11 articles Tag writing

My Dream Hobby Room

My Dream Hobby RoomI have to admit, I spend more time looking at Rightmove than is really necesary for someone who has no intention of moving. I’ve always loved looking at other people’s houses and can often be found binge-watching episodes of Grand Designs or Location, Location, Location just to get my interiors fix! I love dreaming about what I’d do if space and money were no object and at the moment, a hobby room is at the top of my list. Read on for an insight into what I’d have in my ultimate hobby room:

A Sewing Station

I absolutely love to sew and make clothes but I often lack the space to do it, so a dedicated space with a dressmakers dummy and lots of fabric storage would be a great way to enable me to get sewing. Valentino’s Displays has an amazing range of clothes rails, mannequins, hangers and storage bins and I reckon I could get everything I needed for my sewing area on their site.

A Reading Nook

I’ve always been able to read just about anywhere, probably from years of reading on buses and trains, but these days I do require a little bit of quiet to enable me to get lost in a book. A comfy armchair in the corner of the room with a little table for a lamp and my latte is definitely a bit part of my fantasy room.

A Writing Area

Writing is both a hobby and my profession and although I tend to work on a laptop literally on my lap, Burrito Baby is off to nursery in September which means I don’t have to only work in the room she’s in! A proper working area where my laptop could sit and I could use a decent ergonomic chair would not only be a novelty, but it would probably also be a lot better for my back!

A Proper Coffee Machine

These days, my vices are well and truly confined to the virtuous, never more so than now, given the fact that I even eat clean and don’t drink alcohol (well…hardly ever!). However, one thing that I absolutely refuse to give up is decent coffee! I tend to use my Waitrose card to get a free cup every day and I think I’d be considerably poorer if I didn’t get my coffee fix from there! Having a coffee machine in my hobby room with a proper milk steamer would be the ultimate indulgence for me.

A Yoga Corner

Since I started going to yoga classes at my gym a few months ago, I’ve found a really deep love of it. It’s one of my favourite hours of my whole week and I look forward to it every Saturday. I’d love to be able to do it more often but we really don’t have much space at home for yoga because our house is pretty cluttered. A dedicated space to find my zen and get my stretch on would be a dream!

What would you have in your dream hobby room?

10% Inspiration, 90% Application…

It’s a funny old thing, writing a blog. I’m not sure if it’s just me or if it’s something that all bloggers go through but I seem to have three zones that I fall into; times when I have plenty to write about and blog often, times when I have no inspiration and blog posts are few and far between and my current zone, which is fairly new and unprecedented, where I have plenty of things to write about and simply not enough OOMPH to get on and do it.

I recently made a document on my phone to write blogging ideas on, possibly as a response to NaBloPoMo (thanks for not mentioning my immense failure on that front, by the way) as I often have ideas for posts which them fall out of my sieve-like skull only to never be remembered again. So I have a list of ideas on me at the moment, there’s about ten things on there, as well as review posts that I need to write, memes I could join in with, a veritable feast of inspiration in front of me but I just can’t seem to do any of it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve been ill on and off for the past month, between a viral, sinus type thingy that just won’t bugger off and my blood-vomiting incident, I’ve not been 100% for a while and I suspect my thyroid levels need testing too as I’m tired an unnatural amount recently.

The thing is, I love my blog. It’s probably the first time I’ve ever had an interest that I’ve invested this much time and effort into in my entire life, so having a page of ideas and no inclination to turn them into content is disconcerting. I want to write but my brain just isn’t letting me. Even this post right here, it’s at just over 300 words at this point and the effort I’m having to put in to actually finish and not just sigh a very loud “UUGHGHG” before clicking ‘Move to Trash’ is huge, it really is. I don’t know what’s the matter with me!

If anyone fancies guest posting for me, I’d love to hear from you. On a base, selfish level it’d be nice to keep the blog ticking over while my brain goes on holiday but I’d also love to host some new and fresh content and zhuzh things up a bit too! If you’re a regular reader, you’ll know that most things go on Mum’s the Word and we love anything a bit subversive, so if you have a burning issue you want to shout about, let me know, even if you aren’t a blogger but just want a chance to blog. You never know, you might like it…*

*I don’t mean to sound quite so much like a drug dealer there…

Subscribe to Mum’s the Word

Silent Sunday

Silent Sunday

Blogging – Where I’m Going Wrong.

Since this month’s Tots100 ranks were updated, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my blog. There are a lot of people out there who say “I blog for myself, not anybody else” and I agree that there is an element of personal space about it, which is great. But I also think that at least half of the people who say they’re doing it are bare-faced liars. I blog because I like to write and I like people to read what I write. Everyone likes affirmation, surely?

