Friday, January 23, 2009

I Made DJ Kirkby Laugh

Apart from the occasion of my previous post, I am not having a good week (not least because I've realised that my latest story-a-fortnight candidate just doesn't hack it). Only three evenings until the deadline, which might seem like loads of time, but Helen's coming to stay... and it is possible that alcohol will be involved...

Fortunately, DJ's weekly caption-competition once again brought a few belly-laughs into my life on Wednesday, not to mention a huge grin this morning when I discovered I was a joint winner for for the second of her two photos (DJ, where do you find them?).

So, I'm happy again.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

A Rare Moment of Peace*

The boy is at school, the small girl is at playgroup, and the Reconstructed Man came to take the smaller girl out for an hour...

Thus, I'm sitting, feet up on the sofa, computer on lap, cup of (hot) tea to hand, and – and I'm not quite sure why I decided on this, but – Jimi Hendrix blasting from the speakers. It is a moment of utter bliss, and I wanted to share it with you.

* With Hendrix, of course, peace is a relative term.

Monday, January 19, 2009

The Ten Stages of a Forgotten Cup of Tea

You decide to have a cup of tea, but later on you find...
1. You forgot to fill the kettle.
2. You filled the kettle, but forgot to switch it on.
3. You remembered to switch it on, but it was still unplugged from the last time.
4. You managed to boil the kettle (twice), but forgot to get the cup or tea bag out.
5. You reboiled the kettle (three times), remembered the cup, and a tea bag, but didn't get as far as actually adding any water.
6. You remembered to put the water in, but forgot to take the tea bag out.
7. You remembered to take the tea bag out, but forgot to put the milk in.
8. You remembered to put the milk in, but forgot to drink the tea.
9. You drank half a cup, but forgot the rest.
10. You find half a cup of cold tea in the microwave three days later...

I mostly flounder between nos 3 and 8. What about you?

Friday, January 16, 2009

Where is Everyone Going?

In an uncontrolled fit of benevolence, I agreed to collect the Reconstructed Man from Heathrow yesterday. I say uncontrolled, because his flight was due to land at 5.25am.

The alarm was set for four ten, and we were on the road by half past. All through the Sussex weald, I saw no more than half a dozen cars, but by the time we reached the M25 (5.30ish) there were hundreds of them.

I don't do mornings (the school run is very much my limit), but when I am out early, I'm amazed at the amount of traffic. Where is everyone going? Some, I discovered, were heading for the airport like me, but what about all the others? Do people go to work that early? What work to they do, to be on their way at that time of day?

Do you ever go out at 5am, and if so, where are you going?

Thursday, January 08, 2009

FOR SALE: Loo Cistern (in two parts)

Ah ha! I have been challenged, by my Partner in Procrastination, Tom Foolery, to post the following pictures of this bog blog standard item.

And, TF, I'll have you know I went out into the cold to get this...

And appreciating that interested parties might want to see some features in close up:

From left to right: the flush mechanism, the handle (just look at the quality - they don't chrome things like that anymore),
and the broken edge - to illustrate ease of gluing (Araldite recommended).

Additional information: this cistern gave faultless service from November 1981, until October 2008, when it fractured, loudly, at 4am, gushing water all over the bathroom floor (while the valve, of course, began dutifully refilling at full pressure...).

Fortunately, I had returned from a ten-day holiday some full two days previously, and being a mother of small children, was instantly awake to the sound of Something Not Right in the Household. Thus, the bathroom carpet was saved (sadly), as was the windowsill of the room below (including its collection of dead flies, dust, and lego-models). Hurrah.

But, having flushed itself into the focus of my anti-hoarding obsession, the loo is now in want of a loving home. See TF's blog for full details ;-)

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Another New Blog: Creative Crutches.

Hey Folks, found another great new blog: Creative Crutches, which offers just that. Inspired me within about twenty seconds of my arrival.

Procrastinating? Moi?

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Honesty is the Best Policy

The wonderful DJ Kirkby has awarded me this gong, for which I feel truly honoured (that DJK notices my existence is an honour in itself). The requirements for receiving it are as follows:
1. List ten honest things about yourself (try to make it interesting, even if you have to dig deep!)
2. Pass the award on to ten other bloggers

Okay, here are the ten things:
1. I am a recovering obsessive, by which I mean that I now know myself to be obsessive, and try hard not to be. I also know many of my obsessions to be an unbelievable waste of time, but I still find it incredibly difficult to avoid them.
2. My house is an utter tip, despite tidiness being one of my obsessions. This causes me huge stress!
3. I dislocated my sacrum (the lower part of my back) at the age of twenty-four, and have suffered from almost constant pain since. It enrages me to see people lifting things using their backs - they have no idea what they are risking. USE YOUR KNEES. PLEEEEASE!!!
4. I cannot work without music on - it occupies that other part of my brain that would otherwise be drifting/worrying/obsessing. I listen to the same tracks over and over again and, according to iTunes, some have been played over two thousand times [gulp].
5. I envy women with loving mother-daughter relationships. I did not get on with my mother.
6. I love playing with Lego (having a six-year-old son is a real boon).
7. I have a passionate love of walking in the countryside - the more mountainous the better.
8. Despite having been writing since childhood, I was 35 before I realised that I wanted to be a Writer.
9. In real life, I earn my living as a web-designer, which panders wonderfully to my desire for perfection; there are endless opportunities for tinkering with a website.
10. When I was a child, I dreamed a lot about flying (I could take off, although not always successfully, by doing breaststroke into the air). I almost never fly these days, but I still dream very vividly - in Technicolour and with full Dolby Stereo.

And here are the ten other bloggers:
Debs, Liz, Karen, Helen, Maddie, JJ, Sally, Sprial Jen, Lane and Womag

Slightly Out of Focus: a blog

I've discovered a new blog: Slightly Out of Focus (a name that, I think, speaks to many of us). It's owned by Leah Ebdon, a creative writing student who appears to like cats and motorbikes (so she gets my vote), and is quite handy with a camera too. Go see.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

2009 Goals

Here is my updated achievements-and-targets table, taken from this time last year:

Words written73,359>100,000~38,000>50,000
Shorties plotted46402026
Shorties written19261526
Flashes written3110110
Poems written3515
Novels completed11-201
Novels plotted4010
Novels started2101
Total Submissions53100450

*Yey! A target met!

Apart from that one achievement, it will appear to you that I have had an appalling year, and in some ways I have; but, in truth, I have been necessarily distracted from writing (and blogging) by life - and I am glad to have spent the time sorting out those things that needed sorting out.

Now, life is Different, and that is Good - because it was Pretty Bloody Awful before - and I plan (with somewhat humbled ambitions) to return to my writing.

I also wish to offer a huge-and-public, THANK YOU to Helenmh and JJ who, despite having their own lives to lead, have been such good friends to me this year, both via the net and in real-hug-life. Thank you girls - I am immensely grateful for all your support. And thank you to all my other blogmates and visitors - it's been a pleasure to share the ether with you.

May 2009 bring progress in your life, writing-wise and otherwise.