Time

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This will be quick as I’ve not much time but wanted to post something as it been over a week. I still trying to keep up with the new years resolution to write once a week at least!!!

Oh to not need sleep! The extra hours to stretch my seeming ever increasing load of things to do, none of which are really the things you want to do! Like unblock the bathroom sink, one of today’s joys. Making the trip to get the stuff to pour down the sink, then finding all sorts of other things you need in the shop- well they were on offer- and will be useful for another day….so another job to the list, tick one off add one- my motto it seems….perhaps I should stitch that to a pillow…. or perhaps not- don’t want to add unnecessary jobs to the list.

I have been thinking about this blog lark a lot this week, also have jotted loads of bits down, on that old fashioned and much out-dated pad of paper, if only there were a way for what I jot down on my pad to miraculously appear on the blog….. no need to turn the computer on- waiting for the old boy to warm up, stretch, yawn and actually turn on. Is there an app for that….haha if only. I could get an I-Pad I guess however that is a little off my price range at the moment, and in all honesty I prefer the feel of the paper under my hand, the loopy way my writing gets bigger when I believe I’m on to a good idea….so desperate to fill the page (who cares if the writing twice it normal size!)

I have been writing but not as much as i’d like, the short story is still short… three weeks till the deadline though maybe I need the pressure of the deadline to focus my attention- I’l keep you posted!

Am out of time now…

 

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Fraying apron strings

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Not cut off but definitely starting to fray, that bond, those strings between mother and son.

Off he has gone today to meet friends, a normal occurrence yet he has gone further then usual, and is on his bike. I cannot help the scenarios of danger that keep playing through my mind. But he is outside with his friends, which is great I know, boys of his age should be off having adventures, creating stories to share with future friends, girlfriends and even off-spring. I’ve realised that these may be the stories that I will hear the edited version of, or no version at all. After all how much did I tell my parents after playing run-outs in the woods? Or going off on bike rides? Or exploring places that we perhaps shouldn’t have been exploring?  Answer….nothing, the standard response of ‘not much’ when asked what had we got up too.

Maybe there was a small fear of getting into trouble that kept lips closed, or perhaps just wanted to keep my experiences and adventures to myself, to remember, share and exaggerate when I wanted too.

But now, experiencing the other side, makes me feel sad. Because regardless of how interested I am in my son and his life, how much I want him to confide in me, he will keep some stuff to himself.

Maybe I thought I would be different parent to my child than my parents were to me, that my son will want to confide in me, that he will see me as a friend as well as a parent. A painful truth of parenting, you are always the parent, never the friend.

So you see the stings are fraying, tearing him away from me. And I find myself back where I was before he was born, wondering what the point of me is, what I want to do with myself, what am I when not mum? Will admit, here hidden by anonymity, that today I feel quite lost.

Deviated!

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I’ve deviated from the plan!

Didn’t take long, 4 weeks into the new year.

I have still managed to write almost every day, what I’m writing has changed though. I discovered a writing competition and decided that it would be good practice to have something completed and sent off by the closing date. It is a short story competition maximum of 2000 words, closing date March.

So I have taken a detour from the novel, although still doodling lines when they come to mind.

What have I discovered?

Writing short stories is more of a challenge then expected.

I like the idea of the story yet what is coming out is fluff. Big paragraphs of blow- away fluff. Not the roly- poly type fluff that you can roll around on the desk and build something of, no the wispy, fly-away, easily disposed of as it made of nothing, fluff. There no depth, no feeling, what I want to show is hiding…somewhere….I just can’t get to it. It’s infuriating.

Perhaps I’m being to hard on myself- at least something is appearing on the page. And it is evolving albeit slowly, into a story. But there is too much, it needs whittling down in words yet the story and characters need building on. Basically I have a whole lot of waffle to weave into something else.

It exhausting…..but I’m not giving up, little each day and I have told myself I will write my way to it…..well something to enter anyway…. I’ll let you know if it goes into the competition or out the window.

 

Get away from the screen Mum!

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I try to limit my son’s screen time. He has always had a limit on how long he can play on the X-Box and I often turn the TV off and encourage him to do something ‘constructive’ (how I hated when my mum said things like that to me).

