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ROW80 Check-in

I forgot to check in last week. I’m planning on one check in a week, at the end of the week, so Sunday. Last Sunday I totally forgot, so was going to do Monday, then work got in the way and I kept forgetting again, and now we’re here, a week later. Really, this is 2 weeks worth of check ins.

– Spend some time at least three times a week, editing. I’ve been pretty good at this. Mainly cause I’m just on the reading through stage (to remind myself of what the hell the novel is), so it’s easy at the moment. I think I’ve done this at least 3 times a week for the last 2 weeks. I’ve read up to p60 this year (A4 pages, size 10 font, single line spaced – so quite a lot). I’m getting near-ish where I have to do some real editing.  That’s scary, but I’m on a roll, so I’ll carry on.

– Exercise three times a week. If it’s walking, no less than for 20 minutes. I went for my first run of the year today. I’ve been putting it off for a week, but I finally did it, and it wasn’t as hard as I thought – in fact, I’m a lot fitter than I expected considering I’ve not done any exercise other than walking for nearly 4 months. I’ve also got back into the habit of getting off the tube a stop early and walking the rest of the way to work. It’s only 12 minutes, but that’s 12 minutes more than I was doing.

– Fast 2 days a week (500 calories a day). Done. I was going to do 3 this week, but today pretty much fell apart (I want to blame someone, but really can only blame myself, I caved in to the cookies I made last night, then left a pizza out the freezer, so had a choice of eating, or throwing away, I chose eating!).

– Check in for ROW80 once a week, one book review blog once a week. This week, complete – this blog and I reviewed Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor over on Novelkicks (read it here). Last week, I did none. I’m going to focus on the positives of this week though!

All in all, I’d say I’m doing well (this week, we’ll ignore last). The editing is going well, the reviewing is going well, I’m blogging on time. I’m also exercising and eating like I should (I’ve lost 4lb in the last 2 weeks).

My goals pretty much stay the same this week, except I may  have to reduce to 1 fast, because life is likely to get in the way! Here’s to another good week!

ROW80 – The First Week 2014

It’s the end of my first week back doing ROW80 for, I think a year. Wow. It’s gone really well. Quite well? Let’s look:

-Spend some time at least three times a week, editing. I’m at the reading the novel stage of editing. I’ve read I think 3 or 4 days this week, and read about 30 pages I think. That’s a great start. 

– Exercise three times a week. If it’s walking, no less than for 20 minutes. OK, so I’ve not done this. I did one lot of over 20 minute walking. 

– Fast 2 days a week (500 calories a day). I managed one fast day (today) and one day with lower than usual calories (1,000). It’s first week back, so not too bad. 

– Check in for ROW80 once a week, one book review blog once a week. This is my check in. I wrote a review of How To Look Like You by Rose McClelland for Novelkicks, AND one for Here’s Looking At You by Mhairi McFarlene for this blog. That’s a huge pass. In addition, I also wrote two 2014 read challenge blogs – one for the Global Reading Challenge, and one for the TBR Pile Challenge (my 3rd year!).

Next week, I’m going to keep my goals the same.The ones I completed, I know I can again, and the ones I didn’t, I know I can do. They’re basic, but do-able. 

How was your week?

 

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me,

Happy 4th Blogiversary Dear Meeeee,

Happy 4th Blogiversary To Me.

Guess what? My blog is 4. 4 and 2 days if we’re going to be exact. Just over 4 years ago, my boyfriend suggested I started a blog to chart my progress through my writing course. I hated the idea. I didn’t know there was this community of writers out there that had blogs. I thought if I did it, no one would read it, that people would laugh at it, and I’d hate it.

Well, they did, they didn’t, and I don’t – I love it. Blogging is great. It’s like writing a diary, only for other people to read. I write comments that come to mind, and sometimes they inspire people to read them, and sometimes write a comment back to me. It’s brilliant.

The writing course didn’t go too well. I started it, but then got into writing novels (NaNoWriMo and more) and so haven’t carried it on. I need to speak to them to check I can carry on with it, and I need to carry on with it.

The blog’s done pretty well. It’s been up and down, sometimes I write a lot, often, sometimes I go a while without writing anything.

In total, this blog has had nearly 16,000 views and nearly 1,700 comments on 615 blogs, with 820 tags (820 different things I’ve talked about?). The busiest month was April 2011, where it had 831 views! Even the quietest of months (always December when I’m so knackered after NaNo I hardly post anything), it had 122 views. 104 people subscribe to this blog, and everytime I post, my 374 twitter followers hear about it.

That’s pretty awesome.

I can’t wait to post the stats again in another 4 years – if I carry on this way, I’ll have 32,000 views by then. Wow!

Enough of this bragging (if you can’t on your blogiversary, when can you?) and on to my week – it’s going well.

