Wednesday, 23 April 2008


I've been tagged by lovely Lane to list three things you can't explain to your mother. Hmm, here goes.

1 - Mobile phones and the internet, ooh I've tried!

2 - That I'm not an angel, and therefore it's OK if everything doesn't go perfectly all the time.

3 - That the doctor is not too busy, is actually paid to see you and sometimes you should go!

In similar fashion, three things she couldn't explain to me

1 - Why it's important to keep everything, just in case.

2 - Why Coronation Street is essential viewing.

3 - Why patterns on clothes have to line up precisely along the seams.

Three things I can't explain to myself:

1 - I'm desperate to finish this book, so why haven't I??

2 - That getting cross with myself is rarely helpful.

3 - Why I think I'm using the same font, but am actually picking a new one every time!?

Monday, 14 April 2008

At last!

The Winchester Writers' Conference schedule has finally been posted on their site. I scrolled through in excited fashion, hoping for some Science Fiction contributors but alas there are none. There is a Fri/Sun course entitled "Writing Sci-Fi and Fantasy" but it's being held by a fantasy writer and I've always been told that anyone who refers to SF as 'Sci-Fi' gets laughed out of town...

I am eagerly reading through the Saturday program though and trying to pick the talks I want to go to. Might also go to the Friday Pitch and Presentation mini course which claims to put you through your paces on pitching your novel. Bit scared by that, but then that's probably even more reason to go! I really wanted to sign up for a couple of one to one appointments this year with agents, but none of them look hopeful. Most say no SF on their descriptions and I've looked at the websites of others and they don't look keen either.

I went to an eclectic mix of talks last year including short stories, scripts and being the perfect author for your agent (I should be so lucky) and came away much more energised than by just going to the novel based ones. Might try something unusual again this year, I could certainly do with the motivation! Sadly I have to wait till June for that, will have to think of something else to help with the here and now.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Glamour wedding of the year

I went to a wedding yesterday followed by a reception in the swankiest marquee I've ever seen. No mere rectangle this, it had a foyer leading into the main room that more resembled the set of a rock video (stole that observation from husband!) The diagonal fabric panels swept up to the ceiling, twinkling with fairy lights. The hardwood floor in the middle was set up in front of the live band. The attention to detail was phenomenal. I dread to think how long this wedding took to plan or how much it all cost! S and I were whispering conspiratorially during the meal that it was a good thing we got married before so many of our friends came along and raised the bar! Each wedding I go seems a little more complicated than the last. Where does it end? I remember being very stressed out arranging a wedding that seems to have been simplicity itself. Where do people find the time? I guess they don't spend lots of time reading blogs...

Did actually manage to do some writing today. I'm trying to perfect the first three chapters since editing the whole thing is going so slowly, this seems more manageable. Also summoning up the courage to hand them over to S for his opinion. We're both nervous about this! I need an honest opinion but I might not take the criticism well! I'd been tempted to finish the whole thing and then hand it over, but now I'm curious to see what he thinks. I guess everyone reaches this stage when they hand it over to a loved one. Did it go well for you or are you still prevaricating
like me?

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

You can never go back...

I'm feeling very retro today. I just signed up for milk delivery, so the ching of glass bottles shall soon be completely failing to wake me up in the morning. I sleep through thunderstorms, I don't suppose a few bottles is going to do it. I took pity on the guy knocking on doors and begging people to sign up and save the dairy. I thought he looked a bit odd from the window, but I think it was just the knackered fluorescent jacket he was wearing. Just as I was opening the door I started to think "What would I do if he did turn out to be a nutcase?" There's no chain on the door and I'm not sure a telephone directory is much of a weapon if it came to it. My usual defence is to ignore the door in the evening if I'm alone. I don't suppose more than 2 or 3 people a year call anyway. The advantages of a busy road and long driveways!

The weekend was also spent living in the past. I went back to my university with two of the people I shared a house with then. Very odd walking around somewhere so familiar 15 years later. They'd built a lot of new accommodation just to confuse us but it's basically the same place. After we'd finished grumbling about the beautiful looking rooms (and reminiscing about our grey breeze block monstrosity of a hall of residence) it all felt a bit strange. Same people, same place, different life. It was like searching for ghosts as we turned each corner, looking for the familiar but seeing only the new (and the younger....) That's probably the strangest part. I think living there now is probably much the same as when I was there. You don't often get the chance to see your past again, but life there continues much the same.

Saturday ended with the ultimate childhood experience, the new series of Doctor Who. The excitable butterflies are every bit as fluttery now as they were then!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

Should I stay or should I go?

I'm mid-dilemma. I had a phone interview this morning for a job that would be 7 miles from home, rather than the 35 miles I currently drive each way. Although it only takes me 40 minutes to get to work it does cost a lot in petrol and wear and tear on my car.

Here's the dilemma. I get on well with the people I work with and it's a fairly easy going place to work. Is reducing my commute worth the risk of working somewhere I may not like as much? I have no reason to suspect the new place may not be as good, but I've previously worked for some truly horrible people and there's always that risk...

Finding a new job is such an unsatisfactory process. You meet a few people during the interview process, but not necessarily the people you'll work with. You get a well presented version of the place you'll be working, and get sugar coated answers to your questions. The first day can often be an eye opener!

The other temptation for moving is just to try something new. I've been at my current job for 8 and a half years and I've always had it in mind that 10 years is too long to spend anywhere. Not sure when I decided this, just looks like a long time written on a CV!

Of course this may all be decided for me, maybe they won't ask me for another interview!