Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Friendly Blogger Award

A big thank you to Rosemary Gemmell who has awarded me this cute green smiley award. Rosemary is a very busy lady, but always finds time to be supportive and encouraging. If you don't already, please follow Rosemary's blog! You won't be sorry.

Having happily received my Friendly Blogger Award, I now have to pass it on to people I deem to be friendly! Actually there are too many to mention, but the lovely friends below regularly comment on my posts. So...*drum roll*... I award this smiley face to,

Avril Joy I met lovely Avril at The London Book Fair, and we've been in touch for advice and support ever since. We both share the same literary agent and dreams of publication.

Kay Kay is a lovely friend from twitter. She's always just a little tweet away!

Keith Havers Keith attends my writing group in Nottingham. He's a talented writer and very supportive of my blog.

Maria Smith Maria is a lovely friend from twitter who I've meet up with for coffee and cake. It's good to have a friend to discuss our writing ups and downs with, over a few (hundred) calories!

Megan Taylor Megan was very welcoming when I first joined Nottingham Writers' Studio and continues to support my blog. She is a gifted writer, guests at literary events around Nottingham and has successful novels published.

Pam Pam is a gorgeous lady who runs The Broadway Book Club. She's a prolific reader and shares her knowledge with us at the book club. Visit her blog if you'd like to know more.

Carol Bevitt Carol is also a Nottingham Writers' Club friend and sits on the commmittee with me. Her blog is always entertaining as she shares her writing ambitions with her followers.

Thank you all once again for the support and friendship you have shown me.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Out With The Old...

It's been a stressful week and my new computer relationship isn't working out. At the moment it's not a happy one.

Having returned from a wonderful holiday visiting my sister in California, I was looking forward to knuckling down to my novel. Firstly I was going to write a blog post about my visit, as I hadn't seen my sister in five years.

Have you seen that advert on television - the one with the "noooooo" face, when your computer 'does one?' Well, no sooner had I'd laughed at the advert, than I was making my own "noooooo" face!

The mouse arrow locked, the key pad didn't work and I was stuck. Of course I tried the famous tried and tested cure-all. I switched the computer off and on again. But no. My mouse had squeaked its last and my keyboard didn't respond to desperate begging.

Having run the Toshiba help line, which cost a fortune per minute, it was recommended that I have my data recovered. What about me? I needed to recover too! Then I realised he meant that it needed saving onto a hard drive.

This is where I hide in shame and you tut at me. It had been about six weeks since I'd saved my work. (sounds like I'm back in the confessional box) I know, I know! It's my own fault. I broke the golden rule. But how many of us finish a few hundred words and put the kettle on? Or someone calls you from another room. I just got out of the habit, and as is always the case, the best lessons are learnt from mistakes.

Having got a quote from a recovery service who said I had to POST my computer to them for a fee of £200, I decided to go to my local PC World. Well they were wonderful, or at least a young man called Steve was. He calmly explained that if I a bought a cheap hard drive, he'd recover my work, if it was possible!!

If it was possible??? It hadn't occurred to me that it wouldn't be possible. I think I frightened him with my "noooooo" face again! I had a novel, half a new novel, poetry, short stories, photographs....well you know what we writers have on our computers. I didn't have a choice. I had to trust him and leave my years of work in his hands. The twinge I got when I walked out of the store was similar to the feeling I got when I left my children at nursery for the first time when they were four. Could others care for something that is precious to me, as carefully as I do?

Don't you just hate it when someone says they've got good news and bad news for you? Do you take the good news and run so you don't have to hear the bad? Do you hear the bad first and hope the good out-weighs it?

I asked for the good news. He'd saved all my data! Hooray! What could possily be bad after that?

The bad news was that it would cost almost as much to fix my three year old laptop as it would to buy a new one. AND it would have to be sent away so I couldn't write, tweet, blog etc for a week. I can't say it was an easy decision to say good-bye to my tired Toshiba. I knew his idiosyncrasies, I knew what buttons to push and was comfortable in his company. Now I have a shiny new Dell. I haven't got to know him yet and I'm still a bit wary. He makes strange noises, has different buttons, feels different and I think he's a bit domineering. I suppose we just need to spend some time together and get to know each other.

One thing he hasn't got that my old computer had.


Not a bean. Just dull pictures of flowers which he gave me as a gift when I bought him. I clicked on 'photos' and there they were. Drooping and glaring at me in a too-bright-yellow. Where were my precious family photographs? My holiday photographs? Hundreds of them. Then I thought that my old computer must have held onto them as a desperate bid to take him back. (I really wish I didn't give objects anthropomorphic qualities. It just makes life more stressful and guilt-ridden.)

Should I encourage my old and new computers to connect and work together in harmony - sharing the photos? Or do you think I should get a solicitor involved?

I think I'll go back to Steve at PC World!