Sunday, 28 March 2010

Allie update

I typed up all the revisions on Allie yesterday and now the word count is down to 34,758. I feel that I am now getting there and all it needs is a good push. I have come up with an idea how I can get it down even more, by making the story simpler and have one thing happening to Allie each morning and afternoon. We shall see how that works out. Have the last chapter to do tomorrow, then back to the beginning again.

Also, I have emailed a letter to Writer's Forum and will wait and see if that gets published or not later this year. I have rewritten a short story for a writing for children competition and another for a magazine, which had been rejected for an anthology recently. I took on board the comments I got from that and revised it accordingly. We shall wait and see what happens with that. Both deadlines are for mid April, so I have to get cracking. Thankfully it's Easter next weekend and I have a few more days to write.

Well, this is all for now. Back later in the week with more writing and recycling news.

See you then.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


As most of you who read this know, I am a very keen recycler. Well, thanks to a great website I have discovered called, I have found more to recycle. There are certain foods that come in plastic bags/wrappings that have on it 'recycle at larger Sainsburys'' and I have found that I can do exactly that at my local branch as they have a plastic bag bank, so next time I go there I will take these bags with me. Another thing I can get rid of is dirty tissues (I know not a nice subject). I can now compost these. I don't do too many because I use a lot at the moment with pollen rising around me. Another great thing to recycle, even though I don't have them often, is crisp packets. I have found a charity that collects them, based in Southampton, who will then send them on to the Phillipines, who recycles them into handbags and purses, for free. So I have started collecting packets at work and will send them off as soon as I have enough. I have one at home, which I will eat next week. This is all part of the 8 week rubbish diet I am trying to do, which I got from the zero waste website. The less that goes to landfill, the slower they will fill up.

If you want to know where you can send the crisp bags, then contact me and I will give you the address.

Back to work now.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

The Vitality Show

Mum and I went to the Vitality Show on Friday, and despite being tired, really enjoyed the day. We got there about 10.40 am and got a floor plan then went to the loo. Then we went to the stands we wanted to go to and bought organic toiletries, lots of seed bars, which proved to be cheaper than buying from a supermarket, then got our weight and that measured. My weight and BMI were up slightly from last year but overall I was told I am fine and didn't need to lose weight, which I still would like to do. I went down a pound today from yesterday. Mum was fine too. Then we went to a talk by a woman called Janey Lee Grace, who has a slot on Radio 2, talking about natural products. I found out, after asking, that she started living holistically because she had a cancer scare which made her wonder why it happened. Then she began eating raw foods and using natural products. She talked about using lots of the old style products like olive oil and bicarb of soda, which I have been reading in magazines recently. She was nuttier than me about using natural products, and it was good to hear someone like me. I will be buying her book next week on line. After that we had lunch, then we wandered round some more, buying more food and magasines and ended up with 2 full bags each coming home. We left at 2.15pm when Mum had had enough and her arms were starting to ache with carrying a lot of things. A good day was had by both of us and I can't wait to go again next year.

Meanwhile, I have now managed to get Allie to 36,600 words, which is quite a feat since it began at just over 50,000. A way to go yet but I will get there.

Now to check on my emails.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Another success

Last night I got home to find the local paper, Lewisham Newsshopper, open on my chair. I had written a letter to them about the council getting a move on to recycle more plastics, and there it was on the letters page. Mum said, "I read it and thought, Julie writes something like that" and there was my name. I don't get paid in any way for it, it is just seeing my name in print and getting my views heard. If you've read a last entry here, I mentioned that my council only recycles plastic bottles. I now bring other plastics to work to recycle as we can recycle plastics with 1-6 on. At least that's something. I am doing my best to reduce my waste at home.

Meantime, I have revised Chapters 4-6 of Allie and will be typing those up on Sunday. I am out at an RNA chapter meeting on Saturday listening to a crime writer talk.

Tomorrow I am on leave. Mum and I are off to the Vitality Show again. I can't wait. This year I have decided to take some business cards with me, as you never know who I might get to speak to. There is one talk I want to listen to and it's about using beauty products, naturally.

Back to work now.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Writing to date

I am still writing letters to magazines. I sent 2 to one magazine last week and wait to know if I am successful.

Meanwhile I am working hard on revisions to Allie and am now down to just over 38,000 words so quite a way to go still. Might do it, I am determined to get there. Be doing chapter 4 today so won't know until next Sunday when I type up the amendments how it is going.

Last Thursday I went to a talk by another children's author who does a lot of school visits and he gave a talk about it and what he does and how he prepares for them. He said that it is a good idea to stress what time you want to start and make it a time that is comfortable for you. One thing that does bother him is when teachers are in the room with him but aren't listening to him so don't know what he is doing with the children. It is why I have put on my preparation notes that staff must be in the room with me and take charge if anyone causes trouble. It was very useful and enlightening. Well worth going for.

Must get back to work now.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The Latest on Me

I mentioned recycling blues before and what I meant was that I have found out that my local council only recycle plastic bottles and no other plastics. I had been putting fruit punnets and houmous pots in it which now means that I probably contaminated a whole load of stuff that could be recycled. I was feeling down that I had to throw away lots of recycleables but have now come up with an idea how to get round it - take the plastics to work with me. It does mean a bit of a carry but as long as it gets recycled I don't mind.

Health - I had the hospital appointment this week and it was as I expected. It's my liver that's causing problems. It is inflamed and is called drug-induced hepatitis, prob caused by one of my tablets. I am being referred to a liver specialist to see what they can do for me, it might be the case of having to have a biopsy to see if it is definitely the tablet. We shall see. They also are writing to my endocrinologist to get my appointment with them brought forward to maybe change the tablet.

Writing - good news this time. I have had a letter in the latest issue of Writing Magazine and Sainsbury's magazine. I registered my star letter with the ALCS today and will do the others prob next week. Meantime, I emailed my local paper about recycling today. Also, have now revised Allie so there are fewer chapters and it is now at 38,911. I aim to get to 30,000. More revising this coming week but during lunch times as I will be back at work then.

Be back during the week.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

Mixed success

My writing has so far had mixed success. I got a rejection for my short story for an anthology because there was inconsistencies in it and it was too near the deadline for revisions, I also had another short story rejected from a magazine competition today. But then I got a letter in Writing Magazine about how the RNA is helping me. Then yesterday, I got a mini bank statement out and found that there had been a lot of money gone into my account. The only thing that I could think it was was the ALCS payment and I was right. I checked my statement on line today and there it was. Woo hoo. That amount has paid for everything that I've paid out for so far this year, which is great.

Today I emailed Checkmate to another publisher and emailed a letter to a weekly magazine. Now all I have to do is wait again and check next week's magazine.

Well, this is my news for today. Be back later in the work about my recycling blues.