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Writing to entertain and encourage other writers. To keep you informed of events, workshops, retreats and conferences available for writers.

The Love of Dance

Monday, 30 May 2016

Three weeks in and still improving

I am now three weeks in and doing well. My son returned to London yesterday and I dropped him at the train station. I have been reminded by my body, that although I am healing, I am still not right. All the extra gear changes had me realising what muscles you actually use to drive. I need to build up the muscle toning again. This has been started, but on a very basic easily controlled toning. Little and often rather than the 30 odd reps that I was used to doing. Now we are up to six of each exercise and then repeating this three times a day. So much less than I would like to be doing.
Today, I've done a few jobs – my first half hour of ironing, a little dusting and later I'm hoping to make some cupcakes. I had intended to go to the garden centre to pick up a few plants and grow bags, but it is cold and damp and I will need help bringing in the grow bags so I really can’t do that yet.
My intention is to go into work on Wednesday for a couple of hours and then work from home for a few hours each day to bring myself up to date with what has been going on. I'm looking forward to getting back into the swing of things. My major issue is getting over the tiredness I feel after doing the simplest of tasks. This is something else I need to improve too.
My garden is looking better with the grass mown and some of the long grasses and weeds have been pulled up. There is still much to do to get the garden where it should be now, but I just have to be patient and do it slowly. However, there are some beetroot shoots growing, stocks, hollyhocks and a couple of the lilies are poking their heads through. 
I'm happy with the few things I’ve managed to get done, I’d just have liked to have done some more by now. I'm sure once everything comes together the garden will look stunning.

I have at last thrown away my old rotary washing line and have replaced it with a new one. My son set it up yesterday, however it is not quite straight, but will be soon. It will be nice to be able to dry the washing outside once again. It will have that fresh air smell to it – that can’t be beaten.
I am also hoping to get some of my writing done. I'm beginning to get the itch of writing again, but not enough to start yet. I do hope this itch will get stronger quickly and when I get back to it things will flow.
As I’ve been away from the Windmill Writers group, the circle I run at the Windmill Pub in Chipperfield, the meetings haven’t happened. Unfortunately, I'm not ready to go back to lead them yet, but I am hoping that they will rectify this and meet up. It is so easy for a group to break up when they don’t meet for a period of time, so guy’s and girls pull your fingers out and get meeting up. I'm looking forward to reading some update posts on our Facebook page. I'm looking forward to joining you all in three week’s time if things go to plan here.

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Improving all the time

The writing still hasn't happened this week, but on the upside I have been resting and my health has continued to improve. This has been a week which has had me wanting to do more, but although this is good in so many ways, it isn't good when what I've wanted to do is the hoovering, mowing and a good deep clean. Thankfully, my son arrived on Tuesday evening and has done many of the jobs for me. It is a very strange feeling sitting back and letting others, especially your son doing the work you would normally find easy.
Wednesday afternoon found us trying emergency stops in the car before having a short drive. I was able to do a reverse emergency stop and one going forward with no pain. Thankfully the little drive down and back to Salisbury's was uneventful. In the shop we strolled around with Frazer in charge of the trolley and lifting anything heavy. I have to admit that the rest of the afternoon was spent chilling on the sofa watching films. It had taken quite a lot out of me. It made me see that I still have quite a long way to go. Thursday was another chill out day with a small trip to the doctors and a little stroll down the high street and more time with my wonderful son.
Friday had us having birthday cake for breakfast and stake for lunch and then spending time in the garden. My son has very bad hay fever, but he braved the evil pollen when he mowed the lawns for me. He did suffer afterwards but quite enjoyed the experience of mowing.  Later he went off to have birthday drinks with his friends. I can hardly believe he is now twenty-five, where have those years gone. As I have been unable to go out, I had to rely on the internet for all his gifts. Thankfully everything arrived on time and the card from Moon Pig was really rather good. I've never used them before, but I would again.
Work have been pretty amazing throughout this whole operation thing. I'm going to be working for short bursts over the next two weeks to bring me back up to speed with everything that has been happening whilst I've been off. I'm looking forward to using my brain again, but I'm aware that this will also be tiring and I will be listening to my body, no worries about over doing it.
If you are looking for a writing prompt for the weekend, here it is.
Below are three opening lines. Select one and write a short story maximum words 3000. Aim to target this for a woman’s magazine. Research the magazines submission policy and ensure your read at least three issues to tailor your manuscript to the house style and then submit your work.
1. Yesterday couldn't have gone any better…
2. Tomorrow is only two hours away and …
3. So this is it, this is the moment that…
So go on, get writing.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Two weeks on

