Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Tempus is Fugiting like mad

I've just signed the first two copies of We Could Possibly Comment for writer friends. At least, I've just signed them in a dream. With, hopefully, just a week or so to go before I receive my allocation of the print run, I expect to be having more similar dreams - and nightmares.
One benefit of the dream, is that it has reminded me that I'll need to slow down when signing. I find it extremely difficult to write slowly which, admittedly, is quite handy for a journalist who only did shorthand for a year at university... a very long time ago. It's a distinct disadvantage, though, when writing greetings cards, letters and envelopes and I frequently mess them up. Methinks a few practice sessions are called for.
That's something else to add to a list that doesn't seem to have got smaller in recent weeks. It's now only about ten days until I head off to The Writers' Summer School at Swanwick, Derbyshire

I've still to finalise work on the Non-fiction course I've been asked to run - I've set myself a deadline of this Friday to have it nailed, apart from some Marketing information.

On the book front, I sent text and some JPegs to a local printer on Monday for flyers and that's still to be finalised. The latest delivery date for the books to the publisher in Leicester (nice to see that my book is highlighted on their bookshop page New and Notable is next Thursday, the 8th, but as that's probably too late to get my copies up to Glasgow in time for Swanwick, hopefully that can be brought forward a couple of days.

There are several other tasks that have to be completed before I disappear off to the peerless Peak District, which means I'll have to devote less time to Facebook (the main culprit behind my lack of blogging in the past couple of weeks) and be very focused.

The clock continues its relentless ticking down.

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

The Final Countdown

Everything was signed off last week, including the cover and hopefully the printers have started work on transforming all the proofs into books. I need to have copies ready three weeks from now to take to The Writers' Summer School at Swanwick - (places still available) and am thinking of sending a few elves down to help.
Three weeks to see the actual books - it doesn't seem that long now, given the fact that I started work on the book more than two years ago. I'll have to use some of the time to get flyers made and somehow create space in my flat for the 300 copies I'm taking. My advice to anyone thinking of being an author, is to consider moving if, like me, you live in a 2nd floor flat with no lift!
I think I'd better increase my visits to the swimming pool each week and use the weights I bought a while back.

Thursday, 9 July 2009

I've been tagged

Thanks to my dear friend, Brian Sibley (that's him above on the right) I've been tagged with a meme based on the Alphabet. It's my first go at something like this, but here goes:-

A - Age 55 - but not for much longer.

B - Bed Size Double. I currently share it with Cuddles the Teddy Bear, Herschel the Jewish Care Bare and Elliot the Elephant

C - Chore you Hate Paying the bills.

D - Dog's Name Candy - a lovely boxer with an unwrinkled face and long nose who was our pet when I was a child. She used to wash my brothers ears and revived my grandmother, who had diabetes, when she fainted. Candy was stolen when she was around 10 months old and we never got another dog.

E - Essential Start to Your Day Turning on the PC.

F - Favourite Colour Jade.

G - Gold or Silver I tend to wear silver more.

H - Height 5' 4 1/2" - and I'm unable to wear heels higher than an inch and a half.

I - Instruments you play Qwerty keyboard - and my own vocal instrument.

J - Job Title Freelance writer and author - currently underemployed.

K - Kids Daughter Suzanne, aged 29, who lives with me.

L - Living Arrangements A chaotic spacious 2nd floor flat - one bedroom for me, one for Suzanne and one our Chinchilla Kylie lets us rent out for the PC and 2nd television.

M - Mum's Name Sadie, nee Jacobs - she's a real trooper (I'm sure my Dad agrees).

N - Nicknames Occasionally called Shazza or Sharonski and when I call my father Pops, he calls me Dops.

O - Overnight hospital stays other than birth 6 orthopaedic ops, and about half a dozen other ops.

P - Pet Peeve People without any manners - my philosophy is 'p0liteness maketh the person'.

Q - Quote from a movie I have to share with Brian, the love of 'If you can't say nuffin nice, don't say nuffin at all' (Thumper)

"Keep close to ze candles" - Frau Blucher in Young Frankenstein (the candles were never lit)

Either "Savvie?" or "Oh Bugger!" - Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean (it's the way he says it)

I know it's not from a film, but of course I have to include 'You might very well think that... I couldn't possibly comment', and 'Dismal egalitarianism running rampant with the royal seal of approval' from House of Cards - delicious lines created by Andrew Davies and superbly delivered by Ian Richardson.

R - Right or left-handed Predominantly right-handed, but I'm fairly ambidextrous.

S - Sports Swimming and watching most sports - I used to play hockey and netball when I was at school and represented Strathclyde University at the Scottish Universities Championships in 1971/2 - there are four ladies in a team and there were four ladies at the club, so I was an automatic choice.

T - Time you wake up Your guess is as good as mine and certainly several times during the night.

U - Underwear More Bridget Jones than Grace Jones.

V - Vegetable you Dislike Does garlic count as a vegetable?

W - Ways you run late When I was in my last few years of school, at Hutchesons' Grammar, they were very strict generally, but certainly about punctuality and I always prefer to be early rather than late. Unfortunately, I don't always manage it these days - usually because I think I've got more time than I have.

X-rays you've had - Various.

Y - Yummy food you make Chicken soup and lockshen, plum sponge pudding.

Z - Zoo favourite - Animals that are cute, interesting and not too smelly.

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Royal Mail - definitely no relation!

The proof corrections for We Could Possibly Comment - Ian Richardson Remembered arrived this morning - three days after Matador sent them out to me, First Class Mail. I've had post from America as quick at that! Not only that, but I posted the proof sheets needing changed to Matador, Special Delivery last Tuesday and they didn't receive them until Thursday. This service is meant to be guaranteed next day delivery - and you're certainly paying a lot more for it.

So, it looks like the Royal Mail has cost me a few days in what seems to be a tight schedule to have the book ready for when I want it. Perhaps I should change my name by Deed Poll so that no one confuses me with the shoddy service.

As for the amended proofs, there were very few things missed and I posted a maximum of ten sheets back early this afternoon - and I'd better get my fiver's worth for special delivery this time or I really will consider adopting a new surname.

Hopefully I should have sight of the cover proofs by Saturday and after I'm happy with them, be just about on the home strait.

Meanwhile, in what seems to be a very positive development, Matador today announced that it is employing a Sales Representative Company to sell its self-published books.

Let's hope this is another step in the right direction for self-publishing companies and authors like myself who decided to go for this option.