Posted in Creative, Home, Life, Travel, writing

Is this summer read guaranteed to leave you wanting more?

So, I wrote this book…

I did.  I mean it.  Well, actually, I wrote it, like five years ago when I was a bored housewife in the Caribbean.  Y’know, like all Fleming-esque, sitting on the verandah with my laptop (I wanted to inherit my grandma’s typewriter but it was not to be 😦 ) and a Bahama-mam… Nah, just kidding…

I was at the dining table with the air conditioning on while the children had afternoon naps.  You know how hot it is in the Bahamas, right? Without air con I’d have done nothing for 2 years but sit on the beach.

And then…nothing.  It sat gathering dust.  Virtual dust on my laptop.  Well, on a memory card inside my laptop.  I had another baby.  We moved back to the UK. Life got on top of me. Again. As has always been my excuse.  As did a few more pounds. And…my 35+ year old dreams of being a writer were sat aging in the corner of my mind again.

Well, to be fair, I was making a little headway (by way of one step forward, twelve steps back, but still, headway…) with an acting career, of sorts.

And then, at the beginning of this month I suffered a personal trauma that pretty much made me burst in to tears every time I saw people, let alone had to talk to them.

The only thing that distracted me was reading a detective novel on my e-reader.  And then I finished that one, and something drew me back in to getting back to my series again…so I did.  And within 2 weeks I had it edited to within an inch of it’s life (Honestly, some parts were just crap, didn’t make sense or just didn’t fit) and made some sembelance of a contemporary romance novel, oh and with a hero I was totally in love with, so jealous of the heroine!

So, I finally bit the bullet, and forgoing the myriad of rejection letters from publishers I’d probably have to put up with, (there’s enough rejection in acting already) I signed up to Kindle Direct Publishing and have published it as an ebook and paperback and just telling the whole world (that I know personally) about it 🙂

So, go take a look, it’s a contemporary romance with a bit or action and adventure, and a bit of raunchiness.  Well, if people will read 50 Shades..

Buy “Dreamboat” on Amazon

Dreamboat cover

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Posted in Creative, writing

User: Undefined

I went a seminar last night at a popular local arts venue.  An Exec producer of a really (Really, internationally) popular TV show, in conversation with the new Head of Drama at the studio within which she works.

It was a rather intimate affair; a small screening cinema, no more than about 50-60 seats maybe (which were all full).  A lot of the conversation, and the questions from the audience afterwards, steered towards writing – what types of new material he wanted to see produced, where he might source writing from, how new writers would go about getting discovered or catching his attention.  Since I had gone in the context of being and actor working in the region, I hadn’t even considered the implications of a new head and prospective expansion of production would have for writers.

Just the night before, I had put the finishing touches on the first draft of a screenplay I’d been working on; and during the conversation, he discussed his favourite genre…how he’d like to see more of these produced; along with content that was based here in this region, reflecting life in this region.  It just so happens that the screenplay in question PERFECTLY MATCHED HIS DESCRIPTIONS!  It’s set here, based here, using local talent; and is the very genre/genres he was talking about.

Of course, he didn’t go handing out his contact details to everyone in the room and certainly wouldn’t be pleased if every prospective writer in the room (of which, from the questions and discussion after the talk, there were many) suddenly showered him with unsolicited scripts; but the idea that he was open to the very thing I’d just been writing about was a boost.

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I had, during the seminar, thought I recognised a couple of ladies a couple of rows in front of me.  As everyone prepared to leave,  I got closer and realised it was them – Another actress with whom I’ve crossed paths a few times, not spoken with much but we’ve worked with a few of the same people; and the producer of a feature I’ve been cast in (we’ve filmed a sizzle reel they’ve been using to help secure funding).  They’d asked a couple of questions during the Q&A section, and the producer had been taking notes; so it was a great conversation opener.  We decided to have a coffee in the bar together before we left.  We had a lovely chat, comparing notes and what we thought of the conversation.  We had a slight discussion of how the prep of the feature was going (rewrites and feedback so far and so on), and discussed writing, and filmmaking, and life in general experiences.  The actress mentioned about a story she had been wanting to write, and then, as though it was a huge barrier, admitted ‘I’m not a writer’.  The producer and I guffawed and immediately shot down her assessment.

