>The Broken of Britain

>Last weekend a new campaign was set up about the proposed cuts and specifically to allow disabled people to campaign about them.  Because we are one of the groups who will be affected most severely by these cuts.  And the government have already admitted they’ve not looked into it fully.

The campaign is The Broken of Britain.

This afternoon I had a long chat on the phone with Kaliya who set it up.  It was really fun to get to talk to her after knowing her online for so long.  Just a shame we had such a serious topic to talk about.  I’m going to be helping with the campaign by doing stuff like keeping an eye on the blog and answering e-mails.

I also wrote a post for Scope on Monday about this project.  Spreading the word is one of the most important things people can do.  Even if you don’t feel able to share your story or take part in other ways, please consider sharing the link.

Reading the stories is humbling and it can be very hard.  I thought I’d seen a lot of benefit problems as a CAB adviser and knew how they could affect people.  I was wrong.

I just posted Emma’s Story – my own story – to The Broken of Britain blog.  It feels a little raw and it wasn’t easy.  I’ve shared some very personal stuff before through my blogs but this feels like a whole different level of personal and not overly comfortable. I thought about it for a long time and did consider being anonymous as those stories are also accepted. But I knew that if I wrote what I wanted to write and I continued to promote the project plenty of people would read it and know it was me.  Plus, if ever there was a time when I feel the need to stand up for what I believe in, it’s now.

Please consider supporting this project.

>I am now A Writer In A Wheelchair AND In Print!

>This is a really, really exciting update!  Brought to you by a really, really, really excited cripple!!

You may remember that a few weeks ago I briefly mentioned that I’d had an magazine article accepted for publication.
Well, that article was accepted by Disability Now (for their Up Close and Personal section) and I got my copy in the post this morning.  It looks amazing.  And I especially loved seeing my article and my name on the contents page.  It’s also available online but I must admit the website version doesn’t look as great to me. Looking at the tiny author photo and seeing myself is GREAT!
Please read it and let me know what you think!

>Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll

>I was given a copy of Black Swan Rising by Lee Carroll to review by Transworld.  It’s due for release on 25th November 2010.

This is what Amazon has to say about the book:
Jeweller Garet James isn’t the same as everyone else. She just doesn’t know it yet. With her fair share of problems – money (lack of), an elderly father, a struggling business – Garet should be just like any other young, feisty, single New Yorker. If only it was that simple… It begins with the old silver box that had been soldered shut. All Garet has to do is open it. A favour for the frail owner of the antiques shop. Who wouldn’t help? Only it’s then that things start to change. Garet doesn’t notice at first, the shifts barely perceptible. But the city in which she grew up is beginning to reveal a long-hidden side – darker, and altogether more dangerous: parallel world of chaos, smoke and blood. And now it’s out of the box…and it has no intention of going back in.

I think the first thing I must address here is the fact that it’s a paranormal romance.  And I don’t read paranormal romances.  I tried Twilight, got a few chapters in and thought it was badly written unrealistic drivel.  Haven’t touched anything in this genre since.  Which now I think about it is a bit strange given that paranormal romance is really a type of fantasy book and I love fantasy and sci fi.  So I really wasn’t sure about reading this book but decided to give it a try.  Having read this I think I would read others in the genre although I wouldn’t describe myself as a rabid fan who would read anything in the genre.  Perhaps I will change my mind as I read more.  Or perhaps I won’t.
Black Swan Rising is very well written.  The characters are believable and real.  When Garet discovers her background and her powers it’s not all immediately amazing and super.  Nor does she immediately abandon her friends and family to go off with others who have powers and talents.  Plus, and this was a big thing for me, it had realistic explanations for why the vampire could do certain things that they shouldn’t usually be able to do.  And he couldn’t go outside in daylight.  No sparkly vampires in this book!
I really loved Garet’s name.  It’s short for Margaret and it’s a short I’d not heard of or considered before.  Although I have to say that the first time or two her dad refers to “Margaret” I was wondering who he was talking about!  She’s a real independent, feisty New Yorker who is learning who she is and making life work for her.  A great character.
One of the comments I was going to make was that the ending leaves you wondering what comes next for Garet although you have the definite idea of one specific thing which will come at some point.  I didn’t expect the end to be what it was but it really worked and I loved it.  Even when it was obvious that my original idea for the ending was wrong and started thinking it would end in a specific other way it didn’t do that.  My comment was going to be that there is room for a sequel but I wasn’t convinced there would be one because the ending is very neat.  However I’ve just read on Amazon that this is to be the first of a trilogy.  That makes a lot of sense.   I’d like to read the other two when they come out and for a girl that doesn’t read paranormal romance, that’s gotta tell you something about how good this book is!

