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


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towards publication, which in their eyes is self-publishing (it isn't in its truest form), and therefore they have withdrawn my membership.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


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


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.