Thursday, 31 January 2008

Dh's Wishful Thinking

Last night I asked dh to make a note to remind me to put the dryer on this morning. Before bed I also added a couple of bits of shopping to the list without reading it, ie bread, goats milk, etc. This morning I saw the note and read it for the first time. I wish it was that easy to win the lottery by simply making a note to do so. Or is this his way of positive thinking? I'm not sure. It would be lovely though, then I could give up my job and spend the day writing in the shed. Ahhh, now who's doing the wishful thinking?

I needed some money today (so what's new) and stopped at the cashpoint on the way home. The wind was howling and the rain almost horizontal as I ran up to wait my turn behind two young girls. Now, I don't know about you but it usually takes me a matter of seconds to put in card/press required PIN number/press required action/amount/etc and then leave. You would also think that standing in freezing cold sleet, wind etc would make someone bloody well move themselves... No, apparently not. These two giggled and changed their minds several times and must have been as wet and wind-swept as I was.

Needless to say that dd had come with me to the cashpoint but had left me there within a very short period of time and run off to the nearest shop where I joined her an age later, doing a remarkably thorough impression of a bag lady having been wrestled through an extremely thick hedge backwards. Dd was most amused and had to hold her sides she laughed so much. I gave a forced flicker of a smile until I caught my horrendous reflection in the shop shelving.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Gorgeous Gerry & Grizzling Grumpy

Isn't he handsome, I thought I would give myself a mid-week cheer up and post a picture of the lovely Gerry Butler. A friend and I were arranging to go and see P.S. I Love You tonight but by the time you find out that the start times of the film are too inconvenient, arrange youngsters and get there, we decided that we will wait until the DVD comes out and watch it at my house over a bottle or two of wine. Anyway, dd told me that it was a lovely film but that I would definately cry and so maybe it's a better idea to have puffy eyes at home where fewer people can see them.

M-i-l came out of hospital today and dh went to her house accompanied by Grumpy who only moments before had frightened a poor man at B&Q by barking angrily at him for no reason other than the dear soul was walking past the car. So Grumps had to wait in dh's car at m-i-l's house for her to be delivered safely home by ambulance so that he wasn't rude to the poor paramedics who probably had more than enough to contend with carting all manner of plants (remember the blue hyacynth), clothes, books etc.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

New Potatoes, Vraic & Synopsis

Dh planted some Jersey New Potatoes in the greenhouse last week. Ordinarily he would have done this on Boxing Day but we weren't organized. Tomorrow/Thursday he intends to plant the rest in the vegetable patch, which isn't a large space but we do end up with the most heavenly potatoes. I can't wait.
The only problem with planting anything is that Grumpy loves to join in and ends up with a beard full of ground and a dusty nose. He can't see anything wrong with doing his bit. I just wish he would leave the potatoes alone. At least with the greenhouse we can close the door to keep him out!
Last year I had the brilliant idea of putting vraic (seaweed) over our veg patch and duly trundled down to the beach with various youngsters and carrier bags in tow. Our findings were spread evenly over the chosen areas and then we spent days with G fighting, eating and vomiting seaweed in various states. So this year we are having to do without.
I still haven't finished the synopsis and am finding it hard putting 120k words into 1k. I need to go over it again, damn thing. Mind you, this is another part of the writing process that I have to learn and I suppose the only way to get better at something is to practice doing it.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Shed gets new roof, wise words & synopses

Dh and I re-roofed the shed yesterday. Well, he did most of it but I did help...if you can call balancing on a ladder shouting, "I can't reach," and "I'm going to drop it," and "Oh bugger, I've got glue all over me." I ended up covered in the black glue that he had to paint over the roof before we could place and nail the new ruberoid (I think it's called) on top of it. Now the only way this will come off the roof is if the entire thing is blown away. It doesn't look very different to how it did before but this covering has a slightly green tinge and goes better with the rest of the painted woodwork. Although dh advised me that the colour of it had nothing whatsoever to do with him choosing it.
I was sent an email today and these words were at the top. 'Be who you are and say what you feel...Because those that matter... Don't mind...And those that mind... Don't matter.' It made me laugh as, being one of those people who is constantly getting into trouble for speaking my mind (although I call it honesty, but maybe I'm a little confused) I did find it amusing.
I'm off now to re-write my synopsis for T&OL. I'm sure I'm not alone when I say that I hate trying to do these. I can't ever fathom exactly how much information I should put in and never manage to make the novel sound as interesting and fun to read as I think (hope) it is.

