Archive | March 2017

The Ingredients of Love

Wonderful book and here is my Goodreads review

A lovely read, very engaging and amusing. Set in Paris on the day she is dumped Aurelie comes across a book which contains a scene from her restaurant and the character is herself. She tries to contact the author but the editor at the publishing company is not helpful. We know early on that the editor, Andre, actually wrote the book and the story is about his attempts to thwart Aurelie’s wish to meet the non existent author. Surprised at the poor reviews and low ratings as I found it unputdownable.

for a longer review look at my Book Blog  http://www.disbookblog.wordpress.com
<a href=”https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/8225358-di-castle”>View all my reviews</a>

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Procrastination

Procrastination is the thief of time – Edward Young

Procrastination the bug bear of creative life

Last year my writers’ group had a theme of Procrastination. The night before the meeting crisis management hit me full force. I’d had two weeks between meetings and the list was months old.

Of course I was I was going to write it the week before, after the washing, the ironing and tidying. I’d do it after hoovering the lounge of the biscuit crumbs the cat rejects, unlike my previous canines who ensured my carpet was always clean of tasty droppings. I would write it, I promised, after the early night, the late night watching Question Time, the reading in bed night and the hour spent reading on the sofa.  I’d do it after writing another blog post.

The trouble with procrastination is it clogs up your memory. There are so many things to do and written masterpieces to finish off … some time … later .. tomorrow … next week … this evening, etc, etc.  The thought ‘I will put that in my diary’ leads me to open it and see that I have forgotten something else – ah well, I will email an apology later … or this evening … whenever – and I find a hair appointment clash. My diary is the victim of my procrastination. When I agree to something I  will put it in the diary later …  when I get home … tonight … or more likely, when I find it. Every job put off is another one to clog the brain.

As a teacher I worked from my ‘to-do list’ every day. It is difficult to procrastinate in teaching as there are syllabus and exam requirements knocking at the door and lessons cannot start ‘whenever’ but on the dot. Perhaps that is why, now, as a retired teacher and a writer, I procrastinate so much. It is because I CAN.

Years ago Staff Development included a Time Management Course. We were told only to touch a piece of paper once. Then read it, file it or bin it. Never put it to one side and pick it up again. Of course, that doesn’t work for a writer.  Imagine reading your first chapter through and filing it or deciding it is no good and binning it.  A constant writing mantra is nothing is wasted and a writer should never discard what might be useful later. So I CAN procrastinate. I may even improve the piece if I wait and think it over.

According to TM theory if you leave your intray long enough, the chances are many things will have answered themselves or not need answering. Everything will have moved on. Most papers will be out of date. It does work. Remember if you really wanted to reply you would have done so. It works with special offers as well, I can vouch for that. I am always coming across out of date vouchers.

Julia Cameron writes of procrastination in The Artists’ Way. We tend to look to the big picture such as ‘I want to write a book’ without making many small creative changes to keep working in the moment. Much better than seeing the WHOLE book as something unachievable. Rather than take scary baby steps, we rush to the cliff and stand there quaking.  For example, we waste thinking time such as ‘If I finish the book, how will I market it?’

In today’s media frenzied world and the vast possibilities in life we have so many choices. There are numerous groups, endless fitness classes and as well as the corner shop there are several supermarkets enticing us with special offers and, failing that, we can motor further afield and join the Aldi or Lidl crowds.  At home, we can watch hundreds of television channels, record two programmes while watching a third, we have radio, overflowing libraries and e readers.  Now, don’t start me on that one as I just can’t get on with screen reading. Even the Help menu doesn’t understand so I need to ask someone … tomorrow … next week?  Give me a book please!

Procrastination does have advantages as, like Time Management theory it allows you to leave some tasks which may, in fact, be unnecessary. For example, writers have at their fingertips an endless supply of websites and social media to promote themselves. If we pursued them all we would never get any writing done. So to stay sane, procrastinate and allow a limited time for each one. Twenty minutes on Twitter and put off those other tweets til tomorrow, otherwise the whole evening will have disappeared. Or sign up for Tweetdeck. It saved my sanity.

As for followers on our blogs, learning to filter out the really useful is an art in itself. The art of scanning a post is essential. If the article is by one of your followers or those you follow, then you need to comment.

Oh dear when will I ever have time for dinner? Well …… I could have it later I suppose.

My debut, Grandma’s  Poetry Book, is available by post via dcastle32@talktalk.net or on my website http://www.dicastle.co.uk .

