Sunday 28 February 2010

Naming names with Jane Austen's dancing parrot

Inspired by the interesting articles Theresa Milstein over at Substitute Teacher's Saga wrote about people's names and their history and meanings thereof, I thought I'd add a different shade to this topic and share this article I found about real names that real people have. I also thought my pun-obsessed nephew would appreciate them.

My favourite of these real names are:

Ms. Anna Sassin
Mr. Tim Burr
Mr. Doug Hole
Mr. Barry Cade
Ms Carrie Oakey
Ms. Pritti Manek
Dr. Sumey
Mr.Stan Still: he exists. The BBC were kind enought to track him down and interview him. Also the comments under this BBC article are worth a smile or two.

Now. Which Jane Austen heroine are you? Thanks to the lovely SF at Block or Not I found that I'm... er Ms Marianne Dashwood.

I am Marianne Dashwood!

But as I commented on SF's blog: at least in the film version of Sense and Sensibility, I get to marry the scrummy Alan Rickman. Hooray! SF also very kindly stated that at the next least I get to be portrayed by Kate Winslet!

Take the Quiz here. You don't have to be an Austen fan. The Q&A are quite funny in a silly way.

I've got the most rotten-est cold on this planet bar none so as I try to breathe through my mouth here's a scientific study and a clip to prove that Birds have Rhythm - if dubious taste in music. Cheers me up no end!

Have a virus-free Happy Sunday!

Saturday 27 February 2010

Roll out the Red Carpet and a dog called Skeletor.

I've got an award! Yay!

The fab Nicki of Wool'N'Nuts has nominated me for this award:

Thank you, Niki!
Now for the piece de resistance...

I have to tell six untruths and one not so! Eeek!

1) I am 6 ft 2 with golden flowing locks, legs up to my armpits, cheekbones to rival the best ski slopes and a wiggle that always stops traffic dead.

2) I am descendent from an ancient Martian race who crash landed on earth trillions of years ago but who have now been so assimulated with the human population that no-one knows how the First Ones looked like

3) I worship at the Altar of Chocolate and pray to the Goddess of Muffins. Everyday. Without fail. At least 3 times daily. During the Periods of Brunch, TeaTime and Dessert. It says so in the Book of Cocoa

4) I love Marmite. On Everything. Except on muffins.

5) I can belly dance.

6) I've been handed a court order to stop stalking the original cast of Star Trek.

7) I've always liked P.E lessons. Always.

Phew!! That was HARD! I think now you have to guess which is the truth amidst the cornucopia of lies. I just want to run away and hide somewhere safe... LOL!

And this is the best bit. I get to nominate... EVERYONE!! Well six but Maths has never been my strong point!

fairyhedgehog - again for the lovely Hamster! , musings on a small life , stacy's cafe , substituteteacher's saga , spinster of the parish , welshcake , lexi , cat in the buff , block or not , Mille ,Ann , patch of dirt , Jane , Alex, Kate , Jenny Woolf , SuzyQ , Noir , KarenG
Amanda , Melinda , Amy and the House of Cats , Amy and the Meow Family , iasa - hope you're feeling better! , Susan, Wild Cat Woods , Simon , Umi_e, Sharon

And finally... a little lovely story brought to my attention by the fab Amy and the House of Cats.

A guy is having his breakfast on his porch. A dog wanders up to him. The dog is a great big pit bull. The dog is also starved, neglected, abandoned and very hungry. The guy is now looking after the dog, called Skeletor. Here is their story.

Have a lovely Saturday!

Friday 26 February 2010

Friday quick reads, knitting and music

As the weekend beckons, I thought it would be nice to share a couple of bits n pieces with you lovely bloggers.

First are quick reads from two simply fab writerly bloggers.

Theresa Milstein's snippet from her novel is currently On Ms Snark's First Victim Talkin Heads competition. Go Theresa!!

Fellow shoe-fetishist Ann has her piece Melting Pot Avenue up on her blog, Inkpots n Quills. It shoulda been a contender in another competition but her pc decided to be all nasty so she missed her deadline.

