As I’ve previously mentioned before, Authonomy.com is a site where you can upload your book to receive critique,, meet fellow aspiring authors and read the work of others – all for free. All seems to add up to a great deal on signing up, but the second you announce you’re a part of the community, floods of requests from people asking you read their book instantly flood your mailbox. It can be quite overwhelming as you realise the selfishness of humanity has no limits.
I made a vague promise to read some of these books and actually did look at a couple. But then a message came in from one lady giving critique on my own work, without any initial request to read her own. After the barrage of ‘Read my book! Read my book! You’ll love it! You’ll love it!‘ I was quite touched and humbled that someone had taken the time to read my own stuff first.
Thus I was more inclined to read her work straight away. And it was a good decision! Her work has literally blown me away and I continue to plough through the mammoth (in both size and quality) novel she had penned.
Since then small exchanges of work has taken place, including me asking her opinion on Spirit’s Destiny. Not only did she give me her opinion, but she wrote a full review for her blog, even asking me a few questions for it!
So bless you Sam! Joining Authonomy was one of my better decisions this year! 🙂
Make sure you follow this girl too, for from the quality of her own work I can see her name in bright lights very soon!
The start of all the new work.
New kids book stuff coming soon too 🙂
Long ago, when I was a nipper living in Leeds, the only way I knew how to contact my best friend Stephen was to run across the road and knock on his door and ask if he was coming out to play. It seemed so simple looking back now.
I wonder how different my life would have been if I had grown up with the blanket of social networking that dominates today’s youth. In many ways I’m grateful that my childhood was unaware of such inventions. The practice of door knocking was as common as climbing trees and going out on ‘Goonies’ style adventures.
These days though social networks appear to put huge amounts of pressure on today’s youth. Whilst the inevitable onslaught of cyber bullying is plain to see, I don’t think people like Mr Zuckerberg quite forsaw the impact social networking would have on our lives – positve and negative. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of sites like Facebook; they’ve allowed me to contact friends I’ve not heard from in over twenty years, and allow me to get closer to family members who I can’t see often enough. One example of this is how I got to know my amazing late Uncle Mark. Although he passed away sadly last year, I was grateful that I got to speak to him more through Facebook in one year than I had during my entire life.
But there is also the bad side to social networking. People can see where you are, where you’ve been, and what you’ve been doing. If you’re a slave to the social network, then your entire life is up for scrutiny. And there in lies the rub. Just one badly worded status, one picture with a certain person, one ‘check-in’ at the wrong place, can spell trouble in your circles. And this follows on to the fabled act of ‘unfriending’ which can cause wars amongst groups. Let’s face it, deleting a person from your friend’s list speaks volumes, whatever the reasons. It silently tells somebody that you no longer care about them enough to have them in your life. Of course this may not be the case at all, but human nature is one that usually imagines the worst. And depending on the individual’s disposition, they can either become hurt, resentful, unmoved, or just plain pissed off.
Personally I don’t see why anyone would feel they have to delete anyone without a proper reason. ‘Cleaning up’ your friends list is not a valid reason. You can easily hide people without causing anamosity so why cause drama?
If you don’t speak to these people anymore, so what? I have plenty of friends I don’t speak to much, that’s the way life is. Friends come and go, they drift in and out, but we never forget them. If a person speaks to me after years and years I’ll still be their friend, no matter what. I don’t see why we need to devote huge amounts of time to message everyone we know just to prove that we’re still mates. It’s like juggling with a few hundreds balls, it’s just not possible.
Having a considerate approach to social media begins to make friendships almost business like. Watching somebody constantly put negative statuses about their life puts a label on them. They may be just using social media to vocalise some stress but if that’s all you see of that person, you can’t help but get a solid opinion of that person.
I can’t help but wonder how social media will evolve in the future, shaping our friendships and lives. We complain that the government wants too much information about us, but we will freely give it away more and more through social networking. Our peers will also know everything about us, down what cereal we ate for breakfast (if you don’t announce that already). Reviews of individuals could become the norm – it already happens in Twitter – ‘Add this person, they’re really funny!’
For now though, I’m grateful that Facebook came about when I was in my twenties – probably the best age for it.
I’m also grateful that I can check up on my old pal Stephen, living happily in Australia. Even though we rarely speak, I still consider him one of my longest serving best friends, and one day I’ll go knock on his door and see if he’s coming out to play (at the pub).
Once again it’s that time of the month. No, not that! 😛
The seventh part of my free monthly novel Fallen Tears is available and can be downloaded here.