Sunday, 30 September 2012

Two slaps in one day

Yep that's right, I've had another one of those slap across the face moments.
This one occurred to me when I was writing inside a birthday card that I will be giving Himself on Tuesday and it is this. I no longer write in long-hand.
Those of you that have been around a while will know that I used to write everything in long-hand with a pink pen - hence the name of the blog. I don't do that any more. These days I put everything straight onto the computer and that doesn't feel the same somehow. I don't know when or why I changed but I did.
Well let me tell you that I'm changing back - and I'm doing it today.

And here's another photo for no other reason than I like it. This is my previous dog Zoe who I still love and think of often despite her being dead for four years. I have other photos that are cuter but this one is more her. She was a bit of a tomboy and by the looks of it she's taking a breather after some blowout or other. She was at least 10 or 11 when she died (rescue dog so its hard to be accurate) and I comforted myself after her sudden demise by imagining her in doggy heaven chasing rabbits like she did when she was young.
Anyway, there you go, this is Zoe.

Apropos of nothing.

I've added this for no other reason that I've just found it and I quite like it.
I haven't used my camera for a long time but was checking it out because I will want to use it soon and I found this picture, along with some of the Zachary (the dog) playing in the snow and a few other random things. Its not a recent photograph but I like it and I thought I'd share it with you all.
Anyway, have you ever had one of those moments when you want to give yourself a slapa round the head and call yourself stupid? Well I had another one of those moments this week.
It was part of my quest to "find the love" of writing again.
Back in the days when I enjoyed the actual writing process more than I have recently and I enjoyed a modicum of success I did it in a certain way or rather at a certain time. Not an exact time of course but you know, in the mornings for arguments sake. However since my job, his job, our lives have changed I have been trying to work at a different time which thinking about it logically is a time of the day that I am definitely not fond of. I think that one of the resaons I fell out of love with the writing process is that I have been trying to work at the wrong time of day.
Having said that the window of opportunity for writing at the right time of day is very small but twas ever thus and I used to manage it - and enjoy it.
I am enjoying the writing process more now which is a relief to you all I have no doubt. Instead of writing because I knew it was something that I had enjoyed in the past, I am actually enjoying it in the present. Does that make sense? It sounded better in my head than it does on paper.
BTW - did I get rid of that word verification thing on comments made? I hope I did.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

A bit of a ramble.

Okay okay, so I know that I said that I was giving up writing  with a view to publication but you know what a person is allowed to change their mind.
I have spent the last few weeks just writing for fun and falling in love with it again and now I think that I am ready (mentally at least) to send stuff out into the big wide world again. I have a couple of non fiction projects swirling around my head as we speak but nothing on paper (or screen) yet. However that is for another day, or maybe even later today of I can get a minute.
Anyway, I have a question, a thought, a rambling call it what you will that I thought I would share with you and invite comment on.
My novel "BTL" is finished and frankly getting a bit dusty in its cyber folder. Personally I love it but I would wouldn't I so my opinion counts for nothing here butI have let other people, both close friends and critics alike, read it and as yet I have not had a negative comment about it from a reader. Well my dear friend Jan who is a commissioning director (whatever that is but it always impresses me when I see it on an email) for an art publisher, did say that she didn't like the names of 2 of the characters. I think I called them Dave and Steve but she thought they should have been called something else. She's American so probably wanted them called Dwight and Marshall (both very good names on the right person) or something but as these charcters were in the book for about a page and a half I didn't bother changing them. Anyway that is what the people I know have said about it. All of these people (including Jan) are writers in their own right.
I have also sent it to a few agents who again have not really had anything mega bad to say about it just that they aren't "in love" with it which I suppose is pretty vital if you're going to represent a book and a writer. One agent, bless her heart, even said it was beautifully written.
I am getting to the point of this ramble (yes it is a ramble but with a question coming up now) and I am thinking of self publishing - what do you think? Is it a lazy way out? Is it a sign of failure? I mean, I remember years ago when I first started writing, the plan was to get other people to pay me to write.
Just a thought.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Q. Who do I think I am?

