Tuesday, 10 January 2012

How to tell if you are a writer

Do you find yourself wandering off during conversations?

Do you have pens and paper everywhere around your home, including in the loo?

Do you find yourself writing on anything you can find, like toilet roll, napkins and even your arm?

Do you find yourself experiencing lost time because you're so immersed in you writing?
Do you wander off during conversations because you've come up with a new plot idea?
Do you use your mobile phone as a mobile word processor - as I'm doing when I'm writing this?
Then you must be a writer.
A writer is someone who is compelled to write whether they've been published or not.

Monday, 9 January 2012

The angry writer

I said 'I need a picture of an angry lady, not an angry baby.' Oh well, this will have to do.

Instead of doing New Year’s resolutions that I’ll probably break anyway, I thought I’d take this time to reflect upon the bane of many folk’s lives – crap customer service from so called big name companies. The kind of stuff that takes you away from writing.

Bit late you might think to mention New Year’s resolutions. But there’s a reason for that. Well two reasons.

I’ve been without the Internet for over a month.

The first and most important reason for that is BT. The letters used to stand for British Telecom. Now the T stands for terrible service and the B stands for what they used to nastily refer to children without fathers.

You see, in the modern era, the once great BT can’t put a telephone in my new flat for over a month. That means NO landline (which concerns me greatly as my dad has bone cancer and mobile phones aren’t 100 percent reliable) and NO internet.

There’s a phone line in my property, but it’s ‘the wrong kind’ of phone line apparently. If you don’t come from the UK, you won’t know this, but ‘the wrong kind’ is a phrase they trot out whenever things don’t work like the trains. Hence the reason the trains aren’t running is because there are ‘the wrong kind of leaves on the line.’

To go online, I would have used one of the handful of dongles I bought that supposedly will allow me to us mobile broadband, but none of them get a signal decent enough to take less than 20 minutes to load a web page full of rubbish ads and pathetic pictures.

Next on my hitlist is Orange. Why is it so difficult to speak to someone in customer service who doesn’t mangle the English language (I’m talking about British people, here)/sound like they have nasal congestion/thinks because you have a Scottish accent you are speaking Swahili. Apologies to anyone who speaks Swahili. I’ve heard it’s a beautiful language.  

After ten minutes of trying to get the person to understand my flat number – It’s 10E – I finally gave up. Decided to do it online using my phone.  

I had a lot of fun trying to put some money on my Orange phone on New Year’s day. Shops were shut. ATM Machine not one you can put money on your phone with. New credit card because someone tried to tan (use it on a spending spree) just before Christmas, so couldn’t top up the normal way. (Cheers, mate – hope you end up with a turkey rammed up your jacksy.)

As for the sick, perverted monster who invented Captacha (had to use that in a vain attempt to top up my account online), is it just me, or are the letters, numbers and occasional punctuation just a load of rubbish mashed the together that the human eye can barely see?

Footnote – I thought no Internet or phone line was bad enough, until the January storms came and with it went the electricity for THREE DAYS. With temperatures below zero in our home on an island, it was warmer outside.

On the plus side, I got to experience first hand what it would be like to live after a zombie apocalypse with no electricity, which came in very useful when writing Deid Bastards.

DI Duncan Waddell - Detective in a Coma Book 2

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