Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Job, health and snow

I had a nasty shock the end of last week about my job. I found out that it is now at risk. My dept is merged with the one downstairs and there are 4 full-time posts covering them. Because of the cuts that are going on everywhere, a plan has been put forward to reduce those posts. They want to create a new student centre on the ground floor of this building and have 3 part-time posts covering it, and to create those posts, they want to cut out mine and a colleague's current roles. It is just a plan put forward for now, but if it goes ahead then it means that mine and the colleague's jobs will go and we will have to either be made redundant or go for an interview for the part-time posts, hopefully be selected or face redundancy. Not a nice place to be just before Christmas. I really hope it doesn't go ahead as the more I think about what we do up here for the students, the more it does not make sense to do it. The outcome doesn't happen until March and up until then there will be meetings and chances to ask questions and find out your options. Fingers crossed.

I had an ultrasound scan done yesterday. Was so pleased when it was over because I couldn't eat anything the whole morning after breakfast and had to drink lots. Thankfully I wasn't that bursting to go after it but was hungry. I had a bit of a lunch with me, so ate that in the reception area before going home and then ate a few more bits at home. It was a scan to look at my liver, and I get the results in March when I see the consultant.

I hate this snow! It is so icy and dangerous to walk on. I usually walk to the station each morning but with this snow I have been getting the bus as it's safer. I really hope it melts soon and we don't get anymore of it. It might look nice to look at, making the buildings seem clean but when you have to travel in it, it's a nightmare.

Well, must get to work now. Be back later this week before Christmas.

Wednesday, 16 December 2009

No CWISL

I have had an email from CWISL saying that they have had a query about my membership and have found out that Pegasus ask their authors to contribute towards publication, which in their eyes is self-publishing (it isn't in its truest form), and therefore they have withdrawn my membership. This is the second organisation I have come across to turn me down because of this. I only did it to get out there with my name and am slightly regretting it now. I won't be so busy next year as I thought not being part of them. Oh well. It is one of the main reasons that I am determined to get Allie published conventionally be it with a big or small publisher. It has made me more determined than ever to get it published properly and am so pleased that I turned down Pegasus's offer of publication for it. The new year will see a renewed vigour to get it out there and Georgina finished. Also possibly Checkmate published. Watch this space next year...

Must get back to work, still quite a lot to do before Christmas next week. Christmas next week? Agh.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Decision and schools

I have finally made a decision about Allie. I have decided that I will wait until I finish Georgina and if I don't get any luck with other publishers then instead of turning it into 2 books, I will do what they originally suggested and try to cut it down to 30,000 words. I have already thought of ways to do that so we shall see. With this decision in mind, it has made me even more determined to get on with Georgina's story and perhaps try to cut it down to that same word length like Allie. This could be a good idea because I know of one publisher who only publish children's novels to a certain length, so if I do manage to do it, there are more choices for me to go to. Watch this space. Meantime, I am about to make things happen for Georgina at school.

I had an email from Sydenham yesterday letting me know what they want me to do in March. First is a talk about my book, then a workshop about 5 ways to eat healthy and 5 powers to make things better, then talking about how to write a persuasive article. I will give it a go even though I am not that good at trying to sell myself but have an idea - it's what they usually say about writing, write what you know. I still hope to sell some of my books there.

Back to work now.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Dilemma

I am in a dilemma. I mentioned last time that I had a response from a publisher who said they liked Allie and suggested it be aimed for younger readers and to do that I needed to cut it down to 20,000. Well, I thought I had a brilliant idea this morning how to cut it without losing the story - make it into two books. So I emailed the publisher and they replied they didn't think it would work for that age range. I replied could I still try to do it that way. Back they replied saying that I could try but to make sure the book stands on its own and doesn't drag out too much. Now I don't know what to do as I thought it was a great idea and got excited about it. I think I might see what responses I get from the other publishers I have sent Allie to and maybe write to another small publisher I've found. And if I don't get any luck out of all of those perhaps try to make it into two books. We shall see.

Back to work now...

Monday, 7 December 2009

Party and rejection

The party was really good on Saturday despite getting stomach pains a couple of times, which went after a while. I chatted to several people and ate lots, then it took ages getting home on the bus. It took me 1 1/2 hours to get home, 1/2 hour more than usual. And I had to change buses as the one I was on suddenly decided to stop half way through the journey. Thankfully I didn't have to wait because my bus caught up with another one and I dashed off my one and got on the other.

I got another rejection this weekend. They liked Allie and said they felt that the topic was too young for the age range I was aiming at but would like to see it for younger children, and if I did that then I would have to cut it and might be interested in it then for their new younger imprint. I replied saying thanks but if I was to aim it at 9-12s then what word length do I need. They have replied 15-20,000 maybe 30,000 at a push. I don't know if I can do that is it might take away the essence of the story and all that I want to say to children. We shall see. Have sent a partial off to another publisher this week, so that will be 2 to wait for. Might have a look at my writing magazines for more publisher ideas to send it to in the new year.

Back to work now.

Friday, 4 December 2009

Another party

I have another party to go to tomorrow. It's the annual RNA chapter Xmas buffet and am looking forward to it, esp after this week and Wednesday (when I had to wait over an hour to see the consultant). Looking forward to meeting up and chatting to everyone again and talking writing.

After a lot of reading and thinking have come to the conclusion that it is probably to do with my liver that all my health problems have come from, and that the liver isn't working the way it is. So when I go shopping next week, I am going to find something that can help the liver although Mum has said if it is one of my medications that is causing the problem, then as long as I am taking that and whatever else I try to take to help it, it will always be there. We shall have a go anyway.

Signings - progress is that Holly got a reply from Blackwells saying that they don't do signings themselves but they do support events that the arts club next to them do and should contact them. So that is what Holly is going to do. Meanwhile, I will email Waterstones at the weekend about my stint. Let you know the outcome when I get it.

Back to work now.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Update

Well, I met Holly and friend Bernie on Monday. Holly has already emailed Blackwells about a signing and they replied they don't do book signings but the place next to them does. I am meant to be emailing Waterstones at Bromley and will do that at the weekend when I have time. We had a nice time meeting and talking and shopping around Liverpool St Station, which I didn't realise was huge.

I had a hospital appointment yesterday after I had to have a blood test. My red blood cells are slightly enlarged and they're not sure why. Most of the common reasons were ruled out as they either didn't apply to me or I was OK. The only solutions they came up with is either the liver or the bone marrow, but then ruled out bone marrow because usually if it's that then the blood count goes up and up and mine goes up and down, so that leaves the liver. I read up on the liver last night and if it is that then it makes sense about everything that has happened to me over the last few years. I am now waiting to get an ultrasound for the liver and have a follow up appointment in March, the day before the school visit. So we shall see. I don't want it to be the liver but on the other hand I do as it will explain all the illnesses I have had over the years.

Must get on with some work now.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Bedridden

I was going to write about the party last weekend but I fell ill instead so didn't get round to doing it until now. The party was really good. I met up with my friend Angela and we went together. There I met a few new faces and chatted with them about writing,and even inspired one to read a Neil Gaiman book after she read about him in a paper there. I also chatted to friends I now, Janet and Jean (hello ladies). I got tips about setting up book signings from Janet and chatted to Jean about why I turned Pegasus down. She told me that I'd done the right thing, which pleased me no end. Janet's tips will be passed on to my friend Holly tomorrow when we meet for discussion about our own book signings.

Saturday was when I started feeling ill,although I did manage to get to Bromley and do most of my Xmas shopping. Then on Sunday I got a cold and cough (still have the cough) and felt sick and couldn't eat my food. Then on Monday I felt worse,had a temperature, and was tired all the time and wanted to sleep. The dr told me over the phone it was a virus going round but I am sure it was a UTI (urinary tract infection) as I have had those before years ago when I was a child. Wednesday was the first day I started to feel myself, and it was my birthday so had to make an effort. I got lots of bits and pieces and a laptop bag from my brother,who came over and fixed this laptop.

Meantime, I got rejections from an agent and a publisher, and also got a notebook from Writers Forum magazine for a letter to be published in the next issue out next week.

I have a day off tomorrow when I will be meeting fellow children's writers to talk over what we will be doing next year for our signings. Can't wait to meet them, esp Holly. Then back to work on Tuesday, day off on Wednesday for a hospital appointment to hopefully find out why I keep falling ill-something to do with my blood as I have to have a blood test when I get there. Will tell you results of tomorrow's meeting and Wednesday's test on Wednesday afternoon.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

Partying

I am off to a RNA party later tonight at Westminster. Will be nice to catch up with fellow romane writers, as recently have been chatting to children's writers. Be having tea here at work then meeting a friend at London Bridge station at 5.50pm to go on to Westminster, where the party is.

Will post about the party over the weekend.

Sunday, 15 November 2009

New decisions

Today I halved the synopsis of Allie, as two of the publishers I want to query it for, ask for one page synopsis, when I had it as two. I've read it through and it reads OK and still depicts the essence of the story. I shall read it again next weekend then probably print off the the first few chapters and send it off. Meanwhile, I have found two possible publishers for Checkmate, both of whom take novellas of less than 50,000 words. One of them is a new publisher who only do digital prints, so we shall see. Once I have sent off Allie to the two publishers, then I shall concentrate on sending off Checkmate and leave it at that until next year. Then maybe over Christmas I shall look at more possible publishers for Checkmate, and perhaps Allie. We shall see.

Also next week I shall send off the story for the anthology. And soon after that I will start writing another story for another anthology, which one I'm not sure yet but I will decide.

