Saturday, 18 July 2009

Most hated word?

I ws just reading a post on the Guardian Books Blog where poets at the Ledbury Festival were asked what their most hated word is.

What's best about this article are the HUGE number of comments and discussions about peoples' favourite hated word. One of the top ones was 'moist', which I definitely agree with. Especially when in conjunction with 'panties'. I can't even bear to write them down together...

And another one I hate is 'yourself' when used instead of 'you' - e.g. Insurance salesman - 'And will the car be driven by yourself?'

I could go on. And on.

Anyone else got a pet hate?

New look

You can tell I've got work to do, because I'm fiddling about with my blog instead of getting on with it.

Anyway, thought I'd change the layout round a bit - I tried rewriting some of the html code to make my other blog wider but it didn't really work properly, and my LibraryThing widget was still squashed up, so I just thought I'd change the template and be done with it.

I like it to take up all the page - doesn't feel so column-like.

Friday, 17 July 2009


Aren't there just always distractions for writers? My current ones are the following:-

  • Pain - following my wisdom teeth extraction last week, I have had a very painful mouth. The post-operative discomfort has now been added to by a shard of bone that has become loose and is trying to work its way out of my lower gum. It REALLY hurts....
  • Sun - I'm in France. It's very hot and very stormy. I just want to lie by the pool reading, and then sleep a lot.
  • Daydreaming - it's what I do - and there's ample opportunity for it at the moment.
  • Rejection - I got another rejection for a short story, but as they go, this one was encouraging. At least it said 'great idea' and 'good try' before the 'no thankyou'.
  • Facebook - need I say more? Our internet has been broken here for a week and we've only just fixed it. It feels like I'm back in the real world again, suddenly. Or have I been in the real world and am just re-entering the digital mesh we call life?
I have a few writing ideas bubbling just under the surface though - tomorrow it's time to get the notebook and pen out.

Thursday, 9 July 2009


To all you people out there who are reading my blog anonymously (you know who you are!), please leave me a comment when you happen to drop by, even if it's to radically contradict what I've said in a post, because you know me so well...!!

It would make me feel less like I'm talking into a vacuum...

So. Leave a comment. Otherwise, I'm going to start writing about you....!

Yours, as always...

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

I may be some time....

I'm having my wisdom teeth out today. In about an hour.
Apparently, I have to think, 'pressure not pain, pressure not pain...'

So, I don't know how I'll feel for a couple of days. May not want to do anything other than lie on the sofa and watch crap TV.

Also, we're off to France on Saturday, so future posts will be from there for a month or so...

Smoke me a kipper, I'll be back for breakfast.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Regime updates - #2!

Now for the diet update....

It's not going too badly. I had an unfortunate relapse last week, when I went for the best Italian meal I've had outside Italy. We went out for the Consultant's birthday to La Coppola in Leamington Spa ( )
We had a really fantastic meal, which was not so diet-friendly....! But well worth it! If you go, have the antipasto starter to share - it's wonderful.

Otherwise, I've been making slow, if steady progres, of losing just a little weight each week. Cutting down on the wine has helped I think. And possibly drinking the green tea. And I haven't really had any cravings for anything. And I read that green tea can help with that too. So I haven't had the urge to stuff myself with chocolate biscuits... which is good.

I can't imagine how hard it must be if you really need to radically change your eating patterns to lose a significant amount of weight. No wonder we have such a major obesity problem in the UK. Losing weight just ain't easy....

Regime updates - #1!

Ok, I have two regimes to update you on - the writing and the diet...! So here goes with the writing update.

Regimes are good. They're good for discipline. They're good for motivation. They're good for certainty and inducing feelings of security.

What they are not good at is flexibility. And adapting to the 'real world.'

So. If you remember, Stephen King's advice was to write 1000 words six days a week. On my writing days - which are mainly Mon, Tues and Wed. I have been writing well over 2000 words a day. Just having that metaphorical bar set at a minimum of 1000 words has been really good for me. So I've knocked out the rough drafts of a couple of short stories at least....

The problem for me comes on the days when I don't have specific time set aside for writing, and have kids running round the place, and a business to administrate and a home to look after. Also, my writing time has been eaten into in the last week or so, and will certainly continue to be so, by demands such as making a mermaid costume, attending 2 sports days, going to 2 school meetings, collecting a 'new-to-us' car, helping out with the school library, entertaining two sets of friends and relations, and sundry other jobs and responsibilities....

I think when you have young kids, mine are both under 5, you inevitably have to be flexible with your time, because things just happen, like Dear Daughter coming home on Monday saying she needs a mermaid costume by Friday....

I'm not doing Stephen King down, because he is clearly a very determined writer who worked hard for his success, but I can't help noting that it is he who is the more successful writer, not his wife, Tabitha.

Maybe she was looking after the kids and making the mermaid costumes, while he was banging out his 2000 words a day.....

By the way, I'm not complaining, and I'm not making excuses - my challenge is to find creative ways of squeezing writing time out of my normal days and evenings, even with the kids ripping up the place. I also have to bear in mind that my kids will be around less and less as time goes on. I have one more year with Small Son around until he's at school full time too. And then there'll be no excuse for not making my 1000 words, at least 5 days a week! But at the moment I have to be kind to myself, and also appreciate where I am at the moment. I don't want to wish away the last year of my son's babyhood, just to lever in a few more hours writing time....