Thursday, 31 October 2013

Bits and Bobs and Happy Halloween

This is going to be a rather mixed up post, like the fellow below, so I am going to illustrate it  with photos that might or might not be strictly relevant.   I hope you like them too.

For me this has been a very busy week, and among other things I have been going over a book manuscript that my new agent wants to see.   In these changing times, smart agents are all diversifying and trying new approaches so I don't know what to expect even if she does like the book.

My old agent wants to me put "The Mystery of Lewis Carroll" on his new e-publishing site, Thistle Publishing.  I'm not instantly attracted by his top title, "Memoirs of a Dominatrix" but I trust his instincts - so we shall see...

Talking of Lewis Carroll, I found this illustration in a Victorian copy of "The Lady" magazine, when I was researching the book. (Lewis Carroll used to write for "The Lady").  It is the oldest women's magazine in the UK and is has worn very well, though these days it is aimed at older (and richer) women, not the sort of groovy young chick pictured here in 1888:

Her hair struck me as an odd style -  but then I found an old photo of someone wearing it in real life. I can't say I'm blown away by it though I prefer it to most of the hairstyles fashionable in those days.  How do you think it actually stays on her head?

 I need to tell you that the weird choice of colours on this blog is not mine. I don't put green with purple and yellow.  But Blogger is just so flaky now that even my local tech expert (T) can't manage to make my template designer work no matter how he delves into the HTML. And when I post on Blogger help my posts simply don't appear.  I can't handle this and the blog is just slowly seizing up.  A change to another platform is indicated, but that's a good way to lose readers.  Anyone had a similar problem? What did you do?

I've got so heartily sick of Blogger that when I even think of it I feel like having a drink (or five)

 Meanwhile, I'm getting ready for World Travel Market - can't miss out on that WTM craziness.  Here is an elf from Belgium who took my fancy last year.

And could I possibly ask you to check out some of the wonderful creative writing emerging at our other blog, Mabel and Her Amazing Fleas?   I have been too tied up to contact blogs about creative writing in schools, whose readers might be interested in our project, (although I will finally be getting down to it this weekend) but the kids are thrilled when there are comments.  They are such nice kids, and such fun to work with.

 By the way, I think some people have been trying to message me on Google Plus.  I do have an email address they gave me but I don't know where to check it so I never do.  I would love you to message me, but if you do,  please go here.. I am sick of being bullied into using Google Plus.  This is what I would like to do with Google Plus

Stick it into a dish of scummy water.  (Except that I think the duck actually rather enjoyed it)

So that's my post for today .... Oh, and be sure to have a Happy Halloween!


  1. I rather like the green on purple, Jenny. I think we've all had blogger problems at one time or another... oh and where can I get myself an elf?

  2. "How do you think it actually stays on her head?" Uncomfortably I should think. As for Google + I couldn't agree more. I refuse to use it although having a number of different Gmail addresses for various things I keep getting bombarded with Google+ requests - from Google. Few other people I know seem to take it seriously - thank heaven.

  3. I am so sorry to read that you are getting so frustrated with Blogger and Google Plus. :(

  4. That is a curious hair up-do, Jenny. I bet it takes lots of hairpins to keep it in place. And I for one love a duck photo, even if its head is stuck in the scummy water. I have admired your purple background - very bright and brave, and I have no idea how you created it. Bother Blogger for the trials and tribulations it sends us!

  5. Happy Halloween to you to!!!!!
    I LOVE Victorian hairstyles! But I didn't like that one. Looks like a cone on the back of the head.
    As for blogger and google, I've found it's really a hit and miss on EVERYTHING you do on it.....

  6. This post made for some fun reading. Good luck with the writing/book in whatever form you use. I blog, visit a few blogs and belong to a couple of Yahoo Groups that I share interests with. Otherwise I'm clueless. I ignore Google+ entirely.

  7. Wonderfully illustrated stream of thought. I would be sorry to miss the goose. Very Louis Carrollish. I believe the lady with the "do" has unmanageably crimpy hair and is pleased to put it to rest with a few pins.

  8. I get cryptic messages from Google + but I ignore them.
    I love the writing project!

  9. I preferred Blogger - when it was working - to Wordpress...but Blogger was playing up more and more and I don't have the skills to cope with the problems.
    Still giggling at the dominatrix title.....

  10. Interesting news about Lewis Carroll writing for The Lady. I've been an on and off subscriber to the magazine starting X years ago... too many to count though I'm fairly sure I started later than 1888!
    By the way I like the purple. I hope Google doesn't drive you to Wordpress... a strange blogging source that won't allow me to leave comments half the time.

