Category Archives: Rambles

Sunday musings

I keep a couple of blogs, albeit very badly.  I’m not the type of person who feels the need to yell about what I’m doing to anyone and everyone.  Facebook irritates the crap out of me, because do I really need to know that you’re shopping/having coffee/eating breakfast EVERY SINGLE DAY?  It’s useful for keeping in touch with distant family and friends, and I found the MA group that was set up an absolute lifeline at times.  But honestly, I don’t really want you to invite me to play Farmville or that cooking one, thanks.  I am more than capable of finding plenty of other ways to waste my time.

I like Twitter, for its brevity if nothing else.  If it really does go up to 10k characters a tweet, I may just abandon ship there too.

But between this blog, which I created to keep track of my writing and (hopefully) publishing news, and my other one, which appears to be mainly food/crafts, I’ve noticed that there’s not a great deal of me there.  Not much about my day to day life or kids or work or family stuff.  They’re mentioned, but not every detail.  Even on my public forums, it appears that I’m a fairly private kind of soul.

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Filed under Life, Rambles

And I thought it couldn’t get any crazier

Anyone who actually knows me in real life will also know that my life is insanely busy. Like, off the scale most of the time. I run a small business with my partner, doing all his accounts as well as physically working in both shops. We have four children, ranging from 8 up to 15 years old. Two dogs. Seven chickens. A bloody big house. I’m also doing my MA. The goblins have various extra-curricular activities, including orchestra and Cubs and shooting. I have a whole bunch of hobbies which I get far too little time to indulge, however spring is approaching and gardening is one of my favourite ones, so I have an (almost useable) polytunnel as well as half dozen raised vegetable beds.

So, yeah, kind of busy.

It seems that life has decided to throw another curve ball into the mix though. After a gentle, if thorough, scolding by J’s grandma – who turned 100 last year – he suggested we think about getting married. I agreed, Grandma thought it was a wonderful idea and then someone left the handbrake off on this batshit crazy idea at the top of a hill and suddenly J has booked the church for August 15th.

That’s this year. 2015. Like, six and half months away.

Excuse me whilst I step into the next room and hyperventilate for a while.

First and foremost, however, if any of you dear readers follow me on Facebook, do not, for the love of everything that is holy, mention this on there. I only really use it to talk to my MA classmates and post photographs of the goblins for my father in Canada. My mother, however, is on there a dozen times a day, and I haven’t told her yet. Because I obviously have some kind of death wish. But I can’t tell her until I know my dad can make it over from Canada, because if he can’t, I’m cancelling it.

That and she would want to organise me to within an inch of my life, and as much as I love my mother, I don’t take well to being organised. (As several of you will attest.)

So yeah, wedding.



Filed under Life, Rambles, Wedding

So that was those

Yesterday was assignment day. We were required to hand in both our Drama piece and our Portfolio. There was the most enormous amount of grumbling about these, for a whole host of reasons.

Primarily, lack of communication meant that no one was really 100% sure about content, word count, layout or presentation for either of them. I won’t go into numbers or specifics, because it would probably bore the pants of anyone who isn’t part of the course, and those that are already know ALL about it, but needless to say, we weren’t particularly impressed with the way these assignments were presented.

Secondly – two big assignments due on one day? I know my portfolio ran to approx 100,000 words (half of which I put on a USB because omg, waste of paper in this digital age).

However, they’re done. It also seems some of us had huge fun with our plays, once they were wrangled into the correct size/shape, and as mine is short, I’m going to post it up in the pages section.

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Filed under Lincoln, Rambles, Writing


I make things.  It’s what I do.

I’ve been chewing stuff over in my head a lot over the past few weeks – I’ve been super busy but work doesn’t occupy my brain fully, so there’s always a corner which continues to whirr away whilst the rest of me freewheels through accounts and taking orders and dealing with the day-to-day minutiae of running a business.

Part of the reason I’ve been so off kilter is because the only thing I’ve been making recently is a bloody mess.  My house looks like a typhoon just went through it, and not the interesting jet-powered sort either.  But I’ve not written or done any of the other things I do when I need to make.

Today, I had to wait around in the house for some chap to come and fix my washing machine which had chewed up and then regurgitated the solid concrete block that’s used as a counterbalance for the spin cycle.  Gritty grey dust everywhere.  I couldn’t focus enough to write, but I did cook.  I made two batches of soup – curried parsnip and a general vegetable to use up some of the veg that the local gamekeeper drops off for us every other week – and mince pies and a pumpkin pie, and I roasted a half shoulder of lamb for dinner.  My kitchen smells FABULOUS.  It sounds so simple, but the last few weeks have been so batshit crazy that I’ve not really cooked anything properly since I made Christmas puddings the day after we came back from Holland.

It felt really good.

