Tag Archives: books

First I lose my files, then I drop my oats…

Welcome to “Weekend Wafflings” my new regular Friday evening blog post full of, well, waffle about me trying to become a reasonably successful author. Think of it as a bit of a feet up read at the end of a busy week.  Glass of wine optional.

Sometimes I’m so clumsy.  Once, a few years back (alright, 12) I was walking to work when I suddenly tripped up on my own feet. Seriously. There I was, spread out on a Manchester pavement, rain lashing down on my back, the contents of my work bag strewn all over the concrete, my Filofax and lippy blending in with the discarded Tennents cans and crisp packets. Pulling myself up, I glanced round to check no-one saw me, and when I was sure the coast was clear, I let out a long breath of relief. Only when I resumed walking did I feel a slight additional, shall we say, breeze to my left leg. Halting, I glanced down at my trousers to see an almighty rip at the knee, the material flapping on either side like sails on a boat. When I walked into the office 10 minutes later, my work pals let out the loudest laughs at the state of me, and even louder ones when they badgered out of me how I’d done it. Needless to say, I was mortified.

These days, while I trip up a touch less often, I’m still just as clumsy. Take this blogging lark. The other day I go to post a comment on the film blog, Fandango Groovers , and instead of starting my comment with an intended, “Aaah”, in my reminiscence about the 80s film, The Breakfast Club (aw, d’you remember those outfits?), I write “Saab”.  Before I know it, I am clicking ‘post’, and there I am, sounding like a numpty to the whole world. Like many a person, turns out it’s not just my feet that trip me up. It’s my fingers, too. You see, after a small run in a few months back with a corrupted memory stick from which crucial files could not be clawed back, I join the server cloud website Dropbox, on the advice of my husband. ‘You need to back up your files,’ he instructs. I nod, trying to remember what he’s saying. ‘A memory stick is not the most reliable place to store your manuscripts,’ he continues. ‘You’ve backed everything up, haven’t you?’ My silence speaks volumes. He shakes his head and leaves the room.  Praying for a miracle, I switch on my laptop and begin to register with Dropbox. Over the next few weeks, all goes well. I write my novel, save it to the cloud. I write my newspaper columns, save them to the cloud. I even email some crucial second drafts to myself as third back up. Save it to the fluffy cloud. Mighty pleased with myself, that night I tell my husband that I’ve rearranged my Dropbox link on laptop number two because there was a shortcut link icon type thingy that didn’t need to be there. Top Gear is on, so I don’t think he hears me, and, thinking nothing more of it, I resume typing away novel number two, making a mental note to get up at 5 am.m to do some writing.

‘Oh my God,’ I whimper. It is now 6 a.m. and I am sat at my laptop in shock. ‘What is it?’ says a sleepy husband, entering the room. ‘Oh my God,’ I repeat. Used to my warblings, my husband ignores me and inspects the screen. ‘Is that your Dropbox link?’ I nod. ‘Aren’t your files supposed to be there?’ he says. Again, I nod. It is all I can manage. Because he is right. The files are supposed to be there – but they have disappeared. ‘I think I deleted them by accident,’ I finally say.  Then: ‘I feel sick.’ My husband lets out a breath and pats my back. ‘I’ll go and put the kettle on,’ he says.

The next morning, by some miracle, I manage to retrieve all but a few of the files. My second novel is still all there, as is the original manuscript of the first, plus a whole host of other crucial items. Padding downstairs, I switch on the stove and make some porridge for me and the youngest – our favourite breakfast treat, figuring, after the morning’s events, I need it. My husband comes in, fixing his tie. ‘Did you manage to sort the computer files?’ he asks. I open the draw to get the porridge oats. ‘Yep,’ I say, ‘thank goodness. What a nightmare.’  Reaching for the porridge tub, I pick it up only for it to inexplicably slip from my hands, its entire contents tipping everywhere. I don’t move, instead choosing to just blink at the drawer and the floor, each now covered in oats. ‘Oh dear,’ says my husband. I say nothing and close the draw. ‘Weren’t you going to make some porridge?’ he asks. I look at him. ‘No,’ I say, deciding to reach for the bread bin. ‘I think I’ll make some toast.’  ‘Ah,’ he says, ‘you could if I hadn’t fused it the other night.’ I sigh and reach for a banana. I’ll be alright as long as I don’t slip on the skin.

Right. Done anything clumsy? Ooo, let’s hear it. Have a great weekend.

**New for next week: “Media Monday”.  A new blog post that gives you a short, sharp start to the week blast of stuff going on on a Monday in the media.**

April Fools jokes end up in some mild mannered madness

So, our family April Fools jokes are over, we’re off on holiday in a couple of hours and I can’t wait. I seem, however, to be having some trouble getting the troops moving. The youngest is currently playing her guitar in the lounge the eldest is reading in her room – and my husband is still in bed. Having a break right now has come at a good time. The past week has been hectic and, to be honest, my head is fried. ‘What are those black things under your eyes?’ asks my youngest. I peer into the mirror and pull at my skin. ‘They are my dark circles, honey,’ I reply. But she doesn’t say anything. I turn around and she is already gone. From the lounge, I hear the ping of her guitar.

And so I find myself here, catching up on some last minute inbox sorting and having a small write of my blog. If I think about it, over the past few weeks I’ve met some really nice people via the old blogging thing,  switching on the laptop  and reading messages from folks from all over the world who are writing away about different things. Films, books, turning into our parents – the list goes on. I think that when I leave in an hour or two, I’ll go away with the resolution that, when I come back, I’ll read more blogs and get involved a bit more. That would be nice.

The littlest one is down in the kitchen now with her teddies, and she is beside herself about our holiday. ‘Honey,’ I say, ‘could you just bring the hot cocoa up to your sister while I write this.’ She cocks her head at me and simply says, ‘No.’  My mouth hangs open in surprise. Then she says, ‘April Fool!’, grabs the cocoa, droplets splattering over the edge onto the floor, and races upstairs. ‘But it’s 2nd April today,’ I mutter to myself, ‘isn’t it?’ I return to my laptop and check the date. It reads 2nd April. ‘Dear God,’ I announce to an empty kitchen, ‘I’m going mad.’ I reach down and pack my mini laptop into my bag ready to take it with me so I can keep on writing novel number two while we’re on holiday. From upstairs, a shriek sounds. ‘The cat’s brought in a mouse!’ yells the eldest. I sigh and shout that I’m on my way.