And here is a worthy reason why I wish I could knit!

And finally, how could I resist? This always, always, always cheers me up!

Happy Friday!!!!

Thursday 25 February 2010


I have to admit that when I went to the cinema to watch Beaches I didn't get it. It was 1988 and this film was A BIG HIT. For the life of me, I couldn't see why. Much as I loved Ms Midler's warbling, I couldn't bear her character, CC Bloom, or the story or the general soppiness of the film. And I found Barbara Hershey's character, Hilary a bit feeble and her child really annoying. I just thought both her and her mum were just spoiled.

In 1988, The Last Temptation of Christ was the film for me.


Somehow over the years I have managed to avoid the endless repeats on the telly. I could not however be immune to how the reputation of this film has grown to be the grandmummy of all chickflicks adding to my irritation at what I saw as an overblown, oversentimental load of old tosh. Apparently this film (along with Dirty Dancing) were the de rigueur choice of girly nights in.

Decades later and here is that same film on the telly. This is the first time I've ever sat down and actually watched all 2 hours and 15 minutes of it again. And guess what? I'm still drying my eyes and blowing my nose.

I guess my bottom lip started to tremble when Hilary and CC are sharing a grotty flat together staying up late at night singing christmas carol songs. And suddenly I am in love with John Pierce but don't like how he is somehow ruining this women's friendship by being so yummy and fanciable!

Yes, I blubbed like a big girl's blouse the moment Hilary Whitney Essex realises that her illness is terminal. She is in the library surrounded by library books having done her research using print sources and not computers and she is staring into space in shock. I continued to blub when CC Bloom is reading all the letters she has sent to Hilary after Hilary's funeral. The letters are in a thick bundle lovingly preserved and tied with a red ribbon.

As for Hilary's orphaned child? Her reputation is salvaged because she only asks to take her beloved cat with her to live with CC.

Oh the joy of aging.

Hindsight really is a good thing to have!

Wednesday 24 February 2010

Fe-male brain and Ode to the Pet

Apparently my brain is 50% female and 50% male. I guess this means I may not be able to read maps but by jingo, I am more than capable of programming a thingymebob box thing - wot gives me freeview channels.


Before you all yell, "she's off her head" again, here's the test I did from the BBC website.

It takes about 20 minutes and is in 6 parts (you can always stop and return later). Then it takes another half an hour deciphering what the conclusions mean for you afterwards. And about a minute of headscratching and asking yourself why you did the test in the first place!

Oh and apparently I go for men with masculine faces... hm.

Speaking of brain power... I found this competition. Write a poem about your pet! Win £1000!

But most of all - it's nice to write Odes to the Pet now and again, isn't it?

I wrote this one for The Cat - and here's a pic of her showing her appreciation. It won't win any prizes but I had such fun writing it for her.

Here was last year's winning entry, to get you and your furry companion(s)' creative juices flowing...

Go on you know you want too..


Tuesday 23 February 2010

A Great Dane. Literally

I apologise profusely for this blog post. But this is a BIG DOG.

Thank you.

Giant George. Wow.

Monday 22 February 2010

Different sides of a word

Yesterday I wrote about the purse that I bought - a tiny 3 inches by 3 inches gorgeous thing.

The very astute fairyhedgehog made me realise that the purse I was referring to translated as something akin to a handbag to the wonderful bloggers from across the pond.

Which made me think about other words that perhaps gets lost in translation as it travels betwixt the ocean.

Pants is one.


And "across the pond" words that mean the same thing:

Whiteout - tippex
Eggplant - aubergine
Zuchinni - courgettes
Sidewalk - pavement
The letter z- the letter zed
Jello- jelly
Diaper -nappy

Oh I'm sure there's more but it's gone past midnight and The Cat is eager to have the whole chair to herself...


Sunday 21 February 2010


Just like the Cat, I always make the effort to never to leave my house "un-beautiful".

Yesterday was no exception. Armed with my oversize Next bag (for my usual Saturday food shop)and looking pretty good even if I say so myself (LOL!), I traipsed to my local Accessorize shop to buy me a new purse.