We basically came to the same conclusions:

  1. If you write, you’re a writer
  2. If you want to be a writer, do some writing
  3. go in to any bookstore – there’l  be shelves of accomplished writers and poets and Nobel and Pulitzer prize winners; all published and selling; but selling more will be the reality TV ‘star’ who got paid to tell a ghostwriter what to write about how she ‘survived her first year of parenthood’ .. because HER experience is worth paying for, the millions of us ‘normal’ people’s experiences of parenthood don’t count…

There is always the ongoing debate of ‘training’ and where it stands in relation to talent and natural ability – kind of a ‘Nature vs Nurture’ argument.  But since that pertains to both Acting and writing, I think I’ll leave that to another post…

 

 

Posted in Life, TV, writing

Answers on a postcard…

I was watching the breakfast news yesterday.  This doesn’t happen often. normally I am making breakfasts for 2 cats, a dog, 3 children (yes, usually in that order.  The cats are louder…) and, of course, putting the all important, freshly ground, coffee perculator on. (By the time I actually get around to drinking some though it’s almost all gone because DH has already sat down and had two cups while scanning his phone.)

On the breakfast news (remember…?) they had a section on postcards. Remember them?  Funny old things you’d buy when you went on holiday, and write in your hotel room, usually on the first night before you’d actually done anything to  write home about; then frantically try to find (in your best pidgeon-French-or-Spanish) the nearest ‘Postale’, and try to explain you needed a stamp for this card and ask for the nearest post-box.

And it STILL wouldn’t arrive before you got home.  Even if you were there for 6 months as a foreign student.

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A postcard I have lying around

The breakfast news was, kind of, lamenting the loss of the postcard.  They interviewed a ‘holiday historian’ I think.  Or a ‘seaside resort historian’.  Come on, it was yesterday.  I don’t remember his exact speciality. He was a historian.  His specialisation was relevant in part to postcards.  So he was on the red sofa.  He was the ‘we should save the postcard’ representative I suppose.

Next to him was a travel blogger.  Of which there are many.  Many many many.  This one was young-ish and pretty so she was the poster-child of the ‘we no longer need postcards’ side of the debate.

There was a vox-pop. Of course.  There’s always a vox-pop.  In some regional accent near some regional seaside resort, you know, to make it relevant.  In general, older people still sent postcards.  The slightly younger people who remembered the days pre-internet wished postcards were still as popular; and still send them to older relatives; and the “how did you suvive before the internet” youngsters, well, no…they just instagram or snapchat themselves on a beach to their jealous friends back home.

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“But I tried, didn’t I? God-Damn it at least I did that!” – Postcards used to be given away free at the cinema – free marketing?

I recently had the pleasure of re-organising my study.  It’s the box-room-come-spare-bedroom.  There’s barely room for the single bed in there and the door doesn’t open fully, because the bed is blocking it. But it makes us sound posh, having a spare bedroom.  It’s also where the computer desk is.  You know, with the ancient desktop computer that’s so slow because it’s from the dark ages.  It’s at least 7 years old. That makes it from the dark ages in computer speak.  It’s also where the sort-of filing is kept.  I say sort-of; because it’s not filed, exactly.  I still have to re-arrange a few years worth of paperwork in order to find what I’m looking for.

I have to do a tax-return.  Soon.  Sometime.  When I can stop putting off.  (mental note:  Do the bloody tax-return!). So the other day I got around to digging out the relevant paperwork and invoices and payslips and receipts for the period for which I have to to the tax return.  I got sidetracked while sorting the paperwork.  Of course I did.  Getting sidetracked is kind of one of my things. In fact, I’m doing it right now.

