Monday, 27 February 2017

Taking Stock - February Edition

Making : Cups of tea. They do not make themselves. I'm expected to pour boiling water over a teabag. HMPH. I need a lie down after that. 

Cooking : Last week I made roast lamb and vegies and a penne bolognaise pasta bake.  My children actually ate them! Excuse my excitement over such a trivial thing, but this literally never happens. 

Drinking : Tea, water, wine. In that order of priority. I know! I need to change my priorities. Wine should be first! 

Reading: Lots of different library books. 

Trawling: The library shelves. 

Wanting: More time to read all of the above books.

Looking: More like a nanna than ever. A very plump old nanna named Mavis. Maybe I should take up knitting?

Deciding:  Whether to cut my fro short or keep letting it grow. Thoughts? 

Wishing: I wasn't quite so self-absorbed. I'm not, am I?DOH. 

Enjoying: The cooler weather.

Waiting: For our hot water service to be fixed. It died a few days ago and we have no hot water. Fun times. 

Liking: The cooler weather. See: Enjoying. I even ate soup yesterday! Yes, I do need get out more...

Wondering: Where I would go to get out more... Besides the library...

Loving: Saturday sleep-ins. There are good things about having teenagers. 

Pondering: What to make for dinner. It's always about food for me. Shut up.

Listening: To the Today show blathering on about the Oscars.

Considering: What to type here. I have such a boring life I need to make something up.... Nup. Sorry. Got nothing. 

Buying: Groceries and not much else. Boring! See above. 

Watching: True Crime documentaries and reruns of As Time Goes By. Did I mention I'm boring? 

Hoping: I haven't had put you to sleep with my boring as batshit life.

Marvelling: That anyone would still be here reading this. You are? Aren't you nice! 

Cringing: At the number on the scales when I went back to the dietitian last Thursday. Oops. 

Needing: The number on the scales to go down. 

Questioning: Why weight isn't like height. It should get to the healthy range for your height and STAY THERE FOREVER. So rude! 

Smelling: This excellent stuff I bought for my fro. It's called Frizz No More. Totally excellent. Except for one TINY thing. They should have left the word 'No' out of it. Related: My fro is frizzier than ever.  

Wearing: I have a certain style at the moment. It's called 'whatever still fits'. 

Noticing: That hardly anything fits at the moment. See above. Again; OOPS. 

Knowing: I will need to buy new clothes, but I don't want to buy larger ones. Sigh. 

Thinking: I should probably think about something besides food.... Ummmmmmm...

Admiring: Mr 12 (soon to be 13) for making the transition to high school this year smoothly so far. Proud of him! 

Getting: Off my arse to exercise. No, really! I did, yesterday. Consequently I am very sore today. But I will be going back for more. 

Bookmarking: Um. Nothing. 

Disliking: The heat, the number on the scales, having no hot water, endless bills... yada, yada, yada. 

Opening: Bills! GAH.

Closing: My eyes. You know, just to rest them a bit... I don't need a nanna nap... no way... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Feeling: Tired (see above). Bored. Brilliant. Ebullient. Listless. Blah. Then brilliant again. Yep, still my moody self. Yay. 

Hearing: News on the telly. 

Celebrating: Mr 12 will be Mr 13 in a few weeks.

Pretending: I'm normal. At least, I try. Have I fooled you?

Embracing: Mr 8. He asked me for a hug this morning and said "Can we hug for five hours?" Lasted about 30 seconds. 

And there you have it. That's me 'taking stock' this fine February. 

What have you been embracing and feeling in February? Um, yeah that....??

Sunday, 26 February 2017

Letter To A Kindred Spirit

Dear Anne,

You don't know me, but I believe if we'd met we would most definitely be kindred spirits. Maybe I wouldn't take the place of Diana as your 'bosum' friend, but I would be a close second. 

I am shy and silent just like your beloved Matthew. You could chatter to your heart's content and I wouldn't mind. 

Like you, I also had red hair as a girl. Unlike you, I wasn't particularly bothered by it. In fact, I felt proud to have something in common with my favourite heroine. I wore a blue dress with puffed sleeves to my year six farewell. I agree. Puffs are MAGNIFICENT. 

