Tag Archive | gym

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!

End of Week Check-In

It’s been a busy old week this week. I haven’t got half the things done that I wanted to, but I did get a lot of things done. Maybe not the things I’d set goals for, but hey.

On Tuesday I went to a work event in the evening, and Wednesday an Avon book events in the evening. Yesterday I had a day out at a friend’s (watching old Christian Slater movies – was awesome). Today I went out for lunch and to the gym. All in all, I’ve not had all that much time to work on my goals:

Edit for half an hour a day: I managed just over an hour over the whole week. The idea of only having to do half an hour each day (instead of an hour) helped in getting me doing it on the 2 days I did. I’ll keep this goal the same next week.

Spend 2 hours on the writing course: Nope. Next week (she says…)

2 book reviews: Um, no. But my review of The Girl You Left Behind (from last week) was posted on Novelkicks on Thursday. Check it out here. Again, will keep this one this week, because I’d like to get another over to Laura at NK, and I’m already 2 behind on this blog for my reading challenges this year.

2 Check-ins for ROW80: This is one. I missed Wednesday’s because I was out, then on Thursday posted a blog about other things (BOOKS!). As I also did a blog on Monday, I’m not counting it as a fail this week. Next week, I’ll get my 2, and hopefully some additional ones too again.

Burn 1,500Kcal through exercise: I got 600. Not great. BUT, I did make it to the gym this week, which is only the second time this year, so I’m very happy with that. Hopefully I’ll get there a couple of times next week. Same goal.

2 fasting days for the diet: Done. Both days I really, really didn’t want to, but I stuck with it, and I’ve lost another pound. I think I’ve pretty much got out of the ‘feasting’ on the ‘feast’ days. Some people said it was the terminology – calling it a feast day makes you think you can pig out. Now I’m calling them normal days, I seem to be doing better. Says the girs that’s so crazily full at the moment after enchiladas and Lemon Meringue pie for dinner!

This week will be interesting. I’ve got Wednesday off work (had to take an extra day off before I move companies at the end of the month – such a hardship!) where my plan is to do lots of editing – as well as making a valentine’s day cake – ahhhh, get me! Tuesday is pancake day, woop, and my cousin is in town so wants to meet for a drink after work.

Steve’s doing a course for work this week, and will have ‘homework’ each night. Means we’ll get in and not turn the TV on. That means I’ll cook then work – edit, blog, read etc. Maybe I’ll even do some writing course… that will be interesting!

My First ROW80 Check In of 2013

This first check in feels way too early. Usually the weekly gap is Sunday to Wednesday, but goals were written on Monday, so it’s been a day less. I wrote my goals Monday night, so only 48 hours. I haven’t done anything tonight either, so really only 1 day. He he.

Here are my goals and how I’m doing with them:

7 hours working on TMOMD: I worked on it last night, for maybe an hour. It’s not a lot, but it’s probably the most important – the first one. I’ve started on it. WOO HOO. OK, so I’m only reading and making notes, but it’s a start. A START!

7 hours working on my writing course: Nothing, yet.

1 book review on here, and one for Novel Kicks: Neither, yet.

2 Check in blogs: This is one, second will be Sunday.

Decide on reading challenges for the year and blog about them: Complete. I’ve decided to do The Crafty Book Nerd’s Mystery/Crime Reading Challenge and Roof Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge. I’m really excited about them.

Burn 1500 Kcals through exercise (above normal walking to/from work): So far I’ve burnt about 400, walking between my office buildings. I was planning on being much higher by today, but I had a migraine on Monday, which stopped me going to the gym, then I still wasn’t feeling great yesterday. Tomorrow I hope will be the day, maybe Friday because  it will be quieter.

2 fasting days: Today is the first. I’ve just craved in and had a chocolate bar, which means iI’ve had 600 cals today. I’m a little annoyed with myself, I really was trying for 500, but I’m still proud of myself.

It’s not all good, but it’s certainly not all bad, so I’m happy. Here’s to the rest of the week.

ROW80 Begins Again – 2013 Round One

Howdie fellow ROW80ers, and everyone else *waves*

I made some goals at the beginning of the year, and although I haven’t started them yet, it is only the 7th. And when I say I haven’t started them, what I really mean is I haven’t done much. Because yesterday, I took a really big step, and PRINTED The Man of My Dreams. All 160 pages of it (in addition to the 10 I already had printed.). Woop. My plan now is to read through it (12 pages done yesterday) and make notes of what happens as it goes along. Then when I’ve done that I should (I hope) be able to see which path makes the most sense – the way I took it originally, or the way I veered off to.