I got sidetracked because I found an old writing case I was given by one of my grandmothers. She gave it to me back in the days when having pen-pals was all teh rage in school.  A friend of mine was an advocate for some pen-pal company she’d found in a magazine, that matched up school children in different countries with children in other countries of their choice around their own age.  It’s lovely, the writing case.  It’s black leather.  The zip is old and almost seizes up from lack of use.  I blew off the dust and opened it and found a lovely selection of writing paper, and…(and we’re finally back on point…) a selection of postcards.  Amongst the writing paper were some pretty floral papers with matching envelopes; some official looking airmail paper and airmail envelopes (for the uninitiated, ‘airmail’ paper was always lighter and thinner, so the end result weighed less and so could be posted for less postage paid); some black writing paper – which I thought was funky and cool at the time of purchase because I would write on it  with gel-pens. And then, the one that really got to me.

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My old writing case.

Some powder blue writing paper with matching envelopes adorned with cartoon kiwis.  I bought it when I lived in New Zealand.  It’s poignant because that’s the last time I really wrote letters and postcards. It wasn’t frivolous to buy letter-writing paper and envelopes then.  When I moved abroad, the internet existed; but it was in it’s infancy.  Facebook was relatively new.  I had about 15 friends on there, and most of them were relatives.  Facebook I wouldn’t have had an interest in except for the fact I had moved abroad.  It was an easy tool for keeping in touch with relative and friends who used it.

My grandparents didn’t.  Grampy had once signed up and bought a laptop but the interest soon fizzled out and it fell into disuse so the internet account was cancelled and the laptop rehomed.

It’s a funny thing, emigrating.  Whatever your reason, whatever your future plans for relocating there forever; for visits home and people visiting you…whatever you leave behind seems sort of frozen in time.  Places don’t change, civil engineering in your home town doesn’t happen, people don’t age.

I took to writing to Grandma & Grampy regularly.  I’d write letters, include postcards and photos. I sent scan pictures and photos when I had children. I even hand-drew a plan of our house so they could imagine the layout.  I imagined some day they would come and visit anyway so they would then be able to visualise it. Relatives may have already shown them on their phones or told them the news; but having the photos and the correspondence in their hands would have made more sense to them I think.

Except, while we lived away, people *did* get older.  A few weeks ago, I attended the funeral of the last person I received a hand-written letter from.  And even that was a few years ago.

Finding the writing case, containing a few postcards I’d saved from trips to the cinema, (where free ‘Boomerang’ postcards were available on a stand near the entrance, along with ‘Flix’ magazine; just in case they came in handy for those ‘answers on a postcard please’-type competitions on TV.  Which I never entered anyway.  But you never knew…) and then seeing a TV report on the decline of the postcard, did actually bring a tear to my eye.  Not for the loss of a piece of card, or the designs and photos.  I could take photos of places, some nicer than the postcards I could buy from there.

I don’t really feel bad that a major postcard-producing company is closing down or reducing production (which was what had prompted the TV discussion)  -I’m all for saving paper and being environmental.  I’m impressed that within an instant from the other side of the world we can make people ‘back home’ jealous (because that’s what it’s all about these days, isn’t it? none of your ‘Wish you were here…’ rubbish!).  And entering competitions online seems more like the chance to win something with little to no effort; rather than having to pay for a stamp and post off your ‘answer on a postcard’ and then wait for weeks on end to find out if you won…if you ever did find out; and if you didn’t win, constantly wondering whether the reason your postcard wasn’t fished out of the bucket was because it got lost in the post and never made it into the bucket in the first place…

