Hello and welcome to my Little Willow blog, well welcome to those who might stumble across it anyway as I have yet to give this address to anyone :) I thought I might try and see how I get along with just writing in it first. It's all a lot of random stuff, but hey, hopefully there'll be something interesting for people

Monday, 31 May 2010

That's me told!

So yesterday I got told off for not having written on here in a number of days, and couldn't actually believe it when Sian told me I hadn't posted a blog since last Monday! That's probably been the longest time I haven't written one (barring the first and second post of course!).

So after my severe telling off, here I am back on here with a new post :) I have bookmarked today as a writing day and am hoping to finish assignment 3. Though here I am on the internet - but if you think about it, it's not technically procrastinating as I am indeed writing so it fits in perfectly with my theme of the day!

For assignment 3 I have 2000 words to play with and can write any number of articles, fillers and/or reader's letters, as long as my total word limit doesn't exceed 2000. I finished a filler a couple of weeks back and I have just finished writing a reader's letter. However I am only 490 down, which means I really need to write something else, but I don't know what :( Writing another filler, a longer one this time would take me up a bit. I don't think doing another reader's letter will help very much as they are so limited with the number of words, or I could think of another article to do on "something" up to 1500 words, which would be ideal if my muse would help me. I think my muse is either dead or a heavy sleeper, or just really doesn't like non-fiction and is currently on strike, which is very selfish I must say - next thing you know, she'll be asking for better working conditions and everything :-p lol.

Anyway I digress - which is so easy when the ideas aren't flowing and as you can tell from above, my digressions always end up in the fictional realm, it just happens naturally - writing non fiction seems very contrived in some ways. So can anyone enlighten me on a topic they think I could write about? Preferably an easy topic that doesn't require months of research?? Although if the position was reversed and one of my friends needed a topic,  I could probably come up with quite a few but then I wouldn't be thinking about the actual writing side of it.

To make matters worse, these past 5 or 6 minutes I've been writing this, I've written over 400 words! that would have been a great addition to my word count lol, but unfortunately I don't think I could just send a blog entry in. Oh well.

Anyway I suppose I better get back to thinking about a topic and getting on and doing it - speak to you all later

Monday, 24 May 2010

End of an era

So today was the end of an era, the end of a well invested 6 years of my life. I can't believe it's over, I can't quite take it in yet. I'm sure once I do, the tears won't be able to stop...nah, I'm sure once it does sink in that I'll never see Lost again, I'll somehow find the will to go on - maybe I should cancel that suicide pact I had planned? :p

As I said in an earlier post, Lost was broadcast at the exact same time as the US, which was very cool in my opinion, not that it particularly affected me as I waited until I woke up to watch it.

For the vast majority of the episode I really enjoyed it and thought it was brilliant at the way it was resolving all the character's issues. But then it did come to a point near the end and you found out a major piece of information, where my heart did sink a little - but since this morning I've been mulling it over and it makes a lot more sense and I'm happy with the way it ended. I especially liked the very last shot as it resonated very well with the very first shot of Season 1. They tried to bring back everyone who'd ever been in it and was great to see so many great faces past and present :)

I don't know what to do now it's all over - but at least there are still a few good Lost related things coming up - there'll probably be a major discussion tomorrow with Mel and Nick and there's the last Lost Initiative show (so gonna miss those guys!) and then the Lost party on Friday.


Sunday, 23 May 2010

Oh my God - how gorgeous has the weather been this weekend? Blue skies, sunshine and heat! It just doesn't get any better - well actually it would be a lot better if I felt a lot better than I do lol.

I had to miss a friends meet up last night (a yummy meal in Zizzi...gutted!) but I'd woken up that morning at 5:30am with pounding headache, feeling very sick and snotting all over the place - not very pretty at all lol. But then after I'd taken my new antihistamine and done the nasal drops, I started to feel a lot better. So I went to town for a couple of hours with my mum, to get some lovely fresh summer air and to pick up a couple of things she needed (and a nice 2 Joes milkshake!). As I felt much better by this point, I thought I'd probably go for food that evening, but when I got home, I felt quite drained and my early morning took it's toll and I fell asleep and only woke up at 5:15pm - we were supposed to be meeting at 6!. I also woke up with another bad headache so I decided to give it a miss and just relax.

On the plus side, I woke up feeling less sick this morning so that's always good. Can't shift the headaches though, but I'm hoping the tablets and drops will help with that very soon.

