... I'll start with the good news first. Some of you will know that this year I am committed to two main writing projects. The first: to complete the first draft of a fantasy novel that I started working on last year. The second: is a short story collection in which a number of the short stories will form a portfolio for my MA project. Well, one of the short stories, Blessing, which I hope to develop for this said portfolio has successfully been published HERE in the March/April issue of Munyori Literary Journal. There are lots of strong contributions on the online journal so I encourage you to have a good nosey around (lol)... Anyway, I’m keen to share this story with you because it gives a different example of the kind of short stories that I do write. To give you some background... here is an extract from my working synopsis of the short story collection (which we've had to prepare this term): “Walls Have Ears gives voice to the voiceless in its delicate portrayal of characters hemmed inside silent walls across two continents. In the dense landscape of Nigeria a journey to Calabar in search of tortoise eggs decides the fate of Emeka; Nnamdi finds his destiny determined by a basin of bulging yam heads; and Celeste finds her answers to womanhood in The Outhouse. Meanwhile, as the world turns providence falls on the children of Britain, Emma finds clues to the loss of her sister among a collection of butterflies; and Indigo witnesses the brutality of man strewn between bales in a barn.” As always, it'd be great to have your thoughts and comments on this short story... :)
... now unto the bad news. This weekend, late on Sunday, I was unfortunate in that I had my personal yahoo/hotmail accounts compromised. Some unscrupulous person(s) managed to hack into my accounts (which incidentally are linked) and sent out a spam email to my entire contacts list (that included a whole host of people that I hardly know since my yahoo, particularly, automatically saves addresses in my contact list). Not only that, they deleted my entire yahoo address book in the process. I've been using these accounts for nearly 12-15 years and I've never encountered this problem in all that time. Anyway, I spent a good four hours into the wee hours of the morning trying to regain control of my accounts. Through the process, I found that I was not alone – there is an increasing rise of spam scam which seems to affect many of the web based email systems. And of course there was the very recent incident where Jack Straw’s (a UK politician) email account was breached in very much the same manner and his entire constituency contacts list received a dubious email. For that news story check it out HERE. To re-establish the security of my account I was assisted by this excellent SITE and I basically had to spend time re-securing passwords on all my yahoo and hotmail accounts, and ensuring that my firewall and anti-virus were loaded and working – which they were – but I thought to double-check because I do get a lot of spam traffic injected in my yahoo and hotmail accounts daily. It’s never been much of a problem, as more often than not, the spam emails arrive in the spam folder but recently (a problem with my favoured yahoo account) the spam nonsense has been arriving in my inbox proper. It has concerned me quite a bit in the last 2 or 3 months... but I have been on the move a lot and I have been using (both secure and unsecure internet wireless networks) whenever I’m on the road... so that may be part of the problem. I shared my angst with a few friends last night as the troubles were unfolding and said that sometimes I think technology poses more problems than it solves and I wondered how on earth we survived without all this internet technology in the past. But as I was cursing, ranting and raving (oh - I wasn't a pretty sight to behold last night... chuckle)... I decided that as with many things you have to take the good with the bad. To be honest, I wouldn’t give up the worlds that the internet has opened up for me, such as blogging where I've met, and continue to meet, so many great and interesting folk... so I guess I do have to take the grime with the glory (lol). Well, I thought I’d share this stress with you guys and get it out of my system (hee hee). They do say that a problem shared is a problem halved. Feel free to comment and let me know that I am not alone in my spam scam misery.
For recent A-Z Fact File: G & H... please scroll down to preceding post...
Books I'm reading... I'm just finishing off a fantastic book: The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver and I'm also dipping into an Anton Chekhov collection of short stories: About Love and other stories... another gem of a read! It'd be great to know what others are reading at the moment... as I'm always looking for inspiration as to what my next 'amazing' read will be!
Thought I'd end on a positive note (smile)!