I’ve been taking a look at what I can do to improve my blog, my stats and my rank in the world of blogging and I’ve come to a few conclusions (with the help of some friends):

  1. I’m not quite a ‘Mummy Blogger’. I don’t blog only about Sausage or our lives and I probably use profanity far too much for Mum’s the Word to really be considered a family blog. In fact, I can’t think of a single other blog where I’ve read profanity. Maybe I need to cut back on that…
  2. The numbers speak for themselves. I have a fair few regular views on a daily basis and some days not one single comment. This means that I’m either writing a load of rubbish that people just click past or I’m not writing anything that warrants comment. This was brought to my attention by the lovely Kathryn over at Crystal Jigsaw, who currently sits at the heady heights of number 9 on Tots100, so she knows of what she speaks!
  3. Becca of Beckicklesie fame, who sadly doesn’t blog anymore, reckons I’m probably not ‘in’ with the community enough. I don’t spend a huge amount of time on Twitter and I probably don’t promote my posts enough or with enough consistency.

I’m sure there’s a lot more I could change and if you have any constructive criticism, I’d love to hear it. I started blogging in October of 2010 and I don’t feel like I’ve made nearly as much progress as I should have done, but maybe I’m just not putting in the effort. Who knows?

P.S. If you know, TELL ME!

Sorry Grandad – Lady J’s Fiction Festival

This is my first attempt at a short fiction post for Lady J’s Fiction Fesitval – I’ve chosen the topic “A story/poem based on one of your five senses (or a sixth sense)”. I don’t know where the story came from, it just kind of fell out of me onto the page. I hope you like it.

Isn’t it funny how a smell can remind you of so many things? The smell of creosote drags me back to a time before I was even old enough for school and used to spend time following my Grandad around, in and out of his shed that he meticulously sealed with the pungent, sticky liquid at least twice a year.

I try now to conjour that smell, a desperate attempt to force my mind to think of happier periods of my life, when things weren’t so complicated. It’s no use of course, the smell of fumes, fast food, cheap perfume and my plastic coat overwhelming my senses, blocking my path to reminiscence. If only life was as full of sunshine as it was then.

Grandad.

My hero. His hands smelled of the tomatoes and mint that he grew in his garden. The peas that we’d shell together at the kitchen sink on a Sunday afternoon. He used Old Spice, but it never smelled cloying or tacky on him like it seemed to on everyone else. It smelled rich, mingling with the natural scent of his skin, the combination like nothing my olfactory sense has encountered since.

If only I’d listened to him, I may not be in this mess.

My life couldn’t be farther from the innocence of my time with my Grandad, the organic vegetables and organic parenting methods he employed. But grandparents aren’t around forever. And when they go, all we’re left with are our dreams and our spirit, both if which can let us down if we allow them to lead us to the wrong places.

The big city. The bright lights. The drugs. The people we thought we could trust.

A car slows down, creeps past. A siren sounds in the distance and the driver speeds up. He’s not stupid, he knows the drill.

I bet he’s married.

Eventually someone stops, beckons me over. I get into the car, we talk money, we drive around the corner to the place I always take them. Just enough light from the streetlamps above the industrial shutters on the service entrance to the shops that I feel a false sense of security, but not so much that we can be seen.

He pays me.

He’s wearing Old Spice.

The smell makes the bile rise in my throat.

I wish I had a house, a husband, a shed that smelled of creosote.

It’s over in a flash. As I get out of the car, I mumble something before walking off into the night. He doesn’t hear me, asks me to repeat myself as I slam the door shut. I say it again as I walk away, the same thing I say every time;

“Sorry Grandad”.


Lady J’s Fiction Festival – Week One Link Up

So, here goes, the first official linky for Lady J’s Fiction Festival. I’ll be posting my own attempt at fiction later, be kind to me!

If you’re linking up, don’t forget to go and read all of the other entries and most importantly leave plenty of comment love. From the tweets and facebook comments I’ve had, I’m guessing you’re all as scared as me about putting your fiction out there, so  bit of encouragement for everyone would be great.

Also, don’t forget to add the button to the bottom of your posts so everyone knows where to go to read all of the entries.


<a href="http://jaynelc.wordpress.com/" target="_blank">
<img src="http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jaynecrammond/small.jpg" /></a>

Lady J’s Fiction Festival – Week One

Here’s the first list of topics for you to choose from:

  1. You meet a version of yourself from an alternate universe.
  2. 48 hours since your country was invaded – how are you surviving?
  3. Zombie apocalypse.
  4. Love at first sight.
  5. A story with a twist.
  6. A story/poem based on one of your five senses (or a sixth sense)

1. Once a fortnight, I’ll post a list of topics on my blog. I’ll make them as diverse as I can so you have plenty to choose from.

