ROW80 Check-In 29/02/2012

Happy Leap Year to all writers, ROWers and lovely people in general!  Had the usual mixed week.  Since Sunday I have done four and a half pages of Emily Swann; so it’s coming along like a snail with a wooden leg!  The reading, writing and diary goals are being met.  Did manage to pass on the Versatile Blogger Award and finally did a version of a guest post; hasn’t been published yet.  Been meaning to do both of those for a while and have been putting them off so it’s nice to have them not hanging over me.

Been having trouble with this writing hour because I re-set the time to 3p.m. but that’s okay and it works quite well when I’m in the house but if I’m out and I miss it I just think ‘oh well’ and abandon writing for that day with the infamous words ‘I’ll do it tomorrow instead’.  So I think I need to arrange two writing hours; one at 3p.m. and another at 8p.m.  I’ll give myself the option of using one or the other at first.  If it goes well I might try doing both but I don’t want to promise too much and then fail miserably.  Can anyone fail happily, I wonder?  Just a thought.

Have signed up to be an editing buddy for another ROWer but we haven’t started yet because she’s having computer trouble.  I’m glad it isn’t just me!

I won the Versatile Blogger Award!

In keeping with the award season at the moment I am delighted to inform you that I’ve won the Versatile Blogger Award.  The good news is I don’t have to wear a silly frock and look like a twit on the red carpet to receive it!  The first thing I would like to do is to thank Sharon Howard for nominating me for this award; so “Thank You Sharon!”  Now I have to list seven things about me that people might not know.

1. I hate spiders.

2. I was born in Aylesbury in Buckinghamshire.

3. I have four planets in Gemini.

4. My mother is Irish.

5. I passed my driving test first time.

6. I’m allergic to seafood.

7. I was born left-handed.

Now I have to pass it on to fifteen other bloggers.  So I nominate:

1. tinkerbelle86 at

2. Ryan King at

3. Melanie Smith Bathes at

4. Liz Shaw at

5. Sonia G. Medeiros at

6. Kim Switzer at

7. Yolanda Early at

8. Alberta Ross at

9. Lynette Conroy at

10. Fallon Brown at

11. Kim-Lee P. at

12. Shah Wharton at

13. Mike Young at

14. Eden Mabee at

15. Karen Huber at

Well done to everyone!  I apologise if I’ve got the blog address slightly wrong.  I put them all in my notebook and then struggled to read my own writing!  Doh!


Magic Monday – Days of the Week

Most of you probably know a bit about where the names of the days of the week come from but in case you don’t I can fill you in now.  Monday is rather obviously from Moon Day, Tuesday is one of the Saxon/Norse one named after the Viking God of Justice, Tyr.  Wednesday is another Viking one; named after Odin or Woden as the Saxon’s named him.  Thursday is those pesky Vikings again with Thor’s Day and Friday is the last Viking entry as Odin’s wife was Freeya, she is the Viking Goddess of home, marriage and childbirth amongst other things.  The Viking equivalent of the Greek Goddess Hera.  Saturday is short for Saturn’s Day, after the planet and Sunday has to be the most obvious of the lot!

In magical and occult workings different days of the week are ruled by different planets and have different energies.  Monday is ruled by the Moon and is good for anything to do with pregnancy (the Moon rules the womb), Tuesday is ruled by the planet Mars so it’s a good day to compete in sporting events, Wednesday is ruled by the planet Mercury so it’s the best day to communicate.  Thursday is ruled by the planet Jupiter so it’s the luckiest day of the week and Friday is ruled by Venus so it’s the best day for that romantic candle dinner.  Saturday is ruled by Saturn so it’s a good day to see something through to completion and Sunday is a great day to sun bathe!

ROW80 Check-In 26/02/2012

Had one amazingly good day this week (Friday) and the rest were blah.  Did three and a half pages of Emily Swann on Friday but nothing on Wednesday, nothing on Thursday and nothing on Saturday.  Have done the diary, blog and read two poems everyday.  Was indirectly reminded by Sharon that I said I’d do more photography this year but I am thinking about buying myself one of these new smart phones.  At the moment whenever I see a nice photo opportunity I never have my camera with me!  If I had one of these blackberry things I would always have a camera with me.  I have a lap top, a digital camera, a phone and an i-pod.  If I want everything I’d have to carry round four separate things but with a blackberry I’d have everything in one place.  Anyway, sorry supposed to be posting about my writing.

Said I’d have a go at writing for two hours a day.  Needless to say I haven’t done it.  Managed one whole hour and a bit on Friday and found that was enough so I think I’ll restrict myself for now to having a writing hour.  Also bought myself a manual typewriter.  Hooray!  I’ve wanted one for ages.  Mine needs a new ribbon which I’ve ordered on E-Bay but apart from that and a bit of rust (which a can of WD40 can cure) it should be fine.  When I get it working I shall do a post about it.

Introducing Showcase Saturday!

Showcase Saturday is where I am going to showcase my creative writing.  This will be mostly poetry but sometimes it might be other things.  Today’s contribution might be a little controversial but I’m going to do it anyway.  Firstly, I have to warn you that this poem does contain some swear words so if you’re offended by profanity then don’t read the rest of this post.

