It's been a long week. And today, Friday, has been "anxious day". After 3 days in a training course, I now have a long list of things to catch up on, things to do, payments to make, assignments to mark, cats to kick (oops, didn't mean that, but if they don't stop bugging me for food ... grocery shopping is on the catch-up list). I hate feeling like this because what it does, more than anything, is stop me writing. I get so twitchy about THE LIST that writing drops right to the bottom of it. But nevertheless, a major item was a final little polish on a manuscript that I was supposed to email to an editor, so I made it the priority. And it's done. And I feel better now.
I've mentioned Clive James here before - he seems to be the most quotable person around at the moment. His latest quote was about critics. He was actually quoting Miles Davis, who said, "If I don't like what they say, I climb into my Ferrari and drive away." Obviously Mr Davis can afford a Ferrari, as probably can Mr James. I tend to imagine climbing into our old Holden Ute, cranking over the engine a few times, despairing at its failure to fire, finally getting it going and then hitting the gatepost on my way out of the driveway. Doesn't quite have the same ring, does it?
A few months ago, I added a couple of new blogs to my regular reading (I had to, since Miss Snark retired), and one is Paperback Writer, aka Lynn Viehl. She has a great blog with lots of extras - in particular, links to useful free software for writers - but she also runs a few competitions. The kind where you can post a comment and be in the hat for a prize. I was lucky to win a book a few weeks ago, and even luckier when she said it was no problem to post it OS to me. I have dipped into several times already, and it's a goodie. "The New Writer's Handbook" edited by Philip Martin (Scarletta Press). It even has poems in it, and the piece on how many writers does it take to change a lightbulb is funny. The book is a combination of how-to-craft and how-to-keep-going articles, and I'm looking forward to reading more.
I also like A Newbie's Guide to Publishing by J.A. Konrath. He's posted some interesting stuff recently (and before that too) about branding and marketing, from the point of view of someone who's tried all kinds of things. His posts are straightforward, no-nonsense, and very informative.
The internet often leads you places you hadn't quite expected to go. I thought I'd see if my old high school in New Zealand has a website, and it does, but it also has a link to one of those sites where you can find old schoolfriends. So I took a look. It was fascinating, because all the people I had expected to be on a site like that, weren't, and a number of people I never would have thought would sign up, had. My school is having a 50 year reunion in 2008. That is a scary thought.