Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Article - Next Stage

Despite the fact I am madly jobhunting, I am rather proud to admit that yesterday I actually finished Draft 2 of The Article (I know - don't all cheer at once!)  It reads better, is tighter and is much less me and much more them so feeling very pleased with it.  Furthermore, I contacted Writing Magazine earlier and pitched it.  So I am now officially in the Next Stage.  Watch this space.   Had a good Young Writers session today, too - but if you want to find out more about that you'll need to look at

Want to find out what's happening since Billy-Nomates stuck his oar in?  Well - basically - zilch.  Microsoft answered my Customer Services message, sent via their Customer Services site and, guess what?  They sent me a list of links, none of which have actually helped and one of which simply took me straight back to, yep, you've guessed it - Billy-Nomates who, it seems, is desperate to receive my credit card details.  So then I tried contacting Hotmail.   But haven't heard from them.   So am now stuck.  All my contacts in the writing world are under that email address, and I can't retrieve any of them.  I think this is where I may have to admit defeat.  I refuse to yield to Mr Nomates.  My credit card number is certainly not visiting him any time soon!  I guess I shall just have to start rebuilding my Contacts list from scratch.  And this time, I might even write them down somewhere so that I am never in this situation again.

And now a quick question.  Has anybody reading this ever successfully e-published a book?  If so, please tell me all about it.  Does it work for you?  Are you earning anything from ut?  Was it terribly complicated to do?  Do you get any feedback?  Sorry - just realised that was five questions so maybe I should learn to count?  Nah ... I have always said my gift lies in words not numbers.  Me and Numbers fell out the first time I saw that maths teach whack a kid round the back of the head.  I can't think of any other reason for the head of the maths department to agree when I asked her not to enter me for my maths CSE way back when.  But my English teacher thought I was brilliant.  I even asked for extra homework ... yes, I really did!  See you again soon.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

How Very Dare They ...?

I am sorry but it has to be said!  What do email hackers actually get out of what they do?  This has been bugging me since last Thursday night when I discovered mine had.  What's more I think I am onto some big scam because - like complete idiots - whoever it is has asked me to prove who I am by telling them, in their guise as microsoft, everything about my x-box (I don't have one and never had) and my credit card number (do they think I was born yesterday?).  It shames me somewhat to admit that when the message first flashed up on screen, I was just mildly irritated, but thought no more about it.  But that turned into absolute fury when I realised what was actually happening.  And now they have blocked my main email address (not my gmail address fortunately) and told me it can't be unblocked until I give them proof of who I am by providing such sensitive info.  So tonight I googled Microsoft, found their UK contact details and reported it to them - along with the question of how I can get it back.  I shall also telephone them tomorrow.

What kind of sad halfwit is it that sits at their desk, probably in some dank and dingy squat, and does things like this?  Is his or her life so full of meaningless twaddle that hacking into some poor so & so's email makes their little cup of joy overflow?  Or do they notch them up like a cowboy with his gun as in "Hmmn - one down, only twenty seven million other email addresses to go and I shall (evil cackle) conquer the world!"  Is he or she just lonely?  Maybe they have to hack into other people's cyber lives because they have no life of their own and got called Billy-Nomates at school by kids wearing the latest designer gear who went around in clique little groups from which he or she was excluded?  Well I have news for Billy-Nomates now.  Hacking into private lives really won't up your place in the popularity stakes.  Sorry mate that's just how it is.  Nobody likes a loser!

Anyway, just thought I would let everyone else I know that I can still be reached via blogs or gmail.  What's that?  Oh - The Article!  I am half way through the second draft.  That's slow going for me but I have had a lot to contend with lately - not least Word Magic by the Young Writers.  And, now I have expelled the vitriol over Billy-Nomates and his cyber shenanigans - I can get on with being a Writer again.  See?  It takes a lot to get me down.  I have Words on my side!

Thursday, 14 February 2013

What A Feeling!

Two hundred beautiful Word Magic books found their way home today.  My young writers will be ecstatic when they see them next Wednesday.  I'm pretty ecstatic myself, truth be known.  Definitely time to move on with The Article.  Didn't really have much time today despite the fact it was my Day Off from the soon-to-be-kaput day job.  Funeral to go to this morning (very sad. RIP Ann).  So picking up the books this afternoon gave me a real lift.  If I can get my head round it, I will try to upload a photo of the books so everyone can see what a group of 6 - 9 year olds is capable of.  I will let you know their reaction next week.

