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Showing posts from 2014

The Kitchen Saga Continues

I’m getting rather tired of rearranging furniture.  It started with emptying the kitchen in preparation for the new one.  I disassembled the kitchen table so it would fit through the door and reassembled it temporarily in the lounge, the fridge was moved into the dining room and I emptied all the cupboards into boxes and stashed them wherever I could find room.  Except none of it turned out as temporary as it was supposed too.  The kitchen refit dragged on for weeks as I encountered problem after problem and delay after delay, but I persevered, what else could I do?  While I waited for the decorator to fit me into his busy schedule I decided this would be a good time to move all the pots and pans out of their boxes and find a home in the lovely new cupboards and have a clear out of the utility room as well.  A major spring clean ensued.  I lost count of the trips I made to the charity shop to donate items I had accumulated over the years, and countless plastic bottles and tubs eme

Kitchen Chaos

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, my kitchen has for the last eight weeks been undergoing a bit of a face lift.  Yes, I did say eight weeks.  No, my kitchen really isn’t that big, or the refurbishment that drastic.  So why did it take eight weeks?  To be honest I still haven’t quite figured that one out, but the bad news is, it’s not finished yet. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time.  Of course having the kitchen out of action for any length of time was going to be inconvenient, but it would only be for two weeks…. Or at least that’s what the designer claimed.  It started off alright.  The fitter turned up bright and early one Monday to rip out the old appliances, break apart the old cupboards and completely fill the skip, which was so attractively sitting on my lawn.  So far so good. Then the electrics had to be rewired.  I know it’s all for my own safety, and the sensible side of me is completely on board with this.  However, the impatient and cost saving si

First Drafts

I was following Elizabeth Little’s #AuthorChat on twitter tonight and it got me thinking about the way that I write my novels.  Elizabeth, like any sane person, types her first drafts and then edits in hardcopy.  Totally logical.  I’m therefore slightly concerned that I have completely the opposite approach, which bizarrely, until I read her posts, had never even struck me as being slightly crazy.  I tend to handwrite my first drafts, more or less in full, in a notepad.  Well I say a notepad, however even with my tiniest writing, I can’t actually cram a full length novel into a single notepad.  Because I also have a habit of thinking of extra dialogue or inserting new chapters into sections that I have already written, I end up inserting pages with lots of asterisks and highlighting to help me decipher it all later.  This means that my notepad is usually full of loose pages, inserted in seemingly random places, all held together by a large elastic band. Despite its rather dis


When I leave the house each morning, I check that the taps are turned off, the radio and kettle are unplugged and the oven, which hasn’t even been used since the night before, is still turned off.  And then I check it all again.  My colleagues roll their eyes each evening when I double back as I am leaving the office, to check that I really did lock my desk drawer.  My friends smile as I check my car really did lock, when I press the remote control.  And my family… well they don’t pass judgement.  They can’t really, given that they are just as bad as me. Writing is another of my obsessions.  However, unlike double or triple checking a door, this is one that few people know about.  It’s actually quite easy to hide it from people, because so few people even know about my passion for writing to begin with.  They have no idea that I carry around a little notepad in my bag, ready for the moment that the perfect line of dialogue or song lyric should just happen to pop into my head.   Th

Creative Writing Class

I started a creative writing course this week.  Admittedly, I did't  participate a huge amount.  My writing has been a well kept secret for so long, I think it's going to take a while for me to get used to sharing my work.  But, it's a great group, excellent tutor and interesting class. In fact, I was so full of new ideas the following day, that I've already written a new short story and that's just as a result of the first day of the course! I'm looking forward to next week...

Creativity restored...

