Tuesday, 14 December 2010

What works?

I've been trying lots of different methods to foster more writing and better writing. Some things work and some don't and I don't always know why.
Yesterday I met a writing friend at one of my favourite cafes and we wrote side by side for about two hours. I wrote three thousand words and by the time we finished it was only 11.30!
That certainly worked.
We hardly spoke for those two hours but just having a friend writing beside me made me so much more productive.

I watched Coco Avant Chanel last night. I really enjoyed it, not just because she was such an interesting woman, but because of the times she lived in. Amazing to think that she died the year before I was born.

Tuesday, 30 November 2010


I've finished!!!!!

Tuesday, 23 November 2010


So much of it around at the moment.

This is a three line poem I wrote which relates to the piece I am currently working on.

The wet scent of the sea laden air.
The earthy, smoky smell of decay.
The ancient answers to all of the questions lurking amongst the cold stones.

It is intended to focus the thoughts and act as a writing prompt when needed. What a lovely idea and one that I will use over and over again.

Happy writing :-)

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Bangkok insomnia

It is a beautifully stormy night.
There is frequent lightning, loud rumbling thunder and the thwack of heavy rain hitting the windows.
Although it is nearly half past ten, many headlights shine on the wet freeway below.
The sky turns from navy to light blue for a brief moment when lightning flashes. One peal of thunder hasn't finished grumbling before the next breaks impatiently over it.
I can't sleep.
Reading the "Great British Food" edition of Jamie Oliver's magazine in bed was a mistake. I'm too inspired to sleep now. I want to make peach melba, cornish pasties and super sticky pork ribs.
I'm definitely having a mug of cocoa to watch the storm with. Damn, no biscuits!

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Tour Eiffel

We have tickets for the Eiffel Tower!! Daughter #2 had some questions. When I told her that Gustave Eiffel had his own office in the tower until his death, she asked "Great, can we see it? I want to check for old chewing gum under his desk!"

Great advice from a local: "Spend your money on breakfast and lunch in Paris because they are special. Dinners are like dinners anywhere."

Friday, 2 July 2010

Paris and Google earth

Some days nostalgia grips me.
I think how cool it might be to go back in time and live somewhere/when else.
Not today though.
Today I booked an apartment in Paris for my holiday and found it on google earth straight away. I love the street view option but have really only used it to check out how the tenants are looking after our house in Oz until now.
I now know that the apartment is in a very Parisian looking building in a gorgeous street above a chocolate shop! What more could one ask? If one wanted some great looking shops,restaurants and bars nearby, one could not be happier! All this in the 6th arrondisement.

The best bit though is knowing that I will recognise it when we pull up in a taxi or walk from the metro. These moments can be fraught with difficulty when jetlagged with children in tow.

How did people ever book holidays without the internet?

I can't wait to drag the kids through the Louvre and up the Eiffel tower. My parents did the same thing to me when I was 6 and I've never forgotten sitting in a cafe opposite Maxim's falling in love with a gorgeous waiter who looked like Boris Becker. Maybe it would be fun to go back in time! For most of that trip, my older sister and I were dressed in matching outfits beautifully handmade by our mother but very 70's. I will never forget the dresses made from a cream cotton dotted with little flowers paired with brown cord vests and brown velvet hair ribbons!!!!

A bientot!

Thursday, 1 July 2010


School is over, getting ready for a holiday and down a maid. How am I going to write, study for my French test, find a decent apartment in Paris, write...?

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Bad fish photos

So what does it all mean? It is something to ponder as one sails through life. Every time I get close to some sort of meaningful truth it sails away from me. Thank goodness. What a relief that I didn’t figure it all out years ago and then make myself a nice comfortable rut with that knowledge and stay there forever more.

There is a tall Caucasian man sitting with his young Thai son opposite me. I expect his truth and meaning is the toddler sitting next to him at Starbucks. Something life has gifted him. To the expensively dressed happy Thai teenagers vacating their table against the wall, perhaps belonging to their crowd and grabbing the most comfortable squishy couch in the cafĂ© is their current gift, as they are to their indulgent parents. Of course I could have their ages completely wrong. It’s hard to tell here. They might be 40.

Today I finally spent some time in the aquarium at Siam, by myself. Pas enfants. Mai luk sow.

It was an artist’s date a la Julia Cameron that I thought of doing ages ago. I took lots of photos, spoke to no one and wrote a brief entry in my journal whilst watching jelly fish sway gently to classical music. I really enjoyed not having to spend half an hour stationed outside the play area.

My favourite fish is this one.

He definitely needs a name. I’m thinking George or possibly Henry. He is the most handsome fish I have ever seen. Every time I visit the aquarium I look out for him. When he plays dead, I get nervous that he actually is this time. This was my second visit to the aquarium since Paragon reopened after the red shirt protests and I have noticed a difference. The fish are more responsive, eager for attention. They must have missed us! George was very animated and would not stay still for a decent photo. He used to spend our visits hiding in the coral.

This one is my second favourite after George.
I adore his fashionable dalmation spots. He wouldn’t keep still either.

In between the hordes of school children tearing around excitedly, it was peaceful. Even the busy hum of voices on the ground floor of Paragon can be peaceful. How strange.

