books, ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

Life, On A Different Continent

So. I’ve quit my job and left England. I’ve been planning it for a while, but quite frankly I’m stunned that I’m actually here in Montreal, Canada. This is happening.

I’ve been working for the greater part of a year to able to afford it, jamming in as many shifts as I possibly could, and neglecting my writing horribly.

But, no more. No more, I say.


Just why did you leave your own country? and WHY ON EARTH WOULD YOU ABANDON ALL YOUR BELOVED BOOKS?!!! are perfectly legitimate questions to ask.

And I have answers:

  • I want to spot a lumberjack in its natural habitat. (The border official was like: ‘in Montreal?? Yeah. No.’ But you know what? I live in hope. Desperate, terrible hope.)
  • It’s time for me to speak fluent French. (Why didn’t you just go to France? I hear you ask. WELL EXCUSE ME FOR TAKING THE LONG WAY ROUND! THIS COUNTRY HAS MAPLE SYRUP!!! MAPLE. SYRUP.)
  • It was time to live on a different continent.
  • Why not?
  • I have a kindle. It was – and I am being perfectly serious right now – very hard to leave my books behind. But at least I have SOME books with me. Even if they are ebooks. Even if I can’t sniff ’em.


I write. I write as hard as I can. This is the time to catch up on all the projects I haven’t finished.

And yes, I can hear select members of my family sniggering a continent away. My writing is a bit of running joke, you see. The joke being that I never finish a novel and have at least ten books on the go.

I would like to point out that a) Rome wasn’t built in a day, b) genius takes time, and c) there is nothing wrong with elongated multitasking. Nothing.


My aim is to go back to posting once a week – recountings of books, detailing what I’ve been up to (so far, I’ve set a house alarm off, explored some of Montreal, and have heard a report THAT THERE IS A LIBRARY NEARBY! WOOP!) and perhaps attempting to keep you enthralled with updates on my SO TOTALLY GOING TO BE FINISHED projects.

adieu for now!

ness rambles, podcast

podcast // unhappy ever afters

I’ve been rather busy recently, and the script that I had started for this episode is gathering dust as a draft. Instead of waiting for the perfect moment to have everything together – a script with interesting, thoughtful content, for example – I thought: I’m just going to wing it. 

Image result for celebrating gif

It wasn’t the worst of my ideas, but the rather incoherent enthusiasm that followed certainly proved that it wasn’t one of my best, either. I apologise in advance.

Sometimes books let you down. Sometimes you just need to ramble incoherently about them. [Found Treasure by Grace Livingston Hill. The Mark of the Horse-Lord by Rosemary Sutcliff. Villette by Charlotte Brontë]

post on villette // podcast site

ness rambles, ness talks about life

Dedicated Cat Lady Supporter

Reading with cat. (Georgiana Chitac):
via Pinterest

I really want to know what the problem with being a cat lady is. Or – even worse! – an old cat lady. And even worse than that (perish the thought!) – an old unmarried cat lady. With knitting needles. And rocking chair.

Because who makes the rules? Who says that an unmarried cat lady is a someone who has had a disappointing life? Why should the fact that you’ve not got an old cat-owning man at your side bring stigma?

What if you sit on the battered old rocking chair because your battle wounds ache, you knit with knitting needles that you can throw with deadly accuracy (pin a fly’s wings at twenty paces!) and your cats are rescued from an Evil Drugs Testing Company?

Or, to be more realistic: what if you’re unmarried because you chose to be alone, but not lonely? There are a thousand reasons why a single, cat owning lady becomes who she is, and none of them are ‘failure at life’.

Ending up single doesn’t nullify your life and what you’ve done. It doesn’t make you worth less than a married woman with a bustling and steadily growing clan of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Your value is still the same – infinite in the eyes of God.

Each life is different. Becoming a cat lady – unmarried, single and growing aged – is not the same as catching the Bubonic Plague.

The point of this ramble can be put simply thus:

don’t dis them cat ladies.

-signed, a dedicated cat lady supporter

ness rambles, ness talks about life, ness writes about writing

Possibly Edible Creations, Deadlines and other such draconic nonsense

After a string of late nights and many hours spent staring at words until the words themselves lose their meaning (‘curse? cu-rse? c-ur-se? That’s not a word. Wait. Is it?’) I felt rather drained this morning.

The sun was bright and shining, and the sudden urge to sit in a coffee shop, drink coffee and read a nice comforting book seized me.

But then I realised that coffee shops contain coffee, chairs, toilets, food and people. I decided that the garden was a better – and quieter – option.

IMG_0804// pictured: a cup of tea, a pink Bible, Marcia Schuyler, by Grace Livingston Hill – ‘Tales of a Child Bride’ as it ought to be subtitled – and an edible creation entitled: Let Me Just Bung This In With That and I Might Have Overdone The Cinnamon’ //

It was quite a pleasant brunch. But then dark clouds appeared and I beat a graceful retreat. It started raining soon after, which prompted a hasty trip outside to retrieve the washing.

The Curse of Cackling Meadows is officially released tomorrow. I’ve decided that deadlines are actually quite useful things. As are dictionaries, without which I wouldn’t have learnt that ‘draconian’ doesn’t describe something as dragon-like. The correct word for that sort of thing is ‘draconic’.

Draconian means unusually cruel or severe, and derives from the Athenian statesman Draco and his severe set of rules. It is also the name of a Swedish Doom/Gothic Metal band.

You learn something new every day, and I managed to avoid describing a cloud as ‘draconian’, which would have odd. I mean, ‘a draconic cloud’ still sounds quite odd, but in context it’s perfectly fine.

Or so I like to tell myself.

ness rambles, ness talks about life

Unique? Who is.

fishunderwaterDo you know, sometimes I wonder if any of us are truly original. Unique.

Bit of a strange thing to say, I suppose. But give me a chance, and let me stumble out my thoughts.

Books, movies and music influence us. Experiences shape us. Our childhood and its doings mould us. Friends and family touch us. Make us. It all combines to form us into who we are today.

You like Beethoven, I prefer Vivaldi. And yet, this doesn’t make me unique. A thousand others prefer the same. A thousand others prefer the same and watch, say, The Great British Bake Off whilst snacking on Digestive biscuits.

With the number of people on this planet, who can truly say that they are totally unique? What makes you – the individual – truly you?

How much of what I write is truly myself, or an echo of what I’ve read or heard or seen? And does it matter? Should I try to be something totally different, or strive to do the best with what all my experiences, influences and memories have given me?

Are these the bricks with which I must build? Or must I throw it all out because it’s not unique or original enough?

I’ve left this post for a little while – allowed it to simmer in the back of my mind. I think I’ve reached a conclusion though. Perhaps it goes a little like this:

A fish cannot soar above the clouds, and a bird cannot explore the ocean’s secrets – I cannot be what I am not, but I can be what I am. Or rather – I can use what I’ve been given. Fins for water or wings for flight.

I am only me, but that is enough. I’ll do the best with what I’ve got. Not stale and still, but striving and moving and learning and building and on the whole becoming the best that I can be.

For in the end, it doesn’t matter if I’m not unique or original. Our worth is not bound up in such silly things. As that song goes: look through Heaven’s eyes.