To start from the beginning, the zip of my beautiful purse broke. So to avoid the embarassment of whipping my purse out only for all my coins to bullet spray the shop as I attempt to pay the newsagent for my weekend paper again, I thought I'd treat myself to a nice new one.

It is Spring afterall.

If you are familiar with Accessorize you'd know just how beautiful their collection of bags, jewellery, purses, wallets and all sorts of fripperies can be. Here is a few of their new range for purses for this season.

I walk into the shop. There are two plump and pretty sales women standing by the till. The purses are hanging on one of this stand alone displays all new and glittery and shiny. Drawn to their sparkliness and pinks and roses and reds, I immediately do my serious perusing.

Seconds after I am touching a velvety embossed cloth purse of the "oriental" design, I notice these same two sales women standing either side of me. I smile. They return my smile. I try to touch another sequined lovely. These women do not move.

I am hemmed in. They reek of sweet and tangy perfume. I could smell their flawless make-up.

Maybe it was the way they didn't even pretend to be stocking up or tidying that had my alarm bells ringing.

And this goes on until I find the purse of my dreams for a reasonable £7.00 (it's not on the Accessorize website - it's dripping in pink and white and red beads). I have to say "excuse me" to one of these lovely women to get past so I can pay for my purchase.

It's only after I am sipping my usual large Costa cappuccino that I realise that they must have thought I was a potential shoplifter. The big bag and the eager hungry look I had must have set their own alarm bells ringing towards a big red sign above me saying: "POTENTIAL SHOPLIFTER".

Which sort of makes me smile now. These women were just doing their jobs and must have had experience of some kind with people shoplifting. But as I look at myself I can't help but wonder what exactly it was about me that they thought I could be such a person?

Perhaps I shouldn't have worn the coat that the Cat had slept on.

Saturday 20 February 2010

My nth attempt at loading a YouTube thing. :-) And other writerly things.

To keep within the theme of the winter weather, here is Snow Business, parts 1 & 2.

I waited a LONG time for part 2 and here is the ever wonderful and ever lovely Simon's cat.

Before any of you go "Lordy not another kitty thingie" just think - it takes Simon forever to create a 2 minute cartoon sequence AND he has to create a story too. And if that isn't writer-ly I don't know what is!

Oh and if you really, really want a writer-ly fill, I found this piece from the BBC Writer's Room. It may be concerned with scriptwriting but I think the topic discussed here goes to the very heart of writing, i.e. just how many minutes - oh ok - hours- do writers spend a day actually writing?

Friday 19 February 2010

A Happy ending for Brenda ! And a home for Charlie..

Story no. 1: SOS Brenda Carter:

This is a great true story. And it could only have unfolded in blogworld.

If you know about it, I hope you don't mind me re-telling it again! It has all the ingredients of a short story thriller! There is mystery, intrigue, community spirit and eventual happy ending.

Yesterday the rather wonderful womagwriter sent out this SOS on her blog post entitled: "Calling Brenda Carter".

Apparently the editor of Women's Weekly loved a story submitted to the magazine so much she wanted to publish it. But - and this is A BIG BUT! - the author didn't attached any contact details to the story. All the editor knew was that the story was written by a Brenda Carter.

The editor asked a few classy blogs for their help and so the SOS was sent out. For a few frantic blog posts whizzing all over a place, a virtual cry of "Calling Brenda Carter" went up in glorious virtual technicolour.

You can read how the this story unfolded in the comments section of the SOS piece here.

I'll let you guess what happened next.

Moral of the story: the nice blogging community ROCKS! Oh and always attach your contact details to any submission that you send out to editors.

Story no. 2: Charlie needs a new home.

This story is looking for a happy ending:

Charlie the cat needs a new home. You can read his story here and see glorious pics of him too. If you can help please do. I'd love for this to have a lovely ending like Brenda Carter's.

Cat Clip Art">

p.s. It's MY WEEKLY not Woman's Weekly, sorry! :-)

Wednesday 17 February 2010

Virtual stalkers

There I was thinking that the blogging world - well at least the one I inhabit - is full of goodness, joy, shared emotions, shoes, chocolate and just really nice things. Like furry creatures.

