Cat Recipe: Tuna Fish a la Biscuits

I got a writing brief this week.

It was to come up with a cook book idea that’s original and one which you could potentially market to the publishing industry.

I seriously love cats, so I thought what better way to write about something when I can write about food for cats?

Warning: crazy cat lady mode about to be unleashed. If you don’t like cats, I suggest you check out another blog.

(Below, you’ll see the intro and the actual recipe I created. Hopefully it’ll be good enough to make you go try it. Recipe and ideas thought up entirely by me.)

Intro:

Welcome! This is a cook book for just you and your fuzzy feline friend. In this book you will find a variety of meals that will keep your cat happy, purring and deliciously fed. We know that keeping you and your cat content is the most important thing and, inside, these recipes offer just that.

It’s a book of luxury for you both once you delve into these pages and find such sweet treats that are so heavenly you might find that even you might want to try them! As a book of purrfect variety and splendour, sit back and let this book teach you the best culinary tricks and you will soon be on your way to finding complete harmony and happiness with your cat.

Tuna fish a la biscuits

This dish is perfect for when your cat needs a quick and balanced meal that’s easy to prepare, yet still makes a bold statement. As a very popular dish, it’s been known to raise a few paws. Simply serve it in a bowl with a saucer of fresh milk and voila – it’s ready to eat!

What you will need:

Tuna fish, either fresh or tinned

Cat biscuits, such as Dreamies or Felix Crispies

Milk (optional)

Recipe:

Make a pyramid of tuna in a bowl, making sure to keep it fairly wide. Once this is done and you’re happy with it, gently shake a pouch of cat biscuits over the top. (If your cat isn’t already gazing up at you lovingly then, trust us, they will be now once you shake the biscuits) For extra effect, place a single biscuit on top of the pyramid. Set aside a saucer and fill it with milk.

Serve it to your cat and enjoy!

Writing a Novel: Almost There!

Okay. Some of you may know that this summer I decided to embark on the huge task of writing a novel. I’ve always wanted to do it but never thought I would actually make it. Not unless I kicked my silly ass into gear anyway.

So this summer I did just that. I super kicked my ass into gear and I got through it.

I wrote almost an entire fricken novel.

I’m still writing it so I’m not even finished yet but to say that I’ve written 51,200 words over the space of this year is stupid crazy. Like I don’t even wanna mention how crazy. I seriously never thought I’d get this far.

Before, I only ever did things like this:

  1. Start a new novel idea
  2. Completely fall in love with it
  3. Never finish it
  4. Or worse, throw it away.

Talk about killing your darlings.

But I’m on the way to the end now and – Oh my God – I am loving it.

In July, I wrote over 20,000 words through signing up with Camp NaNoWriMo. I don’t think I would’ve made it without fellow campers cheering me on – virtually – until I got to the finish line. They were so helpful!

Now, it’s officially NaNoWriMo 2015 and although I haven’t been writing everyday like most talented people, I’m getting back to it after a bunch of uni deadlines and the flow is finally kicking back in. Get the kettle boiling and the teacups ready because this girl is on it!

As a writer and a reader, my heart lies in teen fiction so this is mainly what I write about. The characters I’ve created have stayed with me this long that I feel like I’m totally discrediting them if I don’t finish this story. Their voices need to be heard. So by Christmas I will have finished it.

This is both a promise to myself and to them. I think I definitely owe them that (not to mention myself!)

(On a side note, God knows how many cups of tea I’ve had while doing this project. My guess is in the hundreds.)

So, basically, my message to you is this. If you want to write a novel – even if the tiniest part of you thinks that you might – then go for it. Because your dreams are tangible.

You can create something out of nothing and, more importantly, only you can tell this story that’s in your head. I guess that’s what makes it so fun. Plus the feeling you get afterwards is amazing.

I’m so excited to finish this writing project.

So go write.

This summer I’ve almost written an entire novel

Ever had so many ideas for stories in your head that you feel like you might just explode?

I have but it was mostly when I was teen. Lately, I’ve been picking up the pace a bit more and it feels amazing for my creative head space.

