Nearly Friday

I’ve never had a problem with Thursdays. I know some people hate them, as it isn’t the same as a Friday, but I’ve always thought it’s one step nearer. Instead it’s Tuesday’s I hate. In fact my working week goes something like this:

  • Monday – score 10/10 – it’s the start of the week and I have a dedicated evening to write.
  • Tuesday – score 3/10 – it’s not Monday any more and it’s still another 3 days until Friday and the weekend!
  • Wednesday – score 5/10 – Mid week. There is a lot to be said for reaching the half way point.
  • Thursday – score 8/10 – one day to go until Friday.
  • Friday – score 10/10 – hurrah weekend tomorrow.

OK, so maybe that’s overstating it a bit! I’m never one to miss an opportunity for exaggeration!

Anyway – things are progressing with the latest games. The Masquerade Murder, is now Movie Mayhem, but that’s the way things change at the last moment. I’ll get back to masquerading another day when I’m not up to my eyes in large group games.

Reading group – The book thief

I have the priviledge of being a member of a small, self-initiated, by-invitaton-only book group. The group meets once every 6 weeks or so for food, drink, chat and an excuse to leave the men with the kids and be “girls with brains” again for a night.

In the last year we’ve read a wide variety of books, each one chosen by different members of the group: The time travellers wife (fantastic), K-Pax (another goodie and my own choice), Fortune’s Rocks (a personal hate of mine – I will never pick up another Anita Shreeve book), The memory keeper’s daughter (grim but readable if your shelf is empty of any other interest), A thousand splendid suns (passable), Getting rid of Matthew (total chick-lit rubbish), Notes from an exhibition (another fab read).

This time around it was the turn of “The book thief” by Marcus Zuzak. Admittedly, there are very few books we ALL like, and I am probably the worst to please of everyone, but this was one book which ticked everyone’s boxes and I’d heartily reccommend it.

The writing style was comfortable and easy to read and the story gripping right through to the end. And… well, actually if you want to find out more about the book, then I’d suggest you simply visit Amazon – after all, there is very little point in duplicating the back page for you here, especially as you’ll want to buy a copy yourself, so… what are you still doing reading this? Clear off to Amazon and grab yourself a copy for 1p before they all go!

The dead fish are back.

Oh – I couldn’t resist it. I just had to add in yet another dead goldfish scene to Deep Rising.

Obviously I must have a thing about goldfish, I just hadn’t realised it until now. I blame it on being forced to abandon our pet fish when we moved house when I was just 5.

Oddly, for many years I thought we had left that aforesaid fish to a girl called “Bod”. More recently I have discovered that the recipient of the fish had a much more ordinary girl’s name like “Rachel” and “Bod” was just the TV program I happened to like. I always thought it was funny she was named after such a 2d cartoon creation…

But then, my youngest child’s middle name is that of a womble (Orinoco), so who am I to talk?

Jo and her amazing rotating border collie!

Oh I wish I could film him for you, doing his spinning thing on the lead, but as I’m usually clinging onto the lead for grim death, holding a video camera just isn’t going to work.

Why does he do it? I’ve no idea, terror perhaps, or just the sheer exhuberance a border collie feels at the approach of a fast moving car? Who knows, but you can gaurantee that when a white van rolls along, off he’ll go, spin, spin, spin…

Now, if he was a doggy dancer, and I was dressed in sparkly top hat and tails then this predilection of his for rotating a full 360 degrees on the end of a dog lead would, I am sure, be heralded as a success of training, a joy to behold, a crowd pleaser.

As it is, I just have to contend with laughing motorists or, as it was this morning, an ambulance crew who nearly dropped the old woman they were manhandling to their vehicle with the sheer comedy of it.

Have I tried to stop him? You ask. Oh yes! We went to dog training for nearly 3 years, and the suggestion I had from the trainer was to pull party poppers when he began his spinning routine in order to distract him.

Did it work? Well, yes I suppose it did; at least, he doesn’t spin at EVERY car now, just a select few, but boy did I feel like a prize prat with a border collie spinning at my heels with party popper streamers hanging from his ears!

In the end, I decided there are worse things in life, and a spinning border collie doesn’t kill anyone. At least, it hasn’t up until now…

The fish will have to die another day too.

Looks like “With Jane in Mind” has gone the same way as the Charity function. Igloo films has had to postpone any more filming until later in the year after all the suntans have faded.

I never realised just what a headache filming could be. All the schedule was fixed, and then, just because one of the actors couldn’t make one of the dates, the whole thing had to be rescheduled for later in the year as, with the summer months coming, and holiday season too, all the cast would have developed a sun tan.

While this might seem an odd reason to postpone, the film is not filmed sequentially, so the sudden appearance of a suntan midway through the script day, and it vanishing by the evening would have made a real difference to everything. Not to mention all the hair length changes.

I tell you, it really makes me want to study a film in more detail just to see if I can spot any continuity errors, but I suppose that’s why they have make up artists and wardrobe managers just to make sure everyone looks exactly as they are supposed to on the different script days.

On the plus side, it does mean everyone is free to film the intro to the blogging mystery sooner than we thought, so we might get that on-line mystery up and running before winter!

