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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Goal list Week Commencing 29th September 2013

Bright Side of Life - Maria A Smith

Last week was very busy, mostly in a good sort of way. I got out and about in the gorgeous English and Welsh countryside. Its no wonder I'm not getting much done on the writing front, but you know what? I've decided not to worry. I've not felt well for a few weeks, and I'm only just beginning to recover my energy and feel more like my old self. It would have been pointless trying to write anything.

I'm still reading the same novel, and have the non fiction books to dip in and out of before I return them to the library. On the plus side, walking dominated the week. The weather was so good, I made the most of every available moment. We seem to be charging through Autumn, and I do love this season.

Looking ahead, I'll mainly be reading and writing this coming week. I still need to figure out a new outline for the novel now I've made further drastic cuts, and I've also got to get myself back on track. I'm at the point where all those 'puzzle pieces' I initially wrote need fitting together again, I need to know where the gaps are so I can figure out what to do next.

How about you? What will you be up to this week?

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 22nd September 2013

Mundersley Beach, Norfolk - Maria A Smith

Today is the first day of Autumn, and here in Leicestershire the sun is shining brightly as I write. You may have noticed the lack of a 'Goal List' last week? No? Well for those of you who did, and regularly look in and comment (for which I am very grateful) I haven't been around much as I've been away to Mundesley, near Cromer with my Mum for a few days, but also, I've been feeling really tired just lately.

Listening to my body for once, I curtailed a lot of my 'normal' activities, which include blogging and writing. The good news is, it must have done the trick as I'm feeling much better now thank goodness. So what have I done? Not a lot, but heres a mini rundown of my week.

Managed a lovely walk in a village I normally whizz through in the car without really looking at anything. I enjoyed it, and the weather was kind. If not a touch blustery.

Went to the library and had a browse to see whats happening there - sadly not much! They are still lending books and other media of course, but no author events which they used to do a few years ago. Definitely a sign of the times, and the bank of PC's seems to be growing each time I visit now. I guess its the future, but I'm not convinced its all progress. What do you think? Will libraries be like Vintage Tea shops are now? Will someone set a traditional old fashioned library up, where silence is golden? Sorry about the cliche, but I was a big fan of the SILENCE rule.

I went to a fabulous food fair yesterday, at Belgrave Hall in Leicester, and had a nice afternoon
milling amongst the many stalls, chatting to people and sampling fine food. I also went to a sausage making demonstration, which was fun and educational!

Although I went to my writers group yesterday, I didn't read, as the work I'd prepared was truly awful! And made me realise its no good pushing yourself when you aren't feeling well.

I'm starting afresh today, so here is my new revamped goal list for the week ahead.

Writing - Work on my novel in progress, paying particular attention to characterisation.

 Reading - Finish Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss, and look at Microsoft Office 2013 Explained, not really what I want to read but need to know how to do a few things better.

Walking - Get out and about with my camera - the trees are on the turn, and I so love the Autumn colours.

What have you been up to while I've been away? What plans have you got for the week ahead?

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Goal List Week Commencing September 8th 2013

Fresh Bread - Maria A Smith

My battery's been running at ten per cent or less in the last week, I've struggled to reach my writing goals, and even though I started out with good intentions unfortunately it wasn't  my week.  I didn't complete re-writing a chapter, nor did I query a magazine or write a letter, and entering that writing competition has been elusive too. All I managed was a short written piece, and a few hours researching some article ideas, as well as the blog.

I went to the writers group which was a happy distraction this week, and I also sent some writing related emails out too. Without going into detail, things happened that got in the way of the writing last week.


I did much better with relaxation, I went walking three or four times, it is definitely helping my asthma, and once I get out there I really enjoy it. Although its getting dark much quicker in the evenings now, and I'm not sure how I'll fit my walks in over the Autumn.

I ate cake, and drank tea, bought some lovely fresh bread from the farm shop, and some delicious Leicestershire Stilton, and quietly mulled over a few things.

I'm going to keep things very simple for the next seven days. All I hope for is some rest, and relaxation, and a few hundred words on the page.

