Sunday, 6 December 2009

Money Well Spent

In the post yesterday I had a reminder from Writers' Forum that my subscription has now ended. Will I be renewing it? Is it cold at the South Pole?

I was going to say the latest issue is a particularly good one, but then I could say that about every issue. There’s an interview with Cally Taylor by Helen Hunt and we see Glynis Scrivens in her (gorgeous) writing place.

I was going to go through the magazine piece by piece, but it’s all so good. Olivia Ryan’s article about using a pseudonym, Sally’s competition pages, a new Book Deal or Bust, Lynda Lewis’s terrific column. And I haven’t even read everything in it yet.

And Della has a new Toolshed, this time one for people trying to make the transition from short stories to novels. This is particularly relevant to me because it’s something I find very difficult. Fifteen, maybe even ten years ago, I could rattle off hundreds of short stories and at least two novels a year.

Not that the novels were ever publishable. I was too keen to get onto the next project and wasn’t interested in polishing and refining my work. All I wanted was to get it all out of my system and onto the page so that I could move on.

Anyway back to the here and now, I do exactly what Della says in her Toolshed. I get to a certain point, usually about 30,000 words and I run out of steam. I think I may have said before that my problem is that I can’t shut the inner editor out and get on with it. So I would renew my subscription just to read Della’s new series, that’s without all the other great stuff in there.

So that’s one lot of money that will be well spent.

My other buy last week was a couple of coats for Indy and Tilly. I’ve often considered buying them coats and with all the rain we’ve had lately my mind has been made up.

Tilly couldn’t care less about getting wet if she’s going for a walk. Ask her to nip out in the garden in the rain for a wee and it’s another matter. But Indy looks the picture of misery. His shoulders hunch, his nose droops and he plods along as if he’s on his way to the gallows.

It goes back to him almost dying as a pup when he used to be icy cold all the time. He can’t stand being cold. So raincoats have been bought.

I spent hours trawling the internet for something suitable. They agreed they wouldn’t suit tartan and they pulled faces when I suggested anything high-vis and shook their heads when I found one with a hood.

Then I found these. They fit perfectly, were inexpensive and they’re lightly padded, but should keep the wind out and the worst of the rain – and they have chest guards and neat little turn up collars too.

They have high vis strips and are washable. They tried them on and when I showed these pictures to my friend, she suggested the captions that I have used here. Actually those captions could have been applied to me when the post arrived and I saw the big brown envelopes on the mat.

Six rejections. Hey ho. But like Indy & Tilly in the last photo - I'm smiling inside, really I am.

It’s raining and cold so the new coats will get their first outing today.





  1. I had three rejections too. Am feeling like your dogs in the final picture.
    They look lovely, even if they don't think so.

  2. Shame about the rejections, Teresa. I think the eds are having an end of year clearout as lots of us seem to have been badly hit this week. (Four for me.)

    Love the dog coats though - I think I should get one for my Mum-in-law's westie - he could do with it in the Scottish Higlands!

  3. Ooh it's rejection city! Better luck for all of us next time eh? I love the dogs' coats they look super and will be glad of them when they get outside.

    Julie xx

  4. Tell the dogs they look lovely. I wonder if I should get coats for the cats ... maybe not!

  5. Definitely seems to be rejection time. I've put mine to one side to deal with later.

    I think a Westie would look lovey in a tartan one, Bernadette.

    I have to report that the coats were a big success. Indy was very happy out on his walk. The only problem that I hadn't forseen was what to do with them when we got home. Where do you hang a couple of wet muddy coats to dry?

    They've ended up on a coathanger dangling from the hall radiator. And at least they stay in one place whereas wet muddy dogs tend to fling themselves all over the house.

  6. Oh, you're dogs look gorgeous, Teresa. Makes me want to get a dog (again!) so I can buy it a coat! Don't think my cat would be very impressed if I bought her one though. She thinks she's a lion, and even the vet has to wear gauntlets for the annual jab,so trying to put a coat on her would be asking for trouble, I think.

    Sorry to hear about your rejections. I've had a few this week too. Sounds as if everybody has.

    And I love Writers Forum too. I'm just about to subscribe for the first time because up until now I've been getting it from the newsagents and it turns up there a few days after the subscribers get it. Can't bear the wait any more. There's so many interesting articles in there for us short story writers. I sit there more or less glued to the sofa until I've finished it.

  7. I can imagine your lion, Susan. I have scars on my stomach from a cat that didn't like having his ear drops put in - about 30 years ago.

  8. I got rejections yesterday too! At least I'm in good company.

    Your dogs don't look very impressed. I wonder if they'll appreciate the coats once they get used to them.

  9. (Hugs) on the rejections and on the cat. Who knew putting ear drops in could be so traumatic for the official ear dropper? :P

  10. I must get a subscription to WF as the little local post office/newsagent near us that used to sell it has closed down :o(

    Love the photos. I can't imagine for a minute wrestling Molly-dog into one, she'd hate it, but would look very cute!

  11. I'm in the same position as you, Karen. 2 newsagents near me closed within a year of each other. Used to be so easy to drop in on my way home from work. Now would have to pay a quid to park in town to get to the next nearest. I'll save my Xmas spends and subscribe in the New Year.
    Thanks for the reminder, Teresa!

  12. They do, Patsy - they were keen to get into them today.

    To be honest it wasn't that bad, Lacey - I've no idea why I'm still scarred. They're only very small ones.

    Karen & Sue, I could only ever get WF in Ipswich or Colchester so I often missed out. I'm so glad I subscribed.

  13. Bad luck on the rejections - keep at it, faint heart and all that. You'll get there, you will, just see.

    The dogs look great in their coats. I have a Driza wax jacket that my two wore - so cool!

    I might just get myself a subscription - oh good another Christmas present to add to the list!

  14. Hugs for the Rs Teresa. Love the photos, your dogs are lovely –and look very smart in their coats.XX

  15. Good idea for a xmas pressie, MOB.

    Thanks Suzanne. Those coats aren't looking quite so smart now they're splattered with mud, but they're doing the job x

  16. Sorry to hear about the rejections, Teresa - I've just had another one to add to my collection too; it must be the time of year for editors to clear out their stock of submissions!

    I agree about Writers' Forum - it's a great magazine and Carl has been such a nice editor to deal with, too.

    Your doggies' coats are great! Hope they are getting used to them. x

  17. Oh, how sweet they look! Thanks for your crimbo card. My blog is at

  18. I came up as anonymous, but it's Lorna!!

  19. Thanks Olivia - yes they are getting used to them. I think they enjoy not getting wet and cold. I'm just waiting for the day when Tilly decides to go swimming in hers!

    Thanks for the link Lorna I've signed up as a follower now so I don't lose you again. I'm off out but looking forward to visiting your blog properly later.

  20. Been subscribing to Writer's Forum for two years now and I love it. It's really useful for local (and not so local) one day writing courses - several of which I've attended. Margaret Graham's workshop was invaluable and Paula Williams' workshop was fascinating. And I'm off the Writer's and Artist's How to get Published seminar in March.

  21. It's great isn't it, Amanda. I'm determined to give a workshop/writing holiday type thing a try one of these days. The W&A seminar sounds good!

  22. I'm excited/nervous about it, but it's amazing how much I gain from just one day. I always learn at least one thing that had never crossed my addled mind. And it's a great opportunity to meet people in similar situations to me - and to keep my toe dipped in the writing world. All good!

  23. I don't think we ever stop learning, Amanda. And mixing with like minded people must be a great boost. No one understands writers quite like other writers!