Sunday, 17 September 2017

Blue Sky Tag

I love reading people's Q & A's when they've been tagged by someone but I rarely get the chance to take part. So when I was tagged by Marija Smits over at I was thrilled to take part. Naturally I love the answering questions bit but the thinking up questios to ask and deciding who to tag are a bit trickier!
So here goes with the easy bit ...

  1. How are you? (No, really, how are you?)
Today I am feeling well. A little stiff in the hips but generally ok. I am still trying to get my head round what has happened health wise over the last few months but I am nearing acceptance.

2. How do you feel about the season changing from summer to autumn? Do you have a favourite autumnal poem? (If not, simply share a favourite poem.)

I adore autumn! The weather changes to the kind that suits me, cooler and fresher. I wilt in any summer heat! I love the way nature curls up and readies herself for sleep over the winter, I love the dampness, the mists, the low cloud, the gentle rain. Needless to say my favourite autumn poem is To Autumn by John Keats!

3. On the introvert-extrovert and sensitivity continuum where would you put yourself?
I always say I'm an introvert, that I'm shy and retiring. Then folk start laughing and remind me that I'm never afraid to go into a bar on my own, that I'll chat to anyone anywhere and I concede that I may be a closet extrovert.

4. Have you ever been ‘stuck’ in life? Or are you ‘stuck’ (in some way) right now? Any tips for getting unstuck?

This is a difficult question. I have felt stuck at times but have no sure fire way of getting unstuck! However, my recent health problems left me stuck for a time, stuck with unwanted thoughts and uncertainty. So stuck that for a few weeks I read nothing - so unlike me! - and I am only now moving out of that 'stuck' period. So sorry, no wisdom from me today on that one.

5. How do you balance family life, work and creative time? Is ‘time scheduling’ the way forward? Or do you have a more relaxed approach?

I wish I could schedule my time more efficiently. I lay in bed each night planning the tomorrow, then wake up and amble through the day achieving a fraction of what I planned. I'm trying to be more disciplined when it comes to my writing so maybe I will get there one day with the rest of my life.

6. What creative work are you focussing on at the moment?

I am trying to finish the first draft of my novel. I'm finding it difficult because I don't want the story to end, I love my characters too much to say goodbye! I'm also knitting again which is wonderful when watching TV.

7. Are you a one-project-on-the-go person or do you flit between different creative projects?

I flit but nothing gets finished that way!

8. Some of your favourite books…?

This list could go on forever! Classics include Wuthering Heights (my desert island book), Tess of The D'Urbervilles, Persuasion and Bleak House. More recently I adored My Name Is Leon and
The Testament of Vida Tremayne.

9.An inspiring piece of music?

I'm a big fan of Sigur Ros and one of my favourites is Hoppipolla. But as for inspiring...

10. A favourite ice cream flavour? If you don’t like ice cream, here’s another question: tea or coffee? (And how do you take it.)

I'm a sucker for anything salted caramel at the moment but if I could only have one flavour until the end of time I'd pick coffee. And I'm a milk-no-sugar tea girl!

11. A photo of one of your favourite places to create (or the place you mostly end up creating, though it may not be your favourite!).

The clubroom at David Lloyd Oxford! How sad is that?

I tag the following:

Iona Burchill

Here are the rules of the Blue Sky Tag:

  1. Thank the person who has nominated you.
  2. Answer their questions.
  3. Create 11 questions for your nominees.
  4. Tag your 11 nominees.
And here are my 11 questions!

1. What is your favourite animal and why?
2. If you could be in any TV programme which one would you pick?
3. It's cocktail hour, what's your order?
4. Desert Island Disc please.
5. How did you choose your child/children's name(s)?
6. If I could grant you 3 wishes, what would you wish for? Make one personal rather than all going for world peace...
7. Disney or Pixar?
8. What would you choose for your last meal?
9. Given the choice, would you go into space?
10. What is your favourite period in history and why?
11. Do you have any skills that would help the human race after the Apocalypse?

Hope to read some interesting answers!

The Prompt 155 - Calling


I hear the calling in the night,
The calling of the owl.
It echoes across the garden
From the woodland down the hill.
The sound gives me security
As I lie in my bed.
Cosy, warm and safe,
Listening to the haunting sound.

I hear the calling in the night,
The calling of the fox.
Echoing through the bushes
Startling, cruel and sad.
The fox's cry is fraught and shrill,
It speaks of loss and pain.
As I lie in my cosy bed
I hope to never hear its like again.

I hear the calling in the night,
the calling of a child.
Echoing through my sleeping mind
Sad and far away.
Calling for someone I know not who,
Calling for love and peace,
Calling me to do I know not what,
Calling in the night.

I have no answer to that call,
I have no wisdom to impart.
The call is faint and far away,
I have no answer to that call.
What must I do?
The child is calling, haunting like the owl.
What should I do?
The child is calling, barking like the fox.

I hear the calling in the night,
Calling in the dark.
I close my ears, I turn my head,
And silently I weep.

Monday, 11 September 2017

How Philippa Perry helped me see clearly

As regular readers will know I have struggled to identify as a writer. I was hostage to 'imposter syndrome' for the longest time and belittled my writing when I spoke about it at all.

But I have started to call myself a writer on a more regular basis - not that I get asked all that often - and it has felt good to identify with the thing that gives me the greatest pleasure.

So where does Philippa Perry fit in? Well, I've long been an admirer of Grayson Perry's work and through him I found Philippa on Twitter. Then she fronted a programme on surrealism on TV which was most interesting so I have followed her on Twitter with interest.

Now, a recent post really leaped out at me. Philippa wrote "If the only thing between you and the you, you want to be is will power, you can do it if, rather than TRY to, you DECIDE to." This spoke so loudly to me, this was what I needed to hear and is exactly what I have to do. I need to DECIDE to be a writer. No more trying, just doing.

Now imposter syndrome is a hard habit to break, I know this. But if all that is holding me back is the decision to be a writer then I have to make that decision. I have to live and breath as a writer rather than putting it on the back burner for another day, perhaps when I have more time, or the inspiration strikes. You know the drill.

So I have decided to be the writer I believe I was meant to be. I am going to finish the draft of my novel. I am going to start a new one and then edit the first one. I am going to write something new everyday, even if it's not very good and I bin it the next day. I am going to start submitting my work more regularly rather than saying I will but not following through.

Thank you, Philippa Perry. You have transformed my life in ways you will never know. You have given me the courage to stand up and declare myself a writer once again and I have decided to be the best writer I can possibly be.

Sunday, 27 August 2017

Message from the other side?

Last night I had an interesting dream.

I dreamt that I was looking for a new house. I went to an exhibition showcasing new build houses and found just the one I wanted. It was a town house in a little cul-de-sac with a plunge pool and access to a boating lake. I signed on the proverbial dotted line and started to choose paints, curtains and kitchen fittings.

Now several things struck me as odd when I woke up. Firstly I have no desire to move at all. I am more than happy in my messy, chaotic little home and I don't need the stress. Secondly, as a non swimmer and boating loather, why would I need the pool and row boat?

But as the morning wore on I started to wonder if this was a message from my subconscious. Although why she can't be a bit less obtuse I don't know. Maybe it's a message to mentally sort out my shit. To move into a new mind set (house) and embrace some new challenges (boats?!?)

I may be reading far too much into this but it's an interesting idea.

So do I pack all my mental baggage into boxes and move on? Or do I stay where I am, where it's cosy and familiar?