Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

The Bond

The Bond? What's this? Well, it's the title of my BuNoWriMo novel, of course! A story of two friends who have an unbreakable bond, despite the circumstances that are thrust upon them. I believe it falls into YA Suspense, which is a brand new genre for me, but hey-ho, it's all fun!

But what's BuNoWriMo?

BuNoWriMo is The Burrow's (my writer's group) version of the better known NaNoWriMo - the event that takes place every November that encourages writers to produce a 50,000 word novel in thirty days. We at The Burrow are a little less picky. We still have thirty days as the time limit, but we pick June for the month of madness. And while we would love it if everyone was inspired enough to produce 50,000 words, we know that this is impossible for a lot of people. Now, we don't like people to miss out, so as far as we're concerned, any writing is good enough for us. Thus we have the general participants, and the rebel participants. *nods firmly*

Your goal may be the traditional 50k novel, it may be adding another 50k to an existing work, or it may be writing a drabble a day for thirty days (a more manageable 100 words daily rather than 1667). Your goal may be adding that final ten thousand words to the novel that you wrote over a year ago (*coughnotmeobviouslycough*). Whatever your goal is, BuNoWriMo welcomes you!

There's still time to sign up if you're interested. The event starts at midnight tonight - in whatever time zone you live in - and you can sign up on the BuNoWriMo Facebook Page. When you're all signed up (it's easy peasy, you just ask to be added, and we add you *winks*), you can get your sparkly word count meter from here, and if you fancy a shiny avatar with the BuNoWriMo slogan, then you can pick one of the ready-made icons made by Burrow graphic designer Joris.

So what are you waiting for? Get WRITING!

Monday, 30 May 2011

A Different Princess

Most people who click on my blog link expect to find a crazy post with a funny image, and that is what you will find for the most part. I make no effort to pretend that this page is anything other than what it is - an outlet for my loopiness.

My readership varies; I have family and friends from 'The Real World' who regularly stop by, then there's my online buddies who I've known for years, my blogging buddies who stumbled on my blog right at the start, and my newest followers, who found me through last month's April A-Z Challenge.

Why I am rambling? Well, I thought that a short ramble would help to ease the serious subject into the post - nobody wants to be thrust into seriousness right from the off, it can be a little disorientating, especially if you are expecting a rude limerick or a bit of Taffing.

The truth is, this blog came to be because I needed a bit of escapism, and it probably ended up being a kind of therapy too. My online persona has always been a slightly exaggerated version of me, a version that is a little bit naughty and a lot crazy. When I first started blogging in 2009, I had no idea that I suffered from episodic depression. Well, I knew that I had periods of 'The Blues', but I didn't realise that they were anything other than normal. I mean, everyone feels down now and again, don't they?

My 'Blues' started way back when I was a teen, and having these periods of blackness so often over the years kind of made me a little immune to them. They came so often that they were just something that I expected. They were a part of me, just like my hair's tendency to curl was a part of me. They were just something that I had to deal with, rather like the annoying cough that I get every winter.

It wasn't until I hit a really big wall of blackness last year that I understood that feeling like crap wasn't something I had to deal with alone. I had been suffering bouts of depression over the years without realising it. They had been coming in spurts, and they rarely lasted longer than a few days, so I had put them down to just feeling sorry for myself (I can be a bit of a Drama Queen). With hindsight, I can see that these small bursts of depression were very clear warning signs. I'd basically been sitting on a time bomb. It wasn't a question of if I would ever hit the point of a breakdown, it was when.

Obviously there are triggers, and over the years there have been many. I think my stubbornness was part of what helped me to stave off the inevitable falling to pieces that was waiting for me. I was too busy looking after my kids to be bothered with an irksome breakdown, after all. Of course, the culmination of all of the little bouts of depression eventually caught up with me, and all I needed was one last trigger to set me on the path to losing the plot.

I am still flabbergasted at the extent of my deterioration when that final trigger came. I'd read lots over the years about people who suffered depression, about how they couldn't function normally, about how they felt so bad that they didn't want to get out of bed, about how they often had suicidal thoughts. I always had sympathy for these people, but I never really 'got' it. I never truly understood how anyone could feel so low that they thought dying would be a better alternative to living.

Now I 'get' it. I am only thankful that I had children to ground me during my lowest point, because I am pretty sure that if it wasn't for them I would have contemplated suicide myself. Only the thought of leaving them motherless was enough to keep me from doing something stupid. Just as they wouldn't be around without me, I surely wouldn't be around without them.

Now this post isn't supposed to be all dark and depressing, it really isn't. After a few months of trial and error, my doctor finally found medication that helped me. It's taken over a year, and that year has been hard, no question, but I am now back to my normal self. Oh, I still have moments of darkness, true, but that is part and parcel of being me. That will never change. The difference is now I know that these periods of blues will go away. I don't have to keep plodding along and hoping for the best, or bury my negative feelings so deep that they fester inside of me.

