Thursday, July 30, 2009

Doesn't Time Fly?

Two weeks since I last posted? How did that happen? In fact where's July gone? Turn your back for two minutes etc. etc.

I'd like to be able to say I've spent the past fortnight being fascinating - entertaining hordes of people at garden parties and throwing neighbourly barbecues. Or being productive - building a conservatory, say, or reinstating the ancient art of tatting (actually, I wouldn't mind a go.) Hell, I'd like to be able to tell you I've been sunning myself on a yacht in the Mediterranean, but t'would all be a big, fat lie.

Firstly, the sun has officially buggered off - in our part of the world anyway. At any given time I can be found trudging up and down the garden with wet washing slung over my shoulder, and when I'm not dragging the washing off the line I'm drying the dog, because walking through the fields in the pouring rain makes her soggy. (Me too, actually. Not a great look. My hair swells up in the damp.)

It can't be right. It's supposed to be summer.

A highlight has been a swine flu scare. No.1 son quietly took himself to the doctor's a couple of days ago, but his temperature wasn't high enough to qualify. I think he was secretly disappointed.

Other than that I've written some stories, sold a couple, fretted over the novel, worked at the library and cleaned the house in preparation for a visit from my mother in a couple of weeks. Which is ridiculous, because everything will be dirty again by then.

Ah well, it may not be fascinating, but it could be worse. We could actually have swine flu.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Not Nice

Jane Smith over at How Publishing Really Works at has declared today Anti-Plagiarism Day. There are some interesting posts on the subject out in blogland and I thought I'd contribute in a small way.

I noticed this month that once again my book review in the local paper has been attributed to someone else. A man this time. Greg Burns. (It was Polly something last time.) I'm sure he's a very nice man. He might even be a very good writer - better than me. But he didn't write that 300 word book review. I did. I don't get paid, but still. I like doing them, and before the paper was taken over recently there was even a little photo of me to accompany the review and a bit about me and my services to humanity job in the library. Now, I don't even get a mention.

It sucks actually, so I can sort of imagine how people must feel to have whole swathes of text that they've sweated over passed off as someone else's work. Not nice.

Anyway, I've fired off a creative email informing the paper that I won't be contributing anymore.

So there.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Done and dusted - for now

Well the first draft of the "rather silly" novel is finished. That is, I've typed The End. What happens now is anyone's guess. Accidental deletion knowing me.

No, the plan is to leave it to settle for a while (half an hour at least) before starting the real work of making it better. Hopefully I won't read it back and think, oh dear. Maybe I'd better leave it longer than half an hour for some proper perspective.

I shall rest my eyes for a bit and try and forget all about the characters, who have become like imaginary friends, and then crack on with some short stories. I've also had an idea for another novel so I may start that too - otherwise I won't know what to do with my hands.

Elsewhere: A random study somewhere has revealed that library staff are the least bitchy people to work with. They obviously haven't worked in our branch ...

(for obvious reasons I'd better add just kidding.)