Writer and Author

Tag: Blogging (Page 3 of 5)

Remembering why you do it…

Back in January I wrote about the overturning of the life sentence for child rapist Philip Sullivan.  I discussed the sentencing in rape cases in the Irish courts.  Working down in the Four Courts you get to see a lot of things that you wouldn’t necessarily agree with.

I’m used to writing nice, clean, impartial copy on the facts of the case for work but here I don’t have to be quite so impartial.  This blog contains my own views and while, even here, I might hold back on occasion if there’s something I feel strongly on it will eventually be written about.

Writing a blog can feel a bit like shouting into the darkness.  You sit at your computer and type away and chances are the vast majority of readers will drop by without leaving a comment.  That’s why when someone does comment on something I’ve written it is always much appreciated.

I got a comment for the Philip Sullivan piece a couple of days ago that quite simply made this thing I do worthwhile.  I’ve had comments on court related posts before but usually from people who disagree with my point of view.  This comment on the other hand was from someone who has good reason to feel passionately about the subject of rape sentencing because she has been through the ordeal of facing her rapist in court.  You can read the comments at the bottom of the Sullivan post.

Way back when I first considered journalism as a career I had visions of being the kind of crusading hack that you see in the movies.  After a total of five years in college I was happy to get whatever shift work came my way and any crusading tendencies got quickly swamped by the necessity to pay the bills and a general news room cynicism.  The problem with being on a general news beat, especially in broadcast journalism, is that stories rush past so quickly during a day that you don’t really have time to have an emotional reaction to any of them.

When you’re stuck finding enough stories to fill five minute hourly bulletins there’s no time to save the world.  Even as a freelance I find myself writing about stuff I know will sell rather than anything that will make a difference.

Down in the courts it’s easy to get blind to it all.  There’s such a never ending stream of human misery down there that a certain gallows humour tends to develop and stocks of sympathy run dangerously low.

But I suppose deep down inside, what I’m really looking for is appreciation, in a rather puppy like way.  I know that the dream has always been for someone to come up to me and say, spontaneously without me fishing for it, that they love what I write.  I’m not talking about editors and agents here but about the end readers.  I became a writer because I had an emotional response to what I was reading and I suppose that’s what I want to give to someone else.

This has ended up a rather advanced navel gazing exercise so please excuse me.  I was proud to receive the comment on the Sullivan post and it made me think about why I became a journalist in the first place.  That bleeds into why I became a writer and this is the result.

Six Months On…

So it’s six months and one day since I set up this blog.  Back then I had just finished writing Devil in the Red Dress and figured if I was going to become a fully fledged author I’d better come out of the closet, so to speak, and start a named blog.

Now here I am six months on.  Devil’s in the shops and due for a release in the UK in May.  There might be more book related news but I’ve been sworn to secrecy until the appointed time.  That’s something I’ve discovered over the past six months – when you write under your own name you have to be careful what you say.

I’m not talking about controversy here, although there are some subjects I’ve hesitated to discuss here I don’t assume the whole world will agree with my opinion – it’s more interesting that way!  No, what I’m talking about is that I can’t write about everything that happens when it happens because I have to look at this blog, at least in part, as part of the publicity behind the book.

Yes, I know there’s a picture of the book’s cover on this page but this blog’s going to be continuing into the second book and the third and the next one after that so it’s going to have to develop beyond The Devil in the Red Dress.

When I started back in September every post was about the progress of the book and the story behind it.  There will undoubtedly be more of that as the months go by but there’s a lot more I want to write about as well.

Back in September I was working exclusively down in the courts.  But a lots happened over those six months and I’m building on what I have so far.  So I won’t be writing about every murder that passes through – a fair few of them perhaps, old habits die hard, but you’re going to have to put up with my thoughts on whatever my next project is and, of course, The Novel!

I think the tag cloud works reasonably well to filter the different topics.  I’m not suggesting completely random rambling (except perhaps very occasionally) but as the work gets more varied so will the stuff I have to post about.  Just to let you know if you are here looking for something specific.  It’s still here – just in the tag cloud.

Now that’s what I call a signing!

I went to see Neil Gaiman read from the upcoming book he’s written in collaboration with musician Amanda Palmer today in Chapters bookshop on Parnell Street.  I love going to readings and signings.  I’m a total groupie when it comes to watching and listen to writers I respect and especially ones who’ve inspired me as a writer myself.  There aren’t half enough of these kind of events in Dublin so it was a real occasion.

