I reached the decision a few days ago that I've probably got as far as I can with my book on Authonomy. I've been around there for too long and things have changed so much recently. So tomorrow, I shall pull my book and ask them to delete the Verse_artiste account. It will give me a chance to do more writing. It's the fora that I'm really fed up with. Those places are not for me anyway. Some of the conversations get really out of hand these days, and the arguments aren't the same - people get so nasty. It's only the internet for heaven's sake, not a school playground.

Even some of the 'older' members are acting in a shoddy way. A few weeks back a new member started a thread saying she was just a reader and wanted recommendations. Within minutes someone was calling her a 'sock puppet', because she had read and backed three books by the same author. I notice the new one has gone now. She was on my friends' list. That happens to a lot of genuine people. They get 'bullied' away.

Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to commend the site, but it needs to be handled with care. I shall do that next time.
OK, so it's been a few days since my last entry - but that just goes to show I have a life in the real world, doesn't it?
I've done another wedding poem - I love doing those. It's the look on the face of the 'customer' - in this case the bride's mother, when I hand over the finished article. It's a real joy.

Loads of plans in the pipeline. Now the commissions are out of the way I should be able to get down to business with the real writing.

Then comes the scary part - Friday is pay day. This will be my last salary from teaching and I'm as nervous as a kitten to think that as of 1st September I'm officially unemployed.

Ah, well. Onward and upward ?
It sounds so much better in German, but it's an attitude that really annoys me. People who will push everyone else aside to get what they want. You see it everywhere now. People who stand in the vicinity of the bus stop, so they can queue jump when the bus arrives. People who push past you to cross the road against the lights - because they're going somewhere important. I'm not, of course. I have nothing important to do, and nowhere important to go. I exist simply to be pushed aside. So what do I do about this? Well, usually, I just say "Carry on Trampling" we'#ll make a movie of it one day!

Maybe I should sign up for an assertiveness course ? That leads to another question, why is it that whenever I try to be assertive, I sound like I'm whingeing?
My sister, Sue, is seriously into genealogy and she's been researching the family history for the last few years. She's found out some amazing stuff and, aided by my brother Frank and a couple of cousins, has created a great family website. I'm no good at all that research stuff. I never know where to start unless someone spells it out for me. So my contribution is going to be a memoir - tentatively called "Talkin' about my Generation". It will be a sort of collection of our childhood memories, probably only ever of interest to the family. In the last few years we have lost our two youngest brothers, so we're trying to preserve as much as we can for the sake of the next generation. Between the five of us we have had 12 children. They have now started yet another generation. So for the sake of those who will care about it - the chatty side of the family history starts here. Sue, Frank, Carol and James will deal with the facts; I will trade in memories and anecdotes.
Check out the Plugs 'n Stuff page for some great reading - so far unpublished - that I've found on Authonomy over the months that I've been registered. The links will take you to the posted works of these stars of the future.
I asked the question today on Authonomy: "How many of your online 'friends' would you stay in touch with if you left the site?". It was interesting how few people responded. Of those who did there was a consensus that although we have lots of virtual friends, most of those do not cross over into real life. Most of my virtual pals even use a dedicated email address so that virtual life and real life don't become confused.

So, answering my own question : the only site in which I have ever taken an active part is Authonomy. Have I made any real friends? - yes, I think so - but only 6. Everyone else is just an online persona.

Why do these 6 people stand out? - The friendship thing went beyond the forum into the area of mutual help offsite. I value these contacts as much as any of my RL friends, and to return to my earlier question, 2 of these have already left Authonomy but we remain in contact.

I try to apply a couple of rules to my friendships:
Online - I don't do flirting
Offline - I don't do hurting.

If I regard you as a friend, I'm afraid you're stuck with me  - WYSIWYG 
Tonight I've been babysitting. My granddaughter, at eight weeks old, knows what matters most in life. As we get older we forget that the most important things are cuddles, smiles, feeds and sleep. We could learn a lot from babies.

On a more serious note, Authonomy was back up and running today. I'm not sure if that was a good thing or not. I discovered a treasure of a book on there today. I should maybe message the author and post a link here. Don't know if that will help at all, but it seems like a nice thing to do, and I like to do nice things. Watch this space. I suppose you need permission to post links to other people's stuff ? I'm such a novice.
Now we're rolling. I have a website, and a blog. I'm not an experienced blogger -so I hope I can find stuff that's worth writing here. We shall see.

Today's gripe is that I can't get onto Authonomy to leave a message for someone. Hope they get the technical problems sorted soon.

This website lark is proving easier than I expected. It is also helped by the fact that Authonomy is inaccessible - because it means I've spent a lot of time on this today.

Now, I must announce to the world that it's my big brother's birthday tomorrow so I must depart and organise an appropriate greeting for him.