Saturday, 29 May 2010

Ah... so that's what the week had in store for me!

Memo to me - NEVER finish a blog post with "I wonder what next week has in store for me?"

I ended my last post with that. I started this week with the full intention of working properly on my writing career - blogs, online presence, WIP, short story, housework, e-mail etc - everything was prioritised and went down on my To-Do-List.

Maybe that was a mistake as well?

The To-Do-List, I mean.

Ah well...

The Terrible Twosome (aka my kids) had a wonderful week to start with - they got to go to their childminder on tuesday (I swear they love her more than me) and it's the end of term, so their school has been doing all sorts of fun things!

Unfortunately the Princess-Terrorist (my daughter) appears to be going through a bit of a phase. She's arguing with anything and everything. I love her dearly, but when she is constantly arguing and being cheeky / talking back to me and the Other Half (aka my partner) it gets a bit noisy...
Especially as Number One Son is also having problems. He seems to be sliding back into being eight, rather than going forward into being ten like the rest of his class.

So combine those two phases with a lot of "being out of work" stress from me and "I don't know what to do with my life" stress from the Other Half, you get a pretty good picture of what this week has been like in the Tiger Princess Household...


I had hoped that everything would calm down today. Then I remembered that we are due to visit the Grandmother-In-Law (hereafter known as GIL) in Bristol today. That's not a bad thing, you understand, but it's always a tiring day.
GIL is ninety. She loves her grandson and her great-grandchildren, but as Grandfather-In-Law (hereafter known as Bampi - mostly so that I don't get confused) is also ninety and has Alzheimer's; he can't be left alone with the simplest task (Bampi gets confused easily and forgets what he is supposed to be doing), so GIL has to supervise him almost constantly.

Add the Terrible Twosome to the mix and you have a Very Tiring Day for me.

VTG's mean that I often don't get much done. This is why I started writing at 8:00pm on a Saturday morning, when I should be snuggled under my duvet with OH, listening to the rain hit the window pane and contemplating a late breakfast...


I need more coffee before I do anything else today - I'll see y'all tomorrow...

Friday, 21 May 2010

The Princess, the Glue Gun and Butterflies...

I've talked about my children before. My son is bright, Games Console mad and having problems with his learning difficulties at school. My daughter is bright, attention seeking and a Princess-Terrorist.

Well today was "Butterfly Day" at school.

Let me just explain that properly.

One of the projects that the Reception age children do, is to raise butterflies from caterpillars.
Then once they are ready to be released, the children dress up as butterflies or caterpillars for the day and they let the butterflies go in the school garden.

At the beginning of the week we received a letter from the teachers informing us that "Butterfly Day" would probably be on on Friday as one of their Chrysalis were moving.

Note the key word there - probably

I asked my daughter what she wanted to be.

"I want to be the Prettiest Butterfly at school." she told me firmly.

We looked through her costumes. The only one with wings on was her white Christmas Fairy outfit.

"That's not a Butterfly, it's a Fairy." She said and looked up at me batting her eyelashes, hands clasped at her waist and head tilted to the right. "You can make me some butterfly wings, can't you, Mummy?"

Remember I called her a Princess-Terrorist? Well, that's the "Princess" look.

I thought I had plenty of time, so I agreed that I would make her some butterfly wings.

I bumbled through the beginning of the week, getting job applications out, doing washing... you know, the usual stuff.

Then Wednesday, the note came home.

Butterfly Day will be on Friday. The Children can come as a Butterfly, a Caterpillar or in brightly coloured clothes.

"Mummy, have you made my Butterfly Wings yet?"

"Not yet, sweetie. What colours do you want me to make them?" I was hoping that she'd just say one or two colours.

"I want to be a Painted Lady Butterfly, like the ones at school. They have lots of different colours."

*pause for internal scream of irritation*

"Not pink then?"

"Pink and orange and green and yellow and red and blue and silver and gold... all the colours of the rainbow!"

I shrugged. How hard could it be? I had two days, enough paint and craft stuff around to do it with. Easy. "Okay Rainbow colours it is then."

Fast Forward to Thursday Evening. I had spent most of Thursday twisting wire into shape, sticking paper onto the wire and painting it. I picked the wings up to check if they were dry and pushed my thumb straight through the paper.


Rip the paper off, start again with felt. Sigh.

It was gone midnight on Thursday when I went to bed. I had threads from the glue gun all over my hands, sequins scattered through my clothes and scraps of felt in my hair.

But they were finished...

Today was also the school's open day. Because I didn't get to bed until late, I overslept. The kids were late to school and we missed getting a seat in the hall for the opening speech of the Head Teacher.

The School is pretty proud of itself - and it should be! Rhws got an Outstanding on their Estyn report, so the school was covered with bunting and balloons.

