Monday, April 30, 2007

Through the looking glass

The world seems very Alice in Wonderland at the moment. Everything seems to get bigger and smaller all at the same time.

Weighing up the hideous consequences of Global Warming against the sheer pleasure of feeling sunshine and watching trees in bud. It leaves too many questions.

Yesterday I interviewed two amazing people, both of whom were convinced that we are slip sliding towards a torrent of war and destruction globally. How do I balance that with a belief and conviction that unless I think positively, act positively in what ever ways I can, then in some ways I'm only adding to the bigger problems.

I can't take on the belief of their views when I watch my son playing on a day that was warm enough that he could swim in a river. I know I swam in the sea at this time of year as a kid. Some things don't change.

There's a theory about the Hundredth Monkey - 99 monkeys can learn to do something, but whatever they can do will stay localised. When the hundredth monkey learns to do it, wooosh bang wallop. Critical mass; monkeys everywhere learn to do the same thing.

I've got to keep some kind of faith that we as humans are at about 96 or 97 monkeys in terms of how we are behaving towards each other and treating the planet. Until we get to a hundred everything will look the same and stay the same. But we've got to be close to some kind of wake up call.

Don't really want to think about the other possibility.

On a more mundane level, I'm trying to convince myself that is how it is with pitching. Even if I get the equivalent of 99 rejections or positive but non-committal responses, the 100th will kick in some kind of critical mass, well - enough to create a new perspective and momentum in it all. I think I got the whisper of 99 and a half today. I'm hoping that other half will add on tomorrow.

Meanwhile I face the age old debate of slogging away at the keyboard when I know I'm tired, against sleeping now an getting up really early.

Blogging's just great for putting off those decisions for a while. This screen has become my through the looking glass place - on the other side are a million different worlds and possibilities. All sitting there at the same time...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


I had to face one of my greatest fears to day; sitting in a classroom with all the other mothers from my son's class.

I got the normal 'sympathetic' looks, that I expected, as I'm an 'invisible' - rarely seen at the school gates, and tend to hover by myself when I am. It's not even that I'm anti social, far from it, but The School Gate thing has always been incredibly intimidating. Being a full time working mum, meant that I never got practiced in the art of The Gate small talk. Now it's got to the point, that I just don't know what to say, and always sound silly when I try. Having been a teacher, it's not even the 'school thing'. Give me a room full of teenagers, no problem. Parents at parents Evenings, no problem.

No it's not school, just The School Gates.

Even if they are not all 'Yummys' then I most certainly am a 'Scummy'. My day seemed quite normal; sitting barefoot typing away, plotting out script structure on little cards (very satisfying game), singing along to Amy (Winehouse), so what if I pulled the hoody and jeans off the floor and stuck random things in my hair to keep it out of my eyes.

Of course I was so lost in the little card game, I nearly missed the lift to The Gates and so ran out as I was. Flip-flops, random hair and all.

Ah. Beyond the 'sympathetic' looks, once in the classroom I realised what a state I was - truly scummy. Marker pen all over my hands, bare feet on a cold day la la la. I was not wearing clothes from M&S. I was not wearing sensible shoes. My hair was not 'styled'. I clearly was not even a gentle looking hippy type Mum. Everyone was taller than me (except our kids).

So whilst eclectic and random might best sum my dress sense up, in their presence, I looked and felt more like an Asbo-stylee-hoody-wearing-teen mum.

After the meeting, Oz and I walked down the road, bought an ice-cream, and snacks, and sat on the grass (not on the benches). Suddenly it really didn't seem to matter - I realised that everyone else had driven home and were doing far more sensible things, as we sat there in a world of our own. Supper will not be on the table anywhere close to 6. We are both full with ice cream and Jaffa cakes.

Blogs and writers.

This is a very short post to direct anyone (who might be interested) to the 'result' of the writers who blog analysis - it is here.

I thought it was hidden, but cyber space is too fast; far away and patroclus found it, for which I'm very grateful as their comments were a big help :)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Thank you to everyone who left a comment here. And here is a beer to say thank you. Well, a beer coupon to be more precise. Just take it to your local bar, swap for your favourite tipple and say it was given to you in good faith, which it was...

It's been one of those days today. The sort in which my faith in beer tokens has been restored.

