Facebook changes…

It’s no secret that Facebook is using the people who use it to make money – it’s the whole basis of those ad filled newsfeeds that we all hate and the “boost your post for £” message that pops up when you run a page on FB (for whatever reason).

They also do all sorts of updates and suchlike in order to adjust things – sometimes this is for the better, sometimes it’s for the worse.

The latest one (apparently) is meant to stop clickbait advertising, false news, scams etc. Fair enough, but then again…

This post sums up the technical details as pertains to authors quite nicely:

http://k-lytics.com/facebook-news-feed-algorithms-affect-authors/

So I’m going to have to change the way I interact on FB – be more careful with my wording and only post things like questions about my covers etc in my Fan Group, where they will only be seen by those of you who actively seek me out on FB… Or I can return to using my Blog more actively for such things – but again, I’d only be able to post links to the blog posts in my Fan Group.

If you’re interested in joining, my Fan Group (typing that feels so odd – I don’t think of myself as having fans of my work!) can be found at:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1111497778997568

I am the only admin, so I check the join requests myself – I haven’t yet turned anyone away!! I would set up a newsletter, but because I am not sure from day to day what I am doing and which book is going to be published next, they wouldn’t be particularly regular and I have no idea if anyone would be interested in having one turn up in their Inbox.

Maybe I’ll set one up when the fan group gets to a certain level…

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A Story of Snow

Snow transforms almost magically – a grey winter becomes clean and white… and the story that Vivienne Tuffnell introduces here is definitely a transformative tale – although I’ll let you decide who it transforms when you read it!

Zen and the Art of Tightrope Walking

A Story of Snow

It snowed yesterday, the first time this winter; I could smell it coming for days. I’ve always found snow magical, a transformational thing, but this snow before Christmas reminded me of other times of snow that have been transformational.

As a young mum, back in the 90s, I managed to wear out my hyperactive toddler at a mum and baby group, sufficient that both she and I could take a nap. It was February, in the north east of England and there was heavy snow that had laid, and I lived in a little street house with no central heating, so I huddled under the duvet and fell asleep. I woke with a pounding heart and tears streaming down my face after a dream that was so vivid it even included a soundtrack: Winter, from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. The dream was a short story that I…

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Satyulemas is coming…

Mid-Winter is a tricky time of year for me.
Firstly there’s all that nonsense about Christmas being warred upon. People get up in arms about the strangest of things – who really cares what sort of paper cups that Starbucks is using?
It’s annoying and amusing at the same time.

Then there’s all the hoo-har about what we should be saying:
“Merry Christmas!”
“Happy Holidays!”
“No, it’s Christmas…”
“It’s not just Christmas, there’s:
Saint Nicholas Day (Christian),
Fiesta of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Mexican),
St. Lucia Day (Swedish), Hanukkah (Jewish),
Christmas Day (Christian),
Three Kings Day/Epiphany (Christian),
Boxing Day (Australian, Canadian, English, Irish),
Kwanzaa (African American),
Omisoka (Japanese),
Yule (Pagan),
Saturnalia (Pagan)…”
“We’re a Christian Country everyone should be saying Merry Christmas!”
That conversation is always more annoying than amusing, because it drags way too much religion into a season that should be more about Family and Love than which version of god you worship.

Then the Seasonal Affective Disorder hits – the dark mornings and short days, coupled with predominantly cold and damp weather make me feel depressed, ill, irritable and definitely not festive.

I grew up as an Anglican, which meant that I went to church carol services like Christingle and church christmas parties. I sang the carols and bought into the stories that were told… it wasn’t until I was a lot older that I realised it wasn’t the religion I wanted to be a part of.
But I still loved the music and the happiness that the carol services seemed to bring to the children at that time of year.

After I met TOH, we spent Christmas with his family and for several years we had holidays full of music, wine, family and fun… until his mum left us and although his sister tried hard to keep it going, the holiday fell apart.
For a while it was hard to keep the festive feeling going. We managed to do Christmas itself, mainly for our kids sake. Being in Guiding helped because we’d do carol concerts and christmas activities.

After we had so many problems with housing and finance, TOH and I decided that we’d celebrate what we called “Satyulemas” – this starts on the 17th December  (Saturnalia),  takes in Yule on the 21st  (Astronomical Midwinter) and covers Christmas on the 25th Dec, then finishes the day after my youngest Daughter’s birthday.

So this year, I’ve decided to start a new tradition –

 

Three of these books have homes to go to… but the fourth one (signed & dedicated)  is going to be going to the winner of my Satyulemas Competition!

There will also be E Book Copies for four runners up.

All you have to do is comment on this Blog post with your favourite, book related,  Mid-Winter Holiday Memory.

The competition will end by midnight (GMT) on Satyulemas – 17th December 2018 – the winner will be notified by email, so don’t forget to leave a contact email!

Feel free to share the news – I want to hear about everyone’s memories and hopefully make a new one for someone!