Friday, July 29, 2011

Not a winner but...

Well, I didn't win anything in the Clarity of Night contest but I did make it into the forties club (people who scored 40 out 45 for their writing). So I'm very pleased, especially as reading through the other entries I could see so many whose work I really admired.

I've realised that the stories that worked best for me were the ones that managed to read like smooth prose (with or without dialogue) and didn't feel rushed or compressed, even though they only had 250 words to work with. I especially liked Old Kitty's story, which also made the forties club.

Aerin Rose won the Readers' Choice and Simon Kewin got an honourable mention. JaneyV and Precie were in the forties club. There may be other names you recognise if you pop over there and look! My entry was here in case you're interested.

There's something about a writing competition that fires up my creative streak.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Life before Google

This is my absolute favourite of the Chuck & Beans comics. Before the internet we had libraries with encyclopedias, newspapers and books and sometimes even helpful librarians but even so finding something out took a lot of effort.

I love technology.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011


Lexi Revellian is currently offering a special price on signed paperback editions of Replica and Remix. I recommend both books, so if you want to get them now is a good time.

You can find the offer here.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where do cats sleep?

In the same place as an 800lb gorilla*.

Rufus prefers to sleep in whichever seat I've just vacated then complain when I come back and want to sit there too.

Bonnie prefers to be left alone to choose her seat in peace.

*You don't know where an 800lb gorilla sleeps? Wherever he likes.

Monday, July 25, 2011

It's International Sh*tty First Draft Week

... over at The Intern's blog. The asterisk is hers not mine, apparently it represents
all the ways in which first drafts are the very opposite of shitty: they can hold flashes of inspiration, stretches of brilliant writing, and scenes that got cut not due to shittiness, but out of necessity

dissection of article

Other writers will be baring their shitty first drafts and there will be prizes! Let me know how if you share one of yours!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Spit don't swallow


Research with athletes suggests that:
  • Gargling with a sugary liquid helps athletes perform better especially if they don't swallow
You can't fool them with saccharine either. Their taste buds might be fooled but their brain isn't - apparently we have carbohydrate sensors in our mouths that are independent of our taste buds.

It's an intriguing article.

Friday, July 15, 2011


[Minifig 16/365] The Doctor And Amy Pond In Canmore, Alberta

Someone has noticed that doctors need people skills. It took long enough.

Let's hope that the idea gets over here sometime soon.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Delightful surprise

I had a delightful surprise in my letter box a couple of days ago: Wayne Pollard, the creator of Bo's Cafe Life, sent me an advance copy of his book I'm not out of work, I'm a writer which collects together many of his cartoons. It's great to have a physical copy, although I drew the line at taking it to the doctors with me. I thought it might be embarrassing to be laughing away in the waiting room.

I always smile at the jokes; sometimes I laugh out loud. It's a little luxury every day. And now Wayne has added in some interviews with people in the writing world who offer good advice to writers - still in the same amusing style.

Why not pop over there and have a look?

Oh and Wayne, if you're reading this, thank you!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Children reading in the Brighton Branch

Today I went into a school for the first time in three years and helped children with their reading.

I loved it.

Quick reminder

The Clarity of Night Elemental writing contest is now open. The entries are limited this time so you might want to get yours in soon. I have!

Monday, July 11, 2011

tl;dr version: I can drive!

You may remember my ear problems before my holiday. Because my GP thought it might be Menieres disease she wasn't happy with me driving so I haven't. But today I saw a consultant who said:

  • It's not Menieres disease
  • It's probably a one-off
  • Could be caused by a virus or a faulty blood vessel
  • Need to exclude a very unlikely benign overgrowth of nerve in the ear - will need MRI scan
  • Get hearing aid adjusted toot sweet - if more hearing returns they can turn it down
  • Can drive
  • Can swim
  • Check balance before cycling
  • Look all round when crossing roads

So, I'm back in the action!

It's such a relief to be able to drive. The deafness is a nuisance, especially as there's no guarantee that turning up my hearing aid will help. But I will find a way to cope!

Friday, July 08, 2011

Sci Fi book voting

What's your favourite science fiction book? You get the chance to vote here.

Out of the ones on offer mine were: The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Heinlein, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and Enders Game by Scott Card. (I hate Card's politics but I loved the book.)

What are yours?
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