Monday, 29 October 2007

From your Arts Correspondent...

Having spent all of half term holed up in my little room in the attic battling with the book while my mum stepped into the breach as Entertainments Organiser, I decided to try to redeem myself at the last minute by taking the girls to the cinema on Friday evening.

We went to see Stardust. I went with an attitude of magnanimous self-sacrifice, feeling that sitting through two hours of girly nonsense was the least I could do after a week of relentless neglect, and secretly planning to fall asleep in the middle, once the popcorn had run out. Anyway, this cunning plan was blown out of the water by the fact that the film was fab.

Treats for the mums included a totally all-star cast, featuring a squillion astonishingly top-notch actors popping up in cameo roles, a rattling good script with some glorious lines, Robert De Niro—twinkling of eye and swashbuckling of form, and brooding, black-clad Mark Strong as the sexy villain. Oh yes, and maybe, just maybe, Charlie Cox was another tiny reason why I managed to stay awake and glued to the screen too.
Hell-o. Have I ever mentioned that I can’t resist a man in boots and a frock coat?

The plot centres on Michelle Pfeiffer’s character, one of a trio of witch sisters, needing to capture Claire Danes and eat her heart in order to regain their lost youth and beauty. Well, you would wouldn’t you, if it took you from this...

to this....

OK, so morally the murder and cannibalism aspect is a bit shady, but surely justified it if you end up looking like that ('Because you're worth it'...). Anyway, it was two hours of glorious gothic fantasy, romance and laughs. (And, in my case, the best part of a packet of Maltesers.) The only problem was I came out feeling that I’d enjoyed it far too much for it to count as child-indulgence.
(Hence the crisps and chocolate cake when we got home. )
Oooh-- and today I've got a post up on the iheartpresents blog. Please go and visit and make me look like I have some friends!

Thursday, 25 October 2007

Most odd

Last night I dreamed that Il Divo arrived at my house unexpectedly.

I was in my pyjamas (of course), but they brought lots of bottles of wine so I couldn't be irritated at the inconvenience for long.

(*shakes head in bewilderment*) What does it all mean??

Tuesday, 23 October 2007

In the interests of fairness...

Here's another picture of my current hero. I think perhaps he might have been sulking at the proliferation of other men around here, which would account for his present refusal to co-operate with the story.

(See that pained expression....?

...If he doesn't start behaving himself soon I'm going to give him very good reason for it.)

It's half term, so the opportunities for whipping him into shape are minimal I'm afraid. Today we are waiting in for the delivery of a new freezer, which, following on from my initiation into online shopping, is the next stage in my plan to become a total hermit for weeks on end as deadlines loom.

I am painfully aware as I write all this that there is no way to make it sound less dull than it is.

Ho hum.

Friday, 19 October 2007

Go Jonny Go!

My husband and daughter # 1 will be avidly watching the Rugby World Cup final tomorrow.

I will be avidly watching Jonny Wilkinson.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007

Moan, whinge, complain...

Am utterly fed up.

I have something in my eye. Something that feels like an enormous great boulder-sized piece of very sharp glass, but which is invisible. It is lodged just under my upper eyelid, at the outer edge, and makes blinking excruciating and sleeping impossible.

After wasting an hour of prime, day-time, child-free writing time waiting in the doctor’s surgery I am informed that it is probably an allergy. I disagree, although I am prepared to admit I could be allergic to the enormous boulder-sized piece of very sharp glass in my eye. The doctor points out (disapprovingly) that I am wearing mascara. I point out (defensively) that this is a good sign. For me, not wearing mascara will be one of the early symptoms of death.

I leave with a prescription. £6.45 later, in the chemist, I realise that it is for Allergy Eye Drops.

I am now wondering if a good cry will help by maybe washing away the enormous boulder-sized piece of very sharp glass. I think it’s considerably more likely to work than the stupid drops.

Tuesday, 16 October 2007

Label babe

I’m generally not a label kind of a girl, really. I don’t really know D&G from B&Q to be perfectly honest, but, in a blogger sense at least, I am now going to attempt to embrace the label.

