Monday, 31 December 2012

I'm a woman, I'm allowed to change my mind

My head has been all over the place lately. First I was buying one house, then a different one, now the bungalow, now…..
Now I THINK I’ve decided not to move. I’m still going to buy the bungalow but instead of moving into it, I THINK I’m going to rent it out to get an income.
I thought that moving house would be a great way to signify a new start but when I start to dig deeper, the stress of packing everything up and getting settled somewhere else, even if’ it’s only round the corner, is too much. I’ve spent my whole life feeling stressed for one reason or another, so much so that life without stress is scary – strange but true. So that’s why I THINK I’m going to stay put, at least for a while, and see what happens. I could cope with the garden when I moved her, maybe I can cope with it again. If I struggle, I can pay a gardener from time to time.
I could change my mind again tomorrow, but having made the decision not to move at the moment, I feel as though a weight has been lifted, so maybe it’s the right decision for now. Time will tell.
So now I have to start doing this house up. Job number one is the hall stairs and landing which I haven’t touched since I moved here. It’s not that nig a job as only the bottom part of the wall (currently a very tired murky off white/palest coffee) needs painting, the top part which is red can be tidied up. Then I will need a new stair carpet.
The problem I’ve had since I’ve moved here is that I haven’t treated the entire house as though it’s mine (I told you I was crazy!). This has meant that some of the things I’ve wanted to do like painting and playing my keyboard have mostly not happened at all. When I DO paint I find it hugely relaxing and a lot more fun than playing couch potato so the plan now is to turn the box room into my art and craft room so that I can leave a mess and shut the door. The second bedroom will house the keyboard (I gave the saxophone back. Again it might sound daft but the stress of something so new and so complicated was something I don’t need right now) and a single bed so will become a spare room that I can also use for music.
I want to end with a quick thought or two about the art of writing. To other writers who are starting out it might appear that people like myself, who have sold hundreds of stories, have it easy. I can’t speak for everyone else but I'm fairly sure that isn’t the case. 
I suffer from as many crises of confidence as any beginner. Rejection is still hard to bear. It’s still nerve wracking getting a story ready to send off and knowing when to STOP editing it and take the plunge.  I have no better chance of being published by Womans Weekly or Fiction Feast, or Yours, or The Weekly News,  than any other writer, beginner or not, as stories are judged on their merit (unless written by a celeb or A list author), so if you’re starting out, don’t think that it’s harder for you. It isn’t. All you have to do is write (and read) as much as you can, send it off, develop a thick skin, then write some more. Grab any chance to get feedback from a writer who has had success in the kind of writing you want to do, and never ever give up.
It’s the end of what, for me at least, ahs been a difficult year. I’m now trying to look forward, rather than backwards, for the first time in decades. It’s a strange but good feeling. Wishing you and those you care about a wonderful 2013. Please may it be a good one.

Friday, 28 December 2012

I've had an offer for the house...

It was great to spend time with Helen this morning. We met on the Weetwood course in November. She coped with Louis very well and didn’t let him cadge even a crumb from her biscuits. John came back from his Christmas with Spice sans beard. It’s weird seeing him like that as the beard puts years on him (but as he looks younger than his years, that doesn’t matter too much).
I have had an offer for the house but it’s not quite high enough especially as I’ve only just lowered the price. I need to wait a while and see what happens once Christmas as over. That said, at least I’ve had an offer and if they can increase it a bit….
I can hardly wait for my new start. I want out of here so much. No that this is a bad house, far from it. It’s a lovely house on which I’ve spent an awful lot of money making various improvements, but it’s looking tired and a bit jaded (rather like me). As well as the large garden which has become more of a burden than a pleasure, it really needs a man about the place to do some of those little jobs that I can’t face doing (or would mess up if I tried). I’m very good at hanging wallpaper and painting but anything that involves proper tools, like drills, is different. I’m thinking that when I DO move, I might buy myself  a decent drill and an electric saw and have a go at making something, You never know, it might be fun.
Next year I plan to have a go at various new things to see if I can find some more things to do, that I enjoy.
Another couple are coming to see the house tomorrow at 1. I told the agent that I have a large dog staying with me and they said that was OK. I hope they don’t expect the house to be spotless as with Louis around that is  NOT going to happen.
I’m working part time at the moment, in other words, just doing a couple of hours of work each day. It’s tempting just to slump in front of the TV for hours on end and soak up more ideas for Christmas stories but unless I’m very lucky, I’ll only be able to sell three or four so there’s no point writing dozens.
A pupil sent me a book of her poems as  a gift, it arrived this morning. I’m thinking of making up a collection of my poems using the wonders of Lulu. I don’t write a lot of poetry but I think I have enough to put a collection together. That could be fun and it won’t take long to do.
Tonight I’m watching Prometheus on DVD with John. Why with John? I really don’t fancy watching it by myself in case it’s scary. Also if he’s here I can open that bottle of mulled wine I won on Christmas Day…

