Tuesday, 5 November 2013

The (not so ) lovely Guido

As promised, here is my guy who raised almost £40 for hos (my) chosen charity.
Go Guido!!!
Wasn't kidding was I when I said he wasn't much of a looker.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Go Guido

My guy has been sitting at work fr the last week or so and he's raised about £30 which I am pretty pleased about. I took a picture of him but I haven't downloaded it yet but when I do he will be appearing in all his glory right here. I have to warn you though, he isn't a looker but that is part of his charm.

I tried to explain the tradition of Bonfire Night to an American friend earlier today and it reminded me of the time I tried to tell her about cricket. The last I heard she was going to Google The Gunpowder Plot.

As a side note, I had my operation to get the Tenckhoff line inserted this week. It apparently went well though it may be after Christmas before its used. I didn't enjoy being in hospital and was glad that I was only there for two nights.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Two more ticks and other stuff

Two more things were ticked off the Fifty/50 list this week. Firstly I wore a dress yesterday. I meant ti have a photo taken wearing it but I forgot. I kid you not though - I did wear it and what's more I liked it. I may do it more often. Secondly I finished my guy and he'll be going to work with me tomorrow. I have to be honest he's not a good looking fella but for a first (and probably only attempt) I'm quite pleased.
On a different note, I have to be honest and admit that I haven't done a lot of writing while I've been off work even though the intention was there. At first I was too weak and it took all my energy just keeping awake and then later when I got stronger I spent too much time thinking. That's the problem with having a lot of time on your hands you have a lot of opportunity for thinking - mainly about what life has thrown at you and to be honest that's not been a good exercise. It occurred to me the other day that until I am able to return to work properly which will hopefully be around Christmas time I need to fill my time with something other than thinking. So, I've been working on a couple of new short stories. One is finished and waiting to be edited and the other one is just waiting until I come up with a suitable ending. I know what I want o say just not how to say it. I've also made myself a writing "to do" list which will hopefully focus my mind and also give me something to refer to if I find myself dwelling on stuff.
I have to go back into hospital next week for an operation which will allow me to dialyse at home until such a time as my kidneys start working again or I get a transplant. I don't particularly want to dialyse at home, I don't want to do it at all but its what's keeping me alive so c'est la vie. I don't enjoy going to the hospital 3 times a week though so hopefully it will be worth it.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

A lovely weekend and a couple of ticks.

I've been married 31 years today and usually we are way for our anniversary but given that we had the big splurge in Paris in April for that big birthday of mine (well that and the fact that I still have to go to hospital 3 times a week for dialysis) we were going t give it a miss this year. However, my lovely husband booked us a weekend away in a log cabin near Saltburn in North Yorkshire and we were there at the weekend. Its not a vast distance from home (just an hour or so) but it was far enough to be "away" but close enough "just in case". And what a wonderful weekend we had.

I was surprised to find that the cabin was actual wood - I though it was just an effect but no it was an actual log cabin. These beautiful creatures wandered randomly through the grounds which was lovely but a bit of a shock when we woke up to the sound of them walking in the roof one morning. The blue dresses belong to a couple of bridesmaids from a wedding that was being held in the hotel that was also in the grounds.

We took Zac with us and he had a wonderful time playing in the beach and walking through the parks and woodland. He also had a lot of fun digging holes in the sand.

I also got the chance to tick another couple of things off my Fifty/50 list. I thoroughly enjoyed my 99 even though the wind was playing havoc with my hair. I should point out that even though this picture makes it look like I'm shoving it into my chin I was actually capturing the strawberry sauce that was dripping off the pointy top of my Mr Whippy ice-cream.

The other thing I got to do was paddle in the sea.

Zac also enjoyed the paddling though he was braver than me and went in a lot further than I did.

I didn't get to throw my message in a bottle into the sea though because the tide always seemed to be coming in when we were at the beach and I didn't want it landing on the same beach that it was launched from.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A lovely day and half a tick

I had a lovely day out with Himself yesterday (happy birthday to him for today BTW) and I even managed half a tick on my Fifty/50 list.
I bought a dress!! Yes that's right, there is a dress hanging in my wardrobe. I was going to take a picture of it but to be honest it looks better on than on the hanger so maybe I'll have a picture taken when I'm wearing it.
Following some good advice from some of you via comments to my previous post I'm going to look into joining a critique group so if anyone can recommend one I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013


Going through one of my folders that contain stories that are not quite finished I found two stories that I had completely forgotten about.
They both have the same central character and the plan was that they would be the start of a series. I suspect that they are both still sitting in that folder because I didn't know which magazine to pitch them at. I'll have to give it some thought because I really like them.
I've also just given BTL another outing at an agency. I wish that I could get someone to read the whole thing, I don't know if its just me because I have read the first three chapters a thousand times but they don't excite me as much as they used to but when I read the rest of it recently I loved it.
All I want is for one person (other than me) to read the whole thing.
On a different note, Himself and I are having our first day "out" since April and I am terribly excited at the prospect.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

A good day

It was a good day yesterday.
Yeah my dog walking clothes are clearly too big for me and my hair is a mess but this is me yesterday walking my lovely dog Zac in the woods near where we live and that is something that I haven't been able to do since May.
I used to love walking him and not doing so has been one of the things that I missed the most. I've walked with him and my Better Half along the road a couple of times but this was the first "proper" walk. That was a couple of miles and hopefully today I will add a mile onto that and make it to the bench to see the sheep.
Just to make the outing perfect Zac made some new friends.

38 - tick

Number 38 on "The List" has now turned red. I made bread from scratch with my own hands and here is the photograph to prove it. I don't think Messrs' Warburton and Allison have anything to worry about.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Link to stories

Two my stories are now on the Alfie Dog website and can be found here if anyone is interested.

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Dancing Queen

Remember her? Well yesterday afternoon I was dancing around my kitchen and it felt soooooooo good. Things must be looking up.

Okay so "dancing" might be stretching it because my feet didn't move a lot just in case I fell over but the top half of my body was a moving and a grooving.

Also, I'm finally going back to work in 2 weeks time. I'm just going to do a couple of hours a day a couple of days a week but at least its a start.

Thursday, 29 August 2013

So what?

So what if my kidneys still aren't working? My fingers are.
It occurred to me in the early hours of this morning that its been too long since I did any writing so needless to say that is going to change. Life is still pretty rubbish health wise at the minute so why not concentrate on something that I enjoy.
So with that in mind I set about a couple of projects that have been on my mind this morning and instantly felt better. I even did a bit of editing and resubmitted an article.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Number 5 - tick

There's another off my Fifty/50 list. Number 5 has gone that is to read Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee.
It was hard reading at times but I'm glad that I went through it. Its just sad that we don't learn from history but I guess it was ever thus. The Native Americans were treated appallingly but sadly they aren't the only indigenous people to have suffered that way.
I've just checked and so far I've only ticked 7 things off the list so I am a bit behind schedule though I hope that I'll be able to pick up some of the leeway. Given that I was out of commission for the best part of 3 months though I'll forgive myself for that. Maybe some of the things like visiting that historical sight near my home will have to be put off till next year as I think it closes next month for the winter and I doubt I'll be up to a visit before then. Oh well.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Number 16

So there's another one off the list.

