Gazette column: Giving has to mean understanding, even if you disagree with Starbucks

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about a village shop in Almondsbury who have to pay capital tax and are not happy about it becuase Starbucks don’t pay. I say how if you’re going to give, you need to understand first.

 To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Should social enterprises pay tax? Or should tax be  left to the big corporations like Starbucks? Let me know.

**OUT THIS SATURDAY: My latest column for  Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo newspaper.  Catch the Weekend Magazine on their website link here**

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, um, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Diary of a hopeful author: Why evaluating is the grandfather of writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

Well, it’s all nearly over.  We’re a coming to Christmas and, writing wise, it’s time for me to fess up and tell you if a) I’ve hit my deadlines or b) I’ve not even come close. It’s kind of evaluating, if you will, how I’ve done and, most importantly, whether I’ve completed what I said I would (stay with me).

Evaluating is like the grandfather of writing. It sits in a corner of the room, grumbling and for the most part, you don’t notice he’s there until he pipes up something profound – or a profanity, which ever comes first. Evaluating is profound. When you evaluate your work and the effort you put in, you begin to realise things. Things about yourself, who you are, what makes you tick. Evaluating is the wise bit, the bit that you sit back and think, did I do a good job? It makes you assess what you do well, and what not so well, so that next time round you can apply it all and become even more awesome.

This week I’ve been evaluating a whole heap. I’ve looked at what I’ve done in 2012 writing wise and pondered if I’ve done a good job. It’s been scary. I took a massive punt at the start of the year, because back in January, I was working as a marketing consultant and a copywriter. I have always written. Always. That’s all I wanted to do. I was feeling low. I wanted to do a job I loved because, quite frankly, life’s too short to waste it. I didn’t mind marketing, I was pretty good at it, but it wasn’t enough.

And so, after a heart to heart with my other half, I decided to take a huge risk and throw all my delicate eggs into one writing basket. I was going to be a full-time writer. It’s been hard at times, but it’s been worth it. Hell yeah. On a whim, after a particularly low point, I thought, ‘Oh sod it,’ and stuck my book, The Boy Who Played Guitar, on Amazon and I nearly fell over when it started to sell and got great reviews. I bagged the Gazette column job, then the Citizen and Echo Weekend columnist gig. There’s been a bit of radio, some invites to cracking things. And then there’s the second book.

You may recall a few posts ago that I said I’d try and have the edit number one finished by Christmas. The 25th ain’t far now. Today, it’s 6 sleeps away. Six.  (Everything gets counted down in sleeps at our house. And that’s just by my husband.) So have I done it? Nearly. As we speak I have two – just two- chapters left to go. I’ll get one done today and that just leaves the last one for tomorrow. And then? I’VE FINISHED!! Pass me the sherry (that stuff like rocket fuel. No wonder the grannies love it.)

If I evaluate this all grandfather style, I’d say I guess I haven’t done so bad. But there’s so much more to do. New Year is all about fresh starts, and I think my 2013 will go for it. A book on the shelves, more newspaper work. Heck, a national would be great. Who knows. I do know it’s been hard work but heck if it’s not worth it.

I love this job. Love it. That’s my evaluation. My evaluation would come and pat me on the head, give me a hug and say keep going. Keep going. One to remember for us all come 2013. We gotta keep on going.

This is my last Wednesday post for 2012. Huge thanks for reading all my waffle this year – I am truly honoured. See you in 2013. Merry Sherry Christmas and a cracking New Year to you!  

Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog. This week I’m talking about  how if you’re trying to do good, a little pre-planning always help…**

My Citizen & Echo column: Why xmas decs are the guardians of fun

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

In my Weekend column on Saturday I waffle on about why christmas decorations are quite simply the guardians of fun. 

I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch me each week on the Citizen and Echo Weekend magazine website. There’s lots of other lovely weekend stuff on there, too. 

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday. 

What would your top 10 xmas wish list be? Come on, fess up.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Don’t let one wind tubine refusal stop them all

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about the wind turbine proposal in the Berkeley Vale, Gloucestershire, being refused permission to be erected and how this should not set a precident for future wind turbine projects. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Is it the right decision? Will this set a precident, one that will prevent all wind turbines from being built? Or should wind turbines not be erected at all? Let me know.

