some situations where there is no doubt she could have behaved better. I was concerned what she would think if she ever read my autobiography as she played quite a large part in it. Although I changed her name I was still worried about how she would take it but I knew the only way she would ever find out I had even written it was if it became a best seller and I was perfectly aware that the chances of that happening were slim enough to be invisible to the naked eye. What I hadn’t realized was she was Facebook friends with my sister so when my sister shared my link my ex-wife was the first to hear about it and order a copy. The first I was aware of all this was when I opened my email and saw her name in the from box. I was dreading opening the email and preparing myself for a big arguments but to my delight all she said was how much she enjoyed my book so everything turned out well and now we were are in contact with each other after all that time.
5. Gstaad my love
I was 19 and had just returned from a German gig from hell. Whilst still traumatized I accepted an offer for what turned out to be a Swiss gig from heaven at the Palace Hotel Gstaad. At the time it was one of the top jet set skiing villages in the world. Coming from working class London I had no idea that such a lifestyle existed so it changed me forever and I spent the next 30 years dreaming about it. Once I had decided to write my autobiography I had a meeting with my production committee which consisted of me and … well actually just me. I put it to the committee that purely for the purpose of research I should visit Gstaad again and there was a unanimous vote in favor. Returning to Gstaad after all those years was amazing, particularly because they hadn’t changed the decorative design in the Greengo night club where we played so it was like stepping back in time. I even looked for blood stains on the carpet floor from my first day’s attempt at skiing but I couldn’t see any.