Number 16 "to tweet" has been ticked off the list. It wasn't very exciting but if I waited for that I'd be waiting a long time. For anyone who is interested my words of wisdom they can be found here.

Thursday, 25 July 2013

A productive morning

One of the good things (the only good thing) about my So is that I can't do vast amounts of housework etc. so it gives me time to sit at the laptop doing whatever it is that I want to  do without feeling guilty that I'm not cleaning the windows or something.  Well am I feeling smug?
So far today I have submitted an article to an online publisher that has used some of my stuff before, submitted an article to a print magazine editor who says that they like my writing style and sent my signed contract back to Alfie Dog so that the stories that they accepted can go live ASAP. Added to that I have also filled in my tax return. I earned next to nothing from writing last year but the good old taxman still wanted his pound of flesh. Yes well he's got it because I paid it online so that's me done with him for another year.
A productive morning I would say. However there is a small pile of ironing that I want to do. God love him, my much loved Better Half kept house and home together while I was in hospital but the ironing pile was the height of Mount Kilimanjaro. It'll be all done today though.

The real me.

I make no apologies for the drawing above. I'm more of a writer than an artist and for those that can't make out what on earth it is, it is a woman and she is dancing. Her arms and legs are all over the place but she is dancing. As it says above her head she is "carefree."
Let me explain.

During my time in critical care I had to have an ECCO cardiogram which is basically an ultrasound exam on you heart. As the technician was doing her stuff I looked at the monitor and this is what I saw. No I am not mad, I saw a woman dancing in my heart in a carefree manner. Her arms and legs were flying all over  the place to the beat of my heart and as I was tachycardic at the time there were lots of beats.
The thing is that I love to dance but don't. I might have the occasional wiggle around the kitchen when I'm cooking but that's it. But seeing this woman in my heart I realised that she is me. Somehow and I know I'm not making sense here but she represents me or rather what I want to be.
The drawing was done while I was still in ICCU on the only bit of paper that I could find while I was still on oxygen so please take that into account before you mock it. Having said that I am a carefree dancing woman so what do I care?

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Preparing for number 16

Number 16 on my Fifty50 list (which I haven't given up on despite recent events) was to tweet. I've set up the account "@pinkpenwrites" but that's it so far. I need to
a) work out what the hell @'s,#'s and other random symbols mean
b) what I'm going to say. I didn't say that I'd be a regular tweeter just that I'd do it so if its a one off I want it to be profound.
Watch this space - I hope its worth it.

Monday, 22 July 2013

The novice I really am

I have a question and I know it's going to make me look an absolute novice but why not eh because that's what I am. I don't know the answer to this but I know that one of you will so I'd really appreciate the help.
I have a story that an editor has accepted "subject to the changes marked on the attached." The "attached" referred to is the story that I sent them. It has been returned with red marks on saying this word deleted or that word changed etc. My question is do I change the things marked and return it to them or will they do it?

Saturday, 20 July 2013


I felt the buzz of acceptance this morning and I have to say that it feels rather nice.
I've had 2 stories accepted by Alfie Dog which is an online publisher. Its a new one for me but everything is new to us all at some time.
There are a few formalities to be gone through but when the story is live I will link to it.

Friday, 19 July 2013

That List and other random catch up stuff.

Remember my Fifty50 list? The one of the 50 things that I wanted to do when I was 50.Well the last 8/9 weeks have put a dent in it and I thought I'd just have a look at it to refresh the memory. When I wrote number 50 which goes along the lines of  living the whole 365 days it was a bit of a joke. Yeah well you better believe that I'm looking at that in a whole different light now. Anyway, haven't given up on the list but I am a bit behind.
And to other stuff. After getting out of hospital and feeling well enough to attack to mountain of unopened emails I discovered that I had finally heard back from the editor who had had some fiction of mine for a while. Sadly the reply was a negative but that was okay because I had given up on it anyway. However there was also one from an editor who had read some sample articles of mine and said that they liked my style and would like me to write something for them and another email that said that I had sold an article that I had completely forgotten about. A bit of a mixed bag really.
Since coming out of hospital apart from thrice weekly trips back for dialysis I am working on getting stronger. I am doing a bit more every day and getting there slowly. I have also edited a chunk of BTL and submitted 3 short stories.
I asked myself why I was doing that because given what I've been through I wondered if writing/ earing a living as a writer is that important to me. Well earning a living from it isn't because I gave up on that pipe dream years ago. Now I write for fun, because it pleases me and because I enjoy the thrill I get when I have a piece accepted. So yes it is important to me because it makes me happy. As for BTL well I've put a lot of blood sweat and tears (no I haven't) into it and I would like to have it read by other people. I think what I am trying to say in this jumbled mixed up way that my brain seems to be working in at the moment is that if something is important to you or there is something that you want to do you should do it now while you can because you have no idea how long "now" will last. Do it - whatever it is - before its too late.
I also thought about filling in last years tax return but didn't bother. So much for practicing what I preach eh? No that was for things that you want to do. Not that I'm going to bother the chap from HMRC much given my paltry earnings last year but they are what they are and paying the bit extra that I might owe him gives me the moral high ground over Philip Green and all the rest that fiddle their taxes one way or another so its worth it to me.
Other than that I have nothing to report so here endeth the catch up before it becomes waffle.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

And there's more

Some of you may have noticed more radio silence. That's because less than 48 hours after my last post I was back in hospital. To cut a very long story short I got a lung infection that put me in critical care for 2 weeks followed by 2 weeks on a ward recuperating.

I'm not going to dwell on the details but I have had a lot of thinking time which may well in the future provoke a lot of posts.

Without meaning to sound melodramatic, even though I maybe wasn't aware of it at the time, I was very seriously ill (yeah I know the fact that I was in critical care should have given the game away but somehow it didn't) and that sort of puts a new perspective on life. 

I now realise how tenuous our hold is on it. One minute you're here, the next......you know the rest. Without any rhyme reason or explanation I went from being what I thought was a perfectly healthy (apart from a cold and a bit arthritis) 50 year old to what I am 8 weeks later which is a body that is 3 stone lighter than it was then, that needs a stick to get upstairs and a sit down when it gets there and dialysis 3 times a week.