Then I come across this post from How Publishing Really Works. And suddenly my blogging world feels a little vulnerable.

To summarise: the blog owner Ms Jane Smith has and is being - for want of a better word - harassed by another blogger - I'll call her Ms. B. Initially Ms. B sought out Ms. Smith for writerly advice and assistance and of course Ms Smith replied . [As an aside - the blog, btw, is a really good blog to follow if you are serious about writing and being published].

Ms B didn't like the response and continued to email, comment, email Ms Smith's friends, use her own blog to accuse Ms Smith of all sorts of things and blocked any of Ms Smith's ripostes. If that wasn't unsettling enough, Ms Smith then receives an email from Ms B informing her that her book has now been accepted for publication by a publishing company who wants £2,750. Ms B then ends her email asking what she thought of that?

If you read the note quoted on HPRW site, Ms B doesn't sound as if she's being sarcastic. She genuinely sounds as if she wants some kind of validation from no-one else but Ms. Smith.

And so it goes on. I think most of the commentators feel that this won't be the last of Ms. B. and some are even aware of her having been at her receiving end too.

It's just all so sad in a scary way. I shall pray very hard to all the goddesses and muses that this blogging world that I inhabit remain the nice lovely supportive thing it is for me and for all the gorgeous bloggers I've met so far!

Punishing Puns - Guest blogger

Today's guest blogger is my nephew, son of sister with killer heelz.
He is 14 years old.
He likes his puns and punishes us constantly with them.
He admits to creating no. 20. The rest are urban myths.

Puns that are Punny

1. Two antennas met on a roof, fell in love and got married. The ceremony wasn't much, but the reception was excellent.

2. A jumper cable walks into a bar. The bartender says, "I'll serve you, but don't start anything."

3. Two peanuts walk into a bar, and one was a salted.

4. A man walks into a bar with a slab of asphalt under his arm, and says: "A beer please, and one for the road."

5. Two cannibals are eating a clown. One says to the other: "Does this taste funny to you?"

6. "Doc, I can't stop singing The Green, Green Grass of Home."
"That sounds like Tom Jones Syndrome."
"Is it common?"
"Well, It's Not Unusual."

7. Two cows are standing next to each other in a field. Daisy says to Dolly, "I was artificially inseminated this morning."
"I don't believe you," says Dolly.
"It's true; no bull!" exclaims Daisy.

8. An invisible man marries an invisible woman. The kids were nothing to look at either.

9. Deja Moo: The feeling that you've heard this bull before.

10. I went to buy some camouflage trousers the other day, but I couldn't find any.

11. A man woke up in a hospital after a serious accident.
He shouted, "Doctor, doctor, I can't feel my legs!"
The doctor replied, "I know, I amputated your arms!"

12. I went to a seafood disco last week... and pulled a mussel.

13. What do you call a fish with no eyes? A fsh.

14. Two fish swim into a concrete wall. The one turns to the other and says, "Dam!"

15. Two Eskimos sitting in a kayak were chilly, so they lit a fire in the craft.
Not surprisingly it sank, proving once again that you can't have your kayak and heat it too.

16. A group of chess enthusiasts checked into a hotel, and were standing in the lobby discussing their recent tournament victories.
After about an hour, the manager came out of the office, and asked them to disperse.
"But why," they asked, as they moved off.
"Because," he said, "I can't stand chess-nuts boasting in an open foyer."

17. A woman has twins, and gives them up for adoption.

One of them goes to a family in Egypt , and is named 'Ahmal.' The other goes to a family in Spain ; they name him 'Juan.'

Years later, Juan sends a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she tells her husband that she wishes she also had a picture of Ahmal. Her husband responds, "They're twins! If you've seen Juan, you've seen Ahmal."

18. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) ... a super-calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis.

19. A dwarf, who was a mystic, escaped from jail. The call went out that there was a small medium at large.

20. "Doctor Doctor, when I sit down I feel like a tepee, and when I stand up, i feel like a wim-wam!"
"Well, it's obvious that you are two tents!"