Saturday, 26 January 2008

My Meme

I’ve been memed although I'm not exactly sure what that means. My friend L-Plate Author (sorry, didn't master the link thing) has tagged me to complete six questions about myself. Then I have to tag six other people, although I'm not sure I know of six bloggers who haven't already been tagged and as I'm useless at the tagging bit I think I'll leave that bit out.

The small print: Link to the person that tagged you. I shall do my best but I haven't mastered how to do this link business, so please bear with me. Post the rules on your blog. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on his/her website.

Here goes

1. My father had a plane crash when I was nine and thankfully survived. It was very much like the one that happened earlier this week when a small aircraft flew from Coventry on its way to Guernsey and crashed off the french coast. Unfortunately, in the recent one two men died although a third did survive. My father and his friend were both lucky to survive when their plane crashed off the coast of France.

2. I rode horses from the age of four to nineteen and have had five in total. I competed locally and only gave up when I went to college and didn't have so much time to look after them. One was sent to a riding school for the disabled in England.

3. I love singing but am told that I'm pretty much tone deaf. I don't believe it of course because to my ears I sound rather like an older Christina Aguillera (sp?).

4. I'm terrified of spiders, monkeys and bats and even though I've forced myself to go into the bat enclosure at Durrell (the bats are on the other side of a glass partition so couldn't get to me) I still nearly had a panic attack and had to leave.

5. My pet hate is when a driver in front of me keeps their speed at say, 30mph through a 40mph zone and a 20mph zone. It drives me nuts.

6. I only need about six hours sleep a night and even as a baby would rarely sleep as long as I should. My aunt always said that I was far too nosy and the thought of sleeping and missing something kept me awake.

Friday, 25 January 2008

That Friday Feeling & His Divine Gorgeousness

Yay, it's finally Friday, such a blessed relief although to be honest it hasn't been a bad week as weeks go but I love Friday evenings with the whole weekend stretching before me (yes, I know I've waffled on about this before, but I do get very excited about not being at work for two days).

I'm also in a great mood because I've found out that the Robin Hood, Season 1 is to be shown on UKTV Gold every night (I think) from 4th February. Now, I know that the above pic isn't of the divine Richard in his role as the magnificent (bear with me) Sir Guy but I needed to post this photo.

Right, I'm off to the shed to work on my short story as I need to send it off as soon as I can and then carry on with my editing. I don't have the internet connected to the shed so that I can focus completely when I'm out there, not that I'm easily distracted (she says) but it helps not to have the temptation.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Walking, short stories & ghastly photos

After collecting dd from school we immediately went to take Grumpy for a walk. The lowering sun shone on the colourful vegetation and glistened on the water in the damn but even though he was obviously enjoying himself, Grumpy didn't appear to be his usually skippy, frantic self. Dh later informed me that he had taken Grumps for a lovely long walk on the beach. Poor devil must have been exhausted from all that exercise.

I managed to write a 1,500 word short story for my Jersey Eisteddfod entry last night. Unfortunately, when I re-checked the details, I noted that the word count should be around 2,500 words so will have to get back to the shed and rework it. I would have needed to go over it again anyway so it just means that I had more work to do than I had thought.

You may have noticed but I've bravely added a picture to my blog. I hate having my photo taken and have very few of me that I could choose from but this is how I look when at home with my hair up and tracksuit on. Not exactly glamorous.

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Pre-ordering books & sad news

I was sorry to read of the tragic death of that fine young actor, Heath Ledger who was only 28 years old. I was only watching Casanova on Sunday and thinking what an exciting life he must lead. What a waste of a young talented life and to think that his baby daughter will not have him around her as she grows up.

