Blind Dog Plays Fetch

Isn't this dog amazing? I love how such a massive disability has not stood in the way of it enjoying its favourite game. Both the dog and the owner have found a way to negotiate obstacles and have great fun. 

When have you done that? What book have you read that inspires you to conquer obstacles?

By the way, I just reached 10,000 followers on Twitter. As is the tradition, I sang a song to celebrate becoming a 'twitter whale' - you can hear it in the last post



10,000 Followers on Twitter! Celebratory Song

There is a twitter tradition than you must sing a song when in the vicinity of 10,000 followers so, as I'm only about 30 away. Here's my embarrassing song:

OK... I wimped out.  My bad. This is the real deal...

Want to sponsor a writer? If you'd have thrown me
some pennies for that performance had I been busking,
you can do so below.

Whether you decide to help or not, thanks for listening.
Hope you enjoyed it. xx



What if Writers and Readers Worked Together?

Q/ Is is possible to be an authorpreneur if you are not wealthy?
Q/ Do readers love books enough to fund writers without receiving anything in return?

A/ Check this out. The contributors have been clear that they also intend to buy the book.

This is the smiley face of modern publication.

A couple of weeks ago
About a week ago
There is still a little way to go. If you want to join in, there is a donation button under the vid. THANK YOU.

A little vid for the Word Nerd Army - my supporters and friends who prove
time and time again that...
The pen is mightier than the pin-up



The Writer Who Could Not Read (This Happened to Me)

I'm a coma survivor, and I had this experience too. In my case, though, I couldn't write either. However, I had to learn each word a particular way: picture it first, then hear it spoken, then see it written, then write it myself, then read it back. I did that with every word in my vocabulary. The brain is complicated, isn't it? Have you had an experience like this? Has it changed your view of language?

I've been through a lot to get to the point where I can write a book. It has taken 26 years to get this far. My final hurdle is getting it published. If you can help with funds - doesn't have to be much - please make a donation. If not, that's cool too. Look around, play PacMan, and have fun.  :)

If you do decide to donate, please leave a quotable comment under this post. A UK magazine has asked me to write an article on all this when my book comes out, and many, many blogs have asked to interview me. I'll need some good quotes from the people who made it possible. 

Update: Already have a stack of donations on only two days! Thanks guys. Go to the post that follows this, about the Smiley Face of (Indie) Publication , to see how the donations are piling up. I'm impressed by the number of authors and journalists who've backed me too. What a great group of people. I can't wait until I'm in the position where I can pay it forward for other writers. I do what I can with my blogs and twitter, but I'd love to help out financially too. When I'm a best selling author, track me down and ask me how I'm doing this. If I'm not, I'll need reminding. 

None of us is an island. It's a cliché for a reason. It's true. When my book comes out, it won't just be a triumph for me, it'll be a triumph for my supporters as well. The publishing industry may be in shreds, but the Word Nerd Army is kicking butt - just like always. 




Need your Help to get Book out by end of September!

Update... I'll keep updating the smiley face below as funds come in, so bookmark this post if you want to keep an eye on things. We can make this happen! Ghost-written celebrity autobiographies may have the majority of the 'traditional' market but, every true word nerd knows...

the pen is mightier than the pin-up!

Progress over the last couple of days... Thought you might like to see this. Word Nerd Army kicks butt - again! :)

3 days of pretty, let's face it, slap-dash fundraising and I'm aleady 3/4 of the way there. Writers... are you watching this? Publishers don't run the show any more. Readers do. :)

The original message (before updates above):

Hi everyone. Lovely weather we're having. Look. I'm going to get to the point. I want this book published. It looked likely to happen, then my computer caught a virus and died so I had to buy another computer. Bang went my publishing budget. My goal has always been to get the novel published before the end of September this year. I need your help.

I won't go into tiny details about everything - they're in the announcement at the bottom of the page - all I will say is thank you to those of you who decide to help me reach this dream. I will do everything I can to help other writers when I'm published. You know this. I will also return this favour for other writers when I have the funds to do so. There are other options for funding I can use if this doesn't work, but wouldn't it be great if we were all part of this? Wouldn't it be great to bring this into the world together? 

If I manage to do this under budget, I will use left over funds for things like buying books to send to book bloggers - something that is beyond my reach as an authorpreneur - and buying books I can sign and give away in contests to my followers online.

What do you say? Can you spare a few pennies to get this book into the world? Anything you can spare will help. If you can't spare anything at all, I understand that. If you see an ad I put out on Twitter, and it looks interesting, click on it rather than working out the original URL - I'll make a couple of cents. It's only a couple of cents, but it's something. 

I'll put up the smiley face to let you see how close I am to getting the book out. It looks a bit grim right now, but I only started fund-raising today. It'll grin more as time goes on.

Thanks guys :)


For obvious reasons, refunds can't be given,
 so don't donate money you can't afford 
to give away. Feel warm fuzzies regardless of
the size of your donation though. You're very kind.



Old Spice Ad Parody, and the State of Publishing

Love this parody of the Old Spice Man library vid. I saw it a while back and forgot to put it up, but it's on the blog of amazing agent Nathan Bransford today, so get over there to see the other vid too, as well as Nathan's take on the current state of publishing, then hop back here and leave a comment. I'm not a nut. I know you'll leave a comment there first. He's an agent, after all. Go on. Scarper! 