But he has a phone which I have discovered that when I think he is in his room being ‘constructive’ he is actually watching You Tube! So this is another item on the list of what he has to leave alone. Believe me ‘time to turn off the X-Box, no TV and stay off You Tube’ is quite the mouth-full to hollar up the stairs. Do something else, read, write, draw, play go knock for your friends and go over the park- ‘that’s not how it works anymore Mum, no- one knocks for each other’  Erm yeah they do, his friend knocked for him yesterday.

Back to today, he woke and is lying in bed watching something on his phone, he has been up since around 8:00am and I want to tell him to turn it off and get up but I know as soon as he comes down stairs he will say to me ‘get off the screen mum’ I’ll roll my eyes and he’ll ask if he can turn on the TV. NO.

 

Which is exactly what happened! Yet it wasn’t as straightforward as me saying NO and that being the end of it…No we had an almost five minute battle of him saying ‘please’ and me saying ‘no’, back and forth the words went like a tennis ball in a volley. And now he has gone upstairs and is playing some sort of game in his room- score 1 to mum!

Week 1 highs and lows.

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So week 1 has past and I have remembered to return to this little ole’ virtual piece of me. And it hasn’t been too bad a week in writing respects, some highs some lows but I am still at it, which is the point is it not?

Lets start with the lows, finding time and motivation to write. I set my alarm to get up earlier then necessary to fit in some early morning scribbling, and all was going well until Wednesday morning. The alarm went off at 06:40 however I was unable to drag my slumber ridden body out of bed until 07:15, a lovely 35 minute snooze but not so constructive when trying to get a first draft out. For the same reasons Friday morning was a write-off (excuse the pun) too, I struggled to open my eyes and keep them open. ‘I must get up’ I thought, opening the eyes but like a closer on a door they returned to their original position- closed.  There were a few snatched moments in the afternoons after work when a few more pages were bashed out. But evenings seem to be a non-started for me, there is a point in the early eve when my mind switches from functioning to bugger off. Nothing constructive follows this point. I guess everyone has a best time and a worst time to approach creativity.

Trying to stay focused on the positive I keep reminding myself that I managed 3 morning out of 5 on the novel- not a bad start, and the odd bits in the afternoon add up to words and lines. I’m using a notebook and long hand, I find this more constructive for adding notes and after- thoughts, extra jottings, no order but I don’t fret about them. On a computer it a different story (another terrible pun) I tend to go back over a paragraph, re-jigging it beyond necessity- it is a first draft after all- I want it right before I continue. It doesn’t matter that I remind myself it a first draft, I cannot let it alone until it just right- but then how right can anything be on a first draft? So back to long hand for me.

A high was a point when I realised I am a writer, I don’t think of myself that way usually- how can I be a writer when there nothing but my scribbles to show- but those scribbles are important too, and this I realised. I was at work and noticed something I wanted to remember so I got my note- book from my bag and started jotting it down, it didn’t stop at my observation either, associated words started popping into my head, my musings spread over several pages of the note book (not hard as it a little note book) but I was writing therefore I am a writer. I realised that it doesn’t matter that I wasn’t working the novel, the words can be tucked away for future use or just exist as a moment captured on paper. It didn’t matter that they may or may not become part of something more, they exist in that note book written by me.

So in conclusion to the first week, yes I’m still at it, I’m still scribbling away when I can for as long as I can. The main focus is the novel but I’m gonna pay attention to the little extras that pop in too, you never know what they may turn into. Lets hope the focus doesn’t falter as we head into week 2.

 

New Year Motivation

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January 2016. Are well really here? I’m not sure I completed Summer 2015.

I have neglected my ‘page’, my blog, the virtual space I’d intended to fill, ignored it- perhaps hoping it will fill itself. But I’m back, new year and I’m intending to start as I mean to go on……please ignore the fact it’s the 4th January, motivation was slow to rise from embers.

I’m still scribbling, raising early to get some words out before work, trying to fit a few words in before my boy gets home from school. So words I have, ideas too, what I’m lacking is a finished manuscript, short story, there’s not even a limerick completed (but a few false starts). But I’m pushing on with determination to complete something this year.

So here I am, putting this out there in that huge virtual world, this year I will finish something. And here I aim to track my progress or lack thereof. I’m going to be realistic too, life is busy for everyone, I have a job, I have a son and a partner to attend to, a home to keep tidy, clothes to wash, food to cook, errands to run in a rush as I forgot all about them till it was almost to late. So I aim to post once a week to begin, not including this one, so watch out for it, or ignore it whichever you choose just know this year I will be back more often…………………………….Well that is the intention anyway!

