Saturday, 31 December 2016

My Positive Year - Looking Back at 2016

As this year draws to a close, it's time to reflect. Back in January, I decided I was going to keep a record of the positive things that happened throughout the year. I've got a lousy memory, so I updated this post as the year progressed.

January - I felt happy and well, and managed to get off to a good start with Slimming World, and lost a pound and a half at my first weigh in of the year, and even made Slimmer of the Week! The following week, I lost another pound, which meant I'd lost a stone in total. Unbelievably, I made Slimmer of the Week again, and almost put my back out carrying the prize (a massive bag of fruit and vegetables) home.

Exercise started well - Aqua, Stretch, Pilates. Candlelight Stretch, and HIIT (a sort of circuits)

Had a lovely surprise when my friend Louise sent me a parcel of pre-loved books out of the blue that she was rehousing.

Mid month I went to Ragdale Hall for a couple of days with a girl friend. Spent every moment being pampered, and it was lovely to have so much 'ME' time.

Writing wise, I reincarnated a story I found written in an old notebook. I didn't change much, and it was very well received by the critique group, somebody said it was the best thing they'd heard me read in ages.

February - The Leicester Comedy Festival arrived in the city, and what better way to cheer up a wet and windy February is there? Just the tonic you need to make you forget all your woes. February 8th was UK Pun Day and I went along to the UK Pun championships, hosted by Lee Nelson, it was very funny. Later in the month I saw Ed Byrne at The Curve, which was another good night out which made me laugh out loud. I don't think he likes Audi drivers though.

My birthday was spent working away from home in London, there was no time to celebrate, and in any case I was alone. Oddly though, I met another lady on the night, and it turned out we don't live too far from each other, and both use the same exercise venue. We swapped contact details, and have since kept in touch, and even met up for lunch! I made a new friend.

I made up for the lack of a birthday celebration at the weekend, and was treated to breakfast by a writing buddy.

February also saw my first attendance at PlayShuffle over at Derby Theatre, where writers, actors, and voyeurs turn up to watch and listen to the actors performing a script they have literally been handed by the writer, just minutes before. I was put in the 'voyeur category as I didn't bring a script  with me, and I didn't particularly want to act on my first visit. It was fun and something different for me.

March - Started well with a visit to Birmingham to the RNA Writers Day, you can read how that went here 

March 20th - Conquer Stroke, An Evening of New Writing  - Fabulous evening of entertainment. Special because I had a piece performed and so did several of my writing friends. Keith Large who organised the evening pulled out all the stops. Several of the writers went away in awe, saying they wanted to have a go at writing a script!

I'm loving my Pilates this month!

April - This was definitely a shopping month for me. A lovely Cath Kidston bag was purchased at St Pancras International Train Station, I love that place it's a destination in it's own right. There were new Sketchers too, fabulously comfortable shoes. And there were notebooks from Covent Garden, my favourite has a picture of a bear riding a bike, and words on the cover saying, 'Do more of what makes you happy' and I surely followed that advice all month.

I read Peter May's Coffin Road, I listened to live jazz, and heard a fellow writer play drums. Some people are way too talented.

I also Beta read a friend's novel this month and really enjoyed the experience.

May - I met up with the ladies from the Leicester chapter of the RNA for lunch, and as usual it was a fun event.

Leicester City won the football league! Wow! What a party that was...

I went to Brighton to see a short film premiere written by a writer I'd met earlier in the year at the Conquer Stroke event. The weather was atrocious, but I had a great time and lots of cake!

June - I love a good writing workshop and I wasn't disappointed by Developing Your Novel by Alison May, it was a good informative day spent in the company of lots of other writers.

At the end of June I went away to Wales for a few weeks, and relaxed.

Catching up with family and friends and a heavy workload slowed me to a halt with the blog. I decided to take time out to recharge and recover.

July - The weather hasn't been brilliant this year, but I tried hard to enjoy the good sunny weekends we did have by relaxing with a good book in the garden.

August - This month flew by at such speed I almost missed it. Mid month, I had a lovely day out with friends at the spa, it was lovely and peaceful.

I started blogging again.

September - I felt really well in September, I rediscovered the music of my youth, like Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, and spent time out with the people that make me happy.

I also decided to start reading real books again. I'm still in love with Audible, and Kindle, but re-discovering the joy of a paperback has energised me.

October - I finally met Carol Bevitt and Patsy Collins, my #writingchat buddies. We had a walk, and spent hours chatting in a cafe.

I also received a lovely long letter from a writing buddy I met a few years ago at a Twitter Tweet up!

And I was lucky enough to be part of an organised walking tour in the deer enclosure at Calke Park.

November - This month I celebrated Autumn, getting out as often as possible to walk amongst the fabulous changing landscape. Walking featured heavily, and I loved it. I had two days away with good friends, which was definitely food for the soul. my camera went everywhere with me.

I returned to writing flash fiction.

Went to a great Article Writing workshop run by Graeme Marsh in Nottingham Waterstones - That place is amazing.

December  - Small pleasures are often the best, and it was lovely to see my fellow writing buddies getting together for a shared table at our final Phoenix Writers meeting of 2016. How lucky am I to be in such a good critique group.

Feeling happy for several writing friends who published books this month.

My final weigh in for 2016 was a positive one, I lost half a pound.

So folks, that was my positive year. I'm so glad I kept a record.

I'll be back with my plans for 2017 tomorrow.

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