Thank you, Nephew.


Monday 15 February 2010

Honest Pancakes and a Meow

The lovely Ann and fellow shoe-fetishist of Inkpots n' Quills nominated me for a really amazing award.

Now all I have to do is list ten honest things about me and nominate everyone else - cos everyone else in my blogworld all deserve chocolate medals and cotton candy juice and whiskey on the side. Oh yes they do.

But first....

Today is PANCAKE DAY!! And I hope you are all making your own - it's so easy to do and here's the wonderful BBC recipe site to help you along...

My favourite filling? Chocolate spread and sliced banana.

Now before I list my 10 honest things.. may I just highlight the lovely Amy who is running a Save Meow Project ? Her aim is to donate "a cent for every comment" left on her blog for animal charities. She has set a target of $2000 by April. I just thought it was such a sweet thing for her to do.

So here are my 10 honest things about me:

1) I have never finished reading James Joyce's Ulysess - stopped at page 3.
2) I watch Frasier - all 11 seasons back to back - infinitum.
3) I enjoy going to Star Trek conventions
4) I have a Lt Uhura outfit.
5) I passed out in one of the toilet cubicles in the Royal Albert Hall.
6) I read the daily horoscopes (I'm Cancer!)
7) I've fallen in love, madly, deeply, wholeheartedly.
8) I have a butterfly tattoo on my left shoulder
9) I passed out while it was being done.
10) I've never finished a Guardian quick crossword by myself.

And I nominate...

fairyhedgehog - for the Hamster!
musings on a small life
stacy's cafe
substitute teacher's saga - Yes, I know you have it already, but I like nominating you!
spinster of the parish - So happy that you're still around!!!
cat in the buff
block or not
a patch of dirt
Jenny Woolf
KarenG - Oh I know you have this already but you're so fab I want to double nominate you!
House of cats

Happy Pancake Day!


100Stories for Haiti - now available for pre-order.

I'm so happy to discover that The 100Stories for Haiti is now available for pre-order online.

There'a also a brand spanking new site to showcase this wonderful project here.

There's a blog too and a rather scary tab called "Meet the authors"!

The anthology will be available in all good bookshops from the 4th of March.

All my family know what they're getting for their birthdays, for Easter and for Christmas. Oh yes.

My story's title is "The Kids are Alright".

Oh and I got quoted too I think in the "Buzz about the book" section - you can't miss it - there are lots of exclamation marks!!!!! under Old Kitty...!


Sunday 14 February 2010

It's that most WONDERFUL time of the year...

It's THE YEAR OF THE TIGER (meow - oh ok - rrrroaarrr)!


oh and here's some chocolates for Valentine's


Saturday 13 February 2010

Please read my story - you know you want to!

Shameless self-publicity part 2.

Remember this post where I was so happy that my story got a mention in the Once there was blog competition: write a flash story starting with "Once there was.."?


*Drumroll and more drumroll, angels singing, full orchestral trumpets blowing*

Here it is in all its glory.

And I didn't have to bribe them with chocolate and a wee dram of whiskey! Or get the Cat to perform card tricks.

How cool is that?!

Please do read it and tell me what you honestly think. It's only 397 words short.

Thanks again to the amazingly talented KateM for advertising this competition in her blog.


Friday 12 February 2010

Heels and squeals

Killer Heels

by Old Kitty

Killer heels, patent leather
Black, red or multi-coloured
Leggy models falling over
Limping off into the void.

In shops, online or displayed
Feet are raised at all angles
Unnatural and on tiptoes
No red carpet only woes.

Plasters, creams and pedicures
Blisters, bruises and cracked soles
Pounding pavements they click click click
These must-haves, these killer heels.


Inspired by my sister's pic sent to me to show off her gorgeous feet and NEW HEELS.
It's ok, she's in Australia and apparently they've been experiencing a heatwave.


Wednesday 10 February 2010

I WILL get a YouTube link darn it!

Please Muppets/Queen trademark copyright owners, please don't be meanies like those lovely people who own Glee and who pulled that heartwarming Glee clip from my innocuous blog...