Well, that's my news for now. Back to work tomorrow.

Friday, 13 November 2009

20 Years Today

No, that's not my age unfortunately, it is how long I have now been working where I am. 20 years ago today I first started work in what was called the Registry and over the years I have seen many staff and programme changes. The dept has now expanded to a whole floor with lots more staff and many more students. I brought in goodies for everyone here to enjoy (inc myself) and Mum gave me a congratulations card this morning and says she will buy me a small gift for my anniversary.

Oh well, now back to some work.

Monday, 9 November 2009

Happenings

Well, I am definitely visiting my old secondary school to talk about my writing next March as I have already confirmed it with them. I will be talking to Year 7 and 8 then giving advice about creating a newspaper on healthy eating. I am quite looking forward to it as I have already had a few ideas to discuss with the class. Meantime, I have been emailing more primary schools asking if they would be interested in me visiting them. No replies yet.

More happenings is that I have now got 6 people interested in joining a group for book signings next year and will be meeting up with 2 of them next month to talk about it. I can't wait as this is all new for me and exciting. It appears that group promotions are the rage these days as 2 of the interested authors have dropped out saying they will be possibly joining groups in their own areas. Great fun.

Meantime, have sent queries to two publishers about Allie and am working on Chapter 6 of Georgina, as well as finalising a short story for an anthology.

Nearly home time so shall go now to do my washingup.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

First school booking?

I have had possibly my first school visit booking, for next year. A couple of months ago I emailed my old secondary school asking if they'd be interested in me visiting them to talk about my book. Well, earlier today I got a reply finally from them saying yes, they are interested in me visiting them next March during book week. They'd like me to talk about my book and maybe help a group of girls create a magazine about healthy eating in school. I have provisionally said yes because I have yet to get my 2010 leave card here at work, which won't be until next year. I think I will have to book the whole of that week off in case I get more invites. Of course I will charge them. I don't know what my mum will say because she has already told me she doesn't want me to go back there as I was bullied there. We shall see. But I do want to go there and get rid of any demons and bad memories I have of being there when I was a pupil.

Watch this space...

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Research and schools

Well, I ended up researching publishers to send Allie to and found 2 that are possibilites. I will send a query to one this weekend and the other the following week, do both this weekend. I didn't do the typing I said I was going to do because I didn't feel like it, but intend to do it this weekend now.

In the meantime I am still trying to promote Rosie now that I have to find another publisher for Allie. I have started emailing more primary schools that are just outside my area and have asked on email loops if anyone would be interested in joining up to sell their books in a group. Quite a few authors, children's and adults, are doing this now and I think it's a v good idea. Beats not having to face people alone.

I am still on Chapter 5 of Georgina and hope to finish it this week. She now has two more team members to help her defeat her enemy and win her campaign to get others to go natural and organic with their products. Just like me really. I wonder where I got that idea from.

Well, this is all for now. Be back soon when I have more news.

Friday, 23 October 2009

Allie

Yesterday I emailed Pegasus asking them to either email or fax me a reply about Allie if they hadn't already. Then when I got home last night there was a letter from them. They are offering me a similar contract to the one for Rosie. I have turned them down saying that I need to save money now and had decided to try to get it published with a conventional contract. So back to square one for Allie. I already have a few publishers in mind to send a query to but it won't be for another week. I don't have time for researching it this weekend as I have a meeting in Holborn to go to tomorrow then on Sunday I want to type up revisions to a story I have done for an anthology. It will be the week after that I will send it off again, and in the meantime I will be looking at the submission guidelines for other publishers for Allie, as well as for Checkmate.

I will still be working on Georgina as I do like writing these books and so want them to be published.

Must get on with work now.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Rejection

I got home last night to find my novella had been rejected by People's Friend Pocket Novels. They said that it had promise but the romance took second place with the family search in the book and their novellas were about developing relationships. All is not lost yet though. I really liked that book so have decided to look into other publishers, small press and e-publishers, to see if I could send it to them. We shall see.

Still working on Chapter 5 of Georgina. Hope to finish it this week but quite a bit to write still.

Must get on with work.

Monday, 19 October 2009

What's happening

I went to the dr on Saturday after I had a phone call last Thursday to say that I had to repeat the last blood test I had. My iron levels are fine (which is what I thought the problem could be), the problem is my macrocyte count. It's the size of my red blood cells that are the problem, they are slightly higher than normal. The dr said it could either be caused by one of the tablets I'm taking or an infection. Not sure what that means. I will be having the blood test on Thursday.

Meantime, started working hard on Georgina again. Because I hadn't been working on it properly over the last few months I had forgotten what powers I'd given her and had to read the chapters I'd typed and printed to see what I had written. I now know. So far have typed up to near the end of Chapter 4 and it already comes to nearly 20,000 words, which I feel could end up being longer than Allie. Which then will mean that I will have a lot of cutting to do. I already have some in mind to do for the first chapter following the Fantasy workshop I went to 4 weeks ago, and some other revisions that came to mind after that.

Well, must get on with some work now.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

The dreaded lurgy again

I have yet another cold. This is my third one in a matter of weeks, so I am going to the dr on Saturday to find out what is going on with my body as I don't normally get three colds in succession. Yesterday was the worst day as I was sneezing, blowing nose etc all day but today it's not as bad.

As well as recently contacting libraries, me and my book Rosie is mentioned in the Spring/Autumn issue of the British SCBWI's on line magazine Words and Pictures. More publicity, I am so pleased. I am still waiting to hear from Pegasus about Allie and am still working on Chapter 5 of Georgina. Should finish that next week if not tomorrow, when I go back to work.

Well, this is my news for now.

Be back at the weekend.

Friday, 9 October 2009

Chemical nasties

I found out the other night that a handcream I'd been using the last few months had a chemical in it that I usually avoid. I bought the handcream in a set at the Vitality Show from a company that I thought sold natural and organic products, which is why I bought it. Then the other night my mum mentioned that she had read in a book called Toxic Beauty about chemical nasties that this company hadn't been registered/certified as organic. So I had a look at the handcream and one of the ingredients (if that's the right word) was proplyene glycol, which is a chemical preservative that can harm your skin, and have been avoiding it since starting using organic products. So that handcream went in the bin and have replaced it with another that I know is natural and organic. Thankfully, both of the bath washes from the same company are OK and have no chemicals in, which is strange.

Then Mum looked at her skin cream she uses for her skin condition and noticed that not only did it have parrafin in but one of the other ingredients had SLS in, which is a skin irritant. She wasn't sure what to buy after that, and I ended up asking if she had been OK with it, and she had so told her to continue using it, although I am very dubious about that decision now.

Monday, 5 October 2009

It's going

I finished off Checkmate yesterday and packaged it ready to go today. Mum is taking it to the Post office for me. Now all I have to do is sit and wait for a reply from them. Meantime, I will get on with working on Georgina and a short story for an anthology, whose deadline is the end of December.

Regards to the Chinese restaurant, I tried to contact them again on Saturday but still no answer so they have lost our custom and I am putting it behind me. Have decided to try to find somewhere else to eat other than Chinese, possibly Nandos.

Must get on with some work.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Been sick

I haven't been here recently due to having a rotten cold. The lunch was a bit of a disaster. The restaurant I booked was closed when we got there, I found out when I phoned them that evening that they had forgotten to let me know that they no longer open at lunchtimes. They apologised. So we ended up at the local Harvester, where the meal was spoilt by my uncle's partner constantly whinging about her cutlery and food all the way through. It will stay in our minds for a long time. Mum has been trying to get hold of the restaurant to see if they can compensate us for letting us down.

I've had a cold the last 3 days and have done a lot of reading. I also printed off the first 3 chapters and synopsis of Allie and sent them to an agent, whom I saw at the agent's party the other week. I also revised the synopsis of Checkmate, which I will type up on Saturday and hope to finalise at the weekend to send off next week. I am now back to working on Georgina, and am already loving it. Things are about to get v troublesome for Georgina.

Must get on with more work.

Friday, 25 September 2009

A long week

It's been a long week here at work. A colleague has been off sick all week, we have had new student enrolment since Wednesday (most of those students having been born just after I started work here), and to cap it all I had to have a blood test this morning before coming to work. Thankfully the nurse managed to get blood from me first time, which I was so pleased about. I am all right as I told myself I would be.

Meanwhile during my lunch breaks I have managed to read nearly all of Checkmate. I only have the last chapter to read and the synopsis to revise and that is done, then I will send it off to PF Pocket Novels, which will be next weekend.

It's my mum's birthday tomorrow, a special one and we are all going out for lunch. Can't wait.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Ideas and motivation

I have been v busy this last week going to writer's talks/meetings. Tuesday evening I went to a talk by children's author Sally Nicholls and her editor about how Sally got published. I bought both of her books and asked her a question on where she keeps her ideas. She replied in her head. She waits until one idea comes to focus then works on that one. Then on Wednesday I went to an RNA meeting where Freya North talked about how she got published and how she writes. She said that she often has a queue of heroines lined up in her head. So I asked her as well doesn't she write her ideas down? The answer was no. She keeps them in her head until one heroine gets nearer to her so she can see them clearly and know what they are like. I just can't do that as I have too many ideas for books and stories in my mind, and have to write them down otherwise I could get a headache. They were both enjoyable talks.