A. I am Colette, born in Yorkshire a number (which I won't reveal) of years ago and what I would call an average person.
However I have decided to dig a little into my past and find out who I really am - as it were.
I only ever knew one grandparent, the rest having died before I was born so I know very little about my ancesters but I want to find out more. The trouble is that I'm not that sure about the best way to go about it so I wondered if any of you had any advice that you could give me.
So far I kn0w the names of my parent's parents and, although there is a bit of confusion about whether one of them was called Charlie or Tom. Also my mother had an Aunt Suranne (my Great Aunt I guess) which is a very cool name given that if she was around the same age as my grandfather she was born before 1900. I always assumed that was a modern name.
Anyway, all advice and tips will be greatfully received.

Random thought.

On my wish list for Santa last year I said I wanted a copy of Janr Eyre and a copy of Wuthering Heights. I'd never read either of them but the urge to do so had finally come over me.
Luckily for me, Santa waslistening and left them both under the Christmas tree.
I read Jane Eyre pretty quickly after Christmas and loved loved loved it. I am currently about 100 pages away from the end of Wuthering Heights and while I am enjoying it very much it just didn't pull me in in the same way as Jane Eyre. This is perfectly understandable of course because they are not the same book and are not written by the same author but in a random thought before I go and make lemon curd I just wondered what anyone else thought.

Thursday, 13 September 2012


This is a funny time of year for me and not funny ha ha. I tend to do a lot of reflecting because this is the the time of year when the darkness was hanging over me. It os so hard to believe that that was five years ago. Where does the time go? Anyway as part of the reflecting I thought that it would be interesting to see if I blogged anything on this day five years ago when it was still very dark and apparently I did and this is what I wrote. I wonder of I ever found a home for that story that I "loved." I wonder which story it was.
Anyway that darkness lifted and life is good these days.
Anyway I'm getting to the point of this posting and it is this. Have you ever woken up and thought that and I don't know how to put this but have you ever woken up and thought that today was special? Like it was the start of something good but you're not quite sure what it is? Well that was how I felt this morning. Today almost feels like the day that the darkness lifted but in miniature because anything that I have been feeling recently is nothing compared to the darkness.
Those of you that were around back then will know that I never spoke of what happened then and I don't intend to do it now. I only mention it as reference as to why this time of year is a time of reflection for me.
Anyway, I digress (for a change) what I wanted to announce is that today feels like a good day.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


We all know what today is the anniversary of. It was a terrible event and one that will never be forgotten by those that lived through it. But it is also the anniversary of something else, something far more personal to me. Well two things actually.
The first thing is that it is my Number 1 son's birthday, so happy birthday to him. He was 18 that day. And that day was also the day that I came up with the idea for my first attempt at a book.
Eleven years ago this very day when I was walking my darling Zoe along "the lines" (as they are known locally) I started thinking about a dear friend and that ignited an idea in my head that became something called DC that still sits in a folder on this computer. It never made it to full fruition and ran out of steam at about 45,000 words but it was only ever written in a first draft so it wasn't developed properly. The lovely Catrin Collier read it and said lovely things about how it was written but also pointed out that she wasn't sure where it would fit into the market. She was right of course and I knew that so I didn't waste any more energy on it. I forget about it most of the time but now and again it comes to mind - usually on this day.
Maybe one of these days I'll open the folder and read it again - just for old times sake.

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Rhyme and reason.

A poem over on Frances Garrood 's blog inspired this post. Take a look at it and you'll know what I mean.
What on earth is that piece of art all about? When it comes to art I like a piece to look like what it's supposed to be. If it's meant to be a face, I want it to look like a face with everything where it should be. It's a personal thing but that's what I like. One of my very good friends is an artist, she earns her living from it, it is her job but sometimes, when she sends me a copy or a link to something that she's produced I think "What the hell....?" She knows that's just the way I am and she respects that it is my opinion and I am entitled it. She earns a very decent living from art so maybe I am in the minority. hey ho, won't be the first time, sure it won't be the last.
So that gets me onto poetry. For me a poem should rhyme. The poem on Frances' blog rhymes and maybe that's why I like it so much. For me, and this is only my opinion, a poem that doesn't rhyme is just prose wrutten in disjointed lines

Fat fingers or something

Well somehow I managed to delete the comments that were made about my last couple of posts. I thought that I'd published them but they're not there so I guess I didn't. maybe its fat finger syndrome or whatever its called because I have been known to press the wrong buttons before. However I did read them so:
Captain - Thanks for the help and I'll give that a try.
Abigail and Theresa - Interesting comments about the Kindle. I guess you are both right that it helsp if there is something on there that you re enjoying to help you get used to the no pages to turn thing.
Jenifer - Thank you for your kind words.
That's it for now because the coffee pot has finished gurgling but I'll be back later. That is a promise BTW not a threat.

