Lone tree growing in lake

It Takes Determination

I’ve finished the first draft of my WIP (in less than three months too! Go me) and while I let it rest I’m tackling a couple of sewing projects. I’m travelling to Vanuatu in September and thought it might be nice to have a couple of new summer dresses and as I have the time, why not sew them myself?

Here’s why. Because I lack almost all the necessary personality traits to be a good seamstress. I am not patient. I am not coordinated. I do not have a good eye for detail. Spacial-awareness is not high on my list of skills. In addition, there are any number of shops where I could just go and buy a dress. K-mart, Target, Big W. All near-by and all fairly cheap. Sewing is not cheap. Maybe it was when my grandmothers sewed but it’s not now. The cost of the material alone is enough to buy a dress (two or three at the places mentioned above).

What I do have, though, is determination. Buckets of it. In fact I would say that determination is one of my best qualities. No one has ever said I’m a natural at anything. In fact someone once told me that not even day-to-day life comes naturally to me. But I’m determined. And I believe, really believe, that determination, not talent, is what wins the day.

Everyday you’ll meet someone more talented than you but without that determination to keep going, to do what needs doing, to learn and try and fail and try again, they won’t succeed. You will though. Because while talent will give you a good start, it’s determination that get’s you over the finishing line.

Everyone has an opinion

Nutella Hot Chocolate

Nutella is the flavour of my childhood. I like liked to spread it thick on hot toast, lick off the melted chocolate goodness and then eat the toast. Just thinking about it takes me back. My younger brother used to make Chocolate Spread Surprise sandwiches. This basically meant a Nutella sandwich with Nutella spread on both sides of each slice of bread.

We’re lucky we had our mum.

In my current WIP my protagonist makes a variety of delicious treats and I’ve decided to try them out (all in the name of authenticity of course). This Nutella Hot Chocolate comes from Cafe Delights and you can find the recipe by clicking the link. I should add that I’ve corrupted the original recipe – if I’m going to make a Nutella hot chocolate I might as well go with full fat milk and the evil white sugar I have in the pantry. I also left out the optional toppings, because that’s just added mess for my B1 and B2 to make.

Check out our efforts:

Nutella Hot Chocolate in saucepan.

Bubble, bubble, bubble

Hot chocolate in mug.

Yummy scrummy in my tummy!

Not surprisingly, B1 and B2 were big fans. I liked it too and would definitely make it again although probably with less (if any) sugar.

In case you missed it, the recipe for this can be found at  Cafe Delights. Whether hot chocolate is your thing or not, it’s a beautiful site and you should have a look.

Have you made this before? What did you think?

Everyone has an opinion

The Balancing Act

We all have different pulls on our time. For me, I have two children (aged 4 and 6), a husband (although he’s pretty self-sufficient it’s nice to actually spend time with him), a writing career that I’m trying to get started, family, friends, neighbours, chores, pets, hobbies, a ‘to-read’ pile. You might have all these and more. The fact is, we all need to balance our lives otherwise we end up overwhelmed and under-satisfied.

Continue reading

When In Doubt…

Have you heard that saying, “When in doubt, chuck it out.”? I think it’s applied to food. As in that chicken that’s a day past it’s use by date but it looks OK and you haven’t got anything else to cook for dinner but there’s definitely some doubt as to whether you’ll give the entire family food poisoning or not.

The bit that catches me though, is the ‘when in doubt’ part. Because when aren’t I in doubt. And when I watch my sons, who are now 6 (almost 7 Mum) and 4 (almost 5 and a big boy Mum), they’re often dealing with doubts too. So doubt seems to be a normal part of life. Continue reading

Summer Break…

I’m going to be taking a break for December and January. Of course, when I say break I’ll still be working on my novel, looking after my kids and everything else that goes with life. But I’ll be taking a break from Pieces of String.

When I come back there’ll be more tips for young writers, more book reviews, more blog posts and, I’m hoping, monthly writing competitions.

I look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Lots of love…


The Westbury Faery — Tiny Owl Workshop

It’s lovely to be able to announce that Tiny Owl Workshop is working with The World Faery Society and Terry Whidborne to publish a book on The Westbury Faery. Submissions for flash fiction and short stories are open from now until midnight on 28 February 2017. For details, visit the utterly fabulous World Faery Society (WFS) website, explore the […]

via The Westbury Faery — Tiny Owl Workshop

If you’re a life-long faery believer like me, or have newly come to the faery realm, you should definitely check this out. I’m currently having issues accessing the website (proof, I think, that the faeries know we’re on to them. Who is crashing my computer? Why are you doing this? I can see you just out of the corner of my eye. I’m not fooled you know!), but it looks like a wonderful adventure.