Am currently reading "The Third Wave" by Alvin Toffler and "Crime" by Irvine Welsh.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Amazing what you can do with a netbook

Well the saga of our aircon and various other problems continues. Not only did I have many repairmen through our apartment today, I also had a sick 4 year old. Normally this would mean no writing, but because I can take my netbook everywhere I still got plenty of work done. I wrote lying next to my sick little girl with my netbook propped up on my tummy as well as when we were snuggled up watching Barbie movies. I've always wanted to be one of those people who could write anywhere and suddenly I am :-)

A friend told me about this http://www.advancedfictionwriting.com/art/snowflake.php and it is REALLY helping, so thanks to them !

Thursday, 10 June 2010

New Netbook and repair men

I am revelling in the (relative) peace and quiet of an apartment empty of children and guests whilst trying to increase my writing output.

Our apartment is full of workmen, once again, but the latest ceiling emergency seems to be over. Today the many holes in the ceiling (5 big ones at the last count) are being filled in. The atmosphere is one of happy industry, rather than the baffled panic of the last few days.

(Not to mention the desperate search by technicians for a scapegoat, ie;
-our maid for not cleaning inside the ceiling vents(!)
-us for running the air conditioning too much)

Oh god I can hear the sound of sawing in the study.

Turns out that the water draining from the AC units had to travel up hill due to a curious installation feature, hence the many soggy patches in our ceiling. So it wasn't our fault then :-)
All fixed now though.

I spent the morning at my favourite cafe playing with my new Inspiron mini netbook. Actually got work done too. My new toy is turning out to be a huge help. Worked on a short story- the third one this week I think.

I am really enjoying French class at the moment. Had a fun tuk tuk ride home from class which made me consider again how rich my life is here.

Today I am in love with Bangkok.

Friday, 16 April 2010

New writing software; too much to do?

I had a lovely week at Dolphin Bay over Songkran.

On this trip, we actually saw dolphins in the bay.They were pink.
We fed the monkeys on monkey island, relaxed, and missed the worst of the protests.

I did no writing whatsoever.

The children go back to school on monday and this term I am looking forward to:

- organising a routine around my writing

- playing around with new writing software.
I have just downloaded the demo version of from here: http://www.writerscafe.co.uk/ after seeing it mentioned here http://bookworm-megs.blogspot.com/search?q=writer%27s+cafe

-fixing some bits of chapter 3

- getting further along with my course and my first draft

- working out some holes in the plot

- buying a netbook

- planning our next holiday (London, Paris and Ireland!!)Yay!

- getting fitter (did 50 laps on thursday!)

- starting a new term of French lessons

- having a massive throw out

- reading my favourite blogs

- cooking

- reading and book club

- last but not least, our first proper writer's group meeting!

Here is one of the cheeky monkeys on Monkey Island:

Monday, 29 March 2010

New writing group and feed back

I have joined a writer's group, and I like it :-) One of the best things about it is that it is a new group. I really like the idea of being part of something from the beginning. There are also a good mixture of people with similar tastes and goals and those with differing ones. (Hi fellow group members!)

My tutor got back to me about my latest assignment amazingly quickly. I emailed it to her on Friday and she emailed me back on Sunday. There's a time difference too, as she is in England. Her feed back was great. She pointed out some flaws and gave me some advice that should save me a few headaches in the long term. She also told me the bits that work well. I really look forward to her replies whenever I send off my work.

In case you are interested, I'm doing the Novel Writing module through the following website: www.lsj.org

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Finished chapter 3!

Yippee! Current word count is 5732.
Not a lot, I realise, but it is getting easier. Chapter 1 took me ages. Months. Chapter 2 was still nearly 2 months. Chapter 3 was less than a month and I feel like I could write chapter 4 next week.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Too much time in Starbucks?

Last night I attended a writers group which meets in a Starbucks near me. It was really interesting. Quite hard core, there wasn't much mincing of words, and apparently this was them on a good night! Still the constructive criticism was pretty intelligent so plenty of potential to learn from the people there.

Next week, I am going to the first meeting of a new writer's group which is also in a Starbucks! I quite like the ambience of the Starbucks here. They are on every street corner and understand about air conditioning and comfortable chairs. They also sell Perrier and Earl Grey which is great as I am not a big fan of their coffee.

I've made a new writing friend too this week. Quite pleased about that!

I blew my budget on books too:
-Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
-Balthazar Jones and the Tower of London Zoo by Julia Stuart
-Arthur and George by Julian Barnes
-The lifted veil by George Elliot

I had lunch with friends from my French class too at my favourite French cafe "Cafe Tartine".
First time I've had a really good chat with all of them. We enjoyed it so much we are meeting for lunch next week too.

I got all self conscious about this blog and deleted it for a few days and then undeleted it today!!

Today I have nothing on so am going to work on chapter 3.

My friend told me about an interesting website www.pw.org which I am checking out at the moment.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

First post ever!

Well after mulling it over for simply ages, I have decided to bite the bullet and start my own blog. After all if I don't like it, I can always stop. I think I will be more of a once a monther rather than daily blogger.
We shall see.
Bonjour tout le monde!