Just the right reading…

Magnus has been asked, not just to read at his brother’s wedding in a weeks time, but also to actually pick the bible passage. His mother refuses to allow us to pick anything from “Song of songs” (too raunchy), and the minister has already bagged 1 Corinthians 13, so what to pick next, that was the question…

Well, I suggested the “noble wife” in Proverbs, but Magnus figured it would make the prospective bride recoil in terror if she thought she was expected to do everything in the list so we’ve settled for Ephesians 5 vs 22-33.

That said, knowing that not many people read the bible in his family, we were sorely tempted with this little tale. After all, not many would realise it wasn’t from the bible until right near the end!

The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

And the LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

“What will this helper be like?” Adam asked.

The LORD said, “This helper will be called Woman. She will gather food for you, she will cook for you, and when you discover clothing, she will wash it for you. She will always agree with every decision you make and she will not nag you, and will always be the first to admit she was wrong when you’ve had a disagreement. She will praise you! She will bear your children. and never ask you to get up in the middle of the night to take care of them. She will never have a headache and will freely give you love and passion whenever you need it.”

Adam asked the LORD, “What will a woman like this cost?”

The LORD God replied, “An arm and a leg.”

Then Adam asked, “What can I get for a rib?”

And the rest, as they say, is history.

Wow – you can even see the kids climbing frame.

There is always a solution!

This time it’s explaining where in the world I live. With google these days it’s easy. I live here:;=k≪=53.554369,-0.080642&spn;=0.00037,0.000858&z;=20 To be exact, in the end terrace house that has the white blob (the kids climbing frame) in the garden.

And where is here? All you have to do is slowly pull back on the map and you’ll be able to see exactly where I fit into the whole world.

One day I expect it’ll pull all the way back to the spiral arm of the milky way, but so far… shucks. just as far as the world!


Well, after just over two weeks on twitter, I suppose I can pass some comments on it. Though it’ll take me a long while before I consider myself an expert, or get as many followers as some celebs!

It’s an interesting social networking tool, with people posting random comments, or directing replies to specific people. You can ignore people without seeming rude, and get involved in conversations with people you’d never naturally meet, like celebrities, or “real” writers (those that are actually published or have their work transmitted in film or TV). In short it’s fun, and for me, who looks for distraction on screen when the writing block kicks in, it’s cheaper (or should I say cheeper) than ebay!

One weird thing though… just occaisionally you get some odd “twilight zone” moments. Mention key words such as “tax” and suddenly, seemingly out of the blue, a bunch of tax advisers are following you. Or, as a fellow twitterite reported today, mention a chain store like “Greggs” and within minutes “Greggs the bakers” have signed up as a follower!

Strangely, despite mentioning the words: gun, semtex, letter bombs and poison gas, the CIA have been remarkably absent… but then again, perhaps they are watching me and are signed in as an alias.

Faith matters – one of those lightbulb moments!

Faith in prayer / answers to prayer – has never been an easy topic for me. Mainly because of the “Faith the size of a mustard seed can move a mountain” passage in scripture.

This morning I had a lightbulb moment! Bear with me as this will be hard to explain.

How often have you heard the notion that: if God doesn’t change your circumstances, be it personal problems, work related issues, or health, that it is because you haven’t got enough faith when you are praying about it? I hear it all the time, from some very well meaning and mature christians too.

I must say, from personal experience, it’s been a while since I agreed with that notion, but I’ve still fallen into the trap of thinking that my faith simply isn’t large enough, and I’ve always read that passage in Matthew 17 to mean that “Jo your faith is so insignificant it is SMALLER than a mustard seed which is why your prayers about X, Y, and Z are having no effect”.

And so – here it comes – my revelation (and the blindingly obvious to everyone else I am sure), it was never the FAITH that moved the mountain. It was GOD. – OK – I admit, it was one of those “DUH!” slap head Homer Simpson style revelations, but that’s me. It takes me a while sometimes.

Anyway – so the crux of the matter is: I’ve been supposing all this time that MY faith is responsible for things, notice the emphasis, that I need to do something about it, that I must do better. When in reality, GOD has been the same for quite a while now (i.e. the all of eternity). So whatever my faith feels, GOD is all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-capable of dealing with my problems, which means: a tiny insignificant level of faith can move a mountain, because it isn’t (and never was) MY faith that did it – it was GOD!

So it really isn’t about the faith issue at all, it’s about my understanding the truth: “GOD can do it.”

And the reason my prayers aren’t answered is because: (OK this is a toughy, but true) God doesn’t want to right now. Which means, I just have to trust him to get me through X, Y, or Z.

Of course that doesn’t mean I stop praying, far from it, but it does give me some peace now, as it isn’t about MY lack of faith, but the fact of GOD’s amazing power and ability, and the fact that he DOES actually know what is best for me!

Sun halts work.

Similar to “rain stops play” – the sun is something that simply cannot be missed, at least, not until the summer when it’s just too hot and we all cower in the shade.

Meanwhile it’s the old laptop battery problems in the garden and being unable to see the screen for the sun. But at least I’m getting some vitamin D – so there has to be a plus to it! After all, the healthier I am the better my brain works, and vitamins are always a good thing!

That said, Deep rising continues to grow in word count, and I’m about to begin work on yet another new game. Some kind of Masquerade Ball Murder. It should be fun.