I’ve got a push to do it and edit it this year, the biggest push I’ve had so far. I got into the Romantic Novelists’ Association, New Writer’s Scheme. Double, (no triple, cause it’s that exciting) woop. I’ve been trying for 2 years before this, and always applied too late to get a place, so I’m so so happy I’ve got in. As well as going to their events (with speakers, novelists, publishers, agents, and new writers like me), I get to send them a manuscript where a published author will comment on it. Eek!

So I have to finish, and edit, and get The Man of My Dreams as good as I can by August.

Eek!

Keris Stainton (author or the *heart* series [Jessie *heart* NYC, Emma *heart* LA]) sent me a link to a page on Holly Lisle’s site – One-Pass Manuscript Revision: From First Draft to Last in One Cycle’. I’ve read about half of it, and it gives some good advice. I need to read further as I go along the process, but I think it’s going to be really helpful once I get there. Once I’ve read it, and decided which way to take it.

This round, I’ve decided to make weekly goals like I did in a previous round, because they seemed to work really well for me. Here we go then, for this week, Monday 7th – Sunday 13th January

– 7 hours working on The Man of My Dreams. I know this week it will mostly be reading, with some note taking, and I’m fine with that. I’m sure I’m not going to make an hour every single day, but if I can do the equivalent of an hour a day I’ll be really happy.

– 7 hours on my writing course. Writing course. Wow, remember that? I hardly do. I’ve not done it for so long, I need to call them and find out if I’m still ok to carry on, or if I need to re pay for it. I signed up about 4 years ago, so I think I’ll be fine. I’m sure I signed up before they put a time limit on it. Fingers crossed. I figure with the revision of the novel it will be good to work on this in conjunction. It will remind me of what I need in it, but also, the next assignment is to plot a novel, I think plotting TMOMD would be a good idea. OK, so the novel is mostly written, but it can’t help to get comments, and advice on it can it?

– Write 1 book review for here and one (my first) for my friend Laura’s website Novel Kicks. I’ve already read one book this year, and have 20 still to write-up from last year for my reading challenges last year. I’m late, but better late than never (some of them are likely to be never, but some of them I should, and want to review).

– 2x check in blogs (in addtion to this). As it says on the tin.

– Decide on reading challenges for the year, and write a blog about them. I’d like to do Room Beam Reader’s TBR Pile Challenge again – I failed it last year, so feel I need to redeam myself this year. Last year I took books of my shelf, this year I think I’ll take other books that I’ve been meaning to read for a while, but which aren’t necessarily on my actual physical shelf.

– Burn 1500 kcal through exercise on top of normal walking to work etc. I’ve joined the gym again this year, and am determined to use it more than last year. Plus I’m going to sign up to a 10k run in May/June so need to get back into training. On top of this, I now work between two buildings which are about 15 minutes walk (100 cals) between each other. If the last week is anything to go by, I’ll be burning about 600 just walking between them.

– 2x fasting days. I’ve started the 5:2 diet, where you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) 2 days of the week. So far it’s going well. Week one went well anyway. I’m slightly worried that some people said it can cause headaches, and I got a migraine earlier, but I’m sure headaches and migraines are actually caused by and totally different things, so probably not related. I’m going to keep an eye on it though.

That’s it then. It’s quite a lot, but it’s doable, I know I can. As long as I work a little each day, and take each day as it comes, I should be fine.

Laura has agreed to be my buddy again this round. We have a brilliant way of pushing each other, through Twitter, texts, Facebook and emails. Whatever it takes. It’s really good to have someone I know is going to push me, and it’s a good feeling knowing I’m making a difference by pushing her too.

I hope everyone has a good week.

Hello 2013, and A New Me?

Happy New Year everyone. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas (or otherwise) break and new year. I know I certainly did.

I don’t really want a new me, I’m happy with the old me, but there are definitely some improvements I can make to make this year better than 2012. Not that it was a bad year, it was a great year, there were just a few negatives though.

