Wednesday, July 30, 2008


My name is Irene and I am a blogaholic! There, I’ve said it. Oh, the loneliness of the serial blogger. I switch on in the mornings, check email, wonder why no-one has left me any comments, then swing right on over there to the blogs; checking stats is also becoming addictive – when I first got a site-counter at Blogger I was all over that map and it was soooo exciting, but I got bored with the non-readers, all those searchers looking for granny-sex.

I set up a new blog with Wordpress last week, BUBBLES IN TIME; working on compiling an autobiography, and it’s great fun – especially the YouTube searching for just the right music and film clips. So, a few days in and I’m twitching, looking at stats, and wondering what to do next – set up another blog! And suddenly the name Fatty McSlob arrives in my head…and within minutes there it is, FATTY McSLOB in the flesh; ten minutes later it has a post and I’m satisfied, for now.

Wordpress is a whole new world of blogs calling to be read; they come to me from tags, I can pop next door, just like at Blogger, and then there is the blog networks in Facebook. OMG I wish I was unemployed or retired or rich – possibly in reverse order! I spent hours in Facebook blog networks yesterday, reading about full-time bloggers and how they make money. I think I want to be a full-time blogger when I grow up. Maybe I’ll just create ebooks and sell them on the blogs! Just think of all those tangents!

So, going off on that tangent, I should do a little ebook research just for the fun of it; I suppose it’s the next step from reading blogs, isn’t it? Mmmmm, and I’d have to blog about the experience and spout opinion, yes, good idea. Maybe I should get a dongle and take the laptop into work – I’ve been thinking of that anyway, taking it with me to work then I can write properly between calls instead of using a pen and notebook. I could stock-pile blog posts instead of the bulk-crocheting I’m doing now; it would be tidier than the craft work; no glitter all over the phone or glue gumming up my desk.

I really want one of those little laptops; it would sit very nicely on the side. This is small but an even smaller one would be much lighter and I’m all about if you don’t need it then get it out of your bag.

Some people can’t read off the screen but I seem perfectly comfortable with it; I know I’d be too miserable to print stuff out. I think the laptop has become my security blanket, and if I got a smaller one I could take it everywhere with me – not that I actually go anywhere these days, but it sounds good. And reading blogs is a bit like having a huge collection of short stories or serials, for free.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Whatever you're thinking and feeling today is your future!

Sunday, July 20, 2008



My excuse for the apparent messy bookshelves is that I am still kindof in transit; I'm camping in my son's flat, but at least some things have a home - you should see the rest of the room. I am definitely not posting that picture!
Some of these books have been saved from the fire and are pretty smoke-damaged; look at the state of Wild Swans, but I haven't read it yet so I wasn't about to throw it out, yet.

This was an idea from Nik's blog, and a good one, in that you can learn a lot about someone from prowling their shelves; one glance at mine tells you that I'm untidy and lazy but eclectic in my interests - the little anonymous blocks under Ann Rice are tarot cards, and my newest, the Klimt set are inside the silky yellow bag.

Saturday, July 19, 2008


In my safe childhood I was allowed to play outside, by myself, unsupervised, all day; hours and hours spent catching frogs, climbing monkey-puzzle trees, killing water rats and boiling dead bees.

Life in Carnwadric was quiet but interesting; right across the road from us was an old internment camp that used to house Italian prisoners of war. In it there was a big empty house on the hill, a forest, raspberries, blackberries and strawberries, rose bushes and tall daisies, wild onions and, according to my little brother, dead Germans! There was also a row of little brick buildings that we called ‘The Zig-zags’, we thought they were probably dog kennels. We played house in them; they were just the right size for us. We’d sweep them out, and using spare bricks we found lying around, build furniture; little armchairs and sofas, with a table. Suburban Glasgow rocked; I had mystery and adventure inside and outside – the inner provided by Enid Blyton with The Secret Seven, and The Famous Five. I was so envious of the lives dealt out to these characters and always frustrated that I couldn’t re-create them in my own; my mother wouldn’t have a shed built at the bottom of our garden, nor would she buy enough ginger beer to serve to me and my friends; lemonade had to be good enough for us.

I went to stay with a friend in Stirling for a week and returned with the knowledge of how to build a den; so my friends and I began to dig a hole in the back garden, stacking up the clods of earth – they would be the walls, then we would lay a piece of corrugated iron across the top for the roof.

‘GET THAT CONTRAPTION OUT OF HERE!’ old-bag-upstairs shouted.

She always spoilt our fun, or complained whenever we did the slightest little thing. The den was finished and we were just about to have our first meeting of The Secret Four when she screamed. My father rapped on the window for us to come in. So, that was the end of that. Being seven in 1961 was very difficult; adults were the enemy and something to avoid at all costs – or play tricks on to get revenge. We leaned milk bottles full of water against her door, knocked and ran back into our house, back to the jigsaw in the big bedroom table. On Saturdays my father watched horse racing on the TV, with the sound up; he always took our side when Mrs Ratbag came complaining, but he told us off for annoying an old woman, even though she was a pest.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I have thought about it, a lot, and have probably spouted the age-old answer: ‘I write because I want to.’ But, what does that mean? Scribble? Or do I mean some kind of continuous stream that will eventually attract someone’s attention? Am I really planning to be a novelist? Or do I fancy myself in the trade of public observation, like in a regular column? Yes, I’d like to live in that description. I want to describe, sum-up and comment on people, places & stuff; but I also want to create and lie for a living.

Living to lie; that sounds just the right slant to me – I want to be that! One of the blogs I regularly read, Every Day I Lie a Little is pretty hysterical. Lying is fun. I remember people coming to me for lies in the 70s, when they’d taken time off work or been late; I was a great liar and could come up with the most outrageous stuff that was so out-there that they could only be the truth!