Please let this clip play here... it cheers me and The Cat up and I suspect a lot of others too. Thank you kind Muppet owning people...

Would it help my cause if I inform you that Ms Piggy is and has always been my idol? I'm certain she would approve.



There just wasn't enough days in January, Mr Linky!

Prolific Blogger Award

Thank you so much Simon Kewin of Spellmaking for the nomination. I am well and truly chuffed.

I've clicked on anything that said "Link" or as Simon calls him "Mr Linky" and hoped for the best! I hope Mr Linky linked but good.

Anyway!! I celebrated my One Month Blog Birthday on 1 Feb and the lovely Theresa Milstein pointed out how I managed over 40 posts for the month of January.

Now if that ain't prolific, I don't know what is!

So here are my nominations. I still don't fully understand what the rules are but I think it boils down to linking to Mr.Linky.

fairyhedgehog - Oh I know award-free blog, and Simon's already included you but this is for the gerbil. LOL!
musings on a small life
stacy's cafe
substitute teacher's saga
spinster of the parish - I hope you're still around!!!
cat in the buff
block or not
a patch of dirt
Jenny Woolf

Yeah, yeah I know, seven blogs only. But hey, life's too short and the above are GORGEOUS bloggers and deserve awards.

Oh yes they do!

What a rebel.


Tuesday 9 February 2010

Themes Du Jour

Whizzing round blogs like I do, I've discovered that in blogworld certain bloggers have created themes for each day.

On Mondays, there are Mosaic Mondays (thanks to Pat) - I quite like this. This Monday's theme was a celebration of Spring to come. So I think the idea is to celebrate joy and happiness pictorially (is that a proper word? Pictorially)?

On Tuesdays, there are Teaser Tuesdays as followed by Alex and Welshcake - The idea is to post random quotes from your novel or from a novel you are reading. I'm really enjoying this one too.

On Wednesdays, there are Wordless Wednesdays of the feline and non-feline variety. For the feline Wednesday, It's putting up lovely cat pics and for the other one... not quite sure really. I think it's adding your blog links of the virtual kind... to a Mr Linky perhaps? [Thanks Simon!]

On Thursdays, there are Alphabe-Thursdays - thanks to Pat again and Thursday Themes. Alphabe-Thursday is self explanatory. You choose a letter and post a pic of an image starting with the letter or of that letter. Dressing up is optional. The other is producing an artwork with a theme du jour. Either one, the results are quite imaginative!

On Fridays, it's another feline theme: Friday Night Fights. Cats. Play fighting in the cutest possible sense. What more could I want??!

And on the sixth and seventh days, blogworld bloggers rest. Unless you lot know of any that I've not come across yet? Or know of different themes for each day? Or would like to start one and if so what day would it be and what would you call it?

Snoozing Sweet Saturday (Pics of cats snoozing? Poems about snoozing people? What sweets did you or your cat or any other creature eat today?)

Shoe Sunday (Pics of one shoe. LOL! Pics of cats next to one shoe? A sonnet to a shoe?).

I'd love to know as I really find them fascinating.

And besides, I think they're brilliant and such fun to see what bloggers come up with for each day.


Monday 8 February 2010

It couldn't happen to a nicer Guy...

...Saville, that is.

His book The Afrika Reich has finally found a publisher. (Thanks to Welshcake for the info!)

Let me start from the beginning.

In 2006, I took my first tentative steps at writing stories. I wasn't the most confident of writers, my personal life was to put it mildly going up the creek without so much as a paddle, a banana cake and a flask of "tea" but by all the gods and goddesses, I had a dream.

And the dream was this. I wanted to write stories that people would actually enjoy.

Alone (you can be truly alone even in coupledom as I was then) miserable and insecure, I took an almighty step and a leap of faith and placed one of my stories up on a peer-review site.

A site for sore eyes. A site where strangers can read your stories and tear them apart like feral cats do with fresh meat. Well actually people there were quite nice but if they didn't like your story, then the buzzer got pressed, the hatch opened and down you went.