Writing/editing – that really went down the drain. January – October and December I hardly wrote anything. I say that. When I say hardly anything, I probably mean about 30,000 words. Not a small amount, but not what I was hoping for. Not when you consider I wrote 50,000 in the 30 days of November alone. Writing in those 11 months was a struggle. I want to get back into it this year, and also do some editing. I know, that scary word that I haven’t had the guts to try on anything other than short stories in the past.

I’m going to be joining ROW80 again this month. I’ve been doing it for a few years, and really enjoying it. It means I HAVE to blog at least twice a week for the check-ins. I also love the community feel, and the help and encouragement I get from others. This year I’ll get better at giving it, as well as receiving it. I’m also going to think about becoming a sponsor for one of the later rounds this year.

I currently have a few projects on the go:

Italian Infatuation – my 2009 NaNo novel. Finished but needs editing. A lot. This was a Mills and Boon style novel which I’ve kind of moved away from, so not top of my list.

‘Holiday’ – my (untitled) novel I’ve been on/off/on/off since early 2009. It’s maybe 2/3 done. I’d like to finish it. I think it’s got legs, but it’s my second priority.

The Dating Project – my 2010 NaNo novel. 1/3 written. Good idea, but what’s written I think is terrible. At the bottom of my list, because it needs rewriting. Not so interested in it any more.

The Man of My Dreams – My 2011 NaNo novel. Almost finished the first draft. Top of my list to be worked on. I think I’m going to jump in to starting the read/edit then finish the last few bits as I go along with it this year. Now I’ve got into the RNA – NWS this year (more later) this will be the novel I submit.

Love Authority – My 2012 NaNo novel. I like the idea, but I didn’t do enough prep. I’d like to go back to it one day, but not right now, and probably not this year.

Last night, I tried to join the Romantic Novelists’ Association – New Writer’s Scheme. Each year they take the first 250 new writers to apply. I’ve tried the last 2 years but not got in. This year I made it. I’m massively excited!!!  I now get to go to events, and also send a manuscript in for comment by a real live author. Woop!

Writing/Blogging – I also want to get back into blogging. I feel like I’ve been a bad blogger this year (although I still wrote 103 blogs, it doesn’t feel like it). I really enjoy writing blogs, and visiting other blogs, so am going to pick this back up.

Writing/Blogging/Book Reviews – I’ve always planned to review some of the books I read as I finish them, but in 2012 totally fell behind with this. In 2013, I want to get back into doing it again. I’m not massively confident doing it, so need to push myself on this. Also my friend Laura who runs Novelkicks.co.uk has asked me to do reviews on her site. Woop! How exciting. I’m don’t know how often Laura would like me to review books, but I’d like to do them regularly, at least once a month.

Health/weight – I’m reasonably healthy, but over the last few years I’ve put on quite a lot of weight. I need to lose it to feel better about myself, happier when I look in the mirror and to reduce my chances of getting nasty diseases in later life. I’m also going to think about having the C word in a couple of years (children), and know it’s easier to get pregnant when you’re not overweight.

I’ve been thinking a lot the last few days about how I’m going to do it. My usual diet method is calorie counting, but I’ve been trying that and at the moment I just don’t have the will power to stick to 1,000 calories a day. A couple of years ago I joined Slimming World and lost a bit, but then Christmas hit and I put it back on, and never got back on it. I thought that was going to be the answer.

Then I started reading I Can Make You Thin by Paul McKenna. It was amazing, with just 4 rules for changing the way you eat forever, not even a diet. But again, it takes a lot of will power, which I’m not sure I have. For example, eat only when hungry and stop when you feel full. Great plan, but in reality… I think if I carry on reading it, there will be more exercises to help. And I will, but I’m going to use it in conjunction with the diet I’ve decided on – the 5:2 Diet.

If you read my blog, you may have read when I talked about this last year. I heard about it, where for 1 or 2 days of the week you ‘fast’ (eat 500 calories) then eat whatever you want on the other 5/6 days. I tried it on one day, and it was ok. I failed a little and got 600 calories, but still it inspired me. Then Christmas and all the parties hit, and I just didn’t have the days to try it.

Yesterday I found a book (by women’s lit author Kate Harrison), and this morning I’ve watched a BBC ‘Horizons’ documentary on it, and I’m totally sold. Not only does it help you lose weight, the health benefits are amazing. It’s not been officially tested on humans too much, so they kind of recommend not doing it, but the presenter was going to carry on with it, and so many other people do it, I’m going to give it a go.