>Dear Prime Minister

>I wrote a relatively long blog post on Tuesday and then my Internet went down and I lost it.  I do have quite a lot to blog about but not today…

The cuts which will be made as a part of the Comprehensive Spending Review were announced on Wednesday.  They will seriously affect disabled people and they haven’t been properly thought through.  The government admits that they haven’t looked fully into how they will affect disabled people.  I wrote a small post about this on Disability Voices.  It includes a link to a Scope campaign about it, asking people to e-mail their MP.

Fellow blogger and Disability Voices team member Bendy Girl, has posted several excellent responses to the cuts.  Dear Prime Minister has been reposted on the Guardian website.  It’s a very moving video response to the Prime Minister about what the proposed removal of Higher Rate Mobility (Part of DLA) from disabled people in care homes.

It’s hard hitting but well worth taking a few minutes to watch.  I’ll post more about my own reaction to the cuts soon but for now I wanted to share that video.

>Bits of News

>I haven’t updated about my attempts at weight loss for a couple of weeks so I’ll start with that and then see how much further I get before my desire to be in bed relatively soon wins.

Last week my mum was away so I weighed by myself.  I struggled a lot to balance on the scales and suspect the same would have been true even if she were here.  I gave up on Tuesday after 5 attempts which all ended up with ridiculously different weights.  Wednesday I tried again and managed better.  I was 17st 2lb which was 1.5lb up.

Today my mum was back and I was 17st 3lb so up another 1lb.  My balance was pretty good today.  I always stand on the scales three times because of poor balance, needing to hold a grab rail to get on the scales etc and wanting to be sure it’s right and every single time it said the same weight which is the first time it’s done that in a long time.

I think it’s definitely got to be said that I’m plateauing.  Which is fine in a way but only as long as it goes no further then I have now.  I am getting sick of this constant back and forth I’ve been doing for the last few weeks so I’ve decided to take it right back to basics this week.  Hopefully that will get things moving again.  I’d started thinking of drinking mostly water as being boring again but starting today I’m drinking that more than anything else and I must say I’d forgotten how nice that can be.

My writing continues to go well as my last update shows (I think!).  When my creative writing restarted a few weeks ago (this week will be week 4) we had to give a short term and a long term writing goal.  Short term was for the length of the course and long term the next year or so.  We told those to the person next to us and they introduced us to the class.  I can’t remember my long term goal and the person I was sat next to wasn’t there last week to ask.  But my short term goal was to get an article published.  It was a pretty amazing feeling sat there last Thursday realising that it was only week three and I’d already achieved that goal.  I absolutely cannot wait for the magazine to come out and to see it.

I’m reading a library book at the moment and then the next one I’ve got is one I was sent to review.  It’s an advance reader copy of a new paranormal romance which is coming out in November I think.  That will be something very different for me, paranormal romance is a genre I’ve avoided ever since I tried to read Twilight (which I hated and gave up on after two chapters).  It’s very much not something I would have chosen for myself but I’ll give it a go – after all I have been trying to broaden my horizons over the last few months (some what unsuccessfully it feels like).

>Returning to Blogging, Question and Writing News

>I’ve been meaning to update all weekend.  And I’ve been sat with this window open for ages.  But I’m feeling a bit off and I have so much to say that I can’t make it work.  I’ll be back with a proper update (a long one – I’ve lots to say!) tomorrow or if not then definitely Tuesday.

Oh and if you’ve been missing my writings check out 4 Ways to Discover Inspiration for Writing which is something I wrote for Inspired to Write.

I also have several other things “in the pipeline” as they say.  Including my very first magazine article which has been accepted for publication and will be out at the end of the month!  I am beyond excited!

More on that tomorrow but for now a side note:
 I made a few changes to my blog today which may mean if you follow it through an RSS reader you need to resubscribe.  Or at least when I made the changes it said the feed was now through feedburner (not deliberate, a side effect of what I did) which I suspect means it has a different address etc.  Being that I don’t follow my own blog in a reader I can’t tell you for definite though!  Can someone who does let me know please?

>More Nadine Dorries Twitter Fail

>Nadine Dorries made further ridiculous comments, this time suggesting that being disabled is the same as being retired and also that disabled people shouldn’t go down the pub.

I wrote another rebuttal over on Disability Voices. Twitter, Disabled People, Benefit Fraud… and Pubs

And DV team member, Sarah Ismail, has set up a facebook group calling for Nadine Dorries’ removal as an MP due to her disablist attitude.

Finally I must add that I personally am absolutely astounded and very touched to see the response my original piece on DV got, both on DV and also on Twitter.