Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Anyone fancy a game of conkers?

I was in Vancouver this past weekend for a family wedding. What a beautiful place it is. What I loved most was the smell of autumnal leaves. I really miss Autumn in England. I particularly miss playing conkers.

What is a conker? It's the fruit of a horse chestnut tree - hard, brown, half-dollar sized orbs. The trick is to pick the good ones, drill a hole through their center, hang them on a knotted shoelace and your conker is good to go. Two players take alternating whacks at the other's chestnut until one shattered. 

Although the game is discouraged in school, the World Conker Championship is held every year in Northamptonshire.

What to know how to win? Enjoy this informational video How to Win at Conkers

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Back into the swing of things

After many fits and starts, I'm finally back on track with my morning writing schedule. HURRAH! For weeks and weeks I've been procrastinating, faffing about, making silly lists, organizing my spice drawer etc. and I can't put it off any longer. I must write.

Starting a new project is always a challenge - especially a new series with new characters and setting. I'm suffering from the usual paralysis, need to nap constantly and the fear that I can't pull it off a fifth time. Coupled with my increasing workload at the office, all I can squeeze in is a couple of hours before work during the week. For now I am getting up at 5:30 AM - or should I say, 5:23 AM since that's when my neighbor revs up his car and leaves for work. Of course, as I get closer to my deadline, my wake-up call will be 4:20 AM for those last three months.

But for now .... I creep out of bed and head to the kitchen for a delicious cup of Keurig coffee. Thank you Molly Weston (check out her blog, she's wonderful) for recommending this machine during my "Molly Tour" to North Carolina. Coffee is made in a matter of minutes, freshly brewed and delicious. I drink it black and strong.

Still in pajamas and wearing my lucky socks, I collect my laptop and Mr. Tig (my muse cat). We both settle onto my "inspiration sofa" in the sitting room. It's a beautiful pale yellow two-seater with matching ottoman. I only write on this sofa when I'm creating or getting down the bones as they say. So that's what I'll be doing for the next few weeks, bashing out a really really shitty first draft.

So if you're up at dawn, you aren't alone.