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Bits and Pieces

April 24th, 2009

thought for the day @ 09:29 am

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful


The house is a mess
And I don't care,
Because I have a date
With a story there

No, that doesn't work.

Ahem, second try.

The house is a mess
And I don't care
Because I have a date
With my writing chair.

Better, but I'm sat on the sofa, so not strictly true.

The house is a mess
Who gives a monkey
I have a story
That's fun and funky.

Procrastination's really bad
Although it can be fun
Open up the writing file
And kick it up the bum


March 6th, 2009

(no subject) @ 02:00 pm

Yesterday was World Book Day. A day that is celebrated, by children across the UK dressing up as characters from books. 
          'I don't like dressing up,' said Monster, when we got the text message from the school announcing WBD and the need for a costume. 
           You could go as a little boy, like Harry from Harry and his Bucket Full of Dinosaurs.'
           Monster screws up his face doubtfully.
          ' What about a pirate? You could be Captain Pike, From Captain Pike Looks After The Baby.'
           Monster shakes his head. 'Can I be a train driver?'
          'Yes, what book has a train driver in it?
           'Duffy Driver in the LIttle Red Train.'

We searched on the Internet for a Train Driver costume. They aren't easy to find (at a reasonable price). Eventually we found  a pilots uniform that could be modified.  We order one. My son is tall, so I order the large size. Big mistake. The uniform is huge. I spend the night before WBD sewing up the sleeves and trouser hems. It's still too big, but wearable-just.

Thursday morning we turn up at school to be greeted by, spiderman, sportacus, a pink kitty-
            'You're Puss In Boots?' I half asked, half said. (The child was wearing pink boots)
            'No,' child replied indignant. 'Puss in Boots is orange.'
             I sigh. I know Puss in Boots was unlikely to be pink (very few cats are!), but it's only in Shrek that he's orange.

So, I went home feeling like an old fuddy duddy, muttering under my breath- dressing up as T.V characters is NOT the spirit of WBD.

Last night in bed I thought about WBD. Dressing up just isn't enough of a celebration. Next year I promise to do more. Next year I think we (our family) should make books for each other. Buy a book to add to the mountain already in the house. Find out about anywhere we can donate books. Write a letter to an author. 

Now I'll be waiting for WBD the same way Monster waits for Christmas.

November 10th, 2008

Focus, or lack of it @ 01:34 pm

Current Location: kitchen table
Current Mood: determined kind of

Recently I saw a talk show interview with a British celeb (b list)  who has become a successful children's writer. She freely admitted to using a ghost writer, (kudos to her) but the stories are HER ideas and characters. She reads every word of the written draft and gives feedback on whether her vision is being met by the writer. The interviewers supported how hard she worked on the books.
           That's the easy bit!!!!! I screamed at the T.V screen, then I turned it off  in a fit of despondency.

You see, I'm having trouble focusing. I have rough drafts and half written stories. I flit between them. I change them from picture book, to early readers, to midgrades and then I end up with nothing. I need a ghost writer.

So, the plan for the month is to focus. Now, do I focus on the midgrade, the easy reader (that may possibly graduate to a midgrade) the webpage (that will make money)...
...you know I think my windows need washing, when was the last time I dusted those light bulbs, (oh yeah, I never do that) I definitely need to sort out the daughter's wardrobe...

October 3rd, 2008

The ups and down of a monster starting school @ 12:35 pm

Current Location: table
Current Mood: contemplative contemplative
Current Music: whinging child protesting nap time


How typical of me, say I'm back and then not post. Monster started school 2.5 weeks ago. I have been enjoying the six hours chat free. My monster was a late talker, but now he can chat underwater eating a sandwich and nothing encourages him to be quiet. The toddler monster has an afternoon nap. I am weak at the knees because I have over an hour a day of QUIET writing time. Ahh, it's bliss. And I am actually writing, something I don't feel I've successfully done since conceiving monster number 2.




