Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Merry Christmas

This is always a busy time of year for me, especially this year as my assistant broke up yesterday leaving me to deal with the pre-Christmas rush myself. Tomorrow I have to do a full day's work in half a day and drive down the M1, around the M25 and along the M20 to get to Dover by 6pm to catch a ferry.

So please excuse my blogging and tweeting tardiness over the past week or so and until the new year.

I'd just like to thank everyone for reading during the past twelve months. 2008 has been a shitty year in many ways for many people, but Marc Nobbs has had a pretty good year overall. Two novellas released and a full length novel accepted and due for release next yer. Not bad going really.

Can I wish you all very merry festive period, a spelnid new year's celebration and let's hope for all out sakes that our political masters can sort out the mess they've gotten us into by the end of 2009.

cheers and beers


Saturday, 20 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours. Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter



Friday, 19 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 09:39 Okay, so, it's Christmas meal day. All the ladies in the office look Glamourous, all the Gents look fine and not very dandy. Should be fun
  • 10:36 I have this year's apprasial in half an hour. I'm sooooo looking forward to it.
  • 10:58 Off to see the boss for my apprasial. Wish me luck.
  • 12:22 Apprasial went well. Now off for a two hour Christmas Lunch. Lovely
  • 15:48 Back from Lunch and I was 'pursuaded' to play Santa for the office secret santa. What fun.
  • 16:29 I just got an e-mail from Santa! How cool is that?
  • 16:30 Write & Email Santa Claus for a North Pole Christmas! tinyurl.com/d3ne4 via @ShareThis
  • 16:31 @emily83176 You want to be careful - sit on Santa's lap and you might have a problem with his north pole.
  • 16:36 @emily83176 North, South, what's the difference. All you need to know is that it's long, hard and stripy. Red and white stripes, no less
  • 16:43 On the Blog : E-mail from Santa tinyurl.com/3ny4u2
  • 16:56 @emily83176 Ahh, do you WANT it to taste like peppermint?
  • 16:57 @emily83176 I know - Santa Rocks!
  • 16:59 Right, that's me done. I'm off home for the day. Byeess
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Thursday, 18 December 2008

E-mail from Santa

Today, I sent Santa an E-mail. And I got a Reply! How cool. See below for my e-mail and the reply.

Dear Father Christmas,
My name is Mark. I am a boy and I am already 34 years old!! I live in the great city of
Northamption. Of course, that's in Northamptonshire, United Kingdom, but I'll bet you knew
that!! This year I've been so good that, well, ok, maybe my halo has been to the repair shop a
few times this year.
Father Christmas, some things I might like for Christmas this year are:
- a red Ferrari;
- a silver Aston Martin; and,
- a Pussy Cat Doll.
Father Christmas, I almost forgot to say... My friend at work says you're not real. But we all
know you are. Please make sure you don't send Mr. Fursey any presents as he doesn't believe in
Love, Mark

And here's his reply, although, I'm not sure Santa knows what a Pussy Cat Doll is. Either that or Mrs Santa has discovered a liking for girls herself.

Merry Christmas Mark!
Thank you for sending me your email all the way from Northamption! HO!! Ho!! ho!! We get
wonderful Christmas emails from boys and girls around the world but everyone at the North Pole
sure gets excited when we get one from you Mark!
Jumping Jingle Bells, Mark! Are you fibbing to ol' Santa Claus?!? You can't possibly be
34 years old already! Why it seems like only yesterday that I was leaving presents for a
certain little boy and here you are now, practically one of Santa's elves! (*grin*)
Sorry the presents the last little while probably haven't been quite as exciting as they were
when you were a little boy but, well, you know how these things go (*wink*). Anyway, Santa's
glad to see some of the 'older kids' (not to mention anyone in particular!) still take the time to
write. I also hear you've been a sorta good boy. (Of course, you won't mind if I do a little
checking, will you? HO!! Ho!! ho!!).
What's this? Someone doesn't believe in Santa Claus? Why, that's like not believing in love,
imagination and the spirit of childhood! I hope Mark that, no matter what, you will always keep
the spirit of Santa in your heart.
Let's see what you put in your letter for Christmas wishes: 1. red Ferrari; 2. silver Aston martin
and; 3. pussy cat doll. HO!! Ho!! ho!! Mrs. Claus will be tickled to hear you like pretty doll stuff
as much as she does! She just loves helping the elves make all the wonderful doll
things. Even with Mrs. Claus helping though we never seem to make enough of
them for everyone so I hope you won't be too upset with me if I can't bring you everything you
asked for.
HO!! Ho!! ho!! The elves are diving into the present wrapping machine again! Such silly elves!
They're okay, but I guess I better go help unwrap them. Take care Mark and don't forget to
come back and visit me here at EmailSanta.com on Christmas Eve!! And remember... only 7 more
sleeps until Christmas!!
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas,


Now, how cool is that?

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:41 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/6lk3yc
  • 09:48 The pub I pass on the way to work is advertising its Valentine's night dinner ALREADY! It's not even Christmas YeT for God's sake!
  • 11:08 @KarenNolan My fave hobby is whatever my wife tells me it is. I'll leave the rest to your imagination
  • 11:12 It's 11:10, had three cups of tea so far today, tons of things to do, no motivation to do them. Oh, sut up and just get on with them.
  • 13:40 Today seems to be dragging along realllllllllllyyyy slllllooowwwwly. I need some more tea.
  • 14:22 I've been for a walk to the bank and it's so cold outside that now I'm back inside I'm roasting. Is it my age do you think?
  • 14:23 I really need to sit and write a blog entry today. I just don't know what to write about.
  • 16:09 my eyelid keeps twitching. It's really, really annoying.
  • 16:54 just had a slightly depressing conversation with the boss. Damn these economic woes.
  • 16:55 Anyways, I'm off home now. Byeess
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Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:41 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/5usqy5
  • 09:09 It's morning and I'm dertermined to remain postive and be nice to everyone all day. Well, at least until 9:10. wait, it IS 9:10
  • 10:35 England - Uncyclopedia, the content-free encyclopedia tinyurl.com/58unp4 via @ShareThis
  • 10:42 On the Blog : I'm confused dot com tinyurl.com/5rhnk3
  • 13:39 "Extended Family" on StoriesOnline (Membership required) rurl.org/18xb
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Tuesday, 16 December 2008

I'm confused dot com

Seriously, I am. I'm confused. Today, I learnt that in America a state governor can appoint someone to a senate seat if it is vacant and there isn't an election due.

Can someone please explain this to me as I was under the impression that America was a democracy.

I'm talking, of course, about the seat in Illinois that has been made vacant by Obama's election as President and the 'shocking' news that the governor has been accused of trying to sell the set to the highest bidder. Now, regardless of if he if guilty or not, what I don't understand is why he has the power to appoint someone to the seat in the first place.

You see, in the UK, when a seat in any elected body, be it Parliament, the county council or the committee of the local allotment association, is made vacant for whatever reason be it resignation, death or any other reason (such as when George Robertson was made a Baron and appointed secretary-general of NATO) then we hold a by-election - a one off election to ensure someone fills the seat until the next scheduled election.

So why isn't that happening in the US?

Seriously, can someone explain it to me because I don't understand.

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:42 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/5r2xk9
  • 09:39 Second week in a row that the server has shut down over the weekend and I get an earbasing as a result! It was an MS update this time.
  • 09:40 So it's yet another great start to the week. Why can't people understand I can't fix things if I'm not here.
  • 09:40 DO they expect me to work all weeekend - just in case?
  • 09:41 As you can tell, I'm a tad pissed off right now. Maybe some caffine will calm me down a bit.
  • 10:42 Just processing some invoices then I'm going to have a cup of coffee and do some sneaky writing
  • 10:42 I'm currently working on two pieces. DId a ton of work on one of them last night. I've got an idea for a third too.
  • 10:42 Need to get the opening to the third out of my head before I lose it.
  • 10:58 just been offered a scone with jam and fresh cream. Lovely.
  • 11:42 On the Blog : The Meaning of Life tinyurl.com/6pbgbq
  • 13:19 I'm sneezing so hard right now (well, not RIGHT now, you know what I mean) I think my brain is going to come out through my nose.
  • 16:06 God, I've had enough of today. Now I understand what the Boomtown Rats meant about Mondays.
  • 16:21 I tell you, today couldn't have been much worse than it has been. Server problems again, mostly. Roll on tomorrow.
  • 16:21 I think I'm going to NEED to do some writing tonight just to clear my head.
  • 16:23 @morrismoresca sorry, only just seen this. I'm in the UK so I'm at least 5 hours ahead of you, maybe more.
  • 17:10 On Cbeebies they end the Bedtime hour with a song "the end of a lovely day" Today has not been a lovely day.
  • 17:11 So I'm off home. I might have a few beers tonight to compensate. Byees
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Monday, 15 December 2008

The Meaning of Life

Last night I had one of those "muse" moments. You know the sort of thing, a story idea comes to you and before you know it you've plotted the whole thing out and drawn the characters and are ready to go.

