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Wednesday, 29 September 2010


I've started a lot of writing projects.  That's the problem.  I start them and then don't get any further.  I get somewhere in the middle usually and even though I know how I want it to end, I just don't seem able to get there.  This is, I believe, why I'm not published yet.  How can I be published when I never end things to send them off?

It's not a fear of editing.  I love editing (yes, I know I'm weird).  It's not even the fear that they won't be good enough - I know I'm good with words (I'm not bragging, it's the only skill I have), though yes, I believe my ideas could sometimes do with a little work.  But that's nothing that can't be fixed.

The problem is I'm lazy and I don't have much self-discipline.  I get to a point when I am bored with a project so don't push myself to finish it.  Instead I go to a shiny new idea and start that.  I have lots of starting paragraphs and even pages stored on my computer, more than I'm even aware of. 

It is good when I run out of ideas and reading one of my beginnings can spark so much excitement.  But that's rarely enough to actually finish anything.  The only pieces of writing I've ever actually finished have all been assignments for my uni course.  And that's the main reason I took a writing course - to force me to finish.  But what about next year?

It seems I am going to have to come up with a better system with sticking to one piece at a time until it is finished, if I ever want to get published (which, of course, I do).  So any tips on staying power?  I've tried self-deadlines but they don't work for me.  Do you have this problem?  How do you deal with it?

Dream Fulfilled

Last week I fulfilled a dream I've had for quite a few years now.  I have now been to and eaten at all three Waffle Houses.  It may seem like a silly dream as it isn't anything particularly amazing, yet it was my dream and I am very happy that I finally saw it realised.

I first went to the Waffle House in Norwich (UK) where, although it looks quite normal from the outside, the food inside made me an instant addict.  Savoury and sweet toppings on waffles means plenty of choice for vegetarians and although some of them sound unusal, they all taste amazing.

But my dream wasn't born until I went to South Africa and our teachers arranged for us to go to the Waffle House in Ramsgate (about an hour away from Durban) as we were actually staying in a nearby town.  That was when I said to myself - I'm going to go to all of them.  Of course this was more to do with the fact that there was only one left to visit.  It started as a dream born from convenience and yet, as my M.E. worsened, it became a full-fledged dream.

Sure, there was only one restaurant left to visit but it meant getting there and having the money and energy to enjoy it.  And on Friday I finally got that chance.  I went to St. Albans to support Lucy from Heaven Is A Cupcake and decided that now was the time to visit the final Waffle House.  It was quite a unique experience as it is inside an old Mill.  By the end of the day (by which I mean the afternoon, when we got home) I was completely exhausted, but it was worth it.  I can now say that I have completed at least one dream.

So whether your dreams are big or small, make the effort and you'll forever have those memories and the knowledge that you set out to do something, and did it.

Monday, 27 September 2010


I believe in everything until it's disproved.  So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons.  It all exists, even if it's in your mind.  Who's to say that dreams and nightmares aren't as real as the here and now?  ~John Lennon

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Sunday Shout Out

This week I'm advising you go and check out Sofa and the City.  This is a completely realistic and open blog about living with M.E./C.F.S.  So many times during reading this have I felt complete agreement and understanding of what Karen is going through and believe that anyone who is interested in how this disability effects the day to day living for someone, this is the blog to read. 

Karen somehow manages to stay upbeat and optimistic about her life and makes sure all fabulousness shines through her words, which make this blog different from all those 'woe to me' blogs that I know you want to avoid.  Karen has given me strength and I'm sure you will find something from her words to benefit you in some way, so please pop over there and leave her a comment.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

My Favourite Blog Award

Kess, of has nominated me for a 'My Favourite Blog Award' and I'm very pleased to accept it.  I've been a little sneaky and accepted the award on both blogs.  Here I will nominate the writing blogs that I can't wait to read each day and at my other blog I have nominated life relating blogs (you can read those nominations here.

In accepting this award I can nominate up to 4 other blogs that I wait impatiently each day to read.  As I said above, these nominations are all writing blogs so if that isn't your cup of tea click the link above to read my other nominations.  Without further ado, my nominations:

First Place goes to Tawna Fenske at Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing.  As I said in last weeks Sunday Shout Out, this blog has homour and writing info for everyone to enjoy.