What I do miss is writing.  With an ACTUAL pen.  A Parker fountain pen, no less.  I feel sad that my beautiful, well-loved, well-travelled and well-looked-after writing case, full of perfect stock, which it kept pristine and ready for me, now has no purpose. I feel a little bit done out of the opportunity to use all those postcards that I’d lovingly stored and saved just in case one day a competition I actually wanted to win came up, and the only way to enter was to send your answer, in the mail, on a postcard.  Or, (in the voice of your favourite Blue Peter presenter,) ‘the back of a stuck-down envelope’. I feel sad that people only receive bills in the mail these days, that the excitement of receiving a colourful envelope that feels like it has something fun and interesting in it along with a letter explaining the photos or the newspaper clipping will never be understood be whole generations.  I feel sad that the fact that a whole generation of people I used to write to is all but gone.

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One final thought. On a postcard.

And it’s a sign of the times that, when I ‘Googled’ “Answers on a postcard please” in the hope of finding a fun image to accompany this post, over 2million returns were listed of pages EXPLAINING “What does the phrase ‘Answers on a postcard’ mean?”

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Acting, Creative, Home, Life, writing

21600 minutes

21600 minutes.

That’s how many minutes are in 15 days.  15 days since my last blog entry…I’m slipping again.

And the silly thing is….it’s not because I’ve not been doing anything exciting.  I have. 21600 minutes of doing stuff. Good, fun, exciting non-houseworky non-parenty stuff.

It’s just all secret.  I can’t tell you about it.  Although…technically..since this is my secret little blog that I don’t tell anyone about I’m not sure it would count as publicising.

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I was doing housework one day, last week, and I got a message asking “Can you be at *** for 3pm and be free for the next 3 days?” {dun-dun-duuuuuuun how covert is that?}. So that took up most of last week (it was Good Friday on…er…Friday so no-one would have been working that day anyway otherwise I’m sure I’d have been working that day too.) Yes, it was work…of sorts. Filming.  Some people know already (one of those ‘worst kept secrets’ things).  I should be able to talk about it in…er…September.  Statute of limitations on certain types of filming work where one is employed in a certain type of role… 😉

And then…I got specially selected to join an exclusive Film Club.  And since the First Rule of (said) film Club is that you don’t talk about film club…well…there ya go.

Ooooh, I guess it’s not-so-secret that I’m going to be a Doctor Who tour guide.  I haven’t signed the tour-guides-official-secrets-act for that one; however I’m playing with ideas in my head that *I* want to keep secret so that anyone wishing to join my tour will have a couple of nice moments they didn’t know about before…

AND it’s been the Easter holidays from school…although I didn’t get to do much with the children last week due to the top-secret last-minute filming booking (which was *REALLY* fun to do, by the way.)  But, we did get to go and see Dewi & Dwynwen the dragons and their new…er…born (?) eggs at Caerphilly Castle … they’re SO fab.  Someimes I wish they were real…

And we had a BBQ.  Oh, and we went to the rugby!  Judgement Day V .. what a day out that was.  Apart from *some* unruly junior players sat around us, who I suspect lack both the discipline and the self-control to ever really make it to the top of their sport… Luckily, I like to think that my little player, despite being the smallest in the team (he has the speed to make up for it though…) has the the dedication and the passion to do just a little bit well (seriously…he gets REALLY upset when he has to miss even one training session or game…and he’s only in the Under-7’s!) ….and I’m looking forward to my free tickets to the hospitality box when he does… #ProudRugbyMum 

Posted in Acting, Filmmaking, TV, writing

It’s My Shout

Last summer I was fortunate to be involved in the “It’s My Shout” short-film training scheme.

It’s South-Wales based (although I think participants travel from elsewhere too). Industry profiessionals (crews who work on local productions for BBC and others, such as Casualty & Welsh-language soap opera Pobl Y Cwm ) take on trainee crews and even cast, to produce short films, derived from a short-film writing competition ealier in the year.

