Smorgasbord Christmas Reading – Anti-Social Media by Kate-Beth Heywood

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15 times when Jeremy Corbyn was on the right side of history

The World Turned Upside Down

jezza aparted1. Apartheid: Jeremy was a staunch opponent of the Apartheid regime and a supporter of Nelson Mandela and the ANC. He was even arrested for protesting outside the South African embassy in 1984.
2. Chile: Jeremy was an opponent of the brutal dictator Pinochet (an ally of the British government under Thatcher) and was a leading campaigner in the quest to bring him to justice. In 1998 Pinochet was arrested in London.
3. LGBT rights: As noted in Pink News, Jeremy was an early champion of LGBT rights. At a time when the Tories decried supporting LGBT rights as ‘loony left’, Jeremy voted against section 28 which sought to demonise same-sex relationships.
4. The Miners’ Strike: Jeremy went against the Labour leadership and fully supported the miners in their effort to prevent the total destruction of their industry and communities. Cabinet papers released last year prove that the NUM…

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Vicki’s Open Letter

Please read this lady’s battle against not just her muscular dystrophy, but also the NHS.

The Hedgeblog

Vicki

This is Vicki Dennis.

I came across her story on a community facebook page, and was so moved that I offered to share her letter on my blog. I asked Vicki to send me a photograph to make her letter more personal. What a pretty girl she is! And how tragic that she spends every day in pain like this, when it could possibly be avoided with a little more help from ‘our’ Health Services in the UK.

Please share, especially if you are in countries outside the UK. I am hoping that there is a doctor out there who can help or advise this brave young lady in her time of need.

With lots of love to you, Vicki,

The Hedgehog xxx

MY OPEN LETTER

by Vicki Dennis

To whom will listen,

I am writing to you as my last resort, to plea for some interaction from Senior Officials…

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Birthday!

No, not mine, (note: that’s in twelve days) it’s my novel’s.  I just realised that it is the first anniversary of the publication of Anti-Social Media, and seeing as I’m such a prolific blogger at the moment (five months since my last blog post) I thought I’d dedicate a truly honest (even if that honestly is a little depressing) blog post to my first twelve months in the (self) published writer’s field. A blog post by numbers, if you will.

179   This rather minuscule number, 179, is the number of paid sales I’ve had. No, it’s not massive, it’s not even really anything to be proud of, but strangely enough I am proud of it. That’s 179 people who have actually paid over money to buy my book and I am inordinately grateful to them for doing so. And they didn’t even ask for a refund! I’m even more grateful for that. Thank you, the 179!

22,203   This much larger number is the number of Kindle Unlimited page reads I’ve had. When I divide it by the number of pages in my book (181) this equates to a further 123 people who have read my book. Kindle Unlimited is a borrowing function on Amazon and authors still receive royalties, albeit about 35% of the royalties they would usually get, which is cool as it’s only borrowed.

4,412    This is the number is the number of people who have downloaded the book for free. And only two people returned it for a ‘refund’… Success! 😀

So, that is a total of 4,714 copies that are floating around the world. I truly am grateful to everybody who has downloaded it, for free or not, and I’m even more grateful to those who have left me a review. In particular, those who left me a nice review!

4.2   My average star rating on Amazon based on 31 reviews received on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

  Number of reviewers who have got personal and accused me of being lazy. Yes, that did hurt, but I must concede, they may have a point :D.  I did sit down and write, proofread and edit a novel until my eyes bled, though, so I can’t be that lazy, can I? Actually, yes I can be. However, if you stick your head above the parapet, you have to learn to accept the bullets that inevitably come your way. The first one or two are painful beyond belief but it genuinely does ease after a while.

Whilst the numbers I have been brutally honest about may not be what some self-published authors (or soon-to-be-self-published authors) want to hear, SP success depends on so many factors. A really active blog (oops) helps, as does some serious social media networking, review canvassing is essential, and working out the best way to market yourself. I could have done better in many of these fields; I’m not the most active networker, and I desperately need to canvas more reviews. I’m really starting to crack the marketing part with the book promo sites though and I’ll publish a separate post with my findings on this soon. Another thing that helps is having more than one book out, which I’m working on right now too.

The main thing I have taken from this year though is the massive learning curve. After the writing part and the designing part, suddenly there is the marketing part, something which may not come so naturally to more creative thinkers. Then there is the networking, and then learning to take reviews with dignity, the trial and error that comes with promotions and advertising, the feeling of exposure. But the main thing, the main thing that I have taken from this year is dealing with the humility of knowing that two people actually returned my book to Amazon when they hadn’t even bloody well paid for it…

The Tooth Fairy Fuck-Ups

My daughter has now got to the age (almost eight) of perhaps starting to question the very existence of the Tooth Fairy.

This, naturally, was not helped by my recent fuck-ups in this area. I’m sorry for the bad language but there really is no more apt description.

First, she loses a tooth. Fine. Great. Put it under your pillow and the Tooth Fairy will be along later.

I am awoken at the unearthly hour of 5.30am by a hysterical child wondering why the Tooth Fairy (of all ‘people’) had not come and had let her down so badly.

‘Oh, shit!’ exclaimed I (well, I had just woken up) and did my best to console her before coming up with some embarrassingly awful story about it being the annual Tooth Fairy festival that weekend and that the Tooth Fairies would resume normal service the next day.

The next day comes and I ensure the alarm has been set on my phone for 11pm so I don’t forget again. Unfortunately, I cannot find the bloody tooth under the pillow. I search everywhere but to no avail. I leave the money and assume it will turn up sometime.

I am awoken at 5.30am but a much happier but slightly perplexed child who is demanding to know why the Tooth Fairy didn’t take the tooth.

‘Er, she couldn’t find it,’ I just about manage. ‘She came to tell me she couldn’t find it and she’ll come back for it tomorrow.’

Considering that I have just told my child that I have met the Tooth Fairy in person, and conversed with her, she shows a serious lack of curiosity in this department and happily leaves with her money.

So, the next day comes and this sorry saga has now extended to a three-day bonanza. And before you ask, yes I did remember to go and get the bastard tooth. I safely put it in a pot on my dressing table and went to bed.

I am awoken once again. This time by a child who is wondering why her tooth has only made it as far as the pot on my dressing table. Seriously, what the hell was she doing in that pot?!

‘Get out of my pot!’ I exclaim and then pretend it isn’t her tooth at all but one of mine from when I was younger. Apparently, the Tooth Fairy returns them to you when you get older. I have become quite a liar recently.

She clearly doesn’t believe me but lets it go and weeks go by. All is forgotten.

Then she loses another tooth.

I am determined this time to neither forget, nor leave the bedroom without the damned tooth. And I am going to hide it well this time.

5am comes.

‘Mummy, I know why the Tooth Fairy didn’t come.’

‘Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh NO!’ I groan.

My husband wakes panicking, wondering what has happened.

‘Right, everyone go back to sleep, we’ll sort this out in the morning,’ I say assertively to buy some time.

I wonder then if I should just come clean to my daughter but find myself slipping the money under her pillow when she goes down for breakfast.

I hint that she may find something under her pillow if she goes to have a look and she comes back looking happy and says, ‘Mummy, you put that money there, didn’t you?’

Here is my chance, the chance to explain that, yes, the Tooth Fairy isn’t real, that Mummy is sorry that she lied all those years about fairies exchanging money for teeth, but that the upside is she’ll still get the money so really, who cares about the Tooth Fairy?

So, do I do this? Do I hell.

‘Er, no, it was the Tooth Fairy. The reason she was late is that she had to go to Australia last night and only just got back…’