I am missing my big Monster. I miss walking into shops and a little voice telling the shop assistants the Theory of Evolution (well, his limited understanding of the theory)
I miss him rendering them speechless by asking if a ghost comes into the shop at night. (The shop assistants never know whether to play along or not.)
I miss the spontaneous story ideas he comes up with, (like Mr Nobody the babysitter who steals his toys.)


Monsters reaction to school has been mixed. The first day he was looking forward to it. We'd barely walked through the door before he was saying goodbye mum. (sob!)
The second day he said he liked it, but it was a very long day.
The second week he was complaining that he spends all his time at school and not enough at home. I refrained from saying- that's life for the next 12 years, 15 (or more) if you go to university.


Soon, the toddler monster will start nursery. I wonder if I will miss following her around the house picking up half masticated food (eww!) 
If I will miss tanties every time I say no.
And if I will miss wiping 'artwork' off the walls and floor and basically any flat surface.  


September 7th, 2008

Testing, testing, 123, is this thing on?? @ 02:39 pm

Current Mood: hopeful hopeful
Current Music: silence (one kid out, one asleep-bliss)

I haven't written on this thing since last year. I'm ashamed that I didn't reply to Tamara and Tamra. Thank you both for your encouraging words. Thank you Mona for commenting and reminding me I have an empty journal as well as for your kind words. Tamra, it'll be months before I have a readable draft of that story, but when I do can I send it to you.


I lost my way. I'm slowly clawing it back. Rereading the basics is helping. Most important advice I've read is- start making sure you have some regular writing time. I have time and I've been wasting it. I hate admitting that. I'm not going to whine or make excuses, I'm just going to promise that I'm back.


Off to write!




November 28th, 2007

how to eat, baby style @ 06:52 pm

Current Mood: frustrated frustrated

Lottie is off her food. She got her first tooth the other day and I think all her teeth have decided to come at once. She's not eating. I can get around four mouthfuls down her before she purses her lips and turns her head. I've become so desperate that I'm considering feeding her biscuits for every meal because then at least she will eat something. 

So today, I made her mashed potato and cheese. I placed a rusk, an oatcake and a small piece of bread on the tray in front of her in case she decided to feed herself. She threw them on the floor. She turned her head from the mash. I gave up and took her out of the chair. I left the mess on the floor because the food battles are getting me down and I just coulldn't face it. Five minutes later she is eating the oat cake off the floor! 

Why? Does it taste different on the floor? Is fiood only good if eaten where dirty feet have trodden.

 Maybe I should just leave a trail of crumbs around the house for her to follow like Hansel and Gretel.   

October 16th, 2007

Weird and interesting thingy @ 08:07 pm

Current Mood: content content

I found this article 
Which way round is the figure spinning for you? 
For me she was turning clockwise, which surprised me. Being right handed I expected the left side of my brain to be dominant. At first I couldn't make her turn the other way, then, while reading the list of what each side of the brain did I looked at her out of the corner of my eye and noticed that she had changed direction. 

October 11th, 2007

Lunchtime convosations @ 02:26 pm

Current Mood: embarrassed embarrassed

Earlier today Dom, Charlotte and I were having a relaxing family lunch when Dom came out with the question, ‘can babies have babies?’

I took a couple of seconds to compute the question and replied, ‘no, only grown up women have babies.’

Then I thought about how I was giving Dom assumptions about women’s roles in life and amended it to, ‘some grown up women have babies if they want to?’

You can guess what the next question was, can’t you?

‘How does the baby get in the mummy’s tummy?’

But it was okay, I knew the answer to this. Everyone knows what to say when this question is asked by young children and the answer keeps the child happy until the age of about 7/8.

‘Mummy has a special cuddle with Daddy and that makes the baby,’ I said, confident that I could relax now for another 3 or 4 years.

‘How do you do the special cuddle?’

