Monday, 29 July 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 28th July 2013

Two Little Ducks - Maria A Smith
Those of you paying attention, will of noticed I've skipped a week. I failed to post last Sunday, it wasn't possible for several reasons, so this post will cover the last two weeks, and the next one going forward.

Its been a funny two weeks...

Where I've been...Chatsworth House, and the fabulous surrounding parkland. Staying in the grounds this time, at the Caravan Club site. Its ideally placed for a weekend in the beautiful Derbyshire countryside. You get your own key to unlock a gate in the walled garden which takes you straight onto the 1000 acre site. The park is farmed, and  there is a lot of livestock grazing, as well as being a food producing landscape. Much of which is and sold in the near by Farm Shop.  On this occasion I didn't go into the house, preferring to spend time outside in the Carriage House restaurant, and the shops set within the old stable block. Where I browsed for quite a while amongst the lovely gifts and books on display.

The Chatsworth Estate Farm Shop & Restaurant is worth a visit too, you'll be amazed at the quality of the produce fresh from the estate. As well as the variety of food on offer from local suppliers. I didn't have time to visit the restaurant there, but it is definitely on my radar for my next visit to Chatsworth.

What I've seen...Lots of ducks! They waddle freely, and fearlessly around in the courtyard of the walled caravan park I stayed on at Chatsworth. I have to say, they appeared very well fed, and seemed to have some sort of system to extort food out of the caravan owners. Bringing the youngest cutest ducklings around to visit, in the hope you would offer some small refreshment. They were particularly fond of biscuits I noted, as I observed the man pitched opposite regularly crumbling digestives for them. I'm not sure that it was very healthy for them though.

What I've Bought...Delicious food in the farm shop! Pork and Apple burgers, and chunky coleslaw. New glasses, are also on order after a visit to the Optician, and Writers Forum magazine. The note book in the picture is a gift I received from my mum. Very apt too!

Writing wise, I did some short pieces, an article, and made a plan for August.

The week ahead looks like this...

Writing  - I'll be working on my novel, and writing blog posts.

Walking - Continuing with my brisk walking plan.

How did your week go? Did you meet your goals? What plans have made for the week ahead?

New Note Book! - Maria A Smith

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Song for Saturday

Another summertime song today. A classic, released in the summer of 1970, this song is actually about summer too. Enjoy!

Thursday, 18 July 2013


Simple Pleasures - Maria A Smith 

When are you going to get back on that writing project? The half started short story, the novel stuck at chapter seven, the play left hanging on act one, or that poem you started in January for this years Remembrance Day competition? Its not too late you know, so why not fish out that shelved project, and start over.

Having talked to lots of writers over the last few months, it’s apparent that many of you have been away from your WIP (work in progress) for a while.  Perhaps like me, you’ve been giving your mind a break, switching off and recharging your creativity, or maybe you’ve moved house, or had a baby, perhaps retired, or just lost the thread of whatever it was you were writing.

Isn’t it time you thought about getting going again? Make a deal with yourself now. Set a date, (mine is August 1st)  and write it down somewhere. On your blog, in your diary or writers notebook, or on your fridge door! Writing it down somewhere prominent will make it more official, reinforcing it in your mind that the date is when you will be back at your desk working on your neglected project.  Lets make a new plan together, so that when the day comes we’ll be ready for action.

Firstly, we’ll need somewhere to write, and over the next week, I’ll be preparing a new space. A spare bedroom will become a makeshift writing room, I have a desk, and a chair already, its got good light too, not that it matters too much as I will mainly be writing in the evenings. Which brings me to when?

I’ve been looking at my diary, I haven’t got many regular time slots where I can fit some writing. I’ve decided to be harsh, and take a good look at what I can drop, things that aren’t as important to me as getting my novel finished.

In truth, I will have to find gaps, here and there where I can fit the things I need to do. I need to get back into the habit of using my time more wisely. However, I also recognize I need time to relax, so there is a bit of juggling to do there.

Have you got any half finished projects? Why not think about resurrecting them? Set a date, and don’t forget to let me know WHEN, you’ll be starting again.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 15th July 2013

Time for Tea!  - Maria A Smith

Aren't we lucky? All this fabulous weather, sunshine from early morning, right up into the evenings. I'm loving it. I'm not complaining about the heat, or stickiness, or feeling dehydrated. We have been waiting a long time for a bit of sun.

I had a good week on reaching my goals too. Managed to get everything ticked off!

Writing - Wrote an article in an hour, needs a good edit, so I've tucked it away for a week while I do some research I need to add.

Reading - I listened to the audio book I borrowed from the library.

Walking - Several walks, even though I was hot and tired most evenings.

De-Cluttering - Another pile of  clothes and some bric a brac put into the charity bag. I'm making headway now getting a room ready to use as my writing space.

I made the hair appointment

The week ended on a high note, yesterday I went to Kedleston Hall with a  couple of friends, and we had a lovely relaxing day strolling around the house and grounds, as well as a walk in the woodland. Finishing with tea and cake!

The week ahead. More of the same, as well as some thinking time. Did you week got to plan?

Friday, 12 July 2013

Here Comes The Sun

Good morning! Thank goodness its Friday...the weekend is before us, and here in the UK we are expecting some lovely sunshine. I couldn't resist putting the Beatles song  here to celebrate the weekend.

I'm going to make the most of it, and get out and about. What will you do?

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 7th July 2012

 Barton Marina, Staffordshire - Maria A Smith
I've just realised, we're half way through 2013, its gone very quickly. I'm thinking about the next six months, and what I'd like to achieve. I like to plan, having a path to follow makes me accountable, and I enjoy reading what you have been up to too. If your goals are like mine, or if they are entirely different, it doesn't matter, as long as we've all got an eye on what we want, before this year draws to a close.

If you haven't already, do take time to consider what you might achieve over the next few months, set yourself a goal, if its something huge, break it down into more manageable steps. Make a deal with yourself that you'll get it done, because its something you want to do, something you feel passionate about getting finished perhaps, or something new and exciting you want to start?

Last week I managed my flash fiction piece for the group challenge, just 100 words was all that was allowed. I also wrote a longer piece of flash fiction which I'm happy with, in a few days I'll look out for somewhere to enter it into a competition.

I didn't get very far with clearing the clutter, and I didn't get around to booking that hair appointment.

I did however go out walking a few times, and I also took my mum out for a visit to Barton Marina in Staffordshire. Its  a great place to go for half a day, although it was a very hot  day! Mum bought me a lovely present, a couple of note books I'd had my eye on in one of the marina shops.

The Week Ahead

Write an article




And I must book that appointment with the hair salon!

The Rest of 2013

Finish my novel

Publish an article

Over the next few months I'll be breaking these goals down into more manageable chunks, and sharing with you how I'm going to tackle them.

Have a good week, and let me know what you'll be doing.

Planning Your Time - How Hard Can it Be?

Blue Skies Over Tenby - Maria A Smith  Planning your time is often much harder than you ever dreamt or expected it to be, and if you do...