Thursday, 28 April 2011


If only I could have got Freddie Mercury to sing that for me - or Monserrat Cabaille.

So - here I am at Gatwick, waiting to board.

I finished writing at 3 a.m. and got up at 5.30 to see to the horses...

Mad? Probably but I proved to myself I COULD DO IT - devise a feature length film in less than a day and write the opening ten pages...

Sorry no pictures...maybe I'll add some later...(I did!)


Wednesday, 27 April 2011

I. Have. Finished!



What a wonderful feeling that was at 11 o'clock last night to write the last line!I cannot TELL you how great it felt. I can't tell you, either, how well I slept and how exhilarating  it was to wake up this morning and KNOW...

If you're a writer, I don't need to tell you anyway.

By the way, SO FAR no post-natal depression...this could be because of:

A whopping enormous elephant-sized fly...

I have TODAY to write the first ten pages of a feature length screenplay for a contest. (My logline made it through to Round Two)

The deadline is midnight April 30th but I'm taking Pete away for a mystery birthday holiday. We leave 8 a.m. tomorrow morning...

I haven't even thought about this screenplay. I mean REALLY, I haven't even thought about it.

It could be the best thing I ever wrote...

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

This nearly nonsense...

 nearly (nir) adverb 1. almost; not quite; all but: nearly finished   

I worked all day.

I drank a lot of coffee.

I had a shower at midnight.

I worked until 2 a.m. (and those who know me know my bedtime is 9 o'clock or 10 if I'm feeling daring)


I'm not even going to say...but I will be today.

(Oh, I just did)

Monday, 25 April 2011

Were I to await perfection, my book would never be finished

Today might, just might be the day...possibly...

When I stop seeking perfection and I just STOP...

And then all I have to do is read it right the way through, edit it and amend and proofread, print it out, assemble it in a binder, check it through, send it off to the agent...

Then...wait and hope...

Oh, and I have the first ten pages of a screenplay to write - deadline Wednesday night...

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Just want to say...

With love from me.

Guess what I'll be doing today?

It's not stuffing myself silly with chocolate eggs...

It is...

I know you're surprised.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Best Day Ever?

Yes, I think yesterday might have been, in writing terms...

  1. I got loads written
  2. I was pleased when I read back over it
  3. I sorted out a few muddly plot  points in my notebook
 Now, how can I make today even better? 


Friday, 22 April 2011


Yes, thank goodness it's Good Friday...

It's one of those days that takes me back to my childhood, although, with a mental age of approximately fourteen, my childhood is never very far away.

I'm no longer a church-goer but I feel very comfortable with traditions - they're a sort of scaffolding that holds my life together.

So - hot cross buns for breakfast and fish for dinner...

It's a holiday but, at the moment holidays and weekends simply mean that I spend more time writing the novel - but without the feelings of guilt that I should be doing other work...

Yep I'm going to have a very Good Good Friday

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Μερικά άτομα να εγκαταλείψουν τα σχέδιά τους, όταν έχουν φθάσει σχεδόν το στόχο

Thought I'd shock you all today, not only with a title in Greek, but also a new template for my blog (it seemed a bit crazy having snowy trees when outside it's blazing sunshine and 25 degrees)

I'm very good at Greek. Especially taramosalata and tzatziki. 

I'm also very good at lying and using Google Translate.

The Greek is from my old friend Herodotus and it says: Some men give up their designs when they have almost reached their goal.

Good job I'm a woman, then. Otherwise I might have been tempted to give up on my novel. (If it's never completed then no-one can judge it to be a pile of crap. That's how the theory goes)

Here I am, nearly there...

I have such manly hands for a woman...

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Hitting Walls

So THAT'S what's been happening to me!

The Wall has been happening to me.

Not the Pink Floyd album...

The psychological wall, the one that happens when you run a marathon. It happened to me at 20 miles when I ran my one and only marathon.

That's about where I am with the novel, if you put it in marathon terms.

Yesterday, I got through the wall (over the wall? under the wall?) I think 'through' more accurately describes the effort involved.

At the end of yesterday I suddenly noticed I was ENJOYING writing again.

Today, I'm looking forward to writing some more.

That's the thing about hitting walls. It feels so good when you stop.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Hollow Laughter from Caroline Coxon

See, I'm good at promoting other people's work - but that isn't what the hollow laughter is about.

At the end of a day battling with words (and winning) I received an e-mail...

The title was Ready to get that novel written? (Has someone been SPYING on me?)

Oh, if ONLY I had realised that novel writing could be so easy.

Did you know that:

With StoryMill 4, you can take your idea for and turn it into that novel you know is within, but just needs a little help getting onto the page?

You can take your idea for and turn it into that novel? What by using a software program advertised by people who can't even string a coherent sentence together, you mean?