The first I’d heard of it was seeing a friend on Facebook congratulating a friend of his for making the script shortlist; followed by another friend & fellow actor asking if I’d like to go along with her to the introduction and registration evening being held locally.  After attending that and registering, we went along to a casting session. I read for two parts.  They were talking abotu a third I quite fancied but they didn’t seem to be casting for.  Of the two I read for, I preferred one.  After a few weeks, I got a call back….for the other one I hadn’t preferred! I went down to BBC Roath Lock Studios in Cardiff and met again with the director of the second audition. In the meantime, I’d had a call from the production office asking if I’d take on a completely different role I hadn’t read for!

As it turned out I didn’t get the other role I was called back for, nor the other role I read for.  Chatting to a fellow cast member, someone lined up for the role I’d been cast in, had been asked to play the other role (lost track yet?!)…the one I had been interested in at the open casting but they weren’t getting people to read for that role…

Anyway…fast-forward a few months and the award ceremony (a rather grand affair at the Wales Millenium Centre in Cardiff Bay); I was nominated for Best Supporting Actress!  Considering I hadn’t even gone for the part initially I was chuffed to pieces (after getting over the shock!).  I scribbled a few notes in my head – just in case of winning, you know; but…this was a comedy role.  We all know that comedies never win the awards, right?  It’s the hard-hitting dramatic roles that win gongs…

It was a tough category…where every other category had been whittled down to 5 nominees (one even had 4…I think they had been struggling to find nominees for that one?); there were 8 nominees in my category. From a series of 9 films. If I didn’t stand a chance before, that was just the nail in the coffin now.  I almost stayed in my seat and didn’t bother to go to the nominees seating area closer to the stage; I was that convinced it would go to someone else.

Have you ever experienced something so shocking that everything seems to come to a standstill? And yet…when they called out my name, I wasn’t frozen to the spot…but my reactions felt mechanical…going through the motions. My mind was pretty numb, I guess my face was kind of stuck in a shocked expression, I managed to go through the motions of getting up, glancing around to acknowledge any faces I recognised, find my way to the side of the stage in the dark, and graciously thank (I hope!) the presenters of my award.  I think I even managed to say something legible that didn’t sound like a) a jumbled pile of garbage or b) a complete shocked silent stare; and then pose for a relatively nice picture with the presenters backstage.

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It’s my Shout scheme 2017 is open for 10-minute screenplay submissions until April 14th 2017, and potential Cast & Crew trainees can register interest now via the “Get Involved” section of the It’s My Shout Website, and follow their Facebook page for updates on registration sessions across South Wales and later on, open casting calls.

 

Posted in Art, Creative, Social Media, writing

Breaking Blogging rules

I don’t know where I got these from but for some reason I recall blogging rules like:

  • Always include graphics/pictures
  • Insert hyperlinks, at least 3 of them
  • people love lists and bullet points (see what I did here?!)
  • Blog about a specific subject or theme…

I tried to look up a definitive guide just now.  Guess what?  There isn’t one.  There are, however, plenty of other bloggers blogging about how to blog. I searched ‘Simple rules of bogging’ and the first search page came up with various random blog posts entitled things like:

…I could go on… but there’s nothing stopping you searching for yourself.  And there’s obviously nothing stopping anyone from trying to offer advice to others how to write their online diary.  Which is pretty much what I use this one for.  In a slightly more anonymous way than I’d be writing in a single copy handwritten paper journal hidden in a locked-box under my bed (which I don’t, by the way, if you’re ever in my bedroom.  I move house too often to merit carrying dusty old notebooks around. Actually, I do carry dusty old notebooks around…the world…but I’m trying to limit them.  Which is why this is my version of an online diary.  Anonymously. Sort of.)

Anyhow, despite trying to stick to using pictures and hyperlinks and (trying but failing to) writing almost regularly, I’ve completely and totally failed at the one that comes up more often than not…”Pick a theme.  Don’t fire in all directions. Follow a niche…”.  Huh. Yeh.  So far I’ve done family stuff, musing, acting, history, poetry, personal history, movies, TV shows, nail art… So I’m totally failing on picking a direction and sticking with it.