Christmas films that make me cry

I watched THE HELP last night on DVD and really enjoyed it. I found the whole thing beautifully pitched and understated which gave its message even more power. Recommended.
In order to make sure I’ll be able to write lots of Christmas stories next year I’ve been watching all kinds of festive films on TV. The result, loads of starting points for stories and far too many tears shed.
So many films have the same message, family is the most important thing of all. Result, me in tears. I watched part of a film yesterday based on a Christmas Carol where this nasty woman who ran a publishing company changed her spots and went from a future where she died alone and unloved to one surrounded by family. She’d been really nasty to everyone but in the end she found redemption and through that love. I spent my whole life being kind. I’ve never done anything to hrt anybody, at least not on purpose. I’m starting to think maybe that’s’ the problem, like the Blackadder version of the same story when he goes from being nice to nasty and gets rewarded, maybe I need to start being mean selfish and nasty. Or maybe I should advertise for a family to adopt me.
Moan over. Sometimes I just have to put my thoughts down on paper . It’s either that or let them overwhelm me. Things can change. Once I move, I can start over with a new set of neighbours. Maybe I can adopt one of them.
Work on the book is progressing well. The great thing about non fiction is that I can dip in and out of it when I fancy. It doesn’t matter how I’m feeling, or how long I have. Even ten minutes can be used up.
Had a rough night, thanks to the adorable Louis who had to get up for a wee at half past one. He’s so joyful, I can forgive him anything. We’ve been out for a walk in the drizzle, now I have an hour before Helen arrives. We met on the course I ran at Weetwood Hall in November and got on well so she’s coming round for coffee. I hope she likes big dogs

Thursday, 27 December 2012

In praise of Louis the labrador

Having Louis here is great. He’s the happiest dog I’ve ever met. His tail wags so hard, I’m surprised he doesn’t take off.
As he’s only here til Sunday I’m going to make the most of it. That means a snuggle on the sofa after turning off the PC.
I’ve done about three hours work on the new book today which I don’t feel is too bad, considering.
Louis sleeps on the bed so how much sleep I’ll get, I have no idea. I’ll have to get up early too but he’s worth it - every big brown smiley inch of him.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Boxing Day ala Peter Jones

Yesterday was hard.
I knew it would be.
I was fine while I was at Good Neighbours (although my quiz turned out to be a bit too difficult), but the moment I left, I could feel my spirits nose diving. The off licence was actually open, so I bought myself a Magnum. Ice cream always cheers me up, specially when it’s bought as a treat. It makes me feel special.
I couldn’t face the computer so spent the rest of the day watching TV. I saw Tangled followed by Shrek, happily ever after, had some more wine, some cheese and crisps and  too many pickled onions and waited for the day to be over. It was after midnight when I went to bed.
Today I’m meant to be working all day, but I don’t have to, so I might just wander down to the sale at Chiltern Mills and see if I can buy myself a pressie. Then again, I might not. It’s Boxing Day for real so that means doing whatever I fancy. I’ve been neglecting Boxing Days of late, so this is the perfect day to put them back in my diary.
(see Peter Jones’ book How to do everything and be happy)
I hope everyone reading this had a Christmas filled with love and laughter and that they are feeling bright and bushy tailed this bright and sunny (hooray!) morning.
Now to think about what I want to do next.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas Eve