Ready to get started on your project? Order StoryMill 4 for only $44.95.


Monday, 18 April 2011

Writing is the most fun you can have by yourself

I beg to differ Terry Pratchett...

Yes, THUD! That's your quote going down like a lead balloon.

Writing, WHEN IT'S GOING WELL may be the most fun you can have by yourself BUT...

BUT (again) today I'm going to try my damndest...

Sunday, 17 April 2011

The art form is to become one with the hurdle, to make it your friend...

Renaldo Nehemiah, 3-time world record breaker in 110m hurdles said that.

He's quite talented as guinea pigs go.

And today is the day of the London Marathon (Go Tara!)

I think writing a novel is like running a marathon WITH HURDLES...

Some of my best friends are hurdles

Saturday, 16 April 2011

I'm sick of following my dreams.

... I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later.

Thank you Mitch Heidberg who is ANOTHER American comedian I've never heard of. 

Here are my dreams not necessarily in order:

1. To make it as a a screenplay writer

2. To make it as a novelist

That's not so very much to ask, is it? IS IT?

SO. Hurry up, dreams. Get a move on!

I'll catch you up later when I've had a bit of a rest...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.

Alfred Hitchcock said that and I said this:

Life is drama with the dull bits left in.

In fact, to me, the minutiae of life are fascinating, an endless source of interest and always to be stored away for a future appearance in a novel or a screenplay. (BEWARE!)

This is by an artist called Susan from
 So here are my bits for today which I don't think are dull (but you may)

1. Alfie was a complete poppet yesterday and is surely destined for a career in modelling?

WHAT a lovely boy! (I'm referring to Alfie!) Sorry...

2. The LA-based director of Groucho Club breakfast meeting fame has said YES if we can get funding.

3. I'm going to have to extend my (self-imposed) novel deadline by a week.

I think that's enough about my life...


Thursday, 14 April 2011

A trot in the right direction

Alfie's got his first acting role today.

He's going to pose as an Edwardian New Forest pony. He's been practising. You know...eating a lot of grass, wandering across roads in front of cars

He's going to be professionally photographed. My Alfie's going to be a model!

(Not THAT sort of model)

I just have to go and scrape the mud off him. (I'm sure Naomi Campbell never has that problem before a shoot)

He's promised not to buck...

Autographs on request.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Today is the first rest of a day in my life

...or something...

For weeks now I have been working very hard on my novel. Too hard probably. Every day, most of the day.

My brain needs a rest from it, not to mention the unfortunate fact that I have other things to do which aren't getting done. Like earning a living...

Today is designated a day of rest - a novel day of novel rest. That's not to say I won't do any novel writing, but I WILL be easier on myself and I WILL do other things as well.

That way I'll probably get a lot more of the novel done anyway!

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Perseverance is the hard work you do after you get tired of doing the hard work you already did

I am persevering!

It's not easy, this novel-writing lark. It seems there is only so much I can do in one day. This is little to do with the amount of time I'm willing to spend, more that my brain only seems only able to produce a certain amount of pages before it explodes.


(I love that word!)

AS for 'getting tired of the hard work' - I'm not getting tired of it, I'm just getting tired. There's a difference.

Monday, 11 April 2011

The British have a remarkable talent for keeping calm, even when there is no crisis.

Well, hooray for the British!

I'm thinking I must have too much of the Irish blood coursing in my veins.

I was in a Monday Morning Panic at 5 a.m. thinking I should get up and start work IMMEDIATELY, that I shouldn't exercise Alfie because I had no time and oh no, how am I possibly going to fit in getting along to the Post Office to post off Laurie's visa application?

So - I got up at my usual time (6.30) AND exercised Alfie AND went to the Post Office AND am confident I will get all my work done because really, I'm creating my own crises where there are none.

5 a.m. on a Monday should be BANNED for being DISOBEDIENT and BAD or perhaps it's just me?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

The sun's rays do not burn until brought to a focus.

Concentrate all your thoughts upon the work at hand...

Photograph by Eugene at My Modern Met

For this pearl of wisdom I can thank Alexander Graham Bell. He wrote clever things AND he invented the telephone.

I'm just trying to write clever things...I'll  leave the inventing until next week.

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Don't say you don't have enough time.

 ...You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”


That's a particularly annoying quote by H Jackson Brown.


Feeling under pressure? Moi?

Well yes, I AM actually, if you must know.


Il tempo scorre inesorabile. 




 If I had the time to translate that it would say...

Time is running out.


But I haven't....

Friday, 8 April 2011

It's a mad, mad WRULD!

Me and my Work-Related-Upper-Limb-Disorder...

The thing is, my wrists take a real bashing in a number of ways:
  • being yanked violently by skittish horses
  • being exhausted when I shift ten-ton haybales or heavy barrowfuls of manure or compost
  • being over-used when I sweep the yard every morning (it's a big yard)
so, I wasn't that surprised to be in quite a lot of pain lately, especially my right wrist.

