Showing posts from February, 2011

Screwed Rotten

A couple of days ago I got a letter from Parcel Force, the UK postal service, advising me that a package I'd ordered from the United States had arrived. However, before it could be delivered I would have to pay import duty.

Import duty?

Well, it never even crossed my mind that I'd have to pay import duty as I'm not savvy about such things, I rarely travel and the only other things I've ever ordered from the US are two secondhand books which cost me £0.01p and £1.49 each on Amazon with £2.75 postage respectively. The first book was Franky Furbo by William Wharton and the other A Sinless Season by Damon Galgut, neither of which I could purchase in the UK for a reasonable sum.

( By the way I have written an article about Damon which also includes a review of his Man Booker nominated novel In A Strange Room over at The View From Here. There's also an interview with Damon, and if you've never read any of his work I heartily recommend all his novels and suggest you s…

Strange Goings On in the Bathroom

Where do you go when you need thinking time?

I always take myself off to the bathroom. I like to lie in hot, fragrant water. I find it a soothing experience and even though sometimes I may have something to cry about the very process is a cathartic, healing experience. I often put a flannel over my face and muse about whatever is troubling me, hoping to find that elusive solution.

When you have a family the bathroom is the only place where there's some real privacy and solitude although it may still frequently be disrupted by the needs of small children. In the past I've had the boys banging on the door with demands ranging from an urgent call of nature to settling a dispute over the Xbox. It can be quite frustrating at times to get out off the bath, dripping wet and cold, in order to resolve arguments or to find a missing football boot.

Fortunately, as the boys grow older, I can now usually reslove most issues verbally ( ie shouting) but, even more luckily, they've moved …

Supermarket woes

So after yesterday's traumatic post about the reception my novel got in a professional critique I'm still weighing up my options. Do I carry on writing or do I get that job at Tescos which has been beckoning me for the last 5 years? And should I go for the meat counter or the fish counter? I'm not sure about either actually - I think I could work well amongst the vegetables.

Alternatively, there's the bakery section - I could play with buns all day, pick raisins out of my hair and I'd get to wear one of those amusing white hats. That would be a real treat. I reckon if I let a few obligatory stray hairs come loose and put on an thermal vest so I get all sweaty I'd actually look like I'd been working when, of course, I'd actually be out the back consuming all the chocolate chip cookies. Obviously, consuming the cookies would be a necessity as I'm the sort of person who always takes pride in her work - so I'd need to put on about 5 stone to look th…

Back to the Drawing Board

So I sent 4 revised chapters of my books for a critique.

Here's some words I've pulled out from the response;





The good news is that I am apparently a good enough writer to write successfully in any genre I please. Just not humour obviously.

You know I wouldn't be so upset if it wasn't for the fact being humorous is essentially who I am. Sure, my humour isn't everyone's humour and I probably do overstep the mark at times but I'm finding this pretty difficult to deal with. It's knocked my confidence a lot.

So time to go back to the drawing board or to Tescos. You know the girls would like me in Tescos I think I'm pretty easy to get along with.

Un(literary) Quotes and a Little Bit of Silliness.

The other day I was over at the publisher Scott Pack's website catching up with a few of his posts. There was one I particularly enjoyed about tattoos in which Scott asked folks to drop him a line telling him which literary quote they'd like tattooed on their body.

Well, I was just about to put down my own favourite but then I thought... What the hell, I can make a whole post out of this. You see, I'm one of those people who love quotes in general. I even, and this may come as shock to those of you know me as a lazy, good for nothing slob, (which is pretty accurate) memorized one hundred  (Yes, one hundred!) quotes for my O level English Literature.

But do you know? Not one of the topics I learnt quotes for came up and I ended up with only a grade C.

How unfair is that? Huh.

Anyway, I can still remember a few - mostly from The Merchant of Venice. So don't get me started on old Shylock unless your some secret Shakespeare freak. Then we can compare notes.

Right, well, I …

More (Un)Romantic Tales

So with it being Valentine Day yesterday and the the fact that I keep hearing the marvellous song Grenade by Bruno Mars I've been thinking about past Valentine Days.

The Valentine Day that springs to mind was in 1986 when I was in my third year at university and had been with the same boyfriend since the first term in the first year. I'll call him.... Twerp... just to make it easier you understand. Well Twerp and I had a lot in common. We both studied history, had older parents, were "entertainers", loved the arts and acting. He had a brilliant mind too - and was probably the best raconteur that I've ever come across. No one delivered a punch line like he did. I've always thought it was tragic he never went into the theatre and chose the safety of the classroom.

He was also nuts. Yep, nuts. It was a relationship full of emotional highs and lows... the stuff I put up with is unbelievable. I would never put up with that now but he was my first love and sometime…

Some lovely gifts and an(unromantic) tale

So anyway, there I was last week banging my head on the dining room table trying to figure out what to do with my novel when there's a knock at the door. It's the postman and he has a parcel for me, all way from the USA!

Fortunately, it wasn't a writ. It was a lovely parcel from my friend Marie over at Nourish!

Being the dignified woman I am, I delicately removed the packaging, folded the wrapping paper and stored it away.

Okay, I didn't. I ripped it open whilst screaming "Yippee, yippee a prezzie for Mrs T! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!"

Yeah - I am that sad. I don't get presents that often. Well not unless you count car parking tickets.

So I ripped open the paper and found this beautiful scarf pictured below which is hand knitted by Marie herself! What can I say but a very big THANK YOU to Marie. It's gorgeous and I shall be wearing it for years!

Now here's where my little story starts. So I've been writing in the dining room because my study is.…

A Fatally Flawed Mrs T

Question: Am I trying to kill myself?

It's just after 4 am. I have insomnia again and I've been awake for the last hour mulling over the direction my writing is heading. I finally worked it out this week; I'm not going to be the next John Le Carre - I can't write seriously for more than a couple of paragraphs. So I might as well just get on and write the bonkers stuff.

So no Nobel prizes for literature for me. Maybe a turkey?

So anyway, eventually, I decide I might as well get up and write. What's the point in thinking about plots and scenarios? I know where I'm going now, so I might as well write it down since there's no chance of drifting back to sleep.

I grope for my fleecy jacket and make my way onto the landing. Immediately, I notice there's a strange smell in the house...

I raise my hooter to the air...the odour is a cross between waffles and...


But there's no smoke! And I haven't made any cakes( for about 20 years) what is this …