Hopefully all of this is temporary. The weakness is due to muscle waste and gradually as I move around more and get stronger that should improve, I could have done with the weight off but this is not a diet I would recommend and with any luck my kidneys will start functioning at least enough to get off dialysis.

I know what's real now. I know what's important.

Thursday, 13 June 2013

Explanation for radio silence

The last time we spoke it was Friday 24th May and I was hoping to return to the day job. Yeah well that was wishful thinking.

The following Wednesday I went or the blood tests that the doctor wanted and on the Thursday I got a call asking me to go to the surgery and I didn't see home for 13 days.

The doctor said my blood had shown some unusual things and sent me to a clinic attached to a hospital about 20 miles away. I had to go there and then. Once there they did more blood tests, chest x-rays, ECG's etc and a few hours later they told me I was being admitted to the hospital. The following day I was transferred by ambulance with flashing lights to another hospital about another 20 miles away. I had no idea what was wrong with me at that stage and to be honest they was I was feeling I didn't care where I was or what anyone wanted to do to me. Doctors were telling me things but I couldn't take it in.

Turns out that I was in the hospital I was in because of its specialist renal unit and I was there because I had had acute renal failure and my kidneys had completely stopped working.

In the past two weeks I have undergone plasma exchanges, blood transfusions and lots of dialysis.

I have to have at least another 2 weeks of dialysis three times a week and then they will decide if I need another dose of a chemotherapy drug that could make my hair fall out. Did I forget to mention the chemotherapy drug? Highly unpleasant. Anyway the doctors say that they doubt the kidneys will recover to their former standard but they are hopeful that they might return to  enough of a level to be able to come off dialysis.

My life now centres around how much urine I can make and I'm sure you're glad that I shared that nugget of information with you.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Another one off the list

On Monday Himself and I had to go out on a mission that only death would have kept me from. How's that for drama? Anyway on the way back to the car we stopped off to but Number Two Son a birthday and as we walked through the department store Himself said "they remind me of the red shoes you used to have." Just to refresh your memory I have only ever had one pair of red shoes before and I was wearing them the day we met.

I suppose they are a grown up version of the ones I used to have, they are certainly better made. The originals were a bit like what an Indian Squaw would wear and were a bit on the cheap side. So I have my red shoes. They weren't quite what I had in mind but when Himself had made that comment they seemed the right ones to get. Anyway, after what's happened to me in the last week it maybe is just sensible shoes for me.

Thursday, 23 May 2013

Illness update

Happy to report that I am feeling a bit better, well more than a bit actually but I don't want to hex it.
Saw my own GP on Tuesday, well to be honest it was a woman I've never seen before but that's hardly surprising as I haven't had to see a doctor for 18 years. I digress, I saw my GP on Tuesday and after reading the other doctor's report and after her own examination she said that she thought I had Strep Throat as well as pharyngitis which would explain the muscle problems. By that time you see it had become clear that it was the muscles rather than the joints that were affected and that it wasn't just my legs. So I have to carry on with the course of medication and go back for a battery of blood tests and God knows what else next Wednesday.
I hope to return to the day job on Saturday.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Not on the list and another first

Okay so I have been 50 for a month ( and 4 days) and I have something that is not and would never have been on my Fifty50 List? What's that you ask - arthritis I reply.
According to the doctor, who was perfectly lovely at such an ungodly hour on a Sunday morning, the problems with my ankles and knees is down to arthritis and the reason that it has suddenly become much worse it that the cartilage has finally gone and bone is rubbing on bone. Doesn't that sound nice? Anyway he is fairly certain that it isn't a clot because the pain isn't in my calves but just to be on the safe side I'll need to see my GP to organise an x-ray. I'll also need blood tests to check that my kidney and liver function are okay. I know that I won't be in pain all the time and I guess I'll just have to find a way of managing it. As for that "cold" that has been lingering, turns out it is a pharyngeal infection and I have anti-biotics for that.
As for my other first. Well the good doctor that he wants me to spend 4-5 days resting with my legs elevated so I should "self cert" this week. I've never done that before.

A 1(11)st

I didn't come out from under the weather I'm afraid - I went further and further under it. Now as well as the cold my ankles and knees are swollen and I can't walk very well. I short of shuffle around the place and haul my not inconsiderable weight up the stairs using the handrail. It's just a matter of time until it comes off.
I don't go to the doctor because I'm normally a healthy person but Himself begged me to try and get an appointment because he was worried about me. However after the night I've had I couldn't even wait for that and for the first time ever I have called 111. The 2 people I spoke to at 5.30 on a Sunday morning were delightful but I think the bloke might have over reacted when he wanted to send paramedics. After a second opinion it was decided I need to go to Urgent Care and was given the appointment of 1pm. Ten minutes later the nurse rang back and said that she was worried about my bouts of breathlessness which I said I thought were caused by the whole hauling the legs around thing but she said you can't be too sure. So now I have to go at 8am which isn't a problem for me because I've been up most of the night but Himself might not be so happy about the early get up.
I'll keep you all posted.

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Coming out from under the weather.

Which is where I have spent most of the week.
The early part of the week was hampered by a cold that only manifested itself during the evening. I'd be okay during the day apart from the odd cough and sneeze but by 8pm my head would be banging and I'd be raging hot and freezing cold at the same time.
On Wednesday evening I thought that my shoulder hurt a bit, then later I thought it hurt a lot and by 3am Thursday I was sitting in bed sobbing with pain. Himself was on nights so I only had the dog for comfort who, being male, didn't know what to do with a crying woman. He did lick my tears away which was very sweet. Anyway by 6am I couldn't lift my arm from my side. The nature of my day job means that I am prone to damaged muscles in my arms so its not the first time its happened to me but its certainly the worst. After a day of light arm exercises, application of heat and ice plus a muscle rub and a hot bath the arm was "okay" by Friday morning and fine by lunchtime. Phew! Amputation not required.
Then yesterday (Saturday) my cold was with me all day and I felt like the dog's doodahs all day, all evening and most of the night. However I woke at 7am feeling much better hence my claim that I am coming out from under the weather.
Got there in the end eh!
I haven't felt totally well since I got back from Paris if I'm honest but hopefully this is a sign of things picking up. I haven't done any writing since then but hopefully I might actually be able to put pen to paper this week. Seems like ages since I wrote anything new, I must do something - anything.
Just thought I would share my misery with you.
Happy Sunday.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

: ; ?

The colon and the semi colon, oh how I wish I knew what you were all about?
I studied English to A level but I don't ever remember being taught what they were for or where to use them.
Now that I am of an age where I don't mind admitting when I don't know something I'm admitting it. There, I've said it, I don't know what they are for.
Can anyone help me please?

Thursday, 2 May 2013

A funny thing happened....