It turns out to be none of the above strenuous physical exertions where at least my wrists DESERVE to feel pain.

It's too much writing at the keyboard...

Oh how we suffer for our art!

Thursday, 7 April 2011

To err is human, to forgive, canine

We've decided to get Roly a passport... that one day, he can come on holiday with us. Abroad, that is.

Come the time that Moose has gone to The Big Dog Bed In The Sky - he's over 100 years old now in human years - we'll only have one dog so that becomes more of a possibility.

One dog, that is, until we see an adorable ickle puppy and can't resist it...

This was Roly when we first got him...

Taking Roly on holiday seems like an exciting prospect. Taking him to the vet's today for his rabies shot, less so.

But he'll forgive me because he's a dog.

I love dogs. And I love horses. And some people, sometimes.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

On a roll, in the zone, call it what you will...

Whatever you like to call it, the last couple of days I've been there.

Let me tell you, there was nothing magical about getting there.  I have a rose-tinted airy-fairy dream that I'll be carried there, to this sacred place where WRITING IS EASY, on a cloud of inspiration.

The last two days has been by dint of sheer hard work and persistence. You WILL write a whole chapter before lunch. You WILL write in the evening no matter that you've been busy since 6.30 a.m. and are completely exhausted. You WON'T get distracted by other things however appealing.

And it has worked. It IS possible to put yourself in the zone.

If I can do it, ANYONE can.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Life is a shipwreck but we must not forget to sing in the lifeboats.

I love that quote, Voltaire!

It's not even appropriate for today but I came across it and it made me smile, it made me cheer inside. It's worth using it just for that alone.

The image isn't appropriate either, but what the heck? It's my blog and I can do what I like with it.

I had a great day's writing yesterday - three whole chapters of the novel - so shipwrecks are far from my mind today (except when I read quotes by Voltaire)

The water's a little choppy though so I've got my armbands on.

Just in case...

Monday, 4 April 2011

A bee is never as busy as it seems; it's just that it can't buzz any slower.

 But today, I AM as busy as I seem.

 The above was written at about 5.30 a.m. when I was already awake and thinking...I have SUCH a lot to do today...and that thought was tinged with...I don't know...a mixture of panic and self-pity.

Five hours later and I'm  telling myself off very firmly for being such a snivelling light-weight.

I am the luckiest person in the world (and I NEVER exaggerate, as you know!)

I have LOADS of work and that work is writing. I can do it from my home, my dog lying at my feet, the sound of birdsong from the garden to cheer me. I get PAID to do much of it.

So why don't I just SHUT UP and get on with it?

YEAH! It's YOU I'm talking to, Caroline Coxon.

Sunday, 3 April 2011

I like to stay busy, I like to stay focused and I like to stay creative. Without being creative I'd be dead.

Jeremy Renner said that. He of The Hurt Locker fame. 

I expect it applies to many, many people. I'm sure it applies to me.

But LIKING to stay focused is NOT the same thing as STAYING FOCUSED

.That, I find tough.

Although I'm pretty good at balancing biscuits on my nose...

Saturday, 2 April 2011

Early Days As a Writer...

Funny how little things set off a train of thought...

I was cleaning the living room - don't laugh, people - you know, using dusters and things and that spray stuff that I believe they call polish.

One of the objects that received my unaccustomed house-wifely attentions was a fire-screen, inherited from my parents, which is a framed tapestry of Abraham about to sacrifice his son Isaac on an altar, I forget why.

 (Me, I favoured grounding my kids when they'd transgressed.) took me back to something that has gone down in the annals of my family history - a story I wrote about this very same biblical happening, presumably for a Religious Knowledge homework when I was very young.

In this famous story, exactly as illustrated above, Abraham's dagger is poised above his son and my bit of dialogue for Isaac was (apparently) "Okay, Dad. Ready when you are!"

I always wanted to be a writer!

Friday, 1 April 2011

Pinch, punch first of the month

...and NO RETURNS.

And yes, I forgot to say 'white rabbits' when I woke up. Good job I'm not superstitious (touch wood)

(I don't think this IS a rabbit. More of a sculpture out of cotton wool and pink felt. No self-respecting rabbit would ever allow himself to be quite so poncy)

Well, it's April. April for me is an ENORMOUS month. This April is, at any rate.

Deadline for Of Night And Light

Deadline for the first ten pages of The feature which must remain nameless

Pushing forward with The colour of her scream

Loads of work for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission about undivided India and its involvement in the two world wars

Loads of work for Cubiquity

Loads of marketing of my own material that I should be doing (note that is at the bottom of the list, as always)

But hey...I'm cool