You may wonder why, when I’m saying I have no will power to stick to a 1,000 calorie diet, I’m able to be sure I can do a 500 calorie one? 2 reasons. First is it’s only 2 days a week. If I want something on a fast day, I can tell myself I’ll have it the next day instead (the ‘feast’ day). If I want something bad on a 1,000 calorie a day diet, I can tell myself I can have it… when? When I lose all the weight I want to? When I break the diet for a day? The second reason is that on a 1,000 calorie day, I tend to just make things I know will be low calorie and tot up when I’m done. It can mean over eating, and quite often if I go over 1,000 calories, I think sod it, I’ll just eat more and start again tomorrow. Then ditto the next day. When I know I only have 500 calories to play with, I plan ahead.

I’m excited about starting it. In fact,yesterday was my first day fast day, and I ate just below 500 calories. In that I had a really nice homemade curry. Woop.

Health/Exercise – Last year I was really bad with exercise. I hardly went to the gym, I walked home occasionally from work, but not often, and I didn’t do much running – and certainly no challenges.

This year that’s going to change. I’ve rejoined the gym this year, through work again. I’m basically paying just under £60 a month. I need to make that worth it, because I could do so much more with £60 a month than throw it away on a membership I don’t use.

I’m also going to do at least one running challenge. There are a couple of 10km runs in May/June, so I’m going to sign up for one of those. If I have a goal, I work much better than doing it just for me. I’ve also done a 10km run before, so I know it’s not THAT hard, well, I know I can do it.

House – I must admit, I don’t clean and tidy as much as I should. We’ve decided to stay where we’re living until the summer, and I want to make it a nice few months. We live in a tiny flat so the housework really isn’t a massive job.

So that’s it. While it feels like a lot, it also doesn’t feel like all this is unachievable. I guess we’ll see in 12 months.

What are your plans for this year?

ROW80 Check-in 18th July

I know it was only Sunday that I ‘turned over a new leaf,’ but so far, so good.

I wrote 250+ on Sunday, 200+ on Monday and just over 150 yesterday. My goal is 150 a day, so I’m doing ok, and in some cases, much better. The last two nights I’ve been doing stuff all evening so not got round to writing, then feeling bad when I get into bed, so been writing in bed. By hand. That’s commitment isn’t it. Although 150 words isn’t the biggest commitment in the world.

If it isn’t, why are there plenty of days where I’ve not reached it?

I had an interesting conversation the other day with my boyfriend. I was having one of those ‘I can’t do anything,’ ‘I’m failing at everything’ moments (you know the one). We realised that my writing has gone further downhill than normal since I started my new job!

I always have a slump in December, which I always put down to post-Nano-anti-writing-syndrome (50,000 words in one month makes me want to not write again for a while!). But I’m sure I usually pick myself back up by the summer. Then I make a mad dash to finish ‘Holiday’ before I start on the next NaNo project in November.

Honestly, it happens every year.

Except this year. This year I’ve got a job that requires effort. I need to put myself into this. The last few years I went to work, worked, left and forgot about it. This year I have responsibility, I should leave and forget about it, but I can’t. Also, it’s exhausting. I leave work crazily tired. Not just physically, but mentally. I don’t want to have to do more work when I get home. By work I mean writing.

I keep thinking it’s just temporary, that when I get used to it, I’ll be ok again.

It’s been 5 months.

So, I think we can blame the job on everything else in my life not going well. Ok, maybe not everything,but the writing, and my lack of exercise (I think I’ve been to the gym twice in those five months. I can’t even think about the money I’m wasting on that!).

Steve (my boyfriend) suggested that if I want to get on with writing, it might be a good idea to change jobs, back to something less important, or where I’d be less important anyway, where I’d not care once I left the office, not be so drained, and be able to write. And go to the gym. He said he’d support the drop in wages.

The problem is, although it’s draining, I do really enjoy it. OK, maybe not REALLY enjoy it, but I like making a difference again. I like being in charge too. I like the job. As much as it’s wearing me out, I don’t want to give it up. Especially not to go back and do something non-important.

I know other people manage a job and writing. A serious job, with commitment and effort required. If they can, why can’t I?

I must be able to.

You know they say identifying the problem is the first step? Maybe I’m there. My problem is that I think I can’t write because I have too much work, and it drains me. Then I need to find a way of doing the job without it draining me. I think that if I catch up on my back work, that I’ll be able to get on with what comes up everyday.