..to me this morning.
Picture the scene  - early morning (6.25am), overcast and a bit chilly. I am suitably dressed in a bright yellow fleece fastened up to my neck and my hair isn't combed because who the hell am I going to see at that time in the morning. Zac is attired in his harness (he's a puller) and lead and with Frisbees at the ready we leave the house and I lock the door. Upon turning to leave the house who or rather what should I see strolling along the street but a policeman, a bobby on the beat if you will.
He rightly says that I might be surprised to see him on his beat this early which I confirm is the truth and he says that he is trying to catch people who allow their dogs to foul the pavement. He accepts that the pavements where we are, are very clean but says that there is a problem in another part of the village.
I assure him that at this time in the morning he is unlikely to see anybody apart from me and maybe the bloke that lives around the corner who will be walking his dog in the field at the end of the street or down by the river.
Before leaving he tells me that if I have a problem to ring 101 and ask for him.
My son thinks it was someone having a laugh on his way home from a fancy dress party and to be honest I'm not sure he's wrong.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Number 29

I started to put money into a bottle today (number 29 on my list)  and when its full I'm going to find a charity and give it to them. When I came up with this idea it seemed so simple but it isn't. Apart from a milk bottle (can you still get them?) it is really hard to find a bottle where the top is wide enough to get through. The first two bottles I found were way too small but then I found this one.

Sadly though for the poor so and so that has to count them when its full you can only fit 1p's and 5p's in it.

Beyond excited

As stated in the title, I am beyond excited with w recent acquisition.
I have said on many an occasion that one of my favourite authors is Ed McBain a.k.a. Evan Hunter. My love of Mr McBain started after I read "Ghosts"  many years ago. Its a book set in a fictional city about a group of detectives that work there. What sets these books apart for me is the dialogue. Ed wrote great dialogue. Coming across Ed McBain books is an easy enough thing to do especially for someone who works in the charity retail sector and I have a large collection of them. However books written as Evan Hunter is a different kettle of fish entirely. There aren't many of them and they are not so easy to find and in the 12 years I've been doing the job we've only had a few pass through our hands. They are completely different to the books written by his alto ego but the two I have read in the past have been compelling reading. Santa brought me a third which I haven't read yet and yesterday Himself found me another two one of which is "The Blackboard Jungle." I cannot describe how happy I was.
I was going to try to read "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee" (again) after I've finished reading the book after the one I'm reading at the moment but that may have been postponed a week or two.

Coming home

I don't know why I did it but I did but now I've changed my mind so I've stopped it. How many of you read that sentence more than once before you made sense of it?
Basically as I have mentioned more than once I have a Fifty50 plan i.e. a list of 50 things that I want to do in my 50th year and I was blogging about it in a different place. However I never really felt the love for that other place. This is my blog. This is where I feel comfortable. So from now on I'll tell you about everything "me" (be it Fifty50 related or not) here.
The first 13 days are recorded on the link at the top of the page but anything new will be here on my blogging home.
Oh and the list, you know "the list"  can be viewed on the link by the same name at the top of the page and the ones in red are the things that I have done. Okay, I'm over explaining now so I'm going to shut up.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Experimental relaxation.

I've ticked another thing off my Fifty50 list so I'm feeling good about that.  I've also tackled a but more of BTL so that's good too. Thought I'd mention it here because I appear to be talking to myself over there but that's okay because it won't be the first time.
I made an experimental (for me) cake today - Sultana and apple. It was actually delicious actually much to Zac's annoyance. He's partial to a bit of cake but he's due at the vets for his annual check up in the next week or so he's watching what he eats. Well no to be honest he'd eat cake for breakfast dinner and tea but we are watching what he eats. When we got him as a emaciated one year old who had lived off scraps from a pub we soon discovered how much he loved bread and cakes and five years later he's still the same.
I love to bake on my day off - it is so relaxing.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013


I'm just checking. Was it May that Jill from WN said that she'd be accepting new submissions from? I have a couple outstanding with her but I've given up on them - I fear that the rejections may have gone to my spam folder when I was having trouble with my email - but I have another one that I think might interest her.
Would appreciate the any help.

Not again!

One of the things on my list for this year is to "find a publisher for BTL even if its me" or words to that effect. Now as many of you will know BTL and I have enjoyed or is it endured a long relationship which has involved, amongst other things, more than one re-write. Well whatever is going to happen to it, it needs to be gone through one more time and I chose today to start that task. But the thought of reading through those first few chapters filled me with dread. I've read them a thousand times.
I started this task a couple of months ago but became a bit side tracked when the Paris trip came over the horizon. I had changed the MC's "voice" a little so I knew that I would have to go through it again just to get a feel for what I had changed but I wasn't looking forward to it.
I know that when I get past the first few chapters it'll be okay because they are the chapters that I know so well having almost polished them to death but once I get further into the book I think that it will be like reading a new book because while I remember how it ends I don't remember exactly how we got there.
I'm looking forward to that.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Unexpected find.

I decided to do a bit of de-cluttering while I was running the bath and tidy up a corner of the bedroom. There, amongst the birthday cards that I've bought in advance and want to keep and the junk that needed throwing away I came across an article that I wrote God knows when. It reads a bit like an advert if I'm honest but I think that I can probably do something with it after a bit of tweaking.

Reality calling

My other blog seems to be taking its time inspiring anyone to visit it on a regular basis but at least over here I know for the most part that I'm not talking to myself so here goes.
As I have said many times before I treat this blog as a conversation and when something has been said it can't be unsaid but please ignore that first sentence and the wallowing that it involved.
I have to go back to the real world tomorrow after a wonderful week celebrating my 50th birthday (don't know but I might have mentioned that before) and to be honest I'm not looking forward to it. I have enjoyed a week of complete wonderfulness and to be honest the mundane just isn't so appealing.
The worst part of my day job is wondering what I am going back to after a week off. Hopefully things will have gone according to the plan I left but that's not always the case.
One of the things on that list in the other place is to get the pink pen out more and I did come up with a title last night. Not quite sure what or where I could apply it yet but I'll give it some thought. I don't need to tell any of you how weird it is when something, an idea just pops into your head. I still find it weird though. Where do they come from?
The weather's not so nice today not that that stops Zac from wanting go for a walk so that'll be on the agenda for this morning. In fact here is a picture of the lovely Zac for no other reason than he is lovely.
That particular Frisbee is long gone but he does have a fine collection so maybe we'll take one on our walk. After that I have a family lunch to cook, I mean Sunday is Sunday after all and there has to be a roast. Maybe after that I'll fit in a bubble bath and probably manage to choke down a bottle of wine tonight. Not a bad way to spend the last day away from reality.
Actually by 10 o'clock tomorrow I know I'll be fine but its just the thought of it that makes me squirm.
Sorry for the moan and thanks for listening.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Officially 50

Okay so I am officially 50 and do you know what it feels great. You can read all about what I was bursting about if you click on the Fifty50 link at the top of this page which will take you to my other blog. I'll give you a clue though.

