Friday, March 27, 2009

Occupational diseases

In order to survive in this so-called modern world, people need to work. The payroll they get by the end of the month (or for some people by the end of the week) is a big help for them to make the ends meet for the following month.

However, in this (also) so-called modern world, occupation that makes people survive can also be the source of diseases. It is widely recognized that certain environments—for example in construction sites, mining sites, industrial factories—‘provide’ harmful substances that will always be inhaled by the workers; such as asbestos, coal dust, arsenic and vinyl chloride, etc. In NORTH COUNTRY movie, Glory got a very serious illness that made her paralyzed as a result from working in Pearson Taconite and Steel Inc, a mining company.

Besides, RSI’s (repetitive strain injuries) are also a kind of occupational diseases. World Book 2005 (digital edition) states that RSI’s are painful disorders caused by performing a similar movement over and over again. A wide range of occupations—from computer programming to meat cutting—pose a risk of RSI’s.

A couple of weeks ago, when my brother was hospitalized, his doctor said that the heavy burden due to his work resulted in a part of his brain was swollen; this was suspected as a tumor. The heavy burden was caused by too much thinking because he had to carry out tasks which were supposed to be done by four people; but he had to do it by himself.

This reminded me of a student of mine who once complained about heavy burden in her office. Her post was a customer service officer. However, what she had to do at her office was not just as a CSO. She also had to help other employees’ tasks, e.g. a teller. She was a new employee in one state-owned bank; the same bank where my brother has been working since 1990.

The company is understaffed,” was one reason my student said to me. However, hiring new employees was out of question due to limited budget the company had.

The government does not give enough welfare to the citizens,” I told Angie when she asked me why.

The declining service the government gave the citizens was also explained when a neighbor told me about another state-owned bank where he worked. The bank does not automatically hire new employees although some senior employees have retired. Instead, the bank just asks a headhunter company to recruit some people. These people then are hired by the bank for several years. They are not directly hired by the bank so that their salary is not full because the bank gives the salary to the headhunter company. This company then takes around 20% of the amount as ‘the payment’. By doing this, the bank is not responsible to give the employees some allowances, such as health, housing, pension, etc. Meanwhile, the bank does not need to spend more money to hire more ‘full time’ employees.

This is similar to some private companies. Some companies do not give increase to the employees’ salary although they have been working there for ten years, let’s say. When an employee complains, the company will easily lay him/her off. The company then will hire a new employee with a low starting salary.

This so-called modern world is really not easy. For those living in big cities, they need to work to make ends meet. However, the big burden at the office, not healthy environment, and not conducive atmosphere will make them suffer from some illnesses.

PT56 16.10 270309

Which Notebook is Best for You?

At the Emerald City Writers Conference I attended a workshop on "Gadgets" and the presenter had one of the new purse size laptops. It was all the buzz and now I see them at Costco, Target, Sony, Apple, etc. I did purchase an Acer only to return it because of the keyboard.

I found this article interesting and based on the economy, conferences coming up for most of you, I thought I would pass this along.

Chicklit Gone MIA?

Chicklit has gone MIA.

Once so ubiquitous and easy to spot (Those shoes and tubes of lipstick on the covers! The cartoon images! Neon-bright girly colors!), chicklit has developed a case of such rampant shyness that some onlookers suspect it may be time to declare it dead. Let's have a look at the evidence, shall we?

Blog post Apprentice Writer Blog

Thursday, March 26, 2009

2009 RWA RITA/Golden Heart Nominees

This summer in Washington DC the Romance Writers of America will hold their convention and the winners of the RITA and Golden Heart Awards will be announced.

For the nominees, she this post on the RWA Website, here

Congratulations to all!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Harlequin Medical Romance Blog

This am on The Pink Heart Society digest was a post concerning authors who write medical romance. I didn't realize Harlequin authors had a blog. If you enjoy the medical romance genre, here is their blog.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Nicola Marsh and Mind Maps

As a non-writer I have attended some workshops during conferences of some of my favorite authors like Susan Mallery, Jane Porter, Christina Dodd, etc. on subjects like plotting, organization, promo, etc. I’ve always found it interesting on how a author writes, comes up with ideas and on and on.

