Ivory

I’m not a great fan of wearing makeup, generally I can’t be bothered, generally I don’t leave the house, so I don’t need to.  However, my skin is a bit dry and so I wanted to get a tinted moisturiser.  Because I am whiter than white and rarely go out, I always have to select the lightest shades on offer, and that is usually called Ivory.

So I brought an ivory tinted moisturiser.

When I used it, it kind of looked like I’d put on a mud mask.  It was noticeably darker than my skin.

I mentioned this to my hubby and daughter, and my daughter it said that was no surprise it didn’t match my skin, I don’t need ivory – I need ghost. She pointed out that she’s as pale as I am and that’s so pale we look like ghosts. Thankfully, the actual conversation was a lot more amusing than I can write it.

Then hubby chips in, says I need to go further.  Where we ended up was imaging a whole new range of makeup.

Never mind Ivory, because you’re worth it.

Try Cadaver, because you look dead.

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Feminist Read

We Should All Be Feminists by [Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie]

Have recently read “We Should All Be Feminists”, and it’s shown me things I have been fortunately enough never to have experienced.

I not about to burn my bra, but I do consider myself a feminist. So there wasn’t a lot in the book that was a brand-new idea to me, but these points were explained in ways that I have never considered before.

The author, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, tells of how in Nigeria if a couple walk into a restaurant, the greeter will greet the gentleman, and not the lady.  Now I have experienced that in the UK, but I never really thought about how it really is a sexist act.  Funnily enough the sexist thing I have experienced comes shortly after that, where the menu with the prices is given to the man, as is the bill, even when I’ve asked for the bill.

There are other references that also made me think – the way that a woman alone will be questioned at a hotel in case they aren’t a patron, but a prostitute.  This is horrific to me, a woman who has travelled overseas alone. I really wouldn’t know how to deal with that.

The book is very short (50 pages), and it’s a quick read – unless you actually stop and really think about the points made. And I guarantee if you read this book, it will make you think, it will stay with you for a while. I would highly recommend everyone read this book, where ever you stand on the issue, this book will give you food for thought.

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Hopefully

Okay, reaction to the rejection over.  Big girl pants on and behaving myself today.

After my wobble, I tripped over an older log of mine, this one: Getting an agent – some more ideas.  So I read it. You know what, when I’m not an emotional cripple, I actually can talk some sense.  

As a result, yesterday evening, after I’d finished working, I sat down with “The Writers and Artist Yearbook” (admittedly from 2019, but that’s new enough), and went through looking for other possible agents. I checked their websites to ensure that they were open to submissions and if so, what they wanted in a submission – not all agents want the same thing so there’s no point in sending the same thing to everyone.

I also had a bit of a chat about things with a couple of friends who were helpful with suggestions about agents they know and who cast a quick eye over my submission prep. I then spent this morning revising and polishing my pitch, synopsis and first 50 pages.  And more importantly, I’ve submitted to another agent. 

This is good on the principle that each submission is one step closer to the agent who’s going to take me on.  But there’s still the awful wait of up to 3 months to hear possibly nothing if they aren’t interested.  But that’s the way with agents. All I can do is write my best work and present it, and in the manner of “Sweet Charity”, do my best to live hopefully ever after.

Sweet Charity (1969) - Film | cinema.de

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Loser

Another day, another rejection. It gets difficult to stay positive when all you get is negative reinforcement. 

I get my work out there, put myself out there, but I get a fair bit of negativity back, though in fairness, a little positivity too.  I keep trying, I make  submissions to agents and publishers, but the big publishers can only be accessed via an agent, and the agents just reject or just don’t respond. 

I am a good writer, and quite a prolific one. Here are all but one of the books I have out (one is missing because it published 7 days ago and I haven’t had chance to change the graphic to my satisfaction yet):

The problem seems to be that I don’t fit easily into any particular pigeon hole. On those rare occasions when I get feedback, it’s not the writing they reject, it’s the fact that they don’t know how to market the work.

If the people whose job it is to sell stuff don’t know how to sell my writing, how should I? Marketing was never my strong suit. Well, here’s the thing, that’s what I’m going to have to figure out isn’t it? Learn to do the marketing.  

Sigh, but not today, today I’m going to let myself experience the emotions another rejection brings up, I’m going to sort the TBR pile into the space I’ve recently made for it, and tomorrow I will dust myself down, pick myself up and submit again. I will learn and improve. As things should be.

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Winner!

I’m a winner, that’s not something I often say, but today it’s definitely true.

Today, I got a message from Alison Belsham, to tell me that I’d won a copy of one of her books from a free giveaway.  How lucky is that?

