Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Very Inspiring Blogger! Moi!?

I've always considered my blog as rambling, not inspiring so thanks to Simon  Whaley for passing on this award. I don't usually bother taking awards but it's Boxing Day and we are all flopping about doing nothing so why don't I try to come up with 7 reasons why I started writing.

Here goes.
1. I had two brothers, both younger than me and I made up stories for them.
2. I was good at 'composition' at junior school and my teachers encouraged and had faith in me. Thank you Miss Duignan, Miss Tipper and Mr Hymas.

3. My writing wasn't appreciated at Grammar School so it got more daring, just to piss off the teachers. They'd be the late Miss Davies and Miss Renwick.
4. I had to stay in bed for a year because that's how bad backs were treated then. I would lie there and make up stories and the kids would bring all their friends to the bedroom to hear stories.

5. I got back on my feet and wrote a children's book, thinking I'd get a book deal and have Walt Disney on the phone.
6. I started writing with markets in mind and had work accepted. The extra money paid for treats and sometimes covered the gas bill.

7. I reached a certain age and decided to go for it, full-time, and I've never regretted that decision. Thank you to all the friends and family (especially the LSO)who supported me along the way.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Having a laugh

Have you heard the one about the writer who ordered a book from Amazon and it arrived wrapped in ten feet of paper? It's true. I saw it on Book2Book today and for a second my heart flipped.
Why? Because that could have been me, using all that paper. I've had many boring jobs in my life and I've always tried to bring a bit of fun to them. I used to drop wrapped sweets into parcels I packed. I once cut off the bottoms of dozens of brown paper bags so that I could watch the other staff pack goods and see them fall to the floor. (You wouldn't want to employ me!) And I can just imagine me wrapping a skinny little book in several  yards of brown paper and then shoving it into a rather large box.

I am unemployable. That's why I'm a writer. I don't earn a fat lot but I do pay tax. Unlike Amazon.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Something in common with SPOTY

Out of the first year's money I made at writing, many moons ago, I bought myself a bicycle. Not any old bike. Mine was hand-built, made-to-measure, weighed less than my handbag and was sprayed to match my nail varnish. I used it to time-trail and to go for 100 mile rides each Sunday. My son raced and ended up as a semi-professional on the Continent. My daughter raced because she discovered that the cycling club was made up of dozens of good looking boys. The LSO raced too.

These days my bike hangs in the shed but I still go out to races as the LSO (Long Suffering One - husband) is a British Cycling Commissaire. That's referee to you.

Last night we voted, naturally, for Bradley Wiggins as BBC's Sports Personality of The Year. (SPOTY). Bradley's achievements this year are phenomenal. He has a great sense of humour. Gone are his sideburns. He now sports a haircut that makes him look as if he's gone back to the Sixties and is a member of The Small Faces.

No-one knows what Bradley will say when he gets a microphone in his hand and last night was no exception. He thanked his team and his Gran. 'Nan, the cheque’s in the post because you pressed redial God knows how many times!' he said.

Bradley and I have Frivolous in common (see earlier post) so I get it when he said, 'I’m just going to say thank you to everyone who picked the phone up and voted. We’ve had all that jungle stuff and the X Factor in the last couple of weeks so for people to pick up the phone and pay to vote, thanks.' He wasn't being disrespectful as some online comments suggest. He was being Wiggo. He definitely has the P in SPOTY.


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

What do you do...

What do you do when the builders are in and the kitchen is out of bounds? The door to it is closed and sealed with a dust-sheet while part of the wall is knocked out ready for a steel beam to be put in, prior to the whole wall being knocked out in order to extend the kitchen.
What I do is get hungry. There's no way I can get near the biscuit tin, or the cake tin or the chocolate tin. Why didn't I think of moving them first thing this morning? I can't make tea or toast.
So, what do I do? I sit in my writing room and work. I've cleared my desk, balanced the banking, found some writers to interview, answered some queries from another writer and polished a short story. I really deserve chocolate.

Monday, December 10, 2012

And now for something completely different... my last post, is what I mean.
Today I'm doing frivolous.
Flippant is another word that comes to mind. Both used to appear regularly on my school report. I believe the way to stay sane is not to take life too seriously. As a good friend used to say, 'How can humans be serious when they have feet?' Go on, take your socks off and check them out.
A lot of people were losing the plot in the queue at the Post Office. It was a long queue and it was one day past the last day for posting cards overseas. I didn’t tut, give loud sighs or complain to everyone within hearing distance. I found something frivolous with which to amuse myself. We were all lined up by the shelves laden with cheap Xmas toys so I wound up three clockwork robots and raced them along the shelf. Once I was bored with that, I checked out the mini-kaleidoscopes. I was about to prise open a jigsaw puzzle when the LSO stepped in and stopped me.

I know that I p***ed off a few in the queue but others managed a smile. And me? I got a story out of the whole time-consuming expedition.

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Uganda's 'Kill The Gays' Bill

In a matter of days Uganda's parliament is set to pass the so-called "Kill the Gays" bill, which could enshrine in law the death penalty for LGBT people.
Activists in Uganda say that one way to stop this is by putting pressure on banks with large resources in the country to condemn the bill. Barclays and Citibank both have millions of pounds invested in Uganda and wield a huge influence on the government.

Please join me and sign this petition on asking Barclays and Citibank to condemn the "Kill the Gays" bill.

Thank you,

Tuesday, December 04, 2012

I deserve a good lunch

I've finished proof reading my new book and managed (I think) to upload it to the publisher's wesbite. It should be out within a few months. I'll be sure to let you know when, and it has the inspiring title of Handy Hints For Writers.
It's written in bite-sized pieces and is a collection of all the useful information I've collected, or learned, over many years of selling words. And, of course, I couldn't resist a bit of humour. It'll turn up as one of the Compass Point books, published by John Hunt.
And now I've told you that I'm off to have a lovely Italian meal with my friends, Literary Ladies Wot Lunch.