When I started writing fiction again, I set myself a target of writing four new stories a month.
I’m delighted to say that I’ve just completed my fourth new story for this month which is on its merry way to Woman’s Weekly.
My next job is to prepare my pitch to an agent so I’m going to leave blogging for now and get on with it while I’m in the mood.
I WISH EVERY ONE OF YOU A WONDERFUL WARM HAPPY AND HEALTHY CHRISTMAS. It’s a cliché, but this really is a time to count our blessings so concentrate on what it is you love about your friends, partner, family or whoever else and forgive everything else. As that man says at the end of Some Like it Hot – nobody’s perfect.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Sunday, 23rd December

Today has slipped through my fingers. I've looked at a friend's first chapter and a pupil's story, but other than that and a quick nip down the shops for some air, not a lot but then  it IS Christmas.
If I had a 'proper' job I'd probably be on hoiday for nearly two weeks. As I don't have a a proper job, I think I'll work tomorrow and Boxing Day (I'm at Good Nieghbours most of Christmas Day), then see how it goes.
Louis the wonderful labrador arrives on Thursday so I don't have to wait that long for a Christmas cuddle.
I'd like to wish everyone a happy Christmas.
Some of you may be dreading spending time with friends and family, but so long as you concentrate on the pluses, you'll be fine.  Most of the time, the thigns we argue and fall out over really aren't worth the bother.
It's the last part of Homeland tonight. I haven't enjoyed it as much as series one but at leats I can stare at Damien Lewis. That man can act.
I watched the latest Bourne film yesterday, hired the DVD from Blockbusters. It was action packed and the opening was great to look at, but in the end I was left feeling disappointed. Bring back Matt Dmon is all I have to say. 

Friday, 21 December 2012

Being kind to me

I took some time out yesterday. What a horrible day! All that rain, and a biting cold wind too. Just right for a  trip into town for a Christmas concert, then crossword class. I got wet going and wet coming back. It was great to get back indoors again. I COULD have done some work then, but I didn’t. It’s all about being kind to me, at least until Christmas has been and gone.
I finished a Christmas Wasgij (number 8). I’ve  done it before, but that didn’t matter. Now I can start a new one to give me something to do when I need to take a break.
I also went through my book of recipes. I like to cook so as a treat, I’m going to try some new recipes, again that will keep me positive and stop me dwelling too much on the (supposedly) good time other people are having.
Now I think abut it, I  DID do some work yesterday. I went through another pile of magazines, tearing out useful bits and jotting down any starting points for ideas. My Christmas file is almost full so I will have no trouble writing festive stories next year.
Today, I plan half a day’s work, half a day other things like going to the shops to get the missing ingredients for those recipes. I also need to work on a quiz for Christmas Day at Good Neighbours. If anyone can recommend one, or can email something to me, I’d very much appreciate it. My email’s
I’ve fiddled with the blog settings thanks to Jacula’s comments. I’ve no idea if the problems fixed, but fingers crossed. I’ve also allowed anyone to comment (I didn’t even know there was a setting for that so eternal apologies to anyone who’s struggled to post comments and been unable to do so).

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Something strange going on.

