Are You Having a Grumpy Day?
by Jackie Hosking
Do you ever have unproductive days? Grumpy days where everything is a hassle and
nothing gets done?
I had one of those days last week -- the day that I had set aside to write this article -- a
grumpy day. I thought chocolate might help, but after the first bar realised it wouldn't. Coffee didn't help either
so I decided to read a book. I've just joined my local book club to widen my reading horizons and I'm running
behind -- already.
Anyway I found out that it's very hard to read a book when you're feeling grumpy so I came back
to my computer to see if anyone had sent me any interesting emails. They hadn't, so I clicked over to the internet
and typed in the word "grumpy" as you do, and here's what happened…
At the top of the Google list sat Grumpy, the dwarf from Snow White, looking as beautiful as I was feeling. I
nearly printed out one of the images but couldn't bring myself to waste the ink. Third down the list was a link to
Grumpy Old Bookman. This link grabbed my attention because it contained the words 'Grumpy' and 'Book' and oh yeah,
the word 'Old'. Cause of course, if one is feeling grumpy, one tends to feel old as well. Are you with me? Can you
see my logic? Don't worry if you can't, it will all make perfect sense in a minute. So I clicked on Grumpy Old
Bookman and found myself at a blog about…
"…books and publishing, aimed at both readers and writers. Listed by the Guardian as one of the top ten literary
And to be honest, for the mood I was in, it looked just a bit too literary for me. So I scrolled down to the "Links
to book-trade sites" section and clicked on the Publishers Marketplace link which, when I got there also looked a
bit involved. Over I went again to check out the links and found a blog titled Rants, Raves and Random
Thoughts by James Goodman. This title intrigued me, considering the mood I was in, and of course my husband's
name is James and he is a good man -- so you can understand why logically I chose that link to click on.
When I arrived I was greeted with this quote --
"To know that you do not know is the best. To pretend to know when you do not know is a
And I began to feel better. I didn't read James Goodman's blog because my eyes fell immediately
on the link A Newbies Guide to Publishing and I clicked on it as though drawn by some invisible thread. The
blog that I was taken to began --
"I'm the author of the Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thriller novels Whiskey Sour, Bloody
Mary, and Rusty Nail. Is it possible to make a living as a genre writer? Well, sort of..."
And I knew that I was in the right place because my name is Jacqueline (Jackie or Jack for short)
and I always wanted to be a Lieutenant -- no I didn't, I just made that last bit up. My name is Jacqueline
J. A. Konrath, the auther of the blog, spoke to me, so much so that I "viewed his complete profile" which led me to
his website and here's where I struck gold. I won't tell you what I found but I do urge you to visit his "writing
tips" section for some really useful stuff.
His tips include --
PAIN FREE WRITING; TIPS FOR THE FIRST CHAPTER; SELF-CRITIQUING;
CONFLICT IS THE KEY; PLOT VS. CHARACTER; AVOIDING PLODDING PLOTTING; CREATING SERIES CHARACTERS (including a
downloadable character worksheet); SUBMISSION GUIDELINES;
And that's all on page one. There are ten pages of tips on this website! You can go the long way round, if you're
feeling grumpy and need the walk, or you can just click here - http://www.jakonrath.com/tips.html
There is a moral to this story and here's what it is -- If you're grumpy and you know it clap your hands!
Till next time -- happy writing or grumpy googling depending on your mood. Either way, make it work for you.
Your writing buddy,
Jackie has been writing professionally for 7 years.
She writes mostly for children but does enjoy the odd flash fiction piece for adults. Jackie is the
editor/compiler/publisher of the children's writing and illustrating industry newsletter, PASS IT ON (PIO).
PIO was recently voted the best non-fiction e-zine for 2008 by the Preditors & Editors Readers Poll.
Jackie also offers a rhyming manuscript editing service. You can find out more about Jackie, PIO and writing
in rhyme at her website - www.jackiehoskingpio.wordpress.com
© copyright Jackie Hosking