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Saturday 28 August 2010


I am a procrastinator.  In fact I think I could do it at olympic level - I could just see that, who can spend the most time finding other things to do to put off what they're actually supposed to be doing.  I am terrible for not writing.  I spend a lot of time thinking about writing and even more time reading about writing.  Yet I still do very little writing.  To the point that most days I don't actually do any writing.  I'm beginning to wonder if I can still call myself a writer (I actually did wonder this but came to the conclusion I am a writer as though I can go years without doing much writing I will always return to it).

One of my latest things is to tidy.  I hate tidying (ok, I don't hate it so much but when you're working with my bedroom it becomes a little overwhelming).  They say that writers often have spotless homes simply because all the household chores become vitally important just as you're about to start writing.  I know this feeling.  It's not why I'm tidying, but it probably has something to do with it.  The thing is I thought I'd procrasitinate writing by tidying and then procrastinate tidying by writing.  It hasn't quite turned out like that.

Despite my flawless plan I've found that I'm more likely to tidy that to write.  However, I'm even more likely to focus on reading and cross-stitch and reading blogs than tidying.  So my room is very very slowly being tidied.  Every now and again some writing gets done.  And I'm spending far too much time procrastinating, a.k.a doing nothing.

Anyone have any tips how to get out of this rut?  What do you do when you find you're doing something to put off doing something else?

And to finish off this post - why not procrastinate by watching this video:

Monday 23 August 2010


I understand your horror as you look at the picture above (which, by the way, was taken by me today) but this post isn't really about Christmas.  Well, it is, but it isn't.  You see, I have an obsession with Christmas and anything remotely Christmas related is likely to get my attention.  And right now I am reading my Christmas books and looking for inspiration.  Because soon I am going to have to start making Christmas cards.  Now, as you noticed I said make the cards and I certainly don't expect anyone 'normal' to start planning for Christmas in August but for crafters now is the time when preparations begin simply to be even close to ready when the big event happens.  My point is I'm going to have to plan what I need to make and what I need to buy and how long everything is going to take and how many of everything I need - you get the idea.  Planning helps me feel confident and able to approach everything I need to do.  I can break it down into smaller pieces and I always plan with spare time as I never know when my M.E. is going to hit. 

But usually, a week before Christmas I am inevitably in the shops with everyone else trying to find the one thing I forgot or didn't plan for.  And that is what life is like.  You can plan it as much as you like, down to the last minute of every day what you are going to be doing.  But the truth is you will always forget something or something interrupts your plans.  For me, M.E. interrupted my life and I've had to learn to live with it but a singular event such as a forgotten birthday needs to be accounted for (just for the record, I've never forgotten a birthday to date).  As much as you try, you cannot plan your life.  (Well, you can but you probably won't end up following, but you know what I mean).  And my advice is just go with the flow.  If you're worried about what you didn't get to do or what you had to do that you didn't want to, you will miss the joy of it.  If I miss a few cards I can worry about it or I can go to the shops and buy some more or stay up late and make some more.  I have to be flexible and life can only be enjoyed if you actually live it rather than trying to control it.

Tuesday 17 August 2010

Spare a Penny (or a Pound)

I know lately many of my posts are just links to other things and unfortunately today is the same.  The main reason for this is that my M.E. can make it hard to think and even when I can think of things I'm not really leaving the house much to give me any inspiration - such is my life.  One of the charities that has made a huge difference in my life is AYME (Association of Young people with M.E.)  The main way it's helped me is by providing a bi-monthly magazine which makes me feel connected to the rest of the world.  Unfortunately, they rely completely on donations and people like VeeVee who, despite suffering herself with both M.E. and NEAD, is taking part in the Adidas Women's 5K Challenge and all is donating all her sponsorship money to AYME.  So I'm asking you please, consider donating, even if you can only spare £1 it will be greatly appreciated.  So I know I and VeeVee will greatly appreciate it if you could spend a few minutes and a few pennies to sponsor her HERE

Monday 16 August 2010

Heaven Is A Cupcake Giveaway

Do you remember when my Sunday Shout Out was Heaven Is A Cupcake?  Well, Lucy is now doing a giveaway of £40 in CSN vouchers.  This is a prize I know anyone would want to win as CSN sell almost everything and all you have to do is pick your favourite item (ok, maybe not so easy given the choice).  You can find out the details and enter the competition HERE.  Hope you all enter and join her facebook page as her cakes are seriously yummy.

