18/8/2016

Feeling very dozy this morning after staying up three nights in a row watching th’Olympics. It was so exciting watching the cyclists win last night. Laura Trott was wonderfully normal, crying like a real person at her final gold then crying more when her fiancé won his. I watched the gymnastics and Amy Tinkler win bronze despite having done her GCSE’s before the comp. Results when she gets home. What a superstar! Watched the swimming and team UK get a silver, then the boxing. When all that had finished I watched the biggest bunch of Eastern Europeans I’ve ever seen smashing the weight lifting world record. Think I’m getting addicted. I did this last time in 2012 then felt dead miserable when it had finished – post Olympics blues – what a dolt I am. It was the same feeling I got as a child when I’d finished all the Narnia books and there were none left to read. I’m already worrying about getting it instead of simply enjoying it all. Will paste pics of 2012 tomoz. Saw Mo Farrah get one of his golds in 2012 and Usain Bolt win the 100 metres. It was so amazing.

Its weird being up late in the hols. I see quite a lot more of the boys, bumping into them and their mates in the kitchen. Harry came home late last night with a couple of friends who stayed over. I haven’t seen one of them for a couple of years and I didn’t recognise him. He used to be a teeny, ordinary sort of boy. He’s now six foot two massive. Hench the boys say. I think its ‘hench’ it might be ‘henge.’It means built like a brick shithouse. Funny how they invent new words. ‘Rare’ is another one they say all the time meaning ‘a bit weird’ and ‘special,  ‘a one off.’

On the writing front am finishing a weird little flash about getting old, written as a series of instructions about firelighting. Will finish it today and send it off to Halo Litzine which is a new Flash mag for women. Have had a couple of stories published or accepted for publication which is good news but will write about that tomorrow as have to go to railway station now.

15/8/2016

Household of five sleeping teenage boys (three on sleepovers), one snoring husband, two sleeping/snoring pugs and one dozy cat, all still in the land of nod at 10.02am on a Monday morning due to it being the holidays and everyone staying up till wee small hours watching th’Olympics and Usain Bolt winning the 100 metres yet again. I am awake as I have chores to do early doors and had to get up to do them then couldn’t get back to sleep. Made the mistake of logging on and started tweeting following the publishing of the results of the Flash Icon Competition at Molotov Cocktail Litzine where I got a ‘no cigar honourable mention’ for my story The Making of Legends. So pleased to see writers mentioned there who I have read and admired in the past, especially the wonderful @FEClark who has won first prize. I haven’t read the stories yet as they aren’t out for a few days but I’ll review them here when I have.

Many, many congrats to all the winners in the top ten and the many who have’no cigar’ honourable mentions and also to all those with no mentions at all. As developing writers, honing our skills, we enter competitions to develop and progress our craft and it’s so important not to lose heart when we don’t win. Hope this doesn’t sound arsey but it’s weird re-entering a comp. you’ve just won – sort of setting yourself up to fail – and if I’m honest I did vacillate about entering this time. The reasons I did were because:

  • you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth if you’re going to be a writer
  • I love Molotov Cocktail and the online community of talented writers of seriously weird flash fictionistas who contribute to it,
  • its not all about the winning – its about progression and learning
  • to sort of ‘get over myself’ and move onwards and upwards
  • Not that I’m comparing myself to him, but one day even Usain Bolt will either lose or retire before he does, but until then he’s fearless and I hope that’s where I can be like him, cos if there’s one way to fail its to be too fearful not to try in the first place.

Very much looking forward to the next Molotov theme which is horror and am already hatching a creepy idea which will probably  keep me awake for several nights over the coming weeks before my MA starts. Whether it gets a win or a nothing its difficult to predict since its not yet written but I hope I learn stuff in the writing of it.

It’s now 10.31 and still no-one’s up. Might get cracking with a first draft actually since the opportunity has presented itself.

 

 

8.8.2016

Am writing this drinking a humungus vat of excellent coffee at Granny Dot’s dining table. We’ve had a swift visit to New Arlesford that ends lunchtime today. We’ve had big chats, yummy food, probs too much good white wine and massive family dins with Nick’s cousin Ben and his family. All our kids are growing up so quickly. Three of them are now teenagers. It weird to watch how their behaviours to one another change. They saw each other once or twice a year when they were wee and fell into easy play. Now as teenagers the awkwardness is palpable especially at first and the gender gap has widened. I know its only a phase and all will reconfigure itself when they get past these trickerty years but it does make you feel for them all.

Soooo fab to see Ben and Lisa though. They don’t change. If anything they’re getting younger. Ben told us a funny, funny tale about his dad being a touch riske (can’t find an acute accent) with the middle aged, middleclass housewives of Hexham. Will write it into a flash fiction be because its really funny.

Read a chapter written by Dot in a consciousness book and its so full with potential for flashes that I’ve asked her to send me it digitally. So very many weird happenings which you (for that read I) couldn’t make up.

Right I’m off now. Sleepy teenagers to shoehorn off the sofa bed.

 

5/8/2016

So I find myself having to stay up till 1 o clock, waiting to pick up my teenage son and his mates from a party and have decided to take this opportunity of enforced wakefulness to write a wee blog entry.

Had a lovely time last weekend with a visit from the Asplin family who stayed for three sleeps. Clarey and I have known each other since our kids were in pre-school. She left the village to live in Yorkshire a couple of years ago and now we see much more of each other than we ever did when she lived round the corner.

Finally used the pizza oven Sunday night for the first time since May and had a few friends and rellies over. The weather has been so pants at the weekends all through summer so far that its been almost impossible to use it but it was warm and clear last Sunday so we took advantage.

Stayed at Bob’s last night. We had dins in Biggleswade which was lovely. Had an espresso martini. It will not be my last.Writing wise I’ve been working on a short story which is a weird take on The Snow Queen and two flashes, one for Molotov cocktail for their Flash Icon comp which finishes tomorrow. Not sure I’ll get it finished or send it off if I do. Will look at it in the morning and see if I like it enough. Feels weird entering a comp I’ve won recently – a bit like setting yourself up for disappointment. The current story is ok but not as good as the one that won but I’m of the opinion that a story isn’t finished until its been read so it would be daft not to send it out into the world. As a writer you have to get used to rejections and blanks so I hope I do have the courage to end it off even if it is imperfect. I’m also working on a smaller flash called Mixed Messages which I’m finding difficult to edit as its very emotive and I get upset every time I try to polish it. Think its finished now though so might send that out into the world tomorrow too just so its out there.

Off to Granny Dots tomorrow lunchtime with the family. My friend is house sitting whilst we’re away for a couple of nights. She’ll look after the pugs and chickens. Dot’s been very unwell and can’t visit us here so its a drive to Winchester for me. Must google the nearest swimming pool so as not to miss my half mile swims whilst I’m there. Went to see the doc today about the pain in my shoulder. Its a rotary cuff prob and will be much improved if I keep up the swimming so intend to… keep up the swimming.

HeIMG_1105re’s a pic of Clarey winning her first boxing match. She’s back in training now for the next bout. Really should write this into a short story. The stuff she’s done over the last couple of years is truly extraordinary.

Right signing off. It’s 12.30 and time to get the boy. Hope he remembers this when I’m an annoying, weird old lady who smells of wee who he wants to put into a home.