Friday, 27 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 08:52 @markinreading I missed QT last night - was too tired and had an early night. Might watch it on the iPlayer at lunchtime. I know I'm sad
  • 10:54 @Kinchie It's just looking out for you and your wallet
  • 11:12 Did you know you can get my books on the kindle? Not in the UK, as we don't have kindle yet. But in the US you can.
  • 11:40 I'm sitting at my desk fuming because I need to talk to someone who's not at her desk (and so not answering her phone)
  • 11:41 i could go and look for her, but I'm just too damn lazy to get out of my seat.
  • 14:37 Cadbury's fingers or jammie Dodgers? Hmm, tough choice.
  • 15:57 I've not been much a tweeter the past couple of days. Guess I must have been busy without realising it.
  • 15:58 @TowcesterNews Quite - but i bet it'll be a hell of an atmosphere in Paris tonight.
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Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Don’t you just hate it when they do that?

When who does what?

When the characters in a story you are writing want to go off in a direction you hadn’t planned and the plot of the story morphs itself into one you don’t recognise starting or indeed writing.

That’s what’s happened to me. I’m currently working on a project which I’ve provisionally called “Professional Misconduct”. It was supposed to be a re-write of “Reunion”, with added subplots and a bit more sex. Simple, straightforward re-write. Not a problem.

Except, that’s not what’s happened. I’ve made small changes along the way, and now I’m left at a point in the story where what I’d originally planned to happen, no longer makes sense. Which means the title no longer makes sense either, but that’s by the bye.

You see, I had planned for my male lead, a lawyer, to have an affair with a client, hence the Misconduct. But from the position I’ve written the female lead into I can’t see how she would be his client anymore. So I need to re-think things. I didn’t write them into this position – they did it themselves. They drove the course of the plot to this point. And now I have to work out where to take it.

See why I hate it when that happens?

The good news is that I’ve spent some time this morning in correspondence with Cassie Exline, a very dear friend of mine who’s always given me good advice – she’s like my little writing angel, sitting on my shoulder and whispering in my ear. I won’t tell you what she whispers most of the time though, that’s between me and her – and my Phaze editor, who’s rapidly becoming a very good friend and offering very good advice too. And between them, I’ve managed to thrash out what I think is the basic plot for the rest of this story. Or at least, I’ve managed to work out the character’s histories and futures, which amounts to the same thing, doesn’t it?

I’m actually quite pleased with myself at the moment. So please, I’m eating an Easter egg.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Following up Yesterday’s thoughts.

This morning, I received some feedback from someone who read yesterday’s blog post on SOL concerning my brief comments on Frank Downey’s “Rewind”. It was politely pointed out that Mr Downey has his own reasons for not finishing the story, and that I should be very careful about what I say on this blog regarding other people’s work.

I wish to make it clear that I have no idea why Mr Downey has not finished that particular story, or the other two ‘incomplete and inactive” stories he has on the site. I simply expressed my opinion as to why it may be. If that did not come across, if it seemed that I was stating fact rather than opinion, then I apologise for the misunderstanding. If it caused offence to anyone, then I apologise for causing such offence. But I will not apologise for expressing my opinion on my own blog. And this it what this is – MY blog.

This blog is published at blogspot, Myspace, SOL, Zoo, and Soulcast. Unfortunately, I get very little feedback from SOL. This may be because lots of people skip the SOL blogs which are, for the most part, used by authors to announce releases of new stories on the site. I have more to say than that. Or it may not. It may be that what I have to say most people find uninteresting and not worthy of comment. Who am I to say which it is?

I’m sure Mr Downey has a very good reason for not continuing with his story and whatever that reason is, I respect it and I respect his right to not continue with it. Mr Downey writes for “free”. I haven’t paid to read “Rewind” and so I will not complain that it’s not finished. And indeed, I didn’t – I merely stated that was the case and gave my opinion as to why.

That is my right. as it is my right to use MY blog to publish MY thoughts and opinions. I have always said, and will always say, that if anything I have written offends someone, then I will apologise to them for offending them. But I will not apologise for what I write in my blog. And I will not be told by anyone what I can and cannot write in my own blog. For that is censorship and I abhor censorship in all its forms, including the “you mustn’t offend anyone” argument. I believe in the freedom of speech, freedom of expression and the right to publish and be damned.

Why should I be careful of what my opinions are? Because I risk offending someone? I believe they call that “political correctness” and I am not, and have never claimed to be, politically correct. As far as I am concerned, if someone is offended they can write and tell me. It’s called an exchange of views and it is allowed in the UK, US and other western societies. It’s what makes our societies great. Or they can choose not to read what I write. That is their right. My opinions carry no weight with anyone. I don’t expect them to. Why should they? I don’t believe I’m important enough for that.

Once before I was told by the owner of SOL what I couldn’t write in my blog. In that instance it was an advertisement for one of my published works (paid published work) elsewhere. He gave his reasons, I understood them and stopped posting my blog to SOL. The same blog is, however, posted elsewhere and I simply carried on posting to it there. StoriesOnline is not important enough to me to worry about changing what I write and the way I write it. I post there for historic reasons. I enjoy reading stories on the site. I enjoy getting what little feedback I get on my stories posted there. But, frankly, I could quite easily live without it.

I returned to posting on my SOL blog only recently, and would have no qualms about ceasing to post there again. And, I’m sure, some would say that is no great loss. Again, this does not worry me. I regularly review my stats and this blog is read more widely elsewhere than on SOL. And the readers elsewhere are more likely to purchase my published works than the readers at SOL - who are used to getting their fiction for free after all.

I am a paid, published author. By which I mean I have had work published at websites that have paid me for the right to publish the work and by royalty paying publishers (meaning the more copies I sell, the more I get paid). Does that make me better than someone on SOL who hasn’t been paid to be published (as opposed to paying to be published or self-publishing at sites like No, not necessarily. But what is does mean is that I’ve worked hard to produce work that is of a high technical standard, with solid plots and believable characters. And it also means I have taken many knock backs from publishers, harsh criticism and re-working from editors and suffered some less favourable reviews as well enjoyed some very good ones from critics and review sites. Publishing is a harsh world. It’s full of people who think they know best. And as someone in that world you very quickly develop a thick skin. You will not always get kind words about what you do – sometimes you will get nasty ones. If you can’t take the rough with the smooth, you really shouldn’t put your work out there – that’s my philosophy. That goes for fiction and blogs. I say again, I will not apologise for expressing my opinion in my blog.

