Tag Archive | Steig Larsson

Wednesday 25th Jan Check-in

I so have my priorities wrong. I’ve turned the laptop on, planning on having just an hour on it before I go to bed, and what’s the first thing I do? Write a blog. Sigh. I’ve opened the novel document though, and I can see it behind this page, so hopefully as it’s there I’ll work on it.

Like yesterday. Yesterday I wrote –yeeha! Get this – I wrote 1159 words!! Get me. That’s only slightly less than the whole week before! Ridiculous! Still, let’s focus on the good – I wrote 1159 words yesterday! Woop!

I still haven’t really worked out what my problem is with writing at the mo, other than I can’t seem to motivate myself to write ever in January. Or should that be ever unless I have a fixed deadline, or goal. I think that might be my problem with ROW80 – the goals I set are my own. With NaNo or even NovelPI (Novel Push Initiative – Kait from ROW80 fame ran a few years ago) there are set goals that I have to make, and I can’t change them when I feel like it.

Having said that, I know it sounded like it, I’m not quitting ROW80. I’m convinced without it, I would be writing even less than I am now, so it is helping. And it’s really helping with the non writing goals (exercise and reading anyway, today’s probably not a good day to talk about eating…).

And, the biggest reason for me, is the ROW80 community. Without it I wouldn’t have my buddy Laura (Little Rambling Angel), who I must admit I haven’t been in touch with as much as last round, but it’s still great to know she’s there. And I wouldn’t have everyone else in ROW80, the commenters, the like-ers, the bloggers who I read, there wouldn’t be sprints (for me to not join in with – I want to though). I love ROW80. This must be my 4th round now, and I know it won’t be the last.

Guess I should get on with the actual check-in/progress bit of the blog.

Here’s the chart:

 

*sorry, chart won’t upload, I’ll try again tomorrow!

So, since Monday when I last checked in, I’ve done ok actually.

No writing on Monday, but 1159 yesterday and I know I’ll get some today. I wonder if I should lower my ‘test mile’ to below 500 words. Maybe if I set it to 100, it would get me into the habit of turning the laptop on. That’s probably half the battle.

I read a lot on Monday, but yesterday and today it’s literally just been on the tube. This morning I didn’t even get as much reading done as possible as there were problems on the Northern line so I had to WALK to work. Not a problem cause it helped the exercise, but meant less reading.

Tonight though, I got on the tube two stops earlier than usual. I got my book out waiting for the tube, then carried on reading when I got on. After 2 stops I got off automatically (my usual journey is just 2 stops) and walked away from the tube still reading. It took me a good few meters to realise this wasn’t the right stop. Oops. Had to turn around and get on the next train (next one because I couldn’t bring myself to get back on the one I’d just got off!) Idiot. I should pay more attention, but shows I’m enjoying the book.

I’m reading The Girl Who Kicked The Hornets’ Nest. It’s taken me 2 years to get to a stage where I feel like I can read it again. I loved the previous 2, but they are VERY long, and they’re VERY descriptive and SHOW a lot, so it is hard work reading them. But they’re good stories. The problem I’m having is I don’t totally remember what happened in the last one, so some things aren’t making sense to me. It’s not too much of a problem, because what I don’t remember the police don’t know either, so hopefully we’ll discover them together. The other issue I have with the books is the amount of characters, whose names are so similar (and Swedish, so it’s not like remembering an everyday English name – it takes much more brain power!). Regardless of all of this, I am enjoying it!

Ok, back to my progress.

I’m doing well on the exercise thing. On Monday I just did the usual walk to London Bridge from work – about 20 minutes. Yesterday I did the same, plus a walk at lunch and the gym after work. Today I walked from the tube this morning (as said before). Tonight I had my book club meeting so couldn’t go to the gym. Instead I walked over to the pub instead of getting the bus (3km). After it, instead of getting on at the nearest tube, or getting the bus, I walked to Waterloo, about 15 minutes. Very proud of myself for that.

