Category Archives: On the subject of: WRITING

If your interests in my blog span only as far as to gain insights into the craft of writing, then this is the archive to focus on. It will be peppered with waffle of course; but generally speaking, here is where I waffle on about my craft, and its highlights and perils… Enjoy!



Something crazy and rather dangerous is happening to me…

(I don’t write on this blog a lot, and so I feel like its a bit of a safe-haven; I can fall back on it to have a good old waffle now and then, and feel comforted by the fact that very few people I know will know about it, but I can still feel the relief of a public vent.)

My problem is er, somewhat embarrassing.  I have an addiction.  It’s a bit of a spending addiction, localised to Ebay.  But most specifically, and perhaps the most embarrassing thing, is that my spending addiction is focussed almost entirely on…


You might not think that is completely bizarre until I tell you that last week I received two brand new Filofaxes that I purchased together totalling £130. (Why does one need to buy two at the same time you ask?  Well one doesn’t, but I couldn’t decide which one I preferred more!)  But the really crazy thing is that I am currently fighting (and when I say fighting, you have no idea how literal I am being) but I am fighting the urge to purchase another Filofax this week – its beautiful – I’ve wanted it from the beginning – and its currently going for £80, which is a fifty quid reduction.

(These are my two newest additions – The chocolate Aston and the Wine Holborn zipped.  I love them both to pieces, don’t get me wrong, but well…)


If you are still kind enough to think I am not a crazy person yet, the next piece of information may sway you.  Last week when I received my two brand new Filofaxes, I was simultaneously overjoyed and deflated.  Why was I deflated?  Well quite obviously because suddenly I had no justification for browsing Ebay for Filofax bargains any more!  You see with my two new additions I am now the shameful owner of er… seven Filofaxes.

Then suddenly I was struck with the most tantalising idea…

What if I purchased a Filofax for my sister’s birthday?  She is returning to Uni in September, after all; she’ll need a diary of some kind.  Okay so she’s not a fan of Filofaxes, but that’s only because she hasn’t been introduced to them properly yet!  I mean how could she not share in the joy of list making and planning – she is a virgo, just like me… and we’re sisters so of course we have similar likes and dislikes…

I carried on like this until I had convinced myself that buying a present for my sister’s birthday was justification to return to Ebay to commence a new Filofax hunt.  I discovered the most beautiful Red Personal Chameleon Filofax… I have the same one in Aqua A5 and I adore it, but the red is just so vibrant!  My sister loves red – she has to have it!  So I purchased the Filofax for under £30 which I am so pleased with because they retail at £65.  Its brand new too!  So that will be arriving sometime this coming week.

But the problem is that I am now looking at all of my Filofaxes and I just know that when the Red Chameleon comes in the post I’m not going to want to part with it… unless I have something equally as glamorous to replace it when I have to hand it over!  And considering that my birthday is two days after my sister’s, wouldn’t it just be like I’m purchasing a birthday treat for myself?  That’s a good reason to purchase another Filofax for myself isn’t it?  I mean, it’ll be my birthday, and I’ll be 29 – what if I get all depressed because I’m nearing 30?  I’ll need something beautiful to cheer me up and distract me from my misery!

Maybe I should just resign myself to the admission that I am a collector of Filofaxes.  You know, some people collect stamps, others collect coins; some people collect antique furniture… maybe I am simply a collector of beautiful Filofax Organisers?  It could take the pressure off trying to find a use for them all, or a reason for purchasing.  I mean I can’t use them all at once anyway, even though I am trying – believe me – and its driving me a little loopy.  But if I am a collector, then owning the Filofaxes will be enough.  I don’t have to find uses for them all, or integrate them into my organisation system.  They can just be there for when I need a change.  And maybe one day they will be very valuable, and then they will be like heirlooms!

Okay, so I think I may have managed to convince myself to purchase this new Filofax for myself – its the extremely attractive Personal Osterley in rich Plum!  I am so  e x c i t e d . . . 

BTW.  I know I sound like a crazy, crazy person – but I am actually a serious writer, and so if you have stumbled over this blogpost because you are a Filofax fan, you might want to check out my Filofax Blog – FILOFANCY




Filofancy: New Filofax Arrives (Videopod)


Filofax lovers and general curious Zara M. followers, you might be interested in watching my videopod on my new blog Filofancy…  enjoy!

Filofancy: My First Filofax, the Pocket Guildford



Have you read my latest post on Filofancy?  I love reading about people’s first Filofax experiences… here’s mine!


“I was fifteen. A girl in my class had one; she was a girl I respected. I wanted to be respected too… So I purchased my first Filofax!”

Read more… My First Filofax



Filofancy: The New Blog for Filofax Lovas & Stationary Addicts!


I haven’t been on the scene for AGES, but I’m back.. and with a brand new Blog!

Being a writer and all it might not surprise you that I do get a bit excited about trivial things like pens and paper.  I have been known to spend hours in stationary shops like Paperchase, and hours browsing websites like Ebay for Filofax bargains… a writer needs to be super-organised after all.