Next week, I’m on holiday from work. I’m helping with the Olympics (for 4 hours a day). I’m going to be a London Ambassador! How exciting! After that though, I’m going to catch up with everything at work. Then I’m going to get my ass in gear and I’m going to fit in the 3 important things that I’m not managing to do now – writing, work and exercise.

Next week, while I’m off, I’m going to forget about work, and just write. And exercise. If I can get back into one of my novels, then when I come back to work, hopefully I’ll just want to carry on!

ROW80 Check In, and Meeting Chris Batty

I’m actually thinking Chris Batty should really be CHRIS BATTY in that title, don’t you? I’ll cover the CHRIS BATTY thing, then move on to the check in (Because we can probably all put guesses on where that particular one is going).

So the other week I got a Facebook invite to an event for NaNo yesterday. NaNo being in November, I was thouroughly confused, until I opened my eyes and read it properly – Chris Batty was coming toLondon. Chris Batty of ‘I invented National Novel Writing Month’ fame. THE Chris Batty. How cool?!

So Sunday rocked up, I managed to get over my hangover from the day before (wine tasting inLondonBridge, hard to attend without a hangover!), and get down to The Mad Hatter (the coolest name for a pub), to meet up with the NaNo crowd, and CHRIS BATTY.

I may have got there an hour late, but Chris had about 40 people to get through (that was a guess, I have no idea how many people were there). He was making his way anti clockwise round the group, from my right. Awesome, I could sit with my friends, and wait for him to come to me.

A couple of pints of cider were drunk in the hour or two it took him to get round to my group of people, luckily not enough to get me drunk, but enough to make me nice and relaxed.

Chris sat down with four of us and started asking us all aboutLondon.

Luckily the other four are quite chatty nice people, which gave me a chance to sit there and swoon for a bit Yes guys, Chris Batty is pretty hot. He also, as it turns out, is very chatty, and really really nice. I was not the only one to leave the pub with a Chris Batty Crush.

Our group talked about the Jubilee (as a foreigner probably would), about where we lived, and then finally about NaNo.

NaNo is such a huge part of our lives (not just the four of us he was talking to at the time, but many, many more in the NaNo London crowd), that it was so awesome to chat to the guy who thought it up. It really was like meeting a celebrity.

Our time came, and Chris moved on (I wasn’t bitter, not at all). Only once he’d gone, I realised he’d spent most of his conversation chatting aboutLondonand us, not himself, or inventing NaNo, or anything.

We got a chance later though, when he came to sit with another group of us (musical chairs in the pub due to air con being turned on). Did we ask him much about himself though? No, we talked about Hackney (where he was staying),Londonbuses vs tubes and stuff.

I’ve come away thinking he’s such a nice guy, not to mention HOT, but not really feel like we got to know him. I guess I was kind of expecting him to do a stand at the front and talk to us thing, then questions and answers or something.

Still, I’ve met Chris Batty. How cool is that. I didn’t have his book to get him to sign (I STILL haven’t bought it!), but my friend did take a photo of him and me. Unfortunately, she’s now inMorocco, so can’t email it to me, so I can’t add it here. As soon as I get it you can bet your ass I’ll be sticking it on Twitter, Facebook, and right here guys.

Anyway. After all that excitement – ROW80.

Ahhh, ROW80, yes. Well…

I’ve done some writing today. I got home from the Jubilee Garden Party (in the rain, not so much fun), thinking about something. I realised it would make a good story, so wrote the beginning of it. 350 words. Saturday, Friday and I think Thursday were… well, blank. I was too tired when I thought about writing to do anything any of them. It’s fine, I’ve written today, I think that’s my habit, not a few days not writing.

I’m still not feeling 100%, so haven’t been exercising, and have been at events for the last 3 days, so not been watching what I’ve been eating. Regardless, I’ve lost 4 lb in just over a week. Woop! Imagine how much more I can lose next week when I am feeling able to go to the gym or running, and am watching my weight all week.

Apparently I have other goals. Seeing as it’s now one in the morning, and off the top of my head I can’t remember them, I’m going to leave it there.

I feel like this week is going to be a good one for me (even though I’m going to be distracted for a couple of days when boyfriend gets back from his round Europe travels!). I hope it is for you too.

Ps. It’s too late to edit this, please ignore the bad grammar etc etc, I’ll do better next time I promise!