The turning point came on a recent glance at my site referrals, when I discovered that someone had arrived here via a search for James D’Arcy’s hands. I reckon if that’s what you’re looking for, you deserve to have your labours richly rewarded, and the fruits of them easily displayed for instant enjoyment. Thus, I bring you more James D’Arcy, and his hands—this time clearly labelled.

Share the love.

Thursday, 11 October 2007

Back to Business

Have been so taken up by my role as founder member of Scrubbers Anonymous that I completely forgot to mention the exciting fact that I have been invited to join the rather dazzling list of writers over at the Harlequin Presents Authors' site. Even more excitingly, I am this month's featured author, which is great because a) when I wrote my piece for it I'd just got back from London, so had something glamorous to write about and didn't have to obsess about cleaning, and b) this month sees the American release of The Italian's Defiant Mistress, so the timing is perfect. Anyway, if you've arrived at this blog via a link from the site, a big hello and thank you for visiting!

On the current book front.... I'm now at the stage where the ideas are piling up crazily in my head and I just have to be patient and tell the story until I can get to the places where they slot in. It's not easy. Especially when I seem to be plagued by the presence of a constant stream of British Gas men at the moment, all searching for the elusive solution to the leaking pipes. The search seems to involve a lot of tea-drinking and much important typing on laptops in fab little zip-up cases.

I find this last bit particularly annoying, as thanks to the incessant interruption, I'm doing hardly any typing at all.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Following the last post, this is my new online support group for writers everywhere who find themselves seized by the hideous compulsion to clean out the U-bend and hoover the insides of the kitchen cupboards every time they switch on the computer to write

Forget Anthea Turner and the dangerous lure of her mindless domestic routines. Come over and join me on the dark (and slightly dusty) side...

Friday, 5 October 2007

Hoping for a return to squalor

Am up early and feeling unusually positive this morning. Yesterday was the first day for ages (months?) that I managed to write anything proper, and finally felt like I’m getting to know these new characters.

It's always instantly apparent when the writing is going well because the house (and me) descends into filthy chaos and neglect, the children go feral and meals are haphazard, last-minute concoctions usually featuring pasta. This week however, I have not only cleaned the fridge (oh yes, Rachel!) but also painted my toenails, taught Daughter #3 how to play draughts (and subsequently played approximately 87 games) and made jam tarts. All very bad signs indeed, although the lowest point came on Tuesday when I found myself scrubbing behind the basin taps with a toothbrush, and actually considering clearing out the airing cupboard.

It was a scary moment.

I'm hoping nothing that desperate will happen again for a long time. Today I feel like I'm back in business, and can't wait to write the bit where the hero and heroine have their first actual conversation. It's a tricky bit; my head is already with them, and I've been scribbling down snatches of dialogue since I woke up.

The house is a tip. All the signs are good. Normal service has been resumed.

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

What took me so long?

So exciting. I have finally discovered the joys of online supermarket shopping.

Daughter #3 has been off school all week with an ear infection, so in the long, workless hours of Monday afternoon the two of us sat down at the computer and found Ocado.

Oh joy.

Apart from a nasty moment when the computer had a small meltdown and pretended to lose an entire week’s worth of shopping (which had somehow taken two hours to accumulate) it was a breeze, and yesterday evening a lovely man appeared on my doorstep like a modern-day angel of mercy with lovely colour coded bags of wonderfulness. (Well, mostly of wonderfulness, but mixed with some utter rubbish obviously selected by daughter #3 who was on mouse-duty. I must have slipped into a slightly trance-like state at some stage during our two hour shopathon to allow Iced Gems and Mini-Pringles to get beneath the mum-radar...)

Unpacked and put it all away while wearing my pyjamas, just because I could. Am now joyfully envisaging a future in which proper clothes will be mostly unnecessary as everything I need will be brought directly to the door. Starting today, with my Amazon delivery....

How I'm supposed to get back to work once I have Natasha Oakley's The Tycoon's Princess Bride in my grasp is a mystery. It's a shame you can't buy willpower online too.