Monthly Archives: September 2013

Review of September



What a month it has been!

In life I have had to source work, I have enlisted the help of two specialist agencies and it has taken the best part of four weeks to collate all the evidence, missing paperwork and references. That in itself has been stressful, whenever I felt overwhelmed I repeated THIS TIME WILL PASS, I tried to think forward, to the point all this red tape was behind me. There I was on the 30th September with it all behind me. I have been assigned a part time job already and had some other work which will lead to more I hope.

I haven’t earned much, but on the flipside I haven’t had to pay for any of the photocopying or faxes and I have had the recent experience of three interviews and the delight of some great references. desk

garden2Mr G and I (mainly Mr G) have worked hard on the garden, planting bulbs for next year and harvest the last of the tomatoes and French  beans. We have also started planning work on inside and bought some new furniture a few weeks ago. (Yet to be constructed!)

I tried my best to stick to my writing action plan, after the summer break. I found myself off schedule often but also know that there is no point submitting sub-standard work… sometimes you don’t have the time to make it shine – and in that case rather than risk sending rubbish, I make notes and file it away to attempt to complete for the same project the following year. Depending on submission type.


The Sunday Times run an annual short story competition with a highest monetary prize, competition is fierce and unfortunately I was not able to find an idea I liked enough to make a difference with. This is an opportunity I have definitely ear-marked for next year.

At least it inspired me to create some popular blog posts on creative writing and how to form narrative. I believe I owe some blog followers to these articles.

Speaking of blog followers… in case you missed the thank you post, we have over 450 followers and September saw site statistics at there highest. This has made me very happy (understatement) and I hope for the last few months of the year we can continue to flourish.

AWF retreat2 This month I have been busy researching and preparing the first part of the writing programme for INKSPILL the online writing retreat – running 25-27th October on this blog. We have now finalised the first day’s programme and over the next few weeks I will have completed the rest to announce it (I hope) the week before the retreat.

I have compiled most of my October writing schedule and hope now it is too cold to sit in the garden, I will get back on track!

I ordered several books on writing this month, my last one came yesterday.

I have also decided to make poetry my main focus for now and spent September getting established in the local network.

I attended writers’ network meetings, met many writers and poets, attended book launches, confirmed events I booked for in August (Literature Festival) I joined Stanza (Local group run by members of the poetry Society) and found out about lots of new events – including a poetry flash mob which I would have loved to have been part of but was unable to travel the distance in time. They have emailed me with some future plans, so maybe I can say I have been part of a poetry flash mob before the end of 2013. (A new ambition.)


Manic Monday


Manically busy that is… unless I received a call today I would have the day to organise, do and write. I was awake early enough for work and very tired.

I received a few morning calls but all to tie up the paper trail so I can work tomorrow. I was on the phone and email from 3 hours (the whole morning) sorting out missing information and solutions to problems.

This did frustrate me – especially as I had other things to do, but my income relies on this, I had no choice.

I am now yawning my head off and in desperate need of an early night – as I am working again tomorrow. On my recorded this morning pre- 8am to do list I have achieved… about 11 things (mostly from the ‘work’ section.) I have lots to still do, including planned posts I have owed this blog since before the weekend!

I have managed to start my October Action Plan  – October I can’t believe we are so close to Winter now.

I have spent most of September setting up the opportunities, now I keep my fingers crossed that they will work.


WOW! 450


awf 450450 followers now splashing in the waters of the fountain. I am grateful to all who have found something in this blog for them. May you continue to enjoy and share in the WordPress community.

I am in awe of some of the recent statistics from AWF. In the early days I used to watch them like a hawk, it is too easy to get obsessed by the collated data. Bottom line – I am delighted that I am no longer writing into the void. (That was akin to talking to myself… an act I am used to.)

Huge thanks for taking the time to follow. I appreciate your support.

Massive thanks to those who read the threads regularly.

Enormous gratitude to all who interact by liking posts.

Immense appreciation for those brave enough to respond. to those who communicate through comments and links shared.