I was not nasty about “Rewind”. And I would like to make it very clear that I very much enjoyed the story and I’m sad it is not complete. I have enjoyed many of Mr Downey’s other works too – “Heroes” springs to mind. Mr Downey is a very, very good storyteller. His technical writing skills are not up to the heights of his plotting and characterisation, but then he isn’t subjected to the exacting standards that a royalty paying publisher would demand. Knowing what my editors expect, I’d imagine any manuscript he submitted to them would be returned covered in MS Word corrections and comments. But he publishes his work for free and we should be grateful that he does so that we may enjoy the emotions he is able to stir within us as we read. And he stirs some very powerful emotions. He’s very good at that.

I may be wrong. It may well be that Mr Downey’s work would be snapped up and published as is – but it wouldn’t be my editor, that much I know.

That said, Mr Downey’s stories have had many, many more downloads on SOL than mine and achieve way better scores. So maybe he is a better writer than me if that is anything to judge by. I don’t begrudge him great scores and high downloads – I’m happy for him. The stories deserve to be read by many people.

The last few stories I put up on SOL had already been published on a pay-site and I’d already been paid for them. So I’m not really bothered that they have been read by less than 2000 people each. I’m not really bothered that they haven’t got very high scores. I do find it amusing that these professionally written and edited stories have scored worse than my earlier stories which were written when I was less concerned with my writing skill and were not professionally edited. And I do wonder what that says about the scoring system on SOL.

To some people, the download count and SOL score are important. It helps their ego. You only have to read some of the blog responses to negative feedback (particularly anonymous negative feedback) to understand why some people publish on SOL. That's not me. getting this score, or that score or hitting that download target or making the top ten, doesn’t keep me awake at night. At present, I’m more concerned with polishing the manuscript that is set for a June release by Phaze books and ensuring it is of the highest standard I can make it.

I enjoy Mr Downey’s work. I enjoy much of the work on SOL. But that doesn’t mean I can’t see the flaws in it and it doesn’t mean I don’t have opinions on how to make it better. This is true of high profile mainstream bestsellers too. I would love the opportunity to sit down with JK Rowling, for example, and force her to stop writing those damn adjectives with her dialogue tags. No piece of fiction is perfect. Not mine. Not Mr Downey’s. Not Terry Pratchett’s. It’s one of the things we love about literature and the English language– it can be used in so very many ways to say so very many things. And no two people would ever write the same story the same way. Indeed, take a look, if you will, at the stories that Lubrican has written more than one version of. Even one person can write the same basic plot several different ways.

It’s possible to hold an opinion of a piece of work that is not 100% positive, and yet still have enjoyed the work. It’s equally possible to find no flaws with a piece and not actually like it very much. That, as they say, is human nature. And I for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Reading Reflections – The Trailer Park, by Wizard

I had the in-laws to stay this weekend and since Jr spent of the time he’d normally spend bugging me, bugging them, it gave me some genuine free time. I mean, this is a real novelty, so how to take advantage of it?

I did a little bit of writing-not a lot, not enough really, but a little. And I spent a lot of time reading. Reading one series of stories in particular. Wizard’s “The Trailer Park.”

It’s one of those “epics” you get on You know the kind I mean – they go on forever. 260 chapters so far and there’s still one more ‘book’ to go. (I think. Wizard says there will be six years and so far we’re up to year five, but it’s in two parts.)

Thankfully, most of the chapters are quite short, and it’s a really easy, light read. Still, it’s a bit of an undertaking starting something like this. and I tell you, I’m glad I’m not the one writing it.

It’s your typical SOL kind of thing. It’s told in the first person and the narrator is twelve when the story starts. Naturally, he has more sex at that age than us ‘grown-ups’ would like to think that kids of that age are having. The story progresses through his school years and is full of light-hearted teenage angst (light-hearted to me, at least since I’m not living through it).

But it’s what I’d call a ‘slice of life’ story. There isn’t a real plot driving the story on. Neither is there a real conflict other than a teenage boy trying to get his rocks off (and succeeding most of the time). That’s not to say it’s a bad story. It’s not. I’m really quite enjoying it. And I have to say, I' admire Wizard for sticking with it.

You see, the trouble with a lot of these “epic” slice of life stories is that because there’s no real conflict or plot, just a series of events one after the other which could almost be short stories themselves, there’s no scope for an ending. You need a plot to have and ending and you need an ending to have a satisfying, rounded story. It’s a bit like the difference between soap-opera and movies/one off drama. The movie or drama has a beginning, middle and end. The soap just goes on and on and on….

Sure, the soap will have mini-stories woven into it and each of those will have an ending of sorts – more of a pay-off really than an ending – but it’s still not as satisfying as a movie like, say, The Shawshank Redemption, which has a very definite ending point.

“The Trailer Park” reminds me of Frank Downey’s “Rewind” – another slice of life story with a teenage narrator having more sex, younger, than most of the rest of us ever did. Frank hasn’t finished “Rewind”. It’s been sitting unfinished for two years. and when you read it, you can see why. I got the distinct impression that Frank didn’t know where the story was going or how to draw it to a close. Which is unusual for Frank. Out of 32 stories on SOL he only has three which are unfinished and inactive. and some of the others are which you could call ‘epic’ too.

I hope Wizard can stick it out, and bring the story of Tony, Tami and Robbie to a satisfying end. JK Rowling managed to write a seven book epic and bring that to a close, so why not Wizard. Of course, it was clear from day one how Harry Potter would end. We all knew there had to be a showdown with Big Bad Voldy at the final whistle. And “The Trailer Park” doesn’t have that clear goal that I can see. Yet. But I am only on year 3. So I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 14:25 Just had a great roast lunch with the in-laws. Very nice.
  • 14:33 -
  • 15:56 @MeghnaK I work with a bunch of lawyers just like that.
  • 15:58 It's a lovely sonny day so why am I sitting in the house tweeting and writing?
  • 15:58 'Cause it's still damn cold despite the sun - that's why
  • 16:01 @MeghnaK About once a month on average. Which isn't bad going for lawyers.
  • 16:04 Reading Wizard's "the Trailer park". Another couple of chapters and then I'll do some writing. I swear, I will.
  • 16:19 @alexsuicide There's nothing like sitting on the fence
  • 16:38 Ice Age 2 on th eTV for Jr. Football scores on the lpatop for me. Too much TV???
  • 20:31 @wogs Not too bad thanks. Settling down to watch TNA in half an hour. Good clean grappling fun
  • 20:38 Good day for us Wolves fans. Brum and REading both lose. Just need to be Cardiff tomorrow to take advantage.
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Friday, 20 February 2009

A Friday poem

Soemthing a little different. A poem that was sent to me today that i thought you all might enjoy.


