Tag Archives: writing

Ta-daaaaa!

Woo…hooo…. the sun is shining again and I can confidently say that Spring is springing!! It’s not fully sprung, but the Daffs I planted in the tubs in the back garden are out and look lovely! The birds are cautiously returning to the feeders… cautiously because the new neighbours have a cat and said feline sits on the kids playhouse and eyes up the bird feeder like it’s a McDonald’s drive-thru!

Last week Child No1 turned 15 and I had a mini crisis over that, I don’t mind telling you. I mean… 15 for goodness sake?? How, how, HOW can I be the mother of a 15-year-old?! Looking back at being 15, I realised it actually wasn’t too bad an age… I had a boyfriend my parents approved of (until he dumped me!), the music was awesome (late 80s was superb wasn’t it?!), the films were classics (Rainman was my fave at the time), I was involved in a project at school that widened my circle of friends and allowed me to develop my leadership and presentation skills and generally, before GCSE mayhem arrived, it was a good time. Then I think about No1 and I worry about how much pressure we place on children of their age… it seems so young to be thinking about career options, exams etc… yet in two weeks time she has a full week of Year 10 Mock GCSEs…. 9 exams in 5 days… the results of which will determine which papers she sits next summer… oh the pressure! So actually, I was happy that her birthday stretched over a couple of days and ended with us having a big family meal at the local carvery and scoffing gurt lush cake!

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Her birthday also signaled a year in which there have been so many changes in our lives. You know I always intended the blog to chart a journey. It just wasn’t quite the journey I thought it was going to be… it’s been a whole lot better. This post is a bit like that ‘view-stop’ you take on a long walk up a hill or mountain. You know the one… when you’re all puffed out and NEED to catch your breath… but you don’t want to let everyone else in the group know you’re flagging. So instead, you say you just want to stop and ‘admire the view!!’ Only when you do stop – rather than looking up at just how far you’ve got to go, you look back down and marvel at how far you’ve come and how wonderful the view is from here…

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And boy, what a view…. in the last twelve months I …

  • Learned to use my voice in a whole new way… and still learning
  • Interviewed cricketers, Olympic rowers, swimmers, footballers, football managers
  • Had 2 articles published on the BBC Sport website on Cricket and swimming
  • Dined at the Leander Club – home of British rowing, (twice!) on one occasion sitting next to a London 2012 Olympic Gold medalist
  • Worked… yes WORKED at Wembley at a Cup Final!
  • Took the kids to Normandy again and camped in the rain
  • Walked 1000 miles in the year with No1 and raised money for cancer research
  • Visited 18 football grounds I’d never been to before and sampled tea at every one of them. (Sometimes cake, or chips too!)
  • Went to my first ‘Obby ‘Oss May Day in Padstow with the family
  • Wrote more words towards my book than I’ve ever done
  • Went to see Deal or No Deal being filmed (twice!)… I never did get to see them being shown on TV!
  • Pushed my new-found skills to their very limits and beyond and hey… I didn’t break! In fact, I’ve been quite good at times I reckon

So… yeah… it’s been a good year. And OK… I might be the mother of a hormone-fuelled teenager, but I’m having a great time and right now, that’s what counts! And even better, I’ve not reached the mid-life crisis stage yet. So who knows what mayhem I’ll be up to by then! But that’s waaaaaaay off……………..

Hoping the sun is still shining wherever you are!

MJ xx

Voices in my head!

No… it’s OK – I’m not going mad… yet! Mind, there are some who might consider that I have gone waaaayyyy past that point! I just thought I’d use this blog post for what the blog was originally intended and that was to give you… dear, loyal followers an insight into this protracted, sometimes deluded and always moving forward journey into getting something published! Right now I’d be happy to have tonight’s dinner menu published (it’s chicken curry and rice, if you’re interested?!) Continue reading

All work and no play…..

Seems like all I’m doing at the moment is laying foundations and it’s pretty tough going…

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Found someone I think I’d like to edit my book and am in the process of sending her a gazillion questions about the process of publishing. Might put her off… to be honest, I haven’t got the foggiest clue about what the next step is as far as that’s concerned, or even if the bloody thing is any good. Funny how you learnt to resent something when you you doubt it’s worth. Truth be told… I love it so much I don’t want someone else to say they don’t! I’ve spent so much time with it and no doubt will have to spend even more time with it over the coming weeks. I’ve said this before but some of those characters become like ‘friends’- in this world of having online/distant friendships, it’s so much easier to develop a fondness for people in writing – and in some cases a dislike (!). But then some of those, shall we say, less pleasant characters, come out as a result of dealing with less pleasant people in real life!  Anyway… I digress (what a surprise..!)

