Wimbledon, and am I too much of a feminist?

I do agree with Lucie, but I would go a step further.

There is no doubt in MY mind that my sister, Kim, is the greatest tennins player ever. After all, she beat me when I was about eleven and she would have been nine. Neither Roger Federer nor Billie-Jean King has ever beaten me, so Kim is obviously much better than either of them!

Just saying!

Lucie Muses

So, Wimbledon is over for this year. Wimbledon

I watched both finals with both being only competitive in first set. I also watched the almost hysterical revelation of Roger Federer by the British media.

Yes, he is a great champion. Yes, he played beautifully. But Greatest of all times? Nope, not in my eyes. That is a comparison difficult to make.

Just watch the You Tube videos of some old matches like this:


Good, ha?

I also feel that we should stop saying that this is the best tennis record – 8th Wimbledon singles title, and 18 grand slam singles titles. Yes, but how about Martina Navratilova with 9 Wimbledon singles titles and also 18th singles grand slam titles?  I just watch her, age 60 in Ladies invitational doubles. She won. Still playing brilliantly. And what about all those women who have more grand slam titles than Roger…

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My First Yoga Session

This evening, I attended my first ever yoga session, led by Stacey, at the Augusta Park Community Centre in Andover. From the start, she made it clear that we should concentrate more on our breathing than on the poses, and that we should not over-extend ourselves. Easier said than done!

I followed her guidance for perhaps two-thirds of the session, but it became more difficult and the classmoved on. I also felt strangely unbalanced at times, as if I was inventing a new class of wonky yoga. I sweated a lot. Probably much more than anybody else in the room. Quietly, I giggled, internally, at my efforts to keep up. My contortions were doubled as I attempted to twist my poses to see what Stacey was doing and, by implication, what I was SUPPOSED to be doing.

Anyway, I enjoyed the session immensley and look forward to many more. I have MUCH room for improvement, which I view as a positive. I can challenge myself to get better with every session, and I am sure that I shall do so.

Stacey is a good leader and what she tells us maes a lot of sense.

The people who were practicing close to me, Amy and Debbie, were very encouraging.

I’ll be returning next Thursday, and for many more Thursdays and, maybe Mondays, to come.


Starting new classes in Andover this week means there are quite a few yogis-to-be who will be attending their very first ever Yoga class. Although this can be exciting, it’s natural to be a bit nervous when trying something new. With that in mind, I wanted to share some thoughts about starting your yoga journey.Everyone starts somewhere!…

via First Class Nerves…

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GoodReads and Me 2 – Change is in progress

I am totally with Jo on this. I have been a member of Goodreads for many years and I have loved it. I love the friendships that I have formed over the years, the reviews that I’ve read, sharing my own reviews and news and the vibrancy of the groups to which I belong.

However, each change that comes along make me love Goodreads less.

I’ve decided to stick with it for now, mainly because of the encouragement that I have had from my GR friends, but I don’t know for how much longer.

Copying and pasting reviews has its limitations, as Jo points out in this article. The change, in my opinion, is inconsiderate to the millions of Goodreads members.

Jo Thinks & Writes

You may have seen my post about my experiences with GoodReads and how much I love the site that I posted a few days ago. (If not, you can check it out here).

I spent a good while gushing about how great it was and that one of the best things about the site was that I got to automatically publish my reviews from GoodReads, straight onto my WordPress blog.

Over the weekend, I checked my emails as I normally do, and noticed one from GoodReads that wasn’t the standard email update that I receive. Opening it and reading it, my heart sank. GoodReads had contacted me let me know that as of the 12th July 2017, they were no longer going to be integrated with WordPress. I would no longer be able to auto-publish my reviews.


Whilst I understand that technology changes and things move forward, I am not…

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Cara Bristol’s 8-Year Authorversary

Some great advice from an author who has been through the mill

Read the original article here

For my 8-year authorversary: 12 Truths About Publishing

by Cara Bristol

Eight years ago this month, I received my first book contract! Intimate Submission was accepted by Black Velvet Seductions, which kicked off my publishing career. Since then, I’ve published more than 30 books, worked with five different publishers, went Indie, changed genres, and hit the USA Today Bestseller list.

Publishing used to be a stodgy, “traditional” enterprise. No longer. Dynamic is the new paradigm. Nothing is the same as it was eight years ago. What I used to do then, wouldn’t work now. Many opportunities available to authors today didn’t exist in 2009, and some that used to be available no longer are.