One day I can’t be bothered to do very much at all. It seems like too big an effort. The next day, I’m ready for action again.
I’m guessing it’s all part of the recovery process. They say it takes time to get over a death, but they don’t say how MUCH time. I do feel so much better, but every now and then, I get stuck. I think it’s my strange way of making myself take the time I need. Whatever it is, so long as I get the good days, I’m fine with it.
Last night, the shuffle with Spice, wasn’t good. The venue, Tiger Tiger in Leeds city centre was a young person’s venue, by which I mean the music was way too intrusive (i.e. deafening). OK so I’m over forty but it’s not that. When I’m eating, that’s’ what I like to be doing, that and enjoying whatever company there is. When you have to shout to make yourself heard, I just don’t like it.
Here comes a grumpy old woman bit. When I was young, places where you ate often had background music, but that’s all it was – background. When did it suddenly become OK serve food in what amounts to a disco? The food wasn’t much cop either.
Yesterday, I sent a couple of old (reworked) stories to The Weekly News and that was about it really. Today I’m getting on with the new book for writers. I could really use an agent right now so if anyone knows a good one, please put them in touch. At the moment my plan is to write two versions of the book – a shorter ebook which Byker Books will put out under the profession writer series (they’ve done a brilliant job with my other short guides which are selling well), and a longer version that I will have printed via Lula and sell direct. That way I can have it available when I need it.
Today is the last meeting of 2012 of East Leeds Writers, a small group who meet in Seacroft Library (3.15 prompt if you want to go). I’ve missed a few meetings recently so need to make the effort to get there.
Now back to work on the book. After I’ve checked my emails….

Monday, 17 December 2012

Had a bit of a wobble

Sorry for going quiet. I had a bit of a wobble.
I’ve never been a big fan of Christmas. All my life, I’ve dreamed of a big family do, complete with arguments and disagreements but suffused with love. Each time another Christmas goes by …..
I’m still struggling to work out what I want to do.
I know I enjoy writing short stories, now they’re finally coming out all right again, but what else? I guess I’m looking for a reason for my existence. Is it enough just to write stories that add a bit of interest or sunshine to other people’s lives? I don’t know.
I spent yesterday having a big clear out, mainly of magazines and paperwork as I don’t want to take it all with me when I move.
As I don’t plan to move in to the bungalow immediately, I’ll have time to make sure everything’s where I want it to be. I can also decorate without any furniture in the way. As I really do enjoy hanging wallpaper, that will help pass some of the winter days.
Meanwhile I’d like to take this opportunity to wish everyone I know a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year. There are quite a few people I’ve neglected or lost touch with (S. Bee, Helen Y spring to mind) and all I can say is I’m sorry. I was in a  bad place. I’m not there anymore but it’s going to take time to put all the pieces together.
Back to talking about writing. It’s that time of year when al the papers are full of holiday ideas. What better time to start collecting various snippets and pictures ready as prompts for when you need to start writing holiday stories.
And as it’s Christmas, and we’re surrounded by seasonal films and programmes and adverts and calendars and cards with winter scenes, now is the time to start making notes of possible starting points for stories, or titles that have promise, pictures, cards, Christmas stories from magazines. Keep them all, and put then away in a drawer. Then in June, when you want to start writing about Christmas, you have a stock pile of items and ideas to get you going. It works for me. I have had Christmas stories published every year since I went full time in 2003. This year I have one in Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special and another out next week in The People’s Friend. You can do it too but you have to start NOW.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

A Christmas message

Families can drive you mad, especially at Christmas. People give you useless presents, they turn up at your house, eat all your food, decimate your stock of booze, then vanish with hardly a thank you. Nieces and nephews abandon presents minutes after they’ve unwrapped them. Your partner starts to get on your nerves when they’re under your feet, instead of safely out of the way at work. Your in–laws, well, what is there to say about them? You have nothing in common. They don’t want to play any games, all they want to do is veg out in front of the TV. It’s enough to drive you crazy.
I say, think again. Imagine what it would be like if you had nobody in your life. Nobody to buy you the wrong present. Nobody to slave away over a hot stove for. Nobody to buy presents for.
Think of the good things. The reasons you like your family and friends. Nothing is ever perfect, especially not people.
Christmas should be about love. It should be about the good things not the bad, so when you feel yourself starting to get irritated by somebody, be grateful they’re there in the first place.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Missing Raffy, badly

Now Raffy’s gone home, I’ve crashed. I know he’s just a dog, and that a dog isn’t really company but…