Yesterday I went to a Fantasy Masterclass on how to write Fantasy for children. It was held by Sara O'Connor, Senior Commissioning Editor of Working Partners, a book packagers who do series books for children. I learnt a lot there about background, setting, plot and motivation, which I wrote down and will refer to when I go back to writing Georgina's story. I also got a brief feedback from Sara on the chapter summaries and writing sample I had emailed her for the workshop, which thankfully she didn't use. It really gave me lots to think about when I go back to writing Georgina and for all the other children's books I have in mind later on. In fact, I made me want to start on Georgina again but I will wait until I finish Checkmate and send that off.

Well, must get on to do some revisions to Checkmate. Be back next week.

Sunday, 13 September 2009

Decision made

I have finally made a decision about my writing. No, I'm not stopping it, I can't but how much I write. After a v bad week sleep wise (had 4 broken nights in a row and had to take 2 days off work sick) and a comment my mum made, I've decided that maybe I am doing too much in one go. As well as working full-time I had been writing 2 books (Checkmate and Georgina) and trying to organise school visits (no interest yet) I have made the decision to put one aside for now - Georgina. There is another reason too which I shall say in a minute. I went to an agent's party on Thursday night and have decided to try my luck again getting one, this time with Allie but that will wait for a few weeks because what I have decided to do is this - try to get published with People's Friend Story Collection with Checkmate. I went to an RNA meeting yesterday and had a short chat with a friend (Hi Pia) who is published by My Weekly Pocket Novel. I talked to her about my novella and what I had done so far. I was concerned about the word count as it wasn't quite 50,000 words yet but s told me that it is actually 45,000 words which made me happy. She also told me the name of the editor and would email me the address as they have recently moved, and said to go for it. She told me too that if you get published by them, even though you might have to wait up to 18 months for a reply from them, they pay you quite a bit for it, which I was quite surprised at. So, this is my decision. Perhaps I am doing to much in one go so I am going to concentrate on finishing Checkmate and the synopsis of it first and send that off once I get the address from Pia, and when I've done that, I will continue with Georgina and send a query to one of the agents at the party on Thursday about Allie. This wil prob take about 2 weeks as I want to put my full focus on getting it done, starting tomorrow. I have the last chapter to revise then I will work on the synopis and then read aloud from the beginning to make sure it sounds OK to me. Will let you know how I get on.

Well, decision is made and am determined to stick with it. I happen to think that working on one book at a time, I can concentrate better on it rather than working on two at a time. I have found that I tend to forget what I've written if I don't work on it for the whole week, so it should prove better for me in the long run.

Watch this space....

Friday, 4 September 2009

Book sale

I sold another copy of Rosie yesterday. My mum was out shopping when she bumped into a woman she knows to talk to up our road. They got chatting about decorating as the woman is currently redecorating her house and Mum said to her come and see what I have done. So Mum showed the woman around the house and she happened to see my books and commented that I was clever as she couldn't write a book at all, and wondered if she could have a copy. I was going to charge her full price but Mum said that she is in a bit of dire straits at the moment so I gave her a small discount and sold a copy. I might get some more order as the woman said she knows lots more mothers and would show them her copy. Mum told her to tell the mothers that it will be full price for adults. I only give high discount to children at schools as they don't get much money. We shall see what happens.

Had another email today from another school. Got my email and will be forwarding it to their literacy coordinator, so shall have to wait and see if anything comes from that. I might hear from the other school that showed interest next week as they only reopened today for the new term. Will let everyone know here if I hear anything.

Only 13 mins to go until we go home. Hurrah.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Future of Food

Has anyone been watching the above TV series the last few weeks? I have and have found it very interesting and thought provoking. It showed how today's food culture is affecting not just this country but all round the world. Last night's episode, the last one, showed how India has come self-sufficient by growing their own fruit and veg, which now is 80% of their food, it also showed how much we waste in food in this country, wasting a lot of money which we can't afford and we can't afford to waste the food because we are eating food faster than it can be produced. I was impressed with a place in Bedfordshire who uses food waste to make more energy for their plants and turn it into fertiliser to make more food. And we do waste a lot of food which goes to landfill, and they are fast being used up and soon we won't have any space left for rubbish. So, we have to find ways to either eat less food and waste less food and maybe grow our own.

So, I feel there are 2 ways: 1. Grow our own fruit and veg. My mum does and has saved a lot of money, and 2. Don't waste so much food. Watch a programme tonight called Economy Gastronomy, which shows how to not waste food and spend less on your weekly bills. The main points are to make a weekly menu for the week ahead of dinners/lunches, include what you have left in the house and write a list of what food you want for the week, instead of what most people do and just wander round the shops. The programme is really good and full of tips to help you.

So, that is my say over and hope someone has read it and learnt from it.

See you soon. Back to work now.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Writing decisions

I don't know about anyone else but I find that when I am reading children's books (for market research and for fun) I say to myself that 'I really want to write for children', and yes I know that I am having already had one book published, then I start reading a romantic suspense book after that and I tell myself, 'I really want to write romantic suspense for adults'. What do I do? My answer is to try to write for both genres. I am already writing for both children and adults - my novella Checkmate is for adults and Georgina's story is for children. When I finish both of those I will be writing my first romantic suspense, but I don't know if I will completely concentrate on that or try to write my next children's book as well. At the moment I split the week in half - Monday and Tuesday for revising Checkmate and Thursday and Friday for writing Georgina. Wednesday is for reading. So I might do it like that, we shall see. Depends on how engrossed I get in rewriting the rs book next year, because it will be next year, finally, when it happens.

Meantime, I have nearly finished Chapter 4 (the first draft) of Georgina, and am up to Chapter 10 of Checkmate. As it's bank holiday on Monday, I have an extra day at home (yippee) and am planning to work on Chapters 10 and 11 on Monday. I am hoping with the revisions I have just done it will get the word count up to 45,000. I don't think I will reach 50,000 as I can't think of anything else to put in the story. I have already done lots of background story to the characters and don't think there is any more I can put in. We shall see.

Well, must get on with some work now.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Romance and passion

If you like a lot of romance and passion, esp the forbidden kind, then one thing I recommend watching is the old mini-series The Thornbirds. It was first on TV in 1983 and my mum recently bought the DVD of it and we have been watching it the last few weeks. Richard Chamberlain played priest Ralph De Briccasart and Rachel Ward played the adult Meggie Cleary. It spans over decades as she grows up and he goes up in the church yet they desire and love each other but can't have each other due to him being who he is. It is a great TV watch and I am loving watching it again. The music is great too and quite catchy as I keep humming it to myself. Or if you prefer books to watching, then there is the book, which my mum read a while ago. I didn't read it as I had too much to read at the time, and am pleased because I can watch the programme not knowing what is going to happen. We will be watching the last episode on Saturday night. I can't wait to see what happens.

It is well worth either reading or watching.

Friday, 21 August 2009

New ventures

I have decided to start a new venture - school visits to promote Rosie. So, whilst it's been so quiet here at work I have been emailing some local primary schools with my new flyer asking if they'd be interested in a local author visiting their school to talk about writing and my book. I have so far emailed 19 schools and got one reply, which I am excited about. They said it was something that could be interesting but it depends on the cost. I am waiting to hear if they can afford a session by me and will let here now. It's like everything else these days, there is a budget and a limit to funds. We shall see. I have had to think about what I can do at schools apart from talking about my writing and how I wrote Rosie, and have come up with a couple of mini workshops based on aspects of Rosie, namely eating healthily and magic. I will probably read Rosie again briefly to see if there are other workshops I can make out of the story, there probably are, so lots of thinking ahead. Might start drafting out a talk at the weekend.

Meantime, I am also busy writing Chapter 4 of Georgina, and have registered with a Children's book website called Jacketflap. All's on there at the moment is my photo and a bit about me. I can add a link to my blog and my published book. Have to have another look at it to see what else I can do on it.

Must get on and look as though I am working.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Word counts

I managed to type up the revisions for Checkmate on Saturday and it's now gone up to just over 43,000 words. Slowly but surely it's rising, whether to what it should be I don't know, we shall have to wait and see. Have things to put in about the hero's background so that might add it up a bit. Also, copied over from disc to pc what I'd typed so far of Georgina and that is now 9,195 words, and that's half way through Chapter 3 of it.

I did a bit of finding out last week about CRB checks. Lots of people have told me I need one to visit schools so I phoned the CRB, who told me I had to, then the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) who told me the same, and who then referred me to my local council, who again told me I did need one. They eventually told me that if a school accepts me for a visit, and being a local author I should get some interest, then they know about CRB and should be the people who apply for me. So, if and when I get a yes to a visit after I have contacted schools, I might ask them if they do that. I have added my name and details to another writers search website, but this one is for more countrywide than London. We shall see what happens. I have already had a writer's group in Norwich become interested in me but their programme for 2009/10 is full so will hear again after that.

I didn't do much yesterday as I was really tired after a bad night. The only writing thing I did was finished rewriting the short story for a competition. Now I have to type that up to see if it comes within the word count limit.


Well, must get on with some work.

Friday, 14 August 2009

It's Quiet!

It is so so quiet here at work. There are hardly any students about as they are either now on their holidays or doing exams then on their holidays. All I have to do here is filing, which I will do later. I have been typing up Chapter 3 of Georgina, and also started drafting out what is going to happen in the second half of the book. It gets really bad for Georgina and her team of helpers and friends and she has to rely on their own powers and knowledge to beat the enemy this time. Can't wait to write it.