  11. An interestig and amusing post. I know next to nothing about ebooks or computers. I actually prefer quill, ink, and scrolls while writing by candlelight. Blogger (at least here in the U.S.) has been fairly good to me. I haven't had any trouble with it (so far). I don't really mind the purple on your blog. When a blogger is a great writer, such as yourself, the color doesn't matter.
    Although purple reminds me more of Easter than Halloween.

    The pictures of the Victorian hairstyle are a little unnerving. It looks like she could poke someone's eye out with that pointed hair if she happened to back up.

    There are many days when I feel like that goose with its head in the water......

  12. I don't understand Google+. I have nearly two thousand people in Google+ but I never hear from these people and don't know if they're reading my posts or not. I understand your frustration, but have a Happy Halloween anyway.

  13. The template designer doesn't work for me at all either. When I did my recent redesign, I had to go in and manually code every line. I'd be happy to spend some time on yours if you need me to. I can tell you that you need to change the colours in two places - one near the top and one further down in the code.

    Good luck with the book!

  14. Not the happiest time of the year for me with it being Steve's birthday today and the anniversary of his death coming up next Tuesday, but I hope everyone wiho does Halloween (I never did, since it is not a tradition we were familiar with in Germany when I was a kid) has a most enjoyable night.

    A Belgian elf? Somehow, I never associate Belgium with elves.
    Very curious about the ladies' hairstyle. I suppose something like that can only be fasted by pins, and then the wearer will be moving around very carefully - as would have been the custom for such a Victorian lady anyway.

  15. Happy Halloween! Purple, gold, and green are some favorite (Mardi Gras) colors here, so maybe you could just say you are saluting New Orleans style!

  16. Happy Halloween, Jenny!

    I actually saw a one-man band in downtown Santa Cruz just a few weeks ago, just like your street performer in the first photo. What struck me about the Santa Cruz guy was his playing the didgeridoo along with an accordion and a foot drum. Those guys know how to multi-task.

    About Blogger's photos, I have been having the same problem very recently! And I've had to edit out images I wanted to publish just because there were weird things going on with it on Blogger (and they didn't look like that in my Photo files).

    So excited about your new Lewis Carroll publication. I think I mentioned how much I enjoyed your other book. And that cone hairdo seems quite a feat of pins and patience, doesn't it? We have some ancient Sumerian cylinder seals which show some elaborate hairdos worn nearly 5,000 years ago. Now I wonder how they held that together -- I don't think pins were invented yet. But then again, the Egyptians did weird things like put perfumed fat on their heads to melt in the heat and obscure their bodily odors. I suppose the Sumerians might have put some lard to glue their coifs together too.

    Let me know if you change platforms. I sometimes wonder about that myself ...


  17. A fun post, Jenny. I find the pink and purple .. interesting but it is not that hard on the eyes. I have seen some blogs that are very difficult to read, yours is not, and the content is always enjoyable. You found some good pictures to accompany your text – très à propos!

  18. I've seen "musicians" like that fella in the first picture. Poster boys for people who want to "do it all" by themselves. (As long as that "all" doesn't include anything that resembles pleasant-sounding music.)

    That hairstyle doesn't look all that bad in the drawing, but the real thing is pretty ugly. I don't reckon they had hairspray in those days, so maybe she slathered something like duck fat into her hair to make it stay put.

    I'm a blogger wimp. Lots of other people experiment with new templates, formats, and colors, etc. Not me. I'm sticking with the first one I got to work. (If it ain't broke, why fix it?)

  19. Oh, those hairstyles make Nikki Minaj look almost tame! I loved your pictures, especially the first one. Happy Halloween to you!

  20. That hairstyle would drive me would require too many pins and "goop" for me to feel comfortable!

    Sorry for all your Blogger issues. I've escaped them so far...which is good, because I wouldn't know the first thing how to fix them. The worst problem I had was trying to put in my password before I realized my CAPS LOCK was on. That got my heart rate up...

  21. I love this post Jenny! That's some 'do' our Victorian lady is wearing. I hope she had a maid to help her get it that way!

    Good luck on the book -- e and otherwise. Who knows -- you might find a whole new class of readers interested in learning about Lewis!

    Blogger -- I SO want to change my template. I really do. And I'm scared to death to do it for fear I'll lose the whole shebang. I haven't had troubles (apart from slow photo loading) but I just don't trust it. And going a new platform just doesn't seem like what I want to do. Stay tuned. Good luck -- I'll be watching.

