Monday, 28 December 2015

Time to swap my superwoman knickers for granny bloomers? I don't think so!

As I am now on the wrong side of 40 it often occurs to me that as I hurtle towards 50, I still feel like a teenager. I don't consider myself  'old' and have often prided myself on the fact that I am 'in with the kids' as my 22 year old son likes to tell me. So, you can imagine my horror at experiencing ageism not once this week but twice. The first time ever! To say I was a tad annoyed is an understatement. More so because the ageist comments came from my 21 year old step daughter! And, I thought she considered me pretty cool! (*face palm)

I suppose when my step daughter looks at me and her father she sees old farts and she made this point quite clear. But then, sometimes when I look at her I want to shove her boobs back in her top and wish her skirt covered her knickers but there you go! A little bit of ageism all of  my own there! The world would be a boring place if we all conformed. And, if that's what makes her comfortable in the world I have as little right to correct her as she has to correct me. But, if you can't take it then don't give it! Suck it up buttercup! Your evil step Ma is surfacing! I will admit to initially being very upset by the comments when they were made but as my friends have pointed out, they are the comments of a mere child! How true! But, as a fledgling writer it piqued my interest and made for interesting blog fodder whilst giving me the opportunity for a good old rant! What's not to love!

Did all you other old farts out there realise though that once we hit 40 we shouldn't be out dancing and making fools of ourselves? No? Neither did I! And, if we want to do such things we should just stay at home and enjoy ourselves there as we make bigger fools of ourselves trying to pretend we are younger than we are! I wasn't aware we were. I mean dear god who wants to be that young and stupid again? Not me! Who wants to just have a laugh, be proud of all we've overcome and remember how good it is to be alive? That would be me!

Ok now sit down before you fall down you old dears! The news was a shock to me too. Who knew that life ended at 40! And, it gets worse! 
( Oh no I hear you cry into your lace hankies. Hold on to your zimmer frames people!) Apparently there's a rule in some overly pretentious nightclubs, including the one she works in, that if your face doesn't fit then you don't get in! Not only is there a lower age limit but there's an upper one too! Time to hit the botox clinics and get out your giant knickers! But then, according to my step daughter why on earth would someone as old as me want to go to a nightclub!? I don't necessarily want to go to somewhere that is filled with idiots who think its cool to spend mummy and daddy's hard earned money on extortionately over priced alcohol or with men who wear more fake tan than me. But, and this is the crux.....................IF I WANT TO DANCE I WILL DANCE WHERE I DAMN WELL PLEASE! I don't frequent places because of the age group of the other patrons. I go where there is fun, great music and great company. The club where she works doesn't sound like the sort of place I'd ever want to go to anyway. I do have some standards but I am tempted to arrive en masse with a group of oldies!

Now, as someone who is almost a coffin dodger apparently, I can take the ridiculously immature, ill thought out and downright rude comments about age and the restrictions that morons have pulled from their empty heads and file them in my mental filing cabinet under G for Garbage! That is of course if I can find my mental filing cabinet in my old and crusty brain! It appears that with youth lacks a distinct balance of respect and the ability to form any sensible opinion about what it means to live life to the full and without limits.

Thankfully I am not decrepit enough to make a mass generalization about all the young uns. Most are pretty cool! But with others, some thoughts are best kept inside their heads with all the other fuzzy stuff that's stored there. Yes of course we've all commented on those people who do make complete eejits out of themselves on a night out but do we really have the right to give an opinion on someone who is clearly having a good time if all they are doing is having a laugh. They aren't endangering themselves or others but are simply enjoying a night out. I will valiantly defend my right to party!! Ok so I might need to pee more often but good grief I will have fun, Tena lady or no Tena lady!

I am lucky enough to have a very close group of 5 friends who have been there for me through thick and thin for over 25 years. We all went to school together and our friendship just grows stronger with every passing year. They are the sisters I would have chosen for myself. Whilst our hair has turned a little grey and our faces a little more wrinkled, we have never lost our sense of fun. Ever! Each of us has in turn had some traumatic life event or ongoing issue in our personal lives and the only way to deal with difficult times is to laugh your way through it with good friends. Imagine our shock to be told that we should only do that laughing and have that fun confined to our living rooms and in our slippers! I'm not sure we could or should deprive the sad old world we live in  of our girly giggles, mad dancing jiggles and snorting wine out our noses just because we are over 40!

So, in the spirit in which the comments were given, and ridiculous rules made, I have written this post. Yes its a bit ranty but being ancient has afforded me that right! If those young whipper snappers are entitled to an opinion then so am I. I do wonder if those who think that us oldies shouldn't have a life are the same young people who are constantly looking to us for money when they seem to so often need it, help with bills or fees or sagely advice when they have screwed up.  