Weekend I will be typing up revisions for Checkmate and a short story for a competition. Oh am off to a library tomorrow to drop off Rosie and some promo material to the Head of Children's Development there. Spoke to her on the phone on Monday and she said to send her a copy and she will see what she can do about it. Another wait.

I have decided that when the new school term starts I will phone and email several local primary schools with a flyer I have designed advertising my services for talks. In this current credit crisis, although I have seen headlines saying the worst is over, I don't know what sort of response I will get. We will see. Will let you know here. My local borough have said that if there are any more author events they have my details to contact me on. Also spoke to a librarian who was really nice about primary schools and she said to phone her in October about reading groups. I thought that could be another promo opportunity for me, after going to one back in June. I don't get paid for it but I will get PLR from readers reading my book.

Well, must get on with looking like I'm doing some work.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Writing update

I typed up the revisions to Checkmate on Saturday and now it's 42,370 words long but still not long enough for People's Friend. Have a lot of work to do on it. Will be reading through Chapter3 and 4 today/tomorrow. I also worked on rewriting a short story for a competition and will get to finish that next weekend. Have also emailed another adult short story for an anthology but won't hear back about that until after October as that's when the deadline is.

I am still trying to promote Rosie. Have just phoned Head of Children's libraries in Bromley and will pop in a copy of the book to the library for her perusal on Saturday. Have decided that I would like to do school visits to primary schools only when the next term starts.

My website has a new look to it, thanks to John Hocking and it looks very summery and contemporary now. So take a glance and see what you think. The page about me giving talks at schools is going to be changed so that it reads I will charge certain expenses, and it's not free.

Must get on with some work now.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Book ideas

I got this idea for a children's book last night watching a great TV programme. It was called How the Other Half Live and is about one family who is wealthy sponsoring another family who live in poverty. The one I watched the poor family were really poor. They lived in a flat, had no table and chairs so had to eat their meals sitting on the floor, the middle daughter's bed was broken and she slept on the mattress and they couldn't afford to buy a new one and the eldest daugther kept her clothes in a box and suitcase as her mother couldn't afford drawers. The wealthy family donated money to the poor family to pay off their debts and buy various things for the family, as well as helping the mother get her life back on track. It was really moving as the mother and eldest daughter were often in tears at the generosity of the other family, whom they met. As I said it gave me an idea for a book which I have yet to write down in the little pad at home.

Meantime, I have found a couple of publishers who publish anthologies and am v interested in sending them stories. I have already sent one story for a children's anthology, which has the deadline of November. So watch this space.

Nearly home time now and can't wait. Very quiet here at work and have got lots of filing done.

Oh yes, you should see a small change to the blog. I managed to put a photo of me on there for all to see. It's one that was done by the local paper photographer.

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Got it.

Pegasus have got the rest of Allie now. Received an acknowledge letter from them yesterday. Now I have to wait. If it's the same time length as last time with Rosie then I should hear from them in 2 weeks. It all seems to have gone a lot quicker this time, maybe because I am already an author with them. I have my fingers and everything else crossed that this time I am offered a traditional contract.

Meantime I am trying to find ways to help myself get about talking about my writing and book. I have emailed a couple of organisations who deal with authors talk with schools and libraries asking how to register with them. I now wait for replies.

Must get on with some work now.

Monday, 3 August 2009

A new week

I had a lovely meal out with my friend Heather on Friday and also a lovely chat. I had chicken fried noodles with some stir fried beansprouts, which filled me up, but enough to have a banana for dessert. I paid for both of us and Heather said next time she will pay.

Saturday Mum and I went to a local show room held by the company that might become our landlord next year. The kitchens were nice and we decided what colours we'd like but will go back there again to check. We do need new cabinets as the worktops are all bubbled up from putting hot pans on them and new lino because our floorboards are up and down. We shall see. In the afternoon I typed the amendments to Checkmate and it's now just over 42,000 words. Not quite enough as I am aiming for People's Friend Pocket Novel and they require 50,000. Did some additions to Chapter 1 today so might reach 43,000 next time.

Sunday - not a lot. Had a chat with my brother on the phone who said it sounded like I need a new mobile - it's playing up and I can't make calls to home. I started to do Pilates but my stomach went funny again so that was cut short, then I did some writing. Additions to my healthy eating talk and wrote chapter summaries for Georgina for the Fantasy workshop I'm going to in September. Made me think where I want the book to go to and how to get to its climax.

Well, must get on with some work, I think some filing.

Friday, 31 July 2009

This week

I haven't posted recently because last weekend I had a stomach bug and since then my stomach hasn't been right. I was off sick from work yesterday with it but back now. It's still not right and I want it to be.

On the writing front. I have sent the rest of the chapters to Pegasus and hopefully they should have received them by now. Meantime, I started writing Chapter 3 of Georgina's story today and can't wait to get on with it now. I am also revising Checkmate the adult novella and have lots of revisions for the last chapter to do, which I will type up at home tomorrow.

I am out tonight meeting my friend Heather for a meal. We're meeting by the local Chinese restaurant near where I live because it's not far from where we both live. Looking forward to that. I shall have something plainish without sauce because of my stomach problems. I don't want to upset it again.

Well, this is my news for now. Oh yes, my website is currently being updated by my web consultant and will be looking great very shortly. I have seen what it is going to look like and it is fab with lots of sunflowers and a more contemporary and teen feel to it. Can't wait to see the finished site.

Nearly home time and the weekend. Can't wait.

Friday, 24 July 2009

End of holiday

It's now near the end of my holiday. Haven't done much due to the weather not being so good. I had the blood test done on Wednesday and was very brave because the nurse had to do it in both arms in the end. She found a vein in my left arm but it refused to give blood, so found a vein in the other arm and thankfully got lots of blood for that. Will get the results next week. Went to Greenwich Park the other day and got followed by a squirrel, because we were feeding the squirrels some of our monkey nuts. Saw some deers there at a distance, they were sitting down. Had my hair cut this morning and that is it for this holiday. Have read a lot this holiday. So far have read 5 books. 3 Intrigues, 1 Stephanie Meyer and 1 Nell Dixon (Nell, if you read this I really liked Animal Instincts. I thought it was a gentle romance with a hint of mystery). Just started reading the 6th book, another intrigue.

Finished writing chapter 2 of Georgina yesterday and will type up the rest of chapter 1 later on. I want to email it off to someone for a workshop I will be going to in September. Meantime, I got a letter from Pegasus today, asking for the rest of Allie. So I will be printing off the rest of it over the next few days. Fingers crossed....

Well, must get on with reading some of my emails here. Talk more next week.

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Holiday time

I am on holiday still and having a good time spending money. I went to the library on Wednesday. They took a book, poster, flyer and bookmark, said they'd pass it on to the children's librarian to have a look at and get back to me. I gave them my business card with my home no on. So that's 3 libraries I am waiting to hear back from.

I had a lovely spa treatment yesterday. I discovered this one locally which is only 15 mins walk from where I live, and they use natural and organic products. My mum and I each had an anti-stress facial with neck and shoulder massage and a manicure. The massage was lovely although it hurt a bit, prob cos I was tensed up a bit. We've decided that we are definitely going there again. It doesn't cost us to get there and there are no stairs for my mum to trip up. I spent a lot of money there on some of their products, which are quite dear so will only use for special and weekends.

This morning we went shopping in Bromley and I spent a lot of money there. I bought another mac (red), 2 nighties and 2 silky blouses with tie backs on. They look wonderful on me but no so on Mum as she liked the ruby coloured one. The other was ivory. So all spent out for today but v happy with purchases. Later I will be writing some more of Chapter 2 of Georgina's story, who I've decided will be black after listening to the founder of Tamarind Books talk last week.

Well, this is it for now. Catch up later in the week when I've done more things.

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Promo update

Well, I heard from the Croydon woman last week and the answer was no, they can't do anything for me. The reason was that to do an event there, if they want to bring my books in they have to do it via their library supplier, and they haven't got my book on their list. They said they'll keep my details for future use. I left a message on the ansamachine of the Bromley lady and still wait to hear back from her. In the meantime, my successful news has appeared in Crystal, one of the small press mags that I subscribe to, along with the page about my book from my website. It will also be in the next issue of Creature Features, the other small press mag I subscribe to. And I have a letter in the current issue of Natural Health magazine. Not the star letter this time but still a letter.

Tomorrow I will hopefully be visiting another library in another borough and hope they can offer me something, as I'm keen to give talks another go.

Well, this is all my news for now. See you later.

Sunday, 5 July 2009

Another library, more promo

Well, my mum and I managed to find Croydon library on Saturday. I got to speak to one of the children's librarians who took some of my promo stuff, a book and my contact details. She said she'd pass the stuff to the Head of the Children's libraries, and gave me the email address and phone number of the lady. I will wait until Wednesday to hear from her, and if I don't then I will phone her to ask about possibly doing an event there. I have decided that if I do do any more library events, they will be based wholly around my book and my writing as I feel that is a subject I am more comfortable talking about.

I forgot to say that to get to the library on Saturday, I had to go to East Croydon train station because due to engineering works no trains were going to West Croydon station. I have not been to East Croydon station since 2005 when my mum fainted, banging her head and breaking her wrist and it gave me bad memories. I had to overcome my fear of the station and managed to do it. I got very nervous waiting for the train going there, felt about panicking when I was leaving the station and was OK once I'd left it. I wasn't too bad when I got there to get the train to go home. Hopefully I will be able to go there again now that I've done it once as it is quicker going to East than West.

