Who’s behind the Clouds?

I’m an award-winning journalist, writer, editor, with 30 years in the business of journalism, public relations and publishing. I now work freelance.

After leaving university I worked as a researcher/writer in our county archaeology department on a book about the development of local towns.

I then gained an apprenticeship with a newspaper as a graduate trainee journalist, and passed my national qualification first time, when the average pass rate was around 40%. Qualifying examinations included 100wpm shorthand, law, public administration, and a project – I chose education. These were gained on an intensive block-release course.

Our final exam consisted of four exams in a day, bashing everything out on a typewriter. Interview, council report, speech, and practical journalism. It was a long day.

Following that, I worked in sub-editing and took courses in subbing and graphic design for newspapers and magazines.

I moved into public relations as a government information officer working in HMG press offices, (health and safety, agriculture, food, and fisheries, and Downing Street – Prime Minister’s office) and after another spell in journalism, gained a job as a communications specialist with the National Health Service.

In the NHS, I wrote and published everything from patient leaflets, to board papers, to consultation documents, to quarterly newspapers to annual reports.

I also dealt with MPs, royal visits, acted as company secretary to the board, led business planning, performance management and complaints. Oh, and I managed cancer services and cancer screening too. Somewhere in there I achieved my MBA.

Editing for manuscripts

I will do a sample edit of a few pages for free. A full edit costs Β£100 minimum depending on page length, which includes a number of proof reads, plus liaison with the author, factual checking etc. Developmental editing is not included unless requested. I try to improve what you have done, not re-write it, unless you want that.

A copy of an MS is needed to give a price.

Editing for other works

CVs, letters, papers, reports.

Price is dependent on length and errors. Again, I need to see a full copy.

Writing

With a background as a general reporter, I have a wide portfolio that includes my specialisms of history/archaeology, health, cancer, construction, nuclear power, and Land Rovers.

I speak, read and write French, English and Spanish. And the odd bit of Latin.

32 Responses to Who’s behind the Clouds?

  1. Really like Rough Seas. Love Clouds :>) Just read a whole bunch–had fun :>)

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    • Thanks Maurice. You are more than welcome, I love when someone says they enjoy what I write, it so brings a smile to my face.

      As I’ve said elsewhere, I have blogs to suit each purpose πŸ˜€ And that vaguely follow a theme. This one happens to be 99% textual and is a mix of memories, rants, anecdotes, whatever comes into mind at the time. Roughseas tends to be about current affairs with a personal slant or a riveting insight into my exciting life in Gib/Spain plus some fluffy piccies. In fact my life is so exciting right now I’ve not had chance to update either. After all, I had to go to the bank and visit the market to buy peas today, can’t possibly blog as well.

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      • Clouds is very entertaining. You could make $$$ off it if you chose to…but I figure you are choosing not to. My gain! In the meantime, here’s a picture from my ‘home’ to give you something to look at. :>) A work-related visit there will be the subjects of two upcoming posts… http://imgur.com/JtWTlRB

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        • Stunning photo, reminds me of some scenery in NW Scotland, cold and rugged I guess like maybe your part of the world.

          I would be more than happy to make money out of anything (within limits) but I am certainly not having advertising on my blogs. It is so unattractive 😦 [furls up nose at the thought]

          Do you know how many times I have meant to write round to self-market and never got around to it because it is easier and more fun to blog? πŸ˜€ All tips however graciously welcomed and you will be credited in name if not in cash should I ever draw in one penny πŸ™‚

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          • I was thinking print media–newspaper or a magazine. Look–if I am 1/3 or so around the world, not female, and still enjoy reading the posts it’s safe to say it has a more universal appeal. I bet if you shopped it around you’d find takers.

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          • Thanks M. Print media is my natural niche anyway, so that is what I would go for. Clouds, basically is written by a lefty, environmental, feminist, vegetarian, animal rights supporter, all of which are NOT the norm and has a somewhat limited reader attraction. I know, believe me. I have no idea why the people who comment on here read it and add their point of view, because none of them fit into any of those categories πŸ˜€

            Being British, I am willing to have a laugh at myself. Comes with the nationality.

            Your gender point is interesting. I don’t write for either. I certainly don’t write about shopping – apart from how much I loathe it, clothes – apart from my anti-fashion skits usually on everypic blog, make up – don’t wear it, kids – don’t have any, so overall I think I am pretty gender neutral in terms of content πŸ™‚

            My audience, so to speak, is hugely mixed in all aspects. I’m happy with that.

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          • Agreed. The thing I see is that a literate population likes to have its values questioned so it can plumb the depths of the beliefs. That’s what you do…and it catalyses the same in others. See–worth paying for.

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  2. rachel says:

    I wasn’t being fasicious, you really are good. Well you are a pro. However you did describe my blog as crap, It has been called many things, but never crap. Was that the writing or style or content? You seem full of strong opinions and I am genuinely interested. All best Rachel of racheleats the 3 day lasagna post. Ps – do you like cooking?

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    • Actually I described your blog as

      long drawn-out boring shite

      rather than crap. Although it is possibly the same.

      [ETA I described all the random blogs I flicked on as crap, but that was a generalisation]

      If you want the honest comment, my view FWIW is that, your writing and style are vastly verbose and your content is minimal. You also have spelling errors and inconsistencies. So do I. I change them when I notice them.

      For example, one of your bΓ©chamel sauces lacked an accent on the e. I tend to be lazy in comments but try and keep the grammar in my posts accurate.

      Oh and although you describe yourself as English you use American spelling.

      Try this for cooking:

      http://wp.me/P1XwsS-S

      The page is separated into different types of cooking but it’s not complete, I just add to it from time to time when I have time. It is, however, totally vegetarian. I only write about meat/fish/fowl on clouds.