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Welsh Cakes & ANZAC cookies I made

But I’m ok with that.  I don’t expect anyone to follow me.  I’m not looking to sell advertising or become a household name from writing a blog about how fab my chocolate brownies, Welsh cakes and ANZAC biscuits are; nor am I expert enough to carry on telling people how to go camping.   I have won an award for my acting (have I mentioned that before?) but even so I wouldn’t purport to tell people how to act (If they ask for help I will, that’s different…) because I’m not the presumptuous to try to pass myself off as more of an expert than anyone else who might end up reading this blog…which, let’s face it, could be just about anyone – some Hollywood star or director even? Maybe? (in which case, cast me in your next movie, eh? thanks…) no?  Okay…

So I dug a little further and found this post on breaking blogging rules.  And I think I’ll stick with this viewpoint for now.  To be honest, I prefer blogs that keep me guessing and wondering what the blogger will say next…kind of keeps life interesting, don’t you think?

Posted in Art, Creative, Life, Social Media, writing

Ctrl-ALT-Delete…NOT!

When I began this blog I promised myself it was going to be my gateway. My gateway into writing every day. After the whole discovery of the ‘Morning pages‘ idea, I figured that if I could use this blog to shake off the shackles of everything else, then some days, maybe even most days, I might carry on writing and get something done.  Maybe (probably) not every day, but writing a blog entry every day would at least keep the juices flowing.

And, of course, ‘real life’ got in the way…as it has done with everything else, all the time. But thanks to a new follower on this blog, and the fact that someone else I recently worked with read and watched a monolgoue I wrote & recorded as part of a class I was doing and told me she’d love to see that extended and turned in to a play, I have started doing just that; editing the monologue and converting it into a play; and promising myself to blog -and generally write- more.

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Now, in the past, I might have…well, no, I WOULD have…deleted this blog and started all over again; maybe saving and reposting some of the entries under edited titles and updated.  I was contemplating how some people can blog on one single subject their whole blogging career – there’s those who blog on technology, business, fashion, makeup, movies, gaming…But having begun this blog mainly for my own posterity, I love the freedom of writing about…writing.

While showering this evening (why not…it’s Mothers’ Day, after all 😉 ) I realised that maybe that’s a problem with us “Millennials” (And before you ask, I can *only just* count myself in that particular age-group under *some* of the many definitions).  Basically, the last generation who will remember a life pre-internet and smartphones and the first generation to become truly integrated with said technology, learning it in school, applying it to everyday life and teaching it to our elders, whilst at the same time bemoaning our children don’t appreciate ‘the old days’.

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Not only are we are SO glad that those misdemeanours and mistakes and foolishness of our youth are not recorded for all eternity on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook (unless ones’ mother learns to scan and upload photos of you as a child…but that’s another post…;) ), we can control what others see about us ; we can delete anything we want to, that we’ve written, created, no longer agree with, no longer see as relevant, at the touch of a button.  And really, for me to do that with this blog, goes against the very sentiment I wrote about in my first post. It would be like someone keeping a real, pen-and-paper journal for 60-odd years and then tossing them on the fire with no-one ever having read them.

Posted in Art, Creative, Family, writing

500 Words

BBC Radio 2 is running their short-story writing competition for children again.  “500 Words” is open for children aged between 5 & 13 to write a short story, about anything they like, up to 500 words long.  Simples.

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Why wasn’t this around when I was little?  Then again, why wasn’t the whole internet around when I was little? It seemed…no, it was…so much harder to find information back then.  There are so many opportunities these days for anyone; without having to go searching or subscribing to magazines or waiting for the school to subscribe to something and submit you. internet

I remember subscribing to “Writer’s News” and searching avidly through the pages for any hint of writing competitions/  I can remember sitting for hours in a dark corner of the library having discovered Spotlight (the directory of professional actors) and dreaming of one day being listed in there.  (It’s now online and a lot of aspiring actors don’t even know that it was once a thick reference catalogue).