Except it was the middle of the night and I wasn't going to get up and start typing. So i had to wait until this morning when I was at my desk and could bash out the opening to get things going.

So here it is. The opening to a new story that popped into my head last night. Let me know what you think.


It was like waking from a dream. Not a nice dream, or a bad dream, just a dream. And it was dark. But it would be since she had her eyes closed. She opened them. It wasn’t dark anymore. It was white. Bright white. So bright and so white that her eyes should have hurt. But they didn’t. Nothing hurt. It should have, after what she’d done, but it didn’t. There was no pain at all. There was nothing. She wasn’t hot, or cold, or anything. She just was.

It was about then that she realised she was lying face down on the floor. Or it could have been the floor, she couldn’t tell since it looked no different from anything else around her. She stood up. She stood up and stared into the infinite whiteness.

Nothing. There was nothing. Except for that bench. Where had that come from? It wasn’t there earlier. Or was it? She couldn’t remember. The bench, like everything else, was white. A white, wooden, park bench. She had nothing else to do—there was nothing else to do—so she sat on the bench and again stared into the infinite whiteness.

“Hello, Katherine.” It was man’s voice. She whipped her head around in the direction it had come from. There was a man. Just a man. Ordinary looking. Nothing special about him. Except that he was naked. She realised she was naked too. But then she wasn’t. And neither was he. He wore a white T-shirt and white trousers. As did she.

“It’s Kat,” she said. “Just Kat.”

“My apologies. I only get confirmation of formal names, not nicknames. May I sit with you?”

“Whatever.” Why not, there was no one else to sit with.

“Well,” said the man. “Here we are.”

She looked at him. He looked smug. No, not smug, just... He just looked. “And where is here, exactly?”

“Just here, where we are.”

“Right. That makes sense.”


“And who are you?”

“I’m whoever you want me to be.”

“Right. Good. Glad to know.”

They sat in silence for a short while. Or it might have been a long while, she had no way to tell. Eventually, it may have been after a few seconds, minutes or hours, she said, “What do you mean, whoever I want you to be?”

“I have many names, Kat. Many names given by many people.”

“So you’re God.”

He shrugged.

“So I am dead? It worked then? I am dead.”

“I don’t think so. Not yet.”

“Not yet?” She thought again—she didn’t know how long for. “So this is, like, a half-way house. Between worlds, so to speak?”

“You could say that. Is that what you think?”

“Yes. That’s what I think.”

“Then that’s what this is.”

Another pause of indeterminable length while she thought about this.

“So, what now?”

“What do you think?”

“I think you have to decide if I go to heaven or hell.”

He didn’t answer.

“Well, it’s not much of a choice is it?” She held up her arms to show him her wrists. She expected to find a the wound, or scars, but there was nothing. She put her arms down again. “I took my own life. That’s a sin, right. It’s off to hell with me.”

The man hummed then said, “No. Not just yet. Or maybe never.”

“What then?”

“Kat, let me explain something to you.”

“Go on.”

“I’ve seen many people like you. Many. And I always ask them one thing.”

“What’s that?”

“I ask them my one thing and depending on their answer, I decide if they are ready to continue with their journey, or if they have to go back and finish their other journey.”

“So what’s the question?”

“Are you ready?”

“Yes, I’m ready. Can I go now?”

“No, I mean, are you ready for the question?”

She signed. “Just get on with it.”

“Okay. Here goes. Katherine Sharp, what is the meaning of life?”

She laughed. “Ha! How am I supposed to know? After two thousand years of civilisation, mankind doesn’t have an answer, how do you expect me to know?”

“Would you like a clue?”


“There is no universal answer. The answer is different for each person.”

“So... You mean, what is the meaning of my life?”

“Well, it is your life we’re discussing.”

After some thought, she said, “Well, my life has been all about pain, suffering and abject loneliness.”

“Is that your final answer?”

“What is this, Who Wants to be a Millionaire? Yes, that’s my final answer.”

“Then you’re wrong. That is not the meaning of life. Your life or anyone else's.”

“So I have to go back.”

“Yes. You do. And the next time we meet, maybe you’ll have the right answer. I think you need a long, long time to figure it out.”

“Do I have to go back?”

“Back to a life of pain, suffering and abject loneliness.”

“Oh, I think that’s all about to change. Would you mind closing your eyes for me.”

She did so without thinking. The last thing she saw was his hand reaching out. The last thing she felt was his hand on her forehead. Then everything went black. There was nothing else that could have happened.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:41 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/6by7ly
  • 09:25 There was a light dusting of snow on the car this morning. Thermo in the car read -2C. I was hopeful, but it's just drizzling now.
  • 09:26 Top off the very grey day with back pain. I 'twinged' it when I put my bag down this morning. Am in agony. Looks like an ibuprofen job.
  • 11:46 It's been another long morning again.
  • 12:38 Lunch time! God, I'm starved.
  • 12:49 YouTube - trick-soccer-throw-in-destroys kid tinyurl.com/5mhe7e via @ShareThis you've probably seen this, but it is funny
  • 13:10 managers job tinyurl.com/pn3jb via @ShareThis This is hilarious. Wish I had the balls to do this sort of thing.
  • 13:27 I suppose I better get on with some work now, hand't I?
  • 13:58 Told a co-worker I'd hold her down and stick it in if she didn't take one. I was talking doughnuts. I really should think before I speak.
  • 14:32 iPod on. Kelly clarkson - Because of You. Flippin' great song that.
  • 15:13 Now playing in my ear - Fergie - Big girls don't cry. Another great flippin song.
  • 15:15 @ladlem Okay, what did I say that made you giggle. Was it the doughnuts?
  • 15:16 @Alessia_Brio Mine has trouble with tune carrying too. But he is only 3 so I'll et him off. (that and I'm pretty bad too)
  • 15:17 @MeghnaK Texting takes too long to type in with out a proper keyboard and too long to read with all the damn txtspk
  • 15:18 Now in my ear - Natalie Unspellable&unpronounceable - Big mistake.
  • 15:42 Now playing in my ear - Bittersweet Symphoney. Love this song.
  • 15:49 @morrismoresca Morning? It's nearly hometime for me. It's dark outside and everything. I'll still go read the blurbs thou - thanks.
  • 16:03 Some Excerpts from my June release "Kissed by a Rose"tinyurl.com/6z2x9c via @ShareThis
  • 16:04 Kissed by a Rose - Sneak Peek tinyurl.com/5spgx5 via @ShareThis
  • 16:21 @Jaye_Valentine Still prefer the original - Such a powerful song and she sings it so well.
  • 16:55 @MeghnaK Can't you tell I'm too old to be a student now?
  • 17:02 HOMETIME! Bring on the weekend - Come On! TTFN Twitter Peeps
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Friday, 12 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:42 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/5ksp8p
  • 09:31 great start to the day - Lights are out in one room. Nothing I've tried can bring them back on. Bugger.
  • 10:10 Just editing my MySpage page to profile 2.0!
  • 10:34 MySpace profile 2.0 - Shit. Will not allow me to drag and drop modules where I want them to go. In Firefox OR IE. Shit, shit, shit.
  • 10:52 My new MySpace profile has the largest twitter badge in history on it. And I can't change it. All set correctly. Just won't size correctly.
  • 10:53 MySpace profile 2.0 - You can't centre selected bits - eg, pictures but not text. It's all centred or nothing at all. shit, shit, shit.
  • 13:40 My redesigned MySpace page - still needs tweaking, thou. tinyurl.com/6rcglt via @ShareThis
  • 14:21 @jmsnyder23 ouch. Hate those things
  • 15:41 One of my co-workers is walking around without shoes cause he trod in dog shit when out on his lunchtime walk. Ha Ha!
  • 15:42 On the Blog : Tough few days tinyurl.com/57z6te
  • 15:42 On the Blog : Kissed by a Rose - Sneak Peek tinyurl.com/5spgx5
  • 16:00 Kissed by a Rose - Sneak Peek tinyurl.com/5spgx5 via @ShareThis
  • 16:02 Another 'pre-edit' excerpt tinyurl.com/48wyjp via @ShareThis
  • 16:03 Yet Another 'pre-edit' excerpt of Kissed by a Rose tinyurl.com/67em4q via @ShareThis
  • 16:04 One more 'pre-edit' excerpt of Kissed by a Rose. tinyurl.com/595g93 via @ShareThis
  • 16:05 And the last Kissed by a Rose Excerpt of my Blog tinyurl.com/6dzl2j via @ShareThis
  • 16:43 On the Blog : Some Earlier Excerpts tinyurl.com/6z2x9c
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Thursday, 11 December 2008

Some Earlier Excerpts

I've been posting excerpts from Kissed by a Rose on this blog for a while now. Here are links to some of them.