Today on Nicola Marsh’s blog I found an interesting piece on Mind Maps and thought I would share it with you here. As Nic notes, you can email her for the details

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Creative Book Promotion

This is a very interesting article on "Creative Book Promotion" by Katie Mack at All About Romance. The article is here I remember when Jane Porter had Flirting with Forty coming out she offered a trip to Hawaii. Have you recently come across an interesting promo from an author or contest? Please share where you saw it.

Friday, March 20, 2009

India Grey in the News and International Billionaire Series - M&B/Harlequin

Mills and Boon and Harlequin Presents authors have written an incredible series, International Billionaires and have teamed up with Six Nations, rugby league. I've personally read India Grey 's and Abby Green's books and all I can say is that they are wonderful.

Here is an interview with India Grey

Stop by Romance Author Buzz Blog to see Abby Green's interview and her comments about her rugby April release here

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

While stopping over at Annie West’s website I saw that her new look was created by author,Paula Roe. I love Annie's new look!

This led to me finding this wonderful website and blog. Check them out! Silhouette Desire authors from "down under".

Diamonds Down Under here

Their Blog here


Six passionate stories from Australia and New Zealand's hottest Silhouette Desire authors!

~ Bronwyn Jameson
~ Tessa Radley
~ Maxine Sullivan
~ Jan Colley
~ Paula Roe
~ Yvonne Lindsay

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Mills and Boon Translations

The news that Mills & Boon have decided to translate their slushy romantic novels into Polish raises some interesting questions about the nature of translation and the world of translated literature. As most translators know, the most translated book in the world is of course the Holy Bible. Statistics (from UNESCO’s Index Translationum) suggest that the most translated authors include (the works of) Walt Disney, Agatha Christie, William Shakespeare and Vladimir Lenin to name a few.
Polish is 14th on the list of most translated languages and 8th on the list of languages most translated into - an interesting discrepancy.

To return to the issue of Mills & Boon translating their novels into Polish, it is interesting taking this in its context. The Harlequin publishing house has a strong foothold in the Polish market which would make it difficult for Mills & Boon to make an impact. However, the reason why Mills & Boon have decided to translate into Polish is due to the fact that they have noticed a great interest in their novels amongst Polish immigrants in Britain, not amongst Polish people in Poland.

These new Mills & Boon books will be published to begin with in Great Britain, rather than in Poland. Strangely enough, a new (translation) market niche has been created which effectively means that Polish language literature has two separate markets - the market in Poland and the market outside Poland. This in turn could effect the Polish being used in each market: the Polish used by Poles in England already differs somewhat from the Polish used in Poland. Might this discrepancy in the two Polishes be increased by the publication of Polish books in England?

Article here:

Monday, March 2, 2009

Be Social!

Lately there have been a surge of new Ning site invitations flowing steadily in to our email Inboxes. I know many of you have experienced this. I’m sure you wonder if this social networking explosion is worth the time and effort it takes to pursue and build a page on each of these new sites—well, maybe.

Personally, I have found social networking through Ning sites very beneficial in making the connections needed to create a stir about my books. However, I am particular when it comes to choosing the sites I join. Why? Because I need to know I’ve invested my time well and not wasted my limited energy on a project which will not reflect useful results. I join only sites which are the most relevant to my books.

There are numerous great Ning sites on the Web. To explore which ones may benefit you most, visit and enter relevant keywords in the search box. I have also listed some of my favorites below. Just click on to join and build an informative page—it’s free. Remember, the more information you provide, the more likely a visitor will find interest in your work or desire to network with you. Ning sites are a great way to connect with like writers and authors, get critiqued, promote your work, and make new life-long friends!

If you know of a Ning site which you would recommend or would like visitors to know about, please add the link through the comment box.

Great Ning Sites for Writers (scroll down for sites for authors and book marketing):

Visit How to Write a book

Visit A Book Inside Forum

View my page on From A Writers POV Network

Visit The Write Spot

Visit The Writer's Box

Excellent Ning Sites for Authors:

Visit Published Authors


The Best Ning Sites for Marketing Your Books:

Visit Author and Book Event Center

Visit Book Marketing Network