As soon as we got to Kiah's classroom to look around, she grabbed onto us and wouldn't let go. I saw the whole quad - pretend area, the four Guinea Pigs, the painting area, the sand - then we saw her classroom.

The Butterflies were being blown on by the other children to make them flutter - I felt rather sorry for them and was glad that they would be released soon.
After a paper spring Caterpillar and some glitter on a painted butterfly, we managed to extricate ourselves to go and visit my son.

My son is in Year 4. He and a friend were making a box kite.

He just had to choose the most difficult design of the ones he was given, didn't he...

So Daniel hunkers down to "Help"... I spent a bit of time talking to a few people I hadn't seen for a while, talked to my Son's Teacher then went back to my Daughter. She painted me a picture and then had to go for Snack Time. So I went back to my Son.

And found Daniel still "Helping".

What is it about Kites that makes men weak at the knees? I had to physically drag him away so I could get to the doctors!

And that's been my week... I wonder what next week has in store for me?

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Update on my Writing Life...

I've said before that I am a writer. I stopped writing about it on my blog because I started my own website and decided to blog about writing on there. This blog became my personal blog... hence my last post talking about my cats!

The thing is, writing is my life. I might have kids and be a teacher and make jewellery, but everything that is ME is bound up in my writing. When it's going well, I'm a pleasure to live with; sunny, happy and content. When it's going badly, I'm more like a storm cloud; dark, gloomy and liable to spark thunder and lightning at any moment.

Recently, I've not been doing a great deal of writing. I'm currently trying my hardest to find a teaching job for September and the search is getting harder. I have to use the time that I would be using to write, to fill out application forms and search through the jobs that are available.

When I can't stand the PC anymore, I go off and make things - jewellery mostly, although I did branch out into knitting. It changes my view of life and I can relax a little.

Anyway, a quick update on what has been going on...

My Flash Story Showcase Contest (FSS Contest for short) has taken off. In the first month I had four entries. In the second, I had six. This month, I have had the prompt up for two days and I have six entries already!

This is an exciting, worrying and entertaining - I get to read some superb stories and decide who has written the best one. Last month I couldn't decide who was the winner, so I put them both up - go take a look!

If you are interested in entering this month the prompt is here -

The Contest Guidelines are here -

I'd be glad to see you!

I'm currently a Guest Blogger on Richard W. Scott's Blog - Uphill Writing. I decided to do a series of pieces on the writing rules that successful writers use.

My first three pieces.. it's up at the moment - if you are interested in reading my ramblings...of course you are - you wouldn't be reading this if you weren't!

Ahem... back to the point.

My first three pieces looked at Terry Brooks and David & Leigh Edding's rules to produce a good story / novel. I was then asked to expand on Terry Brook's rules, so I am doing that at the moment... funny how blogging for yourself gets in the way of writing anything for anyone else!

I tried my hand at Erotica Stories and failed miserably, but confirmed something to myself that was incredibly important to me - my path in writing lies through the gently rolling hills of the Young Adult / Fantasy / SF genres. Even my Horror writing is soft enough for YA, so that is the direction that I will be going in.

I suppose I have to now decide what pen name to use, Kira Morgana or A.E. Churchyard. I suppose I could use my real name, but I want to try and keep my Writing Career separate from my Teaching Career.

So I suppose what I am really thinking about at the moment is who am I? I'm a Teacher when I am in a School, a Mother and partner most of the rest of the time. The small amount of time I have left for myself, I have to squeeze writing, jewellery making, exercising and relaxing into...


Just call me "Superwoman."

Friday, 7 May 2010

Forget Planet of the Apes!

That’s it!

Gizmo is definitely a Springer Spaniel in disguise. Not only does he sit at my feet and beg for scraps (he loves cooked chicken and tuna) with his eyes like one, he also retrieves his jingly ball, carries it to the opposite end of the room and starts playing with it!

There is nothing quite so funny as a huge ginger and white cat carrying a fluorescent pink jingly ball around in his mouth!

Cleo watches him with an incredulous set to her ears. She is very clearly saying:“You are not my brother! I’m not having anything to do with you until you stop acting like a kitten.”

How people can think that cats are just animals is beyond me. They might not be able to speak English, but they can communicate with us.

Gizmo has a meow and a purr that mean he wants attention; he tells me to turn the bathroom tap on so he can drink with a look; he even has a particular setting to his whiskers when he wants to play!

Cats could take over the world. In fact, I think they already have…think about it for a second or two…

We feed, medicate and clean up behind them. We give them treats and toys; attention and scratch posts. All they have to do is look cute and fluffy, make us feel happy and Sleep.

Where’s the downside?

Just you wait – the day that cats learn to use a can opener, open a cupboard door and turn a tap for themselves – the human race is done for!

Forget Planet of the Apes – it’s going to be Planet of the Cats!