I think I've now decided to try and send my food intolerances article to Zest magazine, I've just emailed them now to find out who the current features editor is. A name is mentioned in the writers and artists yearbook 2009 that I have, but if it's changed since then, then that won't look very good. Could also do with actually buying a copy of it tomorrow and see if I need to change how it's written. I've also finished the do's and don'ts list for bridesmaids for assignment 3- but that's only about 335 words long, so need to write other stuff. Currently writing a reader's letter for Pet Plan magazine about Jay. but even that will only take me up to a total of about 600 words :-( I'll need to do a larger filler or an article to bulk it up as the total word count is supposed to come to 2000 - well it can be less if your target magazines/newspapers accept less but even I think 600 words is a poor attempt and something more can be done!

Hopefully with being off tomorrow I'll get the chance to at least finish the reader's letter about Jay, but first of all there's the most important point which is the Lost finale!!! Woo! How cool is it that they're doing a simulcast of the finale throughout about 6 different countries? Ok, so that means it's on at 5am here but with being off tomorrow, I think I'll just be watching it when I wake up tomorrow. We are still going to have our Lost party on Friday night though cos we were looking forward to it! Got my outfit sorted for being crazy Claire! lol. I'll need to smear some brown eyeshadow on my face to look like dirt, although I'll probably jsut end up looking beaten up! haha.

Right I had better go and get on with that reader's letter, I'm just procrastinating by staying on here. Oh yeah, also forgot about the 'Panic' story...oops. Think I'll try and start that too, as you never know, could come out well as a short story to submit!

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

40 Posts

Woo! 40 posts lol :)
Don't really have anything overly exciting to write but I wanted to write something so I could get to 40 rather than lingering at 39.

work is ok, another reception day, but it's been quite quiet which is nice. Meeting Sian later on, well assuming my cold thing doesn't get any worse, for food and pool. Don't think I'll be staying out that late, especially with these headaches and now my nose has just started running :( Don't know if it's a cold or if it's hayfever - don't think I have any anti histamines with me either to be able to test out the theory. Ah well, it'll just have to wait til I get home :-)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

So...I guessed it right :-)

Despite only sending the article proposal yesterday to Red magazine, I received a response today, which was quite impressive I thought. Unfortunately it was the answer I was expecting, but they said it in a nice way, so that helped lol, although I know it's all the spiel - saying they had read it with interest but it wasn't quite right for Red. Despite knowing it would get rejected, I haven't thought about who to try next and whether that would involve some kind of editing to make it more accessible for a particular publication. I think I'll have a look at that on Sunday.

Work went quickly this morning but then dragged this afternoon, which is annoying. Also, yesterday when I went back to the minutes I'm in the process of typing up, part of it had just disappeared! Stupid computer fairies, why do they do that? I mean typing up minutes is bad enough without having to do a section twice! lol. Never mind, I got it done so fingers crossed it's still there tomorrow.

Had a good go on Wii fit plus before which made me feel nice and healthy :) Haven't been on it for a while (42 days it told me...oops!). I was expecting to have put a ton of weight on because I've been just snacking recently and not doing very much exercise at all, but I had indeed lost a pound in those 42 days lol. Which is crap all in that length of time if trying actively to lose weight, but I was happy about it, always good to go down, even a little. So I had a (relatively) healthy(ish) dinner, jacket potato with cheese and a celery stick and a tomoato - I've done quite well with my fruit and veg portions today, got all 5 in there! woo! I think just eating those 5 portions should make you automatically lose 5 lbs or something, it seems only fair - although there would have to be some way to stop it when you got to your ideal weight, or we'd all just fade away! :)

Anyway, off to watch Chuck!

Monday, 17 May 2010

Moving on

I received a response back from Red today, but it was just someone giving me the right email address and contact to submit a proposal to, so that was quite nice as I'm sure they receive a lot of crap everyday and she didn't really need to, but yay, I've now emailed it off to the right person - so begins the wait for rejection again though lol :) I'm only being realistic people!

Ok, so I quite enjoyed doing my little writing exercise over the last week, or God knows how long it actually took me, so I think I'll do it again :)...ok dig the book it...flick to the first random page...

1. Panic
2. Write about a graduation ceremony that was particularly meaningful for you
3. Virus

Ok, number 2 is just boring, I've been to 3 graduation ceremonies and none of them was particularly meaningful, not even my own, they're just boring events. As much as I love number 3, I feel it could take me years to finish that one as I would probably end up turning it into novel length as I like virus stories. This leave me with number 1; panic. Still a tough choice...hmmm...thinking cap. Could be done from a number of different angles - now I'm panicking! haha

Sunday, 16 May 2010


So I have finally finished that marathon story, as you can see in the post below. I have also finally gotten around to re-emailing Red since I haven't heard from them regarding my article proposal (which isn't very surprising, I hadn't actually expected to) but I'm following the rules from my course which say you can follow up a lack of response asking if they have made any decision yet, and then if I don't hear anything again in the next 2-3 weeks, I send another email saying that if I haven't heard from them in a number of days then I will assume they don't want it and I am free to submit it to another magazine. So it might be worth my while investigating other magazines I could send it to.

