Where did my students go?

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In afternoon class yesterday I gave a break halfway through – it’s a 3-hour class so a 15-minute break (plus the promise of letting them go early if they work hard) is fair – but after 15 minutes the students didn’t come back. What? Well, 3 did. I sat and waited a little, but still nothing. It’s not unusual for a handful of students to be late back from break, but most of the class – 9 more students? Where did they go? 5 minutes go by. I happen to check my school email – and see an email from …

Dinner with mom @ Pierre Victoire

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Since coming back to the UK 4 years back we’ve had one go-to French restaurant – Savoire Faire, on the edge of Soho near the British Museum. This past Friday I figured we should try a new place, and found Pierre Victoire, which is ranked 522 of London restaurants but #2 in Northern London for French restaurants. Which is #1? Of course, it is Savoire Faire! We were getting together to celebrate Karen’s birthday, so mom, Karen, me and Su. We gave Karen some cosmetics stuff from Neal’s Yard. We had a good chat about mom’s adventures in the day …

Office lunch chit-chat

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Today I felt a bit giddy and chatted to my co-workers at lunch instead of buzzing off to the library to do some writing. Topics covered included: K (redacted) the opera singer talking about not liking any musicals except maybe Meet Me At St. Louis (which I don’t like) A who’s studying for a PhD decrying the Harry Potter phenomenon as only for kids (and me pushing back HARD with reference to Alice in Wonderland being for kids but beloved by adults) D telling me about the lemon drizzle cake he made for his kid, because I’m interested in baking …

Indie Guides: How to get a great book cover artist

MJG Book Cover Design, Indie Guides, Life, Marketing Leave a Comment

As a self-publisher for 5 years now, with fourteen novels, two short story collections and a non-fiction book of my Japan ruin adventures, you can bet I’ve commissioned a lot of book covers, and thus have a lot of experience (even wisdom?) I can pass along. Added all together that’s 17 covers commissioned, right? Well, not exactly. I think I’ve taken just about every route to a cover that is possible, including making one of them from scratch myself. So then that’s 16 covers commissioned? No again, because my three cyberpunk I’ve had re-made FOUR times (count ’em, for five …

Hanging with thriller authors + doing research

MJG Life, Writing Leave a Comment

On Monday night I went to the First Monday Crime group, which meets at City University, and is sponsored by the MA course they run in only writing thriller novels. I checked out the course website. It says something like- The only MA course which allows you to complete a full novel! That’s an odd boast. I don’t need someone to allow me to write a novel. I can write a novel whenever I want. I don’t need your permission! Anyway, there were some speakers. Fiona Cummins who wrote Rattle. I read the first few pages in advance and thought …

London Indie Authors group November Meetup

MJG Author Group, Life, Marketing, Writing Leave a Comment

I haven’t yet mentioned on my blog about the group I co-organize on the Meetup.com website, called London Indie Authors. I joined the group some 2 years ago, back when it was just about still being run by Orna Ross, who founded ALLi, the Alliance of Independant Authors. A year later I was invited by then-organizer and my bud Jerome to co-organize alongside him. We meet monthly to discuss marketing of our books. The group has changed a little in the last year, largely in the way we plan the agenda. We used to get speakers in about half the …

Boycott the clickbait Trump news

MJG Life, Politics Leave a Comment

I had the hope that US media would start reporting Trump’s ridiculous nonsense differently after the mid-terms, but it’s pretty clear they still can’t resist. No doubt, the more outrageous things he says, the more people click it. Yes, so that is our fault – the readers who fuel their advertising budget. We are amplifying his message with our insatiable curiosity. He knows this. He’s playing the Twitter outrage game with the media, and we are all playing along. So we have to stop. We are his megaphone. We must stop clicking on clickbait BS articles and take the temperature …

Praise be reality!

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Thank reality, the fever in America last night showed signs of breaking. The Democrats won the House, and while the Republicans strengthening their hold on the Senate will present plenty of problems, this feels like a massive step forward, and a huge relief. I am extremely hopeful the rhetoric is going to get turned way down now, or be far more ignored, or both. I, like many others I’m sure, have become sick of hanging on every word Trump says. The man is an idiot. He won an election by the skin of his teeth, which he didn’t even want …

Cowboy formal style

MJG Life 2 Comments

I promised pictures of my new cowboy formal style – here they are (essentially involving the addition of a waistcoat). Black style, with watch chain. I need a pocket watch to put on the end. Blue style with a Henley shirt. I do wear shoes. These are different waistcoats, though in these photos they do look the same. So far getting positive comments from colleagues at work, which is very new – I’ve rarely worn anything interesting enough to get comments before!

Replaced kitchen taps/faucets

MJG DIY, Life Leave a Comment

Yesterday I dug in to swapping out my taps/faucets – the biggest part was probably just moving the washing machine. It is of course heavy, and very tightly squeezed in to its slot. I’ve done it plenty of times though, so it’s smooth enough. The old tap, with the stopcock turned off and just dribbling the last water out. Removed – easy enough, only one bolt held it in place. The new tap – its so much better, with much improved water pressure and no roar. In other news, I killed a bear last night in Red Dead Redemption. When …