Attempting to make it as a writer

Archive for July, 2013

New Chapter

Like many mothers at this time of year I watched my child close not only a page of his life story but a whole chapter. Mini Son has just left primary and is about to launch himself into all the new and exciting adventures Secondary School will throw his way.  Having spent the last 15 years involved in the primary system it will seem strange next September to have no children in the closeted cocoon of primary education.  The silent salty tears I shed at his leavers performance were for the loss of a way of life as well as the harsh reality of losing a little more of my youngest child to the wider world.

As Mini Son transforms from baby to young man he will flourish as he embarks on the new events, activities and opportunities he will be offered.   He has pages of his own life to fill with stories, memories and photos. He has adventures and dangers to explore and conquer learning not only the lessons from education but the more important lessons in life.  In truth his story will take him further and further from my own as he grows with stature and confidence.

Watching my youngest stand with his classmates and say their emotional farewells to the place they arrived scared, shy students only 7 short years ago, my tears tumbled in memory of those scary September mornings leaving him with his new teacher.  I remembered trips, competitions and the friends that have come and gone and those who are moving up with him to new adventures.  Remembered too, the committees and fundraising that swallowed so many of my evenings. Finally the tears fell freely with the fear of the future and how the next chapter will write itself.

My own life has been woven inextricably with that of my children in a trilogy that can never be separated.  Now my children are marking their own independent pages should I too turn the page, start my own adventure, return to the tantalising inviting sheets of my life story to create and continue my own journey.

ending the chapter

Ending a Chapter

With the closing of one chapter a new one begins, quests and exploits bring opportunities that may have been passed up before. I can now grasp them with both hands and fuse them onto the pages of my life.  Shedding tears are as cathartic as shedding the chrysalis of motherhood and re-emerging as a person with my own story to write.

Moving on may be enhanced by my holiday.  I am attending this summer for a week of writing, inspiration and independence.    I will listen intently to those who have been where I am now and taken their writing further.  I hope to attend workshops to fine tune my creativity and direct me to the next phase in my journey to publishing.  I will network amid fellow writers, editors and publishers to find out how, where and what the next step will be.

My family will be not many miles away sailing and camping as I take my first foray into my future.


On that very note, I have had feedback from my friendly barrister and at the beginning of her comments she says  “I read your novel really quickly, and thoroughly enjoyed it”.

There were a couple of major legal inaccuracies but she has guided me on how those would happen in a real family court, which now leaves lots of work to do over the summer to create a new character and weave them into the story.

She also picked up on a line of story I was unhappy about and wondered like me if it lost some credibility.   I feel comfortable now that my instinct had basis and am changing and developing the storyline without it.    Was  she the catalyst to galvanise me back into edit mode?



Check out my cooking blog at Teatime Treats with Tiggy


BBQ Sauce

Yet another sunny weekend – it is such a pleasure to be able to plan a BBQ and almost be guaranteed a warm barmy evening to enjoy the last rays of the sun with a cool glass of wine, a few friends and the odd child running round the garden.

Of course it is so easy these days to nip to the supermarket and buy ready prepared meat for the barbie.    However on days like this when I have a plan I prefer to buy meat from the butcher and prepare it myself.  This is such a quick and simple marinade / sauce which has wonderful results.

2 tbs Clear Honey
1 tbs Soft Brown Sugar
1 Tbs Worcester Sauce 
2 tbs Tomato Ketchup 
1 teaspoon of mustard
dash of soy sauce

Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan.  

Heat very gently stirring regularly till everything has become smooth, blended and there are no sugar granules left.

Take of the heat, allow to cool slightly then  pour over the meat.  If you have enough put some in a small jug to serve separately on the table (I sometimes do double amounts and then split it)

Leave the meat in a covered bowl or plastic bag in the fridge to marinate.

Take the meat from the fridge a little ahead of cooking and when the coals are ready lay the meat over the BBQ and pour any residual sauce over the top, cook depending on meat and bring to the table.

Serve with the reserved jug to rapturous plaudits.

I have used this with chicken, beef steaks, pork ribs, kebab meat or vegetables marinaded before being skewered.   

A very versatile quick sauce; add more honey for a really sticky marinade,  add a chopped chilli or extra mustard for hot tangy sauce.   Or add some sweet chilli sauce and a touch of coconut milk (once taken off the heat) for a more oriental flavour.

I also now use this as the basic for a smoky stir fry sauce, again adding touches depending on mood.

Give it a try and let me hear your adaptations.



Find out what I am up to in my other blog  Tiggy Hayes

Butterscotch Sauce

We are in the season of strawberries and there are so many different recipes to create.  This is not necessarily to be restricted to strawberries but they work so well together.  I love the ease and simplicity of this recipe that then produces an unbelieveably delicious complement other than cream.  

Do not be fooled into thinking this is the calorie free alternative to clotted cream this is pure indulgence.   I remember it by 2 x 2 x 2 + 2.5.

2oz /  50g Butter
2oz / 50g Sugar (brown sugar works best)
2ozv / 50g Golden syrup
Vanilla Essence
2 1/2 fl oz / 75ml double cream 
Juice of lemon (optional)

Over a very gentle heat combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup.

Watching it carefully and stirring occaisionally allow the ingredients to melt into to each other.   Do not allow it to burn.

As the last of the butter melts stir well to mix

Remove from the heat and add the vanilla essence.  This is the time to add the lemon.  I find it cuts the sweetness and adds a subtle tang but my children definitely prefer the pureness of all sugar so we often have it without.

Allow to cool slightly before adding the cream.  Mix well so that all ingredients form a combined thick gloopy sauce.  

This can be served warm on fresh strawberries but equally can be prepared early in the day or the day before.   As it cools the sauce becomes thicker.  

Serve over fresh strawberries and enjoy.  My family were sceptical that there is any thing to beat clotted cream or double cream but finally were persuaded to try it.  Now such a firm favourite one son will only eat strawberries with  this on.

Try it out on your own brood and see what they think.  Such an easy and impressive addition to strawberries you can serve it up to guests feeling confident they will enjoy and be impressed.




see what I am up to at Tiggy Hayes

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