I sat in stunned silence. Dom wasn’t following the script, what do I say.

‘I want to see the special cuddle,’ continues Dom.

A rather nervous giggle escaped me.

‘You can’t see the special cuddle, it’s a private thing between mummies and daddies.’

‘But I want to do the special cuddle with you and daddy and charlotte!’

At this point my rational mind ran out of the door red with embarrassment to have a school girly giggle outside.

‘How about you, me, Daddy and Charlotte have a family cuddle,’ I said. ‘That a nice thing to do.’

Luckily this catches on and Dom starts talking about inane things about family cuddles and who will hold Charlotte etc. I mentally curse whoever came up with the special cuddle phrase when talking about the birds and the bees. To think this time last year I was worried because he wasn’t talking.


September 17th, 2007

Nursery First day, Bad day @ 09:39 pm

Current Mood: annoyed annoyed

Dom had his first day at a new nursery today. I was looking forward to some toddler free time and Dom was looking forward to playing with the trains, home corner, water, etc.

We woke up bright and early so we would have a calm morning getting ready. Despite having loads of time, it some how got away from me and I ended up running out of the door with my hair half done and Lottie was in some daggy old ‘house clothes’ that I’d found in the drawer.

It’s okay, I thought. The nursery is only five minutes away. Lottie can get wrapped up in her Buggy Snuggle so no one will see her grottiness and I’ll just drop Dom off then come home, finishing doing my hair, have a drink catch up on emails/crits and do some WRITING.

We arrived. I showed hubby where Dom’s classroom was so he would know where to drop the little monster off in the mornings. Dom happily wondered off into the playground and found something to play with. The teacher offered us a tour of the nursery and it slowly became apparent, that we were expected to stay. Unfortunately we weren’t expecting to stay.

‘Take Charlotte,’ I said to hubby.

‘I have loads of work to do today, I have the weekend post to get out,’ he replied and off he toddled, (which was fair enough as he is the breadwinner in the family and it is imossible to do work with a baby crawling around.)

So, I stayed with Dom and followed him around (with Lottie in my arms) as he went from activity to activity, happily playing independently. Everyone cooed over Lottie and no one mentioned that she was inappropriately dressed in light weight ¾ length leggings and no socks on a cool day, but I bet they were thinking it.

Things were going well, until Lottie filled her nappy. I didn’t expect to be staying so I hadn’t brought a change. I carried her about hoping that others couldn’t smell her and feeling guilty that she was sitting in her own mess. Finally I clutched at straws and hoped that I’d put a nappy under the pram. The caretaker unlocked the door so I could go out to the pram and check. I’d brought the small changing mat, wipes and the plastic bags. In fact, I’d brought everything except a nappy. Lottie was starting to leak, so I had no choice but to leave early. I asked the teacher what would be happening tomorrow. Was I still expected to stay?

‘You can go into the family room tomorrow,’ she told me in her broad Irish accent. ‘So make you sure you bring a nappy for the baby.’

Dom got upset that we were leaving early. I got upset that I looked like an idiot who under dressed her baby and couldn’t even remember to bring a nappy when going out. The thing is, I don’t remember them telling me I had to stay. Hubby (who was there when the teachers did the home visit and told us the details about the first day) doesn’t remember them telling us we had to stay.

I can make a new impression tomorrow, right? I can convince the teachers that I am a together mother, can’t I? Please tell me that the first day of school will be better! At least Dom had a good morning, even if it was a little shorter than expected.


September 5th, 2007

(no subject) @ 09:19 pm

Current Mood: happy happy

 It's my birthday.
MIL bought me new make up(clinique)-yay
Son (with hubby's help) bought me a silver train charm- I love it because he loves train.
Hubby will pay for me to go to a writers conference in Nov- wet myself with excitement yay (that isn't literally)
I bought elderflower wine. It tastes very bad- boo
I'm another year older- shrug

Bits and Pieces