Friday 18 January 2013

Waterstones Creative Writing Group

I went to a new creative writing group that was held in Truro's Waterstones store last night.

I didn't know what to expect, although I was sure there would be a few people that were part of the NanoWriMo competition there, and I was right. It was great to see some of the old faces again, and even better to see that they were a lot more relaxed than during the relentless task of writing 50,000 words each!

The last time I went to a writing group, it was one held in Helston Library a few years ago. It was at the time when I had first come up with the idea of my Mother Nature story. I wanted my new story to have a Hollywood kind of feel to it, but as my luck would have it, I was set upon by an old Pagan who wanted to try and change my mind in the way I was going to write it - needless to say she didn't have any influence and I only went to that group a couple of times.

Sarah, the ML for the NanoWriMo and one other ran the group last night. It was good fun, they gave us silly tasks, like we've got ten minutes to write something about 'Inspiration' and then read it out to the rest of the class. There was a good sixteen people there and a couple I'm looking forward to chatting to if I go again.

I'm not totally sure if it's my cup of tea. I spend hours thinking of what I am going to write and when it gets put down, it'll get edited, rewritten, edited again, re-read and spell checked, then given to someone else to read, re-edit depending on what they say, then think damn-it I'm bored with this story and file it.

To think up something in a couple of seconds and then write something that's good enough to read out aloud is a different matter. I held my own, and even got a few giggles from the things I wrote, but all the time I was thinking that I'm wasting valuable writing time at home - you can tell I live in the middle of no-where and don't socialise much :)

To top it off they gave me homework! I've never been one for doing homework, my teachers at school never got any out of me when they told me I had to do it.

Sarah cleverly said that no-one was forcing me to do homework and I didn't have to do it if I didn't want to... bugger, now I have to do it. Actually, I stayed up last night after getting home and did it then!

I think it's quite nice to see faces, and great for people who are either unsure about their writing or need that push to actually put that book on to paper that they've always wanted to write - but I'm not really in either of those groups any more... we'll see in a month when the next one is planned, I'll keep you posted.

Sunday 6 January 2013


Well, my fish tank has had it's weekly clean and I've decided to add a couple of additions to it - so now you'll see theres some more Zebra Danios and Tetras. I'm pleased as punch and have already wasted an hour this morning watching them all swimming about :)

Upstairs Downstairs Cafe

Last time I spoke about food on here, I wasn't best pleased by what was dished up - and if you read it then you'll know that I refused my portion. Today I want to swap the cards completely and tell you about a fantastic little eatery in Truro for that occasional treat.

I have always thought there has been a place in this country for a good old-fashioned American diner. You know the type, self-coloured metal caravans where half the electricity supply is used on the jukebox and if you play the tune of the day, the cooks come out to the tables and do a bit of line-dancing! There are a couple around but they are few and far between, the best I think are on the cruise ships.

However, down Cathedral Lane in Truro there is a little gem of a place that brings the feel of Tennessee Diner to my back door, relatively. Upstairs-Downstairs Cafe has been around for quite a long time, but last year they decided to change their decor, add in a jukebox and start serving the typical american cafe food - without the enormous American size servings, oh thank the Lord (Alright, I know we're in mid-Cornwall and not mid-America, just trying to get into character!)

Seriously though, I went in there yesterday for breakfast. I have been in there a couple of times and have always felt as though it was a treat, and yesterday was no exception. I ordered a typical US breakfast: Bacon, Sausage, Egg and two pancakes with Maple syrup. It was divine! In fact, writing this now is making me feel like getting in the car and going there again. The bacon was cooked to perfection, and didn't have those bits on from someone elses food because the pan wasn't cleaned out. The egg was sunny-side up, perfectly runny and yet cooked properly and best of all there was an individual pot of Maple syrup so I could pour it exactly where I wanted on the plate.

The people who work there are friendly and are very pleased to chat and the prices are very reasonable. If you want a Fred recommendation and a treat then next time you go shopping in Truro, do check it out; especially if you have teenagers, they will love it.

Tuesday 1 January 2013

Happy New Year

Well, it's a little bit late, but give me a break, like many of you out there I've been suffering from a mild headache - we call it hangover in the industry.

It been a nice break from work over the Christmas period, although I haven't got half as much done as I would like to do - again! I have been very busy on the family tree, which to be honest has put my writing back these two weeks. However, tomorrow is the first day back at work, and as tradition follows, I will be up at 4:30am to my writing.

I much prefer writing on dark January, February and March mornings. I really can't seem to get half as much done when the dawn's get lighter. I've prepared the files and notes on my desk and set my alarm.

To everybody out there I wish a Happy New Year, and lets all hope that 2013 is the year that we all hoped 2012 was supposed to be.

Fred Deakin
Design Engineer & Writer