Reclusive Ramblings

Canned Food and Veggie Zombies–Apocalypse Week!

Well it’s here–apocalypse week! So here are a few thoughts and ideas to get you through eternal damnation.

Things to remember for the apocalypse:-

Forget queuing for petrol, water is the new gold. Store plenty of bottled water.

Get canned food if you have no camping stove(and remember the can opener–nothing¬† worse than leaving home without one) oh, and if you’re civilized, don’t forget a spoon/fork/knife.

Apocalypse food:-

Providing you’ve managed to get some canned food, here are some yummy delights that will brighten up your post-apocalyptic days…remember, these don’t need heating up to be great.

You will need a can opener…

Baked beans…always a favourite…even cold ūüôā


Canned fruit (contains sugary water which might come in handy)

Canned potatoes or veg( so you can a balanced meal)

Canned tuna with pretty much anything tomato flavoured including:-


Chopped tomatoes

Canned spaghetti (an italian favourite with fish) Yum!

Jamie Oliver…eat your heart out

Actually, scrap all that…lets just eat Jamie Oliver instead!( Only joking…I love Jamie’s 15 min meals)

You will also need a lighter/matches, a wind up torch and a camping knife for just about everything.

MP3 play list:- Radiohead and various.

Watch out for zombies too, they kind of resemble¬†Chavs or One Direction fans so it’s hard to tell them apart…but, this is important…remember it’s the brain that has to be destroyed to kill them!!!

(just a thought…do veggetarian people become veggie zombies?…hummmm? Protect those canned peas and carrots!)

Have a happy apocalypse and even happier Christmas! ūüôā

If the world was ending, what would you be doing in those last few hours? What would be on your apocalypse playlist if you had one? Remember, keep it clean. ūüôā

See you on the other side (the new year of course). ūüôā

Categories: Reclusive Ramblings, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , | 2 Comments

So why flawed characters?

There seems to be a bit of a pattern forming in my writing where all my characters are thieves or some kind of assassin.

Hmmmm…so what does that say about me?

I’m developing a strange fascination with people or characters who,¬†for what ever¬†reason,¬†have issues. Gone are the cardboard cut outs of good and bad. I’m much more interested in what’s really going on inside. Why do people hurt others¬†and what makes someone break the law?

Flawed characters are so much more interesting, don’t you think! Emotionally they’re pulled in different directions; what is the right decision for one, is totally unacceptable for another. That’s what makes people, and ultimately characters in a book or film so compelling.

For that reason, I’ve taken to studying psychology. It should be an interesting journey. Not only will I be able to read into people’s behaviour and use elements for my writing, but I will probably learn something about myself along the way.

Scary thought, eh!!!

So what inspires us writers when creating characters?¬† For me it’s a combination of past experience, observation and psychology. For others, it can be something completely different.¬† ¬†What about you? Are you a writer or a reader who is drawn in by characters? Do they matter more than the plot when it comes to sticking with a story or particular book? Feel free to have your say!

Categories: About Writing, characters, Reclusive Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Who needs The Olympics or The Hunger Games (when you have London St Pancras)

‘Who needs the Olympics or The Hunger Games when you have London St Pancras!’ I said, witnessing¬†a display¬†of immeasurable speed and¬†agility by¬†passengers¬†attempting to board the 11.00 train.

My husband and I¬†watched in awe as Young Asian Family were pipped to the post by The Dylans who secured a gold medal, followed¬†by Single White Female, who won a respectable Bronze. Each of them with seconds to spare, dashed through the barriers, just making the train in time. Any later and Single White Female would have lost her bag, or worse, her foot in the door. It could have been carnage. You’d have thought that the mass of curly hair the father and son duo The Dylans had would have created some resistance to the air as they flew by everyone else,¬†but no. Just goes to¬†show what the non-athletic Brits can do.¬†It’s little¬†wonder¬†our athletes are¬†doing so well¬†this summer.

