Computer Woes
I have had a hell of a time with software failures. The day really was a right-off thanks to the foibles of Vista.

I just bought a new Samsung media player to serve as a mobile electronic portfolio. It has a 3 inch screen and bluetooth. So if I ever get caught out without my portfolio, I can nip into my local chemist and print off some images using one of those instant developing machines.

The trouble has been with the software that came bundled with it, which hasn't been playing nice with Vista. The player is ok with music and picture files, but it is very fussy about the video files. They have to be just the right size, extension and codec to work. In the end I found an excellent program for converting all types of media. It is called 'MediaCorder' and it was free! and unlike most things that costs nothing on the net, this worked like a dream.

A lot of my software is a bit long in the tooth but even the most recent versions have had arguments with Vista. Often I will have to resort to running things on my old machine. And nine times out of ten the device or software work perfectly.

Credit Crunch
A recent high end Art sale realised less money than the auction house had expected. They were selling Cezanne's and the like, and made around £30,000,000 instead of the expected £90,000,000. Is this indicative of the demise of the Art industry in the current slump? My sister who lives in Tampa, Florida says there are daily queues down the street outside job centres. Her son can't find work, and my sister herself was recently laid off. Fortunately she found another job, but for less pay and an extra 1 hour commute.

So it's with some relief that my agent, who went to the Frankfurt Bookfair, reckoned publishers were very upbeat about the book market at the moment. So I am inclined to push ahead with the couple of book projects which have been simmering away for the past couple of months. One is a novel about a young Ovate, (druids apprentice), the other features a brilliant and necessarly secretive young inventor.

A character from my childhood comic reading days, 'Billy The Cat,' inspired certain aspects of my Zac Spanner character. I owe a lot to Billy The Cat:¬) He was a schoolboy who at night would transform from a nerdy kid into an acrobatic crime fighter with gadgets! He would take on criminals as well as school bullies. I was bullied at school and he was the hero I wished would turn up for me in the nick of time.

I have drafted the story and just have the front cover to do. I'll be posting it here soon. Then once the dummy copy starts doing the rounds, I'll be getting on with some sculpture.