Wednesday, November 29, 2006

A funny old day

Well, today has been a funny one. I misplaced my keys and spent a good part of the morning trying to find them, was delayed from coming into work as a result and am still at work now- 6.35 p.m - and I work in a school!

I think I may be doing too much, hence my forgetfulness! So I figured, stay late- get the reports done. And I am getting quite a lot done, but I still have to look over two classes' exam papers and write a bit more on the Hodder spreads. It'll be worth it in the end I tell myself.

I spoke to the literary agency that is looking at my manuscript of One of a Kind and I was informed that I should hear from them by Xmas. Oh well, that's only another twenty six days, after the one hundred and twenty six days they've already had it! Guess they're busy. I'm trying to think this is a positive sign, not that I am unimportant or anything like that. In any case, I'm busy and I guess the time will fly between now and Christmas. Speaking of which I've done NO Christmas shopping. How about you?

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Shaken or stirred? Do I look like I give a damn?

No prizes for guessing the inspiration behind my post's title.

It is Tuesday and, spurred on by one or two people, I am here yet again .... Apparently my blog needs to be updated so let me update. Let's see what's new:

I am buried under paperwork. I have to produce the school newsletter soon and oh there's that small matter of a series of books that I need to complete.

Would you believe that with all of this on, I have actually been to the cinema to see Casino Royale? It was really quite good. Do I sound surprised? Well, with good reason. I'm not a big James Bond fan; in fact I am a hardened Jame's Bond foe, but this film was good- much more realistic than others I thought and well worth a viewing. I know this is what all the reviews have said and I have to agree. Go, if you get a chance!

You know what my favourite line is. I wonder what yours will be.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Amazon listing Challenge Series

Okay, some good news.... the WHSmith Challenge English Series which Steve Eddy and I are writing are now showing on Amazon. I've linked them on my sidebar for all you interested viewers.

They're not out till May 2007, but amazingly they're up on Amazon. Not sure when the other Hodder series which I co-wrote with three other writers will appear on Amazon but when it does I shall definitely let you know. I'm not sure how Amazon listing works, to be honest, as the other series are due to be published earlier than this Challenge one but don't seem to be anywhere as far as I know. Maybe it's linked to audiences. The other one is aimed at teachers, whilst this series is for the general public. Perhaps someone can explain the whole process to me one day.

Still, I'm not complaining... just sharing the good news!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Carpe Diem

Carpe Diem. Seize the moment! That's how I feel today.

I tried to find a poem about this very subject - it is a popular topic in poems but the ones I know of all have the same agenda .... a man wanting to have his wicked way with a woman, but that's not what I was looking for.

I was really hoping to find something that expressed the idea that we only live once, and then I came across this. I've not heard of the poet and the rhyme is a bit twee but the sentiment is just the ticket. Enjoy!

Be Mindful of the Moment

by Neil Harding McAlister

The here and now is all we hold through times of joy and sorrow.
We may watch fulsome years unfold -- or may not see tomorrow.
Be mindful of the moment. Pay attention to each one.
The past has fled beyond our grasp, the future’s yet to come.

There is no way to measure what ensuing days might bring,
So seize the utmost pleasure found in every daily thing.
The road of life is far too short: no need to travel fast.
Investigate the wonders that lie strewn along the path.

The tender leaves on springtime trees, rough pebbles on the ground,
The snowflakes drifting on the breeze that fall without a sound,
Are all unique and precious, if we take the time to see.
No two have been identical in all eternity.

Is this not true of people too? Be mindful, then, of each.
Both strangers and those close to you have useful things to teach.
The two of us part richer if we pass the time of day,
And don’t just brush each other off, then hurry on our way.

Preoccupied by urgent schemes of business, love or power,
By gambling on our future dreams, we lose the present hour.
A life is forged of moments linked together like a chain.
Live each in full -- for down this road we shall not pass again.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Burning the candle at both ends

(Photos by P. Van-Santen)

I'm very tired today. Burning the candle at both ends! I had my journalism club after school: a group of students who are helping to write reports for the end of term newsletter which I oversee. Two new additions joined us today which is great. Any help is gratefully appreciated this side of half term, believe me.

As promised I'm posting pictures from the glorious light and music show I went to at Turnovo in Bulgaria. The music was a dramatic rendition of a story which was told in Bulgarian and because of my limited Bulgarian- i.e none- I couldn't understand it but it was basically a story about the fight for independence (I think) and a love story. I think it may be this Bulgarian Opera.Any Bulgarians or knowledgeable others out there please correct me if I am wrong.

I'm pressing ahead with my Hodder writing and am well on the way to finishing the Year 8 spreads I'm doing, so I think I've earned a break. I'm about to relax for the evening. Hope you are too!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Bonfire Night

It is Saturday and I return to work on Monday.

Well, fond as I am of paperwork, I have naturally left all of it until the last minute. Grrr.

My trip to Bulgaria and this writing project have kept me away from what I would otherwise have LOVED to have done! Not.

So... tomorrow I will be buried under papers.

A couple of days ago I met up with a friend, Sarah, who I'd not seen in ages and we caught up on news.

She's off to Asia and Australasia in a few months to do a bit of adventurous travelling, so it was good to see her before she flies off. We went to a great pub for a nibble and drink. It's in Covent Garden and it's called Lowlanders. It's worth a visit.

Just to get back to my blog about Bulgaria, I've received a couple of pictures of the light show from our host, Patrick, so when I next blog I'll upload them and try to recount the story linked to the show.

As for tonight, it's Bonfire Night and traditionally I've gone to a firework display locally but just for a change, I'm off to see Communicating Doors a play by Alan Ayckbourn, at a local theatre. It's supposed to be a comedy so here's hoping I laugh once or twice.

I have completed my sections for the Year 7 Hodder book

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The beauty of Bulgaria

Well, I have returned from the country that in advertising lingo is called Europe's best kept secret. It really was beautiful and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I really enjoyed my visit and was lucky enough to be shown around by people in the know.
The food was cheap and tasty and the views and nature were spectacular. When we stayed in Turnovo, we went to a really impressive light and music show projected onto the mountains which my tiny camera failed to capture but I will endeavour to get some photos from our host out there and upload them separately when I have time, along with the historical story that the show related to. It really was a worthwhile visit and I have no reservations in recommending Bulgaria to anyone. Visit it if you can!