Oh, I Wish I'd Looked After Me TitsBy Pam Ayres


Oh, I wish I'd looked after me dear old knockers,

Not flashed them to boys behind the school lockers,

Or let them get fondled by randy old dockers,

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.


'Cos now I'm much older and gravity's winning.

It's Nature's revenge for all that sinning,

And those dirty memories are rapidly dimming,

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.


'Cos tits can be such troublesome things

When they no longer bounce, but dangle and swing.

And although they go well with my Bingo wings,

I wish I'd looked after me tits.


When they're both long enough to tie up in a bow,

When it's not the sweet chariot that swings low,

When they're less of a friend and more of a foe,

Then I wish I'd looked after me tits.


When I was young I got whistles and hoots,

From the men on the site to the men in the suits,

Now me nipples get stuck in the zips on me boots,

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.


When I was younger I rode bikes and scooters,

Cruising around with my favourite suitors.

Now the wheels get entangled with my dangling hooters,

I wish I'd looked after me tits.


When they follow behind and get trapped in the door,

When they're less in the air and more near the floor,

When people see less of them rather than more,

Oh, I wish I'd looked after me tits.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 09:08 I WILL have a productive day today. I WILL have a productive day today.
  • 10:16 @Cynical_Woman Thanks. Glad for the support. lol
  • 10:29 @Cynical_Woman well, I hope you're as productive as me today. I've already solved one of the day's problems. Only took me an hour
  • 11:01 why does my job have to be so damn complicated? Or rather, why do other people have to make it so damn complicated?
  • 11:02 @Cynical_Woman Or deliver cupcakes to my office and let me eat them instead. That's a better goal. lol. Tell her to enjoy them, I'm jealous
  • 11:13 I swear, after a good start, I'm about ready to commit murder right now.
  • 11:33 @ladlem Everyone seems to be getting at me and making my job more difficult than it need be. I need some chocolate. Or a McD's
  • 11:33 @Cynical_Woman Six! Tell her Happy B-day from me. not that she knows me.
  • 11:40 @ladlem That's just piggish. And I'm not a pig. Well not much of a pig.
  • 12:03 @ladlem Good. You should. Oink.
  • 13:31 @katiebabs Very week seems like that to me at the moment.
  • 13:52 Reconcile bank statements, do some filing, read, or write? Mmhhh, I wonder...
  • 13:54 I have way too many 'labels' on my gmail account. Way too many
  • 14:58 @MeghnaK So if you tell them to turn the music UP, does that mean we'll get some peace?
  • 15:46 @MeghnaK Hey, someone has to suffer. lol
  • 15:47 Ever tried to find the IMEI number on a sony K850i? Damn it's bloody awkward.
  • 16:17 @ladlem The phone identity number. It's normally on a sticker in the battery compartment. but it's really, really hard to get to on the K850
  • 16:33 Cream Egg Twisted or Galaxy Caramel? Hmmm, that's the kind of choice I like
  • 17:04 Right, off home now. Byes.
  • 17:10 It's so nice to leave the office in daylight
  • 22:23 Why is the News so damn depressing all the time? Whatever happened to Good News?
  • 22:34 Looking forward to #questiontime
  • 22:39 Oh no, Piers Morgan is on #questiontime. This should be good.
  • 22:40 @jmsnyder23 Hey, I do that to. Don't tell the boss and keep a spreadsheet open to click on when he/she walks in.
  • 22:52 I like they they have non-politicians on #questiontime these days.They are normally the one's that talk most sense.
  • 22:53 @kikarose As long as you change the names to protect the guilty, you'll be fine.
  • 22:58 @mmvii Morgan is just saying what he thinks the audience wants to hear. They always have someone like him on #questiontime.
  • 22:59 #questiontime. Like Dimbleby's comment about the media paying for the 13yo dad story.
  • 23:05 #questiontime Piers Morgan plugs his TV show on the other channel. What a surprise.
  • 23:07 #questiontime the government spokesman's answer to this question should be interesting. Bet his says Jackie Smith has done nothing wrong
  • 23:11 @TowcesterNews It's pretty much essential viewing. Should really be on earlier in the evening. #questiontime
  • 23:12 #questiontime Well said that LibDem woman. (sorry, didn't catch her name)
  • 23:22 Have written over 2500 words of WIP no1 over the past couple of days. More than in the past couple of weeks. I'm back in the groove baby.
  • 23:26 #questiontime Took nearly an hour to mention Bankers Bonuses. Not bad really.
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Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 08:59 Good morning world. I'm in a strangely good mood this morning. I wounder how long it will last?
  • 09:25 Still in a good mood. This is getting wierd
  • 09:27 If you've read by blog ( over the past few days, you'll know my opinion of this couple -
  • 09:28 @MyTweetheart I intend too, it doesn't happen very often. I wonder if it was listening to Guns n Roses in the car this morning that did it?
  • 10:05 Time spent trying to get through to Vodafone - 10mins. Time spent trying to get through to British Gas - 10mins. Gave up on both.
  • 10:05 Good mood rapidly evaporating.
  • 10:05 Why won't these people answer the bloody phone?
  • 11:04 @TowcesterNews I might try that. thanks
  • 11:05 Just trying to get through to British Gas. Again.
  • 11:15 I'm actually talking to someone at British Gas! Hooray!
  • 11:44 don't you just love maths? Just had someone try to put a maths formula into 'legalspeak' and fail. Maths is much easier.
  • 14:15 right, off to the bank.
  • 14:51 It's another lovely day today. Shame everything looks manky from the snow residue
  • 16:21 am going to make a real effort to do some writing later tonight.
  • 16:57 considering getting myself a Google G1 phone. Anybody else got one? any good?
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Monday, 16 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 09:04 It's Monday morning. Oh joy. another week another load of shit I'l have to deal with. Oh Well. Needs must and all that
  • 09:18 @MaXsiM "Always look on the bright side of life. Do do, do do do do do do."
  • 13:01 Been busy, busy, busy all morning. Just having lunch before a busy, busy, busy afternoon.
  • 14:08 Got a very interesting meeting in 20. Not.
  • 14:25 After all the #uksnow and frost of the past few weeks, today is actually a very nice day. Mild and a bit sunny.
  • 17:46 On the Blog : It's Not Yours, It's Mine!
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It’s Not Yours, It’s Mine!

