Friday, 22 March 2013

Interim Report

I’m holding myself in reserve for next month’s epic blog session so this one is only short. I’m already having serious doubts as to whether or not I can manage a daily blog but nothing ventured, nothing gained. Anyway, I shall try my hardest. The weather is diabolical, it’s officially spring and the snow is making a come back. I know there are colder places in the world but honestly, what is nature up to?

I’ve been doing a lot of editing, which is more enjoyable than it sounds. Cut out a lot of ‘haves’, ‘hads’ and ‘thens’, not to mention a whole pile of ‘it seemed’ and other such empty phrases and it’s already slimmer by a few thousand words.

The Leicester Beer Festival
Didn’t manage to do much walking but did manage the annual pilgrimage to the Leicester Beer Festival. Each year there’s a theme, last year it was Charles Dickens as it was his 200th birthday. This year, of course it’s Richard III. King Richard’s bones were recently unearthed from beneath a Leicester car park and the city is gripped by King Richard mania (though more of that in a future post).

Festival specials included such delights as Wicked Uncle, Skull Crusher and Car Park King.

Good luck to all the other mad fools who have volunteered to do the A-Z Challenge. I’m looking forward to dropping in on as many as possible. See you there.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Looking up…

My poet friend, who I meet sometimes for coffee and literary discussion, came across this in a charity shop and thought of me. I can’t think why.

I wonder how many points this tiled gem is worth. I must have walked past it so many times without ever noticing it before.

I've decided to sign up for the A-Z blogging Challenge. This involves blogging everyday throughout April, (except Sundays) starting with a topic beginning A on the first day until you get to Z on the last. I heard about it from a friend and thought it might give my blog a bit of a kick start. I’ve a few ideas lined up and it goes without saying that some of them involve pictures of old buildings.

It also means that I must clear the decks and give my novel a quick read through for typos and inconsistencies. I’ve forbidden myself any major rewrites at this stage. I need someone else to cast an eye over it, preferably more than one person. The plan is to hear what people have to say about it and do a second draft.

Meanwhile there are photographs waiting to be taken, short stories waiting to be written and a cover for my novel to design.

Saturday, 2 March 2013

Leibster Award

Many thanks to Kathy at who has kindly nominated my blog for a Liebster Award (for blogs with fewer than 200 followers).

Liebster Award Rules:

1. Thank the blogger who presented you with the Liebster Award, and link back to his or her blog.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator; list 11 random facts about yourself, and create 11 questions for your nominees.

3. Present the Liebster Award to 11 bloggers, who have blogs with 200 followers or less, whom you feel deserve to be noticed. Leave a comment on the blogs letting the owners know they have been chosen. (No tag backs.)

4. Upload the Liebster Award image to your blog.

My answers to Kathy’s questions:

  1. What would your perfect world look like? There’s no such thing as a perfect world and in any case it would be a dull place for a writer. However I would like people to have greater consideration for their surroundings especially builders and planners.
  2. How many hours a day do you spend writing? I’m taking this to mean actually sitting down at the keyboard and tapping away. It varies depending on distractions (such as this one or walking or taking photos) but anything from nought to five.
  3. What inspired you to write? I honestly don’t know. I started and I couldn’t stop.
  4. Who do you have to critique and edit your work? I belong to a critique group who meet up once a week. They’re a great group. Very supportive.
  5. Do you have a muse? Not as such but I like to walk especially in the countryside, it allows the mind to wander.
  6. What time do you write? (day or night) Day.
  7. Describe the your work area where you write? I’m lucky enough, now the kids have dispersed, to have a room of my own. See below.
  8. Who is/are your favorite author(s)? That’s an unfair question, there are so many, but if I could only name one it would be Charles Dickens. A deeply flawed man but he created some of the greatest characters ever written.
  9. What have you written so far? (Published or unpublished, poetry etc?) Short stories and flash fiction mainly. I’ve just finished the first draft of a novel which I’m in the process of checking through before seeing if anyone has the time to read it and comment. Oh yes, I also blog!
  10.  What’s our favorite color? Russet the colour of Autumn (fall).
  11.  What’s your favorite kind of pizza? The one with anchovies.
My workspace (looking unusually tidy)

Eleven random facts about myself:

  1. I recently made some pitta breads and they were so puffy and light, I’ll never ever buy them from a supermarket again.
  2. I don’t like having my photo taken.
  3. I love history.
  4. I don’t drink much but I do like real ale. Sadly too many traditional English pubs are being forced out of business.
  5. I once caught the Krasnya Strela (Red Arrow) sleeper train from St Petersburg to Moscow.
  6. I don’t like heights.
  7. At home I make tea in a proper teapot with loose tea and drink it out of a china cup with a saucer.
  8. I like chillies. I sometimes make chilli-flavoured ice cream and I’m quite partial to chilli-flavoured chocolate. Last year I tried chilli-flavoured beer at the Leicester Beer Festival but that was a step too far.
  9. I don’t have any middle names.
  10. I can’t wait for spring to arrive so I can get out in my garden.
  11. I find it slightly baffling that anyone might find me interesting but I’ve enjoyed doing this challenge.
My questions to my nominees:

  1. What motivates you to blog?
  2. Who would you like to play you in a film about your life?
  3. Bath tub or shower?
  4. Which figure from history would you like to meet and why?
  5. What is the most extravagant thing you’ve ever bought?
  6. Which book/film/song/poem/photo/artwork etc always moves you to sadness?
  7. And which one always makes you happy?
  8. Night owl or lark?
  9. What is your favourite food?
  10. If there was one thing you could change about yourself what would it be?
  11. Do you like Mondays?