Today’s event was absolutely packed.  Around 500 people had shown up.  Even when I arrived at around 3.30, an hour and a half before the reading was due to start, there were droves of people clustered around the display of Gaiman books stacked in enticing view of the door.  Wandering around the shop there were people ensconced in every cranny, taking up their positions and preparing for a long wait.

By around 4 o’clock there was an almost carnival atmosphere.  Around the black swagged corner where the reading was due to take place there were drifts of people, mainly young, all clutching their books for signing.

As I’ve written here before I’ve signed books myself for Devil.  Not for 500 people of course.  In fact not even for people.  My form of signing involves the Customer Service desk and some usually stressed staff.  I’d love to do the other kind of signing …if I’m very lucky maybe one day I’ll get the chance.

Writing is something I do, something I’ve always done, but now I want something more.  I want to be an author.  OK technically I already am, I have a card saying I’m one and I can walk into book shops and see a book with my name on the cover but what I want one day is different.

What I write at the moment is True Crime.  It’s an extension of the day job, a longer form of journalism.  But when I’m writing for pleasure, the kind of writing I spent hours at when I was growing up, it’s another thing entirely.  Left to my own devices I write fantasy.  Not full blown fantasy, in fact several friends who are more avid readers of the genre than me have informed me that what I write isn’t even really fantasy.  When I’m talking to them I tend to refer to it as satirical fantasy.

When I write that it flows unlike anything that hangs on the facts.  I can write passionately about the stories I see unfolding in court but it’s always going to be a case of setting down the facts in order.  You can’t change dialogue that didn’t quite flow in real life, however much it may jar.  People look the way they look and the facts are totally immovable.

When the fiction’s flowing it can feel as if you are simply rreplaying scenesthat are taking place somewhere but at the back of it all there’s the knowledge that what you are creating something rather than simply recounting it.  But even then there’s more to it than that.

When I write journalism I expect the reader to be interested, diverted, maybe even moved if the subject’s strong enough but fiction can be loved.  Over the years I’ve met many writers as a journalist.  A lot of them were people I respected and I would have had more than a little bit of hero worship but it’s the novelists I was always most eager to meet.

These are the people who’ve actually created the worlds that lived in my imagination.  That’s something completely different from being someone who uncovers truths.  I’m not explaining myself particularly well here but there is a difference.

My first love is writing fiction.  I’m not saying I’m up there with Mr Gaiman, I’m still learning and I’ve got a long way to go but one day if just one person comes up to me and says that a world I’ve created caught their imagination that’s what I want as a writer.  My words, my stories, firing imaginations and maybe even making people want to write.  That would be the achievement.

Maybe one day…and in the meantime Devil has it’s own path to wander for a while yet.  In that regard I may have some news soon.  But tonight I’m finished for now, and off to read my newly signed copy of Coraline!

Good Days and Bad Days

There will always be days when the sun shines, the writing flows and the opportunities arrive in packs but there will also be days when the wind howls and the world seems topplingly precarious and nothing will work.

Yesterday was one of the second kind of days.  Nothing went right or felt right and everything seemed impossible.  Today on the other hand the sun was splitting the sky (especially welcome after so much snow and sludge) and the possibilities seemed endless.

I pitched a story successfully, got some editing done on the novel and heard from two old friends.  All is good.

That of course is the nature of this business.  It’s particularly easy to have the down days at the moment.  The Mean Reds are tempted into view with every news report and further news of cuts throughout the global publishing industry (like today’s news of sweeping cuts in Harper Collins) makes it hard to be optimistic as a first time author.

But even when the world isn’t in the throws of a massive recession writing, even freelance journalism, isn’t the steadiest of jobs.  I knew that when I got into it and most of the time it doesn’t really bother me.  I’m used to days of feast and famine.

You just have to trust that days like today will come along and make the whole thing worthwhile.  I’m aware though that in a blog like this one, under my own name and readable by anyone who comes across it online, that pouring forth anytime things seem a bit black probably isn’t the best idea.

I want to be honest in this blog and give a fair idea of what life is like writing for a living at the bottom end of the scale but now I’ve got to this stage it’s all got a bit more complicated.

It was one thing sounding off in the days when I had a nice anonymous blog but when people come here to find out about trials I’ve covered, or the book or even, on occasion, me, ranting about issues I may have with the business side of things is perhaps not quite the thing.

While I want to give a warts and all impression because I know that somehow, when Devil was published I magically became an author rather than one of the ranks of the unpublished.  That doesn’t mean I’ll never again see the inside of a slush pile but it certainly seems to be a step in the right direction.

