Last night I went to Paperchase, and, rather than wandering around lusting over their stationary and stroking beautiful embroidered notebooks, I walked in, picked up what I needed, paid, and left. You could even accuse me of shopping like a man, but the truth of the matter is I had already seen what I wanted and was just returning with my lovely 20% off voucher from Red magazine. I was buying a cover for my fabulous new Kindle.
Yes, it is true. I have gone over to the digital side. Whilst I will no doubt still be reading “proper” books, I just know that it is going to revolutionise my commute – and save my back in the process. So far I’ve just downloaded Wuthering Heights, but already have a wish list of other potential reads. And, yesterday, a friend told me how I can load my own writing onto it – and see my words in print. Sweet...
Which brings me on to a little bit of novel news. I have officially been rejected by 6 publishers. To be fair (or rather to make me feel a bit better about it all), one of them is no longer accepting submissions directly from writers, and two took the time to tell me how much they liked my work, but sadly it was not for them. The other three didn’t say a lot – in fact, one of them was a self-confessed standard issue blurb and another had got my address completely wrong on the top of the letter. Thank God I sent in an SAE. But, I have not given up hope. I shall now move on to plan B (get an agent) before doing an E.L. James and publishing on-line as my first step to world domination.
Which leads me on to a confession. I’ve have just finished listening to an audiobook version of Fifty Shades of Grey. I’ve been listening to it on and off since the end of August – which I guess will give you an idea of how much I enjoyed it. No disrespect to the author – fair play to her, she’s done rather well for herself – but I’ve never read (or listened) to a book so full of clichés and in such desperate need for a thorough going over with a thesaurus. Not to mention the fact that the main character has got to be one of the most irritating people ever to grace a page – and Mr Grey does for S&M what Jimmy Saville has done for the BBC. Don’t get me wrong, as far as I am concerned people should be able to get their sexual kicks however they want – as long as all involved are in agreement and happy to do so. This does not include enforcing what your partner eats, what she wears and how often she exercises. And it certainly doesn’t mean hitting her with a belt when she clearly doesn’t want you too.
Anyway, feminist rant over. Let’s move on – to Mr Bill Bryson. I had the pleasure of meeting Bill at a friend’s graduation ceremony at Durham University – and I’ve just finished reading his book Troublesome Words. I recommend this to anyone who writes and certainly to all you grammar geeks out there. Not only is it a really useful reference, it is also a very amusing read. Ms James would certainly benefit from it (although I don’t think Bill covers her constant misuse of the word “unconscious”). Having said that, I’d also love my mate Bill to read her first novel and write his own critique...
So, there you have it. I have a Kindle, I’ve not got a publisher and I’ve just read two books at opposite ends of the spectrum. In short, I’ve been taking the literary rough with the smooth – and learning quite a bit in the process. Long may it continue.
Hello there! Sorry it’s been a while but, as usual, I’ve been super busy updating the new website, producing a newsletter (hope you liked it?), applying for not one but TWO secondments at my day job and writing reviews for the recently re-launched Capital Life. Yes, that’s right, another blogging string to my bow! Take a look at www.capital-life.co.uk – and watch this space for further news on what I’ve been up to with their big sister, Urban Life...
Unsurprisingly, all this wonderful work is leaving me a wee bit tired. Last weekend I caught up with a few friends who told me off for taking on so much. Okay, I admit, they may have a point – so I have been making sure that I make time for a bit of R&R too. Last weekend I found myself in a spa and, after a manic hour in the gym, I turned my attention to doing very little other than alternating between the sauna and Jacuzzi, reading my glossy and enjoying views of the Thames with a glass of wine over an admittedly mediocre lunch. By the time my chum joined me at 2pm I was nearly comatose.
Last week I also went to a bonfire and firework display in Wimbledon – a ritual that for me is almost as integral as Christmas when it comes to unleashing my inner child. Fun was also has this Saturday at Biscuit in Greenwich www.biscuit-biscuit.com where I took a bunch of chums pot painting. Despite a bit of a mix-up with our booking, Mr Biscuit himself saved the day and gave us access to his party room downstairs – result! – and I was soon, I quote, “grinning like a child in a sweet shop”. Speaking of results, my (mainly non-artistic) friends amazed me with their wares – take a look for yourself below.
Well, that’s it from me for now. Except – are you at a loose end next Saturday? Fancy a spot of Christmas shopping and a swift pint? Then come and see me at Wonderhill Market www.wonderhillmarket.co.uk in Tooting! I’ll be the one with lots of cushions crying into my mulled cider because no-one has bought anything...
See you there!
Here you will find my latest news, including what I have been up to and what I have been writing (and making). Hopefully you'll like what I have to say - and perhaps I will motivate you to get creative too...