There is a lot of dross out there on the internet, of course, but there are so many opportunities and yes, ease of access to all of these opportunities does mean heightened competition; so if winning were down to chance alone, the odds are further against you.  However, with luck, talent will shine through just enough to make it past each judging stage and may just get some recognition.

So, point in favour of T’internet.  Just don’t read the comments…

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I’ve just submitted #2’s story, written last year after last year’s competition had ended; and they’ve issued a certificate of participation already. I’m pleasantly surprised to say that it doesn’t seem petty or condescending at all.  It’s not overly sentimental.  It simply certifies that #2 named on the downloadable PDF certificate is “an official storywriter for 500 words 2017”.

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I’m quite proud of #2 to be honest.  No help required in foremulating the story; bar from me asking “so, what happened next?” at certain points to prompt the continuation of the story.  Then we sat together and typed it out and read it back to each other so it made some kind of sense.

However, point #2 in favour of the internet (supported by the amount of homework they are sent home with which requires ‘logging on to xxx app we’ve been using in class and completing the tasks/games/assignments); even if it were not so easy to create a story from scratch, there are plentiful online resources, for child and adult writers alike; with prompts and advice; like this one for example.

I’ve taken the tribe to the library a couple of times.  And they love books and stories and so on.  But I’m suddenly feeling a nostalgia for dusty old reference libraries; but more importantly, the effort it took to actually find a piece of information.  Sometimes, it seems to easy just to have it at your fingertips, like we’re somehow cheating.

Enough of my musing for now – good luck to any and all participants in this year’s 500 words. I’m still slightly miffed that I don’t remember it being this easy when I was younger!

Posted in Acting, Christmas, Family, Home, Life, writing

Happy New Year

I know, I know, it’s almost 2 weeks into 2017.  Most people have stopped wishing each other ‘Happy New Year’ by now.

So much so that when someone said it to me yesterday I had to do a double take, and was so stunned into silence that a slight stutter in response was all I could manage before they were out of earshot to hear me return the sentiment.

Well, the darling laptop is home! Finally.  I realised, from finding my last blog entry, that it was 6 months ago that she ‘died’ … and I’ve survived that long! I know, right?

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As explained to friends the other day (via messenger chat, on the laptop! Woohoo!) … 2 months for the actual fixing (she had to be sent back to the manufacturer’s regional HQ across the Irish Sea since the repairs were beyond the capabilities of the little local repairman – so much for supporting the local High-street!) followed by 4 months of trying to scrape together enough money to spare to pay him. Yes, it’s that bad. It wasn’t even that much in the grand scheme of things; but to us, me, it was. I even did the Mrs Claus thing again this past Christmas, with all the good intentions that a short-lived regular income would pay off the small list of items I had prepared.  No such luck.  It got frittered away on Christmas luxuries like feeding the children and paying unauthorised-overdraft-charges and late-payment-fees at the bank.  Still, just about managed a couple of Christmas presents; a pile of Christmas cards which ended up never getting posted (Sorry!)

(It’s a whole other story what I think of a certain bank charging £££ for my account having accidentally strayed a whole 70p into the red for LESS THAN 24 HOURS – it was actually about 7 – before I found a little bit of cash to pay in to bring it back to normal)

But, this post isn’t about that.

In all honesty, I’m not sure WHAT it’s about specifically… in which case, I apologise for boring you!