It is now two weeks since my operation and if you had told me I would be feeling quite this good at this point I wouldn’t have believed you, since at this time last week I was in bed with my ‘Storm Trouper’ legs, feeling quite spaced out, but good, that’s before the general antithetic worked its way out of my system and reality kicked in.
Now this time has passed and it has been a good day. The doctor is happy with my progress, but still have to behave. The Insurance company are happy for me to drive again when I feel I am ready – looking at having a go on Wednesday. Let’s hope the sun is out so I don’t have to worry about rain too.
My wonderful neighbour Jess has come and cut my front lawn, so the house looks nice and tidy at the front, and the back will soon look the same. And now my amazing neighbours have given me their old BBQ and Chris has somehow managed to get my old, ruined ‘Wirly Gig’ washing line down, all that needs doing is the bottom stumpy part needs digging out. This will be another job for my son. The only problem is there is a rather large red ants nest there. Lots of ant powder and boiling water I think will be required at first.
I’ve had a friend, Terry, from my old job call around to see me, which was really lovely. I haven’t seen him for a year. It was great to catch up and find out what changes have taken place. With the sun shining down we had coffee in the garden we fought with the fluffy pollen coming off the other neighbour’s tree. I don’t know what the tree is, but it is infuriating. It happens at this time every year, the house and garden are covered in fluff that sticks to everything! Last week it was petals from the apple tree and the week before blossom from the pear trees.
Every time I look in my little plastic green house, now seedlings are appearing and others are getting stronger and taller. I can’t wait to plant them all up. Unfortunately, there is still no sign of the double and single petunias or even my own tomato plants.
It has poured with rain and there is a rumbling of thunder close by. I’m hoping this will dissipate as I really hate night storms.
My naughty treat today was from Christine, who has made me a trifle, which was huge, but was delicious.
With every day, I’m moving forward and getting stronger. Still going steady, no long walks or heavy lifting, but little tiny bits getting ready for the other stuff. 

Friday, 20 May 2016

Post operation blog and writing prompt.

 Post operation blog. Gosh, I'm surprised how tired, no exhausted I have been. That is to say, I don’t feel tired all the time, but after doing the simplest of things I've found myself shattered. I suppose I was hoping I would be superwoman and be able to pick up quickly and keep going. No, Nada, that hasn't happened. I have slept, vegged, chilled and drifted off in front of the TV, Films and even reading. I've not had the incentive to write – not even edit! On the upside my mind has also chilled and I've not been thinking about the day job either. I know if I do, I’ll worry, and that isn't conducive to the healing process. I have discovered stitches hurt, especially when you move unexpectedly and they pull in different directions! Painful. On the upside, I'm eleven days in and things are easing up, but ever-so-often, a mean little shooting pain screams and I have to ride it out. Today is the first day of cutting out some of the pain killers, this is a slow process but a necessary one. I am keen to get back to work, so I can earn some money, but I'm listening to my body as there is no point in starting back too early and having to have more time off later because I've put my healing process back due to my own inpatients.
Thanks to my friends and family, you know who you are, for
flowers and cards that have made me smile. Particularly on those days when things haven’t been quite as good. Getting shopping for me, weeding, hoovering, helping with the washing and cat litter, giving me lifts and just being here to ensure that I'm behaving. For the phone calls, popping in for chats that stop me going stir crazy have been instrumental in keeping me sane! Well, as sane as I could possibly be. There is still one large job that needs attention, so anyone willing to make friends with my lawn mower would be greatly welcomed. I cut the lawn before the operation, but with the rain and sun the grass has thrived – too much and is in need of another haircut.
I've not been online much, but have found a nasty virus on my computer, which is proving stubborn to remove. Thankfully, my son will be able to sort this out for me next week. It will be so lovely to see him and for once I'm going to have to let him do all the cooking and cleaning. Shhh don’t tell him or he might change his mind.
One of the things that made all the lovely ladies in my ward laugh were the ‘Storm Trouper’ legs. These were essential to ensure that the circulation in our legs was kept moving whilst we were recovering from our operation. However, they did feel good as it was like having a gentle leg massage, the down side, they were very noisy so sleep was not easy. I was in St. Albans Hospital, De La Mare ward and had the most wonderful care from the cleaning staff to the consultants. Nothing was too much trouble for them and the teamwork was excellent. Everyone had a smile, food, tea and the sweet trolleys arrived with great regularity and great care was given throughout my stay. Nothing was too much trouble. A big thank you to you all for your support. I was scarred going in, as I had recently lost my father, and the last memory I had of being in hospital was being there for the final moments of my father’s life. Knowing this they went out of their way to make sure I didn't have a meltdown. I can’t thank you enough. And this was through our wonderful NHS. I can’t praise them enough.
With my comment with my ‘Storm Trouper’ legs above, I have posted a picture of this. Your task is to write a piece of creative writing using the image as your stimulus.

