Tuesday, 30 September 2008

I hate blood tests!

Yesterday I had to have 2 medical tests, including a blood test. I hate needles but now hate them even more (if that's possible). The nurse first tried my left arm and the blood flowed slowly out then dried up, so she had to try my left hand, and as there isn't as much flesh on the hand it was very painful, and the blood dried up again. I now have bruises on my arm and hand and thankfully they don't ache as much as they did yesterday. The other test was a Doppler ultrasound to find out the pulse rate in my feet as I'd been getting sharp pains in my left foot when I walked fast. They had trouble getting a good pulse in both of my feet and it turns out that I have poor circulation and I have to wear compression stockings during the day now for up to 6 months, when I have to have the scan done again. As if I don't have enough medical problems to cope with, I get one more. Oh well. Just have to keep writing to take my mind off these problems.

Friday, 26 September 2008

A Depressing Thought

This year I have enrolled and typed letters for a few new students who weren't even born when I started here at work. OMG, I thought when I did these. I started way back in November 1989 and these students were born the year after that. I am starting to feel old now.

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

More exciting times

I got some more forms through the post on Saturday from my publisher. I got the contract payment form, which I completed and sent off already, and an author questionnaire. The questionnaire is quite long and asks for lots of personal details as well as details about my book and ideas for promotion and a sample press release. I have been asking around to see who is willing to quote my book but have been told that this isn't that important, what is is to think of lots of ideas for promotion in the way of specialist magazines for reviews and interviews, esp local ones. I do already have ideas for magazines and papers that the publisher could approach and am still investigating some more ideas. Someone did suggest Jamie Oliver, and I might just do that later on, as I am a fan of his tv programmes and have his garden book at home. Thankfully my publisher says there is no hurry for this questionnaire so I have time to think about it, esp about the press release. Have to think of how to sell my book and myself.

Well, must go now.

Friday, 19 September 2008

Exciting Times

I got a letter from the production team on Wednesday asking me for a few things which go inside the book eg acknowledgements, dedications, blurb and my biog, plus I have to put ideas for the cover on a form, and ideas for marketing posters (already have that one in mind), oh yes, and a couple of photos of myself for the cover. I got my mum to take some of me at home last Sunday and will probably ask her to do so again tomorrow. So I will be working on the paperwork for Rosie on Sunday and typing up more of Allie tomorrow. They also wanted confirmation of author and book name which I phoned up with yesterday because they wanted them immediately. The rest of the things they want within a month but I will get them done as soon as I can because I do like to be professional and efficient with these things and create a good impression to people. I will have to leave revisions of Checkmate for another week until I get the Rosie papers finished and sent, on a CD.

I went to a British SCBWI talk last night and it was quite interesting. The talk was by 2 men who originate from the US and started up a company in 2006 who work as book packagers, consultants and agents. Basically, if I've got it right, you submit your ms to them like you would to a publisher/agent, if they like the writing they will work with you to get it right, then do all the work, with you the author, to get it packaged right, then once the book is complete, they will approach publishers like an agent does. If you're happy to have them as your agents then so be it but they don't mind you looking elsewhere. Also, they might have book ideas themselves and you can send them sample texts of your work and if they have an idea that matches your type of work then they can contact you to work on their concept, splitting royalties. They are very knowledgable about the publishing side of writing as both of them have worked in publishing and selling books over a lot of years. They seem very nice people and I have made a note of their names in case I might like to contact them in the future.

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Winning Letter

I forgot to say that I had a letter printed in the Daily Mirror the other week. I did originally write at least 3 sentences in the letter but the paper edited to just 1. It sorted of read in the end what I wanted to say about Jimmy Doherty's Farming Heroes programme but not quite. Not that I am really complaining because I got £5 for it, which came in the post yesterday. I now await a parcel of organic Trevarno goodies worth £20, which was my prize for the letter in ecohomeandgarden magazine.

Meantime, I am busy working hard on Allie still. Nearly finished Chapter 6 where Allie and her team have come up with ideas to involve the whole school in her campaign, and hopefully beat her enemy. Allie is a computer whiz and ideas person, and is based on the person I'd like to be, oh and the enemy is called Julia. I wanted to put someone in there like me. Should finish Chapter 6 today and then want to work out what will happen in Chapter 7.

Back to work now.

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Another prize!

I've won another prize. I checked my emails the other day to find an email from the editor of the on-line magazine I sent a letter to and it seems that my email about battery recycling was the favourite email of the month and I had won some organic products. Should get them in the post in a couple of weeks because that was how long it took the other prize from them to get to me.

Meanwhile I have finished Chapter 5 of Allie, where so far she has beaten, with the help of her teachers, her fellow pupil enemy. Now she has to work out more competitions to get the school involved so they are on her side not her enemy's. I've started Chapter 6 and will continue it next week, but only half an hour at a time because I'm back to work tomorrow after 2 weeks at home relaxing. Oh well.

Well, this is my news for now.

Wednesday, 3 September 2008


Well, I received the contract from the publisher a week and a half ago, I then photocopied one and sent it to the Society of Authors for checking. I got an email response the end of last week and it wasn't a good one. Basically, I don't think they like the idea of author funding contracts. Anyway, I phoned the publisher and discussed their response with them and they weren't happy by the sound of it and asked me to email them the Society's email. I did and got a response yesterday which basically said that they didn't like the Society's reply to me and maybe it was best to put my work elsewhere. I wasn't happy about that so phoned the editor up and chatted to him about it and he reassured me that they were happy with me but didn't think I was happy with them. I reassured him it wasn't that but it was all new to me. To cut a long story short the editor told me to seriously think about it and I have and today I will sign the contract and post it to them tomorrow. I am officially now an author!

Meantime I am still hard at work on Allie. Hoping today to finish Chapter 5 so can start no 6 on Friday. I'm on holiday at the moment so have done a routine where I write one day and type it up the next, which I would do if I was a full time writer.

Well, this is my news for now. Off to an agent's party tonight, which I'm looking forward to.