26
February

Why I’ve become a fickle floozie since having kids

I used to be strictly monogamous. But now not so much. In fact between you and me I’d say I was a bit of fickle floozie these days. And it’s probably since having kids.

Now before you leave in horror, let me just explain that I’m only talking about books here!

For years I would only read one book at a time. It was the author and me in a wonderful whirlwind romance. I had eyes for no other. And even the ones who were a trial, and frankly I should have chucked sooner, I still stayed true while we were together.

But having two small boys I started having to flirt with other books while my first love was still blazing away. They wanted stories not just at bedtime, but at teatime and in the middle of the morning and while they were in the bath. And lots of them. I had to get used to the idea that I could have a story for me, a story for a new reader and a multitude of stories for a voracious toddler all on the go at once. Well, not quite at once – I may be learning to read books alongside one another, but even I haven’t learned to read with each eye independently – it would be good though, wouldn’t it!?

Anyway I have now discovered that with books coming in so many different formats I can be as frisky as I like.

When I’m cooking and can’t hold a book open I flick on my Kindle story – a quick tap in between chopping and I’m good to go. Walking the dog or lying in bed I can listen to another on audio format. Then I have the kids’ story of choice – wherever and whenever we have story time.

Then finally my actual physical silky-paged book that I hold in my hand and read in the few moments in between everything else.

And I kind of like how the mix up of stories can bring new things to each one when I read.

I used to love curling up with a book when I was a kid and reading for hours and hours. But apart from the fact my back won’t allow that (which is why kindle and audio also rank high for me) I don’t get those uninterrupted hours anymore.

One of the best bits of writing advice I was given was to not wait for a chunk of time to write, a whole day to settle in and get in the mood. But to write in the little snatches of time when the kettle boils or the kids are briefly occupied or the bath is running. And I guess I’ve finally learned to read like that too. In the little gaps. And having a different format for each snatch of time has definitely helped.

So are you a strictly one at a time reader or do you juggle stories like a pro? And if you have more than one or two or three on the go at once do you choose them to complement each other or purposefully make them clash to set the mental sparks flying?

Currently my reads are:

Paperback – Anne Michaels Fugitive Pieces. My go to book when I want to remind myself why I love words so much.

Kindle – The Girl Who Walked on Air – Emma Carroll

Boy’s story – The Dreamsnatcher – Abi Elphinstone

Teatime boy’s story – Arsenic for Tea – Robin Stevens

Audio – The true Tale of the Monster Billy Dean – David Almond

Picture books a plenty just because we love them anytime anywhere.

 

 

 

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8
February

Why I wish I could forget Stonebird by Mike Revell

I am reading so many great books at the moment, and there are more stacking up clamouring to be read. I sometimes wish I could read with both eyes, one on each book. Think how many more I could get through! But then sometimes a book comes along that makes me glad I can’t, because it’s a book you want to keep both eyes firmly focused on.

Stonebird by Mike Revell is one of those.

It reminded me of one of my all time favourite books, Skellig. And like Skellig it was a book I wish I could forget I’d read – just so I could go back and have the pleasure of reading it all over again!

From the first pages I didn’t want to be doing anything else except curling up with it. It’s a beautifully told story where magic weaves effortlessly through the everyday. Revell writes so poignantly about the power of story and memory and the effects that an illness like dementia has on people. Told in the first person, Revell really captures the voice of  Liam and expertly conveys how the move, his grandmother’s illness and his mum’s drinking feels to an 11 year old.

From the moment Liam stumbles across Stonebird in the Church I knew I was in a for a treat.

A stunning debut from Mike Revell and one to watch in 2015 for sure.

 

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4
February

Inspiration meeting effort

Sometimes words don’t seem enough.

Sometimes the depth of feeling is so great that even as a writer it can simply feel impossible to capture a moment.

But we still try.  It’s what we do.

My husband is an audio engineer – well-respected in his field. Today, using all the sophisticated binaural equipment and digital audio editing software at his disposal he has tried his best to capture that moment where inspiration and effort meet.

Just click here to experience it:

Inspiration meeting effort

(All I can say is that some days it’s just easier than others!)

Are you having one of those teeth pulling days?  Where you want to do anything else except write?

Why not share your top tip to keep yourself turning up to the page?

Here are a few of mine from a previous post:

Quick, they’re after us!

And if all else fails I remember that I might rant and rail and blow raspberries of epic proportions that scare the dog, but at the end of the day I’m still going to write so I might as well bloomin’ well go on with it.

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