The story of 15 year old mum, Chantelle, her baby, Maisie and the father, 13 year old Alfie, just gets worse and worse.

This weekend, The Sun’s sister newspaper, The News of the World, ran a piece in which it is claimed that Chantelle was sleeping with “as many as eight” boys around the time that Maisie was conceived and that two other boys have come forward demanding paternity tests to prove they are the father and not 13 year old Alfie.

A 16 year old and a 14 year old are both claiming that they are the ones who, and I'm sorry to put it this way but it links in to the rest of this piece, have broken the law by having sex with a minor and getting her pregnant. Of course, the legality of what has or hasn’t taken place here is being ignored by the whole of the media as they scramble to make the most of this story, which has, so I’m told, been heard around the world. On The Britwriters blog I’ve had comments to my previous article from Germany and India saying they had seen the story in their country. In fact, it had been front page news in India!

As far as I’m aware, the police have said that no one is going to be prosecuted for the act of sex with a minor because the person having sex with a minor is a minor himself. But I would ask what is the point of a law – in this case the age of sexual consent being 16 – if it’s just going to be ignored even in a case as high profile as this one. It’s not exactly a deterrent, is it?

In fact, I’d go so far as to say that this whole ‘media storm’ is going to encourage young people to have sex rather than deter them. It’s a sad fact of our society but there are a great many young people who aspire not to having a good job or doing to some good in the world, but to simply being famous. The likes of Paris Hilton, who is famous for being famous, Jade Goody, more on her another day, or Jordan/Katie Price, who is famous for having big boobs and showing them off in the papers, are the people that today’s kids look up to and want to be like. These are people who have no real talent other than self-publicity (or hiring a good publicist) and have made fortunes for themselves through simply being themselves. They make it seem easy and every modern kid thinks they can do it too.

Which brings us back to Alfie, Chantelle and the other two would-be-dads. Alfie and Chantelle are enjoying their five minutes and I believe that’s all they’ll get. I doubt, and this is a terrible assumption as I do not know them and am judging on appearances only, that either of them have the wherewithal to take this ‘big break’ and turn it into a media career. It may depend on which publicist they choose to employ, but let’s be honest, neither of them are exactly photogenic are they? Hell, one of the might-be dads has said he thought she was ugly (I couldn’t possibly comment). But if that’s what he thought – why the hell did he have sex with her? I digress.

You do have to admit though, either Chantelle, or more likely her parents, have made one good choice here. To name Alfie as the father. This story would not be in the spotlight, and indeed I would not be writing about it, had Alfie been a few years older. Or if one of the other two potential daddies had been named instead. A sixteen year old knocking up a fifteen year old is, sadly, not newsworthy in this day and age for the simple fact that it happens more often than any society should like, or indeed tolerate.

And speaking of the two other boys involved. You have to question their motives. When I was that age, boys would run a mile at the suggestion that they had put a bun in some girl’s oven and, if anything, would be demanding a test to prove they were NOT the father, not that they WERE the father. But then, in my day, we wouldn’t have had the fear of prosecution taken away within days of the birth and we also wouldn’t have expected to get our ugly mugs in the national papers and all over the TV news. What we would have expected would be a good kicking from the girl’s father, followed up by a kicking from our own father and a hastily arranged wedding day.

In all honestly, reading the article linked to above is actually quite disturbing. It paints a picture of life which a worrying amount of the population lead, and a life that the rest of the population would rather not know about. And yet, the very people who are failing their own children are being quoted by the paper in such a way as to appear to be blaming the society they live in rather than accepting any responsibility themselves.

Of the two new boys mentioned in the article, one is currently suspended from school (and has been for three months) because he has failed to conduct himself in the appropriate manner. He has, apparently, ‘anger-management’ issues. When I was at school this used to be called ‘a bad temper’.

And, naturally, we get the quote about there being ‘nothing for the kids to do’. Oh well, in that case it’s perfectly okay if they are staying over in random girls houses and having unprotected sex.

It does come back to Chantelle’s parents again though, doesn’t it? What on earth were they doing allowing boys their daughter had know for just a few weeks stay in her room overnight? And why were they sitting downstairs watching TV while their daughter was upstairs getting knocked up by any number of boys?

For the record, Chantelle denies having slept with so many boys. But she would, wouldn’t she? After all, this 15 year old mother wouldn’t want to earn a reputation as a slut. Heaven forbid, unless there was some more money from the papers in it.

I’m sorry to go on about this, but for me it’s one of the worst commentaries on Britain that I’ve seen since I started this blog getting on for three years ago. Some of our political representatives use terms like “Broken Society” and then get criticised for it by their opponents. Well, I’m sorry, but you can’t look at this situation and tell me all is well. Because, quite frankly, it isn’t.

Friday, 13 February 2009

A Father at 13? Surely not.

Okay, you need to go and read this article from today’s The Sun newspaper in the the UK then come back here and read what I have to say.

Right, read it? And you came back. Good. I’m going to try and not over react to this but I’ll say from the outset that it will be hard. It’s difficult not to form very instant, very strong opinions about something like this. It’s also very difficult not to stereotype, so forgive me if I do. There are so many things about this story that are disturbing that I really don’t know where to being.

There are, hidden in the text of the article, some very interesting titbits of the family environment that these two children (and that’s what they are – they may be parents now, but they are still children) have grown up in. First, let’s take a look at Chantelle’s family.

She and her five (yes, five) brothers live in a local council-owned house with their parents – both of whom are out of work. This, of course, means that the family lives on benefit. Okay, so I could go off on one about ‘why are we paying for them to breed…” etc but I’m not going to. Look, my wife and I chose to wait until we could afford to bring up a child before having one. That was our choice. We’ve always know that some people choose not to wait and then feel it’s society's responsibility to look after them. That is the nature of the society we live in.

What worries me is that these six children have grown up in an environment where NOT working for a living is the norm, so how can we really expect that they will go out and do just that in the future? We can’t. Despite what many ‘do-gooders’ will tell us, we still learn our ways from our parents and if parents don’t work, chances are that the children won’t either. And it’s been borne out to some extent by the fact that the 15 year old daughter is now expecting the state to pay to bring up her son. Because she certainly doesn’t have the money to.