Second Place goes to Natalie Whipple at Between Fact and Fiction.  This blog intrigues me so much that I am currently reading my way through the entire thing.

Third Place goes to Kiersten White at Kiersten Writes.  I am currently waiting for her debut novel, Paranormalcy, to be released in the UK as I'm sure it will be filled with the humour I find on her blog.

And Fourth Place goes to Elana Johnson at her blog.  Filled with useful information and links, this blog has been infinitely useful to me as a budding writer.

To accept the award please save the image above and post into your blog along with up to 4 nominations of blogs you feel worthy of this award, the ones you can't wait to read.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Review: The Last Song (Book)

I wasn't sure about reading this book as I didn't enjoy 'The Notebook' also by Nicolas Sparkes.  However, I'm glad I gave this writer another chance with 'The Last Song' as I really enjoyed it.

To begin with the chapters told from different view points were a bit annoying and confusing but I soon learnt the character's voices.  However, the changing of voices did mean that I didn't connect to one character in particular but nor did I have any deep empathy for any of the characters.

The story itself was interesting and different from anything I've ever read before, and that was a large part of its appeal.  It had a little of everything within it - romance, family, growing up, parenthood - and believe that most people would take something away from reading this.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Finding My Voice

I am relatively certain that I have mentioned before that I am still finding my 'voice'.  Voice is that illusive must-have item for a writer.  The problem is finding it and knowing when you have it and knowing what it is.  I have been told that I have a strong voice.  That may be so, but to me, my voice is still evolving.  How can I have voice when I don't even know what genre I want to write in?

So I've started writing more.  At least, that is the plan.  I don't expect my voice to fall in my lap but I want it to evolve.  To become strong enough that I recognize it.  Strong enough that I'm comfortable with it - so I can say to the world 'I've found my voice!'.  My plan is write lots of different types of things - from romance to horror to YA to everything in between that my mind can come up with.  I'm forcing myself to set half an hour aside each day just to write.  That's a minimum of course.  But when you've become as lax as I have you need to take it slow.  And that doesn't include any time spent on writing short stories.  Just the time spent experimenting.  I want to find out what I want to write.  I want to know who I am as a writer.  And I'm going to make an effort to become the writer I am.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Painted Nails & Scented Soap

The other day I painted my nails.  It was something I had been meaning to do for quite a while but something always stopped me - I would be having a shower later or washing up and it would ruin painted nails so there was no point.  After a few weeks of this I realised that if I continued to worry about ruining the nails I would never actually get around to painting them.  I took the plunge and spent a little 'me time' to indulge in beautiful nails.  They haven't lasted but they made me feel so much better for a few days, and I can always paint them again.

I find the same is true of scented candles or expensive soaps that we are given for birthdays and Christmas.  We don't use them, we save them for a special occasion.  But more often than not they will have lost their scent by that time and the gift has been wasted.  The thing is, we could always get some more soap if we enjoy it, so why shouldn't we use it.  As far as I'm concerned we only get one life and it's the little things that count.  We should treat ourselves as that special occasion and enjoy the small pleasures we can get out of using luxuries.  Treat yourself instead of wasting the chance, and I promise that you'll feel much better and happier for it.

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

One More Woman

I actually wrote this last year as an exercise for class - a story with not punctuation.  One of my more twisted pieces, I'm really proud of it and so am sharing it here: 

Smothering her I felt the power once again nothing holding me back or stopping me from giving death taking away her right to go on in her miserable existence this is how I felt then and do now as I continue taking lives and letting my power pore from my hands to stop the breathing and the continuity that they would have had if I had not stepped in bruising her but not enough for the skin to break until finally allowing my knife to pierce letting out a trickle of blood so I do and I have and will go on as I have begun not pausing to think what would happen if I dared to stop if I would be able to keep myself alive for just one moment without having that complete knowledge and control over my world and those women who come into mine I must always keep on as I started taking and giving at my discretion suffocating and cutting into the flawless flesh laid out in front of me to do with as I choose destroying and enhancing women with a simple groove of the knife in my hand that glides through her body leaving nothing for anyone else to play with and enjoy they are mine and mine alone and I will have her and every woman for she is there for my pleasure to extinguish one after another there will always be more where this one came from so I must not waste time in grasping each life to fulfil my personal purpose their purpose now to keep my sanity my ability to stay in this world before we are all torn away.