**OUT THIS SATURDAY: My latest column for  Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo newspaper.  Catch the Weekend Magazine on their website link here**

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, um, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

My Citizen & Echo column: My alternative top 10 xmas wish list

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

**As I got stuck in fog on a plane from Dublin in the early hours, my usual Wednesday Waffling post will be out next week. This column post, normally out on Monday, is  as delayed as my flight yesterday. Hence you only getting it today and not, you know, Monday. That’s winter weather for you.**

In my Weekend column on Saturday I banged out my alternative top 10 christmas wish list. Essential xmas reading…

I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch me each week on the Citizen and Echo Weekend magazine website. There’s lots of other lovely weekend stuff on there, too. 

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday. 

What would your top 10 xmas wish list be? Come on, fess up.

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Gazette column: Villages must allow new homes to be built

It’s “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my weekly Gazette newspaper column to my blog so you can have a read…

This week my column for the Gloucestershire Gazette is about how new villages, if they want to survive, must allow new homes to be built. To read it, simply click to my Column page.

What do you think? Should new homes be built in villages? Or are we building too much, and villages should be preserved? Let me know.

**OUT THIS SATURDAY: My latest column for  Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo newspaper.  Catch the Weekend Magazine on their website link here**

**Look out for  Wednesday Wafflings next, um, Wednesday, where I post the latest entry in My Diary of a Hopeful Author**

Diary of a hopeful author: How to keep on writing

It’s “Wednesday Wafflings” when I post the latest entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author…Photo of a Diary

I used to run a lot when I was a kid. Give me a road, and I’d be on it. I was a right Forrest Gump. I loved the feeling of being outside. The fact that we didn’t have a car might have had something to do with it, too. No car and friends living 7-miles into the next village, plus no buses. So I ran.

The good thing about all that running was stamina. I got it in the bucket load. I was like a Duracell bunny, going on forever, not running out of energy. I love a bit of stamina. It links arm in arm with its old pal, motivation, like two BFFs but only, well, cooler.  They’re a right old double act. Motivation gets us up and going, while stamina picks up where it left off and makes sure we keep moving forward.

This week I’ve been needing the two in spades. I am shattered. Cream crackered and in need of two weeks of sleep in one hit. But that ain’t going to happen any time soon.  Christmas is juggernauting its way to us all and with it a whole heap of preparation, pressie buying and workload shifting.

For me that means writing. Five columns. I wrote, last week, five columns in one day for my Weekend paper because, when I looked at all the deadlines and factored in Christmas and the fact that I want to spend time with my family, I just had to get it done. And that’s just for one paper. I haven’t started on the Gazette column deadlines yet. And then there’s the novel. 100k words it’s up to now. 100k! Not entirely sure how that happened, but I do know it needs editing. I’m now averaging on that 2 chapters a day – that’s 8,000 words – all to get it done by, yup, Christmas.

I was flagging, and then I gave myself a dose of motivation followed by a swift kick from stamina.  Alright, maybe there was some caffeine, too, but you get the idea. I want to finish this book edit. I have to. I just want to see how far it can go, that if, in the New Year, it will hit the shelves. That’s my motivation. It’s a dream, I guess, but it works.

My stamina – I’m not sure where it comes from. I get up at 5 every day while the family sleeps. I then write during the day, too, the columns, blogs, the novel, any other writing job that springs up. I think the stamina is connected to the motivation. When I was a kid, my motivation to run was so I could see my friends, and because I loved to run. The stamina came along with me because it had to – without it, no matter what motivation I had, I wouldn’t get there.

And so that’s been my week. Bleary eyes, LOTS of coffee, and a whole heap of writing and still more to go. But it’ll be okay, because I’m looking forward to Christmas when I can forget all about it and listen to our youngest belt out carols on her guitar. Yes, motivation comes in the form of Jingle Bells.

What’s your motivation?  Stamina? What keeps you writing when you feel like throwing in the towel?

 Out tomorrow “Thursday Thoughts” where I post my latest Gazette newspaper column to my blog. This week I’m talking about  why new homes must be built in villages…**

My Citizen & Echo column: Kate n Wills – the new Ken and Barbie

Welcome to “Monday is the new Saturday” where I pop the link to my Weekend magazine column ‘The Last Word’ from the Gloucestershire Citizen and Echo…

In my Weekend column on Saturday I talked about dolls, and specifically if the new Kate and Wills dolls are the real Ken and Barbie.

I’ve stuck the column on my Citizen column page here so you can have a read.

You can also catch me each week on the Citizen and Echo Weekend magazine website. There’s lots of other lovely weekend stuff on there, too. 

The Citizen & Echo Weekend magazine comes out every Saturday. 

Are Kate and Wills the new Ken and Barbie? Or do you prefer Sindy and Action man?

**Look out for Wednesday Wafflings on, um, Wednesday, where I post my weekly entry in my Diary of a Hopeful Author**