I rarely win stuff like this, so I’m really grateful to win what I know to be such a fantastic book – and it’ll be signed!  That’s so good.  Definitely something to celebrate.  Thanks to Alison, and it all goes to prove, you’ve got to be in it to win it.

Tattoo Thief paperback cover

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Getting Longer

Yesterday I talked about the nerve wracking experience of submitting to a competition – which by the way I did a few minutes ago. Normally for me nerve wracking means nail biting – literally. I bite my nails.

Or more correctly – I used to bite my nails.

I have no idea at what point I finally stopped biting my nails, but I do seem to have, I have ten actual nails now. Nails that extend beyond the nail bed. See:

Still got ugly hands, but the nails look great. I’m using OPI Nail Envy to help, just in case anyone was wondering.

Now I am not here as a beauty blogger, there are plenty of them around, so I’m not going there.

I’m writing this becuase of what it indicates.

I’ve been biting my nails all my life. I bite for bordom, stress, nervousness, when I’m happy, when I’m sad, basically, any time for any reason. And now I’ve stopped. I can’t tell you when, just that I did, but this is what calm and contentment can do for you.

I’m happy with it. And hopefully I can keep that up because right now it’s not only the one competition entry that I’m nervous about, but an agent submission that I’m waiting to hear about. Keep your fingers crossed for success on all fronts (and your nails unbitten too).

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Getting Shorty

Between other things today, I have been working on my short story for the Honno submission. I’ve got the word count to the exact allowance, and I’ve checked spelling and grammar, all seems okay.

Only thing is – I’m not sure if it’s great or awful.

This kind of self doubt is not exactly a me problem, it’s a writer thing. Lots of writers I know suffer with what’s called ‘imposter syndrome’. We’re all just waiting to be found out. The reality is that we’re not imposters, but writing is a difficult game.

Anyway, one thing about the short story, is that it’s actually an origin story for the main character in a new series that I’m working on. So I’m hoping that my story gets picked because it’s the first test of the character, so if it gets rejected, I’m in trouble for the series. Very nerve wracking.

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Yesterday’s Vampire

Yesterday I had to have a Vampire Day.

No I didn’t dress in Georgian attire and so suck some blood, but I did have to spend the day in a darkened room and hiding from the sun lest it turn me to a pile of ashes.

Basically, I had a migraine. Even light hurt.

But today the migraine is gone, swapped for a backache, though that was less swapped as paid for.

After day of doing nothing because I couldn’t do anything, today I have caught up.

I’ve shortened a load of curtains for my daughter, I’ve been to the supermarket, prepared a casserole for tonight’s dinner, planted up a load of pots for the front garden, and placed them out – which is what lead to the backache.

So now, I’ sitting down to blog, and catch up on some stuff on the internet stuff I couldn’t face yesterday. So, not much to say today, but feeling good, and wanted to share that.

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Busy Day

It’s been from the sublime to the ridiculous today.  Yesterday I was so shattered I couldn’t do anything, today I am shattered because I haven’t stopped.  So far today I have:

  • Transplanted plants from the front garden to pots (13 pots, I hope the transfers are luckier than that number.
  • Done 2 9kg loads of washing.
  • Hung all the washing on the line.
  • Painted the front fence – it’s 6 foot tall it was thirsty for paint (yes lots of gardening being done at the moment.
  • Cooked a fish pie (which I’m looking forward to eating because it’s in the oven right now and smells wonderful!)
  • Been a taxi service for my daughter.
  • Written 6 marketing paragraphs.
  • Posted a blog and stuck that on social media.
  • And now I’m writing this blog.

Apparently, the post-vaccine exhaustion has left me, though I have every intention of doing little more today.  After dinner I am going to have a long soak in a hot bath and then put my feet up with a book for the evening.  There doesn’t appear to be much on TV, so I may binge some more of “Shakespeare and Hathaway”.

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Wipeout

Sleep is something that often eludes me. I consider myself lucky if I get a full six hours a night.  But not this weekend.

I had my covid jab on Friday, Friday I was okay, felt like I’d been kicked in the arm because it was so painful, but I wasn’t ill, until Saturday.  Saturday I was just wiped out.  I got up late, couldn’t concentrate, only managed to read half a chapter of the book I’m reading. In the end I went to bed early – half six in the evening early.

Never have I ever felt so wiped out.

This morning I got up late, I decided I had to go and get a bit of work done in the garden. I spent an hour and a half pottering (pulling out ivy and bagging it up) and then I was exhausted.  So I came in, put the roast on, then had to sit down for an hour. 

As I write this, it is half seven and I’m pretty much ready to go to bed and sleep another fifteen hours. But I’ve stuff to do, so I’d best get on.

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