Monday, 20 September 2010

"When the world says "give up," Hope whispers "try it one more time". " Author Unknown

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Sunday Shout Out

This week I'm citing another author but believe me when I say this isn't your average writing blog.  While Tawna Fenske may talk about her writing, she does so in such a way that if you weren't cafeful you'd think she was discussing something else.  Don't Pet Me, I'm Writing is filled with sexual innuendo and Tawna's humour shines through in every post.  I, for one, am greatly looking forward to her debut novel coming out next year, but until then I will just have to satisfy myself with her quirky and innovative writing supplied in full at her blog.  I hope you'll take time out of your busy schedule to pop over and take a quick look.  I dare you not to laugh.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Review: Heaven Is A Cupcake

 If you haven't had a cupcake from Heaven Is A Cupcake then you are missing out - and I feel sorry for everyone too far from the area to sample these luxuries.  I'm not saying this because Lucy (the owner and creator) is my friend, I'm saying this because I, and everyone who's tried them agrees that we haven't tasted better.  I really wish she'd share her secrets as I have been trying to get the same texture for a while now and still no closer.  I know I'll never equal her icing skills and the amazing toppers she's created - I'm content with that as, as you can see, I would be an idiot to try.

While her cakes may seem a little pricey at first glance, they are actually very reasonably priced in comparison to other companies and I guarantee that they are worth every single penny.  Not to mention a personal drop-off at a time agreed upon by the customer and Lucy.

With flavours to suit every taste and custom-made toppers for every occasion, Heaven truly is a cupcake.  Not to mention they're very decently packaged but beware, if you're buying them as a gift, it will be extrememly hard not to eat them all yourself.

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Why Baking Is Like Writing

To me, writing stories is much like baking a cake.  There are the main ingredients that you usually have to use:
  • Idea (Sugar)
  • Plot (Flour)
  • Character (Butter)
  • Setting (Eggs)
Granted, you don't absoulutely have to use them but it's a very good idea to stick to the basics - at least to begin with.

Of course the quality of the ingredients will have an impact on how good your cake/story is.  If you use margarine instead of butter your cake probably won't be as rich in taste and texture.  Likewise, if you use a stock character rather than one which has been fully rounded, that has their own quirks, dreams and flaws, your story may become a bit flat and unoriginal.

Once you know what you're doing with your ingredients, you've become a competent cake-baker, you have the chance to experiment.  You may vary the portions slightly or you may add your own ingredients creating chocolate, lemon or carrot cakes instead of run of the mill average.  Not that there was anything wrong with the cakes before, but they didn't have anything that made them different.  The same goes for your stories.  You can vary the types of characters, the setting or you can add another element such as structuring your timeline, or mixing it around.

And finally, there is the icing.  Of course you don't have to put icing on your cupcake but be certain that if you do you'll attract a lot more attention.  People want cakes that have variety and can offer them something unique.  It's the same with writing (bet you didn't see that coming), you need to show your style through your choice of words.  You need to make your writing stand out from the crowd by offering something different, your own personal twist.

And yes, the pics are of cakes I have baked :)  Can't say my writing is quite up to that standard yet but working my way there.

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

The Icing On The Cake

Life can get us down. The wrong weather, realising that the top you want to wear is in the dirty laundry pile, having deadlines that you're convinced you will never finish by.  That's because life is hard. OK, so it doesn't have to be hard, but for the majority it is.  But in all this stress and pain and busy busy busy lives of ours we forget that life is the icing on the cake.  We are alive.