So far, I’ve had three novel ideas. That is, for young adult fiction – the market I desperately want be in. I’ve had a couple of ideas for a sci-fi novel or two as well. But these require a lot of research and I’m not sure my brain’s cut out for all that right now. I’m thinking perhaps in my late twenties is when I’ll hit my sci-fi writing stride. A lot of my ideas involve space travel, time travel and if I’m really indulgent then a little bit of dinosaurs too. But I’ll save that for another time.

Anyway, I’m getting off topic.

So, like any writer does, I scribble these ideas down. I have an abundance of notebooks. And these tiny put-away-like-they’re-nothing ideas that might someday turn into something I keep hold of. You never know. One day these put away thoughts might well hold the key to my success.

I’m writing a novel right now – a Y/A one which I actually and genuinely love. I think, for a little while, I forgot what it could be like to let yourself get lost in fiction and how it feels for a project or a story to completely engulf your own world, for it to be all you think about.

I’m ashamed to admit it but as I got older I lost that creative bubble I used to never peep out of. I thought this was normal. I slowly became focused on the editorial side of writing that my fiction world consequently never even got past page 20 because I would slam it so hard it couldn’t fight hard enough to breathe. I was, to use a cliche, my own very worst critic.

I was beyond brutal with my own writing.

But this summer I’ve conquered that bad habit. I’ve been writing. (Ergo, sorry for the lack of posts). I’ve been getting lost in my own fiction world and I’ve almost successfully written an entire novel over the course of this long, hot and notoriously beautiful summer. (I live in Cornwall, so almost every day is beautiful here, yay!)

(A view from just over the road where I live)

I even signed up as a camper at Camp NaNoWriMo and even though I always seem to do this and it never usually gets me very far, this time I stuck at it and I completed my goal of writing over 10,000 words in a month. I can’t tell you the joy I got over achieving that goal.

For me, it was pretty phenomenal. So I’m carrying on with it.

You ever read a book and think, ‘I could’ve done better than that’? Well, it turns out that I’m doing it, even if only just to say that I’ve written a complete novel.

I don’t want to be someone who waits until their retirement to get everything out onto the page. I want it now.

I know that when I’ve finished, that’s when the hard part really begins which is the editing process. Apparently, this is where a lot of the real writing gets done, to quote the theory books and all the other famous writers out there.

But I’m moving forward. I’m at just over 46,000 words so far and I’m probably not going to stop until I hit 80,000 which is the average length of a complete novel. As well as that, I’ve also found the time to submit to other writing competitions. I’ve hit a productive writing/creative streak and it’s not stopping.

My thoughts in general are that this summer has been a blessing. But in the end, I know, it all comes down to yourself.
Your motivation.
And whether you believe in yourself to do it.
And maybe if you can’t, then find someone else who does. Ride their motivational current to get yourself where you need to be.

You never know, it might be worth it in the end.

So, be right back. I’m novel writing.

Gone With The Wind

Gone With The Wind. It’s the story of the dramatic upheaval of the American Civil War and the constant feuding romance between that of determined Scarlett O’ Hara and the taunting ‘soldier of fortune’ Rhett Butler. From this epic novel comes one of the most famous lines of dialogue in movie history:

‘Frankly, my dear, I couldn’t give a damn.’

I remember the first time I read this pinnacle of a book, bracing myself at almost every page turned, looking for the words that had become so famously recited from the star studded movie screen of 1939. It wasn’t until finishing the book that I realised I had to wait until almost the very end of the brick of a novel, yet when the moment finally came I was deeply and movingly satisfied.

I cannot begin to describe what this novel means to me. I can only try. But it is a novel I hope to read every summer – for the rest of my life – and it is a novel I would urge you to read as well. It’s just that good.

With an affirming love of the Deep South and anything to do with the land of Dixie, I found in this novel a sense of place and a sense of oneness. And above all, I found a story I could get lost in and find the past; a past I have never known or  experienced but nonetheless a past I hold a passionate interest in.

I have an internal attachment to it. I can’t help it. I know it might sound ingratiatingly schmaltzy, but it’s true.

I think, no matter what, everybody has that one book in their lives that means something incredible to them; that stirs something within their soul, that makes them feel something. It does not necessarily have to be a book. Perhaps it could be a film, a movie score or even just one plain and simple song. Anything at all.