Kissed by a Rose - Sneak Peek

"Kissed by a Rose" is scheduled for release by Phaze in June 2009. Here's a sneak peek.

Who'd have thought tears in the library could change your life? For Adam Smith they led to love. But when your girlfriend is the latest English Rose to grace the silver screen, life's not going to be easy. Hounded by the press, autograph hunters at every turn, she's his power, his pleasure and his pain. An addiction he can't deny. The more he gets, the stranger he feels. But a student and a superstar just don't mix. Do they? They're from two different worlds. Aren't they? And remember what the song says: Every Rose has its Thorn.

From Chapter 5... (please remember, this is pre-edit text - a special sneak peek)

He found his booth, unoccupied as always, and spread his lecture notes out across the desk. He picked out what he'd written about Nineteen Eighty-Four and began reading. He was halfway through when heard something. He stopped and listened. It was coming from the other side of the bookshelf behind him. He lifted his head and listened harder but the noise had stopped. He thought it had sounded like someone sobbing, but he must have been mistaken. He returned to his notes. He'd read just a few sentences more when he heard it again. He listened. There was no doubt this time. Someone was in the next booth, and they were crying.

He put his notes down and went to see who it was. He stared in disbelief—Chloe Goodman sat at the desk with her head in her hands. He considered his next move. Should he say something or return to his work? After all, he'd been attending lectures and seminars with her for nearly three weeks and they'd yet to exchange two words. On the other hand, they were due to have a tutorial together the next day. He coughed. "Erm… Are you okay?"

Chloe looked up. "Do I look okay?"

In Adam's opinion she looked better than okay, even in her current state. But he thought better of telling her that. "Not really. I was working in the next booth and I heard you crying."

She huffed. "You heard the big film star sobbing so you thought you come and get the gossip? Why don't you take a photo on your phone? The magazines will pay more for the story if you have a good picture to go with it."

"Actually, I didn't know who it was. I just came to see if there was anything I could do to help. Clearly there isn't. I'll leave you to it."

Adam returned to his desk and picked up his notes again. What a bitch, he thought. I was only being polite. I guess it must be right what people say about her. He resumed reading, but found it difficult to concentrate. He was about to give it up as a bad job and pack away when he heard a delicate cough from the entrance to the booth.

"I... I'm sorry," said Chloe. She looked at the floor. Her big brown eyes were puffy and wet—her face red. Was this really the same girl who'd won Fame magazine's sexiest actress award last year? The same girl for who's eighteenth birthday Ladz magazine had celebrated because she was no longer 'Jail Fodder'. Adam remembered that headline—It's Okay to fantasise about her now. She's Legal!

She flicked her eyes up to meet his and Adam's heart nearly stopped. "I didn't mean to be so rude. It's just that I'm not used to people being nice to me for no reason."

Adam gulped. "Don't worry about it. Apology accepted."

"Good. I don't want you to think bad of me." The hum of air conditioning units filled the silence. Adam couldn't decide how to respond. Chloe shuffled her feet before saying, "Well... I, erm... I should leave you to get on with whatever you're doing. Bye."

She turned to leave. She'd only taken two steps when Adam called after her. "Miss Goodman. Wait."

She stopped and faced him. "Chloe. My name is Chloe. The only people who call me Miss Goodman are normally trying to sell me something I don't really want."

"Right. Sorry. Erm, Chloe, why don't you sit down for a bit? I'm a good listener. Or so I've been told."

"Thanks, but I don't want to trouble you with my problems. You'll only think I'm being silly. I mean, what's a big film star got to get upset about? Right?"

"I don't know. What has a big film star got to get upset about?"

"But I hardly know you."

He stood and held out his hand. "Adam Smith."

She smiled weakly and shook his hand. "Chloe Goodman. Although I guess you knew that." He nodded. "Your name sounds familiar," she said as she sat down.

"It should. We're in the same tutorial group."

"Yes! I knew I'd seen you somewhere before. You sit with that pretty dark-haired girl in lectures, don't you?"

He nodded. "That's Kim. She's in our tutorial too."

"Yeah, that's right. I remember now. Well, it's nice to finally meet you. I'd have introduced myself before now, but I thought you'd think I was being too forward."

Adam smiled. "The exact opposite in fact. We figured you didn't want to associate with the commoners."

Chloe's eyes glazed over and glistened. She looked as if she would burst into tears again. She wiped the corner of her eye and struggled to say, "I'm sorry."

"Jesus. What did I say?"

She shook her head. "Nothing really. It's just that… well… that's what I was upset about."

"What was?"

She breathed deeply to regain some semblance of control. She shook her head as she said, "I'm so lonely here."


"I know it sounds crazy. I'm the big star, right? I should have tons of friends—and to be honest, there are always people hanging around, but you couldn't call them friends, exactly. Not real friends. They're all superficial idiots who think that being seen with me makes them look good. I haven't met anyone I can really talk to. Do you know what I mean? Talk about important stuff. Stuff that matters. It seems that everyone already has this perception of me. Either they expect me to be a diva, or they think that I'll think I'm better than them. Like you did. Am I making any sense?"

Adam nodded. "I sort of know what you mean. The first night we were here, I was in the Union with my flatmates and we saw the crowd around you. We all made assumptions. Which is stupid really because none of us know you."

"Yeah, but I bet you think you do. You see me in films and on the TV, you read the interviews and gossip in the magazines and you build up a picture."

"Yeah," said Adam, "I suppose we do. It's not fair, it's not right, but it's what people do."

Chloe sniffed and wiped her eye again. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't be burdening you with my problems. I mean, it's not as if anyone's died is it? I'm just a spoilt little actress having trouble adjusting to the real world. At least, that's what is said in Fame last week." She chuckled, but it sounded false and forced. "I suppose they're right. D'you know, I've lived almost my whole life in this strange celebrity bubble. And it's only now that I'm starting to see it. For more than ten years I've had people running around looking after me, catering to me, making sure I was sheltered and protected. I've been all around the world, been to more countries than I can remember, but I've seen nothing. Experienced nothing."

Adam stared at her. He couldn't quite believe it. He was sitting in the university library, next to one of the world's leading young actresses, and she was pouring her heart out to him. He thought about her media image—strong, confident, powerful, beautiful—and studied her as she looked at the papers scattered on the desk. She was beautiful, that was undeniable—even without the make-up artist's magic touch. But she was also vulnerable. Vulnerable and alone. A scared little girl, lost in a world she didn't understand.

Tough few days

As you might guess from the title, it's been a tough few days. I do seem to have a slightly smaller mountain of work, but I also seem to have lost some of motivation to get through it. I think I might be the kind of character who needs to be under pressure to get my best work done. I wonder why it's taken me thirty-four years to figure that out.

Or maybe it's just that I've slipped into "Advent mode". You know, that state of mind we often find ourselves in during the couple of weeks in the run up to Christmas. Either way, I've been putting off finding new ways to procrastinate and just using the old stand-bys, MySpace, YouTube and erotic fiction.

Hang on, since when did MySpace become an 'old Stand-by'?

Actually, I've just had a discussion about how we could drag the firm into the 21st Century by finding ways to use Facebook and MySpace to the firm's advantage. Well, I say a discussion, it was more of a "we don't and I don't think we ever will" kind of discussion.


