Aspirations from a Working Mum

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Day 44

I have done little writing in the last few days because my mind has been preoccupied with other things. I have just completed a two day training course by Read Write Inc. –  for anyone who doesn’t know – this is the company formed by ex-headteacher Ruth Miskin, aimed at getting children to read using her synthetic phonics method.

My. Word. What an eye opener. It’s a miracle anybody learns to read with our beast of an english language. But my goodness, how it has fired me up to teach the struggling children in our school. I can hardly wait to see if the scheme produces the results it claims possible. In the world today there are so many children that fall through the net, children who are still struggling with the most simplest of words, children who will never catch up with their peers unless something is done – and it really does break my heart.

If I can help even a handful of these children I will consider it a job well done.

People say life is the thing, but I prefer reading.    Logan Pearsall Smith


January 22, 2008 Posted by | Hectic days | | 1 Comment

Day 39

Yet again my laptop is Kaput. Ker-nackered. Now, this shouldn’t really pose too much of a problem – after all I store all my work on a magic stick (you probably know it better as a memory stick, but to me my stick is nothing short of magic!) and I have a computer which I can just as easier work on, and of course there’s always the faithful ole pen and paper – but it is; a problem. Everyone has a medium they are happiest working in, and for me it is my laptop. Somehow my writing never flows quite so fluently when I’m sitting at the computer. I think I am waiting to be interrupted all the time ( see post for Day 2 ), so I can never settle fully into my fantasy world. Pen and paper simply does not do it for me: there’s no delete button for a start so I spend most of my time rewriting what I’ve  just written. But my laptop is portable. I can take it where I please. If I feel like I need a bit of company while I write (which I must admit isn’t often), then I can sit myself somewhere comfy in the lounge and tap away while hubby and daughter watch TV. Or if I want to feel like I still belong to the real world but do not want that world to actually interfere with my world, I sit at the kitchen table; that way I can still hear the murmur of everyday living, but I am detached from it. Or, and this is more the norm, I can take myself to the bedroom (sometimes actually into bed!), and close myself away from all distractions and write to my heart’s delight. So, what do I do? Do I pay out for another laptop?…spending money I can’t really afford when I do have a fully functioning computer? Mmm…decisions, decisions.

Anyway, on a more positive note, my word count is on target…surprisingly!

Never trust a computer you can’t throw out a window.    Steve Wozniak.

January 17, 2008 Posted by | On Track | | 2 Comments

Day 34

This Thursday I attended a book launch party for a very talented writer: Alis Hawkins. Testament (available through Amazon) is Alis’ debut novel, and I felt both privileged and proud to be invited to the launching party in London. It was a wonderful, and exciting, evening. I met a fellow blogger: Simon Keys (which was actually quite surreal!), and was lucky enough to talk to a lady who works for Macmillan New Writers. She was very interested in the fact that I too was writing a novel and she said she would read my MS when it was completed with a view to publication (YAY! Networking at it’s best!). The whole experience was a good one and I send all my best to Alis for her success.

Made it Ma! Top of the world.   James Cagney

January 13, 2008 Posted by | Hectic days, Priorities | 2 Comments

Day 30.

People never cease to amaze me. You think you know someone and then discover they have hidden depths you never could have guessed at. I have worked alongside a colleague for weeks…months even…only to find out two days ago that he too has a book simmering away on the back burner. He revealed that he has always enjoyed writing but has never really found  the time to give the art his full attention  (now doesn’t that sound familiar?). We sat down and had quite a little discussion about it. It was nice to talk about writing to someone that was genuinely interested, and not just feigning politeness, as I’m sure a lot of people I rabbit on to, do. He has asked me to read some of his work – which I took as a compliment- and tell him what I think; I must admit though, when people ask me that, I always feel a little daunted.

Today has been a good day, productive wise. I took the day off work to be with my daughter who is unwell with the flu, this meant I was able to spend a few hours tapping away at my keyboard….how I wish I could do this every day!

All our talents increase in the using, and every faculty, both good and bad, strengthens by exercise.   Anne Bronte

January 9, 2008 Posted by | On Track | | 2 Comments

Day 27

I have come to the conclusion that I am not very good at keeping a day by day account of my writing activities – I’ve never had much success keeping a diary either – so… I am still  keeping this blog up and running, but only updating it two or three times a week; when something actually happens in my life (like a bit of writing perhaps!). I have a fairly addictive nature I think, I am finding I ‘m spending more and more time blogging than actually writing! I have so many interesting blogs I love to visit and comment on, that I am going to have to set myself a specific time to blog, guiltfree. I’m not sure if this is sad or not? On the plus side: it is getting me writing every day and flexing those creative muscles; I am ‘meeting’ some interesting people from other parts of the world, and I have made a couple of published writer friends that I will always stay in contact with; I am finding it a real ego-booster too with the comments I’m getting on my writing….but….it is such an eater of my precious amounts of time! I have balanced that out today though, I have spent two hours concentrating on my novel. Today I feel like a ‘real’ writer…not just a wannabe!