I can imagine us together. You would show me all your favourite haunts. The White Way Of Delight, and the Lake Of Shining waters. I think I'll pass on The Haunted Wood, however. My imagination is quite vivid too, you see. 

I would have been a prolific member of your Story Club, Anne. I too, wrote such melodramatic stories as a child. They are hilarious in hindsight, just like your stories: The Jealous Rival and In Death Not Divided. And Rosamund Montmorency is a splendid pen name! What do you think mine would have been, Anne? I'm thinking something like Lavinia De Lovely.  Or, with your permission, I could be Cordelia De Lovely. Yes, Cordelia IS a perfectly elegant name. You are quite correct about that. 

Mind you, I believe Anne is also an elegant name.  And yes, it should be spelled with an E. Remember how when you asked Marilla to be sure to spell it with and E and you said: "Whenever you hear a name pronounced, can't you always see it in your mind, just as if it was printed out?" 

I had such a thrill of recognition when I read that! I do the very same thing! In fact, I often see entire sentences in my mind as if they were printed out. It's odd, but I'm glad I have something else in common with you, Anne. This seems to confirm to me that we are indeed kindred spirits. 

I must confess, I would have been a little jealous of Gilbert's devotion to you, Anne. I definitely have a crush on him! But he would only ever have eyes for you, so you needn't worry about that. I am not a horrible flirt, show off or nasty gossip like Josie Pye! I would dance at yours and Gilbert's wedding, and toast you with currant wine. Being careful not to get drunk like Diana did! 

And when you went off to Queens and Kingsport Ladies College and then to live in Glen St. Mary, I would have been a faithful pen pal. Letter writing is something I've always enjoyed. I do wish that I could be much more determined, like you, Anne. But I'm getting better.

As Miss Stacey said: tomorrow is always fresh with no mistakes in it.  That is always such a comforting thought. Until tomorrow comes and I make the same mistakes all over again. You know, just to be sure! 

There have been many times when I've felt like I'm 'in the depths of despair' as you put it, but you have always been there to comfort me.  Even though I know you're fictional, you'll always be my friend and a true kindred spirit. After all, that's what an imagination is for, right? So thanks, Anne. I look forward to the next 'bend in the road'.  

I will remain yours faithfully,


Joining in for Friday Reflections with the prompt:

Write a letter to a fictional character.

Which fictional character would you write to?

Are you an Anne Of Green Gables fan? 

Friday, 17 February 2017

Being Grateful

Over the years I've tried on and off to have a gratitude journal. This is the simple act of writing down the things you're most grateful for each day. Apparently there is research to show that this process is effective in helping with things like depression and increasing contentment. I tend to be a bit cynical about these things (surprise!). I will concede that it's a much better option than reaching for the cake every time you feel crappy. That has worked out really well for me. NOT.  

The problem I have with gratitude journals? It gets a bit boring to write the same things every day. OF COURSE I am grateful for my health - now more than ever, having had cancer. OF COURSE I am grateful for my family. I'm also grateful to have some time to myself away from my family now and again (but you're not supposed to admit that?).

During my cancer treatment, I began the concept of a 'happiness jar'. Except I used a shoe box, because I like to be different. The idea is, you write down anything that made you happy that day, any memorable moment no matter how mundane or seemingly insignificant. Then you pop it in the jar. At a later date you can read them and realise there were happy moments among the shittyness. 

I haven't added anything to my happiness box or written a gratitude journal in quite a while.

 And while I'm still somewhat sceptical about the practise on a daily basis, it doesn't hurt to revisit it once in a while and remind yourself that you have plenty of positive things to be grateful for. So, here's my A-Z of things I'm currently grateful for. 

The things I am currently grateful for:

A - Apples, Avocados, Ass burgers diagnonsense, Air conditioning, Australia: I'm grateful I was born and live here; even if it has been like the seventh circle of hell lately!

B - Boys, Books, Blogging, Brain (I think I have one)

C - Cakies, Carpenters music, Creativity, Cuddles

D - Daydreams

E - Exercise, Eating (everything always comes back to food with me...)