Eating is kinna ok. Kinna. Monday was almost really good. If I hadn’t have had a yogurt, I would have had under 1400. As it is, I went over by 49. Not the worst day in the world. Yesterday I had a training course where there were biscuits on offer. I couldn’t help it, I had some. Then when I got home, boyfriend found some more. So I had another. Ok, another and a half. I had 1704 calories. All in all, that’s still under 1750 (which I think is my ‘level’ calorie allowance). Today I’ve not worked out. I don’t really want to after the nachos I shared in the pub, the chippy chips I stole of boyfriend’s plate for dinner, and the Chocolate orange I bought (they were in Tesco for £1, I couldn’t resist! Damn Tesco).

I’ve just worked it out. Not as bad as I imagined actually – 1862. Bad, but could be worse. If I do what My Fitness Pal does and subtracts the calories I burnt exercising, 337 I get a net calorie intake of 1525. It’s not the way I want to work it out (I want to have eaten the 1525 AND then have the extra 337 burnt), but still, it’s not bad. Not anywhere near as bad as I thought it would be anyway. I just need to be better tomorrow, and Friday, and for the rest of the month. I will be better. I will, I will…

**add on – I’ve done some writing tonight – 533 of the little things, that’s a GREEN! Woop!

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A Few Thoughts

This is probably going to be a quite short, and maybe pointless blog, but I have this goal to blog three times a week, so need to do it. Plus, I’m really hungover and forcing myself to do this today will hopefully help me do it more often when I’m in this state.

Shockingly for me, I’ve also done quite a lot of reading today – usually it’s way too much effort, but I  had to know what happened. I was reading The Baby Club by Rowan Coleman. Loved it. I did like that although it was predictable (it’s chick lit – fo course we know what’s going to happen) there were a couple of curve balls in it too to keep you guessing. I also liked that the MC’s other half wasn’t everything you dream of – he had flaws.

I was given The Girl Who Played with a Hornet’s Nest for my birthday this weekend (bit of a late present as I’d not really seen my friend since my birthday). So excited to read it, BUT I feel like I need more romance in my life at the moment (probably the hangover blues but still) so I’ve started another book instead. It was a really hard decision – I went to the library the other day and got a couple of books out, then also my housemate came home with a book I’ve been dying to read last week. Plus you know, I’ve got that 80 odd TBR book pile in my room.

But, this book’s been shouting and screaming at me to read it since I picked it up at the library, so what could I do? It’s called Love in the Air by James Collins. I’ll let you all know how it goes – have a feeling it’s gonna be a good one!

Books and Writing

I didn’t know this, but apparently I’m the kind of person that would prefer to read a good book than watch TV.  Or I was last night anyway.  While my housemate sat and watched ‘soap night’, I sat and read my book.  I love soap night: (if I’m home in time) 4 episodes of different soaps back to back.  My boyfriend hates soaps so I tend not to watch them when he’s around, which he usually is every other night of the week.  Soap night was like a guilty pleasure night where I could sit and watch an hour and a half  to two hours of soaps.

But recently I’ve not really been bothered.  I’ve prefered to read a book.  Obviously it means I’ve been reading some good books.  I was thinking the other day that I would rather read a book than watch a film.  I think, I’m not too sure about that.  If I am, I’m not sure I like that. 

I finished Coming Home by Melanie Rose on the escalator out of the tube this morning.  I literally had 2 pages left when I got off the tube so HAD to read them before I got to work.  I love a bit of chick lit and this satisfied me completely.  I think I especially liked it as you didn’t know who the heroine was going to end up with – there were 3 potentials there.  That’s how my novel ‘Holiday’ is going to play.  There’s going to be 2 potential love interests. 

I do have a criticism though, no maybe just a dislike.  The first chapter happens before she loses her memory.  I would have liked it to start after so we, like her, have no idea where she’s come from.  Melanie’s got another book that came out a while ago, so I’m going to find that at some point, she’s definitely someone I’ll keep an eye on for new books too. 

