Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Another new business venture

As someone with Asperger's Syndrome I don't normally take risks, but I had to do with a new business venture, thanks to Rebecca Woodhouse who referred me. It is all about selling and promoting different courses that appeal to online businesses and home business owners, and that can include writers like myself. I was referred by Rebecca (I always like reading her articles in Writing Magazine) when this business was going for a special offer trial for 10 days. You have to pay the full amount for each month after that, but if you get commissions, it pays off and you can break even. So what are these courses you are asking. Well, here are the links.

The first one is about how to build a home business on a small budget, and shows you videos on how to do this in 7 steps.
If you like these videos, it gives you a chance to buy the ebook, which I am going to read this afternoon. I think this is a great idea because in these economic climes anyone wants to know how to do something on a small budget with things costing so much.

The other course I have been promoting to others is

Again, if you like the videos you can buy the course, and if you buy it having read my link, I will get commissions.
There is another course called Elite Marketing Pro, which this is all about. We all want to be a pro at marketing and be good at it. So do check these all out and let me know what you think. That was a call for action. If you want to know about building a home business, even if you are a writer, contact me on here. I am going to mention this on FB and Twitter today so you can find me there, too. So, let's build a home business on a budget. Let's all make some money to support ourselves.


Friday, 24 May 2013

Question Time - Need ideas

I have lots of ideas for pitches of articles about living with Asperger's Syndrome, but my main ideal would be to have a column for a year or so in a magazine. I have thought of 8 ideas already on 'how to cope with AS and anxiety' but need a few more if I were to have a year to do it.   Here are the ideas I've come up with already. How to cope with AS and anxiety ...

1. At Christmas
2. If you get lost by going to a new place
3., Going to social events
4. At primary school
5. At secondary school
6. Starting work
7. With family at home
8. If you are bullied
9.  With friendship

Would be glad to have more ideas so when I come to pitch a column later on I have plenty to give and impress.

Look forward to hearing from you all. I will be putting a message about this on FB and possibly Twitter.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

SCBWI Retreat - What I did; being brave

I forgot to say in the last post that on the Saturday afternoon I had a one-to-one with Lucy Christopher. I told her that I'd now added a new angle of the main character, Billy, being autistic. We talked about it all for 20 mins, and I had an encouraging chat with her about it. So encouraging, that the following morning, when I found myself sitting next to Rebecca Frazer of Orchard Books in the bar, I approached her about Billy. I asked her outright if she took submissions for 7+. She said yes, they concentrate on series fiction. Then I talked to her about the book and what I'd planned. She was v interested in it. I was heartened about it, and decided that weekend I wouldn't self-epublish first but query it with publishers again. We did writing in the morning. I drew family trees and shop layouts for the village Singleton. It helped me flesh out the series more.

In the afternoon we had a talk by Lucy Christoper and how she writes her books. Then more writing. By that time, my head was going a bit fuzzy so I decided to do some highlighting of Life instead of writing. Much easier on the brain.

We had dinner in the evening, which was gorgeous as ever. I think I had vegetables with cous cous, but added new potatoes and veg with it. I had fruit salad for dessert, and was the only one.  I have to say that the food they provided was delicious, and very helpful to me and my dairy intolerance. So much so, that during the afternoon when I asked if they had dairy free biccies, they took out some nice Freefrom ginger cookies, and later on some choc chip ones.

That night, we had a pj party. A few of the others did change into their nightwear. In a circle, (I was on the outer circle so I could sneak away), we had to read out something that we'd written that weekend. I read out a dark magic piece where the trees and the weather got rather windy when the character went through them to go to work.

Monday morning, and last day there. I worked on Billy, starting to get it ready to email to Rebecca. Then Rebecca gave a talk about Orchard Books. She told us what they did, what they were looking for, and what interested me was someone asked if they were interested in taking on authors with packaged series ideas themselves, and she said yes. After that, I told Rebecca my pitch for Billy, which I had just worked out, and she told me to send it to her when I'd finished it. So that is what I've been doing this week, and plan to email the synopsis, 3 chapters and outline for series next week.

All in all, I had a very heartening and successful retreat. Although I know others didn't.

Thursday, 16 May 2013

SCBWI Retreat - What I learnt and did Part 1

Last weekend I went to Dunford House in Surrey for a writers' retreat. I went on the Friday and returned Monday afternoon. Friday was just socialising and dinner as we could only check in at 5pm, due to another group leaving.

Saturday - we had a talk by Lucy Christopher about settings. Here is what I learnt, and what I did about it. Lucy researches the senses. Think of the tension. What might happen in the place. Place can shape relationships. Settings can show all that is needed to know. Be specific. Then we had an exercise where we had to write down our own settings from our work and write what it was, what it looked like, what we saw, what it sounded like (descriptions eg bird songs), what it smelt like, feels like. Here I drew a rough sketch of my magical village Singleton, and I drew the park in the middle. I wrote as though I was the main character in the park and what she felt like being there. It really brought the village and the park to life for me, and I had a great idea how to bring the story more alive when I wrote about it next. For me, the magic I wanted to write about got darker. We had to think of the textures under our feet and in hair. (Later on in a break, I went outside and felt the gravelly path to do this, and later wrote it in as part of what the character feels). What tastes evoke the place.

Emotional tension. Fear and excitement. Sources of fear - what does she fear. What excites her about the place. I wrote that she fears she will live there forever like all the elders in the village, but is excited about new people coming to live or see the place. This then came me an idea how to flesh out the whole series, bringing in new people to meet the residents who work there, so they fall in love. So more places would be coming - by magic, of course, when couples fall in love.

We had put create a pull for our character to go out of it. Paula, my main character, goes to work in the next village. This then gave me more magical ideas to put in the story. Weather was mentioned. By this time, the end of the talk, I had lots more ideas to improve the story and make it seem darker than I originally planned, but I am loving writing it.

After that, we had writing time. I got down to it, and wrote and wrote new storylines for Snakeskin Boots inc the darker magical side of the village. I also began writing family trees for each character in each book, which helped me flesh out the characters and the businesses there. I believe this is what my editor was commenting about in her letter to me about it.

In the afternoon, was more writing time and I wrote some more on 'Life'. After an  hour my fingers went crampy and I had to stop and I went outside to get some air and do some senses research for Boots.

We had dinner later on. We had chicken on mash (no butter) with new potatoes and veg, which was gorgeous. Followed by meringue with forest fruits. It was pavlova, but as I can't eat cream, I just had meringue. V nice it was too. After that, I went back to my room cos I was v tired. I read for a while then went to bed. I slept better that night than the night before.

Sunday next....more writing and getting a publisher interested in Billy.

Monday, 6 May 2013


I have read that some children with Asperger's/autism have digestive problems, and I am one of them. For years I have suffered with IBS on and off and most recently it has flared up. So, I have been trying a new food regime. I have also read about FODMAPs, and don't ask me what they all mean as I'm not sure. I know the F stands for Fermentable (things like apples, honey), and the P stands for Polyols which are foods, mainly sweeteners that end in 'ol' like sorbitol. I know that I can't eat apples and I sometimes can't eat lots of sweeteners, also dark green veg, which are meant to be good for you, not me.  I read others on the list are wheat (which I can't eat too much of in a day) and onions. So, I have cut out wheat and onions for the last couple of weeks to see what happens. My IBS has been up and down since, but not as bad as it was when I ate onions. I have cut out chives, which I usually have nearly every day. I am away this coming weekend and will prob be eating wheat then, so shall see what happens when I do, having not eaten it for a while now.

I shall blog the results next week when I come back.