Friday, 7 September 2012

Help please.

I'm doing a bit of tidying and am in need of some help. I've removed (hopefully) the word verification from the comments section of my blog because I think its unneccasary. That may of course change if I suddenly get robots commenting though I suppose that would depend on whether they were interesting or not. However I want to stop following some of the blogs that I have on my list. You know the ones, places that I haven't visited for ages or the ones that aren't active anymore. Trouble is, I don't know how to do that so can anyone help?

Thursday, 6 September 2012

What does it feel like?

I'm sure that I'm not alone in loving a good book but I don't just mean the story that I'm reading. I love a book, the feel of it in my hands and the turn of the page. There is something very satisfying about seeing my book mark move further and further back as I work my way through the book. I haven't got a kindle and to be honest I don't have the inclination to get one at the moment but I'm curious to know how it feels in your hands and what the experience of reading from one is like. I'm sure that the written word is just as good because it is just the same afterall but is it as satisfying?

In perspective.

I received an email yesterday telling me that I am due a royalty payment for a story that I wrote a couple of years ago. It's not a big payment infact the word miniscule comes to mind but its a payment when all said and done it is financial remuneration for doing something that gives me pleasure so the cash is a bonus.
By the way, before I go any further, I will point out that I am typing as I think (speak) - remember a conversation between friends - so sorry of I don't make a whole lot of sense.
Anyway, this week I have written for pleasure and enjoyed it. I haven't written with a particular magazine in mind or anything like that I have just written and I am finding the love for it again as it were. I am now writing like (and for teh same reasons) that I used to when I was younger and that's fine by me. I will still submit, of course I will, if only for the pleasure that getting an acceptance brings but I am not going to put the pressure on myself that I have been. After enjoying moderate success in recent years I had hoped that it would increse and pushed myself to do it and got frustrated when more success did not follow. It became like a job and I already have one of those. Writing is supposed to be how I relax after a hard (and they always are) day at work and I remember that now.
Maybe I'll write a poem later, I used to enjoy writing the odd ode.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The last time I cried

A couple of friends and I were having a conversation this afternoon about what makes us cry. There were some things that we had in common but some others were individual to say the least. I thought I'd share my answers with you.
The last film that made me cry - Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Seriously that is true, and I didn't just cry a bit, I howled like a banshee.
The last book to make me cry - Schindler's Ark - need I say more?
The last time I cried in real life - My dad had heart trouble earlier in the year and when I came off the phone with my mum one night I burst into tears and announced that he was dieing. Thankfully he didn't and in fact seems better than he has been for a couple of years but after that phone call I thought I was going to lose him.
That particular outburst was so out of character for me. I don't often cry in real life but when I do, I do. I cry at books and films all the time though - especially films. I once broke my heart when Jean Simmons' cow died an don't even get me started about ET.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Still doing it

Just so you all know, I am still writing its just that for now I am doing it for fun, for relaxation and for me.
I may as well be honest and say that I am sure that I will still submit, course I will,its just that for the purposes of blogging I probably won't talk about it so much.

Keep your 50 shades.

I've apparently lost a follower since I decided to stop writing about my attempts to be a writer and write about myself. that's me off to a good start but hey who can blame them? I did warn that my life was dull.
I was talking to a couple of colleagues yesterday about the latest literary phenomenom that is E L James' "50 shades" trilogy. They have both read them - I haven't.One said that it was all about sex and the other said that there was a subliminal plot and if you could see past the sex then it was a "good story." Like I said, I haven't read them so I don't know which one is correct. The one who said they were just about sex said that she would lend me her copies but I told her she was alright because I had no intention of reading them. "Why not?" she asked. "You a prude?"
Now, given that I have had about half a dozen pieces of erotic fiction which I wrote under a pseudonym in a previous life I am not a prude. The truth is that I just have no interest whatsoever in reading these books. I have no interest in reading Lorna Doone or The Canterbury Tales either but no-one complains about that. I've never read a Harry Potter book and cannot envisage me ever doing so, which is not to say that they are not excellent books in their own right but just of no interest to me personally.
I have just read an article on yahoo (which I would link to if I only had the knowledge of how to do so) about E L James and how she makes almost £1m a week from her books thanks to the fact that they started life as self published e-booksso she gets whopping royalties from these and good luck to her.
It still doesn't make me want to read them.