Showing posts from May, 2011

Dreary Last Chapters, A Free Book and Why (Apparently) Women Aren't Funny

Recently, I've been thinking about last chapters of novels and famous last lines as I've been writing an article on the subject for The View From Here. We've all heard, for example, of "Tomorrow, I’ll think of some way to get him back. After all, tomorrow is another day" from Gone with the Wind.

Frankly, the film was enough to put me off the book. Not that is was unwatchable but the thought of wading through over a thousand pages to hear that corny line is a just a no go for me. I'd probably find myself screaming"Oh just let him go, Love. Burn your corset, let it all hang out!"

Mind you, that's what Germaine Greer did. Probably would have been better if she hadn't.

Anyway, the last line of Gone with the Wind hardly lives up to the classic Dickens;

"It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.’

I'm not sure what Dickens was talking about - maybe dea…

I Need a Pen Name!

I've decided I need a pen name or a pseudonym, call it what you will.

Last night I started to read through some women's magazines with a view to sending in some short stories I'd written and I realised my stories were.... probably too good. (Take everything I say with a pinch of salt, Readers.) I need to dumb them down! Yep, I need to add in a few stray dogs, some cardboard elephants (yes, they did actually appear in one story I read) or a cat stuck up a chimney. In all probability the heroine should also fall over/fall out of a boat/fall off stage so that she can be kissed by the hero in a moment of mad impetuousness. She should also work in a either a cake shop, a florists or own a small holding in the Scottish highlands where she weaves yarn for a living.

Oh, and it would also help if she has been tragically bereaved.

I want to shoot myself. My writing is not designed for women's magazines.

In fact, I don't think it is designed for anyone but me. Hmm..bit of a …

Alternative Therapy

I woke up this morning with a migraine. Darn it, I hate those things. The worst thing about my migraines is that they're not bad enough - they're nagging, irritating and wear me down but I can still function. This means I don't get enough sympathy! I want to be in a darkened room with folks bringing me tea and cuddly toys...but no I'm all by my tod, doing all the things I have to do anyway only with a gremlin in my head going "nah, nah, nah, nah."

Right, so I've tried all the usual remedies (which never work anyway so I don't know why I bother) so I'm going to try something different.

I going to stick my Ipod on extra loud, pop some chocolate in my mouth and try and dance my way out of it. I'm going to play Cee Lo Green, Bright Lights Bigger City. Let's see if exercise, rather than self pity does the trick....or if I end up throwing up. Let's take odds on it!

A Sigh of Relief

So, Praise the Lord, the world didn't end last night at 6pm as predicted by Harold Camping.

I was mightily relieved - I had my washing out.

Yep, there's nothing that annoys me more than having to bring my washing in until I'm ready for it. My record for leaving it in the garden is about 5 days. Although there was that time we went on holiday...I told Mr T is was a ploy to fool potential burglars. I'm not sure if he believed me though...

Anyway, imagine having to bring your washing in whilst covered in volcanic ash and torrential wind and rain whips your face. Not a pleasant idea - although probably cheaper than going for a face peel.

You know, it doesn't matter how much the logical side of me says oddballs like Camping, who spout  ridiculous claims about the end of the world, are just nutters -there's always a tiny part of me which carries a nagging doubt. It's not really the imminent thought of dying - that's the easy bit - it's the thought of judg…

Crowns before Hats

Our Queen is 85 years old, a woman who would never have been Queen had it not been for her errant uncle. She's lived through many turgid and troubling times, times of great social and economic change, of global warfare and, of course, her own family tragedies.

She should have her feet up, drinking tea and nibbling biscuits, whilst watching the King's Speech but she's donned her best garb and flown to Southern Ireland to heal the wounds of the past. It must be arduous at her age yet somehow I think she looks genuinely pleased to be there.

I have English, Irish, Welsh and Scottish blood in me. I've always thought of myself as British rather than English although I was born in England and live in England. I'm just glad and truly grateful, like the vast majority, there is peace with Ireland.

All I can add to that is -

Thank God The Queen didn't send Princess Beatrice in that hat.

There could be have been serious trouble.

By the way the hat now £18,000 on Ebay if yo…

My New Desk

Well it isn't really a new desk - but an old family desk.

A few weeks ago, my mother's younger sister emailed me and asked me if I would like my grandfather's desk. My aunt inherited it back in 1988 when my grandfather died. She was married to a writer (I mention him in my article A Childhood in Fiction) and so she had seemed the obvious choice.

I believe my grandfather bought this desk in the late 1920s or early 1930s and used it for the remaining of his working life and beyond. I remember it from my childhood and, as I knew that it had taken a battering over the years, when it arrived I decided I would invest a few pounds and have it restored to its former glory.

There are still drawer inserts and a few other bits missing but overall I'm pleased with the result. I'm really looking forward to writing something special whilst thinking of him.

The desk is huge - and I mean HUGE! I reckon I will easily beat my record of managing to have at least half the china cabin…

Ring the Bells, Sound the Trumpets!

Gosh. I must interrupt the inactivity on this blog with some exciting news for my Lady Readers.

I just heard on the radio that Arnold Schwarzenegger is splitting from that Kennedy woman!

Deck the halls with boughs of holly
Fa la la la, la la la la
Tis the season to be Jolly
Fa la la la, la la la la

Okay, it is kinda sad that after twenty-five years that Arnie and his wife can't hold it together...but on the other hand...


At last I'm in with a chance of grabbing Arnie's butt for myself. I mean, who wouldn't want a shy, retiring, svelte-like, sweet, adorable English Rose like me? Okay, I admit might not be actually "svelte-like" but  Arnie's an actor he can use his imagination, can't he? And as for the sweet, adorable bit - just ask all my friends.... it's completely true.

 At least on Mondays when the kids go to school.

So Arnie and that big cigar he's always carrying is up for grabs. Whoa Ladies! I haven't felt this excited since Da…

Back to Blogging

It's a month since I last posted. I think it is my longest absence ever from the blogosphere. So it's time to get back on the writing trail again!

As you know, it was a late Easter so it's been the school hols which means I've been busy doing the family thing. Firstly, this meant picking up Young Sam from college. So, a few weeks ago, I drove over to his digs (colloquial UK expression for a student shit-tip) where I'd hoped to be greeted with loving kisses and a big welcoming smile - instead his door opened and I was greeted by the poignant odour of Eau de Student (You know the odour - unwashed jeans and stale fish and chips) and an even more gruesome Eau de Unclean Toilet. Sam is very lucky to have his own washing facilities - which the student brochure described as an "ensuite bathroom." However, I would more realistically describe it as;

A compact chamber of minusculeproportions containing (debatable) sanitary equipment and suitably sized for dwarfs, p…