In the week, I also bough a subscription to The Lady magazine. I have no idea what it's like but they had an offer of 5 magazines for £5 so I thought that was probably much cheaper than buying a couple of them in the shop, plus I haven't actually seen the magazine anywhere yet. So hopefully it should get here very soon as it's a weekly magazine, and I can have a flick through and try and get some inspiration.

As I've said in a previous post, I started on my Assignment 3 doing the do's and don'ts list for bridesmaids. I've asked Laura a couple of questions which I'm hoping will help me finish that but she's so busy with her uni work that she doesn't have a chance at the minute, but I don't mind at all as I don't have any deadlines, and I need to do something else as well for the assignment as I don't think the list will be 2000 words.

Dad showed me the magazine that Pet Plan insurance send out every so often and it had some interesting stuff in there and said I could send in a letter to them about Jay, which would be a good idea. We managed to come up with quite a few ideas about what I could write about Jay - anything from him having been bought to help with my phobia and him being as scared of spiders as I was - and then how he got better with them and chased the down. Also could do something about all his allergies he has and how over the years Pet Plan insurance has helped with the cost of all of that, which might be a good way to get it published, by saying wonderful things about the company :)

Well I need to go now and have a look at this magazine and see how I can fit Jay into it. There's also the option of writing a filler about him, either for this magazine, or something like Your Dog possibly.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Well it's the middle of the week now and today is my reception day - which is ok, especially since I have been "looking after" the quality street :-) which is also bad though as I have been eating my unfair share of them lol. But they're almost all gone now, so I'll soon be saved! yay!

Saw Peter Kay last night and it was very good, he's still got the funniness - though why he chose Rick Astley to do the warm up act I don't know - it was actually boring and every song sounded the same! AS for Peter Kay, there was only a couple of jokes that I'd heard before and the rest was fresh stuff which was quite impressive. The encore was very entertaining and wish I'd been on the floor so the sparkly stuff could have reached me :-)

So going home tonight to do nothing except catch up on some TV stuff I've missed this week - Derren Brown, Fringe and the new Junior Apprentice starts tonight as well so got a few things on, but at least it should be quite relaxing. Yes I know i should probably be doing some writing but with being out so late last night (on a school night and everything) I think I'd probably write mush - well that's my excuse anyway! haha

Also got told off by Carol last night for not finishing the marathon story yet - I was shocked as didn't think anybody was even reading the blog still lol - oh well must be careful what I say from now on on the just in case :p lol

Gotta get off now

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Back to Sunday again

How does this always happen so quickly? I don't think I should be surprised by this any more really haha :)

So I have finally started assignment 3, with what I think will be a filler. It was actually Sian's idea, or rather what she said made me look at a previous idea in a different way which I think will work better for it. For assignment 2 I'd considered doing an artcile on being a bridesmaid so many times, in a similar style to the intolerances one I actually did - so it would have been an article from my point of view. But I didn't think it was very marketable really, so I scrapped the idea. But talking to Sian yesterday, she suggested doing a do's and don'ts of being a bridesmaid, so that's exactly what I've started to do. I thought something quite short and simple like this could possibly be marketed at a bridal magazine, the bride could give it to their bridesmaids to read - actually would be cool to have it as a pull-out section but I don't think they'd appreciate me suggesting that lol.

I've still not finished doing the marathon story either lol, I need to spend more time writing I think. I might go to the library tomorrow to get some done, or should I go dancing? I feel like I'm just doing no exercise whatsoever and eating a load of crap and putting on loads of weight :-( I keep avoiding trying all my summer clothes on cos I feel like they're all going to be too small and that's my least favourite reason for going out shopping! But then I just get to the end of the day and can't be bothered, which is so lazy and unlike me really. I think having the sinus issues for so long, which have made me very lethargic are still continuing on unfortunately and I'm hoping it will start to ease up soon. I think I should start avoiding all the crap foods, and stop snacking so much and that should help a bit, although not loads in only 7 weeks.

Anyway back to it

Friday, 7 May 2010

Woo Friday!!!

And we're back to Friday - time is actually going by so fast at the moment, it's unreal! We're not far off being halfway through the year already.

I do like my little writing exercise I've decided to do, but I haven't finished the first one yet. I wonder whether doing this might actually create a short story out of it that could potentially be submitted for the competition in June as I'm finding it difficult to look at both the competition and my assignments, and also I'm supposed to be trying to write articles for submission :(
Speaking of which, it wil be 2 weeks on Sunday since I sent the email proposal to Red Magazine and I haven't heard anything back and according to my course documents, I can send a polite request to them. So I will try and structure that over the weekend. So much to do, so little time - ok ok, so much to do, so much procrastination! I so need to shift my arse into gear and get into it!!! I know I keep saying this over and over and that's not really helping me much really is it? lol

Since I'm home tonight,  I might try and get something done - probably finish the story on here.