Sad news always makes me think that life is too short for wasting time, unfortunately my idea of making the most of it all is to order books on Amazon or book shopping in any form. Here are pictures of two of the books I've pre-ordered - I can't wait for them to arrive. I can see yet another tbr pile of books building up and dh groaning in horror at yet another book delivery.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Boredom, hysteria & insomnia

This is how I felt this morning when running (not allowed to run and certainly not built to run) into the office at 9.05, depositing jacket on chair with one hand whilst grabbing notepad, pen and glasses with the other then traipsing around four floors until finally locating the correct room for my sheduled four hour training for inputting shares onto the system - yawn!!! Thankfully, as I tripped in through the doorway some kind soul told me that they hadn't started yet as there was a bit of a problem with logging into the laptops we were to use.

The following four hours passed by slowly with me managing to escape to make two cups of tea - hey, I was desperate, what can I say - and two loo breaks - same as previous. Then a friend sitting next to me whispered a joke (actually I don't think it was supposed to be funny) but it sent me off into hysterics. You know, the type of manic hysteria where your face contorts and eyes water and no matter what you try and think of nothing but nothing manages to stop you.

The entire class sat silently whilst our teacher waited patiently for me to gain some semblance of self-control. It took a while and even then I had to pinch myself hard on my arm to stop dissolving into spasms of laughter every couple of minutes. It was like being back at school when I was ten.

I'm putting it all down to a distinct lack of sleep last night. Once more a lapse in self control with regard to turning off the television at a reasonable time and I have the nerve to lecture the children about getting enough sleep. So, tonight it's early to bed and a good night sleep. Well, that's the plan anyway.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Things I did & did not do

I had a lovely weekend and apart from a trip to the garden centre I barely went anywhere. I love shopping for plants and usually come back with far too many that I then have to find space for although this time I showed restrain and didn't go too mad.

Plant pots bought - 3 (1 v large and 2 the next size down)
Plants repotted into larger pots - 5 (thankfully dh helped with the lifting)
Primulas planted outside - 5
Inside - 1 (so pretty and brightens up the room)
Bougainvilla pruned - 1 (looks dreadful, I think I got a little carried away)
Mess made - dreadful both inside and out
Words of script written - 0 (big fat zero)
Words written for short story for Jersey Eisteddfod - 0 (yes, another big fat zero)
Chapters edited on T&OL - 3 (here we have a little success)
Packets of Midget Gems consumed whilst editing - 1 (a large pack unfortunately)
Chews eaten by Miniature Schnauzer (used as bribes for a little peace) - 2 (1 each day)

So, although I didn't manage to get very far with either the short story (closing day, 6 February so still a little time) or the Script (I have until April, thankfully), all was not lost as I did manage to edit T&OL and thoroughly enjoy doing it. Unfortunately I was so absorbed by the story that when dh opened the shed door having arrived back home from visiting m-i-l in hospital I nearly had a heart attack. It didn't help that it was dark outside and that I'd been writing about my poor hero coping with reconstructive surgery.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Ashes to Ashes, Script Writing & Being Friday

I may be a year or two past my thirtieth...okay then, fortieth birthday but you can tell that I'm influenced by all these teenagers I have around me. Last night I was quietly ensconced in a fascinating article in the Jersey Evening Post when ds bellowed and pointed at the tv screen and there in front of us was a short taster of the forthcoming Ashes to Ashes staring the fabulous Philip Glenister and the lovely Keeley Hawes.

I shall enjoy watching this with dh as he remembers the eighties as well as I do and being reminded of all the ghastly fashion disasters. Thankfully digital cameras weren't around when I swanned off to a party wearing little more than a bin bag, dog collar (borrowed from local punks who lived on my friend's estate), one lace full length glove and torquoise/pink dyed hair. So I can't show you the picture. How I have the nerve to comment on what my children wear, I really don't know.

I'm entering a script writing competition. The winning script will be made into a ten minute film and the location has to be somewhere in the island. I shall have a go but have never even attempted to write a script before, so had better get on with some research, not to mention thinking up a storyline! I'm not quite sure how I expect to fit this in with everything else I have planned to do, but there's no harm in giving it my best shot (however dire that may turn out to be).

I love Fridays. Having the entire weekend ahead of me, especially one with absolutely nothing planned apart from relaxation and writing, is thrilling. So here's to a great weekend for all of us, may it be everything you wish it to be.