I’ve now started The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson.  So far it’s nasty – I’ve only read the prologue, which is about a girl who’s been kidnapped.  Still I know it’s going to be good, and I guess it’s some of the nastiness that makes it good.  The last book had really good descriptions of some severely gruesome things so I was picturing them as I was reading.  Not always a good thing.   

I have read so much this year.  It makes up for last year when I read less than 20 books – which I’m still shocked about. 

I’ve recently admitted to myself I’m not good at writing descriptions.  When I write, I tend to write what people say, and think and the story.  There’s never really descriptions of where they are, what they look like etc.  Even in Italian Infatuation I left big gaps where I need to fill in details about the countryside and the villa, I don’t even know how detailed charcters are – I suspect not very.  

To get over this, I’ve decided to set myself challenges where I HAVE to describe things.  There has just been a man sat in reception at work, I’ve done a description of him.  I’m going to do people and places.  Lots.  You know what they say – practice makes perfect!!

Christmas – Done!

It’s all over for another year 😦  I’m now back at home and back at work – but at least only for two days before I get another four off.  Gotta love New Year being before a weekend!

Christmas went well.  I went up north with a few books to give to my step mum, she’s an avid reader like me, but came back with an even bigger stack of books.  Love it.  For presents I got given the first two novels in Stieg Larsson’s Millenium trilogy.  I’ve also had promises that I’m going to get (they had to be ordered specially and didn’t arrive in time) Stephen King’s On Writing and Cathy Yardley’s Will Write For Shoes. Yay!

I also got a stack of books in return for mine from my step mum.  I told her about my Thriller & Suspense challenge and she suggested I read Michael Connelly – the guy I was saying last week I’d like to read.  She gave me a few of his books and some other thrillers. 

During a couple of shopping trips I found: two very cheap Mills & Boon books (yes cheaper than normal), I couldn’t help getting them for more ‘research’; Then in a couple of cheap books in a supermarket – The Crush by Sandra Brown and a chick lit one.  My stack of books is getting bigger and bigger.  I could do with another bookshelf soon (my room’s too small so I can’t and because I rent I can’t spread out of my room- damn).

I didn’t do much reading over the festive period.  The book I’m reading is good, so I would have liked to, but there just wasn’t the time.  As we’re so quiet at work today, we’re taking really long breaks, so I’ve already got some reading time in today – will have loads more by the end of the day.  As it’s pouring with rain I doubt I’ll be going out so it’s reading all the way for me! 

I gave three copies of the first draft of Italian Infatuation away for Christmas.  One to my mum, one to my step mum and one to my boyfriend’s mum (see a pattern there?).  My boyfriend offered to print them at work, but also got them properly binded.  They looked pretty cool.  I was really impressed.  Hopefully so will they be.  I’m just waiting for their comments now…  Ony 3 days until I let myself touch it, yay. 

When I start editing, I think I’m going to read through it all not touching it to start with.  Then once I’m happy with the story as a whole, I’ll go through it with a fine tooth comb.  I’m not sure if that’s the best way to do it.  I’m open to suggestions if anyone else thinks another way is better!  I think I’ll set the end of March as a deadline to revise it.  Having never done this before I have no idea if this is a realistic target or not, but it’s a target and that’s what I need. 

I also haven’t done any writing since last week.  It was Christmas – I’m letting myself off.  I’m getting back on it today.  Not sure what I’ll write, but I’m sure something will come to me!

The other thing I gave away for Christmas was the first draft of a children’s story (well three very short stories).  It/they were inspired by my boyfriend, so he got a copy of that.  I don’t know much about children’s stories, so not sure where that will go.  He’s not read it, so I’m waiting for his reaction, but my mum has – it made her cry.  Not sure if that’s the reaction I was looking for, but it is quite sad to start with so guess I should expect it.  I didn’t think it was that sad though.  Think I need to look into children’s stories.  I’ve got a friend who has illustrated a children’s book which is about to be published – she said she’d love to do a few pictures for mine, yay!