Sunday, 1 November 2015

Side Tracked

Autumn Walk - Maria A Smith

The more observant reader of this blog will have noticed I've been missing for a couple of weeks. Where have I been? Well, the first week was fairly normal up until mid week. I was very busy at work, and then on Friday I took some leave and hubby and I went off to Chirk in North Wales for a long weekend. Our aim to do some walking and relax.

As is usual we took our touring caravan, and pitched very close to Chirk Castle on a lovely site. Surrounded by woodland, it was peaceful and quiet. Apart from some industrious squirrels, and a lot of rabbits.

It had everything we needed for a relaxing break. I took my latest manuscript with the intention of doing some editing, however, I spent most of my time either asleep or walking up hills, and nothing much got done in the end.

It was great to have a break, although over all too quickly, and I was no sooner back home on the Monday, when I learnt I'd got to go up to Scotland early the next morning. Just for one night I was told. So early the following morning, I climbed into a taxi, and made my way to the airport. I flew up to Edinburgh and arrived feeling refreshed after my break in the countryside.

Unfortunately the best laid plans go wrong. I was supposed to go home the next day via road with the engineers, but the job hit snags, and I ended up leaving on Friday morning! Now you might think,  you could have enjoyed a few days away in Edinburgh, well sadly it wasn't like that, we didn't go anywhere other than back and forward to our place of work, via our hotel. So exhausted, all we could manage was to eat and sleep.

The journey home was long, it took seven hours, and I was physically and mentally exhausted.

Saturday was much better, I went off to Derby Writers Day with three writing buddies, which was very informative. I listened to the industry experts talk on various topics including a Crime Panel hosted by Stephen Booth. It was a great day out and there was a lot of laughter, which is the best tonic when you're feeling slightly jaded.

That was two weeks ago, and I've been playing catch up ever since.

I've been writing honest! I just haven't had time to get round to blogging much this last month. Mainly due to the heavy workload at the day job, but also, I've been giving my time to writing daily.
I'm back on track. Early morning writing suits my lifestyle now, and as previously mentioned, even though I don't have lots of spare time, I'm getting words down daily. 

I wrote two new short stories in October. Got one completely edited and I'm about to submit it, and the other is still in first draft, but the end is in sight too. 

My novel, is progressing again, and currently I'm changing over from Word to do the next draft in Scrivener, which is ironic as the original first draft was written with Scrivener and I swopped it to Word. Its too big an unruly for me to manage in Word, and as I'm re-writing a lot of it, it's going to be much easier.

There hasn't been much time for relaxation, but I did manage a short walk in the glorious sunshine as you can see above. Aren't we lucky to get a day like today in November!

What are my goals for this month? To keep writing, and to fit in some quality time with family and friends.

Well that's enough about me - what have you been up to? I've missed interacting with you and hope to be up to speed very soon. 


  1. You sound like an extremely busy lady and I'm amazed you got any writing done at all last month. Are we allowed to know what your day job is? My life is so much quieter and yet I do less writing than you do. I have recently helped to edit our first poetry anthology for our writing group and it's great to see it in print. I'm going to concentrate on poetry for now and am working on my own little booklet. I think we should all take time out to do different things and then come back feeling refreshed. My other interest is drawing and I've just had my Christmas cards printed. You sound like you are doing fine.

    1. Maggie, it sounds like you've enjoyed working on the anthology project, I know just what you mean about seeing it in print, as our writers group did one last year. There is a great sense of achievement.

      To answer your question about my day job. I'm a business development manager. Promoting engineering products for the rail industry.

      You sound like a busy lady yourself, and how organised are you with your Christmas cards.
      Good luck with all your projects.

  2. Lovely photo, Maria.

    You got loads done in October - not surprised you missed a couple of blog updates. Two new short stories is no mean feat and I'm sure you'll get the novel back on track in due course. Keep up the momentum!

    Kelly's Eye - Writing, Music, Life

    1. Yes, I thought so too. Only had the phone with me, but I'm very pleased with the result.
      I'm happy with October's output, it really surprised me.

  3. Wow! Life has been busy for you. Congratulations on fitting in 2 new stories during that time and I am so pleased you are finding time to work on your novel. Wishing you a calm November.

    1. Thank you Nicola, it's been a hard slog so far, but hopefully I'm on track again now.

  4. What a busy life you lead yet you are still writing productively. Full respect to you. Glad you can claim some quality relaxation, and only hope subsequent work commitments didn't undo the benefit. Me? I need to write some more shorts and get them out there. I slacked off during October.

    1. Can't believe you slacked off Bea? :-)
      Relaxation is so important though...

  5. I'm in a similar boat. I've been really busy with 'proper' work (as opposed to speculative writing), but have benefited from a weekend jaunt to Canterbury. I've also been neglecting my blogging, but it's on my to-do for this week.

    1. Hi Julia, life is sometimes like that...
      I'll be over to check out your blog later in the week.

  6. With all that going on, I suppose you can be forgiven a short blogging break.

  7. I wondered where you had got to - and now I know. I think blogging (and writing) breaks do us the world of good. glad to hear your novel is still progressing.


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