F - Friendships ( online and real life ), Family

G - Green (one of my favourite colours)

H - Home, Health

I = Imagination, Igloo (well, I WOULD be grateful if I had's bloody hot here!)

J - Juices, Joy, Jogging (Just kidding, I never jog!)

K - Karen! (Carpenter, of course! )

L - Love ( I am loved and I love my family )

M - Micky Blue Eyes, Music

N - Notebooks

O - Online world

P - Pens, People I love

Q - Quiet time!

R - Reading, Resilience

S- Silence, Stories, Songs

T - TV, Therapy, TITS ( this is what I call my ipod, plus I AM glad I got to keep my tits on after having breast cancer)

U - Unicorns? ( Okay, I'm stuggling, now!)

V- Vanessa being my name,

W - Words, Writing, Water

X - X - rays (since a mammogram saved my life)

Y -  (New) Year

Z - I'm grateful I've reached z so I'm finished!!

There you have it. An A-Z of gratitude.

I just realised yet another reason why I'm uncomfortable with the procedure. I always feel like I'm missing the point and there is some big, important thing that I should be grateful for and I'm such a self-absorbed arsehole  to only think of food! 

Oh well! Oops. 

What are your thoughts about gratitude journals? 

What are you most grateful for? 

Monday, 13 February 2017

Mrs Picklebottom Is Properly Horrified

Well hello, groovers and shakers. Or shakers and groovers, either way works. I'm back to talk all about LUURRRRVE.

Today is the 13th of February. See how sharp I am? This means that tomorrow is the 14th (razor sharp!), and you know what that means?!!

Yep, it's just another day. Well, it is to me. But for some folk, it's the most romantic day of the year: Valentine's Day. 

This means that Mickey Blue Eyes will be getting some very special treatment tomorrow. I might even make him a sandwich. And, when I serve up the burnt sausages and veg for dinner, I'll even do a little tomato sauce love heart. I'm thoughtful like that. 

Why am a such a cynical little soul? I mean, considering I love the Carpenters who usually sung about love. Birds suddenly appearing, sharing horizons and all that shit.  I guess I'm a weird mass of contradictions. 

The thing is, I don't really need a bunch of over priced roses to know that  my husband loves me. After all, why would he put up with my Carpenters addiction. That shit must be maddening.  Poor bastard. 

I will, however, take a million dollars and a life time supply of chocolate. I'm not greedy. 

Truthfully, I did fall in love for the first time at the tender age of around seven or eight. As soon as we touched I was besotted. My eyes met with the object of my affection and it was love at first sight.

I couldn't wait to meet with my new love for our daily trysts. We were together all the time. In bed. At school. Under the desk. In the playground. Parting was always heartbreaking. It was like leaving a piece of me behind whenever I forgot my books. Yes, books. What did YOU think I was talking about?

Forget about playing kiss/chasey in the playground, when you can sit in the corner with a book! Besides, fictional boys are better. Case in point: Gilbert Blythe. Swoooon. I wouldn't have minded if he'd called ME carrots! 

Books were definitely the first love of my life. This continued into my teens. When I was in Year 9, I had this English teacher. As you do. Honestly, I can't even remember her name, so I should probably make something up.

Let's just call her Mrs Picklebottom. Because if you're going to make up a name, it might as well be something ridiculous.  Now, since this blog is just me repeating myself ad nauseam, there's a good chance I've told this story before. But it's a good one, so here it is again...

It was during this particular time in my life that I enjoyed reading Mills & Boon romances.  Before you judge me, bear in mind that we didn't have the internet in 1985, so I had to find out about sex somewhere. I certainly wasn't the type to be off 'pashing' and being fingered behind the demountables. No judgement whatsoever if you were. I certainly hope you enjoyed it. Just wasn't my thing. So I stuck to the books. 

Mrs Picklebottom was completely horrified by my choice of reading material. So much so, that she immediately contacted my mother and demanded a meeting. The next thing you know, my bewildered mother was being informed by Mrs Picklebottom that allowing girls to read these type of novels would make them grow up to think that if they have sex and have an orgasm, they're in love! 