If you’re just embarking on your writing career or if you’ve published a few books, for what it’s worth, I’d like to offer 12 tips to help you on your journey to becoming a successful author.

  1. Do what works. Well, duh. No brainer, right? But it’s a more complex than that. If your writing or marketing differs from what everyone else is doing, but it’s working, keep doing it! If everyone is writing billionaire dragon shifter secret baby stories but your Regency romances are selling like hotcakes, keep writing Regency! I know many successful author friends who write the same book over and over. With each “new” release, I think, “that’s the same damn story.” But you know what? They’ve tapped into a fanbase, and they’re killing it. Don’t knock what works, whatever it is. It’s a gift. Take it and run with it.
  2. Take a long-term view.  A publishing career is not about how many books you can sell today; it’s about how many books you can sell in a year, five years, ten years. It means you may be better served to employ a marketing strategy that may not make you money now—or even may cost you money—to reap bigger rewards later. Taking the long-term view means you need to consider what type of book you write, your branding, your platform, your online presence, the total package. Can you build a career out of what you’re writing?
  3. Make business decisions. Writing full-time or even part-time is different from writing as a hobby. When it’s your business, your career, you can’t only do the “the fun stuff.” You can’t just write when you feel inspired. At your day job, you don’t get to go work and do whatever you feel like doing—you have to serve your boss, the company, and/or the customer if you expect to collect a paycheck. Ditto in publishing. The market is your boss. You need to treat writing like a business, because it is.
  4. Give a strategy time to work. It takes years to grow a following. It can take time for a promotional campaign to pay off. Many things you do now will have an effect later. Don’t dig up the tree before it can bear fruit. Similarly, if a venture starts to show promise, this is not the time to switch gears and try something new!
  5. Genre hopping will hurt you. The most successful authors I know pick a genre (or two) and commit to it. This allows them to grow their readership. They don’t write “a little bit of everything.” They focus. Writing whatever strikes your fancy at the moment is fine if writing is a hobby, but self-indulgence does not sell books.
  6. Stop doing what isn’t working. The time, energy, money, resources you spend on tasks that don’t pan out could be spent on something that does. Learn when to let go and try something else. Sometimes a strategy/tactic/plan that used to work (maybe even for a long time), stops working. Accept reality and move on.
  7. Failure happens. You will fail. It hurts (emotionally and financially), but it’s not the end of the world. Not everything you do will pan out. Even after achieving success, you will experience some failure. A bestselling book can be followed by one that tanks. Sometimes failure results from something you did or didn’t do, but other times it is caused by bum fuck bad luck. If it is your fault, learn from it. Don’t make that mistake again. If it’s not your fault, cry, then pick yourself up, and march on. If you are repeatedly failing, that is not bum fuck bad luck. Refer to point no. 6.
  8. If (a big if) there is a shortcut to success, it is this: write what is already selling. Editors and publishers at writing conferences will tell you to write something “different,” “fresh,” “unique.” My hashtag: #bullshit. [Not all, but most] readers don’t want different, they want what they like. Publishers want what readers will buy. “Send us something fresh” is a holdover from traditional publishing days when it could take 2-4 years from the time you finished a manuscript until you secured an agent, then a publisher, and the book hit the bookstores. In that time span, red hot could turn stone cold, so trying to catch a trend was pointless. Nowadays, an ebook publisher can have your book on Amazon in 2-6 months, and an Indie can have it live within 24 hours of typing “the end.” Plenty of time to catch the trend! Am I saying that rehashing what’s already been done is what you should do? No. But if you’re looking for a shortcut, this is it. (Maybe).
  9. Your readers are unique to you. As I’ve mentioned, it takes time to develop a fanbase. Focusing on a genre helps, but in the end, your fans are readers who like the books you write. What you write or how you write strikes a chord within them. There is chemistry between author and reader. Your fans are worth their weight in gold. Cherish them.
  10. Pack up and leave your comfort zone. Don’t let fear make your decisions. Don’t avoid a venture because you’ve never done it before. Be afraid and do it anyway. Do it because it’s a sound business decision.
  11. Keep your ear to the ground. You can’t just hide out in your writing cave. Remember, the market changes. You need to be able to alter course if necessary, so stay informed of what’s happening in the industry, what other authors are doing, what the book trends are, etc. That doesn’t mean you jump on everything that comes your way, but you need to be aware of it. Don’t be the last one to catch the train.
  12. Pay it forward!!! Support your fellow authors. Buy their books. Review their books. Share their releases and successes with your followers. I can’t tell you how many opportunities have come my way because of friendships with other authors. It takes a village to build a successful writing career, and your fellow authors are your village.

