Don’t You Want Me, Baby?

Today is a difficult day. I have been rejected. Well, not officially. There is no letter, email or rejection slip to tell me in black and white that I have been unsuccessful this time. I almost wish there was, painful though it would be to read – it would at least put me out of my misery. Instead as the “don’t call us we’ll call you” deadline approaches, and the Human League’s Don’t You Want Me becomes the soundtrack to my life, I have to make the decision myself to give up wondering: Could that phone ringing be them? Is there news in the letterbox today? Did they even get my stuff? Did anyone actually read it?

I sit back down at my desk.  Carefully I open the box to check that they are still there. They have moved a bit, so I fix the fragile folds and smooth down the wispy edges. I wrap the dreams back up in their little shreds of hope. I look out of the window. It is the first day of February today but already I can see the familiar green fingertips of the daffodils poking out of the soil to check the temperature. They return every year, even here, on this wind-whipped edge of the Atlantic. Despite the inhospitable weather, and the fact that my husband destroys their lingering stems with his lawnmower, they always grow back. They keep growing.

Not quite Wordsworth

So, that is what I will do. I will keep lingering and growing, ignoring the rain and the scythes of the gardeners. I will keep writing – regardless.

Shhh, just a minute – there’s the phone. I’ll be right back…


Snacks for Writers

There are so many distractions for a writer. Some I manage to ignore better than others: housework, Facebook and regular exercise. And then there are some that I just can’t ignore: Twitter, the ping of a new email arriving and being hungry. My mind may be full, but if my stomach is empty then the blank page in front of me will stay empty. However, today I bring you news of the Graze craze – gorgeous, little healthy snack boxes that remove the need for trips to the kitchen which will help keep you chained to your writing desk for longer! Here is a picture of my Graze box when it arrived with the post on Friday:

It's better than a letter!

Yummy! I’m afraid the itty bitty oat cakes and onion marmalade were the first to go… followed closely by the Jaffa Cake box containing roasted hazelnuts, orange infused sultanas and dark chocolate buttons. *drools* Sorry. *wipes it up*

Graze will send you a snack box every week containing natural, tasty treats for you to try! When you sign up at their website you can also let them know which of their 100 snacks you love, like or loathe to make sure you get what you enjoy the most. If you, like me, are supposed to be on a diet or healthy eating plan, you could choose the LightBox or BoostBox, without the naughtier treats and chocolate – but where’s the fun in that?

WARNING: the picture above is of my Graze EatWell box just after it arrived. The picture below was taken ten minutes later…

I haven’t got the hang of grazing yet, but I will keep practising.

Did I make you hungry? Sorry – here have a free Graze box. Just use this code 1DYQJRKD here.

Next time on the blog: Gadgets for Writers – How to Stay at your Desk for Longer with the She-Wee… or maybe not.

Rock. Paper. Resolutions.

Jan-u-ary - sick and tired you've been hangin' on me...

Well, since it is nearly the end of January and my New Year’s Resolution has been reduced from “Write everyday” to “Write once a week” to “Write something – ANYTHING!” I thought I’d get back in the saddle of the blog.  So here goes… *blows dust off the saddle and climbs on* Whoa… is it just me or is it cold and stiff for you too?

Anyway, starting with a roundup of local writerly news from the Rock (aka the Isle of Lewis) this week I braved the gales to drive into Stornoway to visit our lovely local library for local people. The Western Isles Libraries’ very own Writer in Residence, poet and author Ian Stephen, is holding a series of workshops entitled Read, Listen, Create, to discuss reading and writing – and all for free. Where do I sign?

I attended the first session on Wednesday evening, held in the cosy library café, and as I pulled up a chair was at the same time delighted and dismayed to find plates of biscuits (including Jammie Dodgers!) and bowls of Pringles adorning the tables. I won’t even go into the Diet Resolution; suffice to say just as I’m progressing on one resolution (writing) the other one is about to be ruined (dieting).

However, once our little group assembled and Ian Stephen began to regale us with traditional tales from the Western Isles and enlighten us with the processes and considerations of storytelling and re-writing oral traditions, I didn’t think about the Pringles once.

I wasn’t tempted by the biscuits because we were too busy writing text messages in our groups to summarise the tale of when the Factor and His Wife Went to Sea in an Open Boat to St. Kilda. Long story – challenging task! I’m not about to attempt to re-create the full version here – but you can have a quick read at the text message version our group came up with:

Open boat sails from Harris to St.Kilda good weather with Factor’s wife onboard sea full of herring sky full of gannets a huge THUD stuns boat half way there

Gannet beak breaches hull crew leave dead bird stuck in boat wind picks up coming in fast islanders catch boat and see beak WOW!

Being the only one with a mobile phone in my group *shrugs shoulders and puts hands in air* I was elected as chief scribe. Not knowing how to save to drafts I sent it to my wee sister. She replied: ? Am confused x

Text Me a Story Jackanory

This morning when I spoke to her I explained that the message was an exciting task – that I’d been doing writerly things and meeting up with lovely like-minded writerly people.

“Oh,” she said, “I thought you were drunk.”

Hmm… maybe I need another resolution.

Read, Listen, Create with Ian Stephen next meeting  29th February 2012 6.30pm at Stornoway Library – All Welcome!

Don’t live in Lewis? Follow Ian Stephen’s Writer in Residence blog here instead.