I feel so bad, I’m even thinking about moving back in with my ex just to have somebody close by. This is, in case anyone’s wondering, a SERIOUSLY BAD IDEA.
The lady whose bungalow I’m buying is moving into a flat on the same development as a friend of mine. You have your own space but there are communal areas too. Since my friend moved there, her social life’s improved so much. It’s such a great idea but you can’t move to one of those flats unless you’re over 60. I’d like to know what people like me are supposed to do.
I know why I’m getting fed up. Christmas.
This will be my first one, completely alone. I don’t mind that so much, what scares e is that it will be the first of many.
I joined about six weeks ago, and so far, zilch. I’ve sent emails and winks to loads of people but so far, nothing apart from a couple of men looking for quickies.
Workwise, I checked today with Womans Weekly to see if they really did want ‘more sensual’ stories, and the answer is yes, they do. Nothing too exciting of course, that would never do. I had to check as I’m about to start work on the story I drafted a couple of days ago which would benefit from the odd, sensual scene.
I don’t expect I’ll get round to it until Thursday though. I had a couple of Writers Bureau assignments to mark today, and reworked an old story to send back to Fiction Feast. I’ve had enough sitting here, watching the world pass me by, so I’m going to turn of the pc and catch up on reading some of the magazines in my (ever growing ) pile. I might even see if I can conjure up some more story outlines.
Tomorrow morning, weather permitting, I’m going to Heydays until lunch time, then a have a quick tour of the market and head home. Then it’s the Christmas quiz at Spice so I’m not going to get much work done tomorrow.

Monday, 10 December 2012

NAWG Open Short Story comp results in full

First Prize £250
‘A Gift from the Horse Chestnut Tree’
Veronica Bright

Second Prize £100
‘The Golden Gears’
Edward Easton

Third Prize £50
‘Roses Round the Door’
Janet Baldey

Fourth Prize
A signed copy of The Writers Treasury of Ideas
by the competition judge, Linda Lewis
Andrea Stephenson

Fifth Prize
A signed copy of The Writers Treasury of Ideas
by the competition judge, Linda Lewis
‘In Time’
Rachel Dunlop

Short listed
‘Princess and the Frogs’
Judy Hodson
‘The Runner Stone’
Nemone Thorns
‘A View of the Acropolis’
Adrian Hallchurch
‘The Spy’
Cyril Gracegirdle
‘A Walk at Midnight’
Orian Norfolk
‘A Yellow and Blue Day’
Bob McNaughton
Janet Baldey

Long listed
Edith Anderson
‘Three by Three’
Jean Lees
‘Playing for Change’
Jane T Marsh
‘The Witch’s Child’
Jo Tiddy

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Sunday Sunday

I’m making good progress with my next writing guide. I have half the basic skeleton done and plan to carry on working on it later.
Today’s been bright and if it wasn’t for the wind, taking the dog out would have been quite pleasant!
Sundays are an odd day for me. I often end up feeling a bit low. I think it’s because I see weekends as being a time when families to get together. Saturday’s not so bad as I can go down the shops, but on Sunday, that’s not as much fun as most of the interesting ones are closed.
I’m going to the bungalow tomorrow to have another look round and take some measurements as there were none on the estate agents details whatsoever. I hope I still like it. I’m only half kidding. I’m still having trouble coming to terms with the fact that I’m on my own, I don’t have to make room for John anymore. I can only be in one room at a time and nobody’s come to stay with me since 2005
I dug up the last potatoes this afternoon and noticed signs of a few bulbs making growth. Had fun chasing Raffy up and down, pretending I wanted his ball. It’s funny but the longer a dog stays with me, the fonder I get of them….
He’s due to leave on Tuesday. 