Will let you know what happens.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Library talks

I heard back from the Head of Children's libraries the other day. She asked me how I thought my talk went, so I said OK but thought the Q&A session afterwards went better so might focus on that area in future. She told me that as I don't have a medical background she was concerned that I might be misinforming the children about what I am talking about and wants me to email her my next talk so she can have a look at it to see if it's suitable or not. I have revised my talk to make it more interactive, another thing she advised, as well as mentioning books and websites which she also advised to include. I have decided that I might just do talks and sessions about my book and writing in future for libraries, if I get the chance again. Once I've reworked the talk I will email it to her saying that that would be what it'd be like if I talked about healthy eating again.

Meantime I am still waiting to hear from one library and the Head of Bromley libraries. And I have started writing chapter 1 of Georgina's story.

See you soon.

Sunday, 28 June 2009

New promo chances

I went to another library yesterday to see if they could display some of my book promo materials. The receptionist said that the woman I needed to see wasn't in but gave me her email address. I am sure she said that this woman is the Head of the Children's libraries in Bromley. Anyway, I emailed her today asking if we could meet up to chat about promoting my book. I am still waiting to hear from the other Head of Children's libraries in my borough. Left a message on her ansamachine on Friday. I also went to another Holland and Barrett's but they said I have to contact their Head Office, which I might do.

Then yesterday whilst reading my emails, I found 2 emails from the editor of Crystal, one of the small press magazines I subscribe to. She wanted me to let her know asap my news, which I did do, and wanted permission to print off my website the page about Rosie. I gave her permission. She wants to put it in the next issue of the magazine so it will be circulated. Who knows, I might get more sales from that. This gave me the idea to email the editor of the other small press magazine I subscribe to. So I emailed her with my successful news. That magazine is based in Cyprus and has a more global circulation, so who knows what can come of that. All I have to do now is sit and wait. Mum said to me why can't I let it sell on its own now. I don't want to and want to carry on promoting it for the next 2 months at least. I feel that if I do that, then Pegasus might see how serious I am about promotion and take me on again with a normal contract for Allie.

Watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

My library talk


Well, I had my first library talk and how did it go? I think it went quite well, although I feel that I did bore the school girls a bit. I had an audience of 4 school girls, the library youth worker and 2 female police officers and the man working on a laptop behind them. I think the girls were more interested in the fat causing strokes side of my talk, so that is what I will concentrate on more when I do another talk. Although I didn't get to sell any books, no one had money on them, I gave out my free dried fruit anyway, as well as my bookmarks and postcards. After the talk I answered a couple of questions and we got chatting about strokes and healthy eating, which I found went better than the talk. The library worker is Afro Carribean and she said that a couple of her relatives have had strokes and she has found she's got high cholesterol so has had to relook at her diet. I told her that I'd read that people of her background are at higher risk of strokes and that. I am pleased that I did the talk as it was good experience, and I now know what I can improve on and what I need to talk about more. I would like to do more library events but think I will gear them to more question and answers and general discussion about writing and healthy eating as I felt that went better than the talk. I will be visiting another library this weekend to see if they can promote my book and maybe get something there.

Now to get working on my 3rd book.

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Writer's News

A couple of weeks ago I emailed Writers' News magazine with my success story. I got a reply back saying that they have a big backlog and would get a member of staff to write the news up. I didn't think more of it, until Monday. I got an email from the Assistant Editor saying that she was writing an article for the Members News page about my book and asking me a few more questions. I wrote them out and replied yesterday attaching an image of the cover. So hopefully in the next issue I will be in there. Will put it on my website when I see it.

Must get on with work now.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Rosie and Allie

This week I have managed to sell the 6 out of 8 books I took to work. Only 2 more to go before I've sold the whole box I was sent of 23. I have already opened the other box of 27 as one of my aunts whom my mum sent the paper article to wrote to me asking for a copy. Hurray another sale I thought. So Mum has sent that off. I hope to sell some of the box at the talk later this month. Will let you know how that goes.

I got an email from Pegasus during the week acknowledging receipt of Allie and saying that it will now go forward for further consideration for their lists. Be patient as it could be a lengthy process due to the amount of work they've taken on recently. So another several weeks before I know if they want the rest of it or not. I still have one reference page to type up for it which I will do during my holiday in two week's time.

Meantime I have almost finished writing up the talk. I have decided to add about food intolerances too as something I know about. I tested it out yesterday and it only came to 11 minutes and I'm supposed to be talking for 30 mins. So hopefully now it will at least be double that time with the added info.

Well, I am now going to try to put the photos of my launch on my website. Ho hum...

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Allie's gone

I sent the first 3 chapters of Allie to Pegasus on Monday, so that baby has now gone for consideration. Hopefully they will get it today if they didn't yesterday. So now I have a few weeks wait to hear from them if they like it enough to want it as well as Rosie. Meantime, I have started to work out Georgina's story. I have written out her timetable, who her teachers are and now am working out what magical powers to give her to help the girls and the school. I'm already looking forward to writing this story.

I am going to start practising my talk later this week after I've finished writing it. Just need to write a little bit how cholesterol causes strokes and I'm done. I've decided to talk as though I'm chatting to the audience and see how that goes.

Will let you know when I hear from Pegasus about Allie, so watch this space...

Back to work now.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

My Book Launch



I had my book launch yesterday and it was very successful. I got to the pub very early so had plenty of time to put up all my posters around the place and then had lunch with my mum and friend Heather. Then at 1pm my guests started arriving. I was pleased to see my work colleague Cathy arrive as she'd been ill all week with the flu, and then all the other guests arrived including someone else from work and another romance writer whom I didn't expect, so was a nice surprise. We had lots of chatting going on and I did my socialising bit, then at 2pm I did my book reading. I was very nervous about it but once I got talking I seemed to get into it and had a round of applause at the end. Mum did say that I spoke too fast and I know I did in places, nerves you see. It was a practice run for the talk later this month. That's my mum with me behind the table I did my talk from and sold my books at. I got a few tips from fellow romance author Jean Fullerton about selling my books on Amazon and who told me what photos I need for my website. Thanks Jean. I managed to sell 12 books, which was to nearly all my guests and I thank everyone for buying one and making me some money. I hope that all had a great time and enjoyed it as much as I did. Pleased I did the launch after all the organising and nerves that went into it. What was also a nice and unexpected surprise was that 2 of my work colleagues brought me bouquets of flowers (seen her in vases). They are all sorts of daisy type flowers which I love. Because of having so much to take home with me yesterday, my uncle who came offered to go home early, get his car, come back and drive us home. I took up his offer. We were going for a meal afterwards but Mum was tired and I'd had enough so with 1 and 1/3 boxes of books left, my backpack, suitcase and the 2 bouquets of flowers, we had too much to carry so we were driven home. Thank you uncle Mike, it was much appreciated. All in all a successful afternoon albeit the manager giving us the bill at the end which we had to pay there and then. I will sort it out tomorrow with Pegasus to see if I can get reimbursed. A great time I had and pleased I did it. Now for the talk later this month...




Monday, 1 June 2009

Connections

Well, I went promoting again on Saturday. I went to another local library and the main librarian there was very helpful. She took some of my promotional materials and said she'll display them to promote the book and try to get children to want to read it so they can stock it. She also gave me the name and phone number of the Head of the Children's Libraries in my borough and I will phone her later this week. The librarian said they she'd be able to help me promote the book and possibly open other doors for me too. She also asked me if I'd be interested in talking to a small reader's group in the future and I said yes and gave her my business card. So watch this space...

Meantime I am getting excited and busy preparing for my launch on Saturday.

Back to work now.

Friday, 29 May 2009

In the press today

Yes, I am in the local press today. I am in the South London Press local paper on page 8 I believe (have yet to see it but will at lunch). There is a whole article all about getting children to eat healthily and I am at the end of it with my book. It says who I am and what the book is about and what I have been doing with it, promotion wise. I will be buying several copies and so will my mum to give to friends and family, and for promotion reasons. As I am in the SLP today then I think I will be in the Mercury next Wednesday as they are based at the same address with the same reporters. Watch this space...

Sunday, 24 May 2009

Another signing?

Promotion yesterday went quite well. I first went to another library who took some promotional material and a book from me. I asked them about possibly doing a signing and whether it was worth it asking them as I'd already organised one with another library in the area. They said yes it is worth it as they all are doing promotion for healthy eating. I left my business card with them and they will get back to me on what they can offer me. I said it will have to be late June or July. Then I went on to a local bookshop. They also took some materials from me and a book but were too busy organising an arts festival to offer a signing but would display my promotional materials and book and hope it would sell. If it does then they might stock the book on a sales and return basis. I hope so. Next week I will visit another library.

Today I read a few chapters of Allie, revised the synopsis and revised my talk on cholesterol and strokes. I hope to get the synopsis finalised by next week to send to Pegasus. Meantime, I am due to be in the South London Press paper on Tuesday, so if you live in the south London area and see the paper pick up a copy. I am buying dozen or so for family, friends and promotion purposes, and one for my promotion folder.

Be back next week after I've been in the paper.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Definite talk and signing

Well, the talk and signing is a definite now. The library phoned me at home yesterday, so my mum phoned me then I phoned them from work. I asked a lot of questions and it has been agreed that I give a talk about healthy eating and living followed by a Q&A session then a book signing. I will talk about one thing that high cholesterol levels can do to you if you eat too much fatty foods. It will held on Tuesday 23rd June at 4.30pm until 5.30pm and I am excited and nervous about it. The library have said that they will send out press releases to all the local schools and papers about it and one to me. Hopefully more books will be sold there.