Before I had any dealings with publishers I would trawl the net to find out everything I could about that closed shop.  I’ve linked to a couple of the best publishing blogs in my blogroll but over time I will be expanding that list.  I always intended that when I was finally published I would keep up a very honest blog to help the people who looked like I did (and still do to be honest – things are changing so much out there daily reading is essential).

The problem is that I know have a book to sell.  That means that all the things I’ve discovered that would serve as salutary tales for those dreaming of getting into print suddenly become a pr minefield when you know that among those dropping into read are colleagues and the competition.

While I want to be honest I also want to sell the book so the stuff that happens on the bad days isn’t necessarily the stuff that will find it’s way here – in the short term at least.

There will always be good days and bad days but until I’m a little more established on the writing end of things the bad days will have to stay in the diary and this will have to be a good day blog (most of the time anyway).

Deciding Whether to Follow the Dream…

I’ve been thinking a lot about what to do with myself regarding the writing since the book was published.  Ever since I can remember I’ve wanted to tell stories.  I used to recount fairy tales to my classmates when I was still in primary school and I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t writing down scenarios on any scrap of paper I could lay my hands on.

I trained as a journalist because it was the only way I could think of to earn my keep while doing what I loved.  Somewhere along the road I started to love the chase and the feeling of being there as the news happened.  But writing is still my first love.

I took the decision over Christmas to concentrate on freelance work to allow me more time to write (it might seem like a contradiction but journalism isn’t the best profession if you want to write, fiction at any rate, it’s too time consuming).

I’ll still be covering major trials – like the Brian McBarron sentence on Monday – but the rest of time the idea is that I’ll be working on the novel.  The problem with that is that, for the moment anyway, working on the novel doesn’t exactly pay the rent.

In the current economic climate I’m probably totally crazy to be taking this route now and if things don’t work out financially I’ll be back taking every shift I can.  So far though, things are ticking over but even so I’ve suddenly started thinking thrifty as if my life depended on it.

When I was younger and broke I was pretty good at making my weekly money stretch to a pretty good standard of living. I’m remembering a lot of those old tricks now – it’s amazing how self enforced privation sharpens the mind!

The scary thing is how much money I’m used to spending in just day to day living.  It’s a habit I think a lot of us have fallen into over the last few years; the take away coffees, lunches out, spending money on convenience rather than value.  Dublin’s not exactly the cheapest of cities but we haven’t exactly made it difficult for the various vultures out there to fleece us rotten.

Well, in my new spirit of frugality I’ve decided enough is enough.  I don’t intend to cut back too much, after all things haven’t got that bad yet, but there are some things that are simply no brainers.  My plan is to save money but not to feel deprived and from my initial investigative forays that shouldn’t be too difficult.

I’m thinking about running a series of posts detailing some of the savings I have.  It’s a bit of departure from what I usually write here but since my plan has always been to use this blog to detail my professional life  and, as a freelance in this scary world we now find ourselves in, money becomes part and parcel of that life.

That’s the plan anyway.  The first post in the series should be ready in a week or so.  Watch this space.

Hard Not to Feel Just a Little Excited…

I wasn’t going to post about Obama’s inauguration today but it’s a bit hard to ignore.  I’ve watched a couple of inaugurations over the years but none of them quite like today’s.

I remember watching Bill Clinton being sworn, on an old 1960s black & white telly that was all I could afford at the time.  The Rainbow Coalition had just been voted in here, a combination of Fine Gael, Labour and Democratic Left elected after Labour walked away from previous partners in government, Fianna Fail after a string of scandals, most notably the mishandling of prosecutions against paedophile priests.

Back then I was skint and on the dole but it all seemed so optimistic, finally walking away from conservatism, cronyism and corruption into a bright new future.  I remember watching Clinton’s inauguration from the big old iron bed I’d bought in a junk shop and, with the help of my boyfriend at the time sanded down and painted with Hammerite.

It was a particularly cold January that year and bed was usually the warmest place to sit to watch anything longer than half an hour.  It was a lovely flat, a big basement one bedroom with sole access to a rambling over grown garden but I remember it being very cold!

Fast forward eight years and it was all change; Democratic Left merged with Labour and Fine Gael seemed to have lost the knack of getting elected.  Over the course of Clinton’s two terms I had completed two college courses in journalism, split with both the boyfriend and the iron bed (I regret the loss of the bed) and met and married the Husband.