The medication blocks the worst of the feelings, but it's having an outlet that allows me to be silly that really completes the treatment. Making people laugh brings a smile to my face. I know that sounds like a cliche, but it's true. My natural inclination when it comes to writing fiction is to write dark and emotional stuff, believe it or not, but my blog has never been that way. I don't know how or why, but my blog became my playground. Maybe my subconscious knew that I needed a place to be silly, and thus the Princess of Procrastination was born. Maybe my Inner Nut came forward and forced her way on to the page, pushing my darker self into the background.

How ever it happened, I'm really glad that it did.

To finish, I just want to say that if you know anyone who suffers from depression, or suffer from it yourself, please, please, please be aware that it does get better. I'm by no means an expert, and I'm not arrogant enough to believe that that my own experience of it is the worst that it can get, but what I do know is that it's not permanent. It might feel like it is, but it isn't. Take whatever help is available, whether that's support from your family and friends, medication, or even making a silly blog page. You don't need to be superhuman to get through depression, you just need to know that you're not alone, and that you don't need to hide. It's not something to be ashamed of, and it's not something that can't be overcome.

Here endeth the serious post.

Saturday, 21 May 2011


So first I have to apologise because I've been avoiding blogland for the last two weeks. Not for any particular reason, except maybe I was feeling a bit over-blogified after last month's A-Z. I've not read more than a handful of posts in the last fortnight, and I haven't even attempted any blog writing for either of my blogs. Anyway, apologies for the absence... Bad Tara. *smacks wrist*

The 'B.L.S.' of the title is an acronym for 'Bitten Lip Syndrome' - a well known affliction that I'm pretty sure has affected each and every one of us at one point or another (B.L.S. is also rather apt because the letters form part of the word 'bullshit', which is probably one of the most common words I think of when suffering a case of B.L.S.).

*coughs* Anywho...

I'm a nice person. Really. I don't like conflict, I'm invariably polite, and I'd much rather zip my lips than spout a river of abuse. But sometimes I really wish I could be bad.  Not evil exactly, just a little more unconcerned about keeping things nice. Mostly I wish I could say what I really thought from time to time.


At the supermarket...

Random shopper: Would you mind if I pushed in? I have a bus to catch.
Me: Oh, go on then, *smiles*

But what I really want to say is : Tough! I've been queueing for ten minutes already and I don't see why you get to be served as soon as you reach the checkout. *pokes out tongue*

At work...

Customer: Excuse me, but do you sell [insert ridiculously stupid product which you can only find on some obscure website]?
Me: No sorry, we don't. Have you tried [insert something as similar to queried product as possible] instead?

What I really want to say is: Yes we do! You'll find them next to the other items that nobody wants, on aisle three. *accompanied with an eyeroll*

Then there's the really persistent idiots who won't take 'no' for an answer. Generally they are sales people, but this isn't exclusive. While they're busy trying to sell you something that you'll probably never need, you keep trying to speak the words 'no thank you', but they won't let you utter more than a 'n'. Usually I end up putting the phone down, or closing my front door - which is rather rude, admittedly - but if I had my way I would string several curse words together and finish my tirade with a fairly loud 'now duck off and leave me alone!'

Unfortunately,  B.L.S. tends to strike me on these occasions (which, in the case of work-related situations, is probably a good thing, granted). Of course, logically I know that this is unacceptable behaviour, but sometimes, just sometimes, I wish that I could have one day where my lips were free to form whatever words spring to mind. Without any dire consequences, of course. Maybe this mythical day would end with everyone's mind being wiped of the previous twenty four hours, thus ensuring that nobody would remember how obnoxious I was.

Man, that would be nice...

Image borrowed from here.

Friday, 6 May 2011

I Wanna Be A Billionaire So Ducking Bad

... and buy all of those things I never had!

Yup, I totally get this song. Totally. Not to mention that it's got a beat that I can shake my booty to. Anyway, perhaps 'billionaire' is a bit of a stretch. Honestly, right now I'd settle for being a hundredaire (that's not a word, but youknoworrimean). Everything is going up in price (except for our wages), and my both my kids seem to have had endless growth spurts in the last six months.

Anyway anyway, I heard this song earlier today, and as I nodded along thinking 'oh yes, don't we all?', I got to thinking of other songs that were very true to life, and...well, I couldn't think of any. I mean, most song lyrics are all lovey-dovey balder-rot, and to be frank, life's just not that way. So bang went my idea to blog about cool song lyrics.

So instead of writing a (hopefully) witty and decent blog post, I cleaned my house instead. The excitement of a housewife's daily life is sometimes too much to bear, it really is. The level of the clothes in the laundry basket set my heart to fluttering, and the chaos of the daughter's bedroom fairly caused me to swoon.  And although I have been called a scrubber in the past, it's slightly disappointing to realise that it was meant literally.


Now, if I had a nice housemaid to do all of those 'lovely' chores, I would be very excited indeed (especially if the housemaid was tall, muscled, and liked to clean in little more than a pinny), but alas, funding doesn't stretch to that. To be fair, even if funding did stretch to that, I'm pretty sure the hubby would have one or two objections, but that's neither here nor there (sadly). Still, it's a nice idea, but I would definitely need a few bob to do it.