January 6, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 26:

Another one of my chicks has flown the nest. On January 1st, my youngest son Bill, moved out of the family home. I knew it was coming; at twenty-four years of age he needed his own space,  his independance. The trouble is, I’ve never been one of those mums who hates having her children around her. I’ve always enjoyed the company of my kids – even now that my daughter is a stroppy fourteen year old, I still like and value having her with me – I’ve always loved the school holidays and sharing time with these fascinating (to me anyway) people.

My oldest son, Ben, moved out back in the summer…and now Bill’s gone too. At this moment of writing, Katy is spending the evening at her friends, so there’s only me and Paul in the house….and the two cats, who incidently are flying around the house, chasing each other, and Wolfie, our dog, who’s curled up asleep on his bed (keeping half an eye on the cats!).  Mmmm…a sign of things to come….

Today, being in a rather clumsy mood, I tripped over while walking down the stairs and managed to drop the box file that the MS of my novel was in. Somehow, one whole side of the box ripped off. A trip into town is now called for….I have this morbid fear that I will lose my story if I just put it in a ‘safe place’…I must get another file.

I have decided I am not going to make any resolutions this year. I never keep them. So…instead I have a goal….to write something, however small the amount, every day (which actually was my resolution/goal last year…and the year before that!).

January 3, 2008 Posted by | On Track | | 2 Comments

A Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Will be back in 2008!

December 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 25.

After all I said yesterday about taking it a bit easier over the christmas period, I just could not resist the pull of Erzsebet Bathory, and found myself inhabiting her world for an hour or so this evening. The piece of writing I’d finished a few days ago needed a bit of editing. Now seemed like the time to do it…while the mood was on me. Also, I knew I wouldn’t be disturbed for a while; hubby and daughter were downstairs writing out christmas cards. I took the opportunity while it was there!

Inspiration is the act of drawing up a chair to the writing desk.  anonymous

December 18, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Day 20, 21, 22, 23 & 24!!

Sometimes I wish that the world would stop turning and I could step off for a few moments and catch my breath. The last few days have gone hurtling by so fast I half expected to meet myself coming back in the opposite direction! My mind is in such a whirl of Christmasy things that I can’t settle to my writing. I really want to write, to de-stress for an hour or so, but every time I sit at the computer my brain is full of the presents I still have to buy, the cards I have to write, the people I have to visit, the food I have to prepare, that I just can’t think straight at all. Then when I go to bed my brain is clogged up with the goings on in the village of Parish: my fantasy world. My people pester me all night, preventing me from getting a good night’s sleep, so when I wake up I feel unfreshed and jaded. And that’s the problem with being a writer. In most other jobs, once you are away from the workplace, you can forget about the grind for a few hours. Not so a writer. A writer’s brain can never fully switch off, no matter how much we may tell ourselves to have some relaxation time, it never really happens. I do think though that I am going to have to put my writing on the back burner until Santa has been and gone. I need to spend some time just chilling, and, like Peter Pan, thinking happy thoughts!

December 17, 2007 Posted by | Hectic days | | Leave a comment

Day 18 & 19: Murder, Magic and Meetings

Day 18:  I run the Sheppey Women Writers Group(SWWG), and once a month, on a Tuesday evening, us creative ladies gather at my home to read and discuss our work. Tonight was our annual Christmas Meal, so this evening we gathered at my local watering hole: The British Queen. We had a lovely meal, complete with Secret Santa – I was given a leather bound address book – and a good time was had by one and all!

Day 19: This evening I attended an author talk at Sittingbourne Library. It was in fact two authors talking about their dubut novels that have just been published. Yvonne Hughes has written a murder mystery: A Time to Die, and Sue Rule has penned a fantasy novel: Cloak of Magic. Both books are available through Amazon.

 It was an enjoyable evening. I love spending time with other authors, hearing how they ply their trade: develop plots, create characters, all the things that only another writer is interested in!

December 15, 2007 Posted by | Unproductive. | Leave a comment