Archive for May, 2014

Halfway …

Well I have just completed week four and am halfway through the OU writing course. It has been really interesting so far with the exercises, knowing who we are, this week being the most useful. I guess I have led a fairly mundane life being a wife – several times – and a mother to eight of my own and minder to many, so trying to stir my imagination up to write something that is completely out of character was going to be difficult. This week made me ask the question ‘what if’. How I love that little phrase. How many other opportunities, adventures would I have been in if life had offered me a different plate. What would I liked to have done, where would I have been.. I just love the idea of ‘what if’.

I have also switched to fiction in the other course I am working on. The non fiction section expected me to research and analyse various magazines. Analysing is no problem, have done all that on my degree, but the last thing I want to do is write letters to a magazine that I have absolutely no interest in. Women’s magazines have their place for those who like reading them but other people’s hard luck stories and ‘dramatic events that changed my life’ really turn me off, as does the sensationalism behind it all. I could write my own story, and I did write my autobiography, for my eyes only and to release my demons. It was he most carthartic thing I have ever done, but it wasn’t to indulge others in their need for … well whatever they get out it. The fiction aspect of the course will go along with what I am working on at the moment but because it has a set storyline, it will be much easier to develop.

There seems to be a great weight lifted off my mind having switched the aspect of my course and I am having no trouble fitting everything I need to do in any more. I have a couple of books I am working on the illustrations for and another waiting to come in, watercolour pictures this time, something I am looking forward to doing. My life is definitely taking another turn and the horizon is looking clear and inviting.

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Well, I think I am managing to achieve everything I hoped to. I mean just about everything. Just over a week ago or is that nearly two weeks.. hmmm #scratches head# anyway I had a whole list of projects and stuff I needed to finish. You know, the sort of slightly non-essential projects like altering clothes, well they had been sitting around in a neat pile for several weeks so maybe they had become more urgent. I love sewing but mending hmmm one of those jobs, anyway I actually got round to doing it. I had to be creative with my time and I had to close my eyes to the very essential stuff like housework and laundry, in order to get it done. I was so pleased with myself, two tops altered, Harry’s trousers turned up and a pair of PJ bottoms finished. I started making these PJs some time ago they had become yet another UFO in my sewing drawer but I am so proud that I completed then and that they actually fit me..

I just love this fabric.. I haven’t yet cut out the top but well that’s another project.
I have also been working on a 6 week writing course, or was it 8? Anyway, that is going really well, I am disappointed with the haphazard way it is organised and feedback is almost non existent but you can glean a lot by reading other people’s writing. It is soo great to get back into writing.
At the same time I have been illustrating several children’s books for Trevor Forest and this week I have completed a marathon 30 odd pencil drawings for his Magic Molly series. Then I have also drawn pictures for another writer in South Africa, they were really interesting to do and took me well out of my comfort zone then I feel that it is also progressing me as an artist too and everyone seems happy with my work. I have another writer that has asked me to work on a second book with her too. Busy, busy, busy.
My biggest and longest UFO has been in progress for over thirty years, a patchwork throw. When my children were small, over forty years ago some of them,I used to make their clothes and, being a bit of a hoarder, I kept all the scraps from the little dresses and shirts. Even my marernity smocks are there . Then when they got older and grandchildren arrived, I collected pieces from their clothes and fancy dress outfits I made for them until today I have a spread not quite the size I want it to be but it would possibly fit a double bed. I want it king size! My children all love looking at it and remembering the dresses they wore and the times they had wearing it. Fabrics are matched up with photographs, wonderful! It is a real memory treasure. Today I buy fabric and the colours are much denser on the outside than the much more reserved colours of the seventies but that makes the cover even more interesting. The following pictures are the stages and supplies, boxes of hexagons, flowers made of seven hexagons and then nine stitched ready to make into a strip , at least twenty tiny hand sewn stitches to every side that is then attached to the body of the cover… hours, days and years of work and a lifetime of memories.



It is this project that keeps me sane and grounded when I am getting bogged down with everything else. I am just pleased that I have been able to find the time to sit and write. My next challenge is… time management… hmm maybe.

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Nearly there!

I have done most of the work on the course but still have one day to complete the first week. I am still looking for my character and can’t make up my mind if it is to be the bag lady or the ‘hoodie’.. knowing me it will be someone completely different but I must get him or her written tonight. Getting excited about writing and have looked out all my books which always inspires me, now can I get this thing going again?… I guess my biggest hurdle is time-management and that is something I really have to work on, I think I need a little switch on the back of my neck to keep my storytelling brain on, oh and a radar for seeking out those illusive ideas that keep escaping me.



Ok so I managed to procrastinate till Sunday but I am pleased to say today.. I am in total control. Dinner in the slow cooker, fruit and other veggies are all prepared and in the fridge. I completed the last pic in a set of illustrations for the Magic Molly book – The Yellow Eye, bread puddings on the go.. there’s no stopping me today… Mind you I look out of the window and think that I really ought to be outside soaking up some vitamin D while the sun is out but hey! I wouldn’t enjoy it knowing I had a load of other stuff to accomplish indoors. Maybe tomorrow will be a good day too.

I am keeping this post short so that I can come back later on and add that I indeed completed everything I hoped to, including the pile of ironing and some clothes I need to take up, so watch this space!

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