Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Me and My Big Mouth

It’s going to be a long post today as firstly I had the bright (read 'daft'!) idea to do an ‘open house’ blog and invite questions from Twitter, and then I was nominated for a blog award by @Amy_Jayne_.  Her blog can be found here.  This requires me to reveal seven things about myself and pass the award along. 

So, first up - my revelations - forgive me if you’ve read some before but there are only SO many things I’m prepared to share!  Also I’m going to keep them brief so that I can cover all my Twitter questions.

  1. I was in Grange Hill.
  2. I lived in Hollywood for six months.
  3. I suffered from secondary infertility - fell pregnant at first attempt and then never again.
  4. I could happily live on Marmite toast, avocados and chocolate.
  5. I used to teach adult literacy.
  6. I worry about everything.

I hand this award over to @michellebetham, @WriterDove and @Laurel_Mayer for their lovely and varied blogs.  Check them out and also Michelle and Laurel’s own book links.

Now … on to my Twitter questions.  I didn’t expect to get quite so many and I want to be fair and answer them all, so grab a chair and a coffee …

If you were stranded on a desert island with a comedian, who would it be?
This is an easy one!  It would have to be the gorgeous Tim Minchin.  Stunning to look at, talented and hilarious.  He could make me laugh whilst tickling the ivories.  For anyone who doesn’t know him, he writes intelligently witty songs and plays a mean piano.  Check out ‘Confessions’ below but be warned, it’s rude!

If you could have written any other book which would it have been and why?
I’d love to have written some of the Maeve Binchy books.  ‘Quentins’ or ‘Scarlet Feather’.  Also any of Lisa Jewell’s.  Both writers take you on great journeys with in-depth characterisation.

Why do you write under a nom de plume?  What will you do after the sequel and how do you and your husband celebrate the launch of a book?
I chose to write under my maiden name to protect myself from the bitchy mothers!  After the sequel, Mummy Misfit will be put to bed.  I’m working on a novel which is totally different in style but will hopefully deliver a laugh or two.  Hubbie and I celebrate with a meal and a big sleep - we’re normally exhausted.

What made you laugh the most, what flavour crisps would you put in a sandwich and what luxury item would you take in the jungle?
My husband and son make me laugh all the time but if I had to pinpoint one real side-splitting, eye-watering moment it would be when hubbie and I were first dating and went to the cinema to see ‘Ghost’.  Not really a film you would expect to get a laugh from.  Until we saw the opening credits - the producer was Howard W Koch and the director was Jerry Zucker.  A Koch-Zucker production!  The film was ruined for us (and those around us) as we were unable to stop giggling.
Crisps in a sandwich would have to be cheese and onion - the best.
Jungle luxury?  Me in the jungle?  Yeah, right!

If the whole world stopped and listened to you, what would you say?
I’d say stop squabbling over bits of land or oil or religion.  We’re humans sharing a world, let’s do it peacefully.

Do you ever pretend to be on a chat show and, if so, who’s interviewing you?
Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only weirdo who imagines this scenario!  I’d love to be interviewed by the stunning Julian Clary - although I’d be slightly concerned that he’d be prettier than me.

If you were Prime Minister for the day what would you change?
I’d put a stop to greed in the world of finance.  I’d bring back old school education with the three R’s and stick to it!  I’d stop people coming into the country - sorry we’re full.  I’d make those choosing to live in our country live by our rules and I’d bring back smoking in designated pubs, restaurants and clubs.
I wouldn’t be popular!

What can I do to help other Indies like you to sell books?
Write great reviews, tell friends, Tweet, blog and continue to do the great job you’re already doing.

What’s the best live gig you’ve ever been to and why?
That would have to be when I went to see Curtis Stigers perform in the Pizza Express in Soho.  It was an intimate concert for about 50 of us.  He played all the jazz standards (forget the long-haired pop image you’re used to) and he kissed me!!  Nuff said!