It probably doesn’t help that I am a Virgo either.  Virgos enjoy making useless lists you see.  I personally make a ‘Plan-of-Action’ to-do list most mornings.  I rarely get much on the list done.  Its just a weird habit.

My obsession for Filofaxes is reaching new levels though… I have now created a Blog dedicated to this obsession, which will hopefully appeal to other filofanciers and stationary addicts.  No, I’m not the only filo-freak in the village!

Its actually quite fascinating to see how many seemingly normal people have the same dark secret I harbour.  Girls sit on the ends of their beds making Youtube videos about their latest purchases… its all a bit bonkers.  But do you know what?  I want to be part of the madness.  I’m a Filofancier and I’m ready to step out of the closet.

Join in the FiloFUN and start following the Blog.  You don’t have to own a Filofax, or have any strange Filofax fetishes, just a curiosity to peep into the weird and wonderful world of Filofreaks will suffice… 



I am very pleased and relieved to announce that after a long hot soak in the bath the other night, I managed to gather my thoughts and release all anxiety in the lavender-infused steam, and magically came up with –  the master plot to top all master plots!  I’m so happy.  I don’t know where the ideas came from but they just started to flow and flow; it was like a floodgate had opened, and alas I was in the bath-tub without a pen and pad in sight…

But I now have pages of scribbled notes, so I am now feeling prepared and raring to go… COME ON NaNoWriMo!

In fact I was feeling so inspired that evening that I even waffled out a suite 101 article on NaNoWriMo Last Minute Preparation – check it out if you need some inspiration and reassurance of your own.

I would indulge you on the ins and outs of my secret plot, but I’m afraid I can’t (because I think its a pretty good ‘un and I’ll be gutted if anyone stole it from me…)  But I’m sure I’ll be letting slip bits and pieces as the challenge gets stiffer and I need to vent about my characters who aren’t doing what they’re supposed to!

I’m so EXCITED!  Whoop whoop 🙂








Its official, I am in panic mode.  NaNoWriMo madness commences in just 6 days and I haven’t so much as lifted my eyes in anticipation of any thoughts whatsoever about what on earth I am going to write… and I’m already beginning to waffle!

50,000 words in thirty days and night (don’t forget the nights!) and I haven’t even got a starting point.  This is not good.  Wing it?  Well it looks like I don’t really have a choice now, do I?  Unless I can rustle up a master plot over the weekend, which is never going to happen.  But then, if I can’t rustle up a simple plot over a whole weekend, what makes me think I can rustle up 50,000 words in a month?  Panic stations!

What makes this situation all the more nerve-wrecking is that I am in the middle of organising a NaNoWriMo Panel for my magazine, on which five or so NaNoWriMo participants will be sitting so to speak, during the entire month of November, and contributing to a joint column/dialogue on the highs and lows of the experience.  What’s so nerve-wrecking about that?  I hear you ask… Well I’m one of them aren’t I!  I’ve gone and placed myself on a panel of commentators and will now have to discuss my panic and anxiety for the entire month – in public display of all my magazine’s readers.  I clearly didn’t think this through…

I mean what if, God forbid, I don’t complete the challenge?  What if all the other writers on my panel complete the challenge and I am the only one who fails miserably?  How on earth is that going to affect my credibility as a writer… and the editor of my magazine for that matter?

I think I need a cup of tea!

I want to start writing novellas…


I know, it sounds like this is me just going off in a completely different direction again, but its not – I promise you.  You see the thing is, I place such emphasis on getting projects just right because I am a cursed perfectionist, that its near impossible to keep moving forward with anything.  And the problem with moving at such a slow pace is that I become restless and have new ideas popping up which nag to be addressed.

But what if I abandoned my perfectionisms and started to write a collection of shorter novellas just for fun?  I could publish them myself on Amazon under a pen-name, which may help me to come to terms with the fact that they aren’t necessarily the pieces I want to be defined as a writer by.  And basically I could just set myself loose a bit and burn some of the creativity that is being suppressed while I am trying to finish off the more serious projects.  At the same time I am being productive in my writing career and building up a new portfolio of published work.  I think its a great idea, don’t you?

Plus Novellas aren’t such a huge commitment are they.  They can range from 20-50,000 words which is much less daunting than a full-length novel.  I think it would be very satisfying to get into the habit of completing stories, and drawing plots to a conclusion.  Because that’s something I haven’t had much practice in yet… seeing as I never get to actually finish anything that I am working on!

It could also be quite satisfying to experiment with different voices, different genres, and different plot-lines, but without the huge commitment of knowing that I have to stick with my choices for 80,000+ words.  Perhaps my novella stories will have a bit more more spice to them, because they will be short and snappy and focussed to a minimum number of characters.  I could even integrate some of my older attempts at writing books, I have tonnes of  enthusiastic ‘beginnings’!

Ooh I’m so excited… I can’t wait to start letting my imagination run away with me on this venture.

I’ll have to come up with a title for my new collection of novellas now.  And perhaps I can split them up into categories or genres like Harlequin Mills & Boons do!  And even use different pen names for each category… oh the possibilities; it’ll be like having split-personalities!

But maybe I should focus on actually writing and completing one first.  Hehe 🙂