  22. Perhaps that was a hair "switch" of sorts...a pre-permanently-coiled coil that was clipped on with hairpins or similar. One's hair was pulled up into a pony-tail of sorts..and the "switch" clipped over it...if I'm making any sense!

  23. Blogger is a pain - what drives me mad (the most) is when I go to reader on dashboard - it is often no longer there - rather bullying attempts in making me share on Google+

    Also I have a spammer who enters by email. Gmail informs this is one of my contacts when I press delete. Traced it to a 'untraceable' blogger contact - but like your good self - my pleas for help (from blogger) go unheard and unanswered.

    Hope you enjoyed an excellent Halloween - I stayed indoors and hid!

    Anna :o]

  24. What a great post - a random collection of the week's doings!

  25. Sorry to hear you're having such trouble with Blogger. Are you using a very old template as basis? I did move my blog(s) once, three years ago, because I reached some image storage limit on my first Blogger account. But I started up a new Blogger account. I think the active followers take the trouble to follow, the ones that don't are probably the people who aren't following regularly anyway. I've not been having any template problems. For preparing the individual posts I always use Windows Live Writer, it's been years since I tried to do a post directly in Blogger.

  26. That's some very interesting stuff about Blogger. So it is clearly not just me. Mandy, your suggestion is one I have not yet tried. I will have a go at that next time. Though I'm starting to get used to the green writing now ....and I'm glad so many people didn't mind the look of the blog. Well at least it is legible.
    I find the hairdo very interesting, somehow, I was inclined to believe it is some kind of a hairpiece till I looked at the text and found that it is seriously instructions on how to create it with long hair. I think many women in those days had their hair very long indeed, and would sort of coil it around their heads in various ways. Oh what human beings do for vanity! :D
    As for the elf, I do think he was rather cute and cheerful, and somehow elf like, having a lovely time on the Belgian stall at World Travel Market, I think he was handing out chocolates actually! I'm looking forward to the annual madness next week. .
    The book I've given my agent isn't about Lewis carroll - it is a novel. I don't have too many hopes since it's so hard to get a publisher to invest loads of money in a work of fiction by someone who is not already an established name. But I will have to see what she says about it. (I enjoyed writing it, anyhow). I hope everyone had a nice Halloween, I went to an interesting event which I will probably blog about on the next post. Not a ghost or ghoul in sight!

  27. Yes, a bit all over the place but none the worse for that. I like higgledy-piggledy, being an awful tidy person myself.

    I am glad Halloween is over and Guy Fawkes nearly. Poor Millie is terrified.

    Blogger isa pain, I too have been thinking of going to WordPress, but I understand they’re messing people about too.

    I like the colours actually, in your face, but eminently readable. I hate when people have small, pale writing.

  28. Hi, Jenny -- first, thanks for coming by The Marmelade Gypsy with your comments! I think if you ever get over here, we'll add Trader Joe's to your visiting list! And I'm glad to know your book is a novel. I'll be looking for it!

  29. I've had the same Blogger template for nearly seven years and apart from the fact that I still like it, I daren't change it for fear of all the colossal technical problems that are bound to result. As Susan said, if it ain't broke, don't fix it!

    I saw lots of amazing Halloween costumes in Belfast, including trick or treaters complete with witch's hat, broomstick etc. People go to a lot trouble to look really extraordinary!

  30. Blogger drives me bonkers sometimes, it gets weird 'blips' and refuses to let you do things. Please stay tho, I like reading your posts! Jane xx

  31. Just like you I am tired of blogger. A redesign of my site is long overdue but I don't seem to find the time (and the technical skills) to do it!

  32. I always have problem with loading my photos and placing them in text. So the problems are usual thing. I love your photo with geese!
    Hope you had fun in Halloween.

  33. Thanks for the further comments. I have a strange idea that some of them are missing - OH NO, not MORE problem with blogger! But someone said something that I wanted to reply to ... and I can't find the post! If the people behind Blogger read what people say, they won't be feeling very encouraged, will they? I found the previous template much easier to navigate, although it wasn't very reliable either. Ah well. Glad most people don't dislike the green as much as I do, and when I have time I will have a go at Mandy's suggestion with the HTML

  34. I'm avoiding Google + because I really don't understand it at all. I find it impossible to find someones blog if they are using it. Also any comment I leave anywhere seems to show up on it too. As for blogger, I have to admit at the moment it's working okay for me, in fact better than it was. Sometimes you need to go right back and change your whole template to get things to work again, so maybe you need to do that?

  35. Blogger is a beast for me every once in a while. I would love to have a blog roll but every time I add it my blog becomes unrecognizable. I think its just technology in general that hates me.


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