Do you think a modern woman needs a man to feel complete?
This is a tricky one!  I couldn’t live without my husband, he’s my best friend, but I know many women who live independently quite happily.  My mum was widowed at 54 and has lived alone for 30 years -it’s not been easy for her but she’s a strong lady.  I’m not so strong.

How do you keep a perfect manicure when doing the chores - do you wear Marigolds?
I never wear rubber gloves - I hate them.  Hubbie does all the washing up (lucky me) and I always re-do my nails after a big clean.  I hate chipped or broken nails.

What were your favourite comics when you were growing up?
When I was about eight I loved Twinkle.  As I got older I moved on to Jackie.  A funny story … my dad bought me a copy of Twinkle to cheer me up when I had bad period pains - I was fifteen!

If you could only listen to three albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?
Oh boy!  The one album I can answer with absolute certainty is Tom Waits and Crystal Gayle’s ‘One From the Heart’.  A beautiful soundtrack to a crap film (Frances Ford Copolla).  It’s the combination of the dirty, ravaged voice of Waits with the bell-like clarity of Gayle (again below). When I put this album on, I can’t turn it off - I’m there to the end.
And now I have to cheat!  The other two albums would be compilations made by me because I like such varied stuff.  Sorry!

What’s the most satisfying thing about being an Indie author?
That would have to be when people who don’t know you contact you and say they love your work.  Making friends with my readers has been a real unexpected bonus.
(the above Twitterer has a book soon to be released on Amazon for Kindle - ‘The Tangled Web’ by Lacey Dearie - check it out, you’ve got to support the Indies!)

And finally … the oddest question of the bunch but I have to answer it …

If you were to marry an aardvark (!) who would be your best man, where would you marry and where would you go on your honeymoon?
OK!  I’d plan to marry on a remote Caribbean island.  I’d take my husband as my best man, dump the aardvark and have a much needed holiday with hubbie!

Now that was a bit of a marathon!  Hope you enjoyed.  That Twitter bunch are a mad lot but I thank them all for their imaginative questions.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is available on Amazon for Kindle and in paperback at Lulu.  The sequel ‘The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit’ will be released mid December in both formats.

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

The Grooming of Mummy Misfit

I’ve wrestled with the idea of blogging on this subject for a couple of months now and I’ve finally come to the conclusion that I should - if only to save other people from being fooled in the way that I, and many others, were.

We constantly tell our children to beware of strangers on the internet - don’t believe that the friend you’ve made on a games website is really the same age as you, never give out personal details etc.

And yet I didn’t follow my own advice and that’s when I found myself being groomed and duped - lied to and led on.

A very foolish Mummy Misfit, I know - I’m not proud of myself but it happened and I’ve moved on.

Here’s my story.

Back in June 2011 I joined Twitter - a true Twitter virgin (as opposed to the addict I am now!).  I made friends, chatted, promoted my book and generally had a high old time - learning the ropes as I went.  Who would have guessed the importance of one lesson I’d be taught.

I spent many a happy night chatting to ‘Eric the Gay Rainbow’ - being an incorrigible fag-hag, I was having a ball with our cheesy one liners and daft banter.  He was aware that I had lost my closest gay friend a couple of years ago and I believed that Eric and I were beginning to build a genuine friendship.

We began to email one another and (stupidly) I began to trust him.  When he spoke of coming to England from the States, I was delighted.  We’d finally get to meet!

We arranged a date for a themed dinner, here at my place (with hubbie and a couple of friends - I may be stupid but I’m not that stupid!) and then the September storms began in New York.  Suddenly it was looking like he may not be able to fly out.

I could have accepted this - you can’t mess with an act of God.  But gradually the lies began to build - one minute flights were OK but he had no one to look after his cat, then suddenly he had a cat sitter but his flight was delayed.

At this point the alarm bells were beginning to ring but I still wanted to believe him.  I was constantly being told different things, e.g. arrival Gatwick then Heathrow, but none of the flight information tallied with the checks we made online.  A call to the hotel I’d referred him to also drew a blank.