As my late aunt pointed out when Mum told her, you can have an orgasm masturbating, and it doesn't mean you're in love with your hand! I wish mum had sent my aunt to the meeting. Would have been interesting. 

At this point, I must apologise to my mother, some thirty odd years later. I certainly cannot imagine having to have such a conversation with a teacher. Mum replied that she disagreed. She thought it was just a phase I'd grow out of.

This proved to be true, as I no longer read Mills & Boon  novels. Enid Blyton and LM Montgomery on the other hand... 

Shhhhhhhh, don't tell anyone! 

I can't help thinking that if Mrs Picklebottom is still out there teaching high school English, she would have imploded at the Fifty Shades series. Not to mentions teens ready access to internet porn these days. 

However, maybe Mrs Picklebottom had a point. It was just a clumsy delivery. It's entirely possible that romance novels DO set people up for unrealistic expectations about love. 

That is my whole problem with Valentine's Day. It's so phoney and commercial.  Personally we don't celebrate it. We prefer to leave it for our wedding anniversary which has more personal meaning to us. We'll celebrate our 22nd wedding anniversary in November instead. 

One other thing, if you're single and feeling a bit crap because it's Valentine's Day and everyone is posting all their loved up stuff on Facey. Don't. Or, at least, don't feel crap for longer than five minutes. Feel the crappy stuff, then move on.  

Those couples enjoying a romantic meal near the beach will be the same ones who'll be pissed off with each other the next day for forgetting to replace the toilet roll. Incidentally, it's me who always forgets to replace the toilet roll in this house, not Mickey Blue Eyes. Oops. Sorry! 

So I think I finally understand what Mrs Picklebottom was saying. Love isn't about hearts and flowers on one arbitrary commercial day. There is so much more to it than that. It's all the little things your partner does every day.  And the HUGE things; like supporting each other through cancer. (That's a whole other blog post...) It's been a wild 22 years, that's all I can say...

And tomato sauce love hearts are cute sometimes, too.

Maybe I'm a romantic after all? 

What are your thoughts about love, Valentine's Day and Mills & Boon novels? 

Friday, 10 February 2017

Scary Things

Hello again! If you are currently in the land of Oz, I do hope you haven't drowned in a pool of your own sweat.  Lordy, it's HOT. Horrendous, really. Phew!

Anyway, pop on the air con on, pour yourself a cool beverage and enjoy a lovely little story I wrote for #FridayReflections. 

Alternatively, if you're in another part of the world, where it's frosty and cool, snuggle up with a cosy blanket and a hot beverage. Also: I hate you. Don't take it personally.

But onto the story...

It was inspired by the following prompt:

Do one thing every day that scares you. 


Ever since she could remember Fern had been frightened. Of the dark. Of dogs. Of her brittle, distant parents. The bullies at school. What people would think.

Even the telephone! It's rings could send her into abject horror. Then she'd seen it. The free course at the community centre seemed like it was invented for her: Overcoming Fear and Becoming Confident.

Unleash your inner potential with proven steps to success, the blurb assured her. The irony that she'd had to confront her fear of groups to turn up to a group about overcoming fear wasn't lost on her.  

"Do one thing every day that scares you," the instructor told them. She was a tall, charismatic woman with a sharp highlighted bob and booming voice. The kind of woman who appeared to have never been frightened in her life. Her name was Donna Savage.

Fern supposed you could never fear anything with such a name. If anyone ridiculed Donna Savage, she could certainly live up to her name with one look. Her eyes were laser sharp and piercing. Even a wallflower like Fern couldn't fade into the background. That was her usual way in groups. 

Now she had do scary things each day for a week or risk the disappointment of that probing gaze. Yesterday, she'd sent her coffee back when it was too weak. The day before she'd approached the neighbour who always parked across her driveway. 

Now, she was meeting Brian. An online date. Well, just a coffee to start with. She was nervous, but he'd seemed nice enough during their online chats. He'd told her he loved her name. After years of being bullied by all the Jennys and Amandas, it was refreshing.  A portly, balding man with glasses entered the cafe. Fern dismissed him. 

