Category Archives: Personal experience

Mileage May Vary


I’ve been having a year. It’s been a good year for my writing career. It’s been a bloody awful year on a personal level.

During this last week, I’ve been on a bit of a cleaning jag.  I just found my birthday card from last year. Signed by my late mother.

Yep. Crying again.

Tom Gauld.jpg


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Getting Stuff Done


Over the past few days, I’ve been hit with the cleaning and gardening bug. I guess spring cleaning is a thing? I’ve put in a new garden, for more vegetables and herbs. I may remove the lavenders from the other vegetable garden as they are taking over. But they are doing so well…

On Monday, it seemed to me that everwhere I looked, my house was grubby. Not filthy, but just not clean enough, particularly my kitchen. Now the kitchen is much cleaner, the baby seedlings that have sprouted are planted out and we have to hope the cat doesn’t sit or pee on them. I’ve dusted. Tomorrow I plan on vacuuming and washing the floors.

Now … what does this have to do with writing? My extra energy levels have also flowed into my muse. I’m feeling the process flowing more smoothly, whereas I was having a hard time writing anything at all last week. Maybe seeing everything growing and blossoming has inspired me. We’ve had the first crop of the beans and the leafy greens from the garden, and I can see all the baby tomatoes (I’m salivating all ready), and the eggplants are flowering.

And, even though my lungs are still a little congested, they are better than they were, even with the pollen count to infinity. Now, all we need is rain … for my plants. My muse needs some refreshment too, but the gardening is certainly helping there. I find growing things a creative process.

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Filed under Creativity, Inspiration, Personal experience, Writing Career

Trying to get my head back in the game


I’ve just sent off my first submission for October. As regular readers of this blog will know, I aim to send off ten to twelve stories and articles a month. My goal is 100 rejection a year, from July to July. Since the death of my mother in June, I’ve been averaging four submissions a month.

Do I try to make up for lost time?

I know the answer to that. Pushing myself too hard backfires, making me sleep poorly.

I’m kind of disappointed in myself, for being so physically weak. I’m fat. I’m middle-aged and heading towards old age. I have asthma and diabetes. Some of those limitations are only going to get worse.

However, I can make the effort to get 10 stories submitted this month. But I will not beat myself up if I don’t make that goal. I’ve got to work smarter, not harder. Work to my strengths. Keep my enthusiam high by remembering my achievements and not dwelling on the failures.

Time to shake off these negative thoughts and feelings and get my head back in the game.

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Filed under Personal experience, The Writing Life, Writing Career

No Juice – addendum

how to orange cordial

Well, I’ve learnt an important lesson. Don’t try to push through with no juice. I did get the first draft written and it is sort of okay. However, I spent the night too wired too sleep.

So, today I’ve had to jolly myself along. Oh, we’re in the bathroom to pee, might as well have a shower. You’ve got your hair wet, might as well wash it. Gosh, it is just as easy to put on day clothes than put the PJs back on. Hey, if you don’t water the seedlings, they’ll die … and since you’re outside, might as well water the rest of the plants.

So, the take-away here is not to push too hard. Because I really do feel wrung out today!

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Filed under Inspiration, Personal experience, The Writing Life, Writer's Block, writing

No Juice

This is my own personal name for writer’s block. I have plenty of projects to go on with, but I just don’t have any emotional connection to my muse.
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I know this is my reaction to the turbulent time my family and I are going through, with the loss of my mother being the desert I am yet to cross.

Generally, when I’m like this, I write terrible poetry. I like to think I can write excellent poetical prose, but my poetry is nearly as bad as that of Paula Nancy Millstone Jennings of Sussex. It’s so bad it’s not even bad in a humorous way.

I’m going to write a first draft of a story. Wish me luck. Or send me a lemon to suck.


Filed under Inspiration, Personal experience, The Writing Life

The Brown Coat Returns – adventures in Catland


Meowcolm has returned! HE LIVES!


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Adventures in Cat land


Our family has a furry member officially called Artemis, but she answers to the names of Bean, Sweetie, Whiny Baby, Beautiful Kitten, and kissing noises. Over the past two months, she has had two friends courting her and us.

There is a very black long-haired cat we dubbed Bruceman Batwayne, because his head silhouette resembles Batman’s mask. He has a very penetrating meow. When Miss Artemis walks out of his line of sight, he starts up a plantive wailing for her. It is a relief for everyone when he goes home. He pops by a couple of days a week.

However, we were also being visited by an elderly big boi we nicknamed Meowlcom Reynolds, as he was a brown-coated tabby. We suspected he was abandoned, as he was very thin and his coat was thick with grime. We started feeding him on a daily basis. He was a grumpy old man, but he was keen on scritches and loved his daily feedings.

Then he went missing this week. He hasn’t been back for five days, and I fear he has passed away. We were planning to have him looked at by the vet that does housecalls; if only he could have hung around just one more week. Is is stupid that I’m so upset that our moocher has stopped dropping by?


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