I’m also laying foundations in other areas…. new career move is progressing steadily. Trouble is I’m impatient and I was probably the toddler who though they could run before they’d mastered walking! Couple of opportunities have cropped up and I suppose, a bit like the writing, when you enjoy something so much, it’s tough to accept the knock-backs… but it wasn’t like I wasn’t warned… these things happen and it’s not like there’s nothing out there… it’s just the nature of the industry! One door closing means there’s scope to look for the next door that’s ajar!

Went for a tea in the local cafe this morning, took a magazine – one of those celebrity type things with the glossy pics and the impossibly thin models (yes we know how to torture ourselves with the unachievable, don’t we!?) Anyway, having overdosed on who’s knocking off who, which 30-something bimbo is married to which 60-something sports star and which celebrity events we forgot to be invited to… I stumbled across the horoscopes! Yes, I know some people think it’s claptrap, but isn’t it funny when you’re looking for direction, if the horoscopes look positive, you wonder if there might be some truth in them…

Aquarius (that’s me!):

The world, it seems, is full of hoops to jump through, rules to abide by, agreements to honour and promises to keep. That’s fine if we feel comfortable about the expectations others have of us, but not if we are asked for more than we feel we can supply. Events have left you wondering how much you really want to commit to someone or something. Soon, though, you’ll gain renewed enthusiasm. 

Oh I can’t wait for that renewed enthusiasm to surface….

In reality, these are the facts…

  1. It was such a great weekend of celebrations that anything I do this week will pale in comparison
  2. It’s raining (again) and the wind is howling
  3. I’m no worse off than I was this time last week – in terms of work, skill level, ability
  4. It’s raining (still)
  5. It’s only bloody January for goodness sake
  6. I’m in a far FAR better place in all aspects than I was this time last year
  7. Lots of good people support what I do and give me lots of sound advice – listen to them!
  8. It’s raining…..

So suck it up, man up, jog on (and whatever other analogies I can think of)… there’s a book to be finished, matches to be researched and a diary to fill. I am in actual fact a great believer in fate… all things happen for a reason and everything we experience shapes the person we become. So lovely as Jonathan Cainer’s advice might be… if you work hard enough, the rewards will be yours to claim!

But first…I’m off tho find some chocolate…. last week I prescribed sleep and chocolate as the best cure for most things. So I’m off to follow my own advice… it’ll be tough but someone’s gotta eat those Minstrels I bought earlier!

MJ x

Pausing for breath

Well….. how lovely to be back. Things have taken such an exciting and unexpected turn in the last few weeks that I’m not sure there has been too much time to process it, to be honest! To be brutally honest, the book has taken a back seat for a little while and perhaps that’s no bad thing. As I alluded to in my last post, the last lap seemed to be a real struggle and talking to other writers recently, they said it wasn’t unusual and suggested I should put it down for a while, only coming back to it when I felt there was something productive to say. And what a timely break it has turned out to be! I never intended however to step away from the blog and while I have missed dipping in and out, be assured I have been keeping myself busy. Continue reading

How many words….??

And so the book takes shape…..!

How bad am I… staring an entire blog with the word ‘and’! I never professed to be an English expert. I guess I write as I speak, which is often fast, often littered with diverted topics and above all… honest! I also never claimed to be a literary snob… I just love to read. Last week, for my birthday, some lovely friends bought me a couple of books relating to becoming published. Easy reads, I hope because at the end of a busy day/week, I need easy reading! I have started with Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down the Bones’. Continue reading

Wow… Just wow!

For once I am speechless… And those who know me well, will know that’s a rare thing! I just checked my blog stats tonight and noticed that I’ve had over 70 hits on my blog in the last 24 hrs, with now a total exceeding 330 since I started! Ok, so for some of you pro-bloggers you’re probably getting that in an hour. But this is little ol’ me: mum, wife, teacher, friend, writer…..  Continue reading