After months of frustration I found out how to do this which means that I'm one step closer to being able to write about this.

So this has made me smile. So much so, that I'll just try it one more time. Not being able to do the linky thing has been driving me mad for ages, and it was as simple as leaving safari...Also has a lot to do with the sunshine that warmed the ache in my sleepy bones away so gently, and finally managing to bury Mr Resnick in a pastrami on rye at about 3.42am this morning. I hope he's gone, I really do hope.

It's the racing chasing deadlines thing. Part of me hates it, and a very strange part loves the stillness of 3am writing. I've just woken up from a snooze and there is still an allure to just keep typing through the night and into that stillness.

On Friday I fully intend to print off pocketfuls of these beer tokens and swap them for a pint or three of sanity, sleep and vodka. Not neccesarily in that order though.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Blogging blog.

If you are a blogger, who also considers writng to be their main focus/drive/employment in life could you spare me a comment?

I'm doing some research into the impact of blogging for writers as part of an MA course. Given that there are millions of bloggers out there, narrowing research down is a duanting task; I spent a week lost in the blogosphere, reading some amazing posts, but having very little to focus the research on. So, if 'the medium is the message', I thought I'd try a live and direct approach.

Blogs are free, uncensored and ever growing. What I'm trying to find out is how you got into blogging, how you feel it impacts on your writing, how it might affect the print based industry and where you think it might be headed the coming years. There's a sense of search engines manipulating/creating a blogging A list, where might this lead? Will blogs keep going or will the bubble burst? Some blogs have been picked up as books, there are prizes and awards - is this a motivation or do blogs fulfil another function? What are your thoughts, in general, about blogging, particularly as someone who writes as a major part of life?

If you could spare a moment it would be hugely appreciated - doesn't need to be much, just a few lines. My aim is to see how far and where this post might leapfrog to over the next week; from this I'll be able to focus on what bloggers have written and get an inkling of how messages/ideas might travel.

A big thankyou to anyone who can help with their thoughts :)

[I reckon I'm due to loose many more hours discovering new blogs to read after this...]

UPDATE: There are a lot of lovely people out there. Huge thanks to all those who have commented, and to anyone else who is going to.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


After months of reading our blogs, and commenting verbally (mainly from the other side of the room in a rather rude manner about why I'm glued to this computer) Andy has finally given in to the blogosphere.

He's a bit shy, but if you go to 'bricklayer playing the piano' on the blog roll he's right there...

Monday, April 09, 2007

White with a hint...

Given the few glorious days of sunshine, I realise that there is a very big danger that many pasty white types will blend into the same colour.

Some will be pink. I saw them on the beach yesterday and did not quite understand how/why they got so pink so fast.

Many (including myself) will be a strange hue of yellow. This is because of the wondrous (?) invention of mosituriser that comes out white but apparently leaves you with 'natural looking sun kissed skin'. I'd never go near fake tan as a) I don't want to go streaky orange and b) it smells so strange, I know the chemical cocktail must be too toxic.

Why, then am I fooled by this moisturiser stuff? I'm sure that the chemicals are just as bad, but it has this clean innocent illusion of not being too scary. So I lovingly applied it to my pasty white legs and they are now a satisfying shade of...well I can't quite say that it is a tan, as to sunkissed? Perhaps, sun pecked? The truth is that I am a very subtle shade of, well - yellow. And so it would seem are many people wondering about with shorts/skirts/rolled up jeans.

We are all the same colour. What happens when the sun comes out? Perhaps it's just a girl thing, but there is this implicit assumption that you must have smooth, shaved legs that pretend not to have been locked safely in tights and trousers all winter. Every year I think this is rubbish. Every year I some how join in.

Perhaps one day they will name a paint shade after us all. 'Sun pecked white' [White with a hint of, yellow]

However, no matter how scary this is, it is not as scary as a 'fashion tip' I saw in a magazine. A special new product, guaranteed to stop fake tan streaking - a suit that you wear overnight after applying fake tan.

Tell me if I'm being stupid, there is no other way to explain said new item as anything other than a giant...babygro. Surely, there's no one who'd actually consider it, I thought to myself. And then I saw three people and two children wearing Crocs.

I might be uniform 'white girl with yellowish legs', but, it could be worse. I could be an orange-babygro-wearing-walking-draining-rack.