Sunday, 29 March 2009

Green Fingers...

Here is the garden post I promised. Mam and Dad decided to get some landscapers in and rip up some of the flagstones out front and have a new fence. I should have taken a before and after picture but I didn't get the camera out in time so here is a 'during' picture.

I've kind of caught the bug this year and decided to plant Carrots, Leeks, Lettuce, Parsnips, a Cherry tree, a Blueberry bush, Honeysuckle, Sweet Peas and thats about it so far. Oh and some radom flowers I cant remember the name of.

I bought a seed shelving unit thing with a plastic cover because I tried to grow some flowers form seed last year in the shed and it was a disaster. But the plastic frame thing seems to be working see below...lettuce

I'm rather pleased at how well they are doing. I also planted the Cherry tree a while ago and it's opened out quite nicely. But i think the blueberry bush has suffered some frost damage.
Any tips anyone has would be greatly appreciated as I'm a nooooob.

Love and germination.

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Back....from outa space...

Sorry all....I kind of dropped off the face of the blogsphere then didn't I? I do apologise. I've been rather snowed under and not coping all too well.
but I'm not going to dwell on such things.

I had a rather good mark for my critcal essay on Jermey Dronfield's 'Alchemists Apprentice' - I'm super pleased. (2 marks off a sodding 1st mind you, grrrrrrr)

I need 6,000 words for my Dissertation and 4,000 for my other class and rather a lot of poems. I'm healthily worried but not panicking yet. I have a cunning plan! Baldrick styleee. Not really, it's a workload plan consisting of Day and wordcount. lol.

It's my birthday next week so I'm taking a week off worrying. I'll do some work if I feel like it but I'm not going to beat myself up if I don't do anything productive.

I'll have a more interesting post soon. It may be garden related. :)

Monday, 9 March 2009

Licking the lid of life.....

Today I licked the lid for the first time - purely on impulse. It was Cherry and fat free and oh so nice.
I've been very stressed about a presentation I have to give on wednesday about Celtic Myths and in that moment of cherry heaven I forgot about it.

Today I also planted a cherry tree in a pot and put it in a sunny sheltered place, I drank ooooodles of luchee juice and watched Heroes.
Today was a good day.

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Interview with Fiona Robyn: 'The Letters'

As a creative writing student in my last year, I and my fellow budding scribblers have so many hopes, dreams, fears and ultimately a whole bucket full of questions as we look out onto the daunting world of professional writing.

Here I asked Fiona Robyn a few of those burning questions as she launches her debut novel 'The Letters'.

First of all, Courtesy of Miss Woo: Why do you write?
I write because it helps me to pay attention.

Did you always know writing was for you?
I always knew that words were for me – I’ve always loved books. I didn’t start writing until I was about 20.

As new writers a lot of us tend to draw on personal experience and a great deal of what students write seems to be 'creative' non-fiction or fiction based around situations, locations and characters we know in real life. Did you also do this at first?
I wrote poetry for years before I wrote novels, and my poems are mostly based on things that actually happened, so I suppose yes.

Mrs P would like to know if the plot shapes your characters or do your characters shape the plot?
My characters DEFINITELY shape my plots – they have minds of their own – I just follow them. I’m sometimes quite surprised by what happens.

You said: 'I don't quite see my writing as coming from a man with a beard up in the clouds, but I do acknowledge that the greater part of my work is beyond my conscious control. My characters and my stories come from deep inside me.'How much did you aim at a specific market when you were writing 'The Letters'... or did you just write the novel and worry about the market later?
On a scale of one to ten, with ten as writing with a specific market in mind, I’d say I am about a minus one. I am thinking of the reader when I do my revisions – does this sentence make sense? Will my readers understand what my character is saying here? But the actual characters and their journeys aren’t very consciously plotted. For me, it’s always been more important to write the books I want to write than it has been to get published, although I’ve always wanted both! I’m very lucky to be having my cake and eating it.

What was going on in your life as you were writing 'The Letters'? How did you find a life/writing balance?
I’ve gradually arranged my life over the years so my ‘day job’ is in the afternoons and evenings which leaves me the mornings to write. Even so, I’m very good at avoiding the writing! The first draft is the most difficult for me, so I try and write little and often.

Jayne Walter would like to know: What, if any, writing 'rituals' do you have?
I light a tea-light before I start writing, and blow it out when I’m finished for the day. The holder was given to me by my friend Esther Morgan, who is a marvellous poet and an important writing colleague to me – lighting the candle means I’m not quite alone.

You published your first poetry collection in 'Living Things' in 2007, do you prefer writing novels to poetry?
I like both in different ways – it’s good to become immersed in the long term project of a novel, but it’s also satisfying to spend a few weeks on a poem and get it finished.

Do you enjoy giving readings, do you get nervous and do you find that giving readings is essential to the process of promoting a book?
I don’t get too nervous unless I let myself – I try and pretend beforehand that there’s nothing to be nervous of and that usually works. I love reading – I haven’t done any readings from my novels yet, but am looking forward to any opportunities that might arise.

Duncan A would like to know: When writing 'The Letters' was it as difficult to write the last word as it was to write the first word?
As difficult, and as satisfying!

What's next for Fiona?
I’m currently working on a novel about a boy who visits Amsterdam, and I’m also looking forward to my next two novels coming out with Snowbooks – The Blue Handbag in August, and Thaw in Feb next year.

Thank you for having me, Leah!

Thank you Fiona!

'The Letters' is available on Amazon (£5.99)

And on Snowbooks for people overseas

I have held the skink!

I'm so pleased. I had a go at holding Razer on thursday. He wiggled at first and had a bit of a squeek but he settled down after a while and I was stroking the spines on his back. So I'm hopeing he will get used to being handled. I'm also hopeing Dilly will follow his example and stop running away from me.

Work is going slow and I have to teach myself powerpoint so I can give a presentation on wednesday. I know powerpoint is not exactly the hight of complexity but I havn't used it sinse school so it's not going so well.

Fiona Robyn is coming to my blog tomorrow so I'm going to post it today because I've just bought a 12 pack of WKD and a bottle of ruby port - Cheeky V's all the way! So when I get up in the morning - it might not be morning anymore- it may be closer to late afternoon. But I haven't been out for WEEKS so I'm taking a day off.

Also, one last final thought. I think I am truely addicted to Lychee juice.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Good News Everyone.....

No, i've not invented some strange household object with an amusing name...... (futurama joke)

James passed his bike test!!!! WOOP WOOP!!

I'm so proud of him especially considering what happened the first time (nasty nasty moody examiner). Now he can ride his new bike (vfr 400) without worrying about getting nabbed by a bobby.

I'm still struggling with my critical essay and I'm very miffed that Jeremy Dronfield doesn't have a website or anything. I wanted to contact him and ask him questions and tell him how much I enjoyed his book and how much it has helped me with my own writing. But he will never know because he doesn't have a website with an email or anything!!!
I would write to the publisher and ask them to pass it on but the essay is due wednesday so there isn't really much point in rushing to do it now. I might just send him a nice letter later in the year - when the dissertation and various other stresses are over with.

Time is wizzing by as usual and I'm getting a bit worried about all the work I still have left to do. I'm writing speed is slow at best. :S
But, i'm determind to get it all done and do well .... so ner.