It appears that Rosie is now sold out on Amazon as it now says 'Usually dispatched within 1-3 weeks.' Apparently one of my cousins has tried to buy it on the web and she was told that she would have to wait until June. Oh my, what is going on? Sold out!!!

Well, must get back to work now. Will be back end of the week to let you know how I get on tomorrow at another library and a bookshop. See you then.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

In the press

Well, things are happening fast for me here. If you remember back in March I went to the Vitality Show and put my name down as a case study for York Test. Well, they phoned me last week and had a long chat with the man about food intolerances and how I've been doing. Then I mentioned my book. At the end he said he was going to contact somebody in my local area about it. And that happened yesterday. A man from the South London Press phoned me and chatted about my book, what is what about and why I wrote it and food intolerances and said that he would be writing a piece on me and my book and wanted to take a photo of me and it could they send a photographer to me. I said yes, and today at 11.45am (my lunch time) a photographer is coming to meet me here at work to take a photo of me, which is why I am now dressed up a bit at work. Pegasus said this is excellent and I will be sending them a copy of it once it's out, as well as family and others who may want it.

Oh yes, nearly forgot. I also found out yesterday that there is only one copy left in stock on Amazon, so if you want a copy now act quick.

That's my news for now. Be back later this week when I've been visiting other places. Back to work now.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Possible book signing?

Well,I went on the promotional trail again on Saturday, this time to Catford. I went to Holland and Barrett and the manager couldn't have been so different to the one at Lewisham. He was nice and friendly, and even took a couple of flyers from me. One success. Then I went to the library and they were very happy to see me as they said that I'd come at the right time and was bang online with what they were doing. They are currently promoting healthy eating in youngsters so my book was perfect. They took some promo stuff from me and a book, and then I asked about either doing a talk or a signing. They said that was fine, I gave them a business card, with my home no on the back, and they said their marketing people will get on to me about doing something. I am getting known. Hurrah. So, in case I have to do a talk, this afternoon I drafted a talk about high cholesterol and what it can cause, stroke and how strokes can affect you and your family, mainly about what happened to my dad and how it affected us. I haven't quite finished it yet, there's still a last touch to it so I get the audience to participate. Next week will be another library and the bookshop. Will let you know what happens there.

Meanwhile I am writing up the reference section for the back of Allie. Had a minor panic when I couldn't find some papers I needed but found them in another folder. I am practicing reading from Rosie for the launch. If it comes after the library thing then it will be good practice for me later on.

This is it for now. Be back later on in the week.

Friday, 15 May 2009

Working in the dark (nearly)

Well, it's been rather weird, and a bit boring, here at work the last day or so. Some of you have probably read about the flood in Tooley Street, well that is right next to us here at Guy's, and it has caused massive power failure. One building is shut, half of another building is shut because of no power and the hospital is now working on a generator, which means that we here that do have power have had to use as little energy as we can. So I am now working in semi-darkness, with all but one light off. Yesterday was the boring day because the flood effected the connectivitity to our computers and we only had access to email and the internet, and ended up either doing lots of filing, reading emails and surfing the net. There is only a certain amount of filing you can do in one day before getting bored with it. Today is better because we now have connection to other programmes on our machines so we can do a bit more work. Hopefully, all will be back to normal on Monday as they are receiving a new generator at the hospital.

Will blog about writing over the weekend.

Tuesday, 12 May 2009

The proomotional trail

I am still trying to promote myself. I have started to phone local bookshops, after being told by Waterstones in Greenwich that for new authors book signings don't do well, and that is in any of their stores. You have to be a big name like Darren Shan. I phoned one local shop yesterday and spoke to a very helpful lady who told me what Waterstones did that signings are hit and miss for any author. She said that they could do a big display of my book and promote hugely as being written by a local author and asked me to pop in to chat about it. I then said that if I had a signing then I would advertise it widely including contacting the local press and she said, well. I will be visiting them on Saturday 23rd May to chat about what they can do for me. I phoned another bookshop today and the man I spoke to said that my book is on their list but they want sent to them info about the book so they can decide whether to stock it or not, no mention of displaying. So I emailed Pegasus if they could do that for me and they have replied they will do so. That's all I can do for now. I will be visiting another local area at the weekend where another bookshop is and if I can find it will possibly pop in and ask them what they can do for me in the way of promotion. Watch this space...

Monday, 11 May 2009

Promotion success

Well, I had some success with promotion over the weekend. Firstly I went to a library and they willingly took some of my promotional materials and a book, then I went to a Holland and Barrett's and the manager said no. He's not a nice person apparently and Mum told me not to let him put me off, so I'm not and going to try another store next weekend. Then we went to Greenwich and to the organic store we shop in and they took some of my materials and a book which I promptly signed for them. Then it was back to a health store we shop in weekly and I was allowed to post up a couple of flyers on their notice board. Success! Oh yes, I also went into a Waterstones in Greenwich and was brave enough to ask about book signings. Was given a name and number to phone today and will do so later.

Next week will be 2 more libraries and another Holland and Barretts.

The email invites to my launch went out last week and the postal ones I have been told probably last Friday, so people should have received them all by tomorrow. Can't wait. I am excited about it but my Mum is worried for me in case hardly anyone comes and it's a let down for me. I am trying not to think like that.

Must get on with some work.

Friday, 8 May 2009

Promoting myself

I have been busy promoting myself and my book Rosie this week. I got all my promo materials on Tuesday, which were bookmarks, flyers and posters. Yesterday I put some flyers out here in my area and on the floor below where I know, on the way home I popped into my clinic and dropped off a flyer there. They said they'll give it to the manager to have a look at and decide but was sure that it would be OK to post up. Today I went to another building here at work where I know the staff and the students walk through and put up 2 flyers and displayed one with a couple of bookmarks. Have 2 more buildings here at work to approach and will do that next week. I have also offered to do an interview with someone on a website and waiting to hear from the person for the questions to reply to.

Tomorrow I will be visiting one of my local libraries, a Holland and Barretts to ask about displaying my promo materials, then onto Greenwich and my organic shop and ask them. Will let you know over the weekend how I get on.

Well, get back to filing now. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Competition winners

Hi, Rosie here again. My, there was some competition going on esp on the last day. Right, I shall hand you over to Julie now and thank you for entering my competition.

Thank you everyone for entering, esp on the last day as Rosie said. Here are the winners:

Day 1: Dulcie
Day 2: Jeanette
Day 3: Nell

Apart from Nell, whom I've already got the address for (took it off the back of the jiffy bag you sent me the other week), Dulcie and Jeanette, please could you email me your postal addresses so I can send you the prizes. Congratulations one and all.

Hopefully invites will come to everyone shortly for my book launch and see some of you there.

Back to work now.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Blog competition Day 3

Hi, Rosie here again.

Yes, I worked out what the cure is. It's purple and eaten with salad. Once I worked it out, I had to get everyone to find a way to eat it so they could get better. The teachers were quick to realise I knew the cure and I had to confirm it to them and what I intended doing.
Then, I found out who my mystery emailer was, and they had been testing me all along. But why?
First I had to get everyone better and announced to the school the cure and how I was to help them.
The end of the week I found out that it was going to be Monday when I'd be told the truth about why I was being tested. But then Mr Potter, my arts teacher, gave an idea for a last push to my campaign.
It was whilst chatting to my sister about what had been happening that I came to the conlusion about my school. Was I right?
Weekend came and I relaxed, shopping with my team and awarding them prizes. Then I had a scary thought - were my mum and dad involved in the plot to test me? So I had to keep secret what I suspected.
Finally it was Monday and the tests to really test my powers, but I managed to overcome them and beat them all. The end of the day I was congratulated by everyone and found out the truth. You'll have to read the book to find out what that is.
So, after reading that, here's my question: What colour is the cure?

Leave your answer in the comment and Julie will announce all winners shortly and ask for your snail mail addresses. Thanks for listening to me tell my story.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

Blog competition Day 2

Hi, Rosie here again. There's my creator Julie above, holding book about me. So, where was I? Oh yes. Things were getting hot at school. In PE, I worked out a new merit scheme to get everyone involved in my campaign. Then I found out that my enemy was none other than my geograpy teacher, Mr Summers, and he had a helper who looked very familiar to me. I made her come to her senses with a power of mine. When Mr Summers turned the heat up, so did we and my team and I got together with the teachers.
At the weekend, my team and I went shopping and had a meeting to plan competitions, including getting my aunt Lucy involved.
The second week started with a war on the enemy and he took the challenge by trying to undermine my teams' consciences. I thought I was starting to win the battle but enemy told me otherwise by email.
Then after a lot of thinking about what we had all eaten, I believe I knew what the cure was.
So, it's all happening now.
Did you take all that in? Hope so, because here's another question: Who is my enemy?
Again, put your answer in the comment box and Julie will ask for your snail mail to send you my book and a surprise.
See you tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 May 2009

Blog Party & Competition Day 1


Hi, I'm Rosie Sullivan (that's me above outside my school), and I have a story to tell you. I thought I went to an ordinary school, taught by ordinary teachers and no one but my family knew about my healthy eating plans, but I was wrong. It all began one Monday.
First, the hurdles were shrunk by our PE teacher, then my French teacher was nice to me, I got an email warning me about eggs in ICT, and then in maths I fell ill with a headache and burning eyes and got a premonition of boys coming into the classroom and throwing eggs. If you thought that was weird, then my math's teacher, Mr Holroyd, told me that it all be fine and it was my time. Time for what?
Then came Tuesday. My dad revealed it was my time for me to help others. Girls started falling asleep and having stomach pains, then I discovered I had powers as well as teachers, to help the sick girls. An assembly was held and our Head, Mrs Zabberwol, told me that I was the only one who could find the cure.
Wednesday proved more of the same. More girls fell ill. Then I heard Mrs Zabberwol tell my HE teacher to test me. I sorted out healthy eating plans for the girls I had taken under my wings and found skipping was a good exercise to get teams together. Then I discovered I had another power. The day ended when I found out that someone was interfering with my plans to help the girls, who were now part of my team of helpers.
Now, did you take all that in? You did, good. Then I will ask you a question. Who told me it was my time?
Give Julie your answer in the comment box and if you get it right, she will ask you for your snail mail address and send you a copy of her book all about me with a surprise. Good luck. I will be back tomorrow with more news and another question. Byee.

