Archive | February, 2012

How Many Pancakes Is Too Many Pancakes?

25 Feb

This week was Shrove Tuesday, aka Pancake Day. I’ve been gluten-free for over a decade, and have never before managed to master the art of gluten-free pancakes, which has given me great sadness. My efforts turned into a grey, doughy ball in the pan, and tasted revolting. I missed pancakes. A lot. But then I found this amazing recipe on the Dove’s Farm website:

http://www.dovesfarm.co.uk/recipes/gluten-free-pancakes

And oh, deep joy, it worked. Pancakes. That taste like real pancakes! So I ate a load on Tuesday. Then some more on Wednesday. And then last night I was sitting on my sofa, watching Grey’s Anatomy, and fancied more pancakes. So I made some batter and ate another load. And I plan to have more tonight. Don’t judge me. I’ve years of pancake absinence to make up for.

(I hope Dove’s Farm didn’t mind me borrowing their image)

Procrastination.

13 Feb

Image via Kilork

Why do writers procrastinate so much?

Right now, at this very moment in time, I know I have a lot of editing to do. I know I  have a limited amount of time to do it in, while Tornado Toddler is at nursery. And yet…I’m not doing it. Well, I am. In bits. But first I have to check Facebook. Then Twitter. Then cruise around a few other websites before I settle down to work. And then after a short while, the whole cycle starts again. And repeat, all morning long. Now I’m even writing this flipping blog post about procrastination, to avoid it a little longer. What’s that all about?!

I know it’s not just me, as I see lots of posts from my writer friends talking about the things they do to avoid getting down to the nitty gritty of writing. Making cups of tea features highly. Or staring out of the window. Or cleaning the house. Why do we do this? It’s amazing any books get written at all. There are blogs dedicated solely to procrastination, and hints and tips on how to stop it.

Right. Back to it. And maybe it’s time to pull out the network cable so I can’t go online, even if I really want to.

What do you do to avoid working? Tell all, and make me feel better. Plus, I can check in on the comments and procastinate a little more…

Books Rock. End Of.

1 Feb

ImageAs long as I can remember, I’ve always loved books, and reading.  I wanted to pass this love onto Tornado Toddler, and I’m pretty sure I’ve succeeded. At sixteen months, he can now often be found pursuing me through the house, wildly bashing a book at my legs and won’t quit until I sit down to share it with him. He is obsessed (and I mean, obsessed) with animals and currently his favourite stories are Mog’s Christmas (he’s not bothered it’s not entirely seasonal), Muddle Farm (I have magnets all over my dishwasher, the bin, the radiator), Spot, Hugless Douglas, and his Usborne Children’s Bible, which is beautifully illustrated with animals of all kinds. As well as Jesus.

It’s fantastic to see, because I think to be given the gift of loving books is an amazing thing. I don’t understand people who say they don’t read. I cannot compute. What? Why ever not? It makes no sense to my befuddled brain. These people miss out on so much. You can experience so much through a book. Meet new people. Travel different places. Do interesting things. Books are an adventure, right there, at the tips of your fingers. What’s not to like? (Anyway, I don’t entirely believe people who say they don’t like reading. I just think they haven’t found the right book yet.)

Enid Blyton was my favourite author when I was younger. I loved The Famous Five, The Magic Faraway Tree, Mallory Towers and The Twins at St Clare’s. Even now I’m still stunned by how many books she published (It was hundreds. Read all about it on her Wiki page:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enid_blyton).

Thinking about how much she wrote, and the amount of storylines she came up with, completely blows my mind. 10,000 words a day? Good grief, woman, you were a writing machine. But I remember so clearly the excitement I felt when I got a new Blyton to read, knowing I was preparing to go on an adventure on a deserted island, or into a boarding school, or to live on a farm, or go up a magical tree. Enid helped create that magic in my childhood which made me love books so much now as an adult. So thanks, for that, Enid. You rock. (And thanks Mum and Dad for getting the books for me. It pays to have parents who run the book stall at the village fete. You rock, too.)

What about you? Which books did you most enjoy from your childhood?