Click – no big bang merely just a whimper of realisation

I’m not really sure how things work for other people, but for me transitions consist of a subconscious ripening of an idea and then it’s eventual maturity into action. There’s a moment when it all clicks into place and really I don’t have to think about what I need to do or what the next logical step is because by then my feet are already following that path.

You could say its the lazy way and well… you’d be right. There is an element of not taking responsibility for ones actions but really its my attempt at not rushing things and always striving to follow my heart. But yes lazy.

It took me by surprise when one such seminal moment took place on a rainy Thursday in a church room. Attempting to ignore the clucking gulls of the WI and the church Choir competing for oxygen in various rooms around the imposing stone building that we lovingly call Craggy Island, while Nick Triplow walked us through his writing history and process.

Though the idea for my novel originated a long long time ago in a town far far from here – It was just that an idea and when the actual task of writing needed to start I couldn’t manage it. I stopped after less than about 5k words and it died a death. Yet I did day-dream about it, about the characters what they were doing, and why.

A last minute opportunity to attend a creative writing course (what would i have done if the French class hadn’t been full??) was the catalyst and I started writing in earnest last autumn.

Things went well to start with. I wrote about 3 – 4 hours a day. I wrote on the train on my mobile. I jotted in the Tesco checkout queue on the back of my shopping list. I wrote ideas while on the bus. I would wake in the middle of the night having solved a major plot point and have to write it down before it evaporated. I wrote at the dinner table I wrote at my desk. Flying high on years of suppressed ideas I wrote – a lot.

And as all things must this slowly started to slow and then subside. I’m at around 70k + now and its been a slow couple of months. I have started to edit… a bit. This is vital to any book, but especially to me. Due to the way / place i wrote most of the work is utterly unedited and lacks punctuation, lay out and even grammar. Don’t even get me started on the *creative* spelling. Yet editing is not exciting and doesn’t get me all motivated to start the laptop up. In fact I had only started to edit so that i didnt drop the novel completely. I want to finish it but I look around and every book seems to be a 200k word mammoth. Frankly I am not sure I have that in me. My pathetic 70k + unedited words seems like a joke. One i’d rather not tell in public – I don’t like tumbleweed.

On Thursday listening to Nick talk about Frank’s Wild Years, how long it took to do, how many words he wrote and how many edits he did made something click for me. I’m not going to be the next GRR Martin or JK Rowling. But I could finish this work and make it the best that it can be.

That’s what really clicked for me – the question “What are you waiting for?” because I have nothing to wait for. So I have started writing again. Or more to the point I have started to finish. I’ve accepted that its done and that the really hard part starts here. I’m back to pushing myself to start setting goals and deadlines and plotting a strategy of next steps. It needs very little writing to finish it, hundreds not thousands of words but in essence I’m done.

And then I need to sharpen my pen and slash it to bits. Cut out the slack and sew it back up again, tighter and firmer.

Wish me luck.



Revenge is not a dish best served cold. Revenge is a primal urge to show your opponent how you have suffered and how you have worked so hard to make them suffer.

Furthermore how their suffering has inspired you to do a jig of joy on their freshly made grave, while their limo corpse is still cooling.

I, of course, speak metaphorically.

Boss – Your review is due in the next two weeks.

Me – Huh. Oh is it? (casual to the point of disinterest)

Boss – I was wondering when you wanted to come over for it. My diary is pretty free next Thursday.

Me – Oh. Well I’ve been thinking about that. Funny story really. I was at this work event and bumped into &&&&. Isn’t he your boss? He’s so lovely! You never mentioned that he was so lovely! And i didn’t know he was a keen golfer.

Boss – Hmm is he? How interesting.

Me – (adopting a subconscious Vally girl upspeak) And i love golf (lie) and it was really weird as we both knew Steve from marketing and &&&& didn’t know Steve was a golfer too (partial lie) and we both thought how nice Steve was (blatant lie) and how we should all go golfing together. Anyway we talked about work and where we saw the sector going (utter lie). He was keen to hear how the project was going (badly) and why (badly run fiefdoms die splendid deaths).

Boss – That’s nice (meaning anything but).

Me – And we are meeting for lunch Next week. Which is great, because it turns out he was looking to mentor someone and I was looking for a mentor. Isn’t that a weird coincidence!?! (by this point the glee is genuine and all my words run to form a kind of breathless gobbledygook)

Boss – I see. (le penny it starts to descend).

Me – Yeah so we chatted about that for aaaaaaggggges and he was really interested and the he mentioned that your review was on the 20th. And that you would both be here then (by this point I can’t even stop myself 1- from using ‘and’ as every other word, 2- from the upspeak. In all honesty I don’t even know why it came out. Neither one of us is American. Perhaps I didn’t want my implied ‘nahnah nah nana’ to be so obvious or that implied. Who knows?)

Boss – Yes…. I guess it makes sense for me to come and see you for your review then.

Me – Oh good. I thought you’d agree. (go lie down as adrenaline recedes)

Ta da!!

