Jade and the Deva – Book One: Hidden Wings

Jade and the Deva…

One of the best book series I’ve ever had the pleasure of working on!


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Happy Reading!



To work, or not to work?

Crikey, it’s been a while since I made a post. That’s actually because I was working a lot. Too much, in fact, some might say (like the husband, kids, and occasionally the dog – his sad eyes and ears tell a tail [boom boom] of their own). Yes, that’s enough parentheses.

So as a freelance writer, how much is too much work? Well, I’ve taken some time off over the Christmas period, and though I’ve been kind of bored in one way, I’ve been revelling in spending time doing *normal things. I’ve read nearly six books since Christmas Day (would have been seven, but got slowed down by… you know… stuff), and I feel like I have some kind of control back over my life. But then I sit down and catch up on the small bits I have to do, and everyone goes to bed, and I twiddle my thumbs a bit, read a bit, channel flick and… hmph.

Am I missing having a challenge, or am I just conditioned to deadlines and worth ethics? Or is it even deeper than that? Am I tying my self-worth to my productivity as a writer and editor? I think of this latter after something the other half said about people tying themselves to their career. I guess as a working mum who took time out to study (MA) and then have children etc., getting back to work and making a success of it has its own challenges and rewards.

Yes, I like supporting the family (my husband is a student bum. Ok, so he’s a smarty farty PhD student, but still…), yes, I experience an overwhelming sense of satisfaction on creating something beautiful from words, from language… Yes, I enjoy the sensation of being both good and successful at what I do. And I think that’s ok; after more than two decades working at it, I think that’s fair trade-off. And wouldn’t anyone who is self-employed feel similarly satisfied (I draw the line at ‘smug’), on their own success and enjoyment of their job?

Clearly, I love my work. However, I would like to get back to my own work (I have two books – well, three really – to get stuck into)… And in the next few months, hopefully we won’t be relying so heavily on my income. So why do I feel I will still have a hard time stepping back from well paid work? I enjoy working with people and helping them craft something good… I enjoy the reward and satisfaction that brings… But I’m not sure that’s it. In one way, I guess my success is largely measured on my ability to bring in money, after all these years. And if I spend too much time on writing my own stuff, then that income is not guaranteed (or even likely, given the publishing industry).

Meh, would you like an article written? And would you like fries with that? After all… I do have an MA, so I’m qualified. 🙂


A Few Words for My Beloved Cat….

My arms are empty
My lap is bare
I wonder if you are where
The flowers bloom
The sun does shine
I wonder if you were ever mine
Or if you just passed by
A sleek cat in the night
I wonder about your eyes so bright
And how the lights dimmed down
When you were put to sleep
I wonder if you know how hard I weep
For you my dearest feline friend
And all your wondrous furry bliss
I wonder if you know how much I miss
Your quiet patters on the floor
The way you snuggled on my chest
I wonder did you know how blessed
We were to have you in our lives
You have been such a magical cat
I hope you truly understood that

You were profoundly loved, and adored
It was almost impossible to cut the cord.

Why literature can bridge divides…

Whilst working on a recent contract (the appraisal, and proofreading of – a wonderful manuscript compiled by the grand-daughter of a Polish Jew, who maintained an astonishing sense of humor in the face of severe adversity, particularly during the Russo-Japanese war of 1904) – it’s occurred to me that, regardless of religious background, or participation in war in a military capacity, and the great divide of nations, so many of us share the commonality of having been raised, through, and beyond, poverty and hardship. Many of us either are able to remember our grandparents who lived during the early 1900’s, or, perhaps if not remember them personally (or even getting the chance to meet them), are at least familiar with their (and therefore our own) history. Often this equates to hearing the stories through your parents, or uncles, or aunties. Sometimes, we’ve been lucky enough to hear them directly for ourselves from the source. Sometimes, it is actually the hardship of our own parents that is more pronounced, simply through being able to hear it discussed first hand.

This is why the art of Biography, Memoir, Autobiography and Creative Non-Fiction is so important. In general (at least in Western Society), the habit of verbal story telling, the Bard, the folk-tales around the fire, which was once so important – and in fact, the only means of passing on the history of a family or clan, or tribe – is now a dying art.

In those early twentieth century days – modern medicine had only just begun to achieve great results. Tuberculosis was still rife. My three year old aunty died of it, my grandfather died when my father was only four years old. My father and uncle themselves, were also threatened by TB.

As with other families, world over, my descendants resided in small confined spaces, and tried to get by as best they could. This involved, finally, my father leaving, and joining the Merchant Navy, aged 14.

So much of this manuscript – The Accidental Anarchist (Bryna Kranzler) – resonates with me personally. And I know it is going to resonate with so many people in the general public, Jewish, or otherwise.

We all face a certain amount of hardship, some more than others – and in modern western society – it is far more likely to be our forbears who have suffered more than ourselves. Whereas in less advantaged societies, third world countries etc – the stories are probably worse than those of my grandmother’s.

Though of course a huge function of the written word in book form, is entertainment, books can also inform and bridge a vast cultural divide… and make the world a smaller place.

Next time… not so serious. 🙂 Moving on to exciting fiction.


Thankfully there are clients out there who don’t want monkeys….

And therefore, don’t want to pay peanuts…. Regardless of my previous (and so true) blog entry.

Since my last large substantive editing job, working for a wonderful client, with wonderful subject matter… I’ve fulfilled a contract for a Maid of Honor Speech –
which was fun, if not pithy, and turned down two contracts, one of which I couldn’t make sense of (trying to avoid the words ‘stupid client’ oops…), the other I had minimal interest in.
The latter, however, was really put on hold, because I had been put on hold for a very large (indeed, financially) celebrity ghostwriting contract – shortlisted, one of three. Needless to say, I have heard nothing as yet.

But! I am about to start doing an appraisal on a lengthy 100k manuscript – subject matter oh so interesting – great client and not offering peanuts. 🙂
I do find it interesting that I’ve gone from Catholic Priests, to Polish Jews. 🙂 Both fabulous – I love it!

I am also thrilled to be able to help out a friend with some press releases. So, things are, as ever, heading onwards and upwards.
Some people value integrity and quality, and understand worth better than others. It is them that make this world a richer place. 🙂

Do you want fries with that?

Do you want fries with that?

Apparently, having an MA in Professional Writing qualifies me to… serve burgers.

Oh. Wait. Burger servers actually get paid more per hour, than some people would
like to pay to professional, qualified writers, for in depth writing and editing work.

The age of the internet does, in fact, have a lot to answer for. Of course it also has so many benefits, that perhaps the point is moot.

Still, it never ceases to amaze me, how many people would like to pay $2 per 500 word
article x 50. Granted, they don’t care if the provider’s credentials come from the back of a cereal box. Or indeed, are self written on a roll of toilet paper.
I would claim it was insulting, if I actually took it seriously enough to be insulted. Life’s too short for that.
After all, they will be getting what they pay for. Which probably equates to shit on toilet paper.

As I say… Would you like fries with that?

I am not a Spice Girl!

I am not, nor have I ever been, a member of the Spice Girls, Touch, or any other incarnation thereof.

Lord knows where, and how, this spurious rumor originated.

Yes, upon submission of my vocal tape, CV and headshot – I was shortlisted and invited to audition.
BUT, I did not GO to the audition. I cancelled it, because I thought it sounded like a lot of commercial rubbish. Do I regret that decision? Not on your Nelly. I was so right. 🙂

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