This poetry collection spans sixteen years capturing the experience of a first-time grandmother on her sometimes wobbly journey in her new role. It includes many facets of unmissable moments and childhood milestones, some humorous and others more poignant, even sad.  Such treasured times can easily be forgotten so the book acts as a nostalgic memoir. Touching and funny in turn, readers will be reminded of the joys of witnessing childhood development and the effect o n their own lives. Even those yet to reach grandparenthood including fathers, aunties and primary school children have already enjoyed reading this book. Grandma’s Poetry Book makes an ideal gift for new grandparents, birthdays, Christmas and Mothers’ Day and many readers have returned to buy more copies for friends and relations. Each poem has its own laugh-out-loud illustration by an artist who has been likened to E H Sheppard.

Some comments have included ‘Pam Ayres meets Winnie the Pooh’, ‘made me laugh, made me cry’, ‘charming book’ and ‘every grandparent should have one’.

OUT SOON  SHOULD I WEAR FLORAL and other poems on Life, Love and Leaving, By Di Castle and illustrated by Denise Horn.

You can follow me on twitter @dinahcas and on Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Di-Castle-Writer/266866193324409

 

 

 

 

 

They’re Always There

How many times have you thought that the most irritating people seem to seek you out and cause annoyance? Quite often I would think.  The following poem is from Should I Wear Floral and other poems on Life, Love and Leaving due out on 28th April

 They’re Always There

 

They’re always there

Tattooed men and yobs so loud

The iphones, and the ding ding ring

The scruffy looking crowd.

 

They’re always there on rush hour trains

The teens, the mobile addict pains.

Gurgly coughs and throaty laughs.

Stomach burps not done in halves.

 

They’re always there, with noisy kids

People who click, click coffee cup lids.

And slurp and burp, blow bubbles through straws

Chew and crunch apples in their jaws.

 

They’re always there, the kids on our bus

With noses oozing streams of pus.

One is wailing, ‘want a wee’

Too late, it’s dribbling … right near me.

 

They’re always there, at the beach near us

With children who scream and make lots of fuss.

Then dig dry sand and let it fly

Floating upwards into your eye.

 

They’re always there, too close on the beach

With parents shouting within our reach.

They pitch their tent, then start to smoke.

Ignore us when we cough and choke.

 

When wet they shelter in our doors

Let dogs jump up with dirty paws.

Dripping cagoules and stinky shoes

Black bag ready for puppy’s poos.

 

They always park up tight alongside

Whenever we drive to park and ride.

Despite the vacant fifty spaces

They’ve passed with blank and blinkered faces.

 

They’re always there in the waiting room

The know-it-all and speakers of doom.

Mindless, endless, brainless chatter

Airing views on senseless matter.

 

They’re always there with big loud voices

Discussing at length their pub food choices

The winner is a yawning bore.

Whatever you’ve got, he’s got more.

 

They’re always there, in the restaurant,

Laughing and shouting for what they want.

They’re always there, at parents’ night

Telling all their kids are bright.

 

They’re always there in the shopping queue

Their trolley gently nudging you.

Terminal refuses the card ahead

As they try three more, you wish them dead!

© Di Castle

To pre-order go to to http://www.dicastle.co.uk

My debut, Grandma’s  Poetry Book, is available by post via dcastle32@talktalk.net or on my website http://www.dicastle.co.uk .

This poetry collection spans sixteen years capturing the experience of a first-time grandmother on her sometimes wobbly journey in her new role. It includes many facets of unmissable moments and childhood milestones, some humorous and others more poignant, even sad.  Such treasured times can easily be forgotten so the book acts as a nostalgic memoir. Touching and funny in turn, readers will be reminded of the joys of witnessing childhood development and the effect o n their own lives. Even those yet to reach grandparenthood including fathers, aunties and primary school children have already enjoyed reading this book. Grandma’s Poetry Book makes an ideal gift for new grandparents, birthdays, Christmas and Mothers’ Day and many readers have returned to buy more copies for friends and relations. Each poem has its own laugh-out-loud illustration by an artist who has been likened to E H Sheppard.

Some comments have included ‘Pam Ayres meets Winnie the Pooh’, ‘made me laugh, made me cry’, ‘charming book’ and ‘every grandparent should have one’.

OUT SOON  SHOULD I WEAR FLORAL and other poems on Life, Love and Leaving, By Di Castle and illustrated by Denise Horn.

You can follow me on twitter @dinahcas and on Facebook   https://www.facebook.com/pages/Di-Castle-Writer/266866193324409