By the way - think I may have solved the techno-thing I mentioned yesterday.  Am going to the Young Writers blog next and will try to insert a link.  Wish me luck.  Good to see someone else has 1'd this blog.  Whoever you are - thank you.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

The Article Begins Its Journey

Today I started Draft 2 of The Article about Addiscombe Young Writers.  I am hoping to finish it tomorrow and then I will start touting it.  I know it is worth pursuing this because the South London Press gave the group a totally brilliant mention in yesterday's copy on Page 7 and I am going to write a guidebook eventually.  Well - why not?  I keep saying I want other groups for Young Writers to spring-up.  Maybe I can advise people on how to go about it.

Tomorrow's a big day in more ways than one because I have enlisted the help of my Steve to collect the freshly printed and bound mint first edition copies of the Young Writers' first book Word Magic - their  book.  I can't wait to see their faces next week when I hand them their complimentary copies.  I know how thrilled I was the first time I saw my name in print.  And I was 12 - so a lot older than these guys, most of whom are under 9!  If the book does well then we might even do another one next year.

Now I have re-embarked upon my own quest as a writer, I am surprised at just how much I am getting done - even with my soon-to-be-kaput-full-time job.  The other day I even took the Writers and Artists Year Book to work with me so I can do some research - and that is one hefty tome to carry about as I am sure you all know (after all, I'm guessing that at least some of you are also writers?).

By the way - can anyone help me with a particularly annoying little problem I have with my blogs?  A year or so I set up another blog intending it to do all the things I am hoping this one will do and I forgot about it until recently when the writer inside me was reborn.  The snag is that both have the same name and whenever I type in the blogspot address, that old one keeps coming up and I cannot find any advice on removing it.  Since I'd like to put a link into the Young Writers' blog, I need to get rid of the old one so that when people sign in they get to this one that's all lovely a new and smells like a brand new book (well almost).  Yet I know this one has been viewed because my stats tell me so.  I mean how totally thick am I not to be able to work that out?  All advice gratefully received.  Better go - have Steve's Valentine's cards to write out - and one of them will feature a poem I wrote especially for him.  All together now - Ahhhhh!

Friday, 8 February 2013

The Article

Had a rough count-up on the bus this evening.  The Article is just over 1500 words.  Am now seated at my desk in my best writerly pose, with a stapler holding open my 2013 Writers and Artists Year Book on page 28, which is where the magazine details begin.   I should be on my way to Dreamland as I am up at 6 again tomorrow for the soon-to-be-kaput day job.  But I couldn't resist one little stab at the laptop first.  Big mistake.  It'll be three in the morning before I know it if I'm not careful.  Anyway - at least I am one step further on with The Article than I was this time yesterday.

There was a time that I could knock out two or three articles a week and have them re-drafted, typed, enveloped up and sent off  (with the never-to-be-forgotten sae enclosed of course) in two shakes of a writer's quill.  In those long gone but fondly remembered times, I kept a submission's book which I was forever updating and I'd be working on the next project before the gum on the stamps had dried.   How times have changed.  Here I am writing a post for my lovely fresh new-look blog simply because I had a word count and got the WAYB open beyond the intro page!  Wow - last of the prolific writers.

Never mind - at least I am actually writing again.  Goodnight.  Sweet dreams.  Diary here I come...

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Back In The Wordflow

Wrote an article today - my first one in - oh - that long and a little bit.  I was sitting in one of my favourite coffee shops (Coffee Town, Eltham - check it out) when I thought - I am going to write that article today.  And then I actually did.  Well - the first draft anyway.  It's about how  Addiscombe Young Writers ( came to be and I thought I'd offer it to Writing Magazine or Writer's Forum.  Well - I keep telling people I'd like to see more Writing Groups for Children spring up and figured an article might spur people on.  Of course, my inner writer's plan was to have dinner, get to the laptop and press on with draft 2 with one hand whilst flicking through the W & A Yearbook for submission criteria to both magazines with the other.  The shagged-out-55 year old-about-to-be-made-redundant-for-the-fourth-time-in-20-years me did no such thing, of course.  After working all day (it is getting intense now that the closure notices have gone up), I came home, had dinner - then watched a DVD,  Now it is 11.30 and I should be in bed because I'm up again at 5.45 tomorrow to get to a job that doesn't want me anymore.  Joy! 

Anyway, at least I have my writing, my Young Writers and a resilience to never give up in the face of Writer's Block to keep me going.  And a husband who loves me to bits, supports my writing a hundred and ten per cent and indulges me in just about everything (except a kitten).  I did say that I was planning to make 2013 my writing year.   Now I have refreshed my blog, given it a new colour scheme and vowed to never write grumpy stuff again, I feel as if I am on my way to a better understanding between me, my pen and my obsession with words.  I am not a great lover of the technological world we now live in - but its one major advantage is that you can publish yourself - any time, any place, any where (as the old martini ad used to say) - without all the rigmarole of postage stamps, overworked, overstretched editors and enormous competition.  If no-one reads this - hey - no big deal.  But at least I am writing ...