What did strike me, on the school run yesterday, was that when I originally started writing here; I intended to at very least, write a short entry each day.  I even had a handful of titles, themes, trains of thought, to start me off.  I sometimes wrote 2-3 a day and scheduled their publication so there would be one each day.  And…

…as with other ventures, it trailed off.  I began to tell myself it was OK if I maybe only posted every couple of days.  Which turned in to once a week.  If I was lucky… And then, the whole laptop gone thing didn’t help because we do have an ancient desktop in the corner of one room, which is nice and compact for a desktop and it’s surrounded by the computer desk meaning that’s where the printer and all my belov’d stationery happen to reside also; but…it’s ancient (in terms of technology) and therefore is very slow and for the most part unresponsive.

stationery1

I barely managed to file my tax return online using it, and that was only after putting it off for 3 months longer than I would have, simply because I lived in hope of getting the laptop back in time to file on there before the deadline of 31 january.

Even though the computer desk in the corner is usually…well, at one point, always was…one of my (very few) happy places; even sitting there once a day/week/month attempting to write a blog on the old PC didn’t appeal.

Concerns such as “The children play computer and other games in this room” or “I can’t curl up comfortably on the end of the sofa, laptop resting on the arm, and write from a position of relaxation if I want to” (Yes, I was that petty.) Besides, I had other stuff, like winning acting awards (YAYYYYY!), looking for somewhere to live, getting a new Christmas Job and such things on my mind.

What the heck, I thought, no-one’s reading anyway.  Well, 2017, that’s not the point, is it?

Then, it struck me…DOH!  There’s all the things I was using as excuses to not keep up the blog (regardless of readership!) and yet…there’s instantly the beginnings of a list of posts.  Woohoo!

So, in case you missed it the first time, and in an attempt to get in my 750 words for today… Happy New Year.  I hope yours has started as you wish it to continue.  Or at the very least, better than last year ended.

 

Posted in Life, Social Media, writing

Happy Anniversary!

Maybe it’s fate.

I killed my laptop yesterday.

I did the old ‘upgrade to Windows 10’ thing ages ago; and had the ‘headphones not working’ problem.  Not had it?  You’re lucky… Every time I Google it, countless others have the same problem.

I couldn’t remember how I fixed it last time; but was pretty sure it was some driver or something from the Dell website (it’s an Alienware laptop, so manufactured by Dell).

So I went there.  And somehow ended up on a page that had a link to download something on it which I must have presumed was a driver; something flashed up saying something was out of date so I clicked it; it came up with the ‘downloading, do not turn off your computer’ average message you always get.

Anyway, there’s me thinking I had the thing plugged in but turns out it wasn’t…the cable wasn’t in the back of the machine; and the battery died.  Presumably in the middle of whatever it was doing.

And it wouldn’t turn back on.

Well, it would try, but it just sounded like an industrial vacuum cleaner, as though it was trying to read something from the CD-rom disk drive.  And guess who can’t even remember if it even CAME with a boot disk; let alone if I still have it and where it would be if I did…

I’m in the middle of doing online courses on FutureLearn (they’re good, so far, by the way); so made me even more mortified than losing everything that was on there (only last week I’d transferred all the photos of my DSLR card because it reached full capacity while watching the Red Arrows at Wales National Air Show).

I’d almost learned my lesson from dead laptops before and at very least have all my writing work saved on a separate SD card and rarely if ever save that directly to the computer.

But because of being half way through the course (which as it happens is quite easy to follow on a smartphone of Kindle Fire HD too, but that’s not the point) I’ve returned to the old home PC.  Now, by old, I don’t mean it’s been around since the 50’s obviously.  I think maybe 6-7 years, possibly more.  But in computer terms, obviously, old.

I’ve used it intermittently but for anything other than general word-processing it’s a little (!) slow.

And I’d lost track of blogging, for a while.

Until I logged back on to this computer and my WordPress page was one of my home tabs on the browser.

So I was reminded about blogging online.

And today, I got this reminder…

Capture

…which was rather nice, to have attained an achievement without even trying!

So, I will plod on writing to the abyss, I think. Ooh….tomorrow, I might tell you about yesterday….more fun acting type thingys!

 

TTFN xxxx