And there’s a worrying quote from the mother/grandmother.

“She’s my daughter. I love her and she will want for nothing.”

And how, exactly, does she expect her to “want for nothing” when the family’s only income is from the state? My wife and I both have quite well paid jobs and I’d never say my some will want for nothing, because I know there will be times when he will go without because I won’t be able to afford it. He’ll have all I can give him, but it won’t be everything he wants, that’s for sure. But then, I’m not able to go cap in hand to the local benefits office if I need a new bed/sofa/TV etc. am I?

Then we look at young Alfie’s family. He lives with his mother “on an estate across town”. Now, just a small point, but if they live so far apart – how did they meet and become boyfriend/girlfriend in the first place? I digress. Aflie’s parents are “separated” which since the word "divorce” wasn’t used I take to mean they weren’t ever married. And his father is a dad to NINE (yes, 9) children.

Now, hang on a sec, but if daddy has trouble keeping it in his pants, is it any wonder that the son can’t control himself either? So, cynical question, how many children do with think Alfie will end up producing? And by how many different women? I mean, it’s not likely (and I don’t know for sure as it’s not mentioned in the article) that Alfie’s dad’s nine kids are all by the same woman, is it? After all, there’s no mention of Alfie’s loving brothers and sisters living with him and his mom.

So, these two kids don’t have what I’d describe as an ‘ideal’ home life. Their parents seem to be, and forgive my stereotyping here, “breeders”. They are reproducing themselves and evidently reproducing their own problems and inadequacies. And this can’t be good for our society. It’s already evident (and you don’t have to look hard to see it) that there is an ‘underclass’ in Britain. An group of people who live outside the normal rules that the rest of us live by. A group who are supported by the rest of the taxpayers and cause a lot of trouble that results in those taxpayers having to pay even more.

And this underclass is getting bigger. I mean, my wife was one of a group of several women of a similar age at her place of work who all chose to have children around the same time. We’re talking late-twenties/early-thirties. And that group will probably have one or maybe two children each. They are all, as are their husbands, well paid, intelligent middle class, aspirational, professional people.

And yet the two families that prompted this entry have more children than all the professionals that my wife works with will ever have altogether. In other words, if they are part of the under class, the under class is getting bigger, while the aspirational class might well end up getting smaller.

And so we come to the other villains of this piece – the newspaper. One has to ask how much The Sun has paid these people for this “exclusive”. Now, don’t get me wrong, it’s the right of the free press to pay for stories such as this – it’s long been a part of how the press in the UK works. But doesn’t it show just how much trouble that press is in when they feel they have to resort to this sort of sensational story to sell copies?

For those of you who don’t know, The Sun is a part of Rupert Murdoch's News International group. It is aimed squarely at working class in this country and it’s said that it’s Sun readers who ultimately decide general elections in this country. Back in ‘92, the paper famously claimed “It’s the Sun what won it” after John Major’s government was returned to power in a surprise victory. On the morning of the election The Sun ran a front page with the opposition leader’s head in a light bulb and the headline “If Labour Wins can the last one to leave Britain please turn off the light”.

They are the home of the world famous “Page 3 Girls” and will happily have a woman showing her nips on page three and then complain about the over sexualisation of the country on page four. And remember, this is the same global media group who will kick people off its MySpace website for showing a nipple or two in their uploaded photos.

The press in Britain is in real trouble. Sales and ad revenue are both falling as people increasingly turn to the internet for their daily news. I haven’t personally bought a newspaper of any kind for five or six years. And I know lots of other people of my generation are the same. Why waste money on something you’ll only throw away at the end of the day?

So yes, when a certain type of person finds out that their 15 year old daughter is up the duff by the 13 year old from across town and decides to call in the gutter press for a nice fat fee, you know that the media is, in part, to blame. Not completely, I still lay the blame for this whole sorry affair at the feet of the parents and the poor example they have set, but would they have been so keen for the pregnancy to go ahead if they didn’t see pound signs in their future? And how long will it be before we get the documentary on ITV or the big Sunday supplement on how things are going?

I’d also like you to think about the quote from the anti-abortionist at the end of the article.

“We commend these teenagers for their courage in bringing their child into the world. At the same time this is symptomatic of the over-sexualisation of our youngsters and shows the policy of value-free sex education just isn’t working.”

Just what do you make of that? She’s painting these kids as some kind of heroes and then blaming ‘society’ for the situation they have got themselves into. The fault here is not with the sex-education taught in schools. The fault is with the total lack of control that the parents appear to have over their offspring. I’m sorry, but if this had been my 13 year old son he wouldn’t be appearing in the newspapers and he’d be out finding work in his spare time (and studying bloody hard to make sure he had the qualifications to get a decent job the rest of the time) to help support the baby. (I should point out that my son is only three, so I might have to wait ten years to put this claim into practice, by which time the economy might have recovered and there might actually be some work for him to do)

I know I’m ranting. But this is the sort of story that brings that out of people. The last ‘kid’ to be a young father was twelve and he said all the same things about being a good dad that Aflie is saying. And as the article reminds us, he and the baby’s mother split up after six months.

One final thing, contrast this story with the news earlier this week that a set of parents in Norwich who had their three children taken off them and adopted after, what eventually were proved to be false, accusations of abuse. They have been told by the caught that, even thought they didn’t abuse their children and were actually good parents, they cannot have their children back now they’ve been adopted.

Can I dare to suggest that for her own good, perhaps the same authorities might be thinking that young Maisie would be better off with some loving adoptive parents rather than being brought up in the very same environment that was responsible for her premature conception in the first place.

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 09:23 Morning world. On a half day today. Yippee!
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Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 15:42 On the Blog : I nearly died. I did, honest.
  • 16:07 Do you ever have days when you just wish you hadn't got out of bed?
  • 16:19 @ladlem I'm having a whole week of them.
  • 16:20 @ladlem And today is the worst yet.
  • 16:42 I think I've got another cold coming on. I ache everywhere. And i mean EVERYWHERE
  • 16:58 Well, it's nearly time to go home. Which is a good thing. I think. Depends if the roads are still icy.
  • 17:00 the annoying thing about today has been that all the progress on my work piles I made yesterday has been wiped out. Back where I started.
  • 17:09 right. I'm off. Wish me luck. I'll need it.
  • 20:44 Well, I got home okay. Thank God for small mercys
  • 20:56 watching Matrix re-loaded and doing some writing. Trying to resist starting up "Football Manager"
  • 21:19 Is the car chase in Matrix II the best ever or what?
  • 21:27 @TowcesterNews Although, "Speed" is one long car chase. And "Transformers" is pretty good too
  • 21:36 @morrismoresca You say "Blustery Day" and I think "Whinne the Pooh" My little one is mad on it at the moment.
  • 21:37 @sherrieholmes Tax Horses? It might even be worth paying tax if you got horses in return
  • 21:40 @TheDailyBlonde Nothing wrong with Boobs. I have great respect for Boobs. I think they're great
  • 21:59 @TowcesterNews and let's not forget what Bond does to that lovely Aston Martin at the start of Quantum of Solace. Damn shame if you ask me
  • 22:01 Yeah! "Life on Mars" series 1. Cool
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I nearly died. I did, honest.