I don't really have much to talk about right now. Maybe that's just a Thursday afternoon thing. I am considering opening up this blog to guest writers, so if you're interested give me a shout and we'll see what comes of it. Nothing's definite yet. It's just an idea.

Stay tuned though as I'll be posting a 'pre-edit' extract from my June release Kissed by a Rose later today.

Oh, and before I forget. I've updated my MySpace profile to 2.0. It still needs tweaking, but it'll do for now. Take a look.

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:41 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/5buyhf
  • 09:04 I left the lights on my car on all day yesterday. Battery was flat when I tried to start it to go home. Not happy.
  • 09:05 But at least a mate could jump start me and the battery was jucied up enough by the drive home to start this morning.
  • 09:05 I think it's going to be a long day to day - worrying if the car will start tonoght or not.
  • 09:34 Nobby Jr wouldn't fall asleep last night so I started singing to him. Ran out of songs and ended up doing a "slow" "Sweet Child O Mine"
  • 09:58 @ladlem nope. I resorted to "my way " in the end.
  • 11:11 Back from mt management meeting. Man, it was fascinating. Not.
  • 11:42 Nearly time for lunch!
  • 11:45 YouTube - Kissed by a Rose Teaser Trailer tinyurl.com/5lkvph via @ShareThis
  • 11:45 YouTube - Daily Commute part 1 tinyurl.com/5bopzs via @ShareThis
  • 11:46 YouTube - Daily commute part 2 tinyurl.com/6raopj via @ShareThis
  • 11:47 YouTube - Driving Rant tinyurl.com/58q6v3 via @ShareThis
  • 12:30 had to change my logon password this morning and keep forgetting it and using the old one.
  • 13:11 YouTube - Star Wars Music Video - Everybody Was Kung Foo Fighting tinyurl.com/5bgjfd via @ShareThis
  • 13:20 YouTube - Star Wars - How To Save A Life tinyurl.com/5ur4xd via @ShareThis
  • 13:20 As you can - i had a productive lunch hour.
  • 13:54 @chrisredding You're welcome.
  • 15:56 I was hoping to write a blog entry today. Where has the day gone?
  • 16:50 £ is now worth just €1.15. This is getting silly. It'll be worth the same soon. Bang goes the Booze Cruise.
  • 16:51 And while we're moaning £=$1.48. It was $2 at the start of the year. Gordon has a lot to answer for. He can't blame the previous admin.
  • 17:43 On the Blog : Love Romances Chat Room Qs - 10 Dec 2008 tinyurl.com/5gswcz
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Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Love Romances Chat Room Qs - 10 Dec 2008

Why not start off telling the readers about the person behind the author
name? Tell us something readers would be surprised to know about you.

Well, the man behind the nym isn’t actually a man! Kidding, I’m kidding. I am a bloke. Really. I’d post pictures to prove it but I’d get arrested. Seriously, what’s to say that isn’t on my website already? I’m married with one son (who is at the tender age where smacking Daddy every couple of minutes is ‘fun’) and I
spend my days counting other people’s money.

I guess it would surprise a few people to find out that I studied Physics and Maths in my youth – not English Lit. Now, how’d have thought that of a Romance author?

Now that we have settled in, why not discuss your latest

“Kissed by a Rose” will be released by Phaze next June. It’s with my editor right now and we’ve still got some work to do on it, but, at 90000 words, it’s the biggest project I’ve ever undertaken. I can’t wait for you all to be able to read it.

I have a ‘teaser trailer’ on YouTube.

It’s the story of a young man, Adam Smith, who discovers that he’s on the same university course as Britain’s latest movie star – Chloe Goodman - who’s taking some time off to study. Now, it wouldn’t be a romance novel if they didn’t fall for each other, and it’s wouldn’t be very interesting of there weren’t a few ups and downs along the way. And, of course, I write “erotic” romance, so that means plenty of hot, hot sex.

But you’ll find yourself constantly asking if you, or rather if Adam, can trust Chloe. After all, she is an actress, and pparently, a bloody good one.

What is the biggest misconception about being an author?
That it’s easy. Some people think it’s just a case of sitting at a keyboardand bashing out a few thousand words every now and then. But it is so much mor ehard work than that. You’ve always got things like plots and characterization and grammar and overuse of words and a hundred other things going through your head before you even get near a keyboard.
How do you know what to name your books or the characters?
See, now that’s a struggle. “Kissed by a Rose” is the fourth or fifth title this book has had. I think I finally got it right, but I went through all sorts of problems getting there. Character names are different. I just pick them at random, but I know pretty quickly if the name ‘fits’ the character. If it doesn’t, I normally, by that stage, have a good idea of a name that does.
Do you have any bad writing habits?
Loads, but I’m not telling anyone what they are. Some things are best kept secret.
Of all the individuals you have created, do you have a particular favorite? What appeals to you the most about this character?
Right now, my fave is still “The Colonel” from “Lost & Found”. People who read the book tell me that he’s an idiot, or that he’s a pig. But I think he’s misunderstood. He’s just a man trying to protect that which is important to him – his family. He’s proud and he’s stubborn, but he’s got a good heart. He was great to write.
You find yourself stranded on a desert island, what things could you not survive without?
My laptop. And an electricity supply to run it. And an internet connection. God, I’d be a jabbering wreck without it.
Has being published changed you at all?
It’s probably given me more confidence. But I’d say that’s all.
What do you do to relax?
I write. I know, sounds silly coming from an author, but I only write part time. I have a full time job to contend with, as well as being a Dad and a husband. Writing is my escape, my way to wind down and get my sanity back.
What makes a great book to you?

The words “by Terry Pratchett” on the cover.

Do you have any indulgent behaviors one might find surprising?

Wouldn’t you like to know.

For Fun: Soothing bubble baths or hot showers?
Ah, now, that depends on who you’re taking said bath/shower with. And how long you’ve got.
Please share with us your path to being published. (How long did you write before your first book was published?
I really started to take writing seriously in 2004. Up until then I’d dabbled but not really been very good. In 2004 I joined a writing group to learn my craft. The group was run by the same people that run the erotic story website “Ruthie’s Club” and many of the members had been published there. I was encouraged by some friends to submit some pieces and was fortunate enough to have them accepted. That was in late 2005/early 2006.

I wrote exclusively for the website for a year or so. The stories they publish are considered ‘exclusive’ for six months. After that time they can be sold elsewhere. I took one of the stories, “Charlotte’s Secret” and subbed it to Phaze for inclusion in the “Coming Together” series. It was deemed to be too long, at 15000 words, but was accepted for regular publication instead. It came out in April 2008.

So, I suppose it’s been a four year journey. Although, in reality it’s been a lot longer than that if you take into account my ‘dabbling’ days.

How many books did you write before the first was published?

I think I had about 20 or so short stories on the free story website, StorieOnline, before Ruthie’s accepted my first story.

Most of them are now available for free on my website.


Have you ever finaled or won in a writing contest? If so, which contest(s), which book(s), and which year(s)? Do you feel contests are a good use of your energy and time? Would you recommend that writers enter them? Why or why not?
I tend not to enter contents. I’m a terrible loser and an even worse winner.

What is your favorite animal, real or mythical and why?

I’m a dog person. Always have been.

If you decided to no longer write, what would you do instead?

I’d enter the X-Factor and become Simon Cowell’s “Next Big Thing”

Where do you get your ideas for your stories?

That is the question that every writer dreads. And I don’t think I’m any closer to answering it than I’ve been. I don’t know, is the truth. They just sort of… I don’t know.

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:42 On the Blog : Yesterday's Tweets tinyurl.com/6o6a9w
  • 08:56 Seriously thick frost on the car this morning. It's so damn cold so far this month.
  • 10:14 Just spent an hour filing - I really should file more often instead of letting it build up.
  • 14:39 We only have three typists in the office today. That's less than half our usual number. And people woder why the letters aren't being typed?
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Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Yesterday's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 10:17 YouTube - Kissed by a Rose Teaser Trailer tinyurl.com/5lkvph via @ShareThis
  • 10:24 Belated moring everyone!
  • 10:41 On the Blog : Weekend Shenanigans tinyurl.com/6m8sqt
  • 11:24 Just had a major blue screen system crash. That's not good. I don't even know what's wrong.
  • 12:42 On the Blog : X Factor semis - all over are the shouting? tinyurl.com/5rccgf
  • 13:11 I am so tired right now. I'm literally falling asleep at my desk. I think I need an injection of caffine right to my brain.
  • 13:13 I see LoudTwitter has started working again.
  • 14:11 BBC NEWS | dot.life | A blog about technology from BBC News | Wikipedia is censored tinyurl.com/5mj8na via @ShareThis
  • 14:28 I need some wake up pills. seriously, i'm having trouble keeping my eyes open.
  • 15:28 YouTube - Kissed by a Rose Teaser Trailer tinyurl.com/6d7kqf via @ShareThis
  • 15:30 Is it worht opening up my blog to guest bloggers? I wonder.
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Monday, 8 December 2008

X Factor semis - all over are the shouting?