So now I’m sat here with a ball of yarn and I’m working on a blanket which I’ve been meaning to make forever.  I’ve had the dozen bright balls of rainbow coloured softness in a bag for a while, and it’s incredibly soothing to have something to do with my hands whilst I read.  I open something on my laptop/iPad/Kindle and I can sit and read and knit/crochet, occupying both hands and brain and I feel like I’m not wasting my time by sitting idle.  Currently I’m reading through Windmills – I used the opening chapter in the symposium and it went a lot better than I thought.  Maybe I should have stuck around for a little more peer feedback, but I just wanted to hide in the corner and cough some more.  One day I might stop being such an introvert.

So yeah, I’m making stuff.  Who knows, maybe I’ll even make sense if I work at it hard enough.


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Filed under House, Rambles, Writing


Tomorrow I have to read this piece in front of my peers – assuming I decide on which one I actually want to read (spoiler: NONE OF THEM).  That little crack at the end of my last post about not being able to do it because of losing my voice is actually perilously close to being true, however.

Still, these are my options:

1. The first 1100 words of the were/vamp/human cracky thing I started writing which has since become 32k+ and isn’t quite so cracky after all.  (Even if the werewolves end up fighting a dinosaur.  No, seriously.)  I’ve also added another 1500 words from the middle, which deals with the death of an old man.  Cheerful pre-Christmas reading, obviously.

2. A section set in Vienna from a 55k romance-gone-wrong, in which a one night stand on a ferry to Holland ends up getting my protagonist kidnapped by a psychopath and dragged lengthwise across the entire continent to Croatia.  The moral of this story, kids, is never take good looking strangers with French accents back to your cabin.

3.  Ridiculous trope laden werewolf romance, written for Nano 2012.  Ugh, such stupidity.  Why am I even looking at it?  I like the wolf though – he has a dry sense of humour one doesn’t expect from a werewolf.

4.  Another piece of Kaihopara, where Anna arrives in New I’land with Jared and the captain of the airship, Hrafn.  This whole new world is seen through Anna’s eyes.

5.  Something I wrote for my eldest daughter, who was getting a little fed up with all the boring vampire stuff out there.  I said, what about vampire pirates and she went YAY!   So I did this.  #sorrynotsorry

And now it’s nearly 1am and I’m still sat here wondering what the bloody hell I’m going to read tomorrow.

Gods, I hate Christmas sometimes.



Filed under Lincoln, Rambles, Writing

More grumbles

Now I’ve got a bloody cough and cold. I NEVER GET SICK. Ugh.

So yeah, my blog posts are obviously reflecting my current intelligent state. Word count since last week = 0. In fact, I’m pretty sure the whole of December has so far been a write off (and the irony of that phrase isn’t lost on me either).

Listening to Sally Nicholls talk yesterday made me at once intensely jealous and somewhat relieved – she gets to spend all day writing if she wishes (in amongst school visits) and yet she only has a 500 word per day goal, and feels satisfied if she hits 1000 words a day. I would dearly love the chance to spend all day writing, or even a whole afternoon. I’m just going to have to carve out a corner for myself if I don’t want to lose the rest of my marbles completely.

I’m also going to admit to being a touch apprehensive about next week.  I know it’s only my tutor group and it may only be twenty minutes but I have to stand up in front of everyone and talk.  Not just talk, but read something I’ve written.  I don’t think anyone could have devised a worse method of torture for me if they’d tried.

I write because I’m a grumpy, socially-awkward introvert and, for the vast majority of time, I don’t have to interact with other human beings when I’m scribbling/typing away.  Don’t get me wrong – I love people.  I love watching people.  I love recording snippets of their conversations, of their lives, noting appearances and mannerisms and the delightful variety of idiosyncrasies that the human race exhibits.  I’m just not particularly skilled at talking to them.  Or presenting myself in such a manner that I come across as interesting and engaging, rather than just an adjective away from putting my foot in my mouth.  Keeping a lid on the eccentric crazy which inhabits a corner of my brain is also difficult.

Oh, hey, what if this cold doesn’t go away and I lose my voice?  🙂


Filed under Lincoln, Rambles, Writing

Too many blogs?

I’ve recently realised I have too many blogs and don’t actually use any of them.

Thanks to that bleeding heart bug, I’m having to reset all of my passwords. I have a book reading blog, a day to day blog, a fandom one, this writing one, and god knows what else is out there that I’ve forgotten about. So, in the interest of expediency and transparency (and also to save my poor beleaguered brain), I shall condense everything onto this blog.

Also, it’s linked to my website and if I’m paying for hosting, I may as well use the version I’m paying for, right? 🙂

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Filed under Rambles


Lost my password.  Actually, no, that’s not quite accurate.  More along the lines of changed computers, didn’t write down all the passwords required and forgot my user name for WordPress.

No, I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed right now.  Doesn’t help that this new laptop has lost a shift key, which is hugely irritating and it WILL be going back to PCurryWorld to have that put right.

