Tag Archives: rant

Everyone is allowed an opinion, aren’t they?

Candice: If I’d written this post yesterday there would be a lot of expletives.  I was fuming from being bitch slapped by the breastfeeding mom nazis.  (That’s the polite version on my feelings)

I won’t go into detail but I now have an insight into why Daisy Waugh wrote the book I am currently dipping into, the one that Phil managed to get a signed copy for me.  It’s called – ‘ I don’t know why she bothers’.  I gave an opinion on something, advice I’d been passed by another mother and was pretty much told I was a bad mother for saying it.

I’m not going to review it now as I haven’t read it all yet.  I’m dipping into sections as I come across them with Erin’s development so I’ll be reading it for years.

But that, and the situation yesterday, made me think.  I, unfortunately, can come across as bossy and a bit of a know it all when it comes to life.  I’ve done a few things, travelled to a few places and have some life experience.  So when someone offers something I can add an opinion to, I often do.  However, this has caught me out a few times as people take offence and think I am trying to teach them something, though I am only trying to help.

Sometimes I just wish I could shut my trap, but I can’t help it when I see people who are in the wrong, be that driving in the middle lane of the motorway, queue jumping in a shop or making life hard for themselves as the world has convinced them that it makes them a bad mom to do it any other way.  My other half is worse on the driving gesticulation front though!

Phil and I have been to numerous events over the years about how to write.  They have been informative, useful and generally given us a few pointers (and helped us pick up some writing buddies) but they don’t have the panacea for getting that book published.

Just yesterday we got some positive feedback on the book, but in a rejection email, so we are still plugging away at it like everyone else.  But we’d like to think that a few pointers here and there can help along the way.

But I think sometimes people take everything they read on the web as gospel.  The internet can be extremely helpful but also your worst enemy, whether you are looking for ways to make a six-week old baby sleep, or ways to get your book published.  Too much information!

So I hope you like our musing on the blog but people, don’t feel that this is the be all and end all.  And when we do get published, certainly buy our books and attend our events when we talk about how to get published, but don’t forget to do it your own way.

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Will famous people please step away from the keyboard. Thank You.

I used to be a local radio DJPhil: Some people have suggested that being famous doesn’t make it easier to get a book published. Presumably those same people are so stupid that they can’t work out how to eat or have just been discharged from a jury.

Of course it’s easier to be published if you are famous. Publishing is a business and if you want to sell units to a celebrity obsessed public, then you comb the pages of Now/Hello/OK and pick your writers from the “bikini bodies” section. Lets’ face it, Martine McCutcheon wrote a book and she’s not even clever enough to remember that everyone has to pay taxes, or at least find a good accountant who can provide a good reason that you don’t.

Anyway, my ire is raised by spotting a couple of things in the media recently.

1 – Frank Lampard has signed a 5 book deal to write a series for children called “Frankie’s Magic Football”.

Now, I’ll admit to knowing nothing about football. I never got picked for a team at school, being the leftover who just joined the team that hadn’t picked last. From there it was a position in defence, or hanging around nowhere near the ball, as it was probably better termed. Still, I did my research and looked up Mr Lampard’s Wikipedia entry (Yes it IS research, you think the BBC/ITN/Sky reporters do any more than this?). Sadly, the page goes on forever and I couldn’t be bothered to read it.

At the end, it appears he has an A* in Latin. Assuming this is accurate (it’s Wikipedia remember) then he might be better placed to be the new Pope since it’s the only job that requires a working knowledge of the language. The Catholic church might even benefit from a bit of star status. What we can be pretty sure of is that the books will not appear in Latin. I don’t care how desperate the publishers are, lines are drawn and it doesn’t matter what words are on the page, as long as they are in English.

Anyway, Frank has bagged a deal to write children’s books about a footballer called “Frankie”. I know you are supposed to write what you know but this is ridiculous. The cynic in me suspects that the illustrator  is under strict instructions that “Frankie” must look a lot like Frank.

2 – Richard Hammond is a judge for a short story competition.

OK, lets start with I watch Top Gear and think “The hamster” is a fine presenter. Not as good as James May, but pretty good. He’s also smart enough to milk his popularity for all it’s worth, hence the BBC being full of shows that start with his name. It’s also good that the BBC is running a short story competition for kids. On Radio 2 amusingly, so for middle-class kids who don’t like an endless diet of R’n’B from Radio 1.

But, there are real writers on the panel: Dame Jacqueline Wilson and Charlie Higson for a start. Hammond is there for no other reason than the competition needs Celebrity. Presumably someone in the Beeb thought, “No one will enter if we don’t have a famous face involved.” and hit the Hammond speed dial. He worked out it wasn’t going to take much time (teachers and librarians are being asked to do the first sift to create a shortlist – for free) and would add a bit of gravitas to the CV. And that a shed-load of money would be heading his way for a quick voiceover.

Look – I understand the marketing advantages of a famous face, but I’m still bitter OK?

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A rant on house buying

Candice: I’m going to go slightly off piste with today’s post, only because this subject has been occupying me for the last three months and it all came to a rather abrupt end last week.

August – put house on market, October – accept offer on house, November – have offer accepted on another house,December – apply for mortgage.  This is when things started to go somewhat awry.

I’m self employed, and in the current world of risk averse banking, that means I am a risk that some mortgage providers don’t want to take.  Fine, so I’ll find someone who will.

December 19 – apply for another mortgage via IFA.

Enjoy Christmas break….

January – spend whole month going back and forth with mortgage company and accountant. “Can we have your books in triplicate, signed by the Queen, and from 1787 onwards.”  Eventually supply everything after many phonecalls and lots of swearing.

Mid January – “You must complete by Jan 31st else we wont buy your house.”  OK, ultimatum from buyers as looks like we are dragging our feet.  However, house we want to buy is going through Probate and they have been late applying.  “You must sort Probate before Jan 31st, else we want compensation.”

January 21st, “Bugger off we’ll sort Probate out when we feel like it.”  Mad dash of trying to find a rental property so we don’t lose our sale.  “Sorry, we don’t take cats.”

Finally, we gave up after many tears and heart break, and me feeling like the world was falling apart as we tried to keep it all together to maintain the chain.

Is it me or if the English house buying process a bit f*cked up.  Where else can you spend thousands on searches and surveys and then it fall apart at the last hurdle?

I’m sure I’ll find a story in here somewhere but at the moment it is all too raw.

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