I remember arriving into work to write Internet news updates in the weeks after George W Bush had been elected to yet another story about hanging chads.  The whole election process in the States seemed murky and sordid.  Mind you things here had changed considerably as well.  The Celtic Tiger had been spawned and the centre right dream team of Fianna Fail and the PDs were slaves to Mammon.

Financially I could afford to put the fire on by the time Dubya came to power but the policies on either side of the Atlantic didn’t sit easily with me.  These were the days of the Teflon Taoiseach (Bertie Ahern) whose grinning face we seemed doomed to put up with for many years to come.  In a post 9/11 world the bogeyman seemed to lurk under every bed and dark shadows lurked behind all the glitz.

But today it’s all change again. After 8 years of wars and suspicion in the US and scandal and corruption in Ireland something really had to give.  Bertie jumped just before anyone could push and before the failing economy totally scuppered what little reputation he had left and Barack Hussein Obama has been sworn in today as the first black president of the United States.

Life is a little more scary these days with more responsibilities and less money.  After eight years I’m back at the freelancing, even if there have been a few steps up the ladder.  I don’t work in commercial radio anymore for a start!

Watching the ceremony it was hard not to be moved by the sense of optimism and hope that was being welcomed in.  Back when Clinton got the job I was in my twenties and optimism came so easily. These days I’m a lot more cynical. It’ll take more than a single day to right the harm done over the past eight years.

But today’s not the day for talking about that.  I’ll join with the general consensus today in wishing President Obama well and hoping he can live up to the task he has before him…listening to his inauguration speech it sounds like he’s going to have a pretty good stab at it.

Here in Ireland we’ve a way to go yet but today it feels like a return to more caring, socially responsible way of life may, just may be possible. I’m not belittling the economic mess we find ourselves in but we couldn’t go on the way we were.  Ireland was in danger of losing any soul or sense of self it had for a crazy chase after crass commercialism and greed.

Today I’m just very glad to have witnessed a piece of history and remembered the past.  Quite frankly I’d much rather live in a world where America is a benevolent patrician force rather than a hulking bully wielding a big stick.  Now we seem to have got that one sorted maybe we can get Ireland to cop on as well.

By the way, if you missed the inauguration you can find the text of Obama’s speech here.  I’m off to make dinner now safe in the knowledge that tonight the world seems like a nicer, warmer place for once.  Long may it continue.

On the Lack of Flea Markets in Dublin…

I was wandering around town yesterday, past the Cornucopia Restaurant (which reminds me, I haven’t been there in years, I wonder why) when a poster on the wall caught my eye.

FleaPosterJan09

I stopped in my tracks…could it be?  Was it possible that at long last there was a flea market in Dublin again?  Stopping in my tracks I wandered over to take a close look at the poster and saw that, yes indeed, there was a flea market in Dublin again and, even better than that, it will be on next Sunday.

When I got home I checked the website given on the poster and discovered that this was not to be an isolated event but will be happening every month – and I’d already missed the first two.

I should probably explain at this point why I get so excited about the prospect of rooting around other people’s discarded junk.  Actually maybe this isn’t quite the time for that, I’m not going into my squirelling tendencies in a public forum like this!  But seriously, I’ve often lamented the lack of flea markets in modern Dublin.

When I first moved here, in the early 90s there were several, scattered around the city centre.  Mother Redcaps, The Dandelion, The Blackberry Fair were all favourite haunts and the source of most of my interior design in those impoverished days.

The Blackberry Fair in particular was where I found the 60s kitch cream cube of a tv that might have only been a black and white but for the 20 old Irish pounds I paid for it was all I could afford.  It still works a treat by the way and with it’s rounded corners and polarising clip on screen is a little design classic that wouldn’t have looked out of place in a set from the Avengers or The Prisoner.

You could get anything there, from beanbags to 8-tracks to strange twisted bits of metal that could have been used for just about anything.   I remember buying a massive ppine chest of drawers with a serious list to one side that I always meant to sand down and renovate but never got round to it.

Most people I knew in those days would have been advocates of what’s now known as shabby chic.  It wasn’t because it was trendy back then, it was because it was cheap and quirky and there was always treasure to be found amongst the junk.

Going to a market at the weekend was a foraging mission like no other.  You might have an idea what you were looking for but in the end you could literally come home with anything.  Even looking around my living room now I can see a couple of vases and a 70s wooden lamp that were market finds.