However now that I am back I feel focused and raring to go.

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Almost at bursting point

I am bursting with excitement because Himself has come up with a wonderful way to celebrate that big birthday that I have tomorrow. I'm not going to mention it here because I don't want to hex it but needless to say more will follow here and in that other place that you can access should you wish to via the Fifty50 link at the top of the page. Incidentally I haven't provided that link yet so I hope I can do it. Okay I'm gabbling now and that is because of my excitement so I'm going to go before I burst and make a mess of the screen.
See you all in a few days.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

Lists, boots and Spring on the way.

First things first, my Fifty50 list i.e. the 50 things that I want to do in when I'm 50 is ready and if you want to you can view it here.
And now onto things pink pen related. It occurred to me today that one of the first things that I ever tried to get published was a children's story. This was about 35 years ago and the editor said that it was a lovely story that was written well but that it lacked danger and children liked danger. It was a story about a plastic duck as I recall. I have always hankered after writing children's stories because I think its important that they read although to be honest the stuff that I write is aimed more at the being read to at bedtime market. Anyway nothing ever did come of that story but I'm sure if I look hard enough I'll still have a copy somewhere (reference the list about hoarding). Then I started thinking about a children's story that I wrote a couple of years ago which when I sent to editors was met with a similar response. Editors said that they liked the writing but didn't take it on. The trouble wasn't that this one lacked danger but that its length didn't fit into the right slot. I've been thinking a lot about that story and maybe I'll see if I can do anything with it. If they were ever to be published I would want to use the name Sarah Maye which was my paternal grandmother's name and I love it so it would be great to see it sitting on a book shelf.
Other than that I wore a pair of shoes to work for the first time since September which was a pleasure. Not that I've been going barefoot because I haven't, no that would be silly, it has been boot weather since then both because of the cold and the snow. Today however it looked like Spring might be on the way. Hoorah!!!

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A lovely day.

I have had a truly lovely day and as its to do with my Fifty50 project you can read all about it here. I have to be honest, I'm not doing much writing at the moment but I will get down to some in a couple of weeks time.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Cats, pheasants and the return of the pen.

I was thinking earlier on (hence the headache) and trying to work out what has gone wrong so to speak. As I mentioned in a previous post I have had nothing published in the last 12 months and I wondered why. I've never been a prolific writer in terms of what I've had published but there's usually the odd thing to my name, so why not last year?
Well the simple truth is that I didn't write a lot which will explain it. But I think the problem for me has been that what I did write I wrote without the aid of the pink pen - I typed it straight onto my laptop. Maybe that has contributed to my downfall though actually I wasn't very far up the ladder so it hasn't been much of a descent. Before I always wrote in long hand with my pink pen and then used the typing process as an editing stage to change things along the way and it worked for me. I can't remember why I changed that habit but I shall try adopting it again. In fact, I already have. I got the pink pen and a pad out this morning and jotted down 100 words or so as I was having tea and toast for breakfast. Its the start of a Christmas story. Yes I know its only April (already?)but these things have to be submitted well in advance and to be fair it is so cold and even still a bit snowy here that it feels a bit like Christmas anyway.
On a different note I saw a dead cat when I went for milk this morning and it was horrible. It was in  the side of the road and I tried ringing the council who are apparently the people to ring in this situation but it being Easter Monday there was no one there. I thought if taking it to a vet but it was way beyond a vet's help and to be honest I don't think I could have scooped it all up. Poor kitty. And if that wasn't bad enough a few hundred yards further down the road a flamin' pheasant wandered into the road. Luckily (for both of us) it wasn't on my side of the road and I had seen it well in advance which gave me a chance to slow down and stop to wait for it tp make up its mind what it was going to do. The bloke behind me wasn't happy though - I thought his hand was stuck on the horn.
Oh well back to pen and paper. I guess I'm old fashioned but I make no apology for that.

Monday, 25 March 2013

Bring on the sun.

I don't know if its the weather, my age, the pressure of the day job or maybe a combination of them all but I feel so lethargic at the moment.
I want to write something new but my daily window of opportunity for writing comes at a time of the day when I am absolutely shattered and I can't think straight. I used to find time to write and it wasn't in the time slot I now have so I'm trying to remember who I did it.
Its not just writing though, everything seems a bit of a chore at the moment.
Maybe it'll be easier when it gets warm again - if it ever does. I am so sick of this weather.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Reality Blog Award

Thanks to Anne for nominating me for this award

The award is lovely as are the rules which are nice and short;

The rules are -  visit the person of the blog who nominated you and link to them on your post. Answer the questions, nominate more bloggers and let them know.

1. If you could change one thing, what would it be?
Men would have to keep their shirts on in the street during the summer - in fact all year round. I know I'd miss out on the odd (very odd) Adonis but at least I'd be spared the sight of rolls upon rolls of tattooed flab.

2. If you could repeat an age, what would it be
My early twenties so that I could relive the days when my sons were small.

3. What one thing really scares you?
Something dreadful happening to my sons.
4. If you could be someone else for a day, who would it be?
A first class passenger on the Titanic as long as it was a day between 10th and 13th April 1912. If it was the 14th we would hit the iceberg late at night and if it was the 15th we'd sink in the early hours so I wouldn't fancy either of those days thank you very much.

I'm supposed to nominate people for this award but I always struggle to choose just a few and besides, I know a few of you already have it so without wishing to cop out I nominate anyone who hasn't received it yet.

Sunday, 17 March 2013

I give up

I don't mean to sound defeatist because that is not who I am or what I am about but it occurred to me yesterday that I need to give up on the last year.
I tend to work from April to April in writing terms - it's what I do in the day job and it just seems to naturally transfer itself to writing  - and to be honest with April fast approaching I realise that the year 2102/2013 has not been a raging success in fact, being perfectly honest I have had nothing (as in 0) published and I will be almost embarrassed to declare my extra earnings to the taxman. He'll take a look at my meagre royalty payments and feel sorry for me.
To be fair to me though I didn't submit much until about October.
I do still have a few things out there but they are with the editor that I nudged a few weeks ago so I have pretty much given up on those.
But I have had bad days/weeks/years in my day job though and the only way to deal with it is to put it behind you and concentrate on the next one which is what I'm going to do. I think I might have mentioned it before but next year I will have another project that I will be working on but I want to also find time for more writing. Maybe I could combine the two.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Surprise!!! Maybe.