Not even going to begin to catch up with everything that’s been happening lately, as I think it’s all water best left under the bridge.  Let’s just say I feel completely cheated by Christmas and I have to get a better work/life/writing type balace before I go off my rocker completely.

Getting burgled just before Christmas didn’t help either – I have a list as long as my arm of stuff to do in order to get that sorted, as well as finish the last of the paperwork from when we sold the other house at the start of December.  One day, I too will catch up with all this sodding paperwork!

Now for more NCIS – I’ve developed a fondness for Gibbs, it appears.  Silver haired blue eyed Marine, anyone?

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Filed under House, Rambles

Happy New Year :)

Yay for January!  All the fuss and brouhaha is over, the last of the chocolate and turkey has been consumed and/or otherwise disposed of and everything calms down somewhat.  It’s more than a relief this year, that’s for sure.

My health is crappy right now, which is getting me down but I’m going to do my normal and ignore it and just get on with it.  Could do with not always feeling so tired, that’s for sure.  And my hips ache like nothing else.  Ho hum, welcome to nearly 40… LOL   It could be worse, so I’m not going to dwell on it.  It just means I’m spending more time in the house instead of tearing around the place running errands and burning obscene amounts of diesel.  Not being sociable either, but that’ll no doubt change once I feel a little better.  It’s quite nice to have some peace and quiet after the last six months of total insanity.  I may even pick up a book…

Am back knitting, which is always good.  My garden is coming on apace.  Probably should mention we moved in on 1st December, so it’s back to living out of boxes.  I’m used to that though, so it’s no hardship.  Best thing is though, when I empty one, I don’t have to keep it ready for the next move.  The kids have taken a great big stack of boxes up to the common room and made a huge den out of them, and I don’t care – they can trash them completely as far as I’m concerned.  Whatever’s left will be summarily torched when there’s enough to make a decent bonfire.

This is one of those posts where I ramble on for a while, say a great deal about not a lot, then wander off again.

Oh, resolutions?  I guess I should make a few, if only to be able to look back in a few months and laugh at myself and my unfounded optimism.

1. Lose that extra stone that’s probably adding to my hip/back troubles.

2. Stock check last few boxes of old stock and list on eBay/Ravelry.

3. Go back to menu planning and try to save some money.

Actually, I’m going to leave those there.  They aren’t wildly unrealistic – I’ve not mentioned the boxes full of books that need sorting and selling and freecycling etc – so we’ll see what happens.  🙂

I shall simply wish you all blwyddyn newydd dda.

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Filed under House, Rambles

Wish list!

I have to face facts as there’s no escaping them.  It’s the middle of November, J’s birthday is at the weekend, I’m more than halfway through my Nano and there’s a nip in the air.  Ergo, the season of goodwill is upon us.

That and there have been Christmas foodstuffs in the local Co-op since the end of August.

My children have started writing wish lists, normally based on whatever they’ve seen during the most recent advert break and Tea (DD2) is planning her birthday party for the second week of December.  It primarily involves most of her class coming to our new house and therefore entails said house being completed on time.

*crosses fingers*

There have also been several discussions on adult wishlists, and I decided that I should make an effort to give my nearest and dearest some kind of idea of the things I’d like for Christmas.  So, in no particular order:

Fabric.  I’ve been playing with  my sewing machine a bit more lately and will be spending a great deal more time at it over the next couple of weeks as I finish off curtains and such for the house.  I want to get into making clothes and I have a fabulous dress pattern to do.  I also have a green quilt which I need to finish off, so what I’d really like are cotton fabrics with beautiful pattersn, fabrics in predominately red or green and any interesting little scraps of odds and sods that I can piece together or use with the kids.

Books.  See Amazon wishlist here.  🙂

Stuff for new kitchen.  At another wishlist, right here.

Apart from that, there’s very little I need.  I’d like a new laptop, but this one works fine, even if you have to be able to touchtype to use it as most of the letters have rubbed off.  Three Nanowrimos will do that to a lappy.  I’d like a diamond.  Don’t mind if it’s in a ring or a necklace, I’m not that fussy.

I love handmade things too.  Make me a cotton bag and you make me very happy.  Especially if it’s a smallish one that I can carry a knitting project around in.  I have two which are about 12″ square and they’re brilliant.  Larger ones are also fab for keeping yarn in, hanging off virtually every door handle in the house.  I like handmade dishcloths and houseplants and recipes for tasty things.

Cookbooks!  I love cookbooks and favourite recipes.  And old ones especially. World War Two stuff, home front and dig for victory and 1940’s knitting patterns.

Okay, will stop there because anyone who actually knows me will be rolling their eyes and going, ‘okay, okay we know all this’.

I’m easy to please.  If you put a little thought into it, instead of buying a Boots 3-for-2 box of smellies, I’ll be more than happy.  🙂



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Filed under House, Rambles