Friday, 31 October 2008


Today I needed cheering up. Cold weather, thoughts of winter coming, always makes me fed up. So I re-read the feedback sheets about the talk I did at work last Saturday on 'Psychiatry: a former user's perspective'. I actually liked giving the presentation. My nerves disappeared soon as I got started and it seems to have gone down well. I got a phone call from the publicity officer at my publisher. She wants me to write articles for newspapers and magazines. I might 'lift' some of my talk where appropriate. Well, I can't plagiarise from my own work, can I?

I'm aware I've been neglecting my blog. I'm so busy at the moment. The editing was endless but I packed it in and sent my manuscript back to my publisher when I realised I was doing what Oscar Wilde says in this quote:

'I was working on the proof of one of my poems all morning, and took a comma out. In the afternoon I put it back again.'

I've got a busy day ahead tomorrow, helping with a training class at work. We're going to look at 'Suicide' (oh dear, that'll cheer me up, won't it?). But tonight I've got something good to look forward to. I've received my copy of 'The Yellow Room' magazine, the first issue of a women's literary fiction mag published by Jo Derrick (formerly Jo Good who used to publish and edit QWF). I've missed my QWFs, and I'm looking forward to the same high standard of stories in this new mag. I'm about to curl up in front of the fire to read it. What better way is there to spend a cold autumn evening?

Friday, 24 October 2008

Learning To Talk

A long time ago, or so it now seems, when I was still flushed with my success of giving a two-minute impromptu talk at my local Speakers Club, I approached my manager at work and volunteered (who? me?) to give a talk at the next training meeting. My talk was arranged for Saturday 25th October, which seemed a comfortable way off. But how time flies. Eeeek!! It's tomorrow.

Anyway, I've prepared it: sorted out my prompt cards, extracts, flip chart, and hand-outs. Today I presented it in front of Ian. The practice went well. It took forty minutes. That's OK as my manager said I've got up to an hour (including time at the end for questions and comments).

The title of my talk is 'Psychiatry: a former user's perspective.' Watch this space.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

My Book Cover

My book cover shows teenage mini-skirted me. That's how I looked in 1968 at the start of my psychiatric treatment which lasted five years. I'm really pleased with the cover, but... Now I find that when I proudly show it around, I often get the reaction: 'Oh, what a lovely photo!' and then they spoil it all by adding: 'Is that really you? I wouldn't have known!' So now I'm wondering if when I give talks to people who've only seen the cover, they'll have been expecting a pretty young woman to turn up. Well, sorry to disappoint, but it was a long time ago.

I did intend to put a picture of my cover at the start of this blog entry from the 'My Pictures' folder on my computer. But, after farting about for ages, it seems I still haven't got the hang of how to do it. Sorry about that, I'll figure it out later.

Thursday, 9 October 2008


My manuscript has come back from the copy-editor with lots of annotations on it, and a typed list of 'Editorial Queries'. Although they're fairly minor things, there's quite a lot for me to do. This is what's keeping me quiet at the moment. I'll be back to blogging soon.