Thursday, 17 January 2008

Jamie Oliver, Hyacinths & Working Late

I still feel nauseous from last night when channel hopping and coming across Jamie Oliver's programme just at a rather surreal moment. I shan't go into detail in case it is too gruesome for some but put it this way I shall be eating less fat from now on - eugh!!!! Effective but horrible to watch. I don't know how long the programme was on for but I only saw 15 minutes and that was more than enough to have an effect on me.

I'm sorry but I had to show you the photo I took of my two hyacinths before the pink one starts dying and now that the blue one is in full bloom. So glorious. M-i-l went to hospital the other day for a knee op and when the poor paramedic arrived to take her there, she wouldn' go without her own blue hyacinth. Dh wasn't impressed and thought it enough for the poor chap to go through the rigmarole of getting m-i-l into the vehicle and all her clothes etc without having to worry about a plant too. Needless to say the hyacinth accompanied her there.

Just as I was about to leave the office today, I received a phone call - how typical is that - and of course it had to be one that lead to a meeting with one of our directors, conference call to the client, various phone calls to the bank, bookkeeping etc. I was busily tapping away on the keyboard when it dawned on me that I had to leave immediately in order to race across the island (I always seem to be racing somewhere) to collect dd from the bus. Thankfully when I phoned her mobile it was on and she was able to get off the school bus and walk down to my office to meet me. She was more than happy to do this as in our cafe at work we have a massive screen connected to a Wii game console and also a Space Invaders table. I suspect that she has been waiting for a chance to come and have a go on these games since I moved to the new office and told her about them.

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Chasing buses, rainbows & firesides

This morning started with a rather tedious bus chase. Half way during my drive to the bus stop ds announced that he had forgotten his locker key. Not wanting to have to do the school run, I delivered them to the bus stop, raced home to find the key and after three phone calls (ds' mobile was off, of course) I found it in a suit pocket, raced back to the bus stop, stopped behind the bus and leapt out of the car only for the driver to pull away and drive off.

How he missed a wild-haired blonde madwoman wearing a bright red baggy top and waving her arms maniacally at him, I'm not sure. Unfortunately several van drivers parked opposite by the shop were highly amused by my antics. Being a tenacious sort, I got back in the car and followed the bus believing that he would have to stop fairly soon. Did he hell, I think that the only children on that bus live near us. In the end I had to admit defeat as I had to get back in time to get all suited and booted myself. Furious, I then phoned ds (on his sister's phone) and raged at him when he asked me to take the key to his school on the way to work. Dh came to the rescue - as usual - and ended up delivering the key later in the morning.

I don't know what is going on but as soon as I step out of our offices the heavens open and pour. At least though I was rewarded by the most beautiful rainbow as I arrived home. It appeared to frame the house and looked so glorious that it cheered me up.

Tonight though I'm going to sit with my laptop in front of the fire and continue with editing T&OL. I simply have to get on with this and then do something with it or bury it in some sort of time capsule so that in centuries to come (should it survive) decendants can dig it up and be entertained, though in what way I'm not quite sure.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

Nanook of the North & Rescue Missions

When my siblings and I were small and dressed up to face grim weather my mother used to say "You look like Nanook of the North." Today, wrapped up in jacket, scarf, anorak with hood pulled low over my face (not a fetching look, I admit) in order to face the stormy winds and driving rain I was going to say that I looked like this oft mentioned legend. I then thought I should look he/she up on the internet to see if there was anyone of this name and it turns out that this is a title of a film made in 1922. Now, I may look pretty unattractive wrapped up against the ghastly weather but even I don't look this bad. I always thought my mother was a little dippy (a trait that I have indeed inherited as has my own daughter) but Nanook of the North???

After work and soaking wet from the rain I returned to the Passport Office and managed not to sigh loudly when the girl dealing with me said she had to scan dd's picture to see if it was acceptable. The fact that ds's pic was taken by the same chap, in the same place, same camera, almost same flipping picture for that matter - his didnt need scanning! I understand that the PO needed to ensure that I wasn't wanting these small red booklets in order to kidnap the children. I mean how am I supposed to kidnap a 16 year old chap who is so much bigger than me? And let's be honest here, why would I want to? These passports are so that their father can take them on holiday again in February. So not only have I got to complete the forms, get everything signed, photos taken, back and forth to the PO, provide them with extra documentary evidence that they are in fact mine and pay for the pleasure as well, but it's not even me getting to take them on holiday.

