Roll On the Changes

This is not my desk but represents what it is a pretty basic corner desk, but not for long after the chaos dies down on monday, all the boxes are gone from daughter moving out and the man has been to hopefully fix the boiler (it needed parts) I intend to perform a little DIY on my basic desk and expand it to make it more practical to use.

While my laptop my be holding on my sanity is finally cracking, I need space.  Everytime I try to do anything constructive all the things I have piled in my tiny makeshift corner/office descend upon me like a landslide and it is starting to get very annoying.  It doesn’t help that my little corner has also become a hidey hole for anything retrieved from the puppy, that photos and files are now entwined with random wires and chargers.

Virginia Woolf spoke of needing a room of one’s own and never has it been so true for me, admittedly the desk will have to occupy a corner of my bedroom still as we do not have a spare room to be converted to an office and it will be at least 12 years before the monster leaves home so I do hope any move in the meantime will take this into account but for now just the idea of a designated workspace is bliss.

Robin Coyle has been blogging about strong vs weak words which I have scribbled on a white board do they help no…because the white board is hidden behind the laptop down here but in my new space will hang where it can be seen.  Likewise the board full of prepositions provided by Josh Mosley, all useful info if it can actually be seen, to be able to once again hang my corkboard with ideas pinned to it, to have my reference books and dictionaries close at hand instead of going on a search each time I need my thesaurus.

As I am still in facebook limbo I have plenty of time to dream up my modifications so that hopefully by midweek I shall be sat at my new improved desk sharing pics of my creation.

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F**ked Up Facebook

This is not a post I thought I would ever have to make but I am literally excommunicated from facebook at the minute.

Last night my hairdresser sent me a request to sign a petition to force Fb to act more quickly and harshly with those who use it to promote child porn, of course I signed and sent to a few friends who I believed would also support this cause.

This morning while chatting to someone my fb demanded I log back in only to be faced with a warning that I had been reported for violating their terms. I went to follow the actions and got this….

So of course I tried contacting them first I tried the link for if your facebook has been blocked or disabled I mean what else would you call it if you can’t get in this was the reply..

Hi,

Thanks for contacting Facebook. We’re streamlining how we receive feedback to be able to better assist you. It looks like the email account you’re writing in from is associated with an account in good standing. Please note that this channel is reserved for disabled users.

It then listed various options most of which had nothing that actually gave the option of reporting so I tried again via another link…

Hi,

Thanks for taking the time to report this to us. We’re sorry to hear you’re experiencing an issue using Facebook. While we aren’t responding to every report, we may reach out to you for more information as we investigate this.

To receive more information about on-going issues and updates when we fix reported problems, check out our Known Issues Page:

https://www.facebook.com/KnownIssues

Thanks again for taking the time to help us improve Facebook.

Thanks,
The Facebook Team

Except I cannot go to known issues as I cannot log in but don’t you love the fact they cannot even promise to respond to your complaint!!!!!!

So as it stands I cannot get into my facebook page, others can post to my wall and can comment on there, but I cannot.

What I find especially ridiculous is with a company the size of fb there is not one single line where you can speak to a real person no phone number no email nothing everything goes to automated response so for any of my fb friends who have posted I am not being rude I am merely being punished for thinking they should act quicker when groups and pages promoting child abuse.

Once I eventually do get back on there will be a friends clear out because obviously there is someone on there who supports this

Slumbers Illusion

To remain in this moment

Unfettered by reality

Souls entwined in

Symbiotic harmony

Silence not fuelled

By words of attrition

Instead savoured contentedly

To stay in this moment

Basking in the afterglow

Of your embrace

Submerged in the symmetry

Of our perfect union

Faults and flaws forgotten

In the surrender of seduction

To remain in this moment

Just a little longer

To dwell within the dream

Yet all now comes undone

As slumbers caress slips

From my eyes

To face another day.

WIP Wednesday – The Ghost Stories

I decided today to take a break from the medieval but don’t worry another dungeon tour is imminent, instead I want to talk about ghosts.

We all grew up hearing ghosts stories you would think they would be easy to write but they are not.  First the very fact we all grew up hearing numerous variations on themes makes it incredibly hard to actually come up with original ideas. When I first got the idea to do this story collection it was because I already had a couple of ideas, then others started coming the problem was obviously my muse had the same childhood I did and was retelling me stories I was convinced I had already heard.  Eventually I came up with 15 ideas that I am happy are original enough to continue with that even if not totally original I can put my own voice into enough to make them my own.

I found myself asking several questions as I vetted these ideas..

  1. Who is the ghost?
  2. Why are they a ghost?
  3. What do they want?
  4. Can they have it?
  5. Who sees them?
  6. How do they react?
  7. Is there a resolution?

The last one is most interesting does resolution mean the ghost moves on in very case in my stories it turns out the answer is no.  Sometimes they merely provide a resolution for the breathing characters.

