Saturday, 10 March 2012

3BT: sleep, writing, chats

1. I slept for almost nine hours. I have not felt this physically well in a long time.

2. Beautiful new notebooks and The Three a.m. Epiphany make for new enthusiasm about working on my writing.

3. A long overdue cuppa with a friend, and some nice Facebook chats with others. This is what I feel the Internet ought to have been invented for: real contact with actual people.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

3BT: at last, a parcel, a pub

1. The sunshine wakes me up. The sunshine!

2. Is there anything more satisfying than the swift and efficient arrival of a large Amazon parcel?

3. I embrace the expat lifestyle and head out to a quiz in an Irish pub, where the service is friendly, and they even give me a pint of iced tap water without my having to grovel, as well as a free round of drinks for being too slow. Now that's service.

A review of my ebook, Conquering Babel

Sometimes you send your book out for review, full of hope and expectation for glowing praise and vastly increased sales.
Almost always you are disappointed.
Not this time.
Up on the Becoming Madame blog is a thorough, thoughtful review of language learning and how my little eBook can fit into the process.
This is my favourite line.
Sprinkled with humor, charm and anecdotal reinforcement, we feel like our big sister is imparting on us some of her seasoned and tested advice.

Monday, 5 March 2012

How you can help my book to sell, in 30 seconds

I started dreaming about writing this post for that happy day when Inevitable might get published, but then I thought, you know what, I do actually have another book for sale already, so here's a dry run.

Some of these things may seem tiny, insignificant, irrelevant, or pointless, but it all adds up. All of them will take under a minute. I would so appreciate it if you could take a minute or so out for this.

1. Go to this link for, or this one for and click "like" next to the title.

2. While you're there, scroll down to "tags customers associate with this product" and click on "agree with these tags".

3. If you're on Twitter, copy and paste this and tweet it:

Want to learn a language? This eBook tells you how: (Twitter will automatically shorten the link.)

That's for the UK - for the US use this one instead:

Want to learn a language? This eBook tells you how:

4. If you're on GoodReads, click on this link and add to your "to-read" shelf.

5. While you're there, scroll down to  "recommend to my friends" and click those people you think might like it.

6, If you're on Pinterest, repin this onto a board that works for you, like "books worth reading" or "friends" or "books my friends have written" or "learning a language".

Isn't social networking fun?!

If you've done all those things and you're still, say, waiting for the kettle to boil, or the bus to arrive, or the bank to answer your phone call, you can also try these:

7. Add a comment to Amazon (and an honest star-rating). (If you haven't read it, you can find extracts on Authonomy )

8. Add a comment to GoodReads (and an honest star-rating).

9. Add the link to your Facebook profile.

10. Email friends you know who might enjoy it.

Thank you so, so much! 

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Thoughts on Season Five of the West Wing

My heart always starts sinking midway through season four, because I am approaching the end of the Aaron Sorkin era.

But for the first four episodes of season four, I think it holds up okay. There are still some great lines; Josh and Amy still have amazing chemistry (fear not, dear reader, I am Josh and Donna shipper through and through, but these things deserve to be acknowledged) and are completely in character, and Donna continues to look wistfully at Josh and make us wish he would hurry up and kiss her.

But then it starts annoying me. It's episode 5 when I notice it, "Disaster Relief". Firstly, Donna acts as if she doesn't know what Schadenfreude meant. Come on, of course she does. She's way smarter than that.

Then, I don't know. Everyone seems to be speaking slower than they used to.

Then there's Leo. Suddenly he's being mean to everyone: mean to CJ and mean to Josh. The Josh-and-the-slippery-Senator storyline I don't object to in itself, though I hate to see Josh sad. But Leo just seems out of character. And CJ - I dunno. There is something out of character there too - I can't quite place it.

So, time to skip ahead to the Supremes and then Gaza? Maybe. I don't much like the beginning of Season Six either, and Season Seven is fine - no, brilliant from Duck and Cover on - except I desperately miss Donna for those first six episodes. Hmm. I don't think I will ever understand the network's decision to stab Aaron Sorkin in the back. You are dismissed, Mr President was one of the last lines he wrote. Too bad there wasn't a letter reinstating him.