The athletics¬†marked the end to¬†what had been an eventful morning; with killer crowds, Peppermint Tea Lady and an abandoned suitcase… Sigh! Need I say more…?

Everywhere, people were frantic; fighting through the crowds, queuing, screaming, stopping in mid walk so everyone behind tripped over their suitcases. We were desperately trying to avoid a human pile up and failing.

‘I do¬†like people watching, even if it’s a bit mad.’ said my husband.

‘Me too,¬†but I keep getting my rucksack knocked. They’re gunning for me today!’

After¬†the initial¬†fight to get into the train¬†station, we decided to eat breakfast at Pret. As¬†we shuffled forwards in the queue to get much-needed¬†choccy¬†croissants, it became obvious¬†that the suitcase next to¬†us was unloved and alone. I looked around and then asked¬†the man¬†in front of me if it belonged to him.¬†He¬†responded with a slow, slightly uninterested shake of¬†his head,’No, not mine luv.’

Soon word spread and everyone¬†began¬†looking around¬†in a meerkat¬†watching for predators kind of¬†way. As time passed,¬†more of us caught on to the fact that this huge – and I mean huge suitcase was now standing in the middle of the floor on its own.¬† How could anyone misplace that! It’s¬† the size of the Titanic! Okay, okay, maybe we should tell the manager– clearly no one’s coming for it! After a few minutes the manager was alerted and the suitcase whisked away somewhere. Don’t they normally have to evacuate and conduct a controlled explosion? Obviously not!

Thankfully I was spared the agony of the “run or choccy¬†croissant, run or choccy¬†croissant” scenario, which¬†I don’t think my nerves or my stomach could have taken.

Then came Peppermint Tea Lady.

Right after the¬†suitcase incident,¬†Pret staff shouted down the queue of¬†suddenly¬†zombified customers, ‘Who wants coffees, teas…?’. Before my poor¬†husband could even inhale enough breath to speak,¬† a shrill voice from¬†behind him¬†shattered the air, ‘Peppermint tea! Peppermint tea!’ Okay– steady on love– it’s not the apocalypse. You have plenty of time!

My husband by this point was more than¬†slightly annoyed. ‘I feel invisible,’ he said. Which is no mean feat. With his mass of curly hair, much like¬†The Dylans¬†and a¬†tall, broad frame, he’s hard to ignore.

As we moved to the front of the queue we¬†watched Peppermint Tea Lady find a table, sit down and stir her drink. ‘Yeah, she looks like a Peppermint Tea Lady.’ I said, folding my arms.

Now, to be honest,¬†they don’t really have a look, but¬†she was just one of those holier than though people. You know the sort; clenched buttocks, both feet firmly planted on the ground and nose in the air with no emotion¬†apart¬†from¬†a deep hatred of anyone a little overweight, with a choccy¬†croissant clasped¬†firmly in their hands.

Anyway, we found a seat, ate, drank our coffee, then boarded our train, both confirming to each other that we were Country Bumkins now, and returning to live in London might not be the best course of action.

Now,¬†I do love London,¬†in small¬†doses. You get a real sense of life, albeit, a little frantic.¬†You can also find some¬†great inspiration for characters and stories when¬†observing people and trying to get inside their heads.¬†We do it all the time. Perhaps we’re a bit weird…who knows, but it’s a useful and entertaining exercise.

At home we¬†recovered and then discussed another possible trip to the Big Smoke. Well…what can I say, you can’t keep a story junkie down for long.


Don’t forget, you can follow my story junkie tales and ramblings by email/Wordpress and Networked Blogs. You’ll find the links on the right-hand side of my main page. I’ve also recently published some short stories with Cafe Three-Zero, the links to which follow this post.

Thanks for reading, and feel free to comment about your own experiences of character or story development.

Cafe Three Zero books:-

Tales From The Cafe: Vol 1

RED, Tales From The Cafe: Vol 2

Categories: About Writing, characters, Reclusive Ramblings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

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