I hope that you enjoyed this article and got as much out of it as I did.

For more information about Cara and her work as an author of science fiction romance, visit her website here.

Please also, if you haven’t done so already, take a few moments out of your day to read about my first two novels, Eleven Miles and Knitting Can Walk.

You may wish to follow me on Twitter at @lancegmitchell and on my Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/lance.greenfield.37.

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A day in the life of Agent X

Wow! This very well written piece brings home the pressures that are on an agent. It must be quite overwhelming at times.

I really want to find an agent, and subsequently a publisher, for my next novel. As this article points out, pushing sales is very difficult for the self-published, and I am quite proud that I’ve made it to over 600 copies sold of my first novel, “Eleven Miles.” Even though I get great reviews for this book, it takes a lot of effort to sell each copy. If I can get myself a good agent for the next one, life should be easier; in theory.

I’ve got a copy of the Writers and Artists Yearbook 2017 sitting on my shelves, but even when one is so well equipped, it is difficult to get the hunt started.

Reading Jessica’s article has worried me even more. I can see another perspective on this and I am beginning to wonder if I should add to the obvious burdens that these agent carry by pushing my writing their way. But I suppose that’s what they are there for.

By the way, I love the title of this blog post! Thank you Jessica.


Agent X stretched after a poor night’s sleep. She really ought to get more exercise…spend less time staring at screens…eat more sensibly.

But a new day beckoned. She had a fascinating submission to read – she’d requested the full ms after tearing through the first three chapters and was looking forward to finding out what happened next. She wasn’t entirely sure how to place it, but the writing was so good and the premise so original, she was expecting competitive bids from several publishers. If, of course, another agent didn’t snap it up first, like the author she’d been slightly too slow to respond to last year who ended up with a six figure advance.

Agent 4Her existing authors were clamouring too. There might be answers to their questions among the 112 new emails in her inbox. She made coffee, cut a crisp pear into safely unsticky wedges and took them…

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Review: Diabetes Recipes From Around The World

Diabetes Recipes From Around The World
Diabetes Recipes From Around The World by Jane Frank

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is an absolutely brilliant recipe book; totally packed with excellent information.

On the (slightly) down side, there are less pictures in this book than any other recipe book that I have ever seen. Infact, there are only four pictures in the entire 167 page volume, and these all appear on the front and back cover as well as being hidden away between those covers.

However, the lack of mouth-watering images does not detract from the content of this book. In fact, such images could be distracting and make one feel inferior whilst failing to reproduce such perfect dishes.

The there are over 100 recipes from, as the title implies, all over the world. There is something to tempt every palate here, and the variety of dishes encourages one to explore new territories.

There is a twenty page introduction to the book, which is very well worth reading, particularly if you have been recently diagnosed. It goes through the symptoms, the differences between type 1 and 2 diabetes, explains GI and GL, tells you how you can still have an exciting and varied diet, possibly even more exciting and varied than you were consuming before your diagnosis, all the food classes to enjoy and to look out for, and even gives you advice about eating out and snacking.

The recipes all look fairly easy to prepare. They have notes from the author about how she and her family discovered them and how they can be varied to suit your tastes. They also have very useful information about calorific value, fat, carbohydrate and sugar content, and protein and dietary fibre content, for every dish. All of these factors are important to people who wish to eath healthily whether you are diabetic or not.

Finally, there are a number of great lists at the end of the book. There are suggested shoppiing lists, GL and GI content tables for manyh foods and drinks, and some useful addresses. Sadly, for the international readership, the addresses are mainly in UK, but the internet is a wonderful thing, and you are bound to find equivalent shops and organisations in your own country.

All in all, this is a superb book, and I would recommend it to everyone who would like to eat healthily and still enjoy their food. It is not exclusively for diabetics!

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How To Monetise Your Blog

Suzie Speaks

How to use a blog to make money

A little while ago I gave a presentation at the Annual Bloggers Bash in London with the focus being on monetising a blog and using a blog to make money in other creative and writing fields. Since then, I’ve received numerous requests to post the content of my presentation for those who were unable to attend, so here it is (hopefully with a little less waffle)…

Having a blog has been a life-changing experience. It has allowed me a lifestyle that I could have only previously dreamed of and enabled me to take more control of when and where I work and who I work for. Four-and-a-half years ago I was working as a teacher, I had an outstanding reputation and good results and was in a financially stable and secure role… And I was miserable – stressed, tired, depressed and had started to develop panic attacks. Writing has always…

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