I also wanted a couple of more humourous stories and hopefully when they are done a couple will have people laughing out loud but that will depend on my storytelling abilities, if I could show you them the way I see them in my head I know you would but it is the transference from mind to page that is hardest for me.  Ideas have never been a problem but I get incredibly frustrated at times trying to project the image to paper, to find the words to express my vision, I know I am probably not alone in that but it can feel that way at times.

Like so many others whose posts I read I do not believe in my abilities at times, I feel the desire for others to justify my words and it is a feeling I hate, it makes me feel like a needy child demanding praise, I even wonder if that is part of the reason for doing this, but then I get scared I will hear not praise or even censure but indifference.

I told my parents about being accepted for publication their response was hardly overwhelming especially as it is unpaid, but the comments I received here and from friends both real and online compensated and I feel that possibly strangers know me better than my own parents.  Don’t get me wrong if the novel was published and made money they would be proud of me but they would not read it still (possibly for the best given a few scenes) but to them it’s not real unless you make a living from it, and I wonder if that is why I feel the way I do about my work though in my case it is not the money but the seeing my name in print which is the main concern.  Having someone think I am good enough to print, someone who selects me above other choices, which makes me feel bad then thinking I may be taking the spot of someone more talented more worthy of the recognition.

I know it sounds like I have gone off topic but I haven’t you see these doubts are my real ghosts, the ones that haunt my dreams.  I do not fear the dead but I fear joining them never having silenced the doubts which plague me. And for that is the real essence of the ghost story, why we all love being scared by the imaginary ghouls because ultimately nothing out there can be as scary as the fear of failure.

Tuesday Reflections

My Tuesday travels are coming to an end as such as my son starts school next week so my visits to grans will be arranged each week on different days when I can get there.  So what now?

Well As mentioned in a previous post Mskatykins and I have decided to read Ann Radcliffe’s The Mysteries of Udolpho together, having examined to book the aim will be to read three chapters a week and then to post on them in turn I would love it if any of you who have a copy lurking around at home would love to join in. It will be quite a long readalong going to January as I want to leave you all plenty of time for writing and reading other books lol Later this I will create a masterpost for it so if you would like to be included then please comment on this post and just think for a couple of weeks you get a free blog post as we can each reblog the others posts 😀 It is a book which is quite daunting to read I know which is possibly why most of us have it lurking unread the reading will start next tuesday and I shall make the first post the following tuesday, I shall even make a pretty badge for anyone who wishes to join in to post on their blog if they wish.  at two chapters a week it will take 16 weeks in total I really hope a couple of you will join in as it will be fun to share our thoughts along the way. It also counts as one of the 1001 books for anyone doing that reading challenge. I think I will probably create a page here on my blog to list all the links to the posts for anyone interested. Infact I have gone a little further please click here and check out the new page for even more details…here

So for today.. first I LOVE SCRIVENER I downloaded the free trial while working on the novel but as I was near the end did not bother transferring it but I decided to use it for the ghost story collection, I am using the novel template and writing each story as a chapter.  The cokboard in editor is wonderful for outlining the stories as you can see here

green marks denote chapters and blue the scenes withing the chapter, being able to add the status such as first draft or todo also let me keep track of where each story is as my muse keeps throwing pars of different stories as I go along.  I will definately be buying this software once my trial runs out.  If you haven’t tried it I suggest you give the 30 day trial a go what is also great is that it is 30 days of use not 30 days concurrent so even if you only use it once a week you get your full thirty days click here for the trial offer

What else have I been up to, well in the worry of this computers imminent demise I have been moving files to my external hard drive and while doing so I have found lots of old pics I hadn’t look at for ages.  this was good and bad while it made me smile the pictures themselves seemed a little dull, the reason…I took them before I got my new camera and also the new software so of course I ended up having a play with a few which is quite addictive.

This was taken in the rose garden at Lyme Park not a bad photo but the colours do look a little dull possibly as it was overcast and kept raining that day.  This is how the same picture looks after just a little touching up…

What a difference hitting a few buttons makes the only problem is now that there are thousands more photos on my hard drive that deserve the same treatment lol.

Now you should all have guessed how much I hate having my photo taken by the fact I always have the camera and take the photos lol but here is one of the pics from Lyme Park my daughter took of me sitting in the rose garden waiting for Mr Darcy who sadly never showed up.

Austen in August – Book Review; Behind Jane Austen’s Door By Jennifer Forest

I was lucky enough to pick up this ebook very cheaply and I am glad I did, the book take the reader on a tour of a Regency home.  Written in a conversational style it explains not only the day to day life of a Regency gentlewoman but also explores in the merits and purpose of each room as you are led through the imaginary home and view its inhabitants at their daily tasks.

The book provides interesting insights into Regency life and while choosing a medium size home to take the tour around it does provide examples from Austens novels to demonstrate how life varied in house of different size, social class and wealth.

The style is welcoming and easy to read, it does almost feel as if a tour guide is showing you round and introducing you to this way of  life.  It does give some good information but this is where I am torn.