Okay, so I’m fibbing and making my journey to work this morning sound more dramatic than it actually was, and I know I shouldn’t really joke about this when there are worse things happening down under right now, but hey, times are tough and we all need to put a smile on our face somehow.

Seriously though, to everyone in Victoria right now, God Bless, my thoughts are with you.

So, my journey to work. It was pretty awful this morning. The main road I normally take was shut thanks to serve ice on the road. Of course, they didn’t tell anyone until they actually shut it and by the time it came on the radio traffic I was already there and having to turn around and take the long route. Unfortunately, the long route is a winding country road. Single lane in either direction, just as icy, and everyone was forced to take it. So, naturally, it was gridlocked. i was crawling along at… Well, I went four miles in under an hour. So that would be about four miles an hour then, right?

I had a meeting scheduled for 9:30 but didn’t get in until 10. I had another meeting and 10:30 and by the time that was over, my day was pretty much shot. I’ve got a massive headache as a result, I’m totally off my routine. i hate it. Just hate it. And why am I like this? A bit of bloody ice on roads that should have be gritted but haven’t because the county has run out. Great.

Actually, sitting in the car going nowhere doesn’t annoy me as much as it does some people. It’s the way it puts you behind when you get there that gets up my nose. And I can understand why they took the precaution to close the road because over the past week or so I’ve seen some real idiots on the road. I’m talking about people who must have trouble seeing where they are going because the testicles attached to that dick on their forehead must hang in front of their eyes. Total bloody dickheads.

I’ve seen people trying to drive at ‘normal’ speeds on snow and ice covered roads that demand very low speeds. And for these type of people, ‘normal’ is usually twice as fast as everyone else in any case. I’ve even seen truck drivers driving at crazy speeds for the road conditions.

I’ve always said that it’s not speed that kills, it’s inappropriate speed. And when the road is untreated and covered in snow/ice, 50, 60, 70 mph is inappropriate. Hell, sometimes even 30 is too fast on roads like that.

So, today I was sitting in my car listening to the radio and not really going anywhere fast. The phone in on FiveLive was all about the job market and how difficult it is for people who’ve lost jobs to find new ones since there aren’t really any around right now. It was quite depressing. There has been a few good news stories over the past week in terms of the economy, but things are still pretty bad The country, indeed the world, could really do with something to pull it together and put a smile on its face. Something to make us feel good about ourselves might help kick-start the economy again. After all, everything the government has tried hasn’t worked so far.

Mind you, what that event might be…. It’s anyone’s guess really.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 08:57 Despite last night's snow, it's just very wet and slushy outside today. I'm glad I'll be insdie with a heater all day too
  • 08:59 Interesting Twhirl is telling me version 0.9 is available, but when I try to install it I'm told it's version 0.7. Very odd
  • 09:21 MY TwitterGrade is currently 97.4 and I'm 27522th out of oerv1.25million. Good, but not Stephen Fry
  • 12:01 damn, the morning has flown by today.
  • 13:22 Why am I singing Christmas songs?
  • 14:03 You know, I actually feel like I'm catching up. At this rate, I might even do some writing sometime soon. Maybe
  • 16:03 Right, what's next?
  • 16:21 Got two bigs bags of Haribo for the price of one this lunchtime. BOGOF! lol Just opened the first. Think it will last until 5? I don't.
  • 17:04 Time to go home.
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Monday, 9 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:41 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 06:29 On Flickr Northampton Snow: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:29 On Flickr Northampton Snow: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:29 On Flickr Northampton Snow: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:29 On Flickr Northampton Snow: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:29 On Flickr Northampton Snow: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 09:33 Made it in to work despite the icy roads
  • 10:41 Really struggling today. Can't work out what to do first
  • 15:00 Well, I seem to be getting somewhere today at least. Piles of work are still huge, but getting less huge.
  • 15:02 And it's horrible outside right now. It's raining which is washing away the #uksnow but th BBC says it's about to dump white stuff real soon
  • 15:44 Right, I have the chorus line from "The Saturdays" song "issues" stuck in my head with vision of "the blonde one" from the video. Help
  • 15:44 It's driving me NUTS!
  • 15:50 please, God, yes. It's about time.
  • 16:36 That bloody song is still in my head. I'm going to need threapy soon.
  • 16:46 someone's car alarm keeps going off outside my window - very damn annoying.
  • 16:54 BBC SPORT | Football | My Club | Chelsea | Manager Scolari sacked by Chelsea via @ShareThis WHAT??????
  • 21:25 #uksnow nn3. Yep, it's snowing again. Not heavy yet, but I expect it will be as the night wears on
  • 21:26 Watching a program about why reading is important on BBC4
  • 22:30 Don't know if i should go to bed or stay up a bit longer and do some writing or reading
  • 22:51 #uksnow nn3 about 8/10 right now and getting higher
  • 22:57 right, off to bed.
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Sunday, 8 February 2009


I’m 34 and I remember some snowy winters in Britain. I have memories of trudging to school through the snow for about a week when I was nine or ten. I remember the sheer glee of playing out on the school filed. I remember making giant snowballs. I remember building snow ‘bunkers’ so that we could hide behind them during our epic snowball fights. I remember that, in my youth, snow was great. We’d pray for snow. We liked snow.

It was great to be so damn cold that you didn’t even feel the cold anymore – you just got on with playing. And we loved getting back in the house and warming in front of the fire with a cup of hot Ribena.

So I was somewhat disappointed when the forecasts of massive snowfall in the UK this week failed to materialise in my part of the country. I watched the news programs on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday showing the snow in other parts of the country with some envy.

