Ooh, I love stationery. I mean, I really love stationery!
When I taught, the summer holiday ritual I looked forward to most was a trip to a well-known stationery superstore to stock up on teaching
essentials for the year ahead.
I spent many a happy hour wandering the aisles buying motivational stickers (mostly for me!), pen holders, A4 pads of lined paper, sparkly pens, novelty crocodile clips, rubbers shaped like pigs – and don’t even get me started on pink, fluffy pencil toppers.
My efficiency as a pedagogue (don’t panic, I’m not like that, look it up) depended entirely on a) post its and b) plastic wallets. Whatever the academic year threw at me, I felt prepared with a novelty shaped post-it at my elbow.
Now, I’m launched onto another career (I’ve had quite a few!) I find stationery still plays a vital role.
Nowadays I cannot resist the lure of the hunt for the perfect notebook. I have notebooks all over the place. I have a small one, now very tatty and coming up to retirement, which goes in the handbag. I also have one which sits by the bed, to capture those just woken up moments of inspiration and which doubles as a coaster. Shamefully, and with a sincere apology to trees
everywhere, I have a shelf full of yet to be used notebooks.
- A5 sized – big enough to scribble in, small enough to fit into a bag.
- With a hard cover – to lean on.
- A pretty or inspiring cover. Current favourites include a Jane Austen themed one and a Kandinsky painting.
- Ring bound. So the pages can easily be folded back.
Often I get bought note-books as presents. Some expensive perfume? A new pair of red-heeled shoes? Something small and sparkly? No – what makes my birthday and Christmas is a new notebook! I’m so cheap.
If I were more organised I’d, like a lot of writers, have a new notebook for each work in progress. I’m afraid mine are full of a muddle of random jottings, bits of overheard dialogue, train times and story outlines. Oh and some really bad poetry.
I’m at the serious stage of writing the work in progress at the moment. This is when I have to abandon the notebooks and force myself to sit at
the laptop with a boring A4 pad of paper next to me. It has a chapter by chapter synopsis, character profiles, a list of places, time-scales and yes, you’ve guessed it, more random jottings. Currently it has a page open which
Check Llewellyn – 4 lls
Leeks, cabbage, squash, toms, salad cut ‘n’
It means something to me – really it does!
Maybe I need a new note-book in order to organise my thoughts? What a great excuse.
Who Dares Dances is a reality TV show with a difference. Not only do contestants have to learn to dance, they also face a series of bizarre challenges. When Julia Cooper signs up, all she wants is to revive her flagging acting career.
When she meets dare-devil Harri Morgan, though, the attraction is instant – and hot!
Forced to perform a sexy rumba together, the sequins really start to fly. Will they score the perfect ten, or is their romance destined to be a dance disaster? Find out in Say it with Sequins, the first in a series of three novellas.
I used to live in London, where I worked in the theatre. Then I got the bizarre job of teaching road safety to the U.S. navy – in Marble Arch!
A few years ago, I did an ‘Escape to the Country’. I now live in a tiny Herefordshire village, where I scandalise the neighbours by not keeping ‘country hours’ and being unable to make a decent pot of plum jam. Home is a converted oast house, which I share with my two beloved spaniels, husband (also beloved) and a ghost called Zoe.
I’ve been lucky enough to travel widely, though prefer to set my novels closer to home. Perhaps more research is needed? I’ve always wanted to base a book in the Caribbean!
I am addicted to Belgian chocolate, Jane Austen and, most of all, Strictly Come Dancing. Keep dancing, everyone!