Enough ranting. The wind and rain was so bad this morning that dd and I decided not to take any chances and rescue my laptop and beloved notepads from the shed and bring them in to the house - just in case the shed blew away a la Wizard of Oz. It also needs a new roof and although dh has bought said asphalt, it is sitting in a pretty roll in the garage which isn't much use when the rain and wind are battering against the small green building (shed).

Monday, 14 January 2008

Making Notes, Passport applications & ice-cream

I have decided to get organized and start making notes in one notepad rather than countless different ones. I have various pads for different manuscripts and then ones for ideas for titles, short stories, general information that I've gleaned from listening to folk chatting nearby but I don't have one main pad to keep the majority of my notes in. So with that in mind, I went to bed last night armed with pen and pink stripy Pukka pad (how I love them) and got writing.

Today I took two forms to the Passport Office in order to get new passports for ds and dd. I checked and rechecked the forms, photos, list of instructions, remembered their present passports and arrived at the Passport Office only to find that dd hadn't signed her form. Apparently as she is over 12 she has to sign and I missed this bit (though how after so much double, treble checking I'm not exactly sure). So I left ds' there as I need his more urgently than hers and tomorrow I shall go back once more. £74 for a passport for him and £45 for her!

The Dairy man arrived this afternoon bearing two tubs of ice-cream. One is banoffi flavoured - dd can't eat bananas so she won't be having any of that one and the other is dark chocolate with dark choc chunks. The only person in the house who truly loves dark chocolate is dh. So guess how popular I am. Unfortunately the other day when the chap asked which flavours he should bring us, I replied "Oh any, it doesn't matter." I stupidly thought that the choice would be strawberry, chocolate or vanilla! Opps.

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Update & Eisteddfod

I promise I'll take him for a walk soon...I just need to finish this, do some editing and then I'll go. Poor Grumps, it must be such a drag to spend so much of his life waiting for me to get of a computer. I should think that the sound of a rattling keyboard evades his dreams like some sort of Chinese torture.

The man from the dairy phoned about the mouldy cheese and told me quite openly that they have someone checking each batch that comes into the island and taking out any packets that don't look right. They are changing suppliers - quelle relief - and as from beginning of February (I think) will be having the cheese produced in the south of England by the same place that also supplies Sainsburys (I think it was) and Waitrose. I thought the whole process was local, hence buying it in the first place but I suppose it is made with Jersey milk. He apologised and is arranging to have a batch of icecream delivered on Monday for the children and when they receive their first batch of the newly produced cheese, he is going to send some to me to see what I think. I shall give it a go. He also told me that the mould on the cheese didnt contain ??? (can't remember the name of it) and therefore wouldn't have given the family salmonella. How nice, so it just looked revolting then!

You would think that I have enough to be getting along with, finishing editing T&OL (only a third of the way through, if that), redrafting RP (more than likely needing a complete revamp), I'm dreading what I'll find when I go back to it. Not to mention BS which needs to be checked through and sent somewhere, where I'm not quite sure. Now I've received an email about the Jersey Eisteddfod's writing competition with entries needing to be in by 6th February.

I shall have to get my thinking cap on to decide what to write. I did enter a competition over here last year and didn't even get near the shortlist so I'm not quite sure why I'm wanting to enter this except that it states that the judges return your manuscript and give comments on what's wrong with it and for that alone I feel I have to enter.

Friday, 11 January 2008

It's the weekend...

This is where I'm going to go this weekend. Grumpy and I shall take long (probably damp) walks whilst he attacks seaweed and I mull over storylines and plot problems.

The only other place I shall be found (apart from the car either dropping off or picking up youngsters) is in the shed as I intend making the most of the next two days and pushing ahead with T&OL. I need to make this m/s the very best that I can and then send it out and see what happens. I have a space on the wall to place a ruddy great nail in the shed ready for the rejections that will no doubt find their way back to me, however, this year I intend to at least be brave and send out submissions. It's a start.

