Monday, 11 February 2013


My latest feature is in this week's edition of Love It Magazine which was on the shelves last Thursday. It's a shame they didn't let me write the whole thing up, as I have many times before for other publications, but I guess getting paid for submitting the initial teaser - or outline of the idea - helps with income but I enjoy doing the full interview and writing up stories more than I enjoy trying to place them.

There no such denial in the court story I covered last week for the Lincolnite - a local online paper that is getting quite a respected reputation for good community stories. I even went in to write up the copy from its sparkling new offices with which had a new Mac computer that made mine feel that it come straight from the stone age.

I have never worked anywhere quite as tidy. There were no mountains of paperwork on the desks, no piles of old newspapers building up in the corner, no crumbs caused by people eating at their desks, none on the floor, and no dirty cup waiting for the person who last drank from it to take it to a grufty sink. All of the above are common factors to greater or lesser extents in all of the newsrooms I've previously worked in. One even had mould on the walls but that office closed a year or two ago.

The Lincolnite is a new birth in this technological revolution and literally shines like a new pin. It is doing well in the face of cut backs to traditional newsrooms and print operations and this sort of new media could well be the saviour of the dying art of news.

My WEA crime literature course is still running and still enjoyed by those who attend who say they've never read crime before and they are loving it. Unfortunately, my creative writing course didn't continue because we didn't get the required number of learners to make it viable. However, two people who joined the course told me how after just two weeks they were inspired to write in ways that they had not done before so, like the Love It feature, rewards are not always in money earned but in meeting set challenges and attained outcomes. I wanted the course to inspire people to write and so if it achieved that after two weeks, I wonder what more I could have done to help people develop their writing after a full eight weeks.

Today I have yet more WEA paperwork to do. The aspect I dislike the most but one that is also very important. Wearing my other, voluntary, hat as a pro-choice campaigner, today started with a interview and debate on BBC Radio Tees (at 1:03.11 minutes in and available for the next seven days)on the subject of the new E cigarette craze.

I will have to dig deep and focus intensely on the first batch of my university marking as this week progresses. I must be a pretty efficient guide and mentor to my students because the editor of the Lincolnite was in my seminar group when he was a student there and he isn't the only one to have made good after he graduated.

This busy period is impacting upon the time I have to further develop my crime novel which has again gone on a back burner. The break is useful to enable a fresh approach when I get back to it but I am conscious that I still want that first draft by June. The only difference between those who get novels published and those who don't is the discipline applied to writing on a regular daily basis. With that in mind and only four months to go to my self imposed deadline, I think I'd better get cracking.

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