This poem, entitled “Let’s hear it for the critics” was inspired by a very nasty review I got when I posted one of my poems online.  Someone, I thought very unconstructively, really ripped it to my poor little poem and because I am probably hyper-sensitive I got upset.  All writers understand the need for criticism and all writers in their heads know that any criticism of their work is not, or should not be taken personally.  But in our hearts it can be a different story.  My  difficulty with taking criticism is one of the things that has held me back and stopped me from putting a lot of my work out there in the big wide world.  So this is a slightly humorous look at the relationship between the writer and the critic.


Let’s hear it for the critics

Who understand our art.

What expertise they seem to have;

What brains, what talent, what heart!

How many literary techniques

They have undoubtedly mastered.

But they’ve given me a bad review;

How I hate those fucking bastards!


Film Friday – Solomon Kane

Gary and I watched a film last night called Solomon Kane.  It’s another one of those films originally based on a comic like the 300 was.  It has that comic book styling to it and the over the top action.  Its about an evil man called Solomon Kane who does lots of bad things until he gets into a fight with the Devil who tells him his soul is damned.  He hides in a monastry but they sense the devil is getting close so they throw him out.  He eventually meets up with these good people but when most of them are slain by dark forces Solomon promises the father that he will rescue the daughter.  The father promises if he does this his soul will be redeemed.

I liked the film; admittedly it was violent in the very stylistic comic book way.  Its a straight good versus evil thing and most of the plot twists were quite guessable.  It didn’t hold out any particular surprises but if, like me, you love sword and sorcery stuff then you’ll probably like this.  The imagery of the film was quite lovely in places; lots of ravens or crows flying about, lots of rain and lots of cloaks twirling.  A good looking film.

Having a bad day!

There are some days when I would just like to take a sledgehammer to this computer and hit it over and over again until there is not so much as a wire left!  And today is one of those days!  This is the third time I have tried to post today so I’m hoping that this time I’m going to be successful.  If this post doesn’t work then I’m giving up!  I’m am truly annoyed now and I will not be held responsible for my actions if this computers misbehaves again today!  You have been warned!

ROW80 Check-In 22/02/2012

A middling week; have done about two and a half pages of Emily Swann since Sunday.  It’s not as much as I would like but its better than nothing!  I’m supposed to be doing two pages a day according to my earlier goals.  This is a target I know I can meet easily if I try so I’m reluctant to scale it down.  I don’t know why I’m finding two pages a day so hard at the moment.  I always feel guilty when I hear of other writers working for hours every day because compared to them I seem so lazy!  The most I’ve ever done was during NaNo when I did about two hours/two thousand words a day!  If I did six to seven hours a day at that pace I would have written about ninety novels by now!

Managed the two poems, blogging and writing my diary every day stuff.  Have started reading The Eye in the Door by Pat Barker which is the second part of the Regeneration trilogy.

Think I’m going to have to try to do what Bob Baker suggested (see yesterday’s post) and set aside a regular writing time.  Mornings would never work for me!  But I might be able to do 2-4p.m. most days.  Have to check with lovely hubby and see what he says.

So not much to report I’m afraid.

An Exciting Evening!

A rather late post today but hubby and I have only just got back from a talk and question and answer session with the BAFTA award winning scriptwriter Bob Baker.  We know him through a mutual friend, the wonderfully talented film-maker and cameraman, Laurie Booth.  Laurie has worked with Bob for years but it was the first time I’ve actually met Bob myself.

Bob talked a lot about his past and writing episodes of Doctor Who, Shoestring and Bergerac amongst others and he co-write The Wrong Trousers and A Close Shave with Nick Park.  He’s a very talented guy who’s had a really interesting life!

Laurie introduced Gary and I at the end and we shook hands; he has good manners too.  Just as well as I hate rude arrogant people.  Bob talked a lot about the writing process as well; stating how important it is to keep writing and keep putting your stuff out there.  He also said it helps him to treat it as a job; he starts work very early, at about 6a.m. and writes until about lunch time and then takes the afternoon off.  He said he thought it was useful to establish a regular time to write and stick to it.  To be effective you have to treat it like a job.

It was a good evening out and Gary and I both enjoyed it!



Magic Monday!

I thought it might be a bit of fun to instigate something I’m calling Magic Monday where every Monday I discuss/talk about/demonstrate something magical or to do with the occult.  If you find any of this offensive, then stop reading now!

I thought I’d start with a very simple magic spell.  All you need is a pen, a piece of paper and a box of matches or a lighter.  We all have things about ourselves that we’re not fond of; such as a lack of self esteem or difficulty keeping to diets.  What you do is you write on the piece of paper what you think your most negative trait is for example I might put ‘not believing in myself’.  Then you go out in your garden and you set light to the piece of paper and release it.  It is very important as you release the paper to visualise all this negativity rising out of the top of your head and floating away from you.  Without the visualisation, the spell doesn’t work.

The best time to do this is between 11.30 and 12.30 at night (this is called the witching hour) and it is the most magical time of day.  After you have finished, you must thank whatever God or Goddess you believe in.  It is a very simple spell and doesn’t require a lot of different tools or anything like that.  If you try it; let me know how you get on!