My writing has been on hold recently, while real life intervened.  Much to my frustration.  While I battled work pressures and kitchen renovations, my creativity seemingly went on strike, as I literally fell into bed each night, completely exhausted and unable to find the energy to switch on my computer.  Thankfully, balance has just about been restored though and I'm back at my keyboard, with renewed enthusiasm following my unscheduled absence.  I read through my partially written manuscript eagerly, feeling as though I was catching up with old friends.  My mind is already filled with adventures for them to embark on, to make up for my recent neglect.  My fingers will have to type fast in order to keep up with all the ideas in my head.  In fact, is that steam coming from my keyboard…

Exciting News

Well, last week was amazing, from being announced as a finalist in a short story competition at the start of the week, to finding out I had actually won!  I've been smiling ever since. I can't say much here, but even more exciting news, is that my story will now be published as an e-book soon.  We're already talking cover designs, how incredibly exciting is that? My colleagues, who know nothing about my writing, have probably reclassified their assessment of my sanity.  Before I was probably just considered slightly strange for constantly scribbling in a notebook every lunch hour, but now I'm probably considered completely insane for walking around with a ridiculous grin on my face all the time.  Fortunately however, I have resisted the urge to do an impromptu little gig in the middle of the office to express my sheer delight at recent events.

UK Songwriting Contest

Yippee!  I’ve just heard that I’m a semi-finalist in the UK Songwriting Contest.  Can you tell I’m completely ecstatic at the news?  The final results won’t be announced until later this year, so I’ll be keeping my figures crossed until then.  In the meantime however… Yippee! I’d actually turned my laptop on to do some work on my latest novel.  However strangely after reading the results my mind is drawing a complete blank when it comes to thinking of dialog.  In fact the only thing it seems to be able to come up with is, Yippee!   Given the character in my story has just discovered she’s the prime suspect in a murder investigation, that might not be quite the response for her to go with.

It’s CIMA Results Day

All week my team have been on tender hooks, nervously awaiting their exam results.  Watching their anxious expressions and desperate attempts to distract themselves from wondering if they have passed or failed, brought back memories of waiting for my own exam results, a few years ago when I was training to become a professional accountant. The lead up to any results day is never fun.  Of course when you pass, the elation and relief is undeniably wonderful, emphasised by the level of fear experienced beforehand.  The most memorable day for me was back in 2004, the day the results were announced I was on a family holiday.  We were in the midst of a driving holiday around western Canada at the time.  We began our trip in Calgary, and headed through the Canadian Rockies, through Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and Wells Gray Provincial Park, before heading on to Vancouver and Victoria.  It was an amazing trip (which I will post on my travel blog soon), but it wasn't exactly the

Book Review : White Boots by Noel Streatfeild

My favorite book as a child was White Boots by Noel Streatfeild.  Nine year old Harriet Johnson is advised to take up skating to aid her recovery from an illness that has left her thin and weak.  At the ice rink she is befriended by Lalla Moore, a young girl with figure skating in her blood.  Despite being from completely different classes, they form an unusual but undeniably strong friendship.  With Lallas' help, Harriet discovers that she actually posses the talent to become an exceptional skater herself, possibly even better than Lalla.  Revelations like that however, can put a strain on any friendship... A few years ago I managed to track down a copy of this book and re-read it.  I discovered that despite the passing of time since I first read it, it had lost none of it's charm.  It's a heart warming tale that I love as much today, as I did all those years ago. When I was a child, I was desperate to be like Harriet and take to the ice like she did.  The notion of gl

All About Me

Hello.  I’m Elaina and I love to write.  Okay so you kind of expected me to say that, given this blog is mostly going to be about my writing (and books I love to read), nevertheless it’s still true.  I was the kid who was always making up stories and poems for fun.  Yep, not homework, just for fun.  However, strangely I chose a completely different career path, I’m an accountant (not really much call for creativity there).  Looking back now, I’m not sure why, possibly because writing for me was such fun it was engrained in my brain as being a hobby, not something serious.  I never stopped writing though.  I have note books filled with song lyrics, poems and story ideas.  Some I’m incredibly proud of, some, well we’ll just put those to the bottom of the pile shall we… Last autumn I had a bit of a brain wave… potentially.  I decided that the story that had been running through my head for, well let’s just say a while, should be written down.  This revelation occurred to me in the mi