Maiju’s Teacup 28/3/2017

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March is over soon!! Come back March! Although I miss the hour stolen by daylight “saving” more than the month. I think I got quite a lot done in March. Besides finishing a pretty good edit of the novel manuscript, I wrote several short stories and read enough books.

April’s going to be yet another writing month. I signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo. I’m going to at least try to get 1K words written per day.

I’m reading Lauren Graham’s Talking As Fast As You Can and she mentions a writing technique that I realise I’ve pretty much been using successfully. It’s funny (not) how you can read about a thing and when you try the thing in the framework of it’s thing-yness, it doesn’t work. But when you work for a few years and come up with the same thing yourself, only more in your own framework, it works like a charm.

The cat is doing a bit poorly at the moment, but we are going to the vet tomorrow for blood tests. I fear she might have anemia, but I’ll be relieved if it’s just that. I’m a bit mad at myself and the previous vet that they didn’t take the tests last time. It would have saved me a trip and a lot of worry and money. But I’m progressing with reading Middlemarch. Apparently I only read it when the cat is sick.

Anyway, I’m going to try to keep writing yet a bit more today, surprise.

The huge mug of tea (my regular size = 1 litre) is Tetley black tea with milk and a bit of brown sugar. Yes, it’s that kind of day.

Maiju’s Teacup 22/3/2017

I’m staying at my mum’s who had a cataract operation yesterday. Must be awful not being able to read.

I’m utilising the time by doing laundry in the communal laundry room which has a dryer and a drying room. The washing machine can handle even smaller carpets so I did those yesterday.

I took three books with me. I am, after all, staying here a whole 36 hours… I ended up starting, for the umpteenth time, one of my favourite books. 

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows has been a constant read ever since I picked it up from the library in 2008, a decision based only on the name. I gave it to several friends to read. 

When I found it as paperback I’ve been constantly buying it. First because the editions I lent to my friends never found back to me. Soon I started buying it whenever I found a cheap edition and giving them to friends or random people who might be interested in it. Even now when I can’t afford to do that anymore, I’ve been making friends swear to get it for themselves if they find it in a second hand bookshop. 

So if you come across this book in the bookshop or the library, read it.

Maiju’s Teacup 19/3/2017

Well, technically it’s 20th already as it’s 1 am… 

I’m drinking a cup of TeaWitty’s nightime tea to calm down. 

I decided to spend today self-caring and finish reading a book. I did. After that I felt so relaxed that I polished my novel synopsis and sent the manuscript to one publisher. It’s the first place I’ve sent it to and it feels like a huge leap. 

I’m kinda terrified that my manuscript is waiting in the inbox of an unknown person but kinda exhilarated and relieved. I don’t think I’ll ever get used to this but I guess the first time is the hardest.

A friend tweeted me that she’s been following my journey on Twitter and it inspired her to dig out some old drafts. I really love the idea that my random tweets can have such an effect. So I will keep randomly tweeting and blogging 😊

Maiju’s Teacup 17/3/2017

It’s more like the whole pot today. What else would one do on St. Patrick’s Day than wear green, drink tea and listen to Irish trad music? (Oh, Guinness. Right.)

Happy St. Paddy’s Day everyone! 

The tea is TeaWitty’s Natural Glowing Tea. While I hope I will not actually find myself glowing in the dark tonight, the tea is delicious! Last summer I put a teaspoon of the stuff every night in my water bottle and by morning I had delicious cold steep tea (is there a word for that, I wonder?).

Today I’ll be continuing the next novel, which does not have a title,  not unlike the first one. Or the first one has a “Anne of Green Gables” type working title. I really need to get on that.

Tonight I’m heading to the opening event of Vaasa LittFest. I know, not as impressive as those friends who are enjoying London Book Fair but it’s the most literary event this town has. The years I’ve made it there, it’s been excellent. 

This year I hope to badger my author friends about sending their first novels to publishers. Because I should but I’m scared shitless, to put it nicely… 

Maiju’s Teacup 16/3/2017

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This morning the tea of my choice is TeaWitty’s Sri Lanka Ceylon. Despite the redundancy in the name, the tea is good, strong and oversteeped, just like I like it this morning. The cup is a continuation of my face, like it actually is.

Stayed up late last night to read a book. And had to stay up late because I wrote until after 11pm. I started the second novel that suddenly rose from the first novel. It feels like flying again. I keep stumbling on piles of planks but it just speeds me up, not slows me down.

It seems like Spring is finally here. I thought I jinxed it by throwing away my green bedsheets last Autumn. They were in shreds. But I chose a green toothbrush for my next one this morning and I think it’ll do. I do have black bedsheets, but I’d really rather have a warm, green spring than a cold and bare one.

Now my fingers are warmed up and the caffeine is coursing in my veins, I’m heading back to Novlr and start working.

Maiju’s Teacup 13/3/2017

Tonight I steeped myself a cup of TeaWitty’s nightime tea. I found a perfect cup that I’d totally forgotten into my cupboard. It’s from a little tea shop in Cork and it has a lid so it keeps warm while I write.

My cat has been sick since last Wednesday. She has a severe case of constipation and I’ve had to feed her and keep her hydrated with a syringe. She’s been sleeping on my bed, hogging the most of it. I don’t mind. I’m so glad she’s feeling a lot better today. She moved from the bed to the armchair and has been eating voluntarily. It was nice to sleep next to her, though.

For  the past three nights I’ve been waking every few hours to give her water and one night I couldn’t sleep at all between 1 and 5 am. Luckily the book I’m reading,  George Eliot’s  Middlemarch is so good, it has kept me from having too much time to worry. I started the book  because a literary inspired web series based on it is starting in a few days (15th March – mid  March, haha).

 It’s my first Eliot and I really love the turn of her phrases. It’s like Jane Austen mixed with Elizabeth Gaskell. But not. It’s Eliot. I’m so glad I can look forward to reading the rest of her books too.

It also fits into my #PoePartyReads challenge in which I read a book by every author that was in the Poe Party web series. I think she’s the last I haven’t read before.

Maiju and the Wonderfully Disgusting Truth About Popcorn 

I’m a sucker for salty. I love chocolate and muffins and some cake too. But if I want something that I’ll really enjoy in large quantities,  give me a pot and some popcorn and I’ll do magic.


This is my largest bowl. If used for salad, it would probably feed about eight people. When I make popcorn, it feeds only me.

I will give you my secret popcorn recipe but only because you didn’t ask and we’ll keep it just between us, the people on the internet.

Take a large metal pot and melt approximately 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Just as the oil is melted and covers the whole bottom of the pot, add some coconut butter (about 3/4 of tablespoon). This is specifically the stuff that includes coconut’s flesh and milk, not to be confused with coconut oil. I have not gone (coco)nuts and mentioned it twice. Let the coconut butter melt on top of the oil (it might stick to the pot otherwise) and give it a stir so it’s mixed evenly. 

Pour popcorn kernels over this and let it pop. If you’ve never made popcorn from kernels, it’s better to Google it first…

When the popcorn is done, pour it in a bowl while it’s still hot and sprinkle it alternately with salt (I use sea salt or Himalayan salt), cayenne pepper  (or other chilli powder) and powdered garlic. Shake the bowl, add more spices, shake again, add spices and then it’s ready.

This recipe has been the result of years of taxing experimentation. Occasionally I still make it, just to make sure it’s really as good as I thought. 

It is.