Tag Archives: #amwriting

Planning for the Year Ahead

8 Jan

PicFrameI love beginnings. I love fresh starts. I love the feel of potential at the beginning of the year. Whether it be in January, or the beginning of a school year in September. They are useful times to collect your thoughts and think about what you’re doing, make a list if need be, and to crack on refreshed.

I don’t do resolutions anymore. Foolishly I thought I’d do a dry January but why put myself through the guilt when I inevitably crack. So. No resolutions that can be broken and that then lead to guilt and feelings of failure. Instead I have ambitions and dreams. And that is to be a published author. To get my book finished and in the best shape possible to send out to publishers. 2015 will be the perfect year in which to do this.

This blog is another one of my ambitions. I want to create great blog posts, to document and photograph my life with the trees, the chickens and, hopefully, come spring, some ducklings (eep!). I’ve just been looking back at some of the posts I wrote on my other blog, Hen Orchard, which I’ve now closed. I’ve imported the ones important to me onto this blog (they’re headed Let’s Go Outside) because not only did they bring back lots of memories (my lovely ducks! the number of trees we planted!) but it was lovely to see the record of what we have achieved since moving to the country. I’m going to continue to write these posts in addition to food in fiction, my own novel writing adventure and books in general. Along with cake. There will always be cake.

In addition, I’m thinking, thanks to this post by Sarah Painter, of taking this blog self-hosted. There are a number of reasons for this but mainly it is to have a more secure and professional place where I write my hopes, dreams, loves, recipes and post pictures of all the things that make me happy.

Blogging is such a lovely thing to do. I thoroughly enjoy it and have dipped my toe in and out of it over the years, creating different blogs for the different things that I enjoy. But now I’m bringing them altogether on one blog. For that is me.


Am Writing: Inspiration from a Vintage Cake Plate

10 Dec

vintage plate

When my main character, Eve, sees a photograph of a Victoria sponge, oozing with jam and cream and nestled contentedly on a vintage plate on the front cover of a food magazine, she is taken back to her childhood. Eve’s nana, a huge presence in her life whilst growing up, had that exact same plate. And would use it to serve that exact same cake.

Food, particularly cake I feel, is extremely evocative of the past. Just one smell, one glimpse, one bite and it takes you back to a particular point in time. For many this is their childhood. Fairy cakes sprinkled with coconut remind me of my mamma’s house, lemon cake reminds me of my nana’s. Apple cake reminds me of my teenage years. Cherry scones is my mum.

I saw this cake plate today in a vintage shop. And I knew it was the one to feature in my novel. It’s a little small, but back when Eve’s grandmother baked, cakes were smaller.

The word count this past week has been paltry. But now, thanks to this plate, I’ve been inspired.

Burnt Chocolate: Draft Two – Week Two

27 Nov

_DSC0008There is a lot of coffee being drunk here. As I mentioned in my last post, I have builders in and out the house at the moment, but I’m still managing to get some words down. Don’t ask me how. Actually I do know how. It is because of the Writing Retreat. I am still fired up and inspired. Without that retreat I would have used this time, whilst the house was in chaos, not to write. But I have to write. Because the novel is there fully formed in my head and I need to get it down before I lose the spark of it all.

So coffee is keeping me going. Admidst the noise of the drills, the banging and the crashing, and the blimmin’ dog wanting to go and see what’s happening all the time, I have managed to write 5280 words. I wrote a contract to myself to write 1000 words a day 5 days a week and so far I’m achieving that. Hopefully, as the house gets quieter, the word count will increase even more.

The post-its, by the way, are working out very well.