I'm almost certain that my volunteers are planning a surprise for that big birthday that's fast approaching. I keep coming across them with their heads together and conversations stop when I come near, bless 'em - though I might not be saying that if there's a banner hanging over the monument when I  drive to work and 50 balloons hanging out the front of the shop.
There's not a lot, well nothing happening on the writing front at the moment though I do promise to knuckle down to some scribbling and editing soon. I haven't sent anything new out for ages and there's no news on what is already out there. I just can't seem to get into the way of it at the moment so its a good job that its not my job or we'd be starving.
I'm still trying to come up with the list of 50 things for that other blog but am currently stuck on number 32. Who would have thought that it would be so difficult? Maybe one of the things should be to tell my everyday friends that I enjoy writing - nah maybe not. I want it to be a list of things that I can do and I'm not sure I could do that one.
Anyway enough of this waffle. I just thought I'd drop by and let you know that I was still here

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Cosiness returns

I am happy to report that the very nice chappie from British Gas has been and cosiness has been returned to the bedroom. Turns out that a valve had decided to turn itself off for no apparent reason (which is a bit of a worry) but its back where it should be now. So no more random midnight posts as I avoid going to a cold bedroom. Is that a collective sigh of relief I hear?
On a different note I'm finding myself really looking forward to that "BIG" birthday year (the one I'll be blogging about here) in five and a bit weeks time. It feels like a new beginning, like the first 49 years were for learning and the rest are for living or something like that. To be honest I'm not sure that I've learned a whole lot in the first 49 years other than you should never take your happiness for granted because life has a way of kicking you in the teeth. That's just given me an idea for a blog post - what I've learned in the first 49 years.
I finished "Death Comes to Pemberley." today which I thoroughly enjoyed so now we have the major decision of what to read next to contend with.
You'll gather by all of this that news is very thin on the writing front. Still no word from the editor that I nudged a few weeks ago so I think that I can probably give up on those three stories and everything else I have is non fiction so I don't expect to hear about them just yet. I haven't written much recently apart from this and the other blog - too busy trying to come up with a list of 50 things to do next year. I had no idea it would be this hard.
I'm also feeling a bit of a revamp coming on with this blog but that's for another time. Right now there is cannelloni to make.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

As promised.

As promised last night when extreme tiredness and a reluctance to go to a radiator less bedroom induced a random post here is the bit of me that I said I would share. This story if you can call it that was written when I was going through my "very" short fiction phase.
Hope you enjoy.

On the Bridge at Dawn


 Colette McCormick
Marion stood on the stone bridge and looked over its edge at the deep waters below. How had it come to this? When did it get this bad? There were so many questions but so few answers.

Marion knew what she had to do. She had known for weeks but had lacked the courage until now. Was it courage or was it desperation? Did it really matter?

In her younger days Marion could have hopped on top of the wall at the bridge’s edge with one leap. But that was many years and several stones ago. Now she would need help.

She looked at the wooden box in her hand. She placed it on the floor with deliberation. She knew that it would take her weight. She had tested it last night.

Slowly she climbed on to it.

Damn, she was still too low. She had underestimated the height of the wall.

Her mind raced frantically, desperate to come up with a solution. She had come so far, too far to go back.

Marion hitched up her skirt exposing a knee that was encased in a heavy surgical dressing. Forcing it to bend was a struggle but Marion fought the pain. Physical pain meant nothing to Marion anymore.

She forced the knee on to the top of the wall and looked around for something to pull herself up with. There was nothing.

She put the palms of her hands on the wall and tried to push off from the leg that still stood on the box. Could she support her weight? She would have to.

But she could not.

Wrists weak from arthritis gave way under her bulk, her weight dropping back on to her standing leg. The box underneath that leg slipped under the unusual pressure.

Marion heard a crack as she fell but her knee remained where it was wedged on top of the wall. She felt a needle of pain shoot through her standing leg as it landed on the floor. That knee gave way beneath her.

As the leg crumpled she fell backwards and in the split second that it took for her to fall to the floor she noticed with extreme clarity the beauty of the dawn sky. And after the bang of the head on the cobbles came the darkness.

And after that?


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Random waffle to avoid the inevitable

I see I have lost a follower which is very careless of me. Note to self - be more interesting.
I'm thinking of posting something I have written here for no other reason than I think I would like to share something with those of you that are left but I haven't decided what yet.
I could waffle on a bit more but I'm just putting off going to bed. The radiator in our room isn't working and it is frreeeezing. Himself put a little fan heater on in there for me before he went to bed but ... oh its just not the same.
Can't put it off any longer though I have to be up in just over 6 hours.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Thought provocation.

My other blog hasn't reached the particularly interesting stage yet though I hope it will, but thinking about it has or rather is proving to be ...well though provoking.
When I was a little girl I was hit by a car. I was thrown into the air and landed in a gutter. My head was open from front to back on my left side and I was unconscious. I remained unconscious for four days and when I woke up it was apparent that I had suffered paralysis down my left side. My parents had been told to expect the worse but my waking up was a good sign.
After a week in hospital I was transferred to a convalescent home and in fact, the first thing that I can remember about the incident is realising that I was in an ambulance going up a steep driveway. I don't remember much else about the week I stayed in there other than a doctor who said I wouldn't be able to go home until I could smile from ear to ear and grinning like a Cheshire cat at him and the daily game of "Simon Says" to get my left hand/arm working. Oh, lets not forget my sister (who is 12 years older than me) holding my head still while a nurse took my stiches out.
Anyway, without labouring a point, I could have died then but I didn't and I've had a couple of other near misses along the way too and this week I asked myself why.
Why didn't I die then?
I'll let you know if I ever work out the answer.

Wednesday, 27 February 2013


I had an email today from a magazine editor who had asked for some non fiction ideas which I duly provided. Well the ideas didn't blow them away but they have asked to see some writing samples. I have now provided them and I'll wait another 2 months for a reply. I don't mean that to sound the way that I realise it does because this particular editor always takes that length of time so I'll not be looking out for a reply any time soon.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Second nudge?

Two weeks ago I nudged the editor that had had a couple of my stories for 9 months. You may remember that I was uncomfortable doing it. I read today that Jill Finlay has had to put a stop to submissions for a couple of months and reading womags post you can appreciate the amount of work that an editor has to do. I haven't heard anything back from my nudging yet but I guess I can forgive them for that. Just out of interest how long do you give it before you give a second nudge?

Sunday, 24 February 2013

More of me

This is what I hinted at last week.

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Sorry for the dullness.

Apologies for my previous post which was dull, dull and then a bit duller. However in its own way it served a purpose because it has prompted me into action, well only in a manner of speaking anyway. There will be more procrastination involved first but then there will be some action - I promise but more of that next week. There will also be writing in that notebook (the one that I don't want to write in because its so pretty) because I have come up with the perfect thing for it - the thing that I must have been waiting for. But like I said, more of that later.
On a different note, hasn't it been a lovely day, maybe spring really is on the way.

