General

Moving and shaking

Possibly a misleading title to this post since I am not referring to the horrific and devastating earthquake in Japan. I am, somewhat frivoulously perhaps, referring to my rather busy and highly productive morning. I am sitting writing this post and it is not yet 11am, yet despite having had a lie-in*, I have already made:

(*these things are relative)

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Thoughtcrime

I disapprove of this modern trend for sacking people for personal remarks made outside the course of their normal occupation. I am referring, of course, to the sacking of John Galliano by his employer Dior.

I appreciate Dior’s desire to distance themselves from someone seen to represent them, but the fact remains that Galliano was being a racist prat on his own time and technically that’s not really any of their business. If he’d minced onto the catwalk covered in shiny pink swastikas, then fair enough, but he didn’t. (more…)

Cock Ale and other culinary oddities

Home made pork pie

I’ve been researching food and drink history recently (and trying out a few traditional recipes like the very tasty pork pie over there –>).

It’s a fascinating subject and it’s apparent that our ancestors had a much less finicky approach to food and drink. Among the oddities I have unearthed are a Medieval recipe for “Garbage”, made with all the bits of a chicken you’d normally throw in the…umm..garbage, like the head, feet and entrails. They also had assorted ways of cooking pretty much anything that flies, walks or swims (boiled heron, anyone?) and some rather novel ideas for flavouring alcoholic beverages, which brings me to the Cock Ale.

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What the Dickens? I’m a Novelist!

Ok, so I’m no Dickens, but I am officially, as of last night 28th November, a bona fide novelist! See the badge? See it?–>

I won! I wrote 50,000 words in less than one month for NaNoWriMo. See me jumping up and down with excitement? Go me!

I won’t say it wasn’t hard work… umm… well, actually, it wasn’t hard work to be perfectly truthful. It was an enormous amount of fun and I enjoyed every minute of my fantasy world playing out its story in my head. Now, my head is often usually a jumble of half-baked, incomplete, bizarre and random bits so you won’t be surprised that the novel is in much the same shape at the moment. There is still a long way to go before it’s likely to be even remotely worth reading, but riding the crest of this incredible wave of achievement and momentum, I have every intention of completing the 75,000 words needed to make it novel sized, (and fill in the huge gaps still in the story). I am hoping that my fellow winners, Ali and Sara, will also persevere with their own great works (I have read excepts, trust me on this one). It has been good for me to have that element of challenge and mutual support. Long may it continue!

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Herding Cats

The trouble, I have discovered, with writing fictional characters is that they have a habit of trying to take over.  Like Pinocchio, they all yearn to be real, to cut the strings by which you control them.

It starts off well enough, you write something to define who they are, what they look like, how they fit into the story and that’s straightforward enough. Great, you think, this is easy. So you sit down and  write some dialogue for them and suddenly they are saying all sorts of things that never entered your head. You think, fine, enough dialogue, lets do some action, may be a description of what’s happening, a bit of ordinary stuff, scenery and that. Next thing you know, they are trying to muscle into the limelight and if that’s not enough, they have you writing all kinds of salacious and other nonsense. Then there are the characters that have no business being there at all and just wander in off the street for a look around before disappearing again.

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Misplaced Words

Of course, it would make far more sense for me to be making a contribution to my NaNoWriMo word count, rather than this blog, but I thought you might be interested to hear how I’m getting on.

I started this report to find a bewildering array of numbers, so have decided to borrow from Hestia a rather more economical style of relaying the statistics.

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A Hectic New Year

Hallowe’en or Samhain marks the end of the old year (pagan style) and the start of the new. Whereas the start of the calendar year proper, i.e., January, is for me normally full of post-Chrimbo lethargy and the strong urge to hibernate until Spring, next month is going to be active to the point of insanity.

In addition to some tight deadlines for commissions, I start NaNoWriMo tomorrow (gulp). 50,000 words in 30 days is just short of 2000 words a day that I have to squeeze in to my already busy, family and work-filled life. Witchfest is coming up next Saturday and I’ll be reading Tarot all day, so that is one day less already. I must be insane!

On the plus side, the plot is coming together nicely, although I hope nobody overhead DH and I discussing the best way to murder someone in the pub yesterday 😀

Happy Hallowe’en /Samhain!

Plumbing and other domestic disasters update

So it turned out that the shower hose was actually broken. The inner tube thingy has come adrift, so I took the bath taps apart and after a quick foray to Wickes, have now installed a new hose. The shower head was pretty revolting too, but since they weren’t prepared to sell me one of those without the whole ensemble (£84), I womanfully chipped away the worst of the limescale, squirted it with whatever chemicals were to hand and attacked it with a small brush for good measure. The hose is now rather too long – the shortest they did was 1.5m, but it all seems to work fine again. (more…)

Pestilent Plumbing

I decided that my roots were well overdue for a retouch. As a natural <cough> blonde <cough> (they’re not grey hairs, really, some of them  just grow out a bit fairer than the others) they tend to show up.

Anyway, if you are not aware, my hair has been a dark purple for a couple of years or so. Perhaps not the best colour to choose if you have fairish hair, as you can’t really get away with the roots being so dramatically different (remind me to go back to blonde, soon!).  So, as I’m off to Bath with the girls for the weekend, I thought I might as well spruce meself up a tad. Bad plan!

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NaNoWriMo

No, it isn’t the sound of a police car crashing. It’s the annually held National Novel Writing Month and I’ve signed up! Mind you, it may well end up being the sound of the ambulance bearing  men in white coats coming to scrape up what is left of my sanity in December. OMG! What was I thinking? 50,000 words in 30 days is a totally mad idea.

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