Wednesday, 7 November 2012

My Slutty* Writing Day by Valerie-Anne Baglietto

*I use 'slutty' in the sense that I haven't completely emptied the dishwasher yet or put the washing machine on. But I have got dressed. This is my comfiest uniform (right), and yes they're jogging pants. One of the things I love about being a writer is the fact I haven't got to slap on make-up, comb my frizz or squeeze into a power suit. Sometimes (because I'm so naughty) I'm still slopping around in my PJs at midday, in which case, I won't answer the door unless it's the postman with an important delivery, or my neighbour. If it's the latter, I feign illness - such as a migraine, or I wheeze a little and blame it on my asthma. She's very understanding.

I am very, VERY lucky that Granddad whisks my younger two off to school in the morning, and my eldest is old enough to walk to high school. It means you can sometimes find me jumping on to the PC the minute they're all out of the door, coffee mug to hand (my favourite mug, left).

I try to take regular breaks, which might involve jumping on to the exercise bike for five minutes, feeding the guinea pigs, finally putting the washing machine on or making another cup of tea/coffee. Around two o'clock or later I usually remember that I haven't had lunch yet. Needing to eat can be very inconvenient for a writer.

There are two 'workstations' in my house. The messy one downstairs where I can keep an eye on the kids and their homework, or the more calming one upstairs in the room that used to be my study but is now my eldest son's hangout.

I use it when he's out or at school, and he can't protest because I bought all the chunky, cottagey furniture with my second PLR cheque about ten years ago. He has to share the space with my novels - the ones with my name on them! - because the only other shelves are in the conservatory, and book spines get bleached by the sun out there. The rows of books hovering above the laptop also remind me that I can write. Or at least I could, before motherhood, post-natal depression and writer's block did strange things to my brain.

I've been experimenting with different genres and styles for the last few years. At the moment I'm working on contemporary fairytales. Not retellings or reversionings or anything like that, but the idea that normal, modern day people might find themselves caught up in something that ought only to happen in the world of fiction. Magical realism maybe? No vampires, werewolves or shapeshifters, though. Or angels. So I'm not sure if paranormal is the right word for it, either. Anyway, it's proving hard work, but lots of fun. We shall see where it leads. At the moment, I'm being steered towards the kettle, so I'm going to sign off and take a caffeine break.

love Valerie-Anne x
UPDATE: Since writing this post back in November, my book ONCE UPON A WINTER ( has been released, and has hit #2 in the Amazon Fairy Tale chart and #2 in Myths & Fairy Tales (so all that coffee paid off). I am now working on a novella, due out this summer.


  1. Your desk looks a whole lot tidier than mine. But I think I prefer my slippers ;-)

  2. I didn't dare take a picture of the downstairs desk, talk about drowning in paper! Anyway, my slippers are boots, so very cosy.

  3. your new books sounds really, really intriguing. (I'm trying to deflect attention from the dishes all over my own kitchen)


We love to hear from you, so don't be shy . . .