Catch up with you soon.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Thought for Thursday - Ugh! Its All Gone Horribly Wrong


Flicker Common

I'm going to follow my own good advice this week. I refuse to beat myself up just because the writing has ground to a halt. I had a decent  plan set up on Sunday, but due to things beyond my control, its gone awry. Felt tempted to type much ruder words then, but good manners prevailed. Anyway, things have definitely gone west as they say, I'm pushing water uphill with a brush!

I wrote on Sunday, but beyond that, nothing much has been done. This post is a day late, and I have many unanswered emails to sort out, as well other writing related stuff.  I even set the timer on my phone to do some edits on the novel early this morning, but its not completed due to 'real' life events. Never mind. I think I need a rest. Its okay to regroup, and change things around a bit, but first I'm going to sit down, put my feet up, and have a cup of tea.

Have you heard about this  writing competition? If you can write a story featuring food or booze, or both, you might be in with a chance. Entry is FREE. You've got until the end of the month, so go on. Remember, you have to be in it to win it! Did I mention the winner will receive £7,500 in cash?

Whilst I'm on the subject of food, has anyone seen the new Jamie Oliver series on Channel 4, Jamie's Money Saving Meals? Well worth a look in these cash strapped times. Lots of tips, and of course lovely delicious recipes. I've already purchased Save With Jamie and I'm looking forward to seeing what I can dish up over the coming months. His recipes are always a hit in my house, they are so easy to prepare and cook, just what I need after a crazy day at the office!

Anyone one else having a mad week?


Sunday, 1 September 2013

Goal List Week Commencing 1st September 2013

Putting My Feet Up! - Maria A Smith

I've been busy this last week and haven't had much time to put my feet up. Far from it, I've crammed lots in, and feel pleased with my progress.

What I said I'd do, the results, and more!
  • Going to the cinema to see a selection of short films - I went, and unfortunately, if I'm honest, I wasn't too impressed. I don't mind a film with no dialogue now and again, but after the sixth or seventh I was getting a bit bored, and dare I say, fed up! Perhaps there is a shortage of writers who can do good dialogue? Or maybe its this years fashion? The event itself was both well organised and attended. 
  • Walking around the streets where I live - Tuesday 4 miles, Friday 3 miles, and Saturday 3 miles. I found as the week wore on, I felt drained, probably due to a lack of quality sleep.
  • Editing the novel with my red pen - I should have just chucked it in the bin! I am going to re-write the whole chapter. Ugh!
  • Writing a blog post on ? - I spent a lot of time getting the Phoenix Writers Subs Club blog up and running, do visit and see what we are all up to over there. I also wrote a short post on trying something new. 
  • Creating some flash fiction based on a song title - Completed, although I'm undecided what to do with it. Its quite a long flash for me at around 400 words.
  • Entering a writing competition, coz its time I pulled my finger out! - Not done.
  • Doing my best to be nice to people - I gave someone a quick lesson in using Twitter to help their business, and I let lots of drivers out in front of me this week, but not all at the same time, as that would have probably annoyed the queue behind me.
Extra stuff I said I might do,
  • Listening to some music to set my soul on fire! - David Bowie sang to me as I pounded the pavements. Mozart played on as I sat in the traffic, and I listend to some jazz too.
Other unplanned stuff that happened,
  • Gardening - Decided  to get stuck in and tackle the weeds that were competing with my flowers. 
  • New recipe tried out, Chicken with Watercress Sauce, went down well with the family.
  • Horrible sleepless nights! The new pillow I purchased a few weeks ago has helped slightly, but normal service has been resumed and I am wandering around in the wee small hours once more.
  • Purchased a new book for my Kindle, Wolf Bride by Elizabeth Moss I was lured, on the promise of a scandal-ridden, debauched, decadent and passionate story. I'll let you know how it goes.
The week ahead then...

Writing -  
  • I must re-write another chapter
  • Query a magazine editor or write a letter to a magazine
  • Enter a writing competition

Relaxation - 
  • Walking 
  • Photography
  • Reading
What have you done? What plans have you made?