I eventually received a tweet on the day of the dinner to say that he was about to board his plane but would be delayed until much later in the evening.  “No problem,” I told him, “I’ll save dinner and we’ll wait for you.” L'il ol’ perfect hostess, moi!

The long and the short is, he never showed, never gave an explanation and probably had no intention of even leaving the country (assuming he/she/it was actually in New York in the first place!).  I also know he arranged to meet several gay guys he’d met on Twitter - again, a no show.

First off, I was hurt - I’d put my trust in someone who I’d believed might become a real friend and I’d been made to look a fool.  Then the anger set in - what a complete and utter time-wasting fantasist!  Then the reality hit - I needed to be more careful and protect myself on Twitter - sometimes gut feeling is not enough.

Naturally, his Twitter account disappeared.  He obviously wasn’t going to hang around to deal with the backlash from the people he’d so cruelly messed about.

BUT … he’s back, under another name - ‘Rick Rainbow’.  I contacted him and tried to get some answers or at least something half way to a decent explanation.  I got nothing - other than he wishes me well.  Gee, thanks!

So, I don’t like snitching but I feel that it’s only fair to let other Twitterers know that he is not to be trusted.  I can’t sit back any longer and keep quiet.

All I can do, other than ‘out’ him, is to thank him for teaching me a lesson - he turned a trusting, genuine individual in to a suspicious cynic.

I just hope he can rest easy in his bed at night but also that he eventually finds peace - because I don’t believe he can possibly have that right now.

Don’t forget Diary of a Mummy Misfit is not only available on Amazon UK or US for Kindle but also in paperback at Lulu - she’s not to be messed with!!!

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Holding Mummy Misfit


I’ve given birth again!

I pushed and grunted, sweat blood and tears and I finally got to hold my baby.  Only this time I made hubbie do quite a lot of the work too - no sitting back and mopping my brow this time, buddy!  You can get involved too.

Yes, my paperback has been delivered and is now available to buy at

OK the conception wasn’t quite as much fun as before and the gestation period was longer than an elephant’s but I got there in the end.

Publishing on Kindle was great, as it got me on the path to selling my story and building a group of followers, but there’s nothing quite like holding a real life copy of your work in your hands.  It’s a proper book with a glossy cover, spine, pages and everything!   And holding it means I can do the all important ‘sniff’ - hope I’m not the only one with this weird habit, but I do like a good noseful of book odour and you can’t do that on a Kindle. (And shouldn’t be seen doing it in a library, trust me!)

My news was received with excitement from friends, family and my Twitter buddies - you know who you are, guys, and I truly thank you for helping to make my day so special.

And suddenly I saw copies of my book selling - it was really quite surreal.  The world of the internet got the word out there within minutes and my book was being printed and shipped.  Wonder if I’ll ever see a copy in a charity shop?  Now that would be funny!

As I hold my work in my hand, I’m preparing to give birth again - the sequel is almost ready and this time it will go to Kindle and hard copy at the same time.  More pushing and grunting and uttering the words “I’m never doing this again!” with a murderous look at hubbie.

So forgive me if this blog sounds a little over excited but I have to admit to feeling a little giddy.  I might even put on my best frock and pearls tonight and have a bit of a party - it’s a long way from a book launch but I never would have dreamed I’d get this far and I think I deserve to celebrate.

Mummy Misfit lives!

You can now buy 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' in paperback at LuLu (or US site) and also for Kindle at Amazon UK and US.  The sequel, 'The Darker Side of Mummy Misfit', coming soon!

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Have You met Ms Jones?

I’ve written (or ranted) about Liz Jones before (see link) and since then I’ve stuck to my guns and haven’t read any of her articles - why put my blood pressure up because of some dopey trollop’s misguided opinions?

But my hubbie drew my attention to this article and, well done Liz, you’ve taken me to new heights of anger.