This week I’m rocking my goals. Steve is on a course this week, and has ‘homework,’ so while he was studying yesterday, I was editing. Today, I had the day off work, so I spent about 2 hours on the novel. I’ve now printed off all the bits of it (who knew I had 2,000 words stored in a seperate document here, and 5,000 in another one there?), and read through everything. I next need to make notes on the last 20 pages I read, then write up my post-it notes, which should help with what I’m missing, where etc.

I hope.

So I’m feeling pretty good.

Today I’ve also been to the gym, where I did almost double what I did on Sunday. Woop! I think I’ll go again tomorrow. I know I shouldn’t push myself too much when I’m first starting, but I wanted to get 2 diet fast days in this week, and I’m only going to manage one now, so want to make it up in another way.

I still need to do a couple of book reviews (one I started today), spend an hour on my writing  course, more on my novel, and then I’m pretty much on track for my goals this week. And I’ve got 4 days to do it. Feeling pretty good!

Also today, I’ve made a cake. Or, I’m making a cake, it’s still in the oven, then I need to put it together, and marzipan it. I’m doing a Battenberg cake. With 4 layers. Yum! Photo will be coming!

Midweek Check-in

Oh dear, I’m not having a good week. I only set my goals Monday night (late Monday night, well after I had time to do anything that night), so I don’t feel too bad. Yesterday I could have, and should have done stuff, but I didn’t. I came home from work early (contact lenses felt like they were cutting into my eyes – ouch. Came home to take them out and work from home for the afternoon). I felt like I should have done more in the evening because of it, especially since dinner should have just been a heating up dinner from the night before.

Oh well, I didn’t and I need to move on.

Today I’ve been busy at work and in a training session, then I went out for dinner (one of my dear friends is moving to Portugal for a year. Happy for her, but sad too. Tonight as her going away meal), so the fact I’m even writing this blog is good. 

Tomorrow I’ll do some editing. My buddy Laura has promised she’ll start pushing me, I think it’s what I need!

When I started my new job, I asked if there was a chance I could work 4 1/2 days a week, or from home once a week, they said in principle fine. Great. I said I’d spend 3 months settling into the job, then see. We’re now at the end of the 3 months. The pay wasn’t what I hoped it would be, and not enough to let me drop down to 4 1/2 days, but WFH once a week is a possibility. Unfortuntely stuff is happening at work, and I’m going to have to TUPE over to another company (a much bigger company, so should be a good thing… maybe), in 6 weeks. Because of this, I’m not going to be able to change my working conditions etc now, but maybe when I move.

Point I’m getting to here? I’d like to work from home once a week, so that I’m here, and ready to start writing or editing or whatever as soon as I’ve finished work. (You know, like I didn’t do yeasterday!). I think I’d also stop for a lunch break and get stuff done then if I was at home for a day (I pretty much never do now).

I can probably do it unofficially for the next 6 weeks and see how it goes with the new company after that.

Sorry, went off the subject there.

This weeks goals. I’m not going to go through them, because there’s not that much. But, I have achieved some things: this is one of my blogs for this week; I’ve started a book review; I’ve done 1 fasting day. So all is not lost, yet. No, all is not lost yet. No comma. Comma not needed!

Hope everyone is having a good week!

Hello!!

Oh dear. I’m being very bad at this blogging thing aren’t I. Which is especially bad, seeing as one of my last blogs was bragging about my 555th blog.

Of course another problem, which seems to go hand in hand with not blogging, is I’m  not writing. I can’t remember the last time I did any writing at all. How bad is that.

I don’t really know what I actually am doing. I’m not reading all that much either. I’m not going out all that much. What am I doing?

I’ve been thinking about my goals for ROW80, round 3. I haven’t really decided what they’re going to be, but I’m thinking about them, that has to be good.

I’m reading a book at the moment that I should be loving. I’ve heard other people who like the books I like, have liked it, and the premise is totally a chick lit story I should like. But, I’m not really. It feels like the story doesn’t have enough depth. No, not the story, but the characters. It worries me, because the way it’s written is very colloquial, like my style. I just worry that I’m not that good either.

I need to get over this worry. I’m probably worried because I’m not writing. When I am, I’m pretty confident about my writing. If I wasn’t, I probably wouldn’t keep writing, with the intention of trying to get published at some point. If I wasn’t confident about my writing I wouldn’t think that was possible, so wouldn’t bother.

So, I need to write. Really do.

I need to also start writing something solid. In the last few months I’ve not been concentrating on anything concrete, but just writing this and that as I went. I’d start stories and not know where they were going, so start something else. It’s better than nothing, but I don’t think I’m getting me anywhere.

