Thursday, 31 March 2011

All wrapped up and ready to go!





Well, in just a few short hours the 'April A-Z Challenge' will be up and running.

I've just been sorting out the first few pieces for the daily blogging requirements - an eclectic mix of things literary and otherwise! I'm looking forward to visiting other blogs and seeing what some of you have concocted for this challenge - good luck everyone!

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Progress Report




Mother Nature's woken from slumber and rioting - so I have to make hay while the sun shines. (or at least get ahead of the game and rip up the scrappy lawn!)

Here's an update with a picture of the work in progress. Lawn now despatched, paving and gravel in situ - bark mulch pending....the red wine is now alleviating the aching muscles! Work suspended for two days while normal life catches up - but if the weather holds I'll be back out there at the weekend!

Then, come summer I can basically just enjoy lounging about in a deckchair with a good book and the odd glass of wine! (or three!)

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Gardening Leave




A whole week without posting - what's going on?

Mother Nature woke up - that's what!

The grass has been growing so I had to act fast and get things under control and drastic times call for drastic measures - hence I'm out in the garden more than tickling the keyboard! Not to say I've given up writing, just doing it in my head - mind-plotting!

Also, I've been getting ready for the April A-Z - a different post each day with a different letter of the alphabet as a starting point! It will be an eclectic mix, that's for sure!

Meanwhile - the garden awaits. Landscaping, anyone......?

Sunday, 13 March 2011

5x5 Fiction - small, but beautifully formed!




'The Lord of the Rings' or 'War and Peace' may eat into your free time and consume a hefty portion of your reading hours - so if you prefer your fiction in snack-size bites (though no less satisfying!) drop into the latest edition of 5x5 Fiction where Angel Zapata has pulled together some interesting reads.

The rules are:

Use only five sentences
Each sentance can have only five words

Thus, one arrives at a story contained within just 25 words - now, that's quite a challenge.

The first quarterly edition is up for viewing - go see what a lot can come from so little!


(and yes, unashamedly, one of my stories was included! )

Sunday, 6 March 2011

'Hay'-ho - and three bags full....




I know my last blog-post was about ePublishing, but I still can't resist the feel and smell of real books and occasionally I need a 'fix' to catch up with titles I've missed.

As if we don't already have a LOT of books in our house (seriously - in the the dim, dark and distant past of several house moves in a short space of time, removal men have been heard to audibly groan at the sight of the boxes of books.....)yesterday we had a trip out to Hay-on-Wye.

Dear daughter and I paced ourselves, with a promised 'afternoon tea' by way of half-time encouragement and pick-me-up, as we ventured around the town of bookshops. Although we didn't visit all of them (there are over thirty!!!) we did manage about a dozen, wandering ever upwards, floor by floor (and sometimes down into labyrinthine cellars!) with our 'shopping lists' at the ready. We jostled on landings and squeezed past other book-hunters on the laden stairwells - with the pair of us having library backgrounds we were resisting the urge to tidy some of the shelves into true alphabeltical order! ;-p

We learned from our last visit, about eighteen months ago, that you need to go armed with knowledge - last time I stupidly managed to buy copies of books I already had back home, just because the covers were from different editions and unfamiliar! Still, I can always give those away to friends and family....

It's a bit like a literary 'gold panning' expedition - occasionally you dredge up a precious nugget or two! In my case, although the bookshelves at home are sagging, I still managed to 'up' the numbers by nine, even if three of them were not for me. I bought two football books for the OH (as payment for being our taxi driver, en route to him watching football) and one was a child's book for my son - a 'Beano' annual, as he'd been lamenting that the last time he went to Hay I (apparently?!) wouldn't let him buy one! (mind you, that was about 15 years ago and he's now 24! ;-p)

Still, aside tfrom that, I managed to purchase six more novels - I felt the need to temper some of the 'action' with something a little less blood-and-guts, so only two were crime/thrillers!

Now, back to the title of this post - '....three bags full'? Well, there were two of us and you didn't see what she bought...!

Thursday, 3 March 2011

eRevolution? Or just Evolution?




I was pointed in the direction of an article yesterday that has made me think long and hard about this writing 'lark'. Then today I came across this

Writers invest a lot of time and effort crafting and refining their stories - but that's merely the start of the hard work. Next, you have to attract the attention of an agent/publisher and convince them that you're the next best thing since sliced bread. Rejection slips pile up and can be very demoralising, especially when there is no hint of constructive criticism to aid your attempts to improve your chances of getting that elusive publishing deal.

In light of that, is electronic self-publishing really to be dismissed so easily? And if it is the way to go, what does the future hold for traditional publishing methods?

On the one hand - yes, it's a way to get the 'work' out there and being read (and potentially earning money!!!) but on the other hand, is there a danger that this could ultimately lead to the demise of actual hold-in-your-hand-paper-and-print books?

.......and (playing Devil's Advocate, here) should that be a problem, really?

When you consider that books (as we know them, mass produced since the invention of the printing press) have been virtually the only form of portable written word for so long is it truly unthinkable that they may at some stage eventually become obsolete? Imagine the possibility that they could become 'collectors items' or only for 'enthusiasts? It'll never happen.....or will it?

Within 'my' lifetime reel-to-reel tape recorders and vinyl records have been superseded first by cassettes and now Cd's, which themselves are becoming replaced by download files and iPods. VHS has become obsolete in favour of DVD/BlueRay. Anologue broadcasting has become digital. It's called the march of progress.

'Books' have had it good for so long - is this 'eRevolution' really just evolution?

The bottom line is - if more people are likely to read via electronic means than by purchasing hardcopies (books) or borrowing from a library, should we be embracing technology in order to introduce people to the written word?

Most of us write to be 'read' (and we'd like to be paid for our talents!) but having to wait upon the whims of agents and publishers it can be tempting to 'go it alone' and get into electronic publishing.

I'm still undecided - yet, it would seem, for a lucky number of self-publishers the numbers do seem to stack up!