Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
While I was at it I decided to tidy up the files on my computer - delete stuff I no longer needed, move things around so that I could find them more easily next time they were needed. See? I'm working but not actually producing. And then up popped an article I'd written and sent off only once, and that was almost two years ago. How could it have been forgotten? And later I discovered an unpublished story hiding away in the wrong place. It should have been in the For Sale file. That was emailed off. Later still a little letter peeped out at me and I got hold of it and kicked it into the ether in the direction of Real People. Quite a productive day doing nothing really.
Sunday, August 23, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
I was bitten by horseflies. I now have the Plough star constellation on my right leg.
And if those two don't impress you, how about this? The LSO woke up this morning and a section of his left eyebrow had been stolen during the night!
No pictures available at present. Sorry.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Well, last night I heard from a friend who rarely tackles short fiction and she told me, delightedly, that she'd had a story accepted by MW. I was impressed and asked her which type and length she'd gone for. She didn't know what I was on about. She'd never seen any guidelines. She'd simply written a story, shoved it in an envelope and sent it off. 'Didn't you write anything on the outside of the envelope?' I asked. 'No! Was I supposed to?' came her reply. And guess what, short fiction writers? She had an acceptance within a few days. So what do you all make of that then?
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Well, I didn't see how that could be done and said as much.
'Use a button-hook,' she shouted and then gave me further instructions so this is what I have been doing, without knowing why.
Once the mess was removed, with the button hook, I had to melt some wax, add a little perfume and refill the beehives. Then I placed them in the larder to cool. Such a fiddly job. There is some talent in getting the wax to the right temperature so it's not too runny, yet not too solid either. I told you before how difficult the life of an upstairs made can be, didn't I?
Later when the hives were cold I carried them up to the Mistress's bedroom. And this is what made me giggle. I had dressed her hair and was about to button up her ball gown when she took the little brown beehives, decorated with tiny holes, and placed one in each armpit. Of course I had to ask what for.
She was in a good mood and here's what she said. 'As I dance and begin to glow the wax will melt and give off a perfume. You know that men and lice enjoy the scent of roses. It attracts both. The lice will run up my body, wriggle through the holes in these tiny objects and die a perfumed death as they become stuck in the wax.'
Oh, I did laugh. And then the Mistress joined me. Together we danced around the room and giggling, she whispered, 'By the time my beloved escorts me to the garden to embrace me his kisses will not be interrupted by me having to scratch.'
It was only after we had dried our tears of laughter that she told me the whole darned thing has to be repeated tomorrow. I have to dispose of waxy fleas with the button hook.
These flea catchers can be seen in a curio case at A La Ronde, twixt Exeter and Exmouth.
Sunday, August 09, 2009
The picture of me and Jane, on the panel at Caerleon was also taken by Susan.
The lazy cow was taken by Len Toms.
Saturday, August 08, 2009
If this email fails again my only option is to take the laptop out in the car - I've a dongle on the laptop and it is set for broadband, so I'm told - and try it on that. If I drive uphill about a mile and a bit I can get a slow connection. If I go about five miles I'll get a decent one.
Now, my question is, if this email turns out to be someone sending me a stupid joke, will I be treated sympathetically by the courts if I kill them?
Friday, August 07, 2009
Thursday, August 06, 2009
I once read somewhere that good wives always re-stitch the buttons when buying new shirts for their husbands. It might have been in the bound copies of 1940s Woman's Weeklies I have. Colin will be sewing his own back on. Why? Because I have a button phobia. Not a huge one these days. I used not to be able to touch buttons at all and always bought clothes without them. I didn't know where this phobia had come from until I visited a hypnotherapist and we delved into my past. I was in one of those deep relaxed states that I can often achieve when I'm supposed to be writing. He asked me about buttons and I saw my mother-in-law standing over me and my baby son. He was about five days old and we were leaving hospital. I was trying to dress him and, with my long fingernails, was having trouble with the teeny-tiny buttons on his matinee jacket. 'If you can't even dress him how do you think you're going to be able to look after him and keep him safe?' boomed the dreaded mother-in-law.
I didn't touch buttons after that but hadn't realised why until that scene was replayed in my mind. I was seventeen.
The hypnotherapist asked me to replace the child bride and teenage mother (he didn't actually use those words but I do all the time to explain why I have middle-aged kids) with me as I am now, then relive the scene. So I did and I can't print here what I told my mother-in-law to do.
Once out of my trance I was able to touch a button. I've recently bought a brilliant green Mac' with buttons and I can do it up and undo it with no problems. So what will happen if Colin's shirt buttons fall off. I'll remind him I still have a phobia about sewing.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Second half of the week I went to Simon Whaley's class on Writing Features and Travel Articles and I came home buzzing with ideas, and I am going to get down to them. I am!
Inbetween I made new best friends of Katie Fforde and Sophie King, caught up with loads of old friends I only see once a year, sat in on a panel which included Simon, Kate Walker (M&B) and Stephen Wade. Oh, and Jane Wenham-Jones, or was that me? We both wore identical wigs and dressed in orange and swapped identities for the afternoon while the audience asked us questions. Teresa Chris, the agent, was there, a.k.a The Fearsome One. Lucy Mangan from The Guardian. Ray Allen of Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em. Too many to mention. Everyone is lovely at Caerleon where we are told to leave our troubles at the gate - and we do.
Thursday evening we were entertained by the Cwm Bach Male Voice Choir who, after their official performance, continued in the bar where Jane WJ danced on the pool table. I keep telling her that she'll fall off and break her hip one of these years and dancing with a zimmer frame as a partner is not a good look.
If I've whet your appetite then take a look at www.writersholiday.net. You could come next year and be my new best friends.
Tuesday, August 04, 2009
This afternoon the LSO (Long Suffering One) is standing behind me, arms folded, looking very determined. Yes, he's determined that I shall write something on this blog. 'You've had 77 people look at this and see absolutely nothing,' he shouted.
Apologies to all 77 of you. I shall endeavour to pacify you all and write things but for now that's all. I'll tell you about Writers' Holiday, Caerleon tomorrow. Incredibly it's just stopped raining and I am about to go out for some Fresh Air. Sod that Gulf Stream getting lost.