Thursday, 30 April 2009

It's Publication Day

Today is the day that Rosie is published. Hurrah. The books should be printed and sent out today to everyone, including me. My marketing assistant was going to check with the printers this morning to see if everything was OK now, as there was a delay yesterday in that a machine had broken down (typical was my reply). So hopefully it is now all systems go and I will get my free copies tomorrow in time for Saturday and me to try to promote my book at my local library and Holland and Barretts. I am at work today and brought in some healthy snacks for us all to eat and celebrate with me.

Must get on with some work, although hard to concentrate knowing today is THE day. I will probably hold some sort of launch party here over the weekend, so watch this space.

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

I'm on Amazon

Knowing that Rosie is out on Thursday, out of curiousity, I decided to have a look on Amazon and WHS websites to see if it's there - and it is. Another way of knowing that you have made it as an author - your book is on Amazon. The cover is there on Amazon but not on WHS. I got excited about it, sad I know. You can pre order it from both places but for those of you who will be invited to my launch (romna, wordpool and British SCBWI members) there will be a chance to buy it then.

Talking of my launch, nearly there. Have booked the venue and ordered nibbles. All I have to do is finalise the guest list and send it to Pegasus. Hope to do that within the next couple of days.

Back to work now.

Monday, 27 April 2009

Book launches

Ever since I heard that Rosie will be out this Thursday, I have been trying to organise a book launch. I have a probable venue and wanted food for my guests but what I wanted originally is going to be too costly. I wanted finger party food but it will cost too much for me and my publisher, so I think I'm going to have to go with nibbles. I will phone the venue tomorrow to find out if I can provide my own healthy nibbles or not. I did leave a message for the manager to phone me but she has now gone home.

Finalised details will come up hopefully later this week, and all invites will be sent by my publisher, once I have sent them the guest list after it has all been confirmed. Watch this space...

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

It's come!

What has come? The date for Rosie to be published. I found out yesterday that Rosie is being published next Thursday 30th April 2009, which is sooner than I thought as I was told May. I am now planning to have a launch party, probably in a room here at work as it's easier for me to arrange, and London Bridge is accessible to lots of people. More details to come.

So, I feel that means I have to work harder on Allie now and get it to Pegasus for them to see.

Keep reading this space.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

More excitement

Last Friday I received a registration form from my publisher, Pegasus, for PLR (Public Lending Right) which really excited me. One of those things to me that proves I am now an 'author'. I have filled that in and it's gone recorded delivery today. I shall now have to register Rosie with the ALCS.

Another exciting thing happened. I keep forgetting I have a webmail account and have started checking it daily now. I was checking it yesterday and came across an email from the Assistant Editor of the web magazine 'Words and Pictures' which is run by the British SCBWI. She wanted to know if I would like to be included in the Members Accolades in the next issue. I repliled I'd be delighted too and have just emailed her the cover of Rosie to include in it. I am so excited. Fame at last, sort of. I will, of course, keep the page with me mentioned on it when it comes out and can't wait to read it.

I am still working hard on Allie, on what I hope to be the final draft. After this one, I intend to read every chapter again and then send it to Pegasus, in the hope they like that one too and accept it. Fingers crossed.

Must get on with some work now.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

More foods

I am still trying different foods with this new eating regime. I have tried falafel again, and this time it tasted more moist and agreed with me. I've tried blackberry jam, and both my mum and I agreed that it didnt' smell or taste anything like the blackberry we remember. To me it didn't smell or taste of anything. Tried Linda McCartney's veggie sausages which were really nice and will have again. Next to try is damson jam. I like plums so I should like that. There is one drawback in all this though. Having cut out a lot of things, I have now discovered that one more food disagrees with me - onions. Too much onion makes me go to the loo too much (sorry prob tmi) so I have to cut those out for a while. I asked the nutritionist last week in my follow up chat to her about it, and she said that some people with digestive problems can have trouble with onions. I don't have that many onions but will cut them out for a while.

Must get on with work. See you soon - hopefully with news of my book launch.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

An Inconvenient Truth

If you haven't watched the above film, I suggest you do. My mum and I watched it at the weekend and it certainly made me rethink about what we are doing to our planet. It was very interesting and very scary to watch. It told us that our C02 emissions have been going up every year since the 70s and within 50 years from now will go sky high. Parts of the Antartic and Greenland are already melting because of this and if Greenland melts much more then it could cause a major catastrophe in that the ice that melts will raise sea levels so high that it could flood and obliterate parts of the US and other countries. Already US and other countries that don't normally get floods have done so eg Hurricane Katrina and India. Also, if the temperatures get higher then we could be at risk from infectious diseases such as avian flu, which has already come over to this country, and infected by tropical insects. US have already had a battle with the pan beetle which destroyed tons of trees. And instead various birds and animals can become extinct. For instance, polar bears could die out due to their ice habitat melting and can't find homes, so end up swimming miles and possibly drowning to find another home, and I recently read the robins could die out due to the warmer weather appearing before time, so their newborns don't get the food on time to survive.

The thing that causes the most CO2 emissions is transport, noticeably cars. I am not going to preach or nag (although the above might seem like it) but please please if you use your car a lot, rethink about how you can use it less. Perhaps car share with neighbours/friends, use public transport more, don't use the car for very short journeys when you can walk or get a bus. I don't use my car very much, only when I really need it, like the weekly shop to Sainsbury's where buses don't go and it's too far to walk back with 5-6 heavy bags.

We only have one planet. If not for yourself, but for your children and grandchildren etc, please think about what we are doing. This is why I have written Allie, which is all about helping the environment and the little things we can do that can help.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

Success at last

I've finally managed to do it - put the cover of Rosie on my website. I emailed the web masters asking what I could be doing wrong and they replied I should save pictures as jpeg. So today I scanned the picture again but saving it as jpeg, then added it then put it in, and it's now there for you all to see. Isn't it great? I just love it as it's the way I pictured it with Rosie in her uniform in front of school with the junk food below. I am so happy now. I will put the blurb on over Easter.

I still can't access my site on my home pc and will talk it over with my brother tonight to see what can be done about it. If I can't get a result then I will have to install the Kodak software onto my laptop and transfer all photos on there in future. Will let you know what happens. Meantime I am one happy bunny with a cold.

The other good thing that I happened to do is find the DVD of the Pilates video my mum and I had been doing until our VCR packed up. I found it on WHS site and have ordered it so now we can go back to what he had been doing properly. It wasn't the same doing it on our own with other music. I do prefer to go with a proper instructor. Shall tell Mum tonight and she will be happy too.

Must get on with work now.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

A frustrating day

Today has been really frustrating for me. First, I tried to put the picture of the Rosie cover onto my website but no matter how much I try I can't do it. I put the photo of it on my pc at home but I now can't access my website on it due to the problem before. I think it was because I have an old hard drive and it crashed as I can access the website on other computers. There are possible solutions such as getting a new updated hard drive and installing the photo software on to my laptop. The second thing that went wrong is that a stationery order my colleague placed last week before she went on leave has gone missing and I can't track it down. Will probably have to order it again. Then the water company delivered our water but put the bottles that had to go in our main office next door on the floor by us so we had to get a male member of staff to do the job. Next time will check where they are put before signing. The last thing that went wrong was what I did the other day. I've been wearing a pedometer again and this afternoon as I leant to the side to do something I accidentally knocked it and cleared how many steps I'd done to that point. I think I have a rough guess, we shall have to see. I am going to go by what I usually do on a normal day, which is just over 7,000.

I am going to try to put the book cover picture on my site over Easter one way or the other. My problem is that I get impatient when I can't do a thing I want to do straight away when I want to do it. Have to learn to accept I can't do it right now.

Not long to go now before home, then one more day and I'm off for 5 days, having got next Tuesday off. So plan to do lots of work on Allie, esp finishing this current draft and starting the next and hopefully the final one.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Disaster over

The disaster is over now. I truly thought I'd destroyed my website yesterday with trying to download the image of the cover for Rosie but thankfully it was only temporary and it's now normal again. I sincerely thought I'd have to create another website for myself and am so pleased I don't. I think I am going to have to photograph the print out of the cover, which I've done, and try to get it on that way. Will try that tomorrow night at home, so you might not have to wait until Easter for it.

I am happy now.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Disaster!

Disaster has struck. I tried to download the image of the book cover for Rosie on to my website and it has deleted the site. All it comes up with now is a stripy screen saying 'Done, with error on page'. So I am sorry but the cover on the site is going to have to wait until Easter when hopefully I can get my site up and running again (or create another one) and put it on there somehow.