Monumental gratefulness to the fouintaineers for all your support. You may not even know who you are, but when you leave me messages they are sprinkled with hope, power, inspiration, motivation and often experience. You are my ‘personal cheerleaders’, you keep me going when I start to think about my time commitment to Blogland.awf 450

To all 450 strangers and friends, writers and readers….

thank you x motivate plans

Blogtember – Over a Week LATE… But, I got There! ‘Comfort’



Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.
Comfort, a place you finally fit.
Comfort, a warmth that is bone deep.
Comfort, a primal position.
Comfort, a soft, feather pillow.
Comfort, a memory foam mattress.
Comfort, is modern living.
Comfort is everything we take for granted.
Comfort, to be done, to be content.
Comfort Boxing Day after Christmas madness,
Sunday after a busy week.
Comfort, a loving family.
Comfort, a solid bond.
Comfort in the arms of a parent
Or a lover,
Or a friend.
Comfort – our need in times of sadness.
Comfort – our desire after pain,
Comfort – is dependable, strong and secure.
fs cat
Comfort forgotten in the womb
Comfort discovered amongst toys in your room,
Comfort explored in post adolescent gloom,
Comfort given after the sun, by the moon.
Comfort found in sparks of hope striking amidst doom.
Comfort shrouding the body inside your tomb.
freestock pink flower
The full circles of the story of life. (Inspired by yesterday’s Seminar.)
Comfort in the pure and constant repeat of day and night.

Mind Machine Rolling


Having lived a jam packed, adrenaline fuelled 48 hours, this evening I dozed off in the armchair around 9 p.m. I have finally crawled into my lovely soft, warm bed and in the space between waking and arriving here I have woken up and now have a switched on mind, tumbling through all its pictures and thoughts.

I could close my eyes. I am tired enough to create dreams and sleep. I also know these precious thoughts may not be rolling through my mind tomorrow.


Before I sleep I need to capture these moments and images. Splurge the contents of my mind machine on paper.

Poetry will come from it. Tomorrow’s words.

Always write out from waking moments.



Full Steam Ahead!


This is what I wanted… I am very excited … but my time to blog has been reduced, so I am just popping in quickly to share the news.



This morning I shared coffee with a good friend who I have not seen for ages and met her daughter, so cute. Before I even left the house she called, we had talked about work opportunities and she had an opening. I just had 1 piece of vitally important paperwork still missing. Annoyingly I knew it was somewhere in the postal system, as I have tracked the progress online, but I had no way of working without it. So I had to let this morning go.

Before I left for our coffee morning (oh, it is SO nice to be able to ‘do coffee’, this was my inkspill coffeefirst time & it won’t be the last!) the post came… and the missing paperwork was in my hand.


I called to check if they had need for me and offered tomorrow and next week. This afternoon I took my first booking.



I have also arranged some new moves with the apartment that I still have for SALE – it has been 2 months now since the property went live.



My ‘money will flow’ mantra has certainly paid off (pun intended) and I will keep repeating it to myself. DSC04062

I am definitely going to be alright this Autumn.




On the writing front, I’ve invested time preparing the INKSPILL writing retreat programme and now need to switch to working on a short story and poetry. Deadlines are close and of course now I will be out working and having property meetings tomorrow, I am attending a seminar most of the day on Saturday and have some Sunday plans, although they could work around writing.

I do hope to participate in online/ blog writing challenges again soon and make it to have a read about Blogland, but after a month of prepping it is all taking off right now and my time is limited.

REMEMBER:  If you want it – go get it! 2012 brighton 532 I did…

*This is not earnings. It is actually a photo of money paid to a workman before we moved. I think it was the 1st time I had handled such a large sum and I knew taking a photo of it would be a motivator!



All Images © N. Lewis 2013

Blogtember Catch Up – Creative Writing Day




Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!

To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.

Kirsty had no idea why Monica insisted on the annual event. Christmas was a busy time as it was. Monica’s dinner party obsession had started in the third year at uni, just after she’d met Daniel. Now Dr. Reynold-Bowles. It was Kirsty’s little joke to rearrange the order of the last few letters on any card or gift-tag she ever gave to Dan. The post-graduate dinner parties had been a great way of meeting people, but now, two decades later everybody was married, with children. Everyone, that was, except for Kirsty.

Monica will have invited some other outrageous single friend and wear herself ragged playing speed dating cupid all ruddy night. Kirsty decided as she gathered up her skirt to manage the step up, this would be the last year. What all couples failed to realise is that being single is fun. It isn’t a substitute or disease, it is a status that needs no appeasement. She wasn’t worried, she didn’t want children anyway, so she had a good decade left to find Mr Right and enjoy her amazing life along the way. Kirsty was a firm believer it in happening when she wasn’t looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to… like a mugger she thought, smiling to herself and catching the driver’s eye in the mirror. He smiled back.

‘Anywhere special?’ he asked pleasantly.

Kirsty looked down at her skirt and pearl embellished jacket, ‘Yes, fancy dress.’ she chuckled to herself.

‘Oh.’ the cabbie replied uncertainly.

Kirsty rolled her eyes, ‘it’s my friend’s annual dinner party, she fancies her chances as cupid!’

‘You don’t sound keen.’

