Just look what Carlos dragged in from the post-box today. A letter, rather crumpled and stained, from midlist wannabe novelist Jenn Ashworth, who has her own attempt at a weblog here.
'Aunty Adorna', Jenn whines, 'I've got a reading event coming up and I want to look my best. The thing is, I hate shopping, painting my nails, curling my hair, that sort of thing. What's a fledgling lady writer to do?'
Carlos and I had a long hard look at your letter, Jenn - and from the photo you supplied, I'd say you have serious problems.
How long have you got until your reading? I feel we're in for a serious overhaul here, and not something a quick shopping trip is going to sort out. Didn't your mother never tell you there was nothing wrong with looking nice? Tell me, is this an attitude problem, rather than a wardrobe problem?
Let me speak bluntly to you, as I do to all my favourite fans. There is nothing 'cool' about vintage, second hand clothes, tatty shoes and a coat you've had for four years. Cutting your hair yourself with the kitchen scissors isn't boho and doesn't show the world how 'above it all' you are. No. Just because you've taken pains to look like a man, doesn't mean that you're going to be able to write like one.
Let me be straight with you sweetie - your friends clearly aren't, that's for sure. Beauty does not come from within. It comes from the outside, and soaks through the skin into all the nooks and crannies in the middle. You just look a state, and people are never going to take you seriously as a writer or as a human being unless you wax your top lip and invest in some proper shoes.
If the write-style tips on the left hand side of my blog don't help you, take a look at this cute weblog here, and say that Aunty Adorna sent you.
And remember Jenn - nothing says thank you like a reciprocal link!