And so yes, I Wanna Be A Billionaire So Ducking Bad...

Money Image
Porn For Women (I have this book! Courtesy of my fellow Burrower Leanne. *nods*)

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Awaiting The Third.

I'm sure a lot of you will remember when I limericked last week about my kitty. Poor, sweet little Angel who had been subjected to a visit to the vet to be spayed. She's still recovering well, although with another six days before the stitches can come out (thus another six days of wearing the torture tool that is The Cone Collar), she is still somewhat disorientated.

Altogether now; one, two, three... Ahhhhhh!

You may also remember when I limericked the week prior to that about my infamous Tara-Trips (I'm pretty sure you may know where this is going. *snort*) You know, those silly things that I find myself tripping over from time to time. Like fresh air, for example.

Anywho, on Monday, dear, sweet little Angel, who has been going slightly doolally in the last week owing to her head-wear, decided that a scamper through the kitchen might be a nice idea. Perhaps a frolic by food dish, or maybe a playful swatting of a dishcloth seemed to be the order of the day. All well and good, but when she timed her scurry-by to fit neatly with the time I was poised to empty the mop bucket, then things didn't quite go to plan. Several curses and desperate grasping motions did little to stop the bucket from slipping from my hands and upending all over the floor. *mutters darkly* I managed to rescue my flooded kitchen, but I'm pretty sure my tiles - which are only meant to be cleaned using a damp mop (and not a bucket full of hot soapy water) - will never be the same again.

Honestly, I love my baby to bits, but I'm pretty sure I glared at her. And cursed. A lot.

Despite the dirty look and foul language, Little Miss I Shouldn't Be Called Angel did not learn her lesson. Last night she decided once again that a sprint through the kitchen was the absolute only thing in the world that she wanted to do.

Yup, Trip #2 coming up.

I'm pleased to report that I was nowhere near the mop bucket (though if I had been it would have been fine seeing as it was empty). Unfortunately, I'm not so pleased to report that I was in the middle of ironing. In my surprise of almost being knocked from my feet by a Very Fast Pussy, I inadvertently ended up ironing the inside of my arm rather than my son's school shirt. I'm not sure how clear the picture is (my phone has a poor camera), but you should be able to make out the lovely burn that I have. Isn't it fetching?

With another six days before the collar comes off, hence another six days of extra frantic scampering, I am dreading what the third trip will be, because me being me, there is bound to be another one.

*candles self*

Hmm, perhaps not the best choice of words...

Edit: Ha! I just noticed that Angel managed to get into the picture of my arm. How apt! 

Monday, 2 May 2011

A-Z Reflections Blog Hop

Blogging A-Z was a blast
It's quite sad that it could not last
'A' was the start
'Z'  to depart
'B' through 'Y' made it fly by fast!

Well, seeing as I limericked my way through the entire challenge, it seemed fitting that I compose one last ditty for my reflections post. *winks*

I'm not one to join this type of thing, mostly because, as the title of my blog suggests, I'm a bit of a ditherer. *coughsunderstatementofthecenturycoughs* A one-off commitment I can do, even if I usually panic and leave things until the last minute, but blogging every day as part of a group challenge is definitely something that I usually steer well clear of. I've blogged daily for a month before, but only as a personal challenge. It's somehow less pressure when it's only yourself you let down if you fail to post. But letting down a group of well over a thousand bloggers is not something I relished.

Realistically, with so many bloggers taking part, I highly doubt that my posts would have been missed had I given up, but that's not the point. I had a couple of new followers right from the start, and these lovely, lovely people were just so nice and supportive that I would have felt awful if my limericking came to a halt.

I tried to visit as many blogs as I could (the length of my blog list on the right can attest to this, as I followed a good number of the blogs that I visited), and I commented and/or followed on every blog that the handy 'surprise me' tool took me to. Two fabulous bloggers gave me lovely awards (you can find JL Dodge and Christine's blogs by clicking on the awards on the right), and I doubled my followers. Not to mention recieving far more hits and comments than I have ever had in the eighteen months that I have been blogging.

So, as I 'reflect' on the challenge, I can definitely say that it was a joy to take part. A big 'Thank You!' must go to Arlee Bird at Tossing It Out, for coming up with the idea to begin with, and being such a fabulous host. Not to mention all of the co-hosts who did so well in visiting as many of the long list of bloggers that were taking part. I myself probably only managed around 300 blogs (if that), but I am still using the fabulous 'surprise me' button and continuing to discover blogs that are interesting, funny, and pure entertainment.

So will I be doing the April A-Z 2012 if there is one? You betcha! And I recommend everyone to give it a shot too. It's a little bit of hard work mixed with a lot of fun, and that's a great combination as far as I'm concerned.

Congrats to everyone who took part, and thank you to everyone who commented on my nutty limericks! I had a silly grin on my face each time I read about putting a silly grin on your face!