I don’t know why I was drawn into the world of writing but I think it might mostly be the fault of Margaret Atwood; I fell after I’d read her for the first time – The Handmaid’s Tale did me in. That was probably about 1988; I’d spent the years before that at some party or another and seemed to have drank my adult life away – I really don’t remember much about 1985 or 6 or Chernobyl because I was mostly drunk!

I thought I was happy then. We had the time of our lives, Carrie and me: me and Carrie tripping from party to party, men to men – cool was our middle name. When I stopped it all and started college Carrie found it very difficult, propping up bars by herself…and it took me two years to get her to leave me alone; to stop trying to drag me out to pubs. I’d discovered further education and Writing; a new drug – it took me over completely and I haven’t been the same since. Carrie eventually forgave me.

So why do I write? I don’t know; this stuff just falls out of my head and there it is, on the paper, on the screen – it swims around me like a feeding shark, nipping at my heels and sometimes (well mostly) there is so much of it. Then it needs filing and remembered, and then editing begins and never stops, but then a shiny new thing comes in and distracts me and I see the end of the road taking a turn, twisting into all those zed-bends. Navigation is murder.

Saturday, July 05, 2008


And a fine day for it; summer came back. ZaZa baked again, in honour of my birthday. We began with home-made ice-cream in brandy baskets with strawberries and sauce….mmmmmmmm!

Look at the beautiful china, and real napkins! There was silver sugar tongs too.

Then a gateaux arrived bearing a single candle for me to blow out – I stopped to take a photo first, of course, and they sung happy birthday to you, of course. You don’t really expect stuff like this when you’re 54 do you? I forgot to mention the white wine cocktail we had on arrival, and the beautiful bottle of bubbly blackcurrant & cassis I was presented with. I thought I was just going over for some cake, but I brought ZaZa one of my blankets for her knees in her old age as a thanks-for-feeding-me-gift. Tilly told jokes but I’ve forgotten them now

Sandwiches of home-made bread and salmon just blew me away; this is the most fabulous bread in the world – I think I’m going to move in with ZaZa and May; it’s the only sensible thing to do…and then again, perhaps not; not a cake or biscuit has passed these lips for a fortnight, nor chocolate (except for Aero mouse) and I was well on my way to normal breakfasts that don’t consist of a packet of chocolate-chip cookies. I had cornflakes twice, and Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut for supper once in work. And then came the scones and butter and jam and cream (no I don’t think she milked the cow and churned the butter), and then there was the meringues! Oh dear God, what is this life if not full of cake?

So, how does Money Oil fit into all this? An earlier post covers the beginning, but back to the present; ZaZa presents me with a scroll which is a spell to bring your money back to you, and a little bottle of Money Oil in a tiny pink and sparkly bag. Outstanding! Fantabulosa! and Fandabidozi! What a brilliant and wonderful afternoon with beautiful friends (I'm hurrying now to tell you what happens with the money oil).

I went straight to work, loaded down with birthday cake and merringues and of course a couple of sandwiches for my break. I couldn't wait to tell Angel about the money oil - see original and earlier post. We had an hysterical first hour and everyone had a bit of the beautiful gateaux and praised the skills of ZaZa, which I went on and on about. Then when we got our wages (cash) we did as instructed in the scroll; we oiled our fingertips and rubbed our money with the oil, all the while imagining it returning to us! All that was left to do was to put the money in a special little bag and sleep with it under our pillows for it to work. So here's hoping!

And please give a round of applause to the Samsung phone for capturing the lovely pics, though close-ups are not its forte. Today is the actual birthday and summer seems to have gone again; I can hear the wind roaring behind me as I type. Merringues for breakfast then it's off to the bank to lay my magic money down so it can be whipped away and, hopefully, spirited back.

Amazon and PowerRanger just showed up with a bagful of lovely goodies and now I'm sitting (still in my nightdress) stinking of ROUGE by Christian Lacroix - let's face it, I am Ab Fab!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


I’ve found a fantastic site for procrastinating called, Protagonize. Collaborate to your heart’s content. I’ve tried to get my fellow writers at WF in Writewords to play with this kind of thing but they never do, or keep anything up I begin. So I’m in clover; I’ve only been a member there for two days and I’ve got two stories running and have joined in a couple of others – now this could be very addictive but at least it is actual writing!

And the bad news is, I didn’t write my morning pages today! No reason other than I was writing and polishing old stuff for Protagonize. I thought I’d use old bits of work that I know I don’t want to continue; there are loads of scraps filed away, and I was already trying to tidy the fiction file – so this is just perfect, isn’t it?

The thought of other people creating a continued life with my characters is very exciting; I really hope people are stimulated enough to write some of these threads I’ve suggested; they have what they call branches, where you choose titles for three tangents or new chapter beginnings for other writers to investigate. God, the very idea just makes me high as a dragon chasing an addict!

I confess to addiction; I am addicted to new projects – I wonder if there is a name for this. I’m not afraid to finish them: I just kind of slope off in other directions but I do pop back eventually, hopefully to finish. Womag blogged some info that peaked my interest the other day about Woman’s Weekly looking for new submissions; I’m thinking of having a go at short fiction for that market, so have already rescued a few neglected pieces. Let’s all send a prayer up to the universe that I finish something.

The unfinished novels sit in the back of my mind and mock my attempts at forming routines; they know that I’m a lazy bitch and that they could be neglected for years! But, I am a new woman now; I know this – still a baby in this persona, a youngling. I feel a rebellion coming on, so watch out!