Friday, 7 December 2012

You know that saying about all work and no play…

That’s how I feel right now. It’s a winter thing. When the weather’s fine, I can take an hour or two off and go for wander round the shops, or into town. When it’s like this, it’s an effort just to take Raffy out for a walk.
Right now, I have no idea how many hours work I’m doing each week. I need to start adding them up. Why? So that I don’t feel bad about taking a day off!. The problem is, what counts as work? Should I include emails, tweets, time on other networks? It’s hard to know where to draw the line.
Lime nay people I can get to the end of a day and find myself wondering what I’ve actually done. That’s one reason  why I blog as it makes me look back over the day events so that I can see that yes, I have been working. Ideally I’d like to work for about 30 hours a week and have time for other things so I can get my life into some kind of balance.
Today I drafted a ne story which I will leave for  a few days before typing up. I find that way, some of the wrinkles in the plot will iron themselves out when I come to type it.
I managed to squeeze in one piece of marking, plus some time thinking about ideas for more stories. I want to get back to entering the FREE Writers News competitions. In the early 2000s I entered a lot of those, never won, lots of short listings, but went on to sell quite a few to magazines. I’m working on ideas for the first lien competition, about Jessica opening a door. I might even have a go at the poetry one about shadows as it’s free.
The other thing I did today was log on to ALCS and update my records. This wonderful organisation collects fees from places like school then distributes it to writers whose work may have been photocopied or used in some other way. In the last two years, they paid me enough to cover going to Swanwick, with plenty over. If you’ve had any stories, articles or books published, it’s worth registering with them. It doesn’t cost anything as they take the membership fee out of any payments due. ACT NOW as the cut off point for next year’s payment is the end of December. (
Oh yea, and I also posted a great big bag full of critiques from the NAWG competition. More going off tomorrow.
Now I plan to do some more work on the next one in my series of writing guides, then it’s dinner, and some more reading. I’m WAY behind with magazines of all kinds. To be a successful magazine writer you have to read lots of magazines!
I’m in THE PEOPLE’S FRIEND this week, so I might as well read that too while I’m at it.
Tomorrow, John will be here, looking after Raffy while I go to Leeds Writers short story group. Weather permitting, I’ll get a look round the German market too.
Finally, re Sad companion of Paul. 
WellL done Linda for getting Blue Peter so quickly. That was the last one I solved  - just couldn't think of it. 

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Time to gather some ideas together and get writing

Last night I watched Pretty Woman for the nth time. It still made me cry. No idea what that says about me.
NAWG has notified the winners of the short story competition which is great as I’m seeing the man who came second on Saturday and would not have been able to keep the news quiet. I also know the lady who came second as I met her at Swanwick.

John has sold the car that’s been on my drive so I won’ be seeing so much of him. If the weather’s not terrible, he might be meeting another woman from (I’m still getting nowhere slowly). I’d love it if he could find someone.
I was working on the ghost story today, tweaking it so that it was OK to send to Ficiton Feast. That’s now gone off in the post.
IU went to crosswords and Jack, the leader, was there. So good to see him as he’s  been in and out of hospital so many times lately. I took the chocolates I won in the U3A quiz as I don’t eat them. I had to leave early as I had my six monthly dentist check up, I’ve had a morbid fear of dentists for many a long year and normally fret about going, something rotten. Yesterday, I gave myself a good talking to. Basically, the message was, why worry about it? That won’t change anything, all it will do is make me feel bad. So I didn’t worry, which meant I got some sleep, and managed to get some work done this morning. Luckily the dentist was happy and I haven’t got to go back (hooray).
I felt so relived, I celebrated by buying something nice to eat (lamb shank with cauliflower, sprouts, carrots and new potatoes followed by wheat free almond tart with vanilla ice cream).
Now, the plan is to get some story starting points for stories together. I want to write four new stories a month, a lot less than I used to, until I get back into the groove. I write better in the morning so I want to get up early, walk the dog, and get down to some writing. I don’t want to have to waste that time finding the ideas to work on.
I bought a copy of the People’s Friend today with one of my Christmas stories inside (I’d forgotten I’d sold it to them which was nice). It still feels odd to be in that magazine as it took me so long to make a sale to them.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Advert for the Writers Bureau