Then, Thursday dawned. Mrs. Nobbs looked out the window when she woke and squealed. We were snowed it. The snow was more than ankle deep. My car wouldn’t pull away without skidding on the untreated surface. The first proper snowfall I could remember in a long time.

Oh, we had a light covering last March, but this was proper snow. This was all the schools closed, workplaces empty, kids in the fields pelting each other with snowballs snow. And I loved it.

It seems that Political Correctness has invaded even snowfall. We now have a “snow event” in Britain, not just snow. And schools close at the first sign of the white stuff for fear of getting sued by some parent of a kid who slipped and fell or got hit with a snowball and bruised their arm or something.

But for me, I got to take my three-year-old out in the snow and make a snowman and throw snow at each other. He loved it, and I loved it and I was, frankly, a bit sad that I was able to get to work on Friday. Of course, once I set out and got to the ‘point of no return’ (the dual carriageway), it started snowing again and didn’t stop until after lunchtime. I was worried I wasn’t going to be able to get home. But i did, and had another nice long snow walk with the family on Saturday.

Today is Sunday, and it’s started snowing again. It’s not too bad – yet – but the BBC is telling me it will get pretty bad through tomorrow and Tuesday. And then there’s the issue of the council running out of rock salt for the roads, so it looks like next week will be pretty disrupted as well.

Now, this whole ‘snow event’ might not be big news to some folks in parts of those United States, but over here, on this tiny island, it really is. We are lucky because our position at the end of the Gulf Stream that flows across the Atlantic from the Caribbean, means that for much of the year we get warm air to keep our climate much more tolerable than other countries as far north as us. The UK is as far north as Canada and Moscow, and they are not exactly know for there mild winters.

The price we pay, of course, is a lot more rain, but I tell you, rain is a damn sight easier to drive in than snow.

But, unlike a lot of other Brits, I’m not complaining. I love this weather and if it continues for the rest of the month, as some reports have claimed it might, I’ll still love it.

So, to finish, here are a few of the snow pics I took this past few days. There are a lot more on my Flickr Stream.

100_0334Snow in NorthamptonSnow in NorthamptonSnow in Northampton

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Friday, 6 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 23:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 06:52 On Flickr Snow in Northampton: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:52 On Flickr Snow in Northampton: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:52 On Flickr Snow in Northampton: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:52 On Flickr Snow in Northampton: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 06:52 On Flickr Snow in Wolverhampton: marcnobbs posted a photo:
  • 09:27 #uksnow nn12 the A43 is very bad. Snow is falling quite heavily now Managed to get in to work - but don't know if I'll be able to get home
  • 09:36 #uksnow nn12 really coming down now. massive flakes. I think I need to find a sleeping bag for tonight
  • 11:31 Still snowing #uksnow nn12 but not quite as bad here now. pobably 4/10. NN3 is still bad apparently 8/10 traffic is in chaos
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Thursday, 5 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 00:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 09:29 Well, I'm stuck at home. Snowed in, can't get the car to find any traction on the unsalted roads.
  • 09:39 - My car this morning
  • 09:41 - #uksnow - nn3 6ea damn! can't get traction to get up the hill
  • 09:41 #uksnow nn3 6ea - can't go down the hill either
  • 09:49 @commonsense4 I was going to try and work from home - but don't have any of my files. Guess I'll make snowmen with my 3yo instead,
  • 10:00 #uksnow - last night
  • 11:38 Just got in from a walk in the snow. All good fun
  • 13:08 @DougieLawson Ha ha. I think I might get some too
  • 13:25 Cute Snowmen in Northampton #uksnow
  • 13:32 You'd think it was christmas
  • 13:34 Now that's a snowman!
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Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 08:53 @CRMoss I can't beleive it's Febuary already. It'll be 2010 before we know it.
  • 08:53 Morning everyone. How are we today? Feeling good I hope.
  • 10:52 I've been on my own this week - assitant off sick. Loads to do still.
  • 11:42 On the Blog : Kissed by a Rose – Book Trailer
  • 11:57 It's lunchtime - which is good cause I'm starving. No sarnies with me today so I may have to go to McD's. Oh, poor, poor me.
  • 13:33 Okay, this is frustrating. I get a message saying I'm memntioned on someone's facebook, but the work server filters FB and I can't see it.
  • 13:39 Who'd have thought that an innocent remark about being able to fit a triple whopper in one's mouth could cause such a fuss.#
  • 15:57 I'm waiting on one person to do one thing before I can move on. Still waiting. Still waiting. Oh, just bloody hurry up.
  • 16:35 My head seems a bit 'fuzzy' this afternoon. I wouldn't mind ifI'd been for a lunchtime pint, but I haven't. Just got a damn headcold still
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Wednesday, 4 February 2009

Kissed by a Rose – Book Trailer

This past weekend I put together a second trailer for Kissed by a Rose. This one is much more dramatic than the first “teaser trailer” and hints a little more at the plot line without, I hope, giving away all the books secrets. Take a look and let me know what you think

Kissed by a Rose by Marc Nobbs


The original teaser trailer is here.

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Everyday, it’s a getting stronger…

Did you know that today it is fifty years since “The Music Died”? Yep, it’s fifty years to the day that the plane went down over Iowa taking Buddy Holley, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper with it. There was a piece on it this morning on the radio. Naturally, they were talking up Buddy and asking just how big and how influential he was, and could have been had he not died.

But on interviewee questioned Buddy’s importance, stating that he found his song writing to be ‘straightforward’ and ‘lacking emotional depth’. Which, to be honest, is a bloody stupid thing to say as he was only twenty-one when he died. How many twenty-one year olds do you know that have ‘emotional depth’? I know when I was that age I had the emotional depth of a half-filled paddling pool.

He then went on to compare Buddy’s songs with songs by other writers such as Elvis and Lennon/McCartney. But he quoted songs written when those artists were much older than twenty-one, pretty much proving my point.

The response of the other interviewees was the same as mine. Song writers grow as song writers as they get older. You see it all the time. Look, for a contemporary example, at Gary Barlow of Take That. The early Take That songs are great pop tunes, but recent work such as Patience and The Greatest Day are, frankly, superb songs. You could even see the extra maturity in his sings emerging before Take That split up with songs like Back for Good.

Naturally, this led me to look at myself and what I do. Do writers grow and develop ‘emotional depth” or should that be “emotional maturity” as they get older?