Ok so not a huge victory in any way shape or form i hear you say! No victory in playing her own pointless little game. But i had the opportunity and didn’t want to waste it! To me it was like realising she is not my master and more importantly that I’m no longer her bitch! I have a secret (she is shit at her job (shhhh don’t tell)) and I now have HER masters ear.

The next few weeks will be a whole load of sadistic fun!!

Lame-ass not kick-ass

This isn’t a blog of the girl done good. It’s not a display of how well things went. It’s not a record of my coolness.

I make mistakes at every turn. I always have. Everything I’ve ever gotten came from blind luck and oblivious persistence.

Nothing was easy. Nothing landed in my lap. I worked. I tried. I failed. I dusted my self off and started again. Well in the interest of honesty I should add… I failed. I cried. I ate a pile of chocolate. Cried some more. Ate some ice cream. You get the picture.

The point is when some were drinking tequila shots and frolicking on beaches I was cutting things up and looking at them through a microscope. I was collecting samples. I was checking the statistics. I was *really* caring about the Genome project.

When some were having sleepovers and talking about boys I was reading Jules Verne and dreaming of being an astronaut.

When asked in junior school what I wanted to do when I grew up I didn’t say Model, or Singer (or as my real life class mates responded “taxi driver” and “secretary”) I said I really wanted to win the Novel prize for Science.

When my sight failed I went to specsavers and wore BIG glasses, not because they looked bang on trend but because they were cheap and gave me a good field of vision. I wore chinos and loafers and blazers. I didn’t do it to look cool. I wanted to be both comfortable and smart.

I still collect stationary and have discerning opinions on post-it notes. Even as a child I collected napkins. Ever need a correctly folded napkin swan in an emergency? Call me! And just wait till you see my stamp collection! It’s both massive and comprehensive.

I’m in danger of frothing at the mouth here before I’ve even reached my actual point.

And it’s this: Fuck off! Nerdiness is mine.

Succinct I think you’ll agree. Really it’s a message to all those Johnny-come-latelys trying to steal my identity.

I don’t remember laminating your chess club member card.

Where were you when plimsoles were first in?

Take your satchel bags, your faux tipex nails and fuck off.

Nerdiness is mine. I earned it. This isn’t some short and torrid love affair with polyester. It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s a long term commitment. It’s taken decades and it shows no signs of fading.

So back off and get your own thing.

I need a boss holiday


Boss – Hello, good news! Turns out I will be in London on Wednesday next week.

Me – Ok… (waiting for the penny to drop but also calculating how many hours she will lose signal for during her travels (every cloud..))

Boss – and I have an hour free 12-1!

Me – Ok… (fear the punch line is coming)

Boss – Shall we have our 1:1 then?

Me – Ok… (there goes my lunch hour)

Boss – Great! So I’ll see you then!

Me – Erm… You want me to come to London? To see you for one hour?

Boss – Yes, is that a problem?

Me – No its no problem at all. The train journey is only 2.5 hours on the train, 40min on the tube, 30min on a bus and a 20min walk. No problem. At all.

Boss – Great! See you on Wednesday!

This is the last straw! She is definitely not getting a birthday present this year!!

Is it me?? (aka My Mad Boss)

As soon as someone says “I don’t mean to moan!” you can prepare for a rant or a tirade. In that spirit let me begin…

I don’t have many complaints in life. Really and truly I’m blessed, but occasionally the effort of doing a stressful and gruelling day job and then coming home (via the gym) to write or edit chapters can take its toll.

I can manage most days but some u just want to scream and tell Day job to go f*** itself and embrace Evening job completely.

Today is one of those days.

I have two bosses at Day job. Yay you I hear you say – because one is just never enough!

Male boss is great. Mostly because he ignores me and just let’s me get on with it… so far.

Lady boss… Well she’s special. I’m a feminist and huge believer in The Sisterhood. Women STILL get the raw end of the deal despite male protestations that we have equality so we should just shut up. If we are equal how come we get paid less than you?? Anywho she is special as she has the capacity to reduce me to violence and anger in seconds.

Example 1
Boss “Can you please arrange a 1:1 where we can review your activities?”
Me “Sure.” thinking… You speak to me ten times a day what could you possibly have to say in a ANOTHER 1:1??!

Next day…
Boss via email “Why have you not sent me an invite for a 1:1?”
Me – resends the invite.

Day after..
Boss again via email “You have to arrange the 1:1 ASAP.”
Me – roll my eyes and re-reissue the invite again.

Boss yet again via email “Your refusal to arrange the 1:1 is unacceptable. You have to do it ASAP. This will go down in your half year review!”

I just rang her to point out that not only have I sent it once immediately after she asked, I have also sent several reinvites and confirmations.

Boss “Oh. I see. Well guess they got archived. Yes I see them now. Thanks.” then hangs up.
Me – slam phone down, yell expletives, and while avoiding colleagues looks go to the toilets scream internally “Aaaaaarrrrrggggghhhhhh!!” while throwing cold water on my face.

She ain’t no sister of mine!!!