Breaking The 'Rules'

As a writer I spend a lot of time reading about writing.  In fairness I could probably be using that time more productively by writing, but personally I prefer reading about writing to the actual writing itself (I dread to think what that says about me).  Anyway, a lot of the advice I've read is not to edit too much before you finish the story - if you do, you probably won't ever finish writing it.  And up until now, that has been pretty sound advice for me, especially as I seem completely unable to finish anything without a deadline.

As my regular readers will have noticed, the wordcount for my NaNo novel hasn't been creeping up as it should have been.  And I've finally figured out why - I'm not telling the story right.  I have been forcing myself forward with it in the belief that I can edit out the problems later, but not I realise that the only way to edit the problems would be to rewrite the whole thing anyway.  So I've decided to start again.  I know this may mean I never actually finish it but personally I'd rather rewrite from now than wait until I have a completed version which I'd have to start again.

I am making my own rules.  While I have listened to the advice out there, and what I'm saying here is nothing new, I am doing what I believe is right for my writing, right for me.  I know there is no 'correct' way of writing, the only way you can find what works for you is to try many things.  So I'm going to try again and see if I have better luck.  If this doesn't work than perhaps this isn't the project for me right now.  But for now I'm following my gut instinct and that is to start again and not follow the rule of waiting til I'm finished to make it work.

Thursday 12 August 2010

Names for Charity

I've just found an inspiring story at I Should Be Writing about someone who is raising money for Ethopian girls who have been forced to give birth at just 12, often leaving them incontinent which causes the husbands to throw them out.  £400 can change the life of one girl through providing an operation.  The person raising money, Katey, is asking just £2 donation towards a names sheet for writers.  This sheet has all the most popular names from 1904 to 2008 - very useful for any writer who has difficulty choosing the right names for their characters.  I've donated and hope you will too at

Thursday 5 August 2010

Review: Toy Story 3 (3D)

As regular readers of my blog will know, I am not a fan of 3D.  In the past I've had problems with the mass amount of extra energy it uses and the headaches it causes, not to mention the extra cost.  So when I went to see Toy Story 3 I was planning on seeing it in 2D.  It turns out that everyone else had made the same choice and the only screening left was sold out.  As I really wanted to see Toy Story 3 I decided to risk 3D.

Firstly, I was very impressed with the 3D effects.  I know for the most part the only really effective effects were the ones designed to sell 3D but the fact is that during the film it didn't hinder my experience in any way.  Granted, I'm not sure it enhanced it either but I'm just focusing on the fact that I didn't get a headache and it didn't wear me out too much.  Most of the time I completely forgot it was in 3D.

As for the film itself: interesting storyline.  As usual Woody is advocate for being Andy's toys when the others want to move on to greener pastures now that Andy is going to college.  The characterization was very believable and in sync with the previous films which I definitely appreciated.  Knowing that the characters hadn't changed much was important as it helped me follow the situation and almost guess what the characters might do next.  I'm pleased to say that although the characters stayed the same, they did not become predictable so still held my interest.

As for the storyline, I have to say that it seemed a little political for a children's film.  Maybe it's because I'm watching it as an adult but the fact that there is a pyramid 'government' (the term 'pyramid' is actually in the film) made it seem as if the producers were trying to make a point.  And while the Spanish mode of one the characters is funny - I'm not sure about subtitles in a children's film, I mean how easy is it to read the translation and watch the film itself when you've just learnt to read?

However, afterall that, I would completely recommend this film to everyone as long as you can get over the politics of it, as it made me laugh out loud (and the rest of the very small audience as well) and I cried at the end.  I'm sure that last statement just makes me seem like a complete softie but oh well.  This is a film that follows as the perfect ending to the Toy Story films but I don't think watching it in 3D will make your experience much different from watching it in 2D (this is my opinion as I haven't actually seen it in 2D).  So basically, it's a good film that's perfect for light entertainment when the message is ignored.