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August 2019 Newsletter

Well, I have some news – the Diary is going to be late this year.
This has been far from the best year for me and my Brian. At the beginning of June, Brian was rushed to hospital with sepsis, very ill. Fast treatment from the medics saved him and he was able to come home after six days. But it took him weeks to recover, with me looking after him.
Now, I have arthritic knees and they don’t respond well to stress of any kind. After three weeks, with all the physical strain and worry, they were swollen up like King Edward potatoes and very very painful. Addituonally, the pain and stiffness spread to most of my other joints, so I was in a bit of a sorry state! Luckily, by then Brian had recovered enough to be able to look after me. The end result is that I’ve spent most of the last four weeks in bed, completely unable to work on the Diary – I’ve not got a laptop and sitting up at my desk was hard work. I’m recovering now, and up and about, but still get tired very easily. Oh yes, the Doc says I’ll probably need surgery on my knees as they appear to be utterly knackered! And we’re still looking for another place to live; fortunately, our landlady says there’s no hurry to move.

Apart from that – well, as I’ve said, the D is going to be late – October, possibly November. And there won’t be time for me to do a Desk Diary. And I will probably have to raise P&P prices and possibly the price of the hardback D also. However, the small softback D will remain the same price – I’m determined to keep it affordable.
On the plus side, I’ve found an eco-alternative to Jiffybags – cardboard envelopes, the same type that Amazon use for their books. I still have lots of the jiffybags left, so I’ll be using those up first; and I’ll always be re-using old jiffybags. But it’s a bit less plastic in the world. We can all of us do a little bit.

That’s about it, I think. I’ll leave you with this quote from Anon:
“Success – To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived; this is to have succeeded.”

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Midsummer Newsletter 2018

Well, the Solstice is here – at 11:07 BST on the 21st – and the days will start getting shorter (if you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, of course; its the reverse if you’re South of the equator). I’m still working on the Diary, but things are going much better than they’ve been for the last couple of years and Things are on course for printing at the end of September.
You can buy your elfin T-shirts, bags and mugs from the site, if you can’t wait. I’ve spruced up the site a little and I’ve done away with most of the T-shirts and other stuff that I’ve had on sale for the last couple of years. Nobody seemed interested in buying them, which was rather disappointing – I thought that everybody would want a splendid gold-on-black Zodiac T-shirt, at the very least. So they’re off the site; however, if somebody wants one still, I’m prepared to do one-off orders.And I’m always on the lookout for new designs that you may like.

Besides the Diary, I’m also busy on a new project. Way back in the Dark Ages before the internet, me & my husband Brian published a small magazine call The Little Red Book. In it, we published a series of very unserious short stories called Tales of Old Todmorden, about a coven of pagans in Yorkshire and their various comic misadventures. We wrote 17 or 18 of these stories and people seemed to like them; for years, we’ve been asked if we can bring out a collection. Well, twenty years on, we’re finally getting around to it!
With luck, the Todmorden Tales will be published in the autumn, in both print and ebook.
I’ve set up a website where you can download one of the stories for free; if you feel the book is worth buying, then you can sign up for email updates there: Or just contact me.

Well, that’s all the news for now. Enjoy the solstice!

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Well, I’ve been tidying up the website a bit. Because nobody was buying them, I’ve deleted all the Zodiac and Dreamcatcher T-shirts, and the Dreamcatcher mugs and bags. I was quite disappointed that they didn’t sell that much, I thought they were good designs. I’ve also deleted the mousemats and notebooks – again, almost nobody seemed interested in buying them. I may introduce one or two new mug and T-shirt designs, but from now on I think I’ll mainly stick to Diaries.
I’ll soon be bringing out the 2019 Elfin Ts, bags and mugs, so look out for those!

As for the 2019 Diary, it’s still on course for a September printing. Will there be a Desk Diary as well as the softback and harback? I will NOT make any promises – it’s all depends…..

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The Number of the Diary!

I’ve just got an ISSN number for the Elfin Diary. It’s the same as an ISBN number for books, but for periodicals. The Diary’s ISSN is 1368-9134; the advantage of having one is that shops with digitised cataloguing/ordering systems can easily order the D.
I came across ISSNs by accident while looking for something else; the system is operated by the British Library and I will be sending them a copy each year. In my correspondence with the Library I discovered that Caroline had been doing that since the first edition of the Diary in 1990. Thanks to the over zealous executor of her estate who refused me access to her paperwork and records, I had never known that. They’ve requested that I send them Diaries for 2012 – 2016; I’ll have to start digging around in my cupboards!
If anybody reading this has old Elfin Diaries that they don’t want to keep, please let me know – I can probably take them off your hands. There are gaps in my own collection of Ds, especially the ones published in the 1990s before I met Caroline.

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A Word About Privacy

Data privacy and data protection have been in the news a lot lately and no doubt some of you are worried about how safe your online data is. If you’re an Elfin Diaries customer, I can at least reassure you that your data is safe with me; I’ve spent the last few days installing new security software on the site to keep out hackers and other nasties, and looking at how I store customers’ records. Go to the Privacy Policy page for full details.

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Happy Birthday Caroline

Caroline Heaney in the 1980s
Caroline Heaney in the 1980s
Today would have been Caroline Heaney’s 70th birthday. I wish she was still around now, if only to give me her usual forthright and cuttingly honest opinion on how I’ve managed her precious Elfin Diary in the six years she’s been gone.