Right lunch almost over

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

An idea


So I've had an idea. I have this "Writer's Block" book thing, which is an aid to 'jump-start your imagination'. There's lots of little square pages which add up to a block, ingeniously enough. Now I've no used this since I got it about a year ago (oops) but I thought I could maybe have a go at utilising it on here. So if I just pick a page at random and then have a go at writing something on that subject, saying, topic etc and see how it goes?

Now when I say I'll pick a page at random, what I actually mean to say is that I'll pick a page at random and see if I like it or not, if not, I'll pick another, and so on until I find one I like :) I think that seems extremely fair. I will write down all the pages I pick and if anyone would like to contribute to any of those that are left unpicked, or indeed the one that is picked, please feel free. OK, I have come back to slightly amend my way of choosing - I will go to 3 pages randomly and I have to pick from one of them.

According to the block, there are 3 different types of writing exercises: a writing challenge - which are short assignments designed to get you writing as quickly as possible. You can only ponder the exercise for a couple of minutes, then you just have to get going (although I doubt the book will find out if you think for five minutes!). This particular exercise is always paired with a photograph, relevant to the challenge, which you can use to help you, or not as you see fit.
Exercise type 2 is 'Spark Words'. This will just be a single word, also accompanied with a photograph(s).
The last exercise is 'Writing Topics' which is advice from authors, which may or may not conclude with an exercise.

Ok let's give this a go then - drum roll please - and the first page has opened to...'Marathon' with a picture of people (amazingly) running a marathon. Ok, let me think for those allowed couple of minutes...ok, onto the next page -'write about the worst driving you have ever done' Moi? Bad driving, I don't think so! :p haha lol - to be honest, I can think of a couple of occasions but it'd very boring, normal things and the 3rd one is 'Fireworks'. OK, give me a minute (or 5) to think about these 3 topics, well 2 as I'm already discounting the worst driving one.

Read my next post to find out what I choose, well to be fair, it'll be the first post you see as you'l see the newer post before this one :)

Monday, 3 May 2010

May Day

It's been a few days since I last wrote anything on here. I think my apathy has come from struggling a lot with my third assignment for my writing course. I've spent some time focusing on this and not really getting anywhere that I suppose the idea of writing on here also hasn't really appealed. But i'm back on here now and I must say I'm quite pleased that I have 19 blogs written in April. My aim is to beat that this month :-)

So this has been the bank holiday weekend - we've had the typical rainy weather, but it's not been all bad, it's quite sunny today, although I haven't left the house. I had a great time at Sian's on Friday when me and Carol went over for a games evening and also to eat Sian's yummy cooking - Caribbean meatballs, pretty! I even managed to win 2 games! Very unlike me so I was chuffed with myself haha - although it's more likely to be down to an off day with Carol and Sian than me being better than normal lol.

So it's back to work tomorrow - time goes so quickly, it's just felt like a normal weekend, even though I've had an extra 2 days off! But never mind. It will be nice seeing Karen back at work tomorrow - those 9 months have flown over, can't believe she's back already! Speaking of time flying, who can believe we're in May??? It doesn't feel like any time since Christmas was here and then we were hit with the snow storms.

Spoke to Phil and Lisa on Skype yesterday and they were saying they're currently preferring the idea of a driving holiday within Texas. Possibly driving down to Houston/Galveston which is on the South coast of Texas, and hire a beach house down there -and of course you have to visit the space station...Houston...we have a problem :-) Then there was talk of driving over to San Antonio and then back up to Dallas. It would be a nice trip. Phil said he was going to look into things to do etc and send me an email on it. That kind of spurred us into a bit of holiday action as we booked car hire today and also my mum and dad's travel insurance. We also wanted to put our heavy wniter clothes into the loft, and to do that meant we had to bring our summer clothes down, so it was exciting to see all those nice pretty clothes that we'll be taking away with us! I was also tempted into looking at the KLM website to see how much our flights were now, which I know can be quite a dangerous move and make you feel really bad, but not in this case, the cost had increased dramatically to £1073!!! wow! Don't know if that's something to do with the ash cloud possibly, and all the money they lost from that that they're trying to recoup? Ah well, not bad for us anyway lol.

Well so much for my plan to get some writing done. I'm finding it hard to find that balance between doing assignment and writing my stories, not sure what the ratio should be so it's kind of levelled out at 0:0 haha. I really need to knuckle down and get some done -I need time off work where I actually have nothing planned, not sure that will happen in the near future though :-(

Anyway better get off, almost dinner time