It was the final of the X-factor this weekend and, if the British public have got any sense or any musical taste at all, then this year's contest is all over bar the counting of the results. In truth, it's been over for a while now - Alexandra is so head and shoulders above anyone else that it's getting silly.

That said, if they have a good night next week, I reckon JLS could be the first group to win it. And I fear that the young Irish lad with the unspellable name (yet it's pronounced Owen - huh?) might nick it just because he's "Cute".

Anyway, here are some of the recent performances.

Weekend Shenanigans

Okay, so I enticed you in with a title that hints of lots of naughty things I did at the weekend, when actually, I didn't do very many naughty things at all. Sue me.

One thing I did do was post the teaser trailer for Kissed by a Rose to YouTube. And here it is for you to enjoy.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Mid-week thoughts

Sad news today that one of the conjoined twins born to an eighteen year old at Great Ormond St late last month has died. The twins were called Hope and Faith, and ironically it is Hope that has died. I hope that Faith will continue to get stronger and survive. My thoughts are with her. More details here.

This does raise an interesting question though. They say that twins, particularly identical twins (i.e. those from a single egg) have a special bond that is difficult to describe or explain. i wonder just how the death of her sister will affect little Faith Williams - or if she'll ever feel truly 'complete'.

To other matters, LoudTwitter, the service I've been using to ship my daily twitter posts to me blog seems to have stopped working. That's a shame as a few people have told me they like the format - particularly on days after I've been a bit 'tweet happy'

I've been working when I can on Professional Misconduct which is the rewrite of what used to be Reunion. I've laid out the basics of the plot by chapter, but I'm finding that I need to insert new chapters here and there. Hence I currently have a "Chapter 2a". I renumber everything when I'm finished, but it seems silly to keep changing chapter numbers each and every time I insert something new.

i think i might try and re-write College by the Sea as well alongside of what I'm doing. Yes, yes, I know. I should concentrate on one story at a time, right? Well, trouble is, I keep getting flashes for College, and I don't want to lose them. Working on two stories when I know where both are going might work. It might not and if that's the case, I'll switch back to one at a time. But we'll see.

I'm also need to decide when i start posting extracts from Kissed by a Rose. At 90000 I've plenty to choose from. I'd like to try and build up some anticipation for the book, but not so much that people get bored of it before it comes out. I'm also considering offering one lucky person the chance to 'beta-read' the book and let me know what they think of it - and if it can be improved.

Oh, I didn't win the REC awards I was nominated for. Never mind - it was cool just to be nominated. Maybe next year.

Monday, 1 December 2008

Kissed by a Rose - Coming June 2008

I heard this weekend that my latest novel, Kissed by a Rose, has been picked up by Phaze Books and has been scheduled for release in June 2009. I know schedules change, but I'm really excited by this. It's only six months away.

Kissed by a Rose is the story of an ordinary student who falls in love with a movie star. Here's the blurb :

Who’d have thought tears in the library could change your life? For Adam Smith they led to love. But when your girlfriend is the latest English Rose to grace the silver screen, life’s not going to be easy. Hounded by the press, autograph hunters at every turn, she’s his power, his pleasure and his pain. An addiction he can’t deny. The more he gets, the stranger he feels. But a student and a superstar just don’t mix. Do they? They’re from two different worlds. Aren’t they? And remember what the song says: Every Rose has its Thorn.

At 53 chapters and approximately 90000 words, it's by biggest and longest story to date and will be my third release with Phaze after Charlotte's Secret and Lost & Found.

Speaking of Charlotte's Secret, voting for Best Female Character in a Contemporary Erotic Romance and best author of Contemporary Erotic Romance at the Romance Erotic Connection yahoo group ends tomorrow, so if you haven't voted (for me) then get over there and help me out. :-)

Friday, 28 November 2008

Why so Quiet?

Okay, so, this week, or at least since Tuesday, I've been on the quiet side. No blog posts and very few tweets-no tweets at all on Thursday. And no, it wasn't because it was Thanksgiving, because we don't do Thanksgiving in Britain.

No, the truth is that I've just been so very snowed under. Not literally, as the last flurry of snow we hand in Northants was washed away by the rain before the sun was up properly last Sunday. No, I mean, of course, the amount of work I've somehow accrued. I've been complaining about the amount of crap I have to do for some while now. It doesn't seem fair to me that everyone else in the country is suffering a slowdown in the amount of work they have and my workload has, if anything, increased.

This week it's been all about the change in the VAT regulations being sprung on us and preparing for it happening next week, and a rather nasty and particularly complicated payroll. Still, shouldn't complain, at least I have a job - which is more than might be said for workers at Woolworth's this time next month.

It is sad to see an institution like Woolworth's in such trouble. As a chap on the TV said during a box-pops session outside one of the stores - "Where are we going to steal Pic 'n 'Mix from now?"

You might remember that after finishing Kissed by a Rose, I started work on a re-write of Reunion. The intention was to restructure and add to the original story.

Well, I've certainly done that. So much so, that I've decided to go the whole hog and ditch large parts of the original concept for the story - effectively making a totally new piece rather than an update of an old one. I've changed the character names and I've allowed the two leads to get together in their youth before breaking up and getting back together again later in life (as opposed to having them miss out earlier to make it all the sweeter later)

I'm also increasing the length of time until they meet up again as adults and I'm making some other changes that I didn't think I ever would. I'm hoping the changes will add even more drama to an already dramatic plot line.

I would say roll on the weekend, but i'm going to be spending some of it making changes to our templates and systems ready for the change in VAT rate on Monday. Oh, well, there's always next weekend.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/5r8ywz #
  • 09:04 God, it's cold again this morning. Frost on the car. I can see my breath on the air. Glad I'm in a nice sort-of-warm office. #
  • 11:13 I have spent all morning working through how the VAT change affects out business. This is a Joke! #
  • 11:14 Now I've got to spend even more time altering our invoice and completion statement templetes. #
  • 11:52 I'm fed up of bloody VAT! #
  • 12:06 twitpic.com/nxqi - #
  • 13:33 Need to finish off payroll for this month, then I've got a hundred other things to do. #
  • 13:33 Think I'll have a Mars bar first. #
  • 14:17 On the Blog : Have they gone Mad? tinyurl.com/6d8qpd #
  • 14:38 payroll complete. Unless the boss suddenly decides to cut everyone's wages this month. #
  • 15:10 @RubiJayne I'm a hero? Cool. #
  • 15:30 I've very much had enough of today. It's been a bloody nightmare from the moment I got in. I'm looking forward to going home. #
  • 15:46 Can anyone think of a boys name which sounds cool when shortened and in full? #
  • 17:03 many thanks to @RubiJayne @jmoriarty @cranberrytarts @reginasuniverse - it's given me food for thought. #
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Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Have they gone Mad?

Okay, so, according to the Chancellor, the way that Britain is going to get through the recession is by asking the public, who he readily admits have far too much personal debt in the form of mortgages, unsecured loans and credit cards, to go out to the shops and spend even more.

Nice one - let's rack up the personal debt mountain even more. Who knows, it might even match the national debt that this government has landed us with so that they can go out and spend more.

But then, this is a man who is still adamant that Britain is in a better position going into this recession than 'comparable countries', even though the IMF and the World Bank say we are in the worst position of any of the major western economies. Perhaps by 'comparable countries' he means 'countries that are well and truly in the shit'.

This idea of the public spending us out of recession is the reason (or so he says) for the 2.5% cut in VAT. But that rather naive assumption is based on the shops actually passing on the cut. As I said yesterday, if I were a shop keeper and had the choice between wasting time and money changing all my prices or pocketing the tax giveaway for my own profits, I know which I'd do. But then I'm a cynic.