Well, it’s too late tonight to start writing. I guess I’ll have to start tomorrow! Great excuse or what 😉

Post Christmas Blog

I hope everyone had a great Christmas (or holiday if you don’t celebrate it). I had a wonderful time seeing my and my boyfriend’s families and friends and of course loads of eating, drinking and presents. I had lots of fun, but am glad it’s over for another year (as is my waistline).

Luckily, my boyfriend and I booked these 3 days between Christmas and New Year off work, so we’re having a nice 10 day holiday. The problem is we are always visiting someone or travelling, which means I’ve not had time for much (any) blogging, writing or even reading.

Hmmm.

There’s another 3 days of the year, and in that time I need to finish a novel for the A to Z Challenge and review 3 books for the Mystery & Suspense Challenge. There’s part of me that thinks I should review all 26 books for the A to Z Challenge, but that’s just too much to even comprehend, so I’m going to ignore that thought.

I also need to do a round-up of the M&SC and the AtZC, and of course a round-up of the whole year – reading AND writing. Which of course is why I’m just doing a normal blog today.

Writing. Hmmmm. Well. 

Like I said, I’ve just not had a chance to do anything this holiday. We’re going home tomorrow, so I’m hoping to get loadsof writing done then and on the 31st. I have to – The Man of My Dreams is nowhere near finished, and my goal was to finish it this year. Damn. I don’t really know how much I have left to write, maybe 15-20k words. It is doable this year, but I doubt very much I can. I’ll give it a try.

My plan has been to finish it December, leave it in January, then pick it back up in February to start editing. If it’s not finished in December, I don’t know what to do.

I know it needs to get finished. I k now that. But, there’s part of me that thinks I should just stop and leave it for the month, then pick back up in February for the edit, but include the ending in the edit. Or read it first, then finish the ending, then edit.

I know that’s a bad idea, and I suspect I only think that because it’s the easy way out (right now). I just think there’s a few holes that need to be filled in so it would be easier if I’d read it through to know where to finish it. That’s silly though,  because I know how to finish it. I’m just making excuses I think. I’ll finish it then leave it for a month, so maybe it won’t be 1st February, but hopefully, not that much later.

TBR List

I’ve just done the funniest thing. At the top of my blog, I’ve got different pages. One of which is my To Read list. I’ve just updated it. Although, when I say updated, I mean I’ve deleted all the books I’ve actually read. Which was half the list. What’s funny is that there’s now only about 8 books on it. As if.

If I’ve only got 8 books I want to read, why is half my 4’x4′ book shelf at home taken up with books I’ve not yet read? Hmm.

I could… add all the books on my shelf to the list. But I don’t really think that’s a good idea. It would take me forever. I think at last count I had 70 odd. I’ve read loads of them since then (I believe that count was before I moved, the time before last, so pre December). However, I’ve also been given and bought many, many more since then. I feel like I should have another count. I’m a little scared of that idea though. What if I’ve got more than 100? That would be crazy. Especially when I’m only reading about 2/3  a month!

Especially when I know I’m going to buy more.

I’ve actually been really good recently. I’ve tried to stay away from bookshops (lets forget the author event I went to a week ago, where I bought three books!) and keep away from books in the supermarket etc. I know I’ve got a load that I want to read, so I don’t want to add to it.

I have a problem though. In the form of a boyfriend. He encourages me to buy books. He’s like a feeder, but for books! A few weeks ago we went to visit my family, and in the city they live there are like 5 charity shops. I tried to stay away, but he insisted we went in. 15 minutes later I walked out with 3 or 4 books (the up side is that he paid though, ha!). I honestly would have been happy staying away, because I never would have known what I was missing out on. But once I was in, I HAD to get some!

When we left my Mum’s house, I left the books there. Part of me is almost happy – I don’t have to find room for new books – but the other half of me is mad with myself. I left books. At my Mum’s. The problem is I don’t really want to get her to post them, because the chances are I won’t read them before I visit next time, and it would be silly to pay all that money on postage for no reason. But, I’ve forgotten what they are and am dying to know. I guess I could just ask my mum, but sometimes things are too easy, eh!

I can’t have a whole blog just about books, so I’ll add a little about writing/editing.

I’ve not done anything since my last blog. That’s only a day though, so that’s nothing. I’m planning on walking home after work (only 50 mins roughly -only 20 mins longer that getting the tube), getting dinner, then spending an hour or so editing. That’s the plan anyway 🙂

You Learn Something New Everyday

Twitter is awesome. I always thought I liked it,  but now I know I LOVE it. I want WordPress to automatically post my Fiction Friday blog tomorrow, but didn’t have a clue if you can, or how to do it. 1 little question to my Twitterverse and I get the answer. Awesome. Thanks John and Kath if you read my blog 🙂

Oh I’ve just realised how cool that’s going to be. At 0.01 tomorrow morning, I’ll have a blog posted here, Twitter will link to it, and if I put the hash tag in the title of the blog, it will also link to the tag #fictionfriday. All while I’m asleep (or not asleep, as I’m on holiday from tonight I imagine I won’t be sleeping at that time).