‘Don’t get me wrong. It’s sweet and all, but honestly I don’t know where she finds them. There are two types of single in my book, those that want to be and those that have no choice. She dips into the pool of no choice a lot, I think they are her mother’s friends sons or something. Never my type. It’s painful.’

The cabbie laughs ‘so why do you go?’

Kirsty stared out the window at the snow and thinks about that question. ‘I don’t really know.’ she says honestly, as no answer sprung to mind.

‘Well the roads are bad tonight, so your prayers may just be answered.’

Kirsty didn’t feel comfortable talking to cab drivers, she preferred silent journeys where she could think about things and get lost in the dark world behind the window. Tonight she was being treated to a snowstorm brewing. She felt as if she was inside a snow globe.

She murmured a noise of agreement and hoped the driver would take that as the end of the conversation.

He did for a few miles and then he piped up again, telling her his name was Ian that he was divorced and had no children. He told her about famous people he’d had in the back of his taxi when he was working in London. How he had moved up here for the quiet life. How that was just a myth he thought now. He asked Kirsty so many questions that she was oblivious to how personal they were getting.

It was half an hour into her ride when the roads began to get really slippery and Ian stopped talking to give his driving his full concentration.

Ten minutes later he was outside the snow globe desperately trying to dig them out of a snow drift.

‘It doesn’t look like I will be going any further.’ he told Kirsty, ‘I can call for a 4 by 4 taxi or something. I would wait with you.’

‘No it’s okay.’ Kirsty replied. ‘Do you think you can get us out?’

Ian was back in the cab explaining that the road ahead was far too treacherous to manage and that he had no choice but to turn back before the snow fell any heavier. He apologised, rather unnecessarily as Kirsty hadn’t wanted to go to the dinner party anyway and explained that she was his last passenger. Ian seemed eager to get them back safely, he didn’t chat much on their way home.

Kirsty thought a lot about fate and men and Christmas, she even dosed off at one point and woke up to a dull pain in her forehead from leaning against cold glass.

When she got out of the taxi, Ian refused to take any money for the fare. He claimed not reaching ones destination made it devoid. Seeing his full face now Kirsty realised how attractive it was.

She went in and made herself a hot chocolate in her favourite big mug and collapsed on the sofa. Sometime later she was about to get up and get changed when the phone rang.

‘Hi…. it’s Ian, your taxi driver.’

‘Oh hello,’ Kirsty replied her eyes darting around the room for anything she may have forgotten.

‘I hope you don’t mind, I took a look at the dispatch records and found your number.’

Silence on the line, he went on.

‘It seems a shame that you’re all dressed up with nowhere to go and wondered if you maybe… fancied popping out… for a drink or something-it-doesn’t-matter-if-you-have-got-changed-or-if-you-don’t-want-to go…’

Poor Ian, Kirsty thought, he sounds so nervous.

‘Yes’ she replied needing to put him out of his misery quickly. ‘Yes.’

She hummed to herself as she brushed and re-styled her hair. What was it she always said? Love will happen when you’re not looking. Love would creep up on her, when she least expected it to. Well calling a taxi earlier on she had never imagined. Not in her wildest dreams.


This is un-edited – posted in a hurry – I will come back and tidy it up soon. Taxi/ Cab & tenses…


Blogtember – The Best Bits of the Missed Bits


I thought I would manage a post a day for Jenni’s Blogtember challenge, it hasn’t quite worked out that way. I have decided as I missed so much of last week and the first few days of this week I will dip in and chose those that appeal to me and make a montage of Blogtember The Missed Bits.


Wednesday, September 18: Only photos – I tried this one and couldn’t find the right snaps…
Thursday, September 19: Creative writing day: write a (very short) fictional story that starts with this sentence: “To say I was dreading the dinner party would be the understatement of the century.”
The story does not necessarily need to have a conclusion – you can leave your readers wishing for more!
Friday, September 20: React to this term: comfort.
Monday, September 23: A “life lately” post. What you’re up to, how you’re feeling, how you’re doing on your goals, etc. Bonus points for great photos!
Tuesday, September 24: Review a book, place, or product.
Wednesday, September 25: Write about a time you screwed up – a mistake you made.
Looking at this list of wonderful prompts I am not sure I can combine any… so look out for more Blogtember posts throughout the day.
Wednesday, September 18: Only photos
DSC04396DSC04244DSC03855DSC04062DSC04388DSC02994DSC02935DSC026062012 brighton 6552012 brighton 5322012 brighton 4102012 brighton 625
2012 brighton 1592012 brighton 2062012 brighton 6502012 brighton 5822012 brighton 009
A Snapshot of My Life