I'm waiting for a chap to call me back regarding mouldy cheese. Yes, that's right. Last night having made a tasty spagetti bolognaise (even I enjoyed it) I opened a lump of cheddar (locally bought) only to find it was mouldy (the date was 7 Feb 08) so ds went back to the fridge to take out a reserve supply. This one we didn't open, it was dated 14 Feb 08 - 5 weeks away - and even though the packaging is frosted you could see without a shadow of a doubt that it was even more decorated with the furry stuff than the previous one. I emailed the firm and have kept the packet and although I don't intend purchasing any more of their products I did think that they should be aware that something must be amiss in their factory for two seperate batches to turn out like this especially so far before the sell by date. I know is sounds as if I have a fridge full of cheese but thankfully there was another packet, not from the same supplier and that was glorious.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Editing, Chocolate & Tax forms

The editing of T&OL is coming along quite well. I only hope that I'm looking at it objectively enough to make sure that it is worth anyone else reading it. I can only give it my best shot, I suppose.

Nevermind, the children brought me back three large bars of Milka chocolate from their trip to Austria as they know only too well how devoted I am to the art of enjoying that melt in your mouth euphoria that only chocolate can bring. I was very restrained and put the three bars away to enjoy at a later date. This was on Sunday and last night I'd had enough of being virtuous and succumed to the temptation and let me tell you it was well worth it. I'll admit that I felt a little sick by the time I poddled off to bed but never one to shy away from these tasty delights I knew that I would feel better this morning and be ready for Round Two. I was right.

I arrived home to see that Mr Tax Man has sent me a large envelope filled with a form, confusing instructions and an envelope. I can't believe it's that time of year again. I won't bother saying how much I hate doing this because I can't truly imagine that there is anyone out there who does enjoy filling the rotten things. Nevermind I shall put it to one side for a bit...

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Nearly the weekend... sort of

I'm much happier today thanks to various things happening:

1. Lovely messages on my blog that were not only helpful but also made me laugh - thank you very much.
2. I had my hair done and have gone a little blonder again - I thought I should tone it down a tad last time and...well, it just wasn't me. I now feel more like my old blonde self again.
3. I booked a girls lunch for next Tuesday to catch up with four close friends for one of our get-togethers. So much gossip to swap!
4. A box was delivered from Amazon. My mother who lives in South Africa sent us a gift voucher & I have to admit that on closer inspection of the contents I found that dh had two CD's (we differ greatly in our taste for music) ds only had one CD, dd had three dvd's and I had the following: The Chalet Girl by Kate Lace (a LBD book - I'm loving these), Jilly Cooper's Emily & Bella and Jackie Collins Drop Dead Beautiful. When I did a quick mental calculation - very vague, never been mathmatically inclined - it turns out that I have spent far more than the others (quelle surprise) especially poor ds who really lost out on the ordering stakes.

I don't think any of them are at all bothered, they just seem content that old grumpyguts here has cheered up.

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Killing basil & happy places

I usually have a basil plant on the kitchen windowsill - I find the smell of the leaves makes me feel happy, Rosemary always does this too - however I keep killing the basil. I'm not sure if they are supposed to have a short 'shelf' life or if it's my ineptitude that causes the demise but I've now replaced the most recent plant with the blue Hyacinth as you can see from the picture.

I woke in a wonderful mood this morning, full of the joys of...well, not Winter, but you get my drift and then my day deteriorated down a slippery slope and despite doing my damnest to be positive I'm in a thoroughly foul mood now. It won't last, it never does thankfully but today there are two grumpy's in my house.

I'm off to the shed to focus on my editing, it will take me back to 1941 but right now that will be a pleasure. Grrrrrrr!

Monday, 7 January 2008

Re-reading, school run & making notes

I was mooching through my bookcases the other day - again - and came across a much loved book that I originally read in 1984. My copy of Octavia by Jilly Cooper has the older cover and looks quite dated now but these entertaining books have been re-released (see new cover) and I have to say that I'm thoroughly enjoying reading them now. I have another two on order through Amazon and can't wait to receive them.

Back to the school run this morning, groan. I spent most of my time at a standstill on a hill behind a bus. Ds has now informed me that tomorrow he has to be in his classroom by 8.20 for an extra lesson as he has his AS level exams this week and by the looks of things has done very little revision - too busy on the ski slopes -though I can't say I would have been any different.