I used to come home with bizarre finds – an antelope horn mounted in silver, oil lamps, a replacement lid for an old slow cooker.  Not to mention the fantastic vintage clothes finds…

The problem was that when Dublin got rich the markets closed down one by one.  The Dandelion was the first to go, followed a couple of years later by Mother Redcaps, there so long it was a Dublin institution.  They closed because people had stopped coming and people were so busy with the bright shiny things they could now afford that they didn’t even mark their passing.

By the time the Blackberry Fair closed down nobody even murmured.

We had become too grand to root around in bric a brac.  We didn’t want it if it wasn’t new and preferably designer.  We’d go to markets if they sold organic vegetables or expensive crafts but the true flea market was just too messy and cheap to satisfy us anymore.

True, in recent years, websites like Freecycle and Jumbletown have sprung up to allow unwanted items to find a home but it’s not really the same.

There’s nothing quite like wandering around a collection of stalls with a steaming cup of tea in a polystyrene cup searching for overlooked treasure. Maybe it’s my seventies upbringing showing through but I’ve always loved renovating and customising and making do.  I’m the kind of person that can’t walk past a skip without having a look.

But the markets that Dublin used to have suited the city.  To be honest I think I prefer the somewhat grimier Dublin from those days.  You could always get the designer stuff if you wanted it, Brown Thomas is hardly a new addition, but you had the rest as well.

Now as we head back into economic blackness the penny is beginning to drop that maybe we threw out the baby with the bathwater.  It’s all very well having the luxury but if you don’t have the money you need to be able to get hold of the junk and get creative.  These days there doesn’t seem to be much choice, it’s luxury or nothing in most places.

I’ll be going to the Dublin Flea Market next Sunday and I urge you to as well.  Maybe if this one really takes off Dublin can see it’s markets flourish again and we can be skint with a bit more grace, after all these days, thanks to shows like Bargain Hunt on the BBC, everyone know you never know what you’re going to find among the jumble.

Back to Work…

On Monday I’ll be back in court for the first time this year.  The trial of Brian McBarron is listed to start, the man accused of the murder of Sara Neligan, the daughter of prominent former heart surgeon, Maurice Neligan.

I’ve posted here before about the kind of trials that make news editors prick up their ears and this is one that ticks all the boxes.  The fact that Sara’s father is well known in media circles and has commanded more than the odd headline himself over the years with his outspoken criticism of the failings in the Health Service, will guarantee that the press benches will be full on Monday morning.

I’m not going to go into any further detail about the trial today.  I’ve written a short piece for this week’s Sunday Independent which gives a brief outline of the facts and I don’t want to talk more about it until the trial is up and running.

It’s all too easy to write something that could be deemed prejudicial even when all you’re doing is going over facts that have previously been widely reported.  There’s a big difference between speculation in the days after a violent death and the careful words which go to form the coverage of a trial.

Writing a court report is a fine art and writing a preview can be even more delicate.  Even though anything said in open court is privileged information which may be written about by anyone who wishes to do so, the reality of writing about a live trial or one that is soon to be live, is that there are twelve reasons to watch your words very carefully.

The twelve men and women of the average jury are seen by the law as a fragile bunch, vulnerable to nefareous influences from the slanted accounts supposedly bombarding them at every turn. Consequently they will be warned repeatedly during a high profile trial not to concern themselves with media reports of the case or to spend their evenings Googling background that might not appear in court.

It’s not unusual to arrive into court in the morning to find the barristers poring over the days newspapers weighing up the danger posed by this headline, that photograph or the other article.

You see, it’s not simply the jury’s possible tendency to be influenced, there is a far more fundamental issue at stake.  Any person who stands accused before an Irish court is presumed innocent until the jury decides otherwise.

From a journalistic point of view this usually translates as us reporting matters that might have come to light during the garda investigation which cast the accused in a bad light.  This can be as blatant as in the case of Joe O’Reilly whose guilt was a barely veiled accusation in almost any article printed about him from the time of his wife’s death.

Obviously, that particular trial ended in conviction and he is now serving a life sentence for the murder of his wife Rachel and awaiting to hear if his appeal is successful.  But copy doesn’t have to be as blatant as screaming GUILTY to be prejudicial.

Certain facts, comments that may have been made at earlier stages in the legal proceedings, even the juxtaposition of the name of someone accused beside that of someone convicted can all land a reporter in very hot water, and it’s not nice being told off by a judge!

When a trial is connected to someone as well known and well connected as Mr Neligan then even greater care needs to be taken because the more people who write about it the more places there are for the defence team to look for prejudice.

So I will be back in court bright and early on Monday morning, prepared for the scrum and in the meantime I will say no more about it!

