Showing posts from April, 2011

Embracing the Cliche

Whenever I hear the phrase 'little old lady', it always takes me back to the children's series Chorlton and the Wheelies. Chorlton the dragon would refer to Fenella the witch as 'little old lady'. That's obviously a personal memory for me but I think it shows how powerful phrases can be in creating a picture, emotion or memory in us.

Many writing sites and courses talk about how terrible and lazy it is to use cliched phrases and to an extent they're right but the reason why so many of these phrases naturally arise in our writing is that they are ingrained into our psyche. In day to day conversation, we say that someone is 'blind as a bat' or a confusing instruction is 'as clear as mud'. These are sayings that have always surrounded us and so of course they will become part of our writing too.

I'm a great supporter of flow writing, writing non stop without editing. It can be difficult and make me very twitchy when my internal editor begin…

No More Sarah Jane

Image via Wikipedia I am an avid Doctor Who fan. From my earliest years, I can remember being scared of the Daleks and chortling at the Doctor's antics. My personal favourite (and the Doctor I remember most from my childhood) was Jon Pertwee. He always seemed very glamorous and gallant.

The Doctor's companions came and went but one companion whom I was always glad to see was Sarah Jane Smith. She was gutsy and honest and always ready for a fight. She wasn't scared to stand up to the Doctor or that episode's particular villain. Even when the Doctor was no longer in her life, she refused to turn her back on her travels and instead began her own personal crusade to investigate aliens visiting Planet Earth and helping those in danger. She was as much my hero as the errant Doctor.

Yesterday it was announced that the actress who played Sarah Jane had passed away. Elisabeth Sladen died, aged 63, from cancer.

John Barrowman tweeted about her death, saying "I loved my time…

Versatile Blogger Award

Over the weekend I was delighted to discover that Dawn Brazil of Dawn Brazil's Brilliant Babbles about Books blog had awarded me The Versatile Blogger award. As somebody who juggles her life between motherhood, business and a wee touch of leisure (plus there's a husband somewhere in that mix), it's great to hear that other bloggers see me as versatile too.
So to follow the rules of this award, I have to mention, thank and link to the award giver which I think I've done now. I also have to tell you seven things about myself. Here goes.
I was originally supposed to be born on Christmas Day but I kept my parents hanging about a few days longer. Well, they say that the good things in life are worth waiting for.When I was seven years old, I stood at the top of my road and thought 'This is the most mature I will ever be'. I still hold with that opinion.I like change. By this, I don't mean that I want to continually be moving house or changing relationships. The ki…

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer

I'm not the most fashionable or even stylish of people. What I wear tends to be decided by practicality, time and money available. I stand in awe of the mums at the school gates who are pefectly turned out in co-ordinated outfits (whereas I can't find two matching socks) and nails manicured to within an inch of their life. Celebrities and models in the latest trends may be a inspiration but they also seem slightly alien to my lifestyle. When the fashion industry takes on such an important issue as breast cancer awareness though, the world of Twiggy and Naomi Campbell becomes a little closer to my own.

Fashion Targets Breast Cancer was started by Ralph Lauren when he lost a close friend to the disease back in 1994. Later launched in the UK in 1996 by Breakthrough Breast Cancer, FTBC seeks to raise awareness and funding for breast cancer charities around the world.

There are various ways you can help from 'liking' the Facebook page of Bottle Green (who will turn your '…

Photo Inspiration for April



The topic for today's blog post came to me when I was driving home after the school run this morning. The thermometer in the car told me that it was 12 degrees C. To me, that's quite warm. Outside the car, gusts of wind threw around anything they could move - trees, birds, the occasional pedestrian - and the dark, heavy clouds that greeted me when I woke this morning were now tossing handfuls of rain at my windscreen. To put it simply, the weather was warm, wet and windy.

Alliteration is one of my favourite writing tools. It adds a level of lyrical texture to any piece of writing, be that prose, poetry or playscript. It can be stretched out and luxurious like a sleep in silken sheets, or rapid and alarming like a tap tap tap on a window frame.

In Edgar Allan Poe's poem, The Raven, he uses alliteration perfectly,

"Once upon a midnight dreary while I pondered weak and weary"

"And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain"

"Doubting, dr…

Celebrating Mum

Another Mothering Sunday has come around. My husband and children are making it a lovely day for me - lie-in, breakfast in bed (made by the children), cards (also made by the children) and chocolates. I got all the housework and chores done yesterday so today I can relax. A disadvantage of having this downtime though is that it gives me time to think and the more I think, the more I remember that my Mum isn't here. Maybe good times are always tinged by sadness. Maybe that is what makes them so important. So today I'll not only enjoy the day for my own sake but I'll also remember the times I had with my mum too.

Happy Mother's Day to all the mums, those still with us and those we have lost. You all have a place in our hearts.

Waxworks of Horror

Over at Murdering the Text, we've recently designed a whole range of merchandise that now appears in an online shop called Strangemoo.

It all began with a image of Stalking Stephen from our plays 'Waxworks of Horror' and 'Bride and Doom', and I'm now happy to inform you that the range has been extended to include several of our cartoon strips on t-shirts, posters and mugs, to name but a few of the many items available. You can find them all under the category'Waxworks of Horror'in the Strangemoo online shop.

WOH Playing with his food by Strangemoo
See more Waxworks Mugs

WOH "Dead on his feet" by Strangemoo
Buy a cheap mousepad at

WOH Sweet Dreams Poster by Strangemoo
Browse Waxworks Posters