Guy Saville came along and read my story. Then he wrote a 6 A4 double-sided page critique. It was full of encouragement for my writing, grammatical and spelling checks but most of all, most important of all, proper constructive criticism. As in,
this bit might work better if you perhaps would try and do this instead and here are my reasons why I'm suggesting this...
(not his actual words - but you get the gist).

You could only imagine the impact such careful and considered feedback had on me and my self-esteem.

And he didn't stop there but throughout the years has been a sort of online mentor to me and to many other writers.

He really was like the male version of the wonderful and fabulous Nicola Morgan without the blog.

And all the while struggling to get his novel published - getting rave rejections and I think at one point he threatened to flush his beloved Afrika Reich down the toilet!

So congratulations to Guy!

I noticed on his brand spanking new site that there's gonna be a blog.



Sunday 7 February 2010

Garbo Cat

I vant to be alone

Oh ok.


Saturday 6 February 2010

Spice of life

Variety is, as the old saying goes.

So here I am trying to write a short story thinking I know the plot, I know my topic and my characters, I know the overall theme and have even systematically planned the beginning, middle and end.

Except that when it came towards the end, the climax, the crux that would wrap the story up in a neat bow tie with bells on, I realised that it just didn't work.

Reading back, I became increasing aware that a sub-sub plot that I had summarised in one sentence was crying out to be explored, to be the focus of the story and if brought to the fore, would create an ending with more impact and give the story its essential truth. So back I go to the drawing board, tossing out all my carefully planned plotting and starting again.

(Writerly mantra - you can never re-draft enough times!)

Which sort of brings me to the Cat.

For a few years now all she would eat was cooked chicken - nothing else - no amount of tinned or pouch or dry cat food would do. For a couple of days now she has refused to even look at the chicken. And for a cat on the edge of her tenth life, that was not a good thing.

Then I realised that when I nibbled on a bit of cheese, she would claw at my leg for some. So I gave her cheese. Knowing she would kill for olives, I gave her some of that too.

Today, I thought I'd resort to the cat food she used to detest. And guess what? She not only ate the Whiskas fish pouch, she wanted more.

In her own catter-ly way she was re-drafting... her food patterns, that is - she is a cat afterall!

So perhaps it's always best to keep an open mind about everything, to try new things, to never be so rigid as to dismiss what could be a little gem waiting to be discovered.

Off I go now to re-start my story from scratch and to stock up on cat food - until the cat gets bored with that too of course.


Friday 5 February 2010

My not quite winning flash story!

I dashed off a flash story for a competition when I first started blogging, thanks to KateM.

I didn't win but it was nice that the competition holders mentioned my story and gave me a really nice and helpful critique.

The site will publish the short-listed entries here over the next few days or so, starting tomorrow.

Sorry, just me doing a blatant self-publicising thing. I'll be really glad for any feedback! Only if you want to of course.



Introducing - One very grumpy Cat

Which bit of "No flash photography" don't you understand?

You can just see in the background a framed pic of Biff and next to him, Happy: named after the brothers in Death of a Salesman. Both gone to the great Cat Heaven in the Sky.

Yes, I am literally mad. (Gerrit? Literature and mad cat woman??? Literally mad? Oh ok, I'll keep taking the medications...!)

Thursday 4 February 2010

Awards, rewards, forwards

I've finally come round to reciprocating these lovely awards from the equally lovely Ann and lovely KarenG. A big THANK YOU to you both for nominating this silly little blog.

I'm tempted to ask the Cat for her list and answers.. hm...*ponders*

High Fives from Ann

List 5 highlights of 2009:
1) Joined an online writing course at the Uni of Exeter in Feb-March: extremely casual, helped me gain my confidence, helped me start writing again and led me to my Open Uni course that I am thoroughly enjoying.
2) Lost weight successfully. I didn't go on a diet but I increased my exercise regime - lots of jumping around to Rosemary Conley DVDs - gawd bless her!
3) Won a tiny flash competition, first prize £50. The site ( hosted it is now defunct - but not after I cashed the cheque! LOL!
4) Survived my one year anniversary as an independent woman after 10 years in coupledom
5) Turned 40.