Typewriters to I Phones

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My son managed to put a hole in his bedroom wall. Not intentionally, he did a little roly poly flip while getting into bed and his ever lengthening legs went further then he expected, his heel hit the wall and wallop a hole in the plasterboard.

‘Look what you’ve done’ I said, ‘What, what’ he replied. I turned the light on (yes he flipped in the dark, how I am not grey i will never know!) and showed him the hole.

The next day my sister, who lives 50 miles away from us, sent me a message asking what he had done. ‘How do you know about this?’ I texted back, baffled. Turns out my son had stuck a picture of the hole on Instagram, where his cousin saw it and showed his mum- my sister.

Huh…run that by me again……

How out of touch do I feel? My son has an astounding grasp of technology, he seems to have absorbed the concepts, knowing instinctively how to use it. Me, on the other hand am left bamboozled by it. I am a typewriter where he is an I Phone 6.

He is on Instagram, he Whatsapps his friends and had I allowed it he would be on Facebook. Social media is so normal to him, where I look at my news-feed on Facebook and wonder why I’m reading it!

Even here, in the Blog-osphere I feel out of place, like a Dinosaur at the beauticians, sending out these little snippets yet not sure why I’m doing it. To fit in? To be ‘down with the kids’? To prevent the feeling of being past it?

Whatever the reason I will try to keep at it, bashing away at the keyboard- I couldn’t get the typewriter to connect to the screen!!!!!!!

missing the little things

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When my son was 5 he joined Beavers.

The clubhouse was a 15 minute walk from ours yet we rarely took the car. I would walk him up, then walk back up to collect him.

In those 15 minutes we had the best conversations, on the journey there he would tell me about school and what was happening in the cartoons he liked.

On the journey home he would fill me in on the fun he had had at Beavers. We would chat and chat the whole way. On the odd occasion when I did pick him up in the car we wouldn’t have those chats, it was almost like the speed of the journey made conversation unnecessary.

I miss those chats.

Now he walks 5 paces in front or behind in case one of his friends sees him. The word ‘No’ comes out his mouth more so now then when he first learnt it.

Do you fancy a walk on the beach? NO. Shall we take the bikes out? NO. Fancy going to the cinema? NO

Some days I insist, I make him take a walk with me and after the moans, the complaints, the few seemingly endless minutes of moodiness he begins to chat again, maybe mentioning something that happened at school or a book he is reading.

Little things that are about his life that I may have never known, had I not insisted and endured the moans! It was a good half hour of excuses, moans, pretend tears, huffs and puffs and stomping around the house that we had to get through before he gave in!

Invisable mother

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It’s happened.

I am no longer needed in my sons world.

Today I believe I have spent a grand total of 5 minutes in the company of my 12 year old son, he got out of bed this morning at the last possible moment, came down for breakfast with headphones plugged into his ears, readied himself for school without any intervention from me.

When he got home from school he spoke all of 4 words to my inquiries ‘fine, yeah, OK, nothing’. Yes they were the exact words before ‘can I go on the X Box?’

2 hours is the limit he is allowed. I’d like to say that we then spend time together however when told it time to come off he disappears into his bedroom and puts his music on- closing me out behind his door.

I know that this is a stage, that its part and partial to growing up, and I try to enjoy the good parts of this stage but I find I miss him. I miss him, his presence, his company.

I wonder will it be like this unto he is an adult and over the trivial embarrassment of being seen with a parent. Or whether this is only the beginning of me knowing little about my sons world. This thought makes me sad as I know there are many things about me and my life that I’ve not shared with my parents, the idea that my son would keep things from me leaves me cold; tears well at the thought!

Yet I know that hovering outside his door is pointless, he needs room to grow and I have to let him. But I’m hating it!!

Layers, layers and more layers

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No story starts at the beginning. They start at a point, a point at which life alters, shifts, a point at which all the previous story’s leading to this point collide. This is something I’ve learnt along this little journey of story-writing as I seem to be travelling further back in order to start moving forward. I started with my main character but in order to write her, to understand her, I have had to travel back and understand her parents, their friends, workers, enemies, all the little intricate things that may have happened to bring her to this point in her life.

Peeling back layers, that’s what I’m doing. Voyaging through her history in order to write about her moving forward. Is that ironic? I’m not sure I know anymore. With each layer revealed, another lays underneath. Some days I feel I’m doing nothing but digging a large virtual hole!