Showing posts from October, 2009

Autumn Inspiration

Last weekend we went to Manchester to visit the University Museum but just as we arrived the fire alarm went off. We spent half an hour standing in the rain, listening to the drone of the siren. However, it did give me time to take some photos.

All My Menus

If you're anything like me, you probably have trouble laying your hands on your local takeaway menus when you fancy a kebab or Chinese at home. Perhaps you have a drawer filled to overflowing with menus that could really be used to better effect. Or you could be ultra organised, filing away all your menus, but just can't recall which Indian takeaway did the perfect curry you had a couple of months ago.

All My Menus is here to help. Enter your postcode and the kind of takeaway you're interested in (e.g. Indian) and you'll be taken to not only a list of corresponding fast food outlets but also their latest menu. You can even register on the site, leaving comments (such as that top curry), recommendations and adding your favourite menu. This service is offered completely free.

Why am I promoting a site that has nothing to do with writing? It's run by a lovely man, my husband.

Have a look.

The name of evil

Mwahahahahaha... Sorry. An evil laugh seemed apt. I have a problem. Having got past the issue of procrastination in planning my novel for NaNoWriMo in November, I now have another obstacle to tackle. What do I call my villains? I have four. At the moment, they're all rather non descript but giving them a name will help me to begin to paint their portraits as such.

So how do you go about naming a villain? Are you ironic, as in the popular American TV vampire Angel? Do you go for the obvious like Stan Lee's Doctor Victor Von Doom from the Fantastic Four storyline? Where do you start?

If I look down the list of the Telegraph's 50 greatest villains in literature, I find alliterative names such as Velma Valento (Farewell My Lovely), the White Witch (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and Milo Minderbender (Catch 22). There are names that point out physical characteristics, Captain Hook for instance. There are sinister sounding names like Sauron (Lord of the Rings), Voldemort …


Hallowe'en, or Samhain, has many faces for me, especially as a daughter and a mother.

It's said that on this day spirits of those who have passed return to us, but even if you don't believe this, Hallowe'en is an excellent time to think of loved ones who are no longer with us and celebrate their lives. That may be by visiting their grave, lighting a candle and placing it by their photo or just taking the time to think about them. I'll be remembering my parents and other family members.

As the beginning of the Celtic year and the onset of winter, Hallowe'en is also a time to look forward to what we want to achieve, what we want to change, and what has worked so well over the past year that we want to continue it on.

For my children of course, Hallowe'en is a time of magic and fun. My two have their costumes sorted, ready to greet the trick or treaters at our front door with excited giggles and a bag of sweets. We'll be cooking together, talking about their …


In the run up to NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in November, I'm attempting to put together a chapter plan.

I have the basic idea. I have the characters mostly worked out although the details of the villains still evade me. Then I started on the chapter plan. Five chapters in, I lost my momentum. It's not a case of which path to take next but rather 'is there a path because I can't see one?'.

And suddenly other things seemed to call to me, drawing away my attention. There's always the inevitable pile of ironing, that book I keep starting and putting down again, the painting I promised to do for my daughter. On and on, the list is endless of reasons to 'not' work on my writing.

This morning I gave myself a strict talking to. I do that at home, when the children aren't around. If I did it in public, the men in white coats might take me away or at the very least I'd probably scare some small children. "Fiona," I said to myself. &qu…

The countdown is on!

There are 20 days until Haven Crystal Gifts closes down. On the blog, there is an article each day until the end of the month on one of their lovely items.

Everything in their store is reduced. Grab a bargain while you can.

7 ways to keep your sanity as a work at home mum

1. Set yourself a flexible routine

I've lost count of the times that I've sat down to work then been distracted by the pile of ironing looming over my shoulder (it's actually in the corner at the other side of the room but I can feel it watching me). If it's not the ironing, it's an interesting website I've come across or planning the children's tea or... The list of potential distractions is immense and endless so creating a slot of time when you will commit your attention solely to your business (and adhering to that commitment) is a useful and valuable habit to get into. Of course there will always be days when your child is off school/nursery ill or some other disruption forces itself into your slot and that is where the flexibility comes in, enabling you to move part of your slot to the evening when your children are asleep or earlier in the morning before the rest of the family gets up.

2. Write a blog!

Blogging doesn't have to be expensive. Sites li…