Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

Guidance required…

I am managing to keep up so far – only January I know – but not bad for me. I’ve sent off two copies of three chapters this week, one for a ‘free read’ by a panel of professionals (writers and publishers) – the idea being that they select a certain number of manuscripts received and give feed back on those chosen. The other is to be selected by a panel of organisers of a local writing conference to be read and evaluated by an agent – a one to one in fact. Fingers crossed. I’ve allowed enough of my friends and family to read it now, so it’s time for the real deal.  I did send chapters to agents last year, with no positive response. Those chapters have since been cut or re-written. That is my mission for this year, to grab the attention of an agent. Some people have suggested self publishing but I want to scrape a living at this and without an agent helping me to pick my way through, I’m not sure that would ever happen. I am constantly amazed at the sheer amount of published work out there, some of it not to my taste, but published and selling, so it must be to someone’s taste. How can I hope to get my offering out there without expert help? So if any of you happen to be writer’s agents do let me know! Are any of you self published? Published? Do you think self publishing is ‘vanity’ publishing or do you think it has a place in the world of books?

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New Appointment

I spent the week before last short listing candidates to replace one of my ladies at work – we are currently four, three of us in our forties and one lady, fifty odd. Last Thursday my boss and I interviewed nine potential candidates and agonised over the right choice. Who has the right product knowledge? Who has the right people skills? Who has the right feel? Of course as an ‘equal opps’ employer you can’t appoint on the ‘feel’ of a person or the fact that you think they might fit best in the team you already have. You can’t rpesume or assume anything, it has to be evidenced. You have to appoint according to the person specification and the job description. It’s to stop me being ageist or sexist or racist or anything, which I have to say I’m not. Sometimes you just know don’t you?

 So we have our new person – and it is a man! How will that work out I wonder? It takes a very special breed to manage to work along with us lot I can tell you – we are controlling, capable, strong, moody, funny and far more able than anyone else! You know what I mean.

I will let you know.

Model Family

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I can’t possibly fill a blog with tales of the build up to Christmas. – panic buying of last minute presents, to ensure that Santa had treated three children equally (if not financially, at least in number and size of gifts.) Had Mummy and Daddy been over generous to one child and less so with another? At this age they do tend to be happy as long as everybody got the same number of presents, when they were younger they needed to be of similar size and weight too.

So, Christmas came and went, and New Year. A lot of diabolical TV viewing, children roaming around the house in pyjamas til mid afternoon, by which time it seemed daft to nag them to get dressed, because it was nearly bedtime again – except that bed time wasn’t really happening til close to midnight a lot of the time.  Finally it was time to go back to work, a relief actually, a bit of normality and semi-routine returning to life.

Yesterday I put my foot down and insisted they ‘do’ the thank you letters. So I am proud to share with my blog readers the fact that I managed to get them to do it. If I take these little snapshots of life in isolation, record them somewhere like this, the odd photograph as well, I will be able to persuade myself years from now that we were a model family. No strife or arguments, no bad feeling or bad language – a normal happy family sitting around a table and making cards to send our thanks for the gift vouchers received as Christmas gifts. In truth I have had to nag, and have a purse full of gift vouchers which I have ‘bought’ off the kids as they wanted the money instead! But even Tall Boy got stuck in with drawing and glueing to make some cards to send off.

I wonder if we bloggers really live such exemplary lives? When I read back over last year’s entries on my own blog it seems like somebody else’s family – I know we aren’t all bad, but there is an awful lot that doesn’t get written about, the volume is lower, the language tempered. It struck me that a blog is the opposite of a journal – if my own teenage version is anything to go by – that used to be filled with angst and pain, fury and doubt – my grown up blog on the other hand seems to be a considered account of trials and tribulations. Perhaps because I know it is for public consumption I am more careful about what I write. Let’s face it – nobody actually wants to read about what really goes on day to day – do they? It’s more about the highlights – a bit like a thought for the day.

I am back in blogging mode though – a huge lapse in December I’m afraid, but I will try and keep at in on a more regular basis this year.