Monthly Archives: January 2011

Mount Rushmore

Phil: One of the problems the government didn’t foresee with closing a quango down, is what do you do with all the paper ?

All firms produce paper and those whose job is to advise other produce more than most. Working on website, it’s alway frustrated me that I can talk ’till I’m blue in the face about making information easy to access or about how popular electronic communication is but at the end of the day, the “information owner” wants to make a leaflet. Not because I’m wrong (I’m not) but because at some point in the future they will be in a meeting and have to explain to their boss exactly what they have done. At that point all my fine words mean a lot less than being able to plonk down a brightly coloured piece of paper, preferably with lots of pictures.

And before you think that’s a public sector problem, it is, but I’ve seen it happen just as much in the private sector recently. No boss understand or cares about this new -fangled web thing. They want paper. With pictures. And words that aren’t too long.

Of course you don’t just make one bit of paper, you make thousands. These arrive in a lorry and the person who ordered then has the delivery put in a cupboard. You see the trouble with paper, as opposed to the web, is distribution. It’s difficult, expensive and rarely included in the plan.

So, we were in a quango which had half a rainforest of paper to dispose of. I don’t know why but I wondered if the pile could be turned into papier machie and made into a life-size model of Mount Rushmore. It would be a nice tribute to the place.

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A seed begins to grow…

Candice: And so there we were minding our own business eaking out the last few days of work at said quango when the seed of an idea began to grow.  Really, could we write a book?  Bored of sending abusive emails across the office I started to write something about a love story started at university between two characters.  and so it began to flow…  Ear buds in and the brain went off into another world creating these character’s history and coming up with a perilous situation where their love might be challenged.  It was amazing how easy the ideas just came pouring out. 

The next day I sent it to Phil, who critiqued and then sent me something back – an opening chapter.  Oh hang on a minute, there was something going on here… there were genuine ideas and funny moments such that I had to stifle a giggle.  (hard to hide in a deathly quiet office of people doing bugger all due to the fact they had been canned.)

Perhaps this had legs…..

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In the beginning….

Phil: In the beginning there was the word. And the word was “We’re really sorry but you are closing down.”

Candice and I were working at a quango as contractors. The run up to the momentous news had been an election campaign during which none of us were allowed to publish anything. Since I worked on the web site, that had made for a pretty dull time. Then just as it looked like things would be getting back to normal, it was announced that we were to be the kindling for a “bonfire of the quangoes”.

This left the management of the place with a problem. We were all there. We were still getting paid. They had to work out what to do. And the board didn’t seem able to meet for at least a month. So we sat there. I mean it wasn’t like there was much point in doing anything. That nice new minister had said we weren’t required any more. Those on the permanent staff had a few meetings to go to run by the union to discuss the future. As part of the army of contract staff so we didn’t even have those to occupy or entertain us.

During lunchtime sitting with a couple of other contractors we started to chat about old jobs. Someone had worked for a “Change management” company. In fact it seemed that everywhere she had worked soon needed some change managing for them. We all joked that maybe we ought to start-up such a firm since we had at least one expert. After all, none of us had anything better to do at the time !

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Welcome to the nolanparker blog

Welcome to our blog. Here we will be doing our best to relate the tale of getting a book published. It’s not going to be easy – everyone thinks they have a book in them and quite a lot of them think that book should be in Waterstones.

Obviously this would be pretty dry on its own so there will be an exciting backstory explaining how someone from marketing and a nerdy bloke from IT managed to write something funny. So funny in fact that they thought people might actually be willing to pay to read it.

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Filed under Candice, Writing