Never has a more selfish and odious specimen of woman-kind walked this earth.  She careers through life moaning and whingeing, firmly believing she’s never in the wrong and that she should always get what she wants.

If you’re not familiar with the lovely Ms Jones, let me fill you in with the Lonely Hearts Ad I’d write for her:
Feminist, early 50’s
Bunny Boiler
Seeks sperm for her own selfish needs

Think that says it all really!

She has endless failed relationships behind her (never her fault, of course), claimed to hate children and never wanted her own.  Then, when she realised she might be ‘getting on a bit’, she tricked her partner (who she wasn’t even that keen on) by, and it pains me to say this, taking the contents of a used condom and ‘upending’ it in the hope that she’d become pregnant.

And her defence?

“I don’t understand why more men aren’t wise to this risk - maybe sex addles their brain. So let me offer a warning to men wishing to avoid any chance of unwanted fatherhood: if a woman disappears to the loo immediately after sex, I suggest you find out exactly what she is up to.”

So, having recognised it’s ‘unwanted fatherhood’, she then adds salt to the wound by saying that she has friends who have done the same thing - some successfully - who now have children by men who either never get to see them or are forced to pay child maintenance.  My heart bleeds for the children and fathers affected by this selfish manipulation.

Understand why I fear for my blood pressure?

She (and her ilk) firmly believe that it’s their God-given right to have a baby and will go to any lengths to get one.  Her partner had already said that he wanted to use condoms as he didn’t trust her - says it all really, doesn’t it?  Thankfully, her attempts failed and the Stork was wise enough not to bless her with a visitation.  I actually question whether or not she’s fit to look after her cats, let alone a child.

Surely this ‘act’ is theft?  She was stealing something which didn’t belong to her for her own purpose, without permission or discussion.  And, yes, I feel that women who claim to be on the pill for the same reason are just as guilty.  A baby should never be created purely because a woman has decided she wants one.  ‘I want’ doesn’t always get - that’s life, I’m afraid.  I’d love a night with Curtis Stigers, and hubbie wouldn’t say ‘no’ to a touch of Kylie (both without procreation!), but it’s still not gonna happen!

I have no issue with career women who have a last minute panic to find a man and start a family - my issue is with those who do it deceitfully.  How can they create a life based on lies and a total disregard for others?

Ladies, if you’ve left it too late, bad planning I’m afraid!  But if you really feel you have to have a baby, there are sperm banks for that sort of thing where you pay for what you want not thieve.

And if my argument hasn’t yet convinced you of Ms Jones’ madness, this is the same woman who dropped fake tan on her partner’s immaculate cream carpet and then removed a light-bulb so that he wouldn’t see it. Psychopathic?

Liz Jones gets paid to wind people up - I’m well aware of that - and, boy, does she do a good job of it.  Anyone want to pay me to wind people up?

So that’s it - I WILL NEVER READ ANOTHER OF HER ARTICLES IN MY LIFE.  In my opinion, they should carry a government health warning, as should the other bunny-boilers like her when they’re out on the town looking for an unwitting donor.

Diary of a Mummy Misfit is on Amazon for Kindle and now also available in paperback at Lulu.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

Off My Trolley!

Grab your coat and purse because today you’re coming on my weekly food shop.  You might want to pop a couple of Prozac or a healthy glug of vodka before we set off because I do it cold turkey every week and wouldn’t recommend it for a first time trip.

So… we’re in the car with 84 year old mother - she comes along every week to do her shopping at the same time - shopping bags, check.  Trolley keys, check.  My sanity, oops!

Once we’ve parked the car in the underground car park, I take the stairs (lift phobia) after finding someone to escort mum (phobia of being alone in lift) and we meet upstairs by the trolleys.

This is where we find that they never have the small trolleys which my mum prefers.  So we wait … and wait … and wait.  Eventually our patience is rewarded, only to find that the bloody coin won’t fit in the slot but after much jiggling and shaking we have lift off.

