Friday, 9 March 2012

Spring days and apple muffins

The evenings are getting lighter, the mornings are misty and there's been lots of bright spring sunshine in the afternoons.
I've been out walking with my friend HH and her annoying little dog, Billy.

We looked at the view and talked about what we are writing at the moment. I'm having a go at some historical chapters and loving the research and all the references to carriages, breeches and ballgowns. She is editing sweepingly - changing entire settings and killing off important characters. Although I love these conversations and they always inspire me to go home and write more, I can't quite shake off the feeling that what we're actually doing is pretending to be real writers - just as six year old girls pretend (quite solemnly) to be princesses.
I wonder if we'd enjoy it so much if we actually had agents and earned money from it. I suspect there would be a lot less gazing at the view and a lot more complaining about the pressure of deadlines, writers' block and tiny royalties. God - that sounds even better!

There are lots more signs of spring in the garden now.
Here comes the Magnolia Stellata - it's a dwarf Magnolia with petals that look like torn ribbons. I also have a Magnolia Grandiflora which is an evergreen with flowers that look like teacups!
Cute Rosemary
Pieris - Valley Valentine!
Bright pink Camellia

I love garden statuary - this is my splendid lion's head complete with creeping ivy!

Look - I also have a dragon!

This is Magnolia Soulangeana - it's a big tree with flowers that come out before the leaves, then seem to be floating - like airborne water-lilies. (Yes I have got a thing about magnolias - well, I am nearly forty!)

 Apart from the hill-walking, it's been a busy week filled with tedious and expensive appointments, which I've had to fit my writing around. An hour at the doctors, three at the hairdressers and another three at the dentists. I feel like I've been in for my MOT - and had to have a lot of work done (probably because I'm nearly forty!)
To cheer myself up I made apple spice muffins with 250g plain flour, 3tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp salt, 1 tsp mixed spice, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 pinch ginger & cloves, 100g sugar, 1 egg, 150ml milk, 85g melted butter, 85g raisins and 3 chopped apples - all mixed together.

Wordcount is around 58,000 - and I've e-mailed copies of it out to the other members of my writing group so they can give me some feedback - it's hard to judge my own work now it's become such a huge chunk of writing. I know they'll say lots of kind things, but it's still horribly nerve-racking because they're all genuinely good writers!

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