Tag Archive | running

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?

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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!

*Forgot a title – again!*

I’ve started reading lots more of my writing course. The current module is about selling articles to magazines and papers and things like that. I am really petrified of this idea. I have no idea if I actually can write anything that would be bought by a magazine or paper. I guess I’ll find out. I need to do all the prep now for it – find out about magazines etc and research them. Then as I get further into the course I can look at selling stuff. They said Assignment one wasn’t about getting me to a level I can sell stuff, but about finding out if I’m observant. I don’t know if I am. My boyfriend thinks I am the least observant person ever, which kind of worries me. How can I be a successful writer if I am unobservant? I’m going to work hard on this. I waste so much time on the tube and bus a day, I should spend that time OBSERVING! I read something today about someone who has two jobs and still manages to write 1,000 words a day. 1,000. I have one job (not worked in the Pizza place for weeks now, maybe even months – have asked to do a couple of shifts though), and don’t seem to be able to ‘find the time’ to do any (very little I should say). This is down to inefficiency. I spend way too much time doing nothing. And going to bed too late because I’m doing nothing. I could quite easily get up an hour early and spend that hour writing/doing my course. I should make an effort to change this. No, I will make an effort to change this. I’m just about to sign up for the Race for Life 5k race in May/June/July and want to sign up for a 10k one too (my first – eek). So that’s going to mean training – less time for writing. There must be a balance! I must find this balance. One thing I really need to do is write down my dreams as soon as I wake up. I forget thinking I’ll do it later, but by the time I do I’ve forgotten half (or more) of it.

I also NEED to post assignment one. If I could’ve emailed it I would’ve sent it off WEEKS ago. At least I will be able to email the rest of the course – should get it moving a bit faster.