So go on, get writing. 

Friday, 29 April 2016

Write a story through images.

This week has gone passed really quickly, in a haze if I'm honest, of preparations and work! I’ve been doing long hours to catch up and trying to keep things running smoothly. The project has taken a leap forward which means more to do and it needs a quick turnaround. I love it, but blimey, when do I get to breath?
My sister and I have managed to get everything sorted for Dad’s send off, my brother-in-law has produced a lovely order of service and my sister’s eulogy is beautiful. The wake has been organised at the local public house where both my sister and I would often spend time with Dad. We’d go for a walk around the woods and stop off for a drink or meal before setting off home. Good times.
I didn't get to the writing meeting this week, as I've been pretty tired and needed me time. Friends and family have been a great support. I'm looking forward to having my son home for a few days this extended weekend and getting those special hugs that only a son can give.
I'm getting some help with a project that I'm going to be working on during May and I hope to have managed to finish the venture by the end of the month. If it all goes to plan, you will see images up on here. I'm quite excited about it and hope the inhabitants will be too once they move in.
If you are looking for a writing prompt for the weekend, here it is.
Look at the images and use each in a piece of writing. Select the order in which you are going to use them and make your characters work their way through each, making sure you use description to develop atmosphere and link the images – and of course the smells and bells should be in attendance.

So go on, get writing. 

Sunday, 24 April 2016

A tough week.

The last week has been a very tough one. On Friday 15th April my father was rushed into hospital, he later passed away in the very early hours of Sunday 17th. My sister and me were beside him, it was a peaceful end. We believe that he could hear our daft chatter towards the end and knew that we would both be secure and safe whilst we know he is no longer suffering.

I would like to thank everyone for all their kind thoughts on Facebook and the beautiful thoughts in sent in cards. These have meant so much to me and my family.
Needless to say, I haven't done any writing this week; apart from my journal and for the foreseeable future it will be on hold. However, should the inspiration kick in, I will be giving it a go. Dad loved my stories and he’d hate me to give up now.
Work has been hard, I've been in and out, which may seem odd, but I've needed to keep busy.

I have set a writing task for this week. Over the last month I've been chopping down things in the garden and hoping to have a burn up. However, the rain has had other thoughts, every time I've been out to light it, it has rained or the cuttings are too damp. The image below should inspire you to write a piece of poetry. Writing poetry was one of the things my father loved to do and he loved a good bonfire.

So go on, get writing.

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The weeks round up

This week has been full of great, frustrating and amusing moments. With my work, we have moved forward and things are, dare I say it, looking up. There is still a long way to go in some directions, but overall things are looking good.
Writing has been slower than normal due to the work load at work. But having said that, I have made small inroads into another new project. I have submitted one of my 7+ novels and as it is very quirky I am hoping the readers will find it great fun and see its potential.
The session at the Windmill Writers was once again full of writerly chatter. Lucy kicked us off with her children’s novel. This is shown in two peoples pov. One of the chapters had good balance, but the other needed work. The main thing was to show the other characters in the story instead of telling us what they were doing. This encouraged a great amount of chat and I think Lucy will not find this issue again.
Alan was next to share. He was writing the second in his picture book series. Like the first, it has a lot of possibilities but needs some hard pruning to use a horticultural term. Too many words for a picture book. Picture books are one of the hardest things to write as you have so few words and everyone has to count. Which is true for all writing, but especially important when writing picture books. I’m looking forward to seeing the much shortened version next week.
Then Nicki shared some of her first every YA novel opening. This has an interesting plot and feels like it will develop into an interesting story. She has always has plotted out the complete storyline and has created all her character’s beautifully. I'm looking forward to hearing more of this and the rewrite of the opening, just to tighten slightly. Bloody amazing for a first draft, but that isn’t unexpected with Nicki.
Lastly I read some of my 7+ novel that I've submitted to one of the publishing houses. It had one of my audience looking totally confused, due to the strange characters and language used. The other two giggled along with the story and said they thought it very inventive with a touch of the Roald Dahl about it.
Over all it was another active session and along with all the reading and critiques, we were involved in lots of interactive writerly chatter.
The writing task for this week, should you chose to take the challenge. This is a simple one. Keep a diary of a week and from that diary write a short story using many of the aspects you have noted down. Remember to go into detail with your diary recording.

So go on, get writing.