2. You choose a topic and go away and write a FICTIONAL story about it. Nothing like your usual blog posts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kids’ story, a Sci-Fi short, a Romantic tale, as long as it’s fiction.

3. Once you’ve written the post, come back here, link your post up and read all of the other offerings, leaving lots of lovely supportive comments.

 There’s a lovely little badge that you can nick and place at the bottom of your post so that all of your regular readers will know that it’s part of a link up and can go and read lots of other posts too.

Now, go and write a post and put it on your blog next Friday and then come back here and link up. Simple!


<a href=”http://jaynelc.wordpress.com/” target=”_blank”><img class=”aligncenter”src=”http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jaynecrammond/small.jpg” alt=”” /></a>

Around the World in 80 Words – Southend on Sea

My lovely Husband left this as a comment on my Around the World in 80 Words and I just think it’s miles too good to remain a comment, it deserves it’s very own post and entry into SAHD and Proud’s linky!

Wet. Miserable. Grey skies make me feel claustrophobic and the kids hocking up grollies outside the chippy add to the overall feeling of winter misery. I trudge down to the shops, carefully avoiding the dog shit that clogs up a pavement for which I’m charged a king’s ransom in tax every month. I make my way through the alleyway, across the estate and into the park, careful to avoid the crackheads on the swings. Oh! Southend. I do love thee.

Bloody brilliant!

Around the World in 80 Words

SAHD and Proud has a new Linky up on his blog called ‘Around the World in 80 Words’ and although I’m not the most well-travelled blogger around, I’ve been to some places that have made an indelible mark on my soul. I found it so hard to choose between these places but, ultimately, paradise won. As it often does.

Around the World in 80 Words – The Maldives

Plane, plane, sea plane, boat…we finally set foot onto the island, the white sand literally too hot for our bare feet. August, 2006. Two young people, impetuous and in love. The sea is clear by your feet, graduating into darker hues of blue as it reaches the reef, tiny fish and sharks swim around your ankles. The sun never leaves a place like this. Night time is the darkest of dark, with a billion stars to guide your way. 

I hope I’ve done justice to my favourite place on the planet, although I fear my words will never be enough.

Lady J’s Fiction Festival

Last weekend, I saw my best friend (who we’ll call Lady J) for the first time in absolutely ages. Due to her being a bit of a nomad and my fear of being more than half an hour away from home, I kind of let things slip, but it was her birthday and I was determined not to let her down. While we were chatting away, she told me that she was very proud of me for keeping Mum’s the Word going (blush) and how she finds it hard to write in the kind of realistic way that blogging requires. She’s much better at making up stories and tales, which is a skill that I completely and utterly lack.

Husband has often commented that I more or less cut myself and bleed onto the page, that I’m sometimes WAY to open and self-critical but actually for me, writing fiction would be far more personal as I’d be putting my creativity out into the world. So, in an effort towards self-improvement, that’s exactly what I’m going to do! So many bloggers write about their every day lives and judging by the other writing link ups I’ve seen (mainly on US blogs), there’s definitely a lot of you who’d like to branch into fiction but just need a kick up the bum to do so.

In honour of my gorgeous and inspiring BFF, I’m launching Lady J’s Fiction Festival. Here are the rules:

1. Once a fortnight, I’ll post a list of topics on my blog. I’ll make them as diverse as I can so you have plenty to choose from.

2. You choose a topic and go away and write a FICTIONAL story about it. Nothing like your usual blog posts. It doesn’t matter if it’s a kids’ story, a Sci-Fi short, a Romantic tale, as long as it’s fiction.

3. Once you’ve written the post, come back here, link your post up and read all of the other offerings, leaving lots of lovely supportive comments.

I’m aiming to have a list of topics by Friday and we’ll do the first Linky the following Friday. There’s a lovely little badge that you can nick and place at the bottom of your post so that all of your regular readers will know that it’s part of a link up and can go and read lots of other posts too.

Simple! If you have any ideas for topics that you’d like to see in the first week, email me and let me know. Leave a comment below if this is something you’d like to get involved in, or subscribe using the the widget in the sidebar and you’ll get the list of topics as soon as they’re published.


<a href=”http://jaynelc.wordpress.com/” target=”_blank”><img class=”aligncenter”src=”http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x148/jaynecrammond/small.jpg” alt=”” /></a>