Friday 30 October 2009

House-Sitting, Hamster and Heating!

On average three times a year I give up my little Victorian terrace (VT) to house-sit for my sister in the country. I find myself 'discombobulated' - (a word an American friend of mine uses frequently - basically 'confused' and 'out of sorts'). After a day or two I settle but for a Victorian terrace gal this sprawling place in the country is (a) dark, (b) too quiet and (c) not near any shops! Each day I drive back home to check on my little menagerie which is where I discovered Harriet (the hamster) had curled up and died alone - silly I know to get so sentimental but then I discovered my central heating had stopped working so I taunted myself that she'd died curled up, alone and cold! I gave her a fitting little burial (the cat watched on suspiciously!) and vowed that was the very last little rodent pet I would own - I mean my sons are teenagers now!
So in the midst of all this how is my writing going? Badly is the best answer - I take a laptop to the country house but it's just not the same - it's far too 'tippy tappy' - my words do not have 'oomph' - to write, I need to bash my keyboard - (unsure what should be read into that!) I do have a plan - come Monday morning I shall be back in my VT, back in my routine and more importantly back to my beloved keyboard :-)

Thursday 22 October 2009

Headfirst - Sylvia Fletcher

I got up extra early to deliberate my outfit today - I am going to a book launch this evening. A very good friend of mine (she is also part of my writers' group that meets monthly) has written a wonderful book - Headfirst - 'A glorious amalgam of her couture millenary poems & prose'. The launch is at the shop where she works Lock & Co - Hatters of St James's, a building erected in the 1700's. Amazingly this shop still stands albeit the floors are at alarming angles and it most definitely helps if you're only 4' tall! We are promised champagne and cup cakes. It is all so very delightful but it did make me ponder... her venue is perfect - it obviously suits the subject matter of her book, it is also in a grand part of London. If I were to ever get to that wonderful 'launch party' stage what would I do? I live in Gravesend - (yes it is as dire as it sounds) my subject matter is disastrous dating - what sort of venue ideas does that conjure up? Grotty pub, Lambrusco and tepid doner kebabs perhaps! Oh I do hope not!! ;-)

Sunday 18 October 2009

Re-read or not to re-read and tweaking!?

I find myself posed with this problem daily - when I have written say 2000 words a little imaginary road block pops into my head and it says 'just go back over that, re-read it, tweak it' and then the next couple of hours I hone, improve and all but manicure my words into perfection. And then I feel lost, my plot plan is buried and I've deviated once again. Momentum has ground to a halt. I make a cup of tea and what do I do? ... I re-read it all again and think 'wow I bet I could shape that into a super short story'! :-)

Thursday 15 October 2009

Lists and the one item that never gets ticked off!

For my sins I'm far too organised - I write lists for everything, I get a buzz from ticking items off, a thrill from re-writing yet another list and I awake each day to a list entitled 'Today' (meticulously prepared the night before!) For the last few years there is one thing I cannot tick off my list 'finish novel' - those two words get transferred onto a new list every single day - the day I strike it through I will use my golden gel pen in pure celebration! But today I do not feel quite so guilty - I glance at those two words and smile because I've taken a step closer to actually finishing my novel - I've joined Novel Racers and now I am responsible for writing and making sure those thousands of words count - the golden gel pen is shivering in anticipation! ;-)


Picture the scene - nine women working in an open plan City office, chattering, gossiping, making tea (or lack of it in my case!) It is not unsurprising that when we all stroll back to our desks after lunch if one of us is carrying a shop bag brandishing 'Next', 'Monsoon', 'Marks & Spencer' we are all but frisked to see what the purchases are! Today one such lady was 'frisked'! With a cheeky smile she held aloft a black lacy suspender belt. Now the responses SHOULD have been 'have fun' or 'enjoy' all said with a salacious wink - instead the responses WERE 'that's not going to be comfy', 'a woman wouldn't have designed that', 'couldn't keep one on all day' - oh dear! Does this mean we do not make the effort to be sexy? We're forgetting to embrace our femininity? Well I refuse to be down hearted because I actually think we do and I certainly work with a lady who is putting lots of effort into keeping the female race sexy! Go girl! ;-)

Wednesday 14 October 2009

She's a Better Woman Than Me!

I visited a good friend today and still feel as if I'm walking around with my mouth agape with astonishment! We sat and had coffee in her bedroom because an army of builders seem to be ripping apart the rest of the house (and hopefully building the massive new extension) to accommodate her, the new man and the four teenage children they now have between them! While I sipped coffee, the electrician called, the architect confirmed the windows were the wrong size, the builder cut his hand, the eldest teenager could not find his basketball shorts, the father in law arrived with a casserole which did not fit in the microwave (her only form of cooking right now), the elderly dog she has now also adopted whined continuously to go for a walk and she calmly chatted as if all this chaos wasn't actually happening around her - I admire her, I feel humble and, more importantly, why do I not have the 'zero panicking gene'!!? ;-)

Tuesday 13 October 2009

Woman in Black

I've had a very sleepless night - my son kept me awake - not through sickness, teething or anything so expectant or baby-like - no he is actually nearing 16 and has reached 6 feet! He kept me awake because he was terrified! He had been to the theatre to see the Woman in Black and came home completely spooked - (this is from the boy who watches 'Saw' films and happily brushes off all that horror and gore and tucks into a dinner). But this was a different fear - the real 'something under the bed' syndrome (not that he saw his bed he dived into mine grabbing a cat en route!) As for the actual play - superb - I think if you are happy to be thrilled, terrified, cling onto the edge of your seat and ultimately give someone a sleepless night - he thoroughly recommends it! :-)

Monday 12 October 2009

So here I am, finally succumbed to blogging - in the space of two months I've embraced Facebook and I am now teetering on the edge of investigating Twitter - what is happening to me?! I guess I'm growing young - I don't want to miss out and even though none of this really comes naturally I'm darn well going to give it a go! :-)
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