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Sunday, 17 January 2016

Start, Stop - Go!

Books - Maria A Smith
Last week was definitely like the title of this post. Start. Stop. And Go! It started well, on Sunday morning  when I received an unexpected delivery. Imagine my surprise, and delight when I opened up the parcel to discover books! And a card from one of my Twitter writing buddies, explaining she was sharing her book collection with friends. What a great idea, and it certainly made my day. Aren't people lovely? I shall look forward to reading them, and I shall of course pass them on to good homes afterwards.

The rest of the week went like this...

Daily words/rewrite/edits  - After getting into early morning words easily last week, I struggled this week, and just couldn't get up early to put the words down. I thought I'd feel resentful and angry with myself about it, but I didn't, for once I just thought 'you know what, don't worry, you'll make up for it somewhere' and I did! So only one early morning but words did get written on and off throughout the week.

Flash Fiction Challenge - You know how I said I was going to give myself more time to do it, and not leave it until half an hour before I went to my group? Well, that didn't pan out. Partly due to the task being set a little late. Our Chair was away overseas, but still I had almost two days notice, yet I still wrote it on the hoof! The brief was 150 words to include the text, 'I could tell by the look in his/her eyes.'

A dozen of us attempted it, and our efforts were all very different. I find that quite fascinating how a bunch of writers can all interpret things so differently. I really must try and do the task earlier. Although, deep down I wonder if part of me likes the last minute dash, and maybe my sub conscious sees it as an additional challenge, or maybe my 'back brain' has been working on it all the time in the background so that when it comes to getting the words down, they just magically appear on the page. What do you think?

After our normal group session on Saturday, I ran the Sub's Club, and we made plans on what competitions we each wanted to enter, and which publications  we wanted to pitch to - and send our work to -  It was good to see everyone.

And then there was lunch with a buddy who needed a bit of help sorting out his novel. We talked through each character, and different scenes over lunch and beyond, so Saturday was full on with stuff which was really motivating. It'll be my turn next month, and I'm looking forward to it.

In other news, I lost a pound at Slimming World, and got my "one stone award" which has taken a while, but I was thrilled to receive my certificate, and to top it all, I was Slimmer of the Week again, and was presented with a huge bag of fruit, vegetables and healthy goodies for my efforts.



I also managed three classes in the last week, two stretch, and a pilates, and was very pleased with my efforts.

What I didn't like about the last week...

Not much actually, apart from the inability to sleep at night.

Next week?

Lots of rest, I'm having a few days away. The Red Pen Editing Webinar, some more words, and spending time with friends.

How did your week go? What are you planning for the one ahead?

22 comments:

  1. You have been incredibly busy Maria. Congratulations on your slimming success. You must feel great and so energised. Enjoy your Red Pen Editing session. I took part in that recently and found Anne Rainbow to be so helpful and lovely. She is great!

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    1. Thank you Nicola.
      I did a couple of Anne's workshops last year, and they are very good. A different way of looking at editing...

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  2. I think that maybe you leave things to the last minute because you work better under pressure? We have a ten minute exercise at the end of our writing sessions and no matter what the subject, we all come up with something original. Very well done for achieving your slimming certificate. Sounds like you have had an excellent week.

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    1. I've been in a group that used to do that Maggie, and I really enjoyed it. Mmm, might have to suggest that for my present group.
      Thank you for sharing.

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  3. I rely on my 'back brain', too. I like the discipline of a deadline, but I often leave it quite late to get started. Even so, it's almost as though my subconscious keeps working on the project while I'm engaged elsewhere, so that when I eventually sit down to write it comes out of me if not fully formed, at least well on the way.

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    1. Ditto Julia, that is exactly how I work... :-)

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  4. Hi Maria - yes you have been up and running .. and well done on losing the weight - that's great. Enjoy the few days away - always a good thing to do in January/February ...

    How fun to get those books through the post from a friend who is clearing her shelves .. making space for more.

    I've been quite busy .. but then got a cold and am now near the end of throwing it away!! Such is life - still I'm behind and need to catch up .. cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi Hilary, hope you are feeling better now, having a cold is miserable.
      Rest and recover.

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  5. You're doing so well on so many levels, Maria! We find the same at our writing group if we have a subject/theme - they all end up being so different.

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    1. It's great isn't it? Laughter often flows in our group as we have a few comic writers who can twist any scene into a funny situation.

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  6. That sounds like a very successful week, despite not getting up early. I try and get up early to run, but I've failed dismally lately. It's hard at this time of year! Lost some work in a Word document last night, so this morning was a bit of a waste, re-doing it. I agree about the last minute thing. I write a couple of pieces every month that I never really know what they'll be about until fairly near the deadline. Then suddenly the idea pops into my head. It feels like it might have been simmering away in there somewhere. Well done on the slimming. Something I need to do too I think. Sorry you haven't been sleeping well, it's something I struggle with as well, it's SO frustrating isn't it. CJ xx

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    1. Not sleeping properly is an issue for many people so it seems. I want to solve the problem but I also think the more you worry about it the worse it becomes, so trying to remain calm about it all.
      Easier said than done when you lead a busy life though... :-)
      Hope you manage a few early nights this week CJ.

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  7. Well done for writing the flash so quickly - perhaps you just don't need a lot of time? Great news on the weightloss too. I hope you get a good night's sleep soon - perhaps create a relaxing bedtime routine with lavender body creams or something?

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    1. That sounds like a good idea Annalisa...thank you.

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  8. You're getting quite a lot done, Maria.

    I'm a great believer in the back brain, and yes by the time I get to typing the words down it has made everything clearer, or resolved the issue.

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    1. Strange how that happens isn't it?

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  9. My week started with a holiday - it was Martin Luther King Jr. Day here, and all state and federal offices were closed. Since I work for our state's university, that meant I got a day off. The rest of the week has been stressful - we're looking to buy a house and in between getting the loan paperwork situated and trying to find a home that will fit out needs, I've been eating too much of my feelings. Not good, considering I've been doing so well!

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    1. Buying and selling houses...yuk! Mega stressful Melissa, hope you manage to get a bit of chill time soon.

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  10. Maria,
    You're going to end up opening a fruit and veg stall.
    Well done..
    Writing-wise, your flash fiction probably benefits from being written on the hoof, giving it energy. Stop beating yourself up, and accept it as 'your-way'.

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    1. Now there's an idea...a fruit and vegetable stall on the local market.

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  11. Yes it's so interesting how differently fellow writers interpret a brief! It gies to show theres no boundaries to creativity and how much you can come up with when you have a very restrictive brief.

    I myself am planning a big writing day tomorrow - intentionally kept my sunday free fo that!

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  12. At this moment I should be writing a story for my writing group on Monday but I'm reading blogs instead. My brain won't function and I can't think what to write. Congratulaions on losing a stone,I need to do that too. I go to zumba,aerobics and stretch and dance and I haven't even lost a pound.

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I really appreciate you taking the time to leave me a comment, and I try to reply to every one. Many thanks!