Certainly, I look at my own work and see a great difference in the pieces I wrote as a young man in 1998, and the pieces I am writing now as a middle-aged man. (I was 24 in ‘98 and I’m 34 now)

The very first stories I wrote, the Two Birds and a Bloke series, are not even featured on my website, such is my lack of enthusiasm for them right now. They are available on SOL, but I tend not to shout about that. They are crass, poorly written and show that, at the time, I was more concerned in making sure my ‘hero’ deposited as many loads of ‘cum’ in as many orifices as possible. There is a distinct lack of character development – in fact all three main characters are stereotypes – and very little actual plot beyond manoeuvring the players into a situation where they can fuck.

Skip ahead to, say, Heaven in Leather or Memorable Holiday and we begin to see some level of maturity emerging. Just a little mind you as these stories are still fuck & suck stories. But at least the ‘hero’ – actually, in both cases here, the narrator – is questioning his own immature attitudes and behaviour.

Then look at the likes of Claire and Sophie. Stories about relationships rather than just about sex. Reunion is the culmination of this emotional growth. It’s a complex story which explores the characters as much as I was able to when I wrote it four years ago. As a reader, you’re never really sure about Kelly for a good portion of the story.

And so we come to the present day. In Charlotte’s Secret and Lost & Found we have complex characters, complex interactions between them, and real emotional growth, not just of the characters, but in the way I’ve written them books. Every main character in both books is changed by the events of the books. Their lives are affected in substantial ways.

So yes, I believe that writers, or at the very least me as a writer, can grow and write stories that are not only ‘technically’ more proficient – after all, that’s just an improvement of the ‘craft’ of writing – but can also write stories with more emotional depth.

The radio interview finished by asking just how good the songs that Buddy Holley never got to write might have been had he be able to achieve some emotional growth. And you know what, I’m asking myself just what the stories I will write in the future will be like as I continue to travel on this journey we call life and learn from it each and every day. For as Buddy Holley said (even though he was emotionally immature)…

“Everyday, seems a little longer,

Everyday, loves a little stronger…”

MySpace Rant

< rant >

Tom! Tom! Are you listening? I want to know why, for the past couple of weeks, MySpace blogs are fucking around with the formatting of blog posts when I paste them from elsewhere.
I just posted my "Daily Tweets" copied from the e-mail in which they are sent to me for just this purpose. A very simple bullet point format, which MySpace has coped with for months. Months!
So why, now, has it decided to insert random spaces, centre the whole bloody text, and generally fuck around with the format?
This has been going on for nearly to weeks and I am now seriously pissed off with it! I write my regular blogs in a blog editor program, and while MySpace has always been happy to accept pasted text or pasted HTML, now it's fucking around with it and inserting random carriage returns. It's fucking annoying!
Sort it out, Tom!

and while i'm on the subject....

What, exactly, has Myspace got against ".." and other services that shorten urls?
see, it won't even let me type the name of the service I want to talk about. Look, .. - it replaces it with two dots.
This, to my mind, is censorship and should be stopped.
Grrrrrrr - I'm in a ranting mood today.
Nipples. That's the other thing. What's wrong with nipples? Why is it okay to show pictures of naked young ladies as long as the nipples are covered by Paintshop or little stars or something? I ask again - what's wrong with nipples?

< / rant >

Monday, 2 February 2009

Today's Tweets

Tweet, Tweet, Here's a list of all my twitter postings in the last 24 hours.
  • 00:42 On the Blog : Today's Tweets
  • 08:57 Morning world - welcome to the week.
  • 09:24 Big fat Snowflakes falling now.
  • 09:26 I want to know why the rest of the country had tons and tons of snow, and we got a 'light covering'. That's not fair.
  • 09:57 Snow has stopped now. I swear, Northamptonshire must have a magic "Snow umbrealla."
  • 09:58 why has my database ground to a halt?
  • 11:11 Proper Snow! Big fat flakes! Cool!
  • 11:42 On the Blog : Trying to grab moments when I can
  • 12:05 I'm not really enjoying today. i should be, but I'm not. Feel really low for some reason
  • 12:51 @MIN9 tell me about it. I think I'm just disappointed that we're the only part of the country not under six feet of snow.
  • 13:28 YouTube - Kissed by a Rose Teaser Trailer via @ShareThis
  • 15:01 then snow is coming down quite heavily now. It's about bloody time
  • 15:03 @athenahollow It's the weather. At least, it is in the UK. We don't cope well with snow. We don't cope well with much actually.
  • 23:36 New "Kissed by a Rose" Trailer
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Trying to grab moments when I can

You know, these days, I find myself trying to snatch precious moments whenever I can in all sorts of circumstances. Take my wife for instance. We’re both so busy that we have to snatch private moments in-between the thousand other things we have to do day-to-day. A quick cuddle here, a stolen kiss there. Add this to the fact that Jr is now three and is going through that “She’s MY Maman” stage and is constantly telling me off for so much as looking at her, and you can see that those moments are indeed precious.

Then there’s reading. I am sorry top say that I do very little reading these days. When I do read, it’s in the stolen moments when I’m sitting with Jr before he goes to bed and we read Thomas the Tank Engine or something similar.

Then there’s my writing. Writing is supposed to be my way to wind down, to relax at the end of the day. It should be something I make time for to stop myself from going insane. Except these day’s I find myself trying to snatch a few moments during the working day to write because I know full well that when I get home, it get’s late and I fire up the laptop, I’m not going to be writing. What am I doing instead? Surfing the web? Trapped on MySpace? Tweeting? Watching porn?

It’s none of the above (well, maybe a little sometimes). No, it’s bloody Football Manager. When I bought my new laptop (cause the old one died) I re-installed FM2005 for some reason. (Yes, I’m still on version 2005 – my old laptop could only just cope with it and there was no point in buying ‘updates’. Plus, I’m a tight-arse.) And when it was installed, I started a new season. Naturally, I modified the database first so that' my chosen team would be much better than it would otherwise have been. I gave a few other of my favourite teams a boost too, so that made up for it.

But now I can’t stop playing the damn thing. I started in the lowest league, gain promotion with an unbeaten season in my first year and am now on my way to securing a 100% league season and my second promotion in a row. And winning is addictive. i really should play the game properly and struggle on a tight budget, but it’s far more fun to persuade fully fledged internationals come come and play in the English third division.

So, damn you Sports Interactive and Sega. Damn you I say. how dare you steal my precious writing time with the insufferable addictiveness of your game. Just so you know, I am considering a law suit.

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