"Fern!" the balding man beamed at her. 

She blinked. "Brian?" He must have used a rather old profile picture. She'd been catfished. 

"Lovely to meet you!" Brian leaned in, going straight for her lips. She turned her cheek at the same time and they knocked faces awkwardly. 

"Can I get you a coffee?" 

He ordered their cappuccinos. They sat facing each other with only the sound of the coffee machine and the quiet murmuring of other customers to break the silence. 

"So tell me..."

"Have you been here before?"

They suddenly spoke at once. This seemed to open the tides for Brian and he was off and running. 
In no time at all she knew his whole life story, including rather more than she would like about his ex-wife and his interest in aquariums. He didn't seem curious to know anything about her. 

When he finally asked her if she would like to come back to his place to 'see his aquariums' she politely declined. Mustering up her courage, she added "It was lovely to meet you, but I don't think this is going to work."

Brian looked momentarily flummoxed. His confusion soon turned to contempt. "Typical," he muttered. 

"What is that supposed to mean?"

"You women are all the same. Only after money." 

Fern took a deep breath. "I earn my own money, Brian. I just don't think we have anything in common." 

But Brian was already looking at his phone. 

"Doesn't matter. You were only my third choice, anyway." 

Fern left him scrolling away for his next victim. Imagine this odious man ranking women! But at least she'd done her scary thing for the day. 

Donna had promised them that each day it would be less scary. Fern wasn't so sure. You just did the thing, feeling petrified all the while. And the next time was no different. There was no such thing as conquering all your fears, Fern concluded. She knew this, because the next day she went to a completely sickening dentist appointment she'd been avoiding for months. She lay back in the chair, rigid with tension. 

"Try to relax," the dentist instructed. It was only the fact that she had her gaping jaw locked as he examined her that stopped her from guffawing in derision. 

After the appointment, she treated herself to a new book, feeling triumphant. Until she remembered tomorrow's task. 

The next day, she picked up the phone and pressed the number with trembling fingers. The answering machine clicked on. Her mother's monotone delivered a laborious instruction to leave a message after the beep. Fern knew she was home. Her parents always screened calls.

"Hello Mum, it's me," she breathed. "Please pick up."

There was a clunk and a gruff greeting. 

"What's up?" her mother never had time for pleasantries. It occurred to Fern that maybe she hated the phone more than she did. 

"I just rang to tell you that I won't be able to come home for Christmas lunch. Some friends from work invited me to their place." 

For the next fifteen minutes Fern was treated to an explosive diatribe about how utterly selfish and worthless she was. Finally, she announced: "I'm hanging up now!" She slammed the phone down with her mother still ranting at her. She guessed she wouldn't be hearing from her parents for a very long time. This made her equal parts sad and relieved. 

At the next meeting she proudly related her achievements to Donna Savage. The group had dwindled to only a half dozen or so of them now. 

"Excellent!" Donna congratulated them, after they'd all spoken. "I think you are all ready to go the next level." 
Her eyes gleamed as she started a PowerPoint presentation. 

By the time it finished, Fern's head was hurting. It was a ten minute testament to something called SOLUTIONS FOR SUCCESS - ULTIMATE CONFIDENCE!! A comprehensive programme, including two one to one sessions with Donna and a package of her books and instructional DVDs, all for the bargain price of - wait for it - 1,500 dollars! 

Fern was flabbergasted. "You never mentioned anything about these charges before," she squeaked. A few other participants seemed to be transfixed. They were under Donna Savage's spell. It was like she was some sort of Tony Robbins/Oprah/Deepak Chopra Svengali. They were ready to sign up. 

"It's all on my website and brochures," Donna replied "Didn't you read the fine print?"

Fern was speechless. Fine print? This was absurd! 

"The first five people to sign up receive a 30 percent discount!" Donna trilled, all smiles. Those enigmatic eyes were more piercing than ever. 

A few people started doing the sums. Fern felt a flash of something. What was it? Yes! It was anger! How dare this woman call herself a Life Coach, then try to exploit people's insecurities? 

She stood up, all five foot one of her bristling with indignation. She looked straight into those hypnotic, penetrating eyes. 