I am so disappointed and angry at this happening. It will go on there eventually.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Book cover for Rosie

I got an exciting email on Tuesday. Pegasus emailed me with the proof cover of Rosie and wanted me to check it. I did. The whole picture was what I asked for - Rosie in front of her school with the can of pop, crisps and burger below, but they put Rosie as having long dark straight hair and I envisioned her like me with short dark curly hair. I asked for this but they replied saying that they didn't think that it was up to date and wouldn't help sales, oh this was after they slightly amended the cover giving her shorter wavy hair. So I agreed and guess what - they replied saying brilliant, bang on target for May. May! Next month! Eek. Excitement and nerves stepping in here. For those of you who want to see the cover I will try to put it on my website this weekend under 'My Books.' Meantime I am busy thinking up a competition to put on my website for its release, which if I get to do book signings I will take slips to give out for it. Anything to up the sales of Rosie.

Meantime I am busy still on Allie, and now have to reenvision her as I'd thought of her like what they've put Rosie as. I might give her shoulder length blonde hair instead of dark.

Well, must get back to work now.

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Vitality Show 2009

Mum and I went to the Vitality Show on Friday and had a tired and enjoyable time. We got there 10 minutes before it started and I was desperate to go somewhere. They wouldn't let anyone in until 10, the queue was very long so we ended going to a cafe just down the road. By the time we got back we could go straight in and we did. Thankfully the talk I had wanted to hear had been delayed because the speaker realised that the doors weren't opening until 10 when her talk was due to begin. She was the Scientific Director of York Test labs and talked about what they do, how they work, how their tests work and showed us case studies of successful clients. After the talk I was brave and went up and chatted to her about what I was doing after having the test done, and she asked me if I would be willing to be a case study and I said yes. So I gave my name and number to another York Test staff, who said that someone would be in contact with me. Watch this space to hear what happens next.
Then we went to the Rosemary Conley staff, yes she did appear, where we had ourselves weighed. Both of us came out OK and my metabolic age was 29, 9 years younger than I am. It has spurred me on to try to lose weight and exercise more cos my weight was higher than my ideal body weight should be and degree of obesity was 8%.
After that we wandered round buying health bars and lots of organic toiletries, collecting lots of freebies on the way. There was a section called the Organic Beauty Pavilion of different organic companies which really interested me, and where we bought our toiletries. We had lunch and then wandered round some more before Mum decided that it was 2 hours later than it was (it was 1.25 and she thought it was 3.30pm) and wanted to go home. So we freshened up and left, but not before collecting our goody bag. So we went home carrying 2-3 heavy bags of goodies and freebies. All in all, we had a good time and will definitely go again next year, esp if it's at Earl's Court again, now we know how to get there.

I did some exercise today. Pilates. Unfortunately we can no longer use our VCR as it packed up earlier this week so can't use the tape we'd been doing it with. We had to do it by ourselves to instrumental music. We have remembered most of the exercises I think and Mum has written them down. Might look for another DVD which is good.

Well, this is all for now. Keep popping back for updates on my health regime and what is happening with York Test.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sausages and ALCS

Well, I had the sausages on Friday and they were quite tasty, although they did leave a fatty and greasy taste in my mouth afterwards. Will probably have them again another time but not too soon as I weighed myself yesterday and put on 2 pounds, the 2 that I lost after Christmas. Now I have to lose them again, which I find hard to do these days. Made a start today by doing 40 minutes of pilates. Yesterday we had sweet and sour, me with beef and Mum with turkey, which was delicious, today we are having pasta in sauce with veg.

I got a nice surprise in the post yesterday. I got a letter from the ALCS (Author's Licensing and Collecting Society), who collect royalties for authors of photocopied works. Well, I registered with them last year after hearing about them at a talk and have registered most of my stories and letters with them to date. Then yesterday I got a statement summary telling me that over 2 years I have had royalties of over £180, minus membership fees, comes to over £140, which will go into my bank this month. It certainly brought a smile to my face as I seriously didn't think I was going to get any money out of my stories apart from what I get paid for them. I know differently now and will keep on writing stories and letters for papers and magazines. And I shall keep up my membership with them.

Friday, 20 March 2009

More about foods

Well, the pineapple and mango fruit spread didn't agree with me in the end. I finished it off yesterday but had too much of it and ended up on the toilet for a while before going to work (sorry if that's tmi). I bought blackberry jam the other day, so that's the next flavour to try. I had goat's cheese and beetroot sandwich today but I don't think that agreed with me either. It was either the fact that I had to crouch over a bit to eat at lunchtime or the combination of the two foods didn't agree but I felt like I had IBS again this afternoon. Thankfully my stomach has settled down now, so I can try the beef sausages for dinner. One food that I did buy and both my mum and I really like is an organic vegetarian pate from Holland and Barratt's. I am going to try it with tomato on tomorrow as I do want to try eating more salady stuff, although tomatoes are fruit. Might have a look at their ordinary pate tomorrow.

Talking of H&B, Mum found out yesterday that they now sell organic toiletries. Hurrah. Shall have a look at those tomorrow too, if they have them at the Bromley branch, which is small.

Still working hard on Allie. Have decided to do one more revisions after the one I'm doing now, as I want to cut out one thing I've put in and change another. I am now at just over 53,000 words and would like to get down to 50,000. We shall see. The short story is now ready to email off to the anthology publishers, just have to add various names and titles to it as they need it.

Well, off to check if some documents have been signed so I can post them on Monday.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Prize and new food



Above is the prize that I won for the Star Letter in Natural Health Magazine this month. Look great don't they? I haven't tried them yet, probably next week. You use the exfoliator cream (on right), then the moisturiser (on left). The serum you can use daily but I will use it at the weekend as a treat. My cheque for my TV letter in the Mirror came on Friday and yesterday I got in the post my winnings from the contest Nell Dixon (Hi Nell, thanks) did on her blog last week. All will come in handy.

I have been trying new foods and have found things I like and don't like. I tried pineapple and mango fruit spread which has an odd sweet taste. It's OK but I won't buy it again. I have also tried falafal, which tastes slightly dry and spicy but gave me gassy pains after eating it, so won't have those again in a hurry and yesterday we had beef grill steaks which tasted yummy, better than burgers. Today we bought beef sausages to try sometime. Found out that the diarrhoea I had last weekend was a stomach bug going round London last week, which makes me happy it wasn't anything to do with what I've been eating.

Well, now to get on with reading some of my emails then revising Allie and a short story for an anthology (hopefully).

See you later in the week.

Monday, 9 March 2009

Setbacks

I had a couple of setbacks in my new eating plan (not calling it a diet because it isn't one) last week. I had stomach pains after eating lunch on Friday at work, and now think I can't eat goat's cheese and tomato together, then on Saturday I had diarrhoea. Don't know if it was a bug or my body detoxing after eliminating certain foods from my health, as this can happen. It left me feeling very weak and tired and am off work today because of it. The only good thing about it was I lost 2 pounds in weight but of course, now put it back on again. I did so want to keep those off, but never mind. My mum was OK about not eating chicken, turkey and lamb for 3 months, despite my fears of her being not OK with it because I know she likes her white meat. We have worked out menus for dinners this week and next so far and probably do those menus for alternate weeks. See how it goes. So far I have found I like wholemeal pitta bread, and one that doesn' t have soya in. Most breads I have found have soya flour in, which I am intolerant to. I also looked at pates and pastes yesterday and the pates were made with meats I can't eat and the pastes had soya in. Why oh why do they put soya in everything? Mum thinks it could be a cheap alternative to something to put in things such as bread. I am now inclined to agree with her but it makes it so hard for people like me who are intolerant to it. I remember a talk by the original Diet Doctors at the Vitality Show last year when they mentioned about food alternatives. They mentioned that because our Western world is used to eating foods such as soya we shouldn't eat too much of it, because our bodies won't be used to it. Mine certainly wasn't when I started to eat it instead of cow's milk and that's why I am now intolerant to it.

On a good note. I had a Tv Topic letter published in the Mirror on Friday about my views on the programme It's Not Easy Being Green, which I really enjoyed. Payment for that will come duly.

Well, that's my news for now. See you later this week.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Food for thought

Well, I had the phone chat with the nutritionist yesterday and I have had to rethink my diet for the next 3 months. She said that as I am mainly intolerant to meat and fish, it probably means that I'm not digesting the proteins properly, and I should drink at least an hour before and after meals to help digestion. A bit hard when one of my IBS tablets says I have to have it 20-30 mins before eating, but I shall try. She also said that to get the best results is to eliminate all foods I'm intolerant to at least 3 months, so that is why I have to think again about what I can eat. I am going to have to have a good search for other foods I can eat instead of meats now, not just for dinner but for lunch. I have started to take my acidophilus (spelt correctly?) first thing in the morning and last thing at night as she suggested to see if that helps too. I am having meat in my lunch today because I didn't know what else to have until I have a good think and search in the shops. I get a follow up phone talk in a month's time. So watch this space to see how I get on the first month.

On a good note. I got home last night to find 2 surprises fo rme. 1: tickets for the Vitality Show I'd booked at the weekend for 27th March. Can't wait to go and see that after this new diet I have to try, and 2: my prize for the star letter in Natural Health. It was in a nice purple box, all bowed up, and has in it an exfoliator cream, moisturiser and antioxidant serum. I shall use all of those with pleasure as they are made from all natural and organic ingredients. My kind of toiletries.

Well, must get on with some work now. Be back at the weekend with more news of my new health regime.