I'm also quite bitter and annoyed by the tax cut. It's a cut you won't see any benefit from unless you go out and spend (assuming the shops... Oh, you know) and even then, £1.10 off a £50 item is hardly Earth-shattering. But it's also created a whole bunch of work for me. This morning I've wasted time debating with my directors how this should be implemented, leading to one of them saying "This is crazy, every firm in the country is wasting time and money having the same discussion today. It's madness."

And this weekend, I'll have to waste even more time going through all our invoice and completion statement templates and changing all the settings in our accounts software, ready for next Monday's change.

Why on earth we couldn't have had a penny, or even half a penny, in the pound reduction in income tax, I'll never know.

And then there is the looming prospect of tax rises if Labour win the next election. Actually, that's not a big worry since they won't win the next election.

Okay, sorry, rant over. I'll go away and do some accounting now. Or maybe I'll try and write a sneaky few hundred words on my WIP instead.

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/5n5ruy #
  • 08:55 Back at my desk for a new week - and I'm already confused #
  • 08:55 There seems to be three OPEN bottles of milk in the fridge. Why? Who keeps opening a new bottle without finishing the last one? #
  • 08:56 Moan, moan, moan - what a way to start the week. #
  • 11:30 Have spent the morning doing payroll. I'm just hoping that the Chancellor doesn't change anything this afternoon so I have to do it again #
  • 12:17 On the Blog : Does a cut in VAT mean a cut in prices? tinyurl.com/56hxhe #
  • 12:40 Couple sue McD's after nude pics of wife on Husbands phone appear on the internet. Hee Hee. rurl.org/16lg #
  • 13:05 My Tweets are followed by "10 Downing St" - I never saw Gordon Brown as a fan of erotic Romance. #
  • 13:26 @ladlem Well, he does look a bit like a dirty old man. #
  • 13:27 A sudden avalanche of Tweets - it must be sunrise on the other side of the pond. #
  • 15:39 It's been a very 'bitty' day today. Don't seem to be gettin g anywhere fast. Just trying to write a few hundred words on my WIP now. #
  • 15:41 doing some quick research - isn't wikipedia great? Okay, so you can't trust it 100% - but it's a good starting point. #
  • 16:06 UK VAT cut to 15% - as expected. But it won't work. It will not work. #
  • 16:07 Tax on Booze and petrol goes up by the same amount VAT comes down - Oh, well done. Pratt. #
  • 21:03 It's 9pm and I'm trying to decide between Spooks and Tony Robinson's new series. Or Voyager. Not sure... #
  • 21:04 I think it's going to have to be Spooks. #
  • 21:38 Okay, tonights Spooks is the best one so far this series. Very, very tense. Love it #
  • 21:40 Richard Armatage can kick ass! Go on, son. Smack him one. #
  • 21:55 Damn they killed the kid! #
  • 21:55 Go di love spooks. Back to its best tonight. #
  • 21:57 Well written, well shot, well acted. Damn this is what the BBC does best. #
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Monday, 24 November 2008

Does a cut in VAT mean a cut in prices?

It's been widely leaked in the press that the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, will this afternoon announce a cut in VAT (Value Added Tax) from 17.5% to 15% (apparently the lowest it is allowed to go under EU rules). The idea is to stimulate the economy by reducing prices in the shops and get shoppers spending again.

Only, I don't think it will do either of those things.

First off, there is no guarantee that shops will actually cut their prices. Food, children's clothes and a few other things aren't affected anyway, but if you were a shopkeeper selling, say, televisions, would you change all your price tags, literature and website to cut the price of a £499 TV to £488? I don't think I would. I'd say thanks to the government, carry on charging £499 and pocket the £11 difference for myself.

And even if the shopkeepers are generous and pass on the cut, will eleven quid of a £500 item really make people rush out and buy it? Let's face it, the shops have been cutting prices by 20% or more in the past few weeks and even that hasn't stimulated sales. If a hundred quid reduction isn't making people buy that TV, why would £11 off?

From a personal standpoint, I'd rather have a cut in income tax if there has to be a cut at all. It's something real that I'll actually see in my pay packet and it'll make me feel better about things. Falling prices in the shops will just make me think things are getting worse, not better.

So how about a 1p in the pound cut in income tax and a reduction in National Insurance too (income tax in all but name). It might only put and extra few quid in my bank - but I'll feel better for it.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/5vxyu8 #
  • 08:55 My God - There's a cold wind blowing today. Snow expected at the Weekend. #
  • 09:30 for some reason, we have a chocolate fountain in the office today. #
  • 11:12 You know, chocolate fountians and raspberries/marshmallows/strawberries are really very nice. #
  • 15:17 **NEW** free Story - "Extended Family" rurl.org/16bw John's wife wants him to do her sister a good deed. a very good deed indeed. #
  • 16:15 **NEW** Free Story - "Ladz #65 : Carla" rurl.org/16c1 Carla thinks being a Ladz Local Lovely will give her all the cock she wants. #
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Friday, 21 November 2008

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:18 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/6m8osj #
  • 09:05 Didn't win the lottery last night, so back at my desk. IT's not fair, it's been nearly twenty years - you'd think it was my turn by now. #
  • 10:03 I actually found time to shave this morning - feel all clean and smooth. Shame I nicked my neck and lost copious amounts of blood. #
  • 12:00 Another busy morning. I'm off for some lunch now. #
  • 12:33 I've just been offered "the Ultimate male package". I wonder what was in it? #
  • 13:00 If the UK is a democracy, why can people lose their jobs for being a member of a political party. That's not right, even if it is the BNP. #
  • 14:01 Is it too early to be singing Christmas songs? #
  • 14:01 @ValerieStevens i don't know, But I could use it if you find one. #
  • 14:03 Watched ashow on BBC 4 last night about Childrens books. And they never even mentioned Harry Potter. I wonder why? #
  • 14:17 On the Blog : Odd definition of Democracy tinyurl.com/65c3e3 #
  • 14:32 @chrisredding This BNp thing blew up yesterday when the membership list was leaked. Now members are getting death threats. For F*&^ks sake! #
  • 14:33 @jennymccutcheon I was thinking more along the lines of Kylie Minouge doing "Santa Baby" **shivers** #
  • 14:34 @jennymccutcheon @jeanettejoy What is "Thanksgiving" exactly? Isn't it just "Early Christmas" with presents and turkey? #
  • 14:40 @MelissaFrancis I'm going to stop procrastinating tomorrow. #
  • 14:41 @jennymccutcheon Any sniker-whats now? #
  • 14:44 @jeanettejoy Thanksgiving seems like a lot of effort to me just for another big Turkey day. I don't even like turkey that much. Prefer lamb #
  • 14:56 @jennymccutcheon Never heard of them them. But they sound nice. #
  • 14:57 @jeanettejoy So it's just like Chrismas then - big family feast etc. Like I said, you lot over there just want to do it twice. lol #
  • 15:58 If you saw "Penis Pasta" written on a box, would you assume it was a posh brand name, or a description of the shape? #
  • 15:59 My friend just admitted she thought it was a Posh brand name and served it to her two young children. Doh! #
  • 16:51 10 mins till home time! #
  • 16:52 managed to squeeze in 500 words today between 'day job' tasks. Not great but not bad. #
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Thursday, 20 November 2008

Odd definition of Democracy

Yesterday, it emerged that the 2007 membership list of the British National Party, the BNP, was leaked onto the Internet. Now, for those of you who don't know, the BNP is a 'far right' party, who believe that Britain should be for the British, blah, blah, blah. I'm sure you know the type of party I'm talking about - every country has them.

Now, the BNP is the pariah of British politics. Forget that they are actually winning council seats in some parts of the country, they are (as called by most of the media and their opponents) 'racists' and are to be look ed down on.

But, they are not illegal. You see, Britain is, or so I thought, a free democracy with free speech and a free press. But as the list emerged, it also became clear that being a member of the BNP is seriously bad for you. There are people on the list who have received death threats within hours of the website going live. Apparently, policemen and prison officers are banned from being members of the BNP (but not banned from being members of other parties) and the largest teachers organisation came out and said membership was incompatible with teaching.

Now, let's be clear about this, I'm not a member or supporter of the BNP. I have never voted for them, and never would. Just as I don't ever envisage myself voting for Labour, the Communists, or any other number of other parties. But that doesn't mean I believe they should be banned.