Mother sets off and I return to release my own trolley … and of course there’s now a shortage of the bigger variety which I favour.  So the wait resumes, followed by the ‘jiggly coin dance’ and ‘Supermarket Sweep’ begins for me.

The trick is to get all my shopping done, paid for and bagged up before my mum finishes so that I can then help her pack hers away.

Not so easy when I bump into her at just about every other aisle and I’m sent off on mini missions to retrieve various items as ‘shelves are too high’ or ‘can’t remember where they are’.  I probably end up doing about five complete laps of the supermarket in a trip - but that’s fine, I just treat it as my weekly work-out.

So I’m finally at the check-out and, although I always go to the lovely Marcia on Till 5, Sainsbury’s have a new initiative to process your items through the scanner as quickly as is humanly possible (or Marcia cops it).  This leaves both Marcia and me in a bit of a sweat but, hey, it’s cheaper than the gym.

Now comes the part that drives me mad - the ‘Pick a card, Any card’ moment.  First I need to locate the one I’m paying with, then I need to find my Nectar points card, any discount coupons and lastly my car parking ticket.  I’m then rewarded with a receipt as long as my arm, my cards and a sheaf of ‘money off’ promotions that I know I will never use.  Oh and we now have a new incentive - the slip of paper which informs me how much I saved by shopping at Sainsbury’s or, joy of joys, explains that I could have shopped cheaper at Tesco and I’ll be rewarded with a penny off next week’s shop.

Last week I frightened the life out of myself while stuffing half a tree load of paper into my purse.  I caught sight of my reflection in my ‘Superdrug Mirror Card’ - another one I forget to use but at least it’s there to remind me that I look like the Wild Woman of Bonga whilst shopping.

SO … my shopping packed and ready to go, it’s time to repeat the whole process with my mother - that’s if she’s finished.  If she’s not, it’s ‘park the trolley time’ and another wild dash round the aisles to complete her list.

Back to the till we go and the lovely Marcia deliberately slows down the scanning process for my mum - stuff you, Mr Sainsbury!  Marcia is a human not a robot and she recognises the fact that speed panics my mum.

Obviously the procedure is much the same as my own, except I’m packing someone else’s shopping and that’s a tricky business.  If I squidge my mother’s bread she’ll dock my pocket money - no seriously, we’ve had a bickering session at the checkout before now just because of the way I treated her sausage rolls!

The usual garbage spews from the till but mum never wants it so I end up with all her coupons too - by now I practically need a recycling bag to transport my bootie of ‘money savers’.

After our goodbyes and ‘thank goodness that’s over’ to Marcia, we usually find that one of us has been over-charged for cat meat, wine or ice cream - you know, the staples?!  So it’s time to queue up at Customer Service and another lap of the shop for me to explain where the pricing has gone wrong.

The trip back to the car-park’s a bit tricky too because I need to locate a member of staff to escort mother and two trolleys and then do a mad dash down the stairs to beat the lift and meet them when they arrive.

Two loads of groceries packed away and two trolleys returned, we’re ready to set off home.  On one occasion I returned to find that I’d been clamped because I’d gone over my hour and a half limit!  We’d spent nearly two hundred quid and they had the cheek to clamp me for the privilege.  Needless to say, I got off.

No one messes with the Wild Woman of Bonga after her Sainsbury’s workout.

But it doesn’t end there.  When I drop my mum home, I can’t park outside her house so I either brave all nine shopping bags in one strange sort of hunched over geisha girl type walk or I have to make several trips.  If it’s raining, I always opt for the geisha routine and then return to the car drenched to repeat the whole deal with my own shopping at home.

That’s when I get the call to find that mum has left the carrier bag with her lunch in the car.

Shopping online never looked so attractive.

If you enjoy my blog, why not give my debut novel a read?  The sequel will be out soon and you don’t want to be left behind. Available at Amazon for Kindle and now also in paperback at Lulu.