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two dos in one day

Yesterday was mostly a day off. I didn’t intend it to be, it just happened.
I had my first Christmas do at the U3A in Headingly. I don’t get to meetings they’re on the other side of the city, so it was a chance to actually meet some people, have a decent meal, and help my table win the quiz.
The quiz was one of those cryptic ones where you have to work out a clue. The answers to the first part were all TV shows. For example, where you might go to get crowned – answer – Coronation Street
The prize was a ginormous tin of chocolates which were shared out. I’m going to take my portion to crosswords tomorrow as I don’t eat chocolates. I gave up three years ago as my addiction was out of control. I get by now with choc ices, the odd cake, pudding  and biscuit.
I’d hoped from a call from the estate agent as the family who came for  a second viewing said my house was on a short list of two. I guess they’ve gone for the other one, but at least that shows there ARE people out there, so once Christmas is out of the way, I can make a bigger effort to find a buyer.
Last night, another Christmas do, this time at the WI which I’ve just joined. It was an odd evening. Nothing seemed to have been planned. There was tea and food, chat and carol singing. Quite nice in a strange kind of way.
A copy of Woman’s Weekly Fiction Special arrived in the post. They send contributors a copy when they have a story published. It felt really good to be back in, what for me anyway, is the best and therefore hardest magazine  to sell to. If you sneak a look when you’re in the newsagents/Tescos, you’ll see where I got the idea from – those daft quizzes you often see in magazines.
I’ve had an email from the Chair of NAWG asking if I’ll teach at the festival again next September. I’m more than happy to even though Warwick is not the easiest place to get to when you don’t drive. I’ve asked if I can have the Friday free of teaching then it won’t matter if I’m a bit late getting there.

I’ll leave you with this question from the U3A quiz – the answer is a TV show. 
Sad companion of Paul.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Monday Monday

Today has been spent mostly doing admin, which is not my favourite thing to do. I’ve been sorting the critiques from the NAGW competition and matching them up with their envelopes. The trouble is, quite a few of the envelopes people have supplied aren’t up the job so unless I write out new ones, the person will get charged excess postage.
I also made a major **** by somehow selling a story to two magazines, albeit with different endings. I emailed the second mag as soon as I realised what had happened then was on tenterhooks waiting to see what they said. Luckily they took it well. I have no idea how I managed to do such a stupid thing. It just goes to show that my head has been all over the place.
Today the family who viewed the house on Saturday came back with their children. It seems I’m on a short list of two, so I’ll know in a couple of days whether I have found a buyer. That would be such an amazing Christmas present.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

About my ex…..

He’s the only close (geographically) friend I have and I wouldn’t want to lose him, but….
Sometimes he treats my house like it’s his and after a while, that really starts to get under my skin. Yesterday, for example. Once he left, I couldn’t even raise the energy to blog not even after spending an hour on the phone (that’s right, an hour) talking to Shirley, one of my friends who lives in Scarborough.
It will be better once he’s got rid of the second car that’s been parked on my driveway. Then he’ll have to arrange to come round rather than simply turn up.
Ideally, he’d live round the corner from me, in a house big enough so that I can pop round to HIS place, and he can feed ME, and I can drink HIS tea and coffee, and eat HIS cakes and biscuits. All I have to do is move, sell my house, buy a two bedroomed one  and rent it to him. Sounds like a plan.
Now back to work. I’m going to the club’s short story group next Saturday. Before that I have to read everyone else’s stories and do written feedback for three of them. I’m having huge trouble with this. Why? Because I haven’t a clue why the authors have written the stories. I’m so used to giving feedback which is market/competition related, I feel lost . There’s no point saying something critical if the story’s only been written for the author or their friends and family. I’m also just a tiny bit scared what they’ll say about my effort. It’s a Woman’s Weekly story with lots of emotion. Somebody who doesn’t read that kind of thing and maybe even hates that kind of story isn’t going to have much to say that’s positive. This is why I always tell people to take care who they ask for feedback. The wrong person can set you back. Believe me, I know