Always a late-developer, I didn’t learn to swim until I was forced to at the age of forty-something. It was the promise of a free holiday that motivated me, and I learnt with the help of my boss at the time, who taught me in the swimming pool of the hotel where I worked. So, under his guidance, I got to grips with the basics, and conquered my fear, and off we went on the trip to Majorca.

Every day, we would set out in his yacht and find a nice bay to moor, and I would put my new skill into use. But after only a couple of days, I got into difficulties while learning to use a snorkel – put simply, I breathed in a lungful of water and began to panic. I was literally going down for the third and final time when I felt a strong arm supporting me, and my boss’s voice telling me to stop struggling. It is true to say that he saved my life.

So much is happening in my life at the moment that this poor old brain of mine is floundering; and though it is not as real as my drowning attempt, it feels as though I am only just keeping my head above water. True to my policy of ‘you are never too old to make a fool of yourself’, I am busilly learning new things, mostly to do with technology and the internet.

For a start, I have a new book out – ‘Natalie Tereshchenko, The Other Side’ (see my web page at for more on that) with all the excitement and pressure that are part of the birthing process. Coupled with that, there is also an exciting development in the publishing world that I have been able to experience thanks to Smashwords’ founder Mark Coker. Called Scribd, it is a new way for readers to have access to a huge library of e-books, rather in the same way that subscribers to movie networks like Lovefilm can choose from hundreds of films on their computers. Mark has negotiated a deal through which Smashwords authors allow their books to be shared on Scribd, and in return we receive a free first-year membership. This means that my books are now available to a whole new market, and that I can access all the books on Scribd to read on my smartphone or tablet or computer. How cool is that?

On the same day that I was setting up my Scribd account, and finding my way around that new environment, a friend also alerted me to the world of Twitter. So I now have a Twitter account, and I am tweeting like a maniacal canary. I have absolutely no idea what I am doing, but hey, what’s new?