A new level.

I have realised that I am not alone with feeling awkward about (metaphorically) nudging editors that haven't got back to you and I have a feeling that I am not alone with this one either.
A am such a procrastinator. I believe I may have taken it to another level.
Any tips on getting beyond it?

Friday, 15 February 2013


Heard on the grapevine (well Facebook) yesterday that an editor is up to date with the stories that they have received for which I am sure they were doing a happy dance. However, I sent them a story back in the first half of 2012 that I still haven't heard about  so I have had to email them and ask about it. Why do I always feel like a pest when I do that. Not that I have done it very often but when I have, I 've always felt like I'm being a nuisance.

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

My thoughts on friends

Giving a friend your work to read is a tricky one. Like everyone has said, and I am with them on this one, how can you tell a friend if their stuff is bad? You can't, well not without possibly ruining a beautiful friendship.
The good thing about JW (maybe I'll ask her if I can use her name) is that she is like a sister to me. We are much closer to each other than we are to our own sisters but even so I never ask her to be objective about my writing. I often ask her if she has enjoyed something and to be honest it wouldn't be the first time that she said "No," but always in a nice way. Its the same when she sends me a copy of some new artwork that she's created. About 90% of the time I look at something she sends me and think "What the ...?" and I'll say something along the lines of it not being my cup of tea but then every now and then she'll send me something that I think is brilliant and I tell her so.
Anyway, I don't think that I made myself clear in my last post. All that JW is doing is interpreting the editor's email for me - to read between the lines if you will. Its part of her job just in a different field so it's a bit like asking an estate agent to tell you what a house spec really means. As for RS, I never and I mean NEVER give her anything to read because she is too sweet to be objective about anything that any of her friends do and that is part of the reason that we love her. She was just commenting during a conversation that we had.
Its a bit like my day job. I am a "friend" to the paid staff that I work directly with on a daily basis but not really friends with if that makes sense. I have to keep that distance because I have to manage them and it would be really hard to tell a friend that something they had done was totally wrong
To my way of thinking friends are friends and professionals are professionals and they should both be treated as such.
The good thing for me is that JW and RS are two of the few people that know that I write so its not usually a problem.

Monday, 11 February 2013


I asked my very good friend JW what she thought I should do about the editorial service dilemma. I have known JW for 30 odd years and although she is more of an artist ( well a very successful one) than a writer in her job commissioning artwork she is pretty savvy about things.
Anyway, like me she was initially sceptical but she asked if she could see the 300 words that I sent as well as the whole email reply so that she can judge better. I'm waiting for the verdict. She also asked if I knew anyone personally that could do it and I said that I didn't. At least I don't think I do. Anyone an editor on the quiet?
Another friend RS who does write but just for fun not publication asked me if I had considered that the sample might actually be almost flawless grammatically and create the atmosphere that the editor described. After all, wasn't that what I was going for. Oddly enough no I hadn't but that might be because I know I'm not William Shakespeare. Lovely R said I should think about it.

A morning's work

I'm having a week off from the day job (well apart from tomorrow when I have to attend a meeting - okay so I don't have to but its Health and Safety and if you don't go you have to attend a mop up sometimes quite a distance away with people you don't know so I figured that I may as well get it over with) and the first good thing about that is waking up naturally. Okay so I know I only slept until 6.41 but when you're alarm normally wakes you at 6.15 that's a lie in.
Anyway at 10.30 I am going to see the lovely Stephen who (thanks to his magic fingers) will turn me into a new woman. I am at this moment like a sheep that needs shearing but after an hour or so in the chair with gunk on my head to perk up the colour (not to mention cover the grey) and half an hour's snipping away I will be a new me. I always say that I am going to go to the hairdressers more often because people say I look years younger after a visit (cheers - thanks for that) but its a logistical thing, namely that I almost always have a Thursday off work and so does Steve. Anyway that's what I'm doing this morning.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Jacqui Bennet

The above mentioned worked closely with the Writers Bureau which is a course that I did and is probably the reason that her name stuck with me. has anyone ever  used her critique service and if so can you recommend her? If you can't I'd be interested in hearing that too.

First 300 words

When I asked for suggestions for editorial services the other day, Frances came up with the name of one that I had heard of so I thought I'd look into them. However - and this is probably something to do with my age - by the time I got to looking them up I'd changed them to a completely different agency that I have also heard of. By that time it was too late though because I had already sent a 300 word sample to Jacqui Bennett, not Hilary Johnson as Frances had suggested. It's an easy mistake to make - not.
Anyway I am getting to the crux of the post. I have heard back from Doug who was the poor bloke unlucky enough to get my sample and after the explanation of what his marks and squiggles meant, and saying that it was almost "flawless" grammatically (should be considering I've only gone over it a million times) this is what he said:

"It’s not clear to me at this stage whether this is fiction or non-fiction, but whichever it is, you’ve set up the framework of your story extremely well, with a tremendous amount of mystery and panicky apprehension accompanying the narrator’s sudden blindness. Strangely, there’s almost a breathless excitement in the air as his or her anxiety creases. This sort of writing, early on, has the potential to involve your readers, and so they are more likely to keep turning the pages."

So I should be pleased, you think? No I am sceptical. I mean I know (as do you all because I've told you often enough) that I love BTL but here's someone else telling me that the first 300 words at least aren't bad and I can't help thinking - really?
So now I'm thinking is Doug telling the truth and maybe there is potential in my book (there is massive potential in my head but this is the real world) or is he just saying that because he wants me to buy the full service?
I will just clarify though that I in no way mean to impugn Doug's professional integrity, it is just me returning to type i.e. a cynic. 

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Suggestions please

I will at some point be getting a professional to cast their eye (well both of them hopefully) over BTL. Can anyone recommend one?

A proper moody mare.

