Monday, September 29, 2008

I must be CRAZY...

I've signed up for NaNoWriMo again!

The National Novel Writing Month is 30 days of complete madness where people all over the world spend the month of November frantically scribbling an entire novel. I did it last year for the first time and it was manic, scary, exhilarating, tough, crazy - but most of all, fun! My NaNo novel from last year, The Mystical Wombat's Guide to Life, is currently nearing the completion of the Big Final Edit, so it's time to wrap it up and get ready for chaos to begin again on 1st November!

Like last year, I'll be posting excerpts of my new novel here at Coffee and Roses, so please, please, please let me know what you think... Any encouragement, words of wisdom or offers of caffeine will be gratefully received!

Till then, I'm stockpiling coffee and chocolate and grabbing as much rest as I can!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Is there ANYONE out there...?

I'm starting to wonder if I've developed a Superhero Power...

No, really.

It appears that I am now able to become... drumroll, please... invisible!

Let me explain...

For a few months now (well, since last November, to be precise) I've been job-hunting. I'd just like to find a job that is more creative in nature, more writing-centred (my current role is more of a copy-editing/proofreading thingy). I've been a busy girl getting lots of writing experience in addition to my work: doing citizen journalism things for the past two years, maintaining my blogs and, of course, writing short stories along with my novel. About the only other thing I could try in order to add to my already gargantuan writing efforts would be to resort to writing down everything I'd normally say out loud on large sheets of A3 paper, a la Bob Dylan.

Now, nobody would say that job-hunting is easy: I completely understand that. And neither am I over-ambitiously pursuing roles that are stratospherically out of my league. I am so entirely capable of every job I've applied for - and if I could just get to an interview, I'm certain that I could communicate my potential. But, twenty-one job applications later, I'm yet to attain this lofty goal...

Maybe it's my CV, I thought. So, I found a couple of CV-clinic services, where you submit your CV and they, basically, rip it to shreds - before suggesting lots of lovely ideas to make it sparkly and attractive.

"Don't have an Objectives section," they advised, "state your Attributes first to sell your skills."

Brilliant, I thought, and got straight to work.

I was ruthless, I was eloquent, I was... well, quite chuffed with the result, actually. So - just to check - I sent my newly polished CV to a different CV-clinic company and eagerly awaited their reply.

"Attributes sections are quite old-fashioned," came the sombre verdict. "You might consider changing it for an Objectives section, so prospective employers know what you are looking for in a position."

Brilliant. So basically either would work - or not work - brilliantly - or awfully - depending on which way you looked at it.

Undeterred - ever the Eternal Optimist - I made some more tweaks and sent my newly - well, altered CV off to apply for several jobs.

Nothing. Zilch. Nada. Ничто.

So, after considering all the options, I finally came to this earth-shattering conclusion: I am invisible!

How cool is that?!

Then, I started to look at other areas too and found that - yes - my Superhero Power is evident there, too! Take my blogs, for example. To be fair, this one does get lovely comments, all of which completely make my day - but my new blog September's had a few comments initially, then everything went quiet...

Don't get me wrong: I love my blogs and I will keep writing them even if I am the Invisible Woman - but do you ever find you start to wonder if what you do makes a difference to anybody? I think we carry on in the hope that something we do, or say, sing, or write will meet someone at the moment they needed to hear it. Maybe that's the driving force behind all creative people, however they express themselves to the world.

I'm not fishing for jobs, or recognition, or a thousand hits on my blog sites - it's just a rhetorical question I keep finding myself asking - well, myself. Am I invisible or do I make a difference? I'm not sure there's an answer, really. After all, how many people do we pass in the course of our day that we never really take the time to notice?

In the meantime, I'm going to have fun thinking of ways to utilise my newly-found Superhuman Ability... Now, where could I go if nobody can see me....?!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

New September's Story...

I've just posted a new story in my September's series - but it's a weepie!

The story follows Bert Mottram, one of Northbridge's most noticeable characters. Read it with a hanky handy - you have been warned!

Pop over to to read it - and be sure to let me know what you think!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Bored at work...?

So, you're enduring yet another life-draining day at the office...

How can you lighten up your day?

Answer: The Great Sticky Note Experiment!

I came across this amazing video on YouTube today and it made me want to buy Post-It notes! This is dedicated to everyone stuck in boring offices waiting for something exciting to happen. Enjoy!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Buy My Music!!

At long last you can now buy my music!

To hear some of my tracks, scroll down to the bottom of this blog to find the player, click to preview and head to my store on to buy four of my songs for only 99p each!

Go on - treat yourself!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Rain, holidays and random publicity!

British holidays - don't you just love 'em?

Well, I do - but, of course, in doing so I run the risk of encountering the Great British Weather... So, I've just come back from a week in the gorgeous Lake District and guess whst? Yup, it rained.

Having said that, it's been an incredibly wet year and with people currently facing having their homes flooded, I'm not going to complain about a few soggy days in Cumbria. Despite the frustration of being rained in (albeit in an impossibly lovely Lakeland cottage) I still found enough to do. Catching up on reading, for example - I managed to read a whole book in a week, which is a major achievement for me. In my day job as a Copywriter I've become a 'professional reader' - meaning that I scan text for errors and flow rather than actually reading it. It makes it incredibly difficult to read a book for fun - but I've been making myself do this because I truly believe that my writing suffers if I don't read regularly.

It was also good because I got to do some serious work on my novel, The Mystical Wombat's Guide to Life©. I've completely reworked the ending after finding, during editing, that it lacked pace and resolved too quickly. I'm really pleased with the new ending - even though one of my major characters has suffered as a result. The decision to injure or even kill a major character is always a scary one, but I think it's the right one... Ah well, we'll see soon!

I just need to devote time to complete all the work on the novel - the response from my Wombat Proofing Posse has been incredibly positive so far, so it's all looking promising...

One lovely - if a bit random - thing that happened last week is that the interview I gave to the Stourbridge News was published. It was decidedly odd to be interviewed but a very pleasant experience and the article is fab (even though they got my home town wrong - it's Wollaston, not Wordsley). You can read it online here...

All in all, quite a positive (if soggy) week!
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