Andrea Mara

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Andrea Mara

How to Write a Book

The three things I’m asked most often, here on OfficeMum, and on Facebook and on Instagram, are as follows: 1. Which is the best campsite 2. How do you get into freelance writing and 3. How do you write a book – or: I’ve written a book, what do I

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Snapshot of a Woman in Denial

“This week is crazy,” I said to my husband. “It’ll calm down next week,” he said, and I nodded. “Who are you kidding,” said the little voice inside my head. “You’ve been saying it’ll calm down next week since 2007, and it still hasn’t.” This is true. I’ve even blogged

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Andrea Mara

November Rain

I am glum. I have no excuse. No reason to be glum. I mean, yes, it’s been raining for 457 days solid now, so that might have something to do with it. This morning, for the first time this week, we could walk to school again. Such joy in that

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a House Counting Down

“We’ll fit loads in over the next few weeks,” I’d said to the kids two weekends ago, not wanting to say what I really meant, which was, “There are only twelve more days left of summer holidays, let’s make the most of it.” Because I didn’t want them on the

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Andrea Mara

The best of… no, wait, all the books I read this year

Last week I wrote about the books my kids loved this year – 28 recommendations from my kids to yours – so this week I thought I’d post about the books I loved in 2018. There are lots of “best books” newspaper articles and blog posts at the moment, and

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Instructions from a ten-year-old

When I was about thirteen, I remember reading Flowers in the Attic and realising pretty quickly that it was a good thing my parents didn’t know what it was about. I’d been stopped from reading Judy Blume’s Forever a few years ago, and had learned to be more careful about

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Andrea Mara

Snapshot of a woman on the cusp

I was going to call this Snapshot of a woman on the edge but that was just too melodramatic for what really comes down to wishing away the long, final days of school before the summer starts. So it’s a snapshot from the cusp instead – from one tired mother

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Andrea Mara

The Photo Not Taken

Two summers ago, we spent a glorious fortnight in Marina di Venezia, a campsite near Venice that’s situated right on the beach. About five days into our holiday, I was lying awake in bed, cranky after a bad night’s sleep, and irrationally irritated that everyone else was still snoring (including the

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My Book-Baby Reveal

It’s struck me many times over the last 18 months that writing books is a little like having a baby (albeit in a non-human-creating, non-life-altering way). The writing is like the pregnancy (only it feels even longer) and the last round of edits are like the final push of childbirth.

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Andrea Mara

January, I okay you.

On Monday morning, when I called the kids for school, they had many questions. Here are just some of them: “Is it Saturday, can I watch TV? Okay, well even though it’s Monday, can I watch TV because it’s still kind of Christmas?” “It’s still the middle of the night,

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Book launches and being horizontal

Anyone who knows me in real life will know that I’m not exactly horizontal in the chilled out stakes. I’m somewhere between about 45 and 80 degrees. And depending on the situation (organising a kid’s party, organising a barbecue, trying to get out the door when we have a babysitter…)

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Censoring kids’ reading (or not) and running a book clinic

“And then the sixteen-year-old found out she was pregnant too, and she wanted to run away with her boyfriend!” This was the sentence that left me speechless last year, when my then seven-year-old was recounting the plot of the book she was reading. It was a Jacqueline Wilson book that

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5 Things I Learned This Weekend

1. Women can fix the world I had dinner on Friday night with five amazing, fun, smart, witty women. Over much white wine, we covered pod-casts, sex education, cyber-bullying, running, decluttering, books, blogs, the glass ceiling, tennis, part-time work, and the scary future that is parenting teens. And we had

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