Over the top blogs from KarenG

Answer these questions with one word:

Your Cell Phone? None
Your Hair? Black
Your Mother? Amazonian
Your Father? Deceased
Your Favorite Food? Marmite
Your Dream Last Night? Insane
Your Favorite Drink? Cappuccino
Your Dream/Goal? Romantic
What Room Are You In? Office
Your Hobby? Scribbling
Your Fear? Cat-less
Where Do You See Yourself In Six Years? Paradise
Where Were You Last Night? Dreamland
Something That You Aren't? Sane
Muffins? Home-made
Wish List Item? Cat
Where Did You Grow Up? Tottenham
Last Thing You Did? Sneeze
What Are You Wearing? Layers
Your TV? Off
Your Pets? Cat
Friends? Close
Your Life? Love
Your Mood? Emotional
Missing Someone? Yes
Vehicle? None
Something You Aren't Wearing? Discretion
Your Favorite Store? Waitrose
Your Favorite Color? Pink
When Was The Last Time You Laughed? Morning
Last Time You Cried? Monday
Your Best Friend? One
One Place You Go To Over And Over Again? Dreams
Facebook? Yes
Favorite Place To Eat? Pub

My nominations for these awards are:

musings on a small life
stacy's cafe
substitute teacher's saga
spinster of the parish
cat in the buff
block or not
a patch of dirt

For High Fives: list 5 highlights of 2009 and nominate others' blogs
For OTT blog award: copy and paste the nice image, answer the questions, nominate.

Who is a Glee-full person?

Put your hands up!

The best episode so far for me, series one episode 3.

A recap: For McKinley High football club to win for the first time ever, Kurt - uber gay Glee teen - shows how it should be done. By shakin' one's booty to Beyonce's Single Ladies. The team loosen up, find their inner divas, strike fear and utter bemusement to their opponents and guess what happens next? Classic.

But you will have to go here to watch this clip! As 20C Fox people are clamping down...!

Thanks Theresa Milstein.

Wednesday 3 February 2010

100 Stories for Haiti - mine's in!

I'm happy to say that my story has been picked. Yay!

My first one in print. My first one in an anthology.

And I'm just glad it's for such worthy cause.

Thank you fairyhedgehog and womagwriter. for publicising this.

The full list of the stories that were chosen is here.

Hopefully the anthology will be available very soon.

I can't wait. I was still going to get it anyway, but now I'll do so with an even bigger grin!


Monday 1 February 2010

The tale of garlic and olives - oh and marmite

I love garlic. Roasted, sauteed, fried. I love the bulbous smelly stuff. Fry a few cloves in oil, add cooked pasta, squeeze fresh lemon juice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese (and yes, you can get a veggie version) and voila, instant meal in a few minutes.

Or just pop a whole bulb of the stuff in the oven, roast until browned and I guarantee you a blissful heavenly snack as the cloves turn mushy and almost sweet. No need for any oil, salt or seasoning. The garlic is a flavoured meal in itself.

The only drawback of course is that the next day, I am a social pariah.

Suddenly I am sat on an empty group of seats on the train as people choose to stand rather than share the same oxygen as me. The brave ones sit on the edge of the seats, sour-faced and horrified.

People at work are far too polite. They just look at me and say "You been eating garlic again, pee-eough."

The Cat on the otherhand has an olive addiction. She will claw, scratch, bite her way through leg, lap and arm to get at my plate if she so much as gets a whiff of the stuff.

Lymphoma hasn't stopped her from desisting. On the contrary, she is a snarling, growling olive eating machine and will draw (my) blood to get at the little wrinkly salty jewels.

The only drawback of course is that I give in and then fret that I've given her unnatrual food for a carnivore.

I don't really know the point of this piece. I just wondered how certain foods attract some, repel others.

I work with someone who refuses to eat tomatoes. No reason, except "they're mushy".


But as always, makes the world a far more interesting place. And besides, who doesn't love marmite?


One Month Blog Birthday

Happy One Month Old Blog to us.

The Cat is still here.

I hope to celebrate the same thing this time next month.