I have always believed that the best way to deal with extreme groups is to engage them in reasoned debate and show their ideas to be as ridiculous as they are through your own arguments. But it seems that the media and the political establishment don't believe this to be the case. They think they should just be banned.

Forgive me, but isn't the banning of political groups the first step towards a dictatorial state? How can we claim to have free speech, if the leaders of the country stop one group from talking because they don't agree with them?

The BNP's views are, from what I've seen of them making their arguments, abhorrent. But last night on Channel 4 News, the leader of this party was made to look like the reasonable one during an interview because all he was asking for was a chance to put his views across, like any other party, and to protect his members from abuse, like any other party.

It's a crazy situation when the extremists are made to look like moderates. More than once the interviewer, who did a good job for the most part, twisted the man's words to make him sound more extreme but ended up looking silly because the response he got was "No, I didn't say that. Stop putting words in my mouth. All I said was..."

Maybe I'm naive, but I really did think we lived in a 'free' country. But I guess there's no such thing.

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/576nq8 #
  • 08:55 Morning everyone. Didn't tweet a lot yesterday. Too busy. Hope today isn't the same. #
  • 10:04 @CassieExline Go easy on the caffine! #
  • 10:04 @CassieExline Just forget the day job and write. #
  • 10:05 Been on the go all morning so far. When will it ease up so I can do some writing? #
  • 10:28 Free story - Bus Stop rurl.org/162p #
  • 10:28 Free Story - Claire rurl.org/162q #
  • 10:29 I offer a number of free stories on my website, but up to now have had no way to track the number of reads so I'm moving them to lulu - Free #
  • 10:34 I'm cold now - Going for a cuppa #
  • 11:22 WIP news - I'm done with chapter 6. Need to insert new chapters - maybe as many as 2 before what is currently c7. Lots to do. #
  • 13:32 Didn't have time to shave this morning. Now I feel all dirty and look horrible #
  • 13:33 had a nice lunch - hot sausage roll. lovely. #
  • 14:17 On the Blog : Have You Seen the latest Bank Adverts? tinyurl.com/6yxyy2 #
  • 15:09 @chrisredding Would site counter measure .pdfs downloaded from my site? #
  • 15:10 @KateRothwell Outlaw? I like the sound of that. At least it's better than 'Tramp' or "beggar". #
  • 15:14 Just looking at a breakdown of where visitors to my blog come from. 43% from the Us, 36% UK, 3% canada. 1.5% from Germany? Troops? #
  • 15:15 I've even had a couple of visitors from Iran. Now that's not soemthing I expected. #
  • 16:11 @emily83176 You'd think, wouldn't you? But no. I just feel dirty - and not in a good way. #
  • 16:12 @KateRothwell see, now you say "Bum" and i think, "sexy". Or possible, "Big" depends on who's bum it is. #
  • 16:33 @emily83176 Not at my place of work it's not. Here, scruffiness is the fast track to unemployment. But I can be pretty scruffy at weekends. #
  • 16:45 In between doing my 'real' work, I've managed to write over a thousand words today. Bonus! #
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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Have You Seen the latest Bank Adverts?

We all know that banks are not the top of everyone's Christmas lists this year. They are being blamed for the current financial crisis, and after several high profile collapses and rescues ob both sides of the Atlantic, everyone is very nervous about which one will be next.

Which is why I'm finding a couple of recent TV and billboard ads here in Blighty very interesting. Banco Santander, LloydsTSB and HSBC are all using phrases like "Trusted" and "Safe". Lloyds are even calling themselves "Britain's most trusted bank."

Yeah, right.

But it's not just banks. This morning I had an unsolicited e-mail from a company telling me "Don't let the financial crisis turn into an IT crisis!" What TF?

Next thing you know we'll have chocolate companies will be telling us to eat more so we don't get depressed because the house has been repossessed.

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:18 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/68qyao #
  • 10:14 A belated good Morning to you all. Been busy so far to dao. Lots to do. Write offs and bills to pay. #
  • 11:31 Damn, I've been busy today/ #
  • 14:00 It's 2pm already and I've hardly tweeted at all. Shows how busy I've been today. #
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Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/5nz9d7 #
  • 08:56 Good morning folks. I've not been a good twitterer towards the tail end of last week. I'll try and rectify that today. #
  • 08:56 Of course, work might intervene again - it has for the past few days #
  • 08:57 Still, why should work stand in the way of a good tweet? #
  • 09:14 I've written a Guest blog at "The Rule of Three" rurl.org/15vj #
  • 09:28 Almost lost a e-mail with the login details for an online webinar today. The recpient deleted it. Dur! #
  • 10:12 The Gvt compell us to make tax submissions online - then raise the submission charge by £1 per sub. Con or what? #
  • 10:15 I've not had a cup of tea yet this morning. This isn't right and needs to be recitifed right now. #
  • 10:21 free story - "Private Party" rurl.org/15vq "Paul woke with morning wood, which was nothing unusual,.." #
  • 10:49 There's nothing like a hot cuppa. Except a hot cuppa and a choocy biccy. #
  • 11:17 On the Blog : Guest Blog posted tinyurl.com/58rhjv #
  • 11:23 When people ask how I met June, I smile and repl y, "On the bus." Free story - "Bus Stop" rurl.org/15vu #
  • 11:41 "The worst thing about visiting Amy was her mother." Free Story - "Last Train to Swansea" - rurl.org/15w1 #
  • 12:17 On the Blog : All set for the week tinyurl.com/6xmf2u #
  • 12:43 It's horrid outside - grey with lots and lots of drizzle. yuk. #
  • 13:31 @chrisredding Good point. Although, we do have Sun sometimes. I think it was on a wednesday this year. #
  • 14:00 available now - Marc Nobbs' Landscapes 2009 calender rurl.org/15w9 #
  • 15:20 Free story - "Ladz Local Lovelies 62:Rebecca" - rurl.org/15wf "It's hot," said Rebecca. "It's been getting hotter since we stopped." #
  • 15:43 It's been another tough day today. I'm tired and it's getting dark outside. I could do with another cup of tea. #
  • 15:44 I've got a stiff neck too. Must be the first signs of man-flu. #
  • 15:51 Trying to think of a way to date a portion of my wip in 1989 - easy, have one of the characters drive a battered Ford Capri! #
  • 15:52 @mandymroth i'll put the kettle on. #
  • 16:22 NaNoWriMO - why would you try to rush it and write a novel in a month? I don't understand. #
  • 16:26 @jmoriarty @RubiJayne Okay. So it's just the first draft - not the sub and be damned 'final' draft. So you can edit it when the month is up? #
  • 16:29 I now need to reference some late 80's music. Anyone got any ideas? Or should I google. My memory of then is sketchy - I think I was drunk. #
  • 16:35 Just looked up music in 89 - it was a goooood year. #
  • 16:49 @emily83176 "Every Rose has it's thorn" "Sweet child o mine" Kylie and Jason. yep - it was great. #
  • 16:52 Okay. That's me done for the day. I'm off home now to play with my little boy - and no, that isn't a euphemism. #
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Monday, 17 November 2008

All set for the week

On Friday I was at a meeting with the staff in respect of the impending decrease in staffing levels, which wasn't nice. There is an unpleasant atmosphere around here at the moment. still, there's not a lot we can do about it.

The weekend was interesting. Jr's nursery has had a second hand iMac donated to them, and guess who's on it the most? Yep, Nobby Jr. So, as he's a future computer whiz, Mrs Nobbs suggested we dig out the old desktop machine of ours, set it up downstairs and buy the little tyke a few 'educational' games. She's since changed her mind as he seems to be better on all the games than she is.

I did warn her.

While I wait to hear the fate of Kissed by a Rose, I've started re-writing Reunion. I'm changing the title, changing the location and adding a lot more to it (as well as cleaning up what is already there). At this point I'm estimating it will almost double in size. (The story. I know what you were thinking! You've all got dirty minds and should be ashamed of yourselves)

Reunion is still available at Lulu for now, but I'll be withdrawing it as I near the completion of the rewrite. I'll also have to pull it from StoriesOnline before I submit it for publication - even though that version is a very early, no where near as good version. It'll hurt, as it continues to be my most popular story there, but I'll have to do it eventually.