Don't worry I'm not going to get philosophical on you, mainly because my outlook is often misconstrued as depressing.  But amongst the business of our lives and the stress we put on ourselves to be the best, to have the best, we often forget to actually live.  As far as I'm concerned we only get one life (you can argue we have more but if we can't remember them then it works the same) and it doesn't matter why we're here as long as we don't waste our time.  I'm not suggesting that everyone reach to try and change mankind - though a movement like that might actually work - I just mean we shouldn't be so hard on ourselves every day.  Take time out to find out what you really love about being on this earth and then find the time to truly appreciate it.  I'll start:

I appreciate that I have money to spare
I appreciate that I love my family and my family loves me
I appreciate my boyfriend who has stuck by me when I'm really not that fun to be around
I appreciate Christmas
I appreciate words and books
I appreciate having the time to waste it on facebook
I appreciate cupcakes

And so many more things.  These are my icing in life and I plan to enjoy them and remember to enjoy them.  Please chime in with what you appreciate in the comments.

Tuesday, 14 September 2010


I know this isn't strictly about cupcakes (or, you know, not at all) but it follows with the theme of sweet delights.  So here's a little snippet of my writing that I wrote for Ficly (click here to go to my profile) last year (I really need to start writing more short pieces).  So, anyway, enjoy:

It was there, right in front of her. It’s dark eyes dotted about stared at her, daring her to take it. All she would have to do is reach out, pick it up off the plate and take a bite. The more she stared at the cookie, the more it’s power pulled her in. She was transfixed. She shouldn’t take the first bite, she should just leave it. But surely one bite wouldn’t hurt. Just a little bite.

She took that first step, felt the biscuit crumbling on her lips, the chocolate chips melting on her tongue. She was right. She shouldn’t have taken the bait. She had been right, the cookie had her now. But she could defeat it. If she ate it all…there wouldn’t be any proof that she had fallen for it…the cookie would be gone, and only she would know.

She sat there, looking at the empty plate, no crumbs were left, there was no proof. But she felt the guilt set in. The cookie had won afterall, it wasn’t there anymore, but that was what it had wanted all along. For her to eat it, and she had.

Monday, 13 September 2010

Cupcake Week

This week is National Cupcake Week so to celebrate I have lined up a few posts to do with cupcakes - because, let's face it, we all love cupcakes.  They are just so beautiful and yummy and, you get the idea.  So I'm kicking off today with a few pics to whet you appetite.

[all images from WeHeartIt]

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Why Me?

Quite often I ask the question 'why me?'  It isn't fair that I have to stay in bed or need help to get changed in the evening or that I often have to have someone else cook my dinner.  I'm probably sounding quite depressed and 'oh poor me' right now and that is how I was feeling last night.  And how I've felt many times that have always ended up in tears.

But I don't want to be an 'oh poor me' type of person.  I know I will never be truly happy with my lot in life because, let's face it, it can suck quite a lot.  But in thinking about how much my life sucks I forget how lucky I am and how many things don't suck.  I have friends, family and a fantastic boyfriend all willing to help.  I'm able to continue my education.  I can eat what I want (even though I sometimes wish I couldn't, overall I know it's something to be grateful for).  And there are so many things that make me happy.  But I never ask 'why me?' for the good things (okay, I sometimes ask how the hell I got so lucky with finding the right person for me right now (aka the boyfriend) but that's another issue).  I take them for granted and I'm certain I'm not the only one (at least I hope I'm not).

Why is that we always focus on the negatives and forget all the things that make our lives special and worth it to keep plodding along?  What is it that you've taken for granted? Take a minute and remember something that made you smile - and please share as a smile can make someone else's day.

Monday, 6 September 2010

How I Have Money Even Though I'm A Student

The cliche of a student life is one with dirty laundry, no money, living off pasta and take aways and generally slouching around doing not a whole lot.  While my laudry pile has been, on occasion, gastronomically high, I eat a lot of pasta and take aways and can't vouch for what I do everyday - I do have money.

I'm not talking millions at my disposal, I certainly couldn't buy a house or anything, I am talking enough to live on comfortably and buy the things I need with occasional treats for myself.  I don't have a job, nor a mysterious benefactor - I have a student loan.  If you want to argue that this money isn't really mine because it's a loan this may not be the post for you as I personally don't see it as debt.  Sure, I have to pay it off but not until I'm capable of paying it off.  But back on track.  I have a student loan.  This is my income.