"YOU are nothing but a phoney and an opportunist!" her voice was shaky but loud. "This is outrageous! And I, for one, am not paying you a cent!" 

"Fine!" Donna snapped, her eyes suddenly cold and dangerous. "Maybe you're not ready. The offer is still available for anyone else!" 

The other attendees were gaping at Fern. She'd been the quietest one in the group until this point. Yet her outburst seemed to have an effect. 

"It does seem like a lot," one woman agreed.

"I'd have to discuss it with my husband," said another.

"I never saw any fine print!" huffed the only gentleman in the group.

"Come on, everyone," Fern decided to take charge. "Let's go!" They filed out in a disgruntled line as Donna barked after them.

"You'll be sorry! The offer expires on Monday!" 

They stood in the car park afterwards sharing their astonishment. Fern was amazed to discover that not only had an hour and a half passed, but evidently she'd made three new friends. They all agreed to meet for coffee again next week.

At home, she dumped her bag and flopped on the couch beside her cat, Archie. He meowed his disgust at her being so late. "I didn't do my scary thing today, Archie!" she told him. The she sat up. Of course she had! She thought of Donna Savage's churlish face and laughed and laughed. Archie just stared at her. Humans were so weird. 


Do you like to scare yourself?

Have you melted yet? 

Monday, 6 February 2017

Money Tree or Faraway Tree?

It has occurred to me this morning that it's 2017 and still no one has discovered how to grow a money tree! What is that about? 

When I was younger I suppose I had some strange and very naive ideas about money. Somehow I believed that if you were a good person and didn't care about materialistic things that eventually you would be rewarded. Your fairy godmother would appear and grant you three wishes: ABRA CADABRA! You lived happily ever after!

Yes, it is handy being deluded sometimes. Except when it isn't. And you wake up one day and you're middle aged, living in a less than glamorous house, in a less than glamorous suburb, shopping at Aldi. But enough about that. After all, I don't want to make you jealous!

For as long as I can remember, my parents always had the same old conversation about winning the lotto. I'm never going to win it because I never take a ticket. So I'm waiting for my parents to win it for me and share the proceedings. Any day now... It's only been 40 odd years or so of waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting...

About a hundred million years ago (give or take a few years), when I was very young and working, I did manage to save a chunk of money. I think I was always very sensible with it, not a spend thrift. However, it's easy to be that way when you live with your parents, don't have a car or a social life. 

There are advantages to being a born and bred 'westie'. I don't seem to value or care about a lot of things or see the point in them. A car is just a car to me. Labels mean less than nothing to me.

A couple of years ago I used to attend a now defunct writing group. The lady who ran the group was some sort of counselor or 'life coach' or something. She said that many of her clients were in so much debt, yet when she suggested that they just buy clothes at Target or K Mart they were completely horrified and insisted that they could NEVER do that! Really? I don't understand that. 

I suppose it's easy to decide you don't care about materialistic shit when you have so few employable skills. This does tend to make it rather difficult to achieve and sustain employment. I'm not sure WHY employers don't value knowing the lyrics to every Carpenters song. That is some serious skillz, people! Sniff. 

But back to money...

It seems that Mickey Blue Eyes and I have a rather old school approach to money. Which is this: avoid debt. If you can't afford it, you can't have it. The end.

Meanwhile, it seems like every other bastard (meant in the most affectionate way) is buying or building their dream home and travelling around the world. Either they have so much more money than us or so much more debt (and either way it's none of my business). Sometimes I'm left wondering if we're the stupid ones for being so wary of delightful old debt. Sigh. 

We are lucky enough to own a house but it's not exactly our dream house. But even less than glamorous houses in less than glamorous suburbs in Sydney are worth a bit these days. The problem is, the next house would be worth MORE.

That's the thing about living in Sydney. I genuinely have no interest in a big fuck off McMansion. I've visited a couple of exhibition homes and all the bright, shiny whiteness makes this old Aspie seasick. But even a relatively modest home in Sydney is so frightfully expensive! What is a simple soul to do? 

We could always move to Dubbo. But I better not give Mickey Blue Eyes any ideas...