Personally, I happen to think that my life is a little bit more exciting than counting grey hairs, cleaning the oven and clipping my toenails. After many hardships and a fear of following my dreams I find myself in the fortunate position of thoroughly loving life and taking on more challenges that I would ever have done in my 20's. Its time to chase those dreams now and have a wild ride along the way!  If my clapped out body hasn't died by the time my lovely step daughter is 45 years old I shall remind her of this conversation and laugh my denim clad ass off as I jiggle my way out of the house on a mad girlie night out! Oh and just in case you were wondering, the other ageist remark was that I am too old to go get my nose pierced. Now, that just sounds like a challenge to me! (insert evil laugh here).

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

Nano What?

Someone shout at me. I had promised back in July to keep this blog a little more updated but as usual life got in the way! Shout at me on social media now and again if you see me being lazy with this blog! You have my permission to kick ass!

Anyway, lets get to the subject at hand. I participated in Nano this year! 'Nano what?' I hear you shout! NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month and takes place every November. The challenge, to write 50,000 words of a novel in 30 days. For all you smarty pants out there thinking 'Oh that's easy peasy,' just let me take a moment to slap you upside the head with my very heavy thesaurus!  Have you ever tried to sit and write 50,000 words. Have you? Hmm!

Last year I thought I'd give the challenge a go but only got as far as writing 2000 words. I gave up almost in the first couple of days and didn't really think too much of it. Then throughout the year I've been hearing about authors whose current book is a book that was written as part of the Nanowrimo challenge and it piqued my interest again. So, I signed up and bought the teeshirt (yup there's a teeshirt) and promised myself that come hell or high water I was going to complete the challenge this year if it killed me. It nearly did! But, I preserved and by the end of day 29 I was done! I was a Nanowrimo winner!

Is what I've written a really good book right now? Hell no! I intend to spend the next few months going through my original plotting plans and each chapter and adding and taking a few things away. I'll probably change the title too. Basically, a total re-write I would imagine because although the original challenge is over, my characters just will simply not shut up! I keep thinking of new things to add to their story! New plot twists and new characters! I think this will be an ever evolving thing until I am completely happy with it.

So, what did I get out of it? Well, its made me a bit more disciplined in sitting down and writing, even if its only the odd 100 words here or there or writing in this poor abandoned blog. A sense of personal achievement I think too. When I was writing the final chapters of the book I was sobbing. It was so overwhelming both physically and emotionally because on that last day I wrote over 13,000 words. Do I consider myself an author? Hmmm not really sure to be honest. Is there a difference between an author and a writer or are they one and the same? I write a lot, so am I a writer? I've contributed to a few published anthologies and co-wrote a book for charity. Does that make me an author? Hell I don't know! I wish someone would tell me! Or, am I a wannabe? What do I call myself? Answers on a postcard please. 

I think that because the reaction from family members has been quite muted I am reserving judgement myself. My husband tells people I am writing a book but not sure he'd call me a writer just yet. He's had to take on even more of the household and childcare chores than he previously had and hasn't complained once about doing so. He hasn't complained when I've sat at the laptop for 14 hours solid, unless you count an argument about whether we should have chips or mash for tea! My friends think its great but are worried they are going to end up in a book! (one or two have but shhhhh). My poor misguided daughter thinks I am going to be a multimillionaire and buy her a pony. She thinks writers make a fortune! hahahaah! My son just keeps making me cups of tea and giving me a hug to keep me going through the writing process. As for everyone else in my life..........there has been little or  no reaction or support which has been both surprising and a little disappointing. Maybe I needed to shout more loudly about what I was doing. But I'm a big girl and know how damn well amazing my achievement has been without endorsements from those with little or no interest. That is, until you come across my lovely online friends who have been truly astounding! What a supportive and encouraging lot they are! And, the advice and guidance has been amazing. I am very lucky to have such a wonderful bookish family.

One thing I do know for sure though is that something that evoked such passion in me when I was younger has over the last couple of years been awoken again and its taking over my brain. I feel like I've been invaded by a body snatcher and the symbiotic relationship compels me to write. Its all I want to do.............sit down and write. But, like everyone else, life keeps sticking its big nosy nose (not sure that was grammatically correct!) in and putting obstacles in my way! Juggling so many commitments both personally and professionally often means that my writing takes a back seat while I promote the books written by people who really are authors! Talented and wonderful people.  And, that is just fine. I love what I do in the book world and I love the friends I have made and the important industry connections.  I hate what I do outside that world but that's the job that pays most of the bills unfortunately! Maybe some day the universe will conspire to allow me to stay at home and continue with my book work full time while allowing me a few minutes each day to write. Maybe a nice publisher will pay me to work from home?? Come on universe! Cough up some good karma for me!

If you completed the Nano challenge then well done. If you didn't get to 50,000 words well done also. You sat down and you poured your heart onto a page. We are all winners! I'm very proud of you.