So yeah, I go away tonight. In fact, in an hour I’ll be on my way to the station. I can’t wait. 4 days of no work. Woop! I’ve briefed my cousin on the fact I want to get some writing done and read quite a bit. She’s fine with it and going to do some uni work while I do my stuff. Result. Just need to somehow get my aunt occupied too and I’m sorted!

So I guess that’s it. There’s no internet at the flat we’re staying at, so I doubt there will be any blogs until next week. But, apparently there are internet cafes in Bournemouth so you never know!

Reading… Writing… And Thanks…

I’m not a happy bunny today! When I left work yesterday, one of the computers crashed. Apparently EVERYTHING on the hard disk has been lost. Let me repeat EVERYTHING. So all the writing I’ve done over the last few months that I’ve not emailed to myself or saved in my email drafts, or done on another computer has been lost. The worst thing about it is that I was going to save everything yesterday to my USB stick, but it didn’t work. How typical.

I think it’s not as bad as I’m imagining. I think most of the time I either email myself what I’ve done, or store it as a draft. But I can’t remember what was on there to remember to look for it. How annoying.

The thing I’m most annoyed with is a 2000 odd word thing I’d written about meeting a stranger in an airport. I really liked it and thought it could maybe fit into one of my novels, ‘Holiday’. Because it was so long and took me a few days to do, I thought it must be saved somewhere on my emails (I work on 3 different computers at work so am constantly moving round), but I can’t find it. I think I saw it yesterday on the computer that crashed. Damn. I’m sure I’ll find it, but it’s so annoying. I hope I will anyway.

I finally sat down last night and did the 1st draft of my story for Rowan Coleman’s Short Story Competition. 907 words. I don’t think I read it back, so I have no idea what it’s like. I’m going to leave it today, then go back tomorrow (when, fingers crossed, I’m less tired and it’s not ‘fresh’ in my mind).

I wanted to re-read the module on my writing course about short stories before I wrote it, but typically can’t find that booklet. I’ve written to my tutor to get an online password so I can access it online. I thought I’d done that but neither of my email addresses worked. Sigh.

Which reminds me, writing course. Damn, I had a goal to work on that for at least 2 hours a week (I think). I failed miserably on that one. Oops. It was my birthday week though, so I think I can let myself off on that – I’ll try to do double this week to make up for it!

Speaking of Rowan Coleman, I’m going to the library to get one of her books today. I figure seeing as I’m entering her competition I should read some of her work. I’ve read one of her mini novel, quick read things, which is how I heard of her, that was great. I’m planning on walking out with one book only. Lets see if I can manage that (I bet not!).

That’s a complete lie. I’ve just been through the list I have on Ubernote of books I’ve heard of that I want to read (yeah, I’ve got a different list to the one on here – I should update this one!) and found that my library has one of the books on my list. What am I to do? I’ll have to get that one too. So 2. MAX. No more. Just 2. We’ll see…

I wrote my 500th comment last night on this blog. I know I’ve not actually had 500 comments, I know a lot of them are mine, but still, I must have had a lot. I like to reply to them all, but sometimes I group reply. Thanks everyone who comments, it’s so nice to know people care enough to take time out of their day not to just read my blog, but to comment too 🙂

Today’s Post: RANT!

I am so annoyed right now.  I can’t even begin to explain how annoyed, well I can.  VERY!!!

Background story – When I started this job I got told that there is only allowed to be one person from my site off on holiday at any one time, and as long as there wasn’t anyone else off, you could book that and it would be fine.

Today’s story – Having gone through a really rough couple of weeks, my mum and I decided to go away for a week, just to write, at the end of May.  No one else from my office is off at this time, so I started looking at cottages (we’ve decided to go to Devon/Cornwall).  Today I heard I CAN’T have that week off, because someone from ANOTHER office is off.  I am MAD.  (Hence all the capitals – sorry about that!)

I was really looking forward to getting away.  To spending a whole week dedicated to just writing.  And now they’ve shattered that dream.  I’m so mad I’m tempted to look for another job right now.  Sorely tempted.  I’m not sure I could find another job where I get paid to write and surf for about 4 hours a day.  But still, I’m tempted.  Not that it would help – I’d have to hand in my notice tomorrow to be able to have that week off anyway. 

I was going  to do a nice little post today all about the novel I’ve just finished that I loved, An Offer You Can’t Refuse by Jill Mansell.  But I’m too annoyed with work to be able to think about the nice things I want to say about it.  Will have to wait for tomorrow.

Ooh, there’s something to cheer me up – Friday tomorrow – that means [Fiction] Friday.  Yay!