Have you heard of Melanotan? It's a tanning drug and there is a bit of a stink about it in the press this morning. It raises the amount of melanin in the body - which colours the skin. On the radio this morning was a doctor trying to convince young women not to use it as all the side-effects are not known. It's also not licensed for use in the UK yet so buying it over the Internet is, strictly, illegal.

But he did list some of the side-effects. Increased sex drive and depressed appetite. Good job, Doc. Way to persuade people not to use it. After all, the women who wan to be golden brown, don't want to be thin as well, do they? And if more sex is thrown in too - well, no one wants that.

Let's be honest, for lots of twenty-something women , this sounds like the ideal drug.

I am tempted to talk about the government - but I won't as it will turn into a rant. I got annoyed this morning by Lord Mandleson insisting that nothing the government has done is to blame for the economic conditions. He blamed everyone from 'international issues', to the present opposition, to the last government - the one that got booted out ELEVEN YEARS AGO.

Sorry, I told you it would turn into a rant. The sooner this lot leave office the better.

Oh, and did you know that my footy team, Wolves, are top if the league? Well, it keeps me happy.

Guest Blog posted

I've written a guest blog at the "Rule of Three" blog. As have my good friends Cassie Exline and Savannah Chase. Why not check it out?

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Bad News

All in all it wasn't the best of days yesterday. It started off well and I'll admit to being in a unusually good mood. But Mid-afternoon the directors called the staff into the office and announced that they believe us to be over-staffed in the current economic climate, and that they would be looking to reduce the number of secretarial hours by the equivalent of one full time worker. That doesn't sound too bad, and they didn't use the "R" word, but when you consider that there are only five full time secretaries and two part-timers, it's a big deal.

Fortunately, I'm not in the firing line yet. And as long as I'm the only one in the firm who can run payroll, I don't think I will be, but my friends are and it's painful to watch.

The directors did ask for suggestions for solutions that wouldn't result in a redundancy, and more than one of them have suggested a general reduction of working hours between them all,, but I'm sad to say there seems to be something of a 'me first' attitude amongst some. I believe they are thinking that for whatever reason, they are safe and it'll be someone else who goes. So why should they lose money to save someone else.

If that is what they believe, then it is very sad. It shows me that we are not the team I thought we were.

So, all in all, not a very pleasant day in the end. I hope we can find a way through this without losing someone. But I guess we'll have to wait and see.

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:17 On the Blog : Tweets for Today tinyurl.com/55jfy6 #
  • 09:20 Morning all. Strangly, I'm in a half-decent mood today, which makes a change. normally, i'm spitting blood by 9:30. #
  • 10:05 I've done a lot so far today. I'm very pleased. #
  • 10:19 Trying to phone British Gas to make sure they got our payment last week. Been on hold for 8 mins now. Don;'t they want my money? #
  • 11:03 One of the girls in the office has just deleted a whole folder from the network. Oh bugger. #
  • 14:23 Been very busy again today. Seem to have loads to do just lately. #
  • 14:47 Have uploaded a bunch of photos to flickr today. rurl.org/15gf #
  • 15:04 The directors have just called us in to tell everyone they may have to make redunancies. Not good. #
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Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Tweets for Today

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 01:22 On the Blog : Tweets for Today twurl.nl/qctlau #
  • 10:33 Been in meetings all morning so far. Glad I got out before 11. Wouldn't seem right to sit around talking then. #
  • 10:59 How can you wish someone a "happy veterns" day. Today isn't about being "happy" it's about comemerating 90 years since the end of WW1 #
  • 11:00 When the Sun goes down, and in the morning..... #
  • 11:00 We shall remember them. #
  • 11:00 It must never happen again! #
  • 11:05 At this hour, 90 years ago today, the guns fell silent. The Great War (or should that be The Terrible War) ended. Millions gave their lives. #
  • 11:06 There remains only 3 British serviors of that war. The youngest is 108. Today, I honour them and what they did for me. #
  • 11:07 I will not forget. I will never forget. WW1 was the most uncivilised time of our civilisation. It must not happen again. Ever. #
  • 12:17 On the Blog : We Shall Remember. We MUST Remember. tinyurl.com/63byka #
  • 15:01 Been a busy old day again today. I'm wondering now when it's ever going to stop. #
  • 16:19 On the Blog : Chatting at the Cafe tinyurl.com/6yvowl #
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Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Chatting at the Cafe

Yesterday I was chatting at the Love Romances Cafe. As always there was a bunch of questions for us authors to answer. And here are the ones I gave.

When did you seriously sit down, and say to yourself, I'm going to write a novel?

I remember it well. It was a Tuesday. The sky was gray and filled with drizzle. I was 24. I’d lost my job and had no girlfriend.

Okay, so that’s an over-dramatisation of the facts. I’ve wanted to write for a long time. And it took me a long time and a lot of practice to get good enough to write anything worthwhile reading. The novel I’ve just subbed to Phaze, Kissed by a Rose, was the first time I sat down with a full plot in mind and tried to write something of that length. Both Charlotte’s Secret and Lost & Found started out as short stories and just sort of got longer.

What do you find the most difficult to write? Dialogue? Back story? Emotion?

I’ve been told by more than one person that my strongest point is my dialogue and its realism. And the best way to convey emotion for me is through dialogue. My characters do have a tendency to pour their hearts out every now and then.

I don’t like telling back stories because I always feel that I’m doing just that – telling rather than showing. That said, back stories are essential. Lost & Found was to all intents and purposes a story about the characters back stories. So was Charlotte’s Secret now I come to think of it.

Look, can I go away and think about this some more?

Have you ever found that you didn't like your Hero or your Heroine? If so, what did you do to change that?

I can’t say that I have, really. Sorry. I like my heroes. And I LOVE my heroines (if you know what I mean)

If you were to start again, with the knowledge you have now, what would be the first thing you do?

Er.... Um.... Oh, look at that pretty bird in the sky over there.

Do you write full time, what is your schedule for the day? Or do you have a full time job, if so, when do you find the time to write?

I have a day job. A tedious, counting other people’s money and wishing it was mine kind of day job. I try and snatch a few minutes to write when the boss isn’t looking – which is a lot easier to do since I became one of the bosses.

Other than that I write late-ish at night (when Jr is in bed) and at weekends (unless Jr says otherwise – which he does a lot).

Do you have the support of family and friends?

Yeah. Mrs Nobbs is happy as long as the royalty cheques keep coming in. Jr is too young to know what I’m up to. My parents don’t know. I mean, come on, can anyone imagine their mother reading the sort of stuff I write – it makes me shudder to think about it. It’s my mother, dude.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career?

Getting that first story published. The first is always the hardest.

Where do you expect to be in five years?

If you’d have said four years, I’d have said at the London Olympics. But you didn’t. So I don’t know. I’ve never been one for planning that far ahead.

Are you a plotter or a pantser? If you are a plotter, what are you methods?

A bit of both. I have a basic idea of where the story is headed in my brain when I start out, but then I let the characters go where they want to take me. As long as I can steer them in right general direction, I’m happy.

How have your techniques for character development changed since you've been writing? Is it still the same, or has it developed over time, if so how?

I’m still in the early stages of my career, so this is a hard one to answer. I guess I’m looking deeper into who my characters are and what motivates them more than i used to. I think I now realise that you need to know where people have come from to work out why they do what they do and where they are heading. That’s more of a life lesson than a writing one though, isn’t it?

Where is the last place on Earth you'd want to live and why?

Swindon. I don’t think I could cope with The Magic Roundabout everyday.

Would you live in a biodome for 5 years? What would your must have accessories be?

What’s a Biodome? Is this some weird David Blane thing? Cause he’s just bonkers.

If I had to be locked away somewhere for 5 years, I’d like my laptop and a power supply please. Think of all the stuff I’d be able to write if I wasn’t getting disturbed all the time.

You're the villain of your latest novel. What nasty things do you have planned for your heroine?

Well, most of them involve her being naked…

If you were a cartoon, which character would you be?

HONG KNOG FOOEY – Number one super guy. Hong Kong Fooey – quicker than the human eye.

In your next life, if you came back as a critter, what would it be?

Do you mean creepy-crawlies or just small animals? I think I’d like to be a spider. It’d be cool to be able to make things several hundred times my size scream and run away just by being me. (no, wait, people scream and run away just because I’m me now anyway)

Who were you in a past life?

What is this? Regression therapy? I reckon I was someone really, really, bad – which would explain why I’m having to atone for it this time around.


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