Anyway, there is a saying: where ever you go, there you are. As long as I have my health, family and some books it's all good.  Who needs a money tree as long as you have the faraway tree? 

What are your thoughts about money and debt? 

Friday, 3 February 2017

Waffles Are Delicious

Welcome to another fabulous Friday! I'm joining in again for Friday Reflections with a 20 minute free-write. In other words, the usual meandering musings you expect from me! Done. Here goes: 

Timer starts NOW: 

Friday seems like a good day to free write. Isn't it interesting how Fridays are always thought of a fun day. The end of the working week. FriYAY!

This means nothing when you're a parent. NOTHING, I tell you. 
The only Friday I remember clearly is the day I was diagnosed with breast cancer. That certainly wasn't a fun day. 

I am sitting here in blissful silence. The boys are at school and Mickey Blue Eyes has gone to visit his father. My timer is on to write for 20 minutes. Suddenly I feel under pressure to write something brilliant and witty.

It's the same feeling as being in a job interview. They say: So tell me about yourself. Me; forgets every single thing about myself and my life EVER.

Ditto in social situations when people ask; what have you been up to? 

What is it about being put on the spot that makes my mind go blank? When it's midnight and I should be asleep I seem to have no trouble at all thinking ALL THE THINGS. 

Anyway, even if nothing illuminating comes out of this experiment it's good to be back joining in again with Friday Reflections. One of the other prompts was to write about your favourite book about writing. I have read quite a few of them, but I don't have a favourite. 

What else has been happening in my world. I've been reading a lot. You know, just for something different. Tomorrow is February 4th. It usually does come after February 3rd. Funny about that. This means that it will be 34 years since Karen Carpenter passed away. 

It strikes me that when there were so many celebrity deaths during 2016 there was a tremendous outpouring of grief around the world. Somehow I feel like KC never was truly acknowledged the way she should have been.

I remember hearing the news when I was only just 12. It was the first time I'd heard of anorexia and I didn't really understand what it was. Bafflement was my main emotion. Tears came later. 

Sorry, I guess I have a one track mind and left without a prompt I'll go back to my favourite topic - Karen Carpenter!

At least I haven't mentioned cake! DOH.

Anyway, I'm sure the twenty minutes will be finished soon and you will be spared any more of my waffling. On the other hand, waffles are delicious...

Waffles are delicious! *drools*

I've been doing 'morning pages' most days, except I don't always do them in the morning because cutting edge and all, and I had the thought: Isn't it interesting how when fictional characters write journals or diaries in novels they're always filled with complex emotions, details and explosive secrets and I'm just over here like "I folded some washing today and went to the shops..."  I need to make up a sordid past or something. I'll have to think about that. 

Moreover, these (fictional) people seem to have the narrative ability of a gifted, accomplished author.  

Apparently I still have six minutes to go. Poor you.  What else can I tell you? 

I will mention some of those books I've read about writing and you'll be amazed that I can still manage such drivel:

Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott
Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert
Writing Down The Bones by Natalie Goldberg
The Right To Write by Julia Cameron
The Writing Book by Kate Grenville 
Stephen King: On Writing by Stephen King (Captain Obvious)

As I said before I don't have a favourite one.  I've come to realise that there is no book, course, app, guide, affirmation, magical thinking that can make you a writer. You either sit down and do it or you don't. And even then you may write and write, and only write something mediocre now and again. Or is that just me? Ahem.

I had a thought and lost it. It was something good, methinks. What was it again? 

Oh yes! I don't think reading books about writing make you a good writer, I think reading lots of different books is much more helpful. Just read, read, read, read, read, read. And when you're not reading, write. 

Advice from someone who is totally not qualified to give it! Oh well, it is the Internet. Everyone has advice and is an expert on something with no qualifications...  Why not me too? 

Fortunately my timer beeped. So endeth my waffle. 

I hope you had coffee with that. 

And there you have it. A 20 minute free-write on this fine Friday. 

I had better stick to my day job. Whatever that is...

Do you do any 'free-writing' or 'morning pages'?

Do you have a favourite book about writing?