So how do I manage to still have money in my bank account at the end of summer?  I plan.  It really is that simple.  I know how much money I have.  I know how long that money has to last.  And I know how much I have to pay (rent, bills).  The point is - I know exactly (okay, so maybe not exactly) how much money I have to spend on food and going out and anything else I might want.

I don't force myself to go without things - if I really really want something I will find a way to be able to buy it, even if it means not having money for anything else for a month.  Actually when you know you won't be able to buy any more food or be able to go out if you buy that special something, it's amazing how quickly you can decide that you don't really want it.  The key here is moderation.  It's like chocolate.  The moment you tell yourself you can't have any you'll want it much much more until you break and eat a lot of bars of the stuff which then leaves you feeling guilty and generally down on yourself.  If you allow yourself to have a little chocolate regularly you feel better as you're able to stick to your resolution and with any luck the pounds will disappear (or walk away if you're on Doctor Who).  Knowing that you have money that you can spend works the same way.  The moment you tell yourself not to buy anything you will inevitably fail and land yourself in the trouble you were avoiding.  If you're worried that you will overspend, a trick I use is to take out a set amount of money each week and that is all you have for the rest of the week (I take out between £30-50 depending on what I think I'll need and how much money I have left).

And my final point is HAVE SAVINGS.  Seriously, if you don't have a savings account - get one.  And then put money in it every time you get paid/your loans come through.  Make sure you leave enough in your regular account for however long you need it as the idea is that you won't ever touch your savings account.  That way when you have an emergency you don't need to panic as you have back-up money right there waiting for you.  Or else you might want to save for a house.  It's up to you but a savings account is very important, particularly if you're not good with money.  It can save you a lot of pain and trust me, you'll feel a sense of pride as you watch your money grow each year (even if there is barely any interest, it's amazing what difference £10 a month will make to your bank balance.

What tips or tricks do you have to keep money from wandering out of your pocket?

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Wheelchairing About

Yesterday I went to a quaint little seaside town that I've always had fond memories of.  When I think of it I think of running in the sea, shopping in all the shops selling completely useless but completely gorgeous knick-knacks, and enjoying the smell of the air, so clearly tainted by the sea.  Hence my wish to revisit.  However, this time I went in my wheelchair.  This meant no running in the sea - instead I watched from high above through a railing as my Dad and tiny brother threw stones into the water (the beach is half pebbled, half sand - which was almost underwater). 

The town smelt the same of course but I had forgotten the crowds of people summer brings and I'd never noticed just how wide the paths aren't before.  It turns out that the path is just big enough for a wheelchair and one other person to get past.  It was bumpy and uneven - something else I'd never noticed.  And the shops.

I love the town for it's quaint little shops filled with wonders but the one word there that doesn't bode well for wheelchair uses is 'quaint'.  Quaint doesn't mean easily navigated with plenty of space.  Quaint for me, now means small, awkward and likely to have a step at the entrance.  We managed to get into two shops.  A fudge shop which would have been awesome if I hadn't had to have been nearly tipped out to get out of it and a large store which seemed to have everything.  They had, thankfully, put ramps between most of the sections which were at different levels but as they began to close they blocked each with items from outside making it especially hard to find someone to pay and a way out that was still available.  I could have gone in one other shop though it was actually closed.  The owner saw us (did I mention that the boyfriend had to push me up and down all those hills?) and opened the door in case we wanted anything.  As I knew I wasn't actually going to buy anything I politey declined but I'm unsure whether I would have been given the same treatment had I been walking about.

Despite the complexities being in a wheelchair brought, I did have a good day though I was exhausted by the end of it.  If I hadn't taken the wheelchair I wouldn't have made it all the way to the sea from the car and while it may have been easier to get in and out of the shops (and around them) I probably wouldn't be well enough today to write this.  But perhaps in the future I'll reconsider why I like somewhere before I agree to take a trip as quaint is no longer my cup of tea.