Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A bientôt!

Hello to anyone who is popping in to read this and... goodbye for a little while!

If you're a regular visitor, you might have noticed that I've been taking some steps to de-stress my life and to free up more time for writerly stuff - namely writing, researching and reading.  Blogging is going to have to be one of the things that takes a backseat for the time being - and so, sadly, will reading other people's blogs.  I plan to read as many blogs as possible once a week so I can keep in touch with what you're up to, but I'd love to keep in touch via Facebook if you're game!  You should be able to find me here

So... à bientôt for now!

See you soon :-) 

Sunday, 13 May 2012

All floaty and dreamy...

  Following my recent post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group, I thought I would let you know how serene, how chilled out and how floaty and dreamy I have been feeling ever since - just like these amazing clouds.

Last week was a WRITING week - so I mostly wrote, but only when I really had time.  I watched some TV with my daughter, managed my time so that I had at least an hour or two clear to write when I wanted to and BASICALLY DIDN'T STRESS ABOUT IT!

Next week is a READING week - which means I will catch up with the short stories I need to read, my copy of Writing magazine and also THIS BOOK by Della Galton who writes fantastic short stories and makes me green with envy (but only in a nice way!)  I am also close to the end of a short story which has to be submitted by 5th June, so I'll probably finish that too at some point.

Last week I also started writing a novel - which I am determined to finish if only to prove to myself that I have the staying-power required!  It's not the novel I have been hatching in my head for the past couple of years - but I thought I'd practise on something else.  It's a story that came to me on holiday last year and it's pretty much formed all the way through in my mind.  I've had help with some Greek for it from the lovely lady who runs the hotel we're going to this year (well, if you don't ask, you don't get - when I rang her I noticed her English was excellent and thought I'd ask her advice) and would like to have written a fair bit of it before I actually get to meet her!

Thank you for popping in, my lovely bloggy friends - how's it going for all of you?  Do let me know!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

A-Z Reflections

Whew! I'm still recovering from the frenetic rollercoaster that was the A-Z Blogging Challenge!

It was the first time I've taken part and I have to say that I really enjoyed 'meeting' new bloggy friends and reading their blogs - the hard part was finding time in my day to keep up with everyone.

I did all my posts in advance, which certainly helped time-wise, and I managed to keep up with quite a few blogs on a regular basis as well as hopping over to some new ones daily, so on the whole I feel quite satisfied that I put in as much effort as I could!

Would I do it again next year?  Probably!  I would recommend doing the posts in advance and I'd definitely keep them fairly short - much easier for people to pop in and out when there isn't too much to read!

Thanks to everyone who read my blog in April and anyone who is reading this now.  I'm off to check out some blogs and chat to my new friends!

If you did the A-Z, will you be participating again next year?

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Dashing away with a smoothing iron...

While I was doing all that blogging and reading posts for the A-Z Challenge, I have to admit that the housework has built up a bit.  Something about me:  I do not like housework, but neither do I like dirt.  Ideally, I'd like someone else to do my housework, but - as my husband kindly told me - dream on! 

All my adult life I have, in particular, HATED IRONING!  I am not a great one for ironing anyway - things have to look like a dish-rag to warrant the touch of the iron in this house and I have mastered a 'shake and fold' system that mostly cuts out the need for ironing - BUT something WEIRD has happened...

I have started looking forward to ironing.

It makes me feel peculiar just to see those words there on the screen, but it's true.

I have discovered something about ironing:  it frees my mind. 

The rest of you probably knew that already, but when I was grumbling about doing it in the first place and swearing at the lead that kept getting stuck around the end of the ironing board, it wasn't the most mind-freeing thing in the world.

Somehow, I've had a couple of mellow ironing sessions - just small piles - with music playing and - WOW!  The ideas have come tripping along and I've had to keep dashing off to the pad to note them down. 

I took some of my daughter's clothes off the line today and actually found myself feeling happy that some of them looked awful and would need ironing.  If you knew me, you would know how unbelievable that sounds.

I'm just hoping that soon I'll start finding cleaning the bathroom equally mind-freeing...

When do your best ideas come to you?

Wednesday, 2 May 2012


First Wed of Every Month   Phew!  After all the fun of the A to Z Challenge I'm feeling befriended and not too insecure at all, thanks to exchanging so many positive vibes, but something is still bugging me!

You may have already heard me whinge about not having enough time and feeling stressed.  Those two are still my old arch-enemies, but now I have a third: tiredness.

I don't like to moan on - after all, negativity breeds negativity and non-productivity - BUT

I want to be them!
I am so tired!  I have too much to do around the home when I get in from work, let alone keeping up with all my reading and writing.

So... I have a plan.  I don't know if I will always find it easy to stick to the plan, but here it is:

Week 1:  (husband on late shift and at work til 9)  Write as much as time allows between the hours of approx 4.30pm and 8.30pm - with a break for cooking something quick and easy, and a few breaks for talking to teenage daughter who tends to sit with me some of the time when she's in.

Week 2:  (husband on early shift and very present in the house when I get in from work, tends to forget and talks to me even if I'm writing) Catch up with my reading material, do planning, do a bit of housey-stuff, do a little bit of writing, but maximum an hour at a time and not every day.  The idea is to concentrate mainly on catching up with essential reading before I disappear under a pile of magazines.

Weekends:  Free-for-all!  If others are busy, I'll write.  If my presence is required, I won't.  Flexible is the word!

Obviously, there are flaws because - as we all know - sometimes I will HAVE to write when it's a reading week, but I aim to try and get into a routine that will stop me from getting flustered and feeling as though I have too much to get through.  I suppose I could just say I'll try and write for one hour a day whichever 'week' it is - and that might work - but I've tried it before and an hour's gone by before I know it!

 I think I have to acknowledge the fact that I will have more time on my hands when my daughter goes off to university in a couple of years, but for now I definitely need a plan!  If only I could give up work and be a full-time writer!