I'm making so many notes at the moment and am in post-it note heaven, or hell depending on which way you look at it. I am redrafting Truth & Other Lies - again - and can't get over the stupid mistakes I've found. Quite staggering especially as I've gone through this process several times before. I do annoy myself sometimes.

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Bad things, good things & being a little strange

Several bad things have happened:
1. I went to my sister's party and ate pasta. I know this doesn't sound so dreadful but when you think that I had only managed to refrain from eating wheat for a sum total of three days it isn't very encouraging.
2. It turns out my new heater is pretty loud for such a small item.
3. And this is the worst thing as far as I'm concerned - I ran out of Midget Gems and couldn't find any more to restock my jars!!!!!!

The good things:
1. I enjoyed the party despite my lack of self-control.
2. I spent hours in the shed writing today - even turned down lunch with dh and the boys and managed to forget about the noisy fan once I had got going.
3. I did find a replacement packet of sweets to fill the jars. They're like wine gums and only black or red ones - not as enjoyable but will keep me going until I manage to find more Midget Gems to satisfy my addiction.

I usually drink Earl Grey tea/herbal teas but when I'm in the shed I love a good honest to goodness mug of Tetleys. As you can see the pic above, I have a small tin tray, on which I load my mug (I have two with peppers on) coupled with two chocolate digestives (I don't always stop at two you understand, but thought I should for the sake of the photo) and a hobnob for his grumpiness. I take these out with me when I amble down the path to the shed and for some strange reason they help me get into my writing mood. Strange habit really, though I suppose it could be worse...

Friday, 4 January 2008

Grumpy is not amused!

As you can see from the pic, Grumpy was clipped yesterday and has spent since then either shivering (even though dh keeps putting the heating on, which he doesn't do if I'm cold I notice) or sulking. He hates being clipped and I'm grateful that this drama only occurs every eight weeks or so. He'll have recovered by tomorrow no doubt and for a dog who appears to be suffering so harshly, I've noticed that it hasn't affected his appetite or penchant for begging for chews!

Step-sons No 2 & 4 go back to England tomorrow and my two will be returning on Sunday so it will be back to homework, lunchboxes and racing against time in the mornings - eugh - and a more organized routine. It's a shame that the youngsters have hardly seen each other this holiday as they all get along so well and now have to wait until Easter to see each other again.

I've been making notes on RP and am looking forward to getting on with redrafting. I'm so excited that it's the weekend and I've only had to cope with four days at work this week. How I'll cope with five continuous days in the office I can't imagine?

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Reading, Editing & Heating

I am about to start reading Story by Robert McKee, which the children kindly bought for me for Christmas. I can't wait and only hope that at least some of his knowledge sinks into my exhausted brain and stays there ready to reappear at the most appropriate time.

I have started editing Truth & Other Lies and am loving reading it again. I only hope that one day an agent out there likes it enough to take an interest but I know that the only way to find out is to send it out and give it a go. I'm about to redraft Reading Paige and hope that when I look at it again I don't find that it is complete and utter drivel. I'm delighted to be a member of the Novel Racers this year and can't wait to get started on the redraft.

I treated my shed to a new smaller heater as the one I've been using is ancient and takes up valuable space. Also, tomorrow is the day that Grumpy will be taken unwillingly to be clipped and without his woolly coat will be unusually cold. Trust me to book the coldest day we have forecast for this treat.

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Resolutions, Diets & Rewrites

Look what I found sitting as if it were still August in my garden! I ambled out to the shed this morning to...well, to see it and found this poppy looking so colourful and cheery in an otherwise rather barren garden and thought I should share it with you.

I have a wonderfully positive feel about 2008. I've no idea why but I can't shake the feeling that 2008 is going to be truly fabulous. Here's hoping!

Well I have allowed myself one of dh's specialities, a superb cooked breakfast with all the trimmings but after today I'm on a diet. I am aiming to cut out wheat and dairy as I know from tests - and from not having them in my diet - that I feel far better without them. I also weigh less!!! I also intend exercising more and let's face it it isn't as if I don't have someone to walk with.

The main part of 2008 is to concentrate on my rewrite, scrub up my other manuscripts and start sending them out. No one is going to know if I can pruduce decent work if I keep it stacked in the shed!

So here's to a happy, healthy, safe and productive 2008. xxx