Jane Austen's Fight Club

Jane Austen's Fight Club. Hysterical!



Is Losing Failing?

How do you feel when you lose? Does it feel like failure? When you lose, it can be a useful lesson. When a character in a novel loses, it can show another side to their character. It can review a flaw or a strength. There are even times when you lose, only to win something better. 

What do you think? Is losing 'failing'?

Nick Vujicic



How Wild is your Wildest Idea?

Have you ever had a wild creative idea? One that filled you with excitement and anticipation? Did you back away from it in case it was a little bit too wild? What if you'd just gone through with it?

When you read, how wild are you? How often do you skip into a different genre and try it out? What holds you back from being a teeny, tiny bit wild?

This vid is pretty wild. Imagine if someone had applied logic, or health and safety regulations, to this idea. It would never have happened. 

Be reckless and leave a comment below. 



A Lesson from a Woman in her 90s

Writing Inspiration 

This remarkable American lady talks about the Great Depression as she shares her recipe from that time. Without those circumstances, this recipe may never have been part of her life. Now, though, it is a way to connect with new generations - and technologies - and share her story. 

What foods came into your life by chance, and how have they coloured your life? If you are a writer, how important is food to your characters? If you are a reader, how much do you connect characters and food?

Even if you're not much of a reader, what about characters in other places, such as television and film. Have you noticed how writers work food into the scripts? Which FRIENDS character won't share his food, loves pizza and lasagne, and tries to eat a whole turkey? Which one is obsessed with gourmet food? Which one is vegetarian? If any of these were switched, how would that affect your perception of the character, or are they so bound into the characters that they could never be switched? Share your thoughts below, after you've watched Clara...



If This Doesn't Inspire you to Write - You're No Writer

Fractured Images from Hubble Telescope



In the Agent's Office, Nobody Can Hear You Scream.

For me, it won't be the agent's office because I don't want to be published by someone else. What's an agent going to do? Negotiate with me on my own behalf? Wouldn't work. Publishers are still approaching by the way, and very confused when I turn them down. Increasingly, with tech nightmares and so forth, I think I'm an idiot to try to do this alone, but I'm going to and that's all there is to it.

Anyway, leaving my own situation aside for a second, regardless of your route to publication, there will be a day when nobody can hold your hand. Maybe it's the first time you receive a rejection. Nobody is in the house. It's just you and the agent/editor/publisher's sub-sub-sub-sub assistant. How do you handle that? Let's, for fun, imagine the electricity has gone out and your phone doesn't work. You can't access any of us. You're on your own. How do you cope when you don't have back-up?

My scenario's easy to work out. I've put myself in a trickier than necessary situation because I so want to publish myself, but for you it might be the opposite. Maybe you struck a deal with an agent, who struck a deal with a publisher. Maybe wine was quaffed and plans were made. Maybe, now, the publisher can't live up to their end of the deal due to the climate. Maybe they're not returning your calls, or you're being handed around to different editors. Maybe the new editor doesn't feel the same way about your work. You're going through the motions. The buzz has buzzed off. Maybe you need to put yourself into a difficult situation. Maybe you need to leave. When you have to make a tough choice, that may not make immediate sense to others, it's only you and yourself who can decide. When you're all alone, with only yourself for back-up, what do you do?


Happy 4th of July!

Still no comments on those last two :o(  Ah well. 1.30 am in England so...

Today is a special day...

Happy 4th of July American chums! xxx



The Most Expensive Tweet in the World?

Prepare to Laugh at My Expense

UPDATE: Order has been restored to Trumpton. It was a tech problem. I am, indeed, one of the 5,000 most influential people in the world on Twitter (but only whisper it in case the Bragging Fairy takes it away again!) Read what follows though, and feel free to mock me. It IS pretty bloody funny. 

I hope you find this as funny as I did. I honestly could not write this kind of comic timing. Nobody would believe it. 

For reasons I won't go into, for fear of disappearing into Irrelevant Tangent World,  I was feeling pretty shoddy about myself. I posted the following declaration:

I am so utterly, utterly cr*p sometimes. *Irons hands to make reparation*
In an attempt to cheer myself up, I thought I'd post my Twitter Grader score. Over the months, I'd noticed it sneaking closer to the top 5,000. I'd made a decision to share the news once it crossed into this magical 5k territory. I'd forgotten. At this moment of hand-ironing low self-esteem, however, it felt the perfect 'ta-da' moment to reveal my enviable status. The hope for a jolt in the ego that would make ironing my hands unnecessary was to be short-lived. 
Mildly fabulous (improbable) news: am now in top 5,000 on whole of Twitter!
I announced - with the URL to prove it. To make sure I'd put the right link up - anyone else ever get that paranoia? - I clicked it. The following comedy is mainly visual. In a 'before and after gone wrong' reveal, permit me to show you the screen capture of what I THOUGHT they'd see, followed by what they ACTUALLY saw. You'll like this:

 This is what they saw (screen shot taken - in disbelief - 1 minute later)

Either Twitter Grader is having technical problems or that one tweet was the most expensive - in influence terms - in the whole history of Twitter. Oh, the shame!! :P


Cannot express how helpful these social media tools are

I write like
Margaret Atwood

I Write Like by Mémoires, Mac journal software. Analyze your writing!

My debut novel

My debut novel
Palaces and Calluses

My Website

My Website
All my blogs link from here

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