It's been an odd sort of day, one that has been thoroughly miserable for no particular reason. It's just the way that I have felt.
I have been known to have the odd "dark" time in the past but I usually shake it off after an hour or so - sometimes it just lasts a few minutes but today it has gone on all day. Hopefully I will wake up in a different mood tomorrow.
I was going to submit a short story to WN but then I remembered that there are at least 3 outstanding stories with Jill at the moment anyway one of them from months ago so I figure she has a backlog and so I decided to give it a miss. It probably wouldn't have stood a chance anyway because I'd be sending bad karma with it.
Then I realised that I had 4 anonymous comments from robots so I had to change my settings which isn't a big deal in the grand scheme of things but just an annoyance that my mood blew out of all proportions.
Anyway here's to a better day tomorrow and thank you for listening (well reading).
BTW where does the full stop go in that last sentence? Is it inside or outside the brackets? I've always been a bit hazy on that one.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013


Can you believe it? I can because I know how lax I am about backing up.
I just realised today that me "What's Where" file as in what I have sent to whom has not been saved to the portable drive. It is on the old laptop which after a short illness actually died last Friday. Oh bother!!!
Luckily for me though I think that is the only thing that hasn't been saved and to be honest there wasn't a lot in it at the moment. I know that I had 3 or 4 (think it was 3) stories with WN since sometime last year and there were a couple with TLFF. Sadly I can't remember which stories. There was also a non fiction piece or two but I remember what is where on that score.
So - note to self, let that be a lesson to you (or me) to back EVERYTHING up as I do it. Can't even tell you how bad the "what have I always told you?" looks Himself was giving me were like.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Must try harder

Yes I know that  I said I was going to be a better blogger this year but that went the way of most New Years Resolutions - that is to say out of the window.
However I'm here now.
Well I got a new laptop (remember the old one had a dodgy "s" and had started to do random things?) and I have been trying to get to grips with Windows 8. I can't pretend that I am a massive fan but I am getting my head around it. Until I do, Himself has set up the desktop so that it has a familiar look about it which is very comforting.
On the writing front, I made my first submission of the year this week. I'm still waiting to hear from the editors that I spoke to before Christmas about the non fiction possibilities. Like I said though I have worked with them before and the delay is not unusual. As for BTL, the nugget that was in my head is still there. Basically I have pretty much given up hope of ever finding an agent due to various reasons and so I will have to make it happen for myself which will probably mean self publishing later in the year. I always said that was a route that I wouldn't go down because people were supposed to pay you to publish your book and anything else meant that you weren't a real writer but the world has changed and whether I like it or not technology is the future so maybe I will embrace the e-book.
Other than that the weather has been horrible. and getting about last week was a bit of a nightmare. The most ridiculous thing was going to bed on Friday night to about a foot and a half of snow outside only to have that reduced to a couple of inches by Saturday morning.

Thursday, 17 January 2013


I know this sounds completely bonkers but I also know that there will be more than one person out there who feels the way I do.
I have had a new notebook in  drawer for years.It is a beautiful notebook with crisp, lean white pages encased within the hard cover that is decorated with a picture of an angel and has the word "Dreams" written on it. This notebook is sooooooooo prreeettty and I have been reluctant to write in it since the day I got it and have had no difficulty in resisting the temptation.
However the temptation is getting too much for me today and I really want to write in it.

Thursday, 10 January 2013

Pet hates

I read earlier today about the huge amount of food that gets wasted every year and I have to say that wasting food is my pet hate. I can't bear it and try to avoid it at all costs. This got me thinking about what else I hate and this is what I came up with.
2. (number 1 is the food thing) People that don't pick up their dogs poop.
3. Technology when it doesn't work.
4. When you answer the phone only to find that its a machine trying to sell you something that you don't want.
5. Cleaning the oven.
Any one for any more?

Brian Who?

The nugget of a plan has lodged itself in my head (the brain doesn't take up a lot of space so there's plenty of room)   which involved me going through my short story folder. And what do you suppose I found there? Well without wishing to state the obvious I found short stories there but not only that I found loads of UNFINISHED short stories.
As I was reading through them I was trying to remember where I planned on them going and in most cases (well alright all) I can't remember. This is a pity because one of them in particular would be perfect. I like the start of it but I just cannot for the life of me remember how I meant it to end.
So now I have another nugget of plan i.e. to finish some of these short stories, but like I said there is plenty of room for nuggets in my head.
How odd is this though? Of the first two unfinished stories that I read, there was a man called Brian.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

A Conundrum shared

Well the whole Christmas/New Year hullaballoo is over for another year and its time for us all to get back to normal - whatever that is.
For me that sort of starts today as my normal work pattern will resume so I might at least know what day it is without having to give it too much thought. Today is a bit unusual for me though as I am on my own this morning (even the dog has deserted me) but that has given me the opportunity to work on BTL a bit - or at least read through what I have - which is a bit of  a conundrum.
I will try to be brief.
There are 2 versions of BTL
1. The finished one that has E and G all the way through,
2. The rewrite that was started when an agent was interested in it but wanted rid of G.
Here is my conundrum.
I am trying to incorporate the two because I like E's voice in the rewrite though to be honest she is dipping in and out of it a bit at the minute. But I also like G. Now in the rewrite I introduced him without mentioning him - just as someone E saw but now I need them to actually "meet" and that is proving a little difficult. I'm sure its nothing that I can't overcome but it is giving me food for thought at the moment.
On a different note, I had an email from an editor asking of I had anything on several given subjects and I replied. The thing is, this editor (God love them) takes weeeekkkkkks nay months sometimes to reply so I could have a long wait there.
Also, remember the keyboard problem that I was having before Christmas - the "s" didn't work and so Himself hooked me up with an on screen keyboard to get around the problem. Well they keyboard that was broken has now been replaced - by a mini one - or at least it feels that way. It is smaller and more compact and very pretty but the keys just aren't where I'm used to them being which is leading to a lot of typos.
Other than that everything is okay and so far so good for 2013 though its early days yet.

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

New Years resolution number 1....

will be to be a better blogger. I noticed that my last visit here was December 5th and that surprised me because I thought it had been longer than that.
Not that I had a lot to say or anything to report really so you have missed very little by my not being here but it would have been nice if I'd dropped in from time to time even if it was just to say hello.
Christmas was lovely and I hope you can all say the same but that's over and done with for another year and here we are at the start of 2013. So, quick straw poll if I may, is it 20 13 or is it 2000 and 13? I'm flipping between the two at the moment but it's not been much of a problem for me so far as the only people I've spoken to in the first 10 hours of 2013 were my parents at midnight, my youngest son on my way to bed, Himself when he came in from night shift and a woman walking her own dog when I was out with mine and the subject of what to call the year hasn't come up with any of them. I'd like to know what we're calling it though, or future reference.
I'm not really making resolutions this year (apart from to be a better blogger of course) because a) making wholesale changes all at once is not realistic and b) if you want to change something in your life you should do it now - no matter what time of year it is.
I have a plan for what I want to achieve from writing in the next 12 months and its a bit different from what I have strived for in recent years but I think I am being realistic. Its just a rough outline in my head at the moment but I'm working on it.
2013 has one of those "special" birthdays for me - you know the ones they have a 0 at the end of them - and finally I am starting to feel comfortable with myself. Shame it took me blank 9 years to work it out.
I have a warm and fuzzy feeling this morning which may not last once the rest of the household rises (at the moment its just me and the dog and he's asleep on the sofa) but for now I am content.
Happy New Year everyone.