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Tuesday, 16 November 2010


Sorry that I seemed to suddenly disappear this week.  I had/have plenty of blog posts in mind for the coming weeks but unfortunately my internet has been cut off and so until I have sorted this, the blog will have to be put on hold.  I'll try to read everyone's posts but I can't guarantee it.  I'll miss you all immensely and hope that I will be able to resume blogging asap.  In the meantime, sorry.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Sunday Shout Out

For all those who are undeniably nosey or simply want to know how another culture lives I point you to Pond Parleys where Englishmen and Americans who have moved to the other country write about their experiences surviving in a foreign land and the mistakes and surprises they've encountered on their journeys. 

Pond Parleys aren't afraid to tell it as it is in black and white (and of course some grey).  From politics to food, this blog touches on all aspects of life that effect us whether we notice or not.  And it's always interesting, I think, to learn how other people live (or perhaps that's just my writerly self coming out!)

Friday, 12 November 2010

Review: The State of Me

Helen Fleet is just an ordinary student until one day she is struck down my a mysterious illness.  And illness that doesn't go away or get better. 

In this brilliant novel by Nasim Marie Jafry, Helen tells her story of learning to cope and live with M.E./C.F.S.  While the topic is generally depressing, Nasim manages to give humour throughout the book simply via Helen's voice and view of life.  I particularly loved the conversations between Helen and Stranger.

stranger: What did you do today?

 me: I had a shower and made a cup of tea.

stranger: Is that all?

me: I tried to wash my hair but my arms were too weak to lather.

As someone who lives with this illness I found strength in the knowledge that it isn't all in my head (surely it can't be if someone else has written about it).  And there were so many thoughts and feelings described that I could completely relate to.  I understood Helen's frustration and rejoiced in her triumphs.  I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the day to day life of someone with M.E.  While it is a fictional account, the author has M.E. herself and so certainly knows what she is talking about and this came through in this story.

stranger: You don't look ill.

me: That's good, isn't it?

stranger: You seem to have a lot of energy.

me: That's 'coz we're sitting down just talking.

Nasim Marie Jafry blogs about writing and about Velo-Gubbed Legs

Thursday, 11 November 2010

To Write or Not to Write

This month is NaNoWriMo - National Novel Writing Month.  Those of you who have been reading my blog for a long time know that I attempted this last year and made it up to about 10 000 words before it all became too much for me.

This year I am not forcing myself to write any number of words - I am not participating.  This does not mean that I'm not writing (though to be fair the only writing I seem to be doing lately is uni assignments).  But it does mean that I am thinking more about writing than I ever have before.  I no longer know why I write, yet I am having more and more ideas that I believe I could turn into something worthwhile that I love - if I write them well.

Honestly I'm scared to start anything new.  I have a lot of writing and reading to do for uni.  But I also know this is an excuse I am making to myself.  I have a lot of time on my hands, yet it constantly seems to be filled with (mostly) necessary and important things: washing up, research, writing asssignments, reading assignments, tidying, cross-stitch (to help me unwind).  And I don't know if I'm ready to compromise this state of being for my writing.  Nothing will change for anyone if I never wrote another fictional word (don't worry, I'm planning on keeping the blog).  It won't effect the world.

Ultimately it is my choice.  And I no longer know if writing is what I want to do.  I expect it will always be a part of my life, but I don't know if it can be my full life.  The problem with this is that writing is the only thing I've ever wanted to do.  So if I don't write, what will I do?  And that is why I am still a writer, though I don't feel as much as a writer as I know I could be.

Sorry if this post seems confusing - I'm trying to explain all the thoughts and emotions and worries that are inside me and as they are a big mess, that's how they are coming out, and I think that's how they should stay.  So this post is mainly me admitting to myself and to you that I don't know if I want to be a writer anymore.  (And if your opinion is that that not knowing makes me not a writer, please keep it to yourself).

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Tweeting and Changing

As you know, last week I took a break from blogging.  And what did I do with this extra time I found I had?  I twittered.  Yeah, you read that right.

I only joined twitter a few months ago and since then haven't really touched the account other than to follow a few people and perhaps write a tweet once in a blue moon.  Last week that all changed.  I started connecting to people on twitter, I signed up for a secret santa (still not sure how that happened) and I made lots of tweets, with them came followers.

And I realised it's because I crave that connection with people that the internet gives us.  I will always be a fan of the handwritten snail mail letter, but I am beyond grateful for the internet and sites such as blogger and twitter, particularly when I'm feeling unable to leave the house much.  I want to make friends and I want to get to know them as individuals - not as some internet name I glance at if it's in my twitter or blog feed. 

I think that's why I blog - I want to share with anyone who comes by.  I want them to feel that they can get to know me through my words and I more than welcome discussion and conversation in the comments.  And so I might start blogging differently - I'm still not sure.

You may have noticed that for about the past month I've had a structure to my blogging - I blog about certain subjects on certain days. I'm still not sure how this is working (if you have any thoughts please share them).  But I know that I'm not entirely happy with the way I'm blogging now.  I want to evolve and change until I find the perfect fit.  So if my blog seems to change or you see something you love/hate on here please let me know and please remember that it's only through experimentation that we can truly find ourselves and what we really want.

Oh, and for any of you who wish to follow my tweets, you can find me @anyawillowfan

Monday, 8 November 2010

Bonfire Night

Bonfire night to me means dressing up warm and watching the fireworks with fascination and excitment with someone you love.
[Images from WeHeartIt]

Monday, 1 November 2010


Just to let you all know that I won't be blogging this week.  I will however, continue to look forward to reading all your lovely blogs.

There is nothing wrong, and I am fine.  I just feel I need a little head space away from the blog, and not have to worry about it for a little while.  Hope to see you all back here in a week.