Friday, June 26, 2015

Sweary Driving

A friend of mine posted this on Facebook the other day. Apologies in advance for the language, but my, is it apt.

Thing is, we probably all do it when pushed. Not always the same trigger and not necessarily the same language - some of us have impressionable kids who repeat everything you say. Usually in the classroom.

For me, it's not quite so much people who drive as if they're in their own little bubble - after all, we've all had a moment of "Ooops, I didn't see that, I was going through my to-do list". No it's people who drive like there's no one else on the road - and it isn't accidental. They don't give a shit, toss, hoot. (Sorry - there I go again.)

My word for them? "Special". On any given day of the week you'll hear me say -

"Oh please, no. Blow right through that red light why don't you? You must be one of those special people." Grrr.

And then there are people who honk at you when you're not even doing anything wrong. They're speeding and they get annoyed with anyone who doesn't? To them I say "Oh sure, I'll get myself stopped and ticketed just so you can get to where you need to be on time. Why don't you just leave a little earlier?"

Or they honk at you when you're being nice? No lie - the other day I stopped to let a car out onto the busy road I was on. The driver didn't have a snowflake in hell's chance of getting out otherwise, and no one was stopping. So I did the nice thing, stopped, motioned .... and was given one of the "What the hell are you doing?" long, loud honks by the driver behind me. I was very tempted to get out, feign concern and ask whatever the matter was, but people carry guns over here, so it's not advisable to get into a fight whether intentional or not. So instead I let someone else out about fifty yards down the road....... ;-)

But the one that really gets me all sweary, is when you're trying to parallel park on a busy road and no one will stop. They just drive around you so that you can't swing back into the spot. Well, you can try but you'll probably hit the car that doesn't have half a minute to stop and let you reverse.

What's your beef, and most importantly. what's your response?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Why yes, I'll work for nothing

So... since I did the radio interview last week (see previous blog post) I have been inundated....with requests to basically work for nothing. It's one thing to be asked to write for free "for the exposure" which most non-best-selling writers experience, but don't you think it's a bit cheeky of people (who are being paid to approach me) to ask me to write/Tweet and otherwise do promotional work for their products - for nothing at all?

I'm not a blogger who does reviews and gets free stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with that it's just that a) I rarely get offered free stuff and b) I can't be bothered. I like to write at my own pace although if I"m getting paid and there's a deadline, I will make that deadline.

Since I'm a fairly nice person, I usually respond with a few suggestions such as approaching expat or Brit groups on Facebook etc. But really! One person wanted me to Tweet a link and generally say nice things about a book I haven't read nor was I being offered the opportunity to review it. Sorry - I'm not endorsing anything I know nothing about.

And of course everyone wants a name at the BBC. I have one contact at the BBC, - my editor. Occasionally there's something I think he might be interested in, or it might spark an idea for a Mind the Gap post, but I'm not passing every e-mail on to him, nor am I bugging him for a name every time some completely random person asks me to. (Sorry if you were just about to do that. I have my own professional reputation to think about and it doesn't include irritating my editors.)

So there we have it. Just to set the record straight. PR people - I will try to be helpful but I'm not putting hours of work in for your client, I just don't have the time. I don't mind the odd book review, if it's relevant to my platform (hate that word), but if I don't respond, the answer's a polite -

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