If I were to judge this book as it is and it was aimed at children as introduction to the Regency period it would be 5 out of 5, but as an adult I was left a little frustrated by it, I simple wanted more detail.  Judging the book as it is I would best be able to give it 3 out of 5 but as I enjoyed it this does seems harsh.  At times it is tempting to say that the author my have been better doing three separate books one for poor dwellings, one for the modest home and one for the grand houses and explored each in far more detail but I did like the contrast shown between them though at times it did give a feeling of jumping around a little much.  I would have liked far more detail not only on activites but possibly more examples of ecomony within the home.  The author has kept it simple rather than turn it into an educational text book and I can appreciate that but as an Austen fan a lot of the information she shared was knowledge I had prior to reading, I did not come away feeling I had learnt anything.  I love the style of telling but would just have liked a little more content.

My final rating to be fair I shall split the two previous marks I mentioned and give it 4 out of 5 for reading pleasure would I buy it? I would recommend this for anyone wanting to share their love of Austen with a daughter as an introduction or for anyone wanting a pleasant read but for a true Austen fan looking to gain insights previously unknown sadly not.

Weekly Round Up #11

Well as you will have gathered it has been a rather exciting weekend for me.  The week however was plagued by technical issues which have limited my time with the laptop so last weeks targets….

1) Keep up with blogging as best I can as computer allows

2) Read read and read some more

3) Work on ghost stories idea in notebook

4) try to read QofA (this is how I shall henceforth refer to the novel to save time lol)

5) Try to get some work done on th ghost story collection

went straight out of the window however onwards and upwards.  My daughter has retruned from housesitting and as we have a week before she moves out i can at least promise a post each day this week.  I shall also try to get some extra posts scheduled just incase this one dies between her moving out and payday.  I am really behind now reading blogs and was tempted I admit to hit delete but I wont I promise I shall catch up eventually so bear with me.

Okay so targets for this week

1) 5k words towards the ghost story collectiion I have the outlines time to start writing

2) Ms Katykins and I are considering a read along for the Mysteries of Uldopho by Anne Radcliffe for next month so I need to work out how we are going to do it and get a post prepared please if you have the book and fancy reading along let me know

3) Get my boiler fixed lol it has died again so will be calling them out in the morning the laundry is piling up because the lovely summer we are having is not helping in getting clean washing dried

4) Get all daughters stuff ready for her leaving and then work out how I am going to make use of the extra space lol am looking forward to actually being able to get to my desk and get it set up properly I am coming to the conclusion a designated work space and time will be a definite plus

5) Make a note of some of my book marks incase they dont swap over when I change computers am thinking if I create a word doc then copy and paste the links into it that might be the best way to do it

I hope everyone has a great week and gets good news themselves

Was it a dream?

I woke up this morning and checked my email, nope it was not a dream I did actually sign my first ever contract to have a short story published last night.  The smile that I had when I went to sleep is still etched on my face.  I have to agree to promote the book when it is ready do they not realise I will be so thrilled I shall be screaming it from the rooftops lol

For anyone inspired by my little success and who thinks they might consider pushing themselves out of their comfort zone to write something different in the name of agreat cause the Writing Out Child Abuse blog can be found here

I will be putting a badge on the side of the blog here to the website please take a look I will link it to their submissions page for anyone who might be considering it.

I decided we should have a little celebration last night just for the aceptance email so we had cake I wish it were possible to send you all a slice but sadly I shall just have to share pics instead.

It was very yummy and I know you would have all enjoyed it but I guess I shall be forced to eat another slice in your honour.

I did not do a post yesterday for this weeks round up so I shall remedy that shortly, overall I am feeling very positive about everything right now and hope you will continue on this journey with me through the whole editing process.

Free this weekend

For those of you who have not had chance to grab yourself a copy of The Hunter Inside by David McGowan it is free on Amazon this weekend, you really should get this one or you will kick yourself at a later date when you are paying for it.

For my new followers you can find a review of the book here and an interview I was lucky enough to grab with the author here

I thought so highly of this book I even recommended it at work to customers buying books who went through my till as well as a few collegues, you can find more information on how to get your free copy over on Davids blog here

Happy Days

You will notice that the schedule has gone out of the window with one thing and another this week normal-ish service will be resumed tomorrow but today I just had to share a happy moment with you. You will recall me mentioning I had submitted a short story to the WOCA Anthology, the subject of which was about child abuse.  This is something I have no personal experience of but sadly I have known people who have.  Drawing on the stories they had told me aswell as the books I have read over the years I decided to give it a go just because I think that the cause is a worthy one.  Five thousand words later I had a story, it was so different to anything I had written before but I decided to bite the bullet and submit it before I talked myself out of it.

Last night I got home from work tto an email, it has been accepted yay!  They did say it needs some polishing and promised to be ruthless editing (I resisted replying that whips and chains excite me incase it gave the wrong impression) but they also said, I quote “I think what you bring to the table is well worth the effort.” Well I am sure you can imagine the silly grin this elicited.

They also mentioned having visited the blog to learn more about me they particularly enjoyed the dungeon tour so maybe the whips will speak for themselves, part two of the tour will be coming soon when I have collected enough rats I shall leave it your imagination for now what I need them for….