We all need something to convey meaning in our lives and, sometimes, things like this can be it. We crave something that it gives us, whether we realise it or not. It’s a special thing and it works like magic.

Gone With The Wind is an historical epic; one story told and delivered through the generations.

Scarlett O’ Hara can be mean and spirited, yes; yet she is also a woman who knows what she wants and, when paired with Rhett Butler, she is no longer a wiley female temptress with glinting green eyes and a curving upward smile. He sees her for what she is and, knowing this, he plays on her vulnerabilities.

He is, to be sure, a cad, no less. But I love to see their relationship unfurl; how one minute she wishes to see him dead and the next she is wishing for him to take her in his arms and kiss her, like a girl wants to be kissed.

Far from a healthy relationship, they play against each other like animals and, throughout it all, I am devouring every page.

There can be no book like Gone With The Wind which matches up to its strength and entirety. It is, without a doubt, a book I will keep on my shelf for the rest of my life and, even if I don’t read it every single year, I will be happy, at least, just to know it is there.

‘Since its first publication in 1936, Gone With The Wind has endured as a story for all our times.’

This is, quite simply, how much I love it.

Two Reasons

So, I’m sorry I haven’t been updating this blog very much lately. When I logged in and saw that my last post was from December my chest did a whole frump. Yeah, a frump.

I’m not really sure what that is, but it goes kind of like this:

December explains a lot really. Since December, everything has kinda changed for me. First, I didn’t feel like posting anything because I was having a mini crisis about the world. I read the book The End of Mr Y (which is actually marvelous and completely brilliant) and it changed my perception about a lot of things.

Through reading it and stumbling over a lot of other things in life, everything suddenly got turned upside down and spun around at a disorientating pace. And now I can’t put it back together again. But this version of life is better, and fresher, and more real. I’m probably not making much sense, but my friends had to deal with me a lot telling them about Derrida and the meaning of life between sobbing and finding me in strange places in the dark.

This was pretty much my life throughout most of December.

I remember a good few days where I would just get in my car, drive somewhere with a view of the sea, the cliffs, and cry angry, red, stinging tears because I was just so in despair over life and why we’re all here. I wrote so many scrawled, scribbled out pages into all my notebooks during those times. I was very scared.

An existential crisis, I suppose you could call it.

Another reason why I haven’t posted in a while is because I haven’t been totally sure of myself lately, either and I didn’t want to post anything I would regret, or look back on and think, ‘Why on earth did you write that? You little idiot.’

I don’t want things to come back and bite me in life; but then, I guess, nobody wants that, do they?

I’ve been waiting to get the hang of myself again, to step back into the person that defines herself as ‘me’. A breakup – yes, a breakup – has shaken everything up in my life. If you’ve read any of my previous posts you might get just how in love with this boy I was. Sounds cliche, doesn’t it? But I did truly love him. Weird thing is, I expected it to hurt a lot more. But it didn’t.

I guess the reason why might be this: I still have the best friends I could ever ask for; I live in a wonderful, beautiful place and I have a family who adore each other every single day. Everyone has been so kind to me and supportive I’ve not really had the chance to fall apart.

Love. I’m really starting to question what that word really means. I thought I would hold onto this perfect little romance forever – and a lot of times I genuinely believed it was totally perfect – that I would find little reminders of what we used to be everyday so terribly breaking and unbearable.

But I don’t. I find them comforting. I can speak openly about the relationship that once was (and people find this jarring because they expect me to cry) because there’s no resentment. We’re simply not meant to be together right now, and that’s okay.

We had our time together and it was so beautiful.

People usually end up hating their ex lovers, but I am genuinely so proud of what we had, what we’ve done, and I look back on all of it with amazing memories that are going to last me the whole of forever. And they’re going to get me just the best stories.

This is so important.

As with everything, you always need to know when to leave. Get the timing wrong and it can make your life something it was never meant to be.

All of this (among other things) ultimately ties up my unexplained absence. These are the two main reasons why I haven’t been here lately. But I promise to be here more, and I promise to try and do it well.

Maybe I should get back to writing about cats. This always seems to make me happy.