      I can’t make home-made pasta for toffees. Every time I have tried, it has been terrible. I did blog about it at one point.

      I can make bread, Indian bread, focaccia, pizza, but pasta leaves me stumped! There is always Morrisons.

      My most popular post on roughseas is about making olive pate. The most simple recipe ever, and yet gets the most hits. Less is more.

      I am sorry if I have offended you. My comments about Freshly Pressed blogs are rather more aimed at the WordPress people that choose an odd mix rather than the bloggers who get featured. Thank you for being so open.

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  3. CindyF says:

    Hi! I’ve really been enjoying your blog, so I’ve nominated you for the Liebster award. Please see my page for details (http://sage26f.wordpress.com/2013/03/24/the-liebster-award/) to accept award.
    Thanks! Cindy

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  4. Mike Lince says:

    I appreciate your writing style – concise, informative, and with the occasional thorny opinion. I like your inclusiveness, and in particular your “I finally found a decent Freshly Pressed post!” which suggests how difficult it is to find blog writing that is proper in spelling and syntax as well as insightful and informative. It makes sense you are journalism-trained. It shows in your writing, and I must say it is refreshing. – Mike
    PS – Thanks for the follow. I have reciprocated. As some might say here in Spain, “Creo que tu eres que guay!” (I think you are ‘way cool!’)

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    • Hi Mike, I found yours through Honk if you’re vegan, and was fascinated about your six months here there and everywhere, but obviously interested in your Spanish spell. We’ve been to Torrevieja incidentally. I need to read back through your posts though. 😦 That will put back the cleaning and the paperwork a few hours or days!!

      I’ve currently got clouds linked as my main blog, although normally it is roughseas that I write on as my main blog about Spanish and Gib issues. You should be able to find it on the gravatar if you haven’t already done. Our Spanish place is in provincia de MΓ‘laga, so a bit further south than you. At the moment though, I feel like writing text posts without pix (roughseas has pix of Gib and Spain) although do have a post I should put up on there πŸ˜€

      Primarily the FP blog post I recommended was for the content, although I do dislike many of them for their appalling style of writing and vastly OTT design, ie too many colours, fonts, widgets on the sidebar etc etc. It wasn’t brilliant, witty or incisive but it did cover a specific issue well, that I thought was worth highlighting.

      Thanks for the translation, I have lived here for more than ten years though so I might just have got that πŸ˜‰ Thank you also for the compliments about my writing, it’s always nice to receive them.

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      • Mike Lince says:

        Thank you for your great response! I love that Celeste at ‘Honk’ is our mutual connection. She is my ‘blog buddy’. She wrote about our meeting in Southern California – http://wp.me/p39XxD-Pi
        That was our second (and last) meeting as my wife and I were on our way to Europe. We have stayed in touch, and we continue to influence one another. She plans to visit Italy for the first time, she being of Italian descent. I am still trying to envision my life without prosciutto or jamΓ³n iberico.
        We are moving from Alicante to Torrevieja in a few days. I will be sharing more travel stories soon. I will check out your other posts as well. πŸ™‚

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        • Thank you for yours as well Mike πŸ™‚

          I can never remember how I found Celeste (it was recently) but through her and other connections I have found a few more other bloggers. I am forever editing my following list! Spanish ones are possibly the oddest, maybe because I have been here so long, well longer than most of the others, so I maybe seen as a sabeletodo. Thought I had better throw in at least one spanish palabra.

          I’ll look up that link. Should be good. I didn’t realise the Italian ancestry. I do like Italy, not sure I would live there, although I was an au pair for a few months outside Turin. At which I was a total disaster, and I should probably write about it. Hmm roughseas or clouds? the difficulty of having so many blogs. Life without either is extremely easy. Did you see Celeste’s post about the pig sausage thing?

          Tell me what you want to read about and I’ll give you some suggestions. Save you looking back over seven years and five blogs.

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  5. Looking for links to other blogs….hang on Pippa! (Snowy is busy, I’m sure)

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    • Not on here πŸ˜€ I don’t know what that meant up there, I need to change it πŸ˜€ Links to other blogs, I generally find through comments these days. Thanks for the alert though. Tedium, more tidying to do. Snows has gone through mad half hour stage today so is napping. Phew!

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      • Manic energy – know the feeling. Been out Molly before the rain and cold blast – upper 70’s now, low 40’s tonight. Unusual, but clear cool is welcomed – Molly’s already too hot.
        I need to do some blog housekeeping, but just really good at finding something else to do.

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  7. Tempest Rose says:

    Hey! I’m not sure what your policy is on awards, but I think you deserve the recognition so I’ve nominated you for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award! =]
    There is no pressure to accept, participate, or follow the rules exactly.
    If you are interested, you can check it out here: http://wp.me/p374p6-1uS

    Like

    • No, I don’t really do awards. I say thanks very much, appreciate the award, and that’s it really. So thanks. πŸ™‚ I do like the fact that people take the time to pass them on, but it’s not my thing to write about. Now, if I manage to make people think differently, that really is an award or a reward for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It clearly reads ‘Who is behind the clouds’ and then you give a long list of achievements and things you do, did or have done … it’s still kind of cloudy to me. Who is that behind the clouds? – The False Prophet

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    • Just me. But as we are normally defined by our achievements I thought I’d buy into society’s conventions. I can always put back one of my simpler ‘abouts’. It reads I like cooking, gardening, reading and animals. Does that help? Specifically I like to give unwanted animals a home. But browsing around would also show who is behind the clouds …

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just you, that sounds more humble and closer to the truth than your long post of achievements. Why not do both … one heading with achievements and one … just you. Howzabout that? Have a prophet-able day.

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  9. Two down, three to go! *grin*

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