Tag Archives: zara mohammed



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






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 🙂

Where have you all gone? :(


I had a bit of a guilt trip earlier this evening after watching a news feature on TV about the exploitation of interns, particularly in the media industries.  I began to wonder if the reason my regular magazine contributors have disappeared off the scene a bit recently is due to them feeling exploited.  Paranoia has officially set in.

I remember when I was writing for an online magazine about a year ago and not being paid.  I did it because I enjoyed it and loved the fantasy of being a little Carrie Bradshaw writing my little articles on relationships.  But then when I was chosen to be a paid contributor and I committed myself to writing five articles a week at £3 a pop.  I started to feel resentful which dried up my creativity, and soon gave it up.

I don’t offer any form of payment to my contributors at A-MUSE Magazine, simply because the magazine doesn’t make any money to give.  I edit and run the magazine without being paid because its my baby and I love it, and I hope that contributing writers love to write and are submitting their work with that in mind, and not feeling like they are being used.  My intentions for A-MUSE was always for it to be a collaborative creative space, and I am upfront about that from the outset.  But I can’t help wondering where my lovely contributors have gone…

Of course people have busy lives, me included.  I am aware that a week is a much longer time to A-MUSE than it is to them.  I guess I will just have to focus on trying to fill the gaps myself for a while until I get some new writers on board.

Oh if only I had funding… or a cloning device, and I could clone a nice little teams of me’s!

Nanowrimo – I have signed myself up – eek!


I am aware that it is completely bonkers for me to be announcing this, but it has to be done.  I missed out on all of the fun and madness of last year; and I promised myself that this November, no matter what my circumstances are, I will jolly well be taking part!

So I have signed myself up to NANOWRIMO – National Novel Writing Month a month in advance so that I can set about conjuring up a detailed plan of action ready for when the countdown begins.

I figured that despite the numerous other writing commitments I have dedicated myself to, including the fact that I am about to embark upon the final year of my degree; if I at least have an exhaustive plan of what I intend to write when the time comes, then the likelihood of me losing the plot – and by ‘losing the plot’ I don’t mean the plot of my story, I am referring to my sanity – will be somewhat decreased.

Anyhoo, I will be updating my progress here of course, and all of the Nanowrimo posts will be archived in the relevant sect. (See sidebar)

I will also be writing a number of related articles here and there – namely on my magazine’s creative writing group blog – CWG.  So if you are taking part in the Nanowrimo challenge too then you can subscribe to that blog and help to breathe some life into the Creative Writing Group with your comments, guest posts, links and other contributions.


NANOWRIMO – What is it all about?

Nanowrimo is the National Novel Writing Month which takes place once a year during the 30 days of November.  It is a crazy, hectic, absurd month where thousands of people from all over the world get involved and attempt to write a novel in 30 days.  The challenge  is free, although donations are appreciated.  The general idea is to lose yourself in creative abandonment and just go for it – not worrying about perfect writing, but just keeping up with the word count and finishing 50,000 words by the end of the month.  It is a great incentive for those whose inner-editor prevents them from completing first drafts.  Plus there is that wonderful motivating sense of being part of a team of writers, all striving towards the same goal at the same time.

You can find out more about how the challenge originated and sign up for the challenge yourself  here.

If you are taking part and recording your November struggle in your own blog then leave your links and details in the comments section under this post and I will publish them in A-MUSE Magazine to help drive some traffic your way, and mine…

Good luck!

(And good luck to me too.)