A little bit of housekeeping…

I’ll post properly later on but I wanted to post the interview I did for Devil in the Red Dress on John Cooke’s show on Clare FM back at the beginning of December that I was ranting about yesterday.  I was totally befuddled with a cold at the time and then got overtaken by the festive mayhem and since New Years I’ve been confounded at every turn by gaps in my knowledge of all things Internet.

I’ve been trying to upload it for days now, ever since we had the post festive clear out, and yesterday it had me driven to distraction but finally everything is talking to everything else and we’re cooking with gas.

For the record the combination that worked the charm was Total Recorder for the encoding (I bought it ages ago for recording streamed radio interviews but stupidly didn’t realise it’s also quite a nifty MP3 encoder) then a fair amount of fumbling with WordPress 2.7’s new interface and working out which plug ins were messing the whole this up (never did work out exactly which I will post when I find out).

I also used Cool Edit Pro to top and tail it.  I’m not going to link to that since it’s a really old programme I’ve had ever since I used to work in radio many years ago and it’s not even supposed to work with XP.  The programme was bought by Adobe and now costs lots.  I like it though.  It works for me and I;m familiar with the interface and can use it to top and tail and normalize with no hassle.

Anyway back to the interview. It’s not a great recording, the husband thoughfully did it for me from home but I had all the sound recording software with me on my laptop so a rather precarious network of Y cables linking the computer to my Zoom,  not the most elegant set up but it’s audible.

I sound rather like a cross between a frog and Marlene Dietrich due to the cold but I’ll leave you to decide for yourselves.

Enough procrastinating… here it is…

 


 

A Frustrating Day…

I’ve always found working from home a challenge.  On the one hand I love being able to work at my desk with all my stuff near at hand.  I’ve worked at the same desk since I started secondary school (it has fuchsias on it that my mum painted on using nail varnish for the petals).  It’s not the biggest desk in the world but plenty big enough for me and my laptop and it’s always been my little oasis in every place I’ve lived since home.  Someday I may post a photograph but at the moment it’s full of the detritus of the day and not fit to go out in public.

That’s the drawback with working from home, the day’s detritus.  When you’re out in the field you’re focused on the matter at hand and aware that the day won’t be finished until you’ve done what you came there to do.  As a journalist I’m used to working with multiple distractions, be it TVs blaring, people having minor nervous breakdowns, constant questions and random jokes, but you learn to focus through it to get the job done within the deadline.

It’s the same at home if there’s a deadline.  You sit staring at the computer screen until the page in front of you is filled coherently to the right length.  Working at home when there’s no deadline however, is a totally different experience.

I had decided to take the time off until New Year after what had turned out to be a particularly hectic year.  It’s now well into the second year of 2009 and I’m craving structure.  The problem is that it just keeps slipping away from me.

I’ve been at this game long enough to know that I work best with a routine – most of us do.  The difficulty I’ve always had has been making a routine when there’s nothing to hang it on.  Now that I know that I am actually capable of writing a book within an allotted time by working 25 hours a day I say to myself that if I’m going to be doing this more often then structure is vital, there has to be balance.

Well let me tell you, the house is looking lovely.  I’ve been baking, there are fresh flowers sitting on my desk (really should put up that photo) and the husband has had a good square meal every day.  The problem is that the manuscript of the novel is sitting where I left it almost a week ago and the notebook page I headed Pitch ideas is accusatorily empty.

In fairness, today I did get up and settle straight down at my desk to do some work.  I was planning on uploaded a radio interview I gave on Clare FM about the book back in December.  That’s when things went arry.  While I’m loving the shiny new look of WordPress 2.7 I’m still having one or two problems uploading files to display on this blog.  Well one problem really.  It’s not working.

The problem with stuff going wrong technically speaking is that I’m not particularly technically minded.  I’m not completely useless.  I’ve grappled with the various programmes and gadgets that are bread and butter for todays journos for long enough and if the printer has a paper jam, I’m your man.  I would count myself as reasonably web literate but unfortunately that doesn’t yet extend to coding of any kind and I’ve only been dealing with the more nuts and bolts end of online communication for a few months so sometimes I can’t see the wood for the trees.

This means I turn to Google in search of the people who do know what I’m talking about and the hours tick away.  So it’s now 8 o’clock and all I’ve managed today is a blog post.  The printer has now stopped it’s annoying habit of refusing to print from the web and I’ve gone from WordPress 2.5 to 2.7 but I still haven’t been able to upload the interview.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll get up and shoot the book trailer.  I know how to use a camera!

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