Resolutions 2018

The start of a new year means one thing! Yes, it is time to make a load of resolutions that I will fail at during the year! To be fair last year we a strange year and though I failed to meet my goals for the year I did learn a lot about myself, I also learnt not to dwell on the failures so rather than rounding up last year I shall focus on the positives, things like I did my first book signing and I became a grandma, those two things meant more to me than anything else that happened last year so let’s get straight on with our new goals and look to the future.

1.  Release Queen Of Ages Book Two; Reawakening

I have already begun work on this book and am hoping to get it finished quickly, I did get distracted at the end of last year by the arrival of my grandson but now I need to focus on getting back into a set writing routine and meet my aim of three books per year, I am really excited to get this series out there especially after the reviews and feedback I have been getting from the first book.

2.  Lose four stone in weight

I know I said this last year and while I did not lose weight last year I didn’t put any more on. I need to start doing this not for how I look but for my health I am getting older and obviously the more weight you carry the greater the strain on your bones and organs, I am aiming to take it slowly and yes, I need to lose more than the four I have stated but I want to do it at a rate where not only does it have a better chance of staying off but it also reduces the risk of ending up with baggy skin after. Plus I bought some awesome suits   in the next couple of sizes down that I want to be able to get some wear out of 😀

3.  Blog at least four times a week consistantly

I tend to either blog every day or not blog at all so for this next year I am going to take the pressure off myself a little, Mondays will still be book/audiobook/dvd reviews, I hope to get back to throwing some author interviews in there as well once more. Tuesdays will be the posts about events and my experiences with the writing/publishing experiences, these will also include my personal feelings about my writing journey. Wednesdays will be WIP in progress and my book promotion days, I will share reviews on the books I have already published as well as discussing the books I am working on and my ideas for future works. Fridays will still be vlog day though I am looking to make changes there as will be discussed later. Sundays will be lazy sunday posts where I will just chat with you fill you in on my week and a little more or my personal life, of course if you want to know more of my day to day goings on my Faceook page or Instagram are probably the best places to keep up with me.

4.  Release Queen of Ages Book Three: Redemption

As with the first resolution I am determined to up my output this year and get into a pattern of two to three releases each year, this year I am aiming to get the remaining parts of this trilogy out and possibly look into a hard back ominbus edition for the festive period next year however that ties in with other resolutions so it remains to be seen what the options are.

5.  Walk 50k steps per week

Previously I had the target of 10k steps a day totalling 70k for a week however I am now being more realisitic, I struggle on work days to fit in all my steps at times so by giving myself more leeway I believe that this goal is more achievable I am also determined to use the apps on my phone, xbox and my cross trainer more to increase the amount of exercise I am doing and try to add in doing one of my dance/exercise videos once a week.

6.  Publish four Quarterly newsletters

I swapped from monthly to quarterly because I was struggling to get the content worth sending out, now I have changed to quarlerly I just need to iron out the timing for the newsletters in terms of tying in with live events which I may wish to utilise in terns of the giveaways be that either collecting things to put in the prizes or offering chances to win tickets.

7.  Release Dragon’s Mark, Book One of the Raven Seer Chronicles

This would be the third release of the year and to be fair it is a quarter done already. I had initially intended to do this as a stand alone book however as I worked on it I realied the potiential for this to be an on going fantasy series.

8.  Vlog once a week

Like the blogging I have been hit and miss with the vlogs so my goal is this year to not only produce one a week but to also include more footage from my week and make them more interesting, not just me sat talking at a screen for five minutes unprepared. I also want to increase the production quality of the vlogs and make them more exciting for those who supoprt me by watching them.

9.  Write 1k fiction every day

This year I attempted NanoWriMo and failed miserably, yes there were other things which affected my writing time but if I want to make this my living then I need to focus and make it happen. By writing just 1k per day I could easily write three books a year, the only person stopping me is me.

10.  Fix Office hours for my writing and stick to them

I tend to get distracted, I turn FB on or stop to get up and go do other things so the answer is simple I need to set up my office hours and stick to them, now to be fair they cannot be the same every day as I work different shifts and have other commitments, and once my daughter goes back to work I will also have extra childcare considerations but I have a timer I use which uses the Pomodoro method, work thirty minutes on and then a fifteen minute break so when I have blocks of time I can sit at the computer I will use the timer and only look at FB etc during the fifteen minute breaks, I will also use that time as well to get up from my desk and move around trying to fit in a few extra steps each hour.

11.  Work on reducing the minus balance in my accounts

Right now if I were trying to exist purely on my writing as a business I would be bancrupt, thankfully the day job is still there to pay the bills but I need now to step up my writing game. As I increase the number of signing events I wish to attended the greater the expense so it becomes all the more important to start making them pay, this means more books to sell, more swag for sale and working out better ways to do giveaways and swag etc. I am realistic enough to know this does not happen over night, I am just over a year into a five year plan, I might not be in as good a shape as I would like but I have learnt lessons and am working on it, I am still positive my long term goal is possible.

12.  Set up Ravens Rest Press

Using Createspace has many positive and negative points, one of the harder pills to swallow is the cost of shipping books from the US I have no idea why they cannot print them in the UK as they print the books bought via amazon here on demand, the main thing about using other outlets is the fact you buy your own ISBN numbers  which means you can set up your own print imprint and get your books into libraries and book shops easier. You can also get expanded distribution networks for the books you have with them, I believe there is also the possibility of hardback issues which I would love to be able to do for the trilogy and maybe special editions of other books.

13.  Update all published works edits and biograhies regularly

I have got into the habit of updating all my social media posts to match, what I have failed to do is go back and update the also by this other sections of my previous books, alter the odd typo that I find and update the images in the books, this is something that I need to get into the habit of doing more often so that when I have a new book come out I know that the others will only require the minimum of alteration.

14.  Meet someone special

So this one is one I cannot actually make come true, and at the minute I am not really in a position to actively seek someone but rather this is more about allowing myself to be open to the idea of meeting someone, to not send out negative vibes when approached and to be open to the idea that a relationship does not have to be negative. I finally feel like I have shed the emotional baggage from my previous relationship, and while it will still take someone very special to make me invest my emotions in them I am not totally averse to that idea any longer, for me that is already a huge step.

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Lazy Sunday #48

Afternoon, you wonderful people.

I am sat here at my desk right now coffee in hand attempting to defrost.

You know I had to get the selfie from Snapchat after all we all love unicorns. Today has been a busy day, I went down to my daughters to bleach her hair ready to attempt a colour tomorrow then when we left there the monster and I headed to a local park Pokemon hunting. First, let me say that the reason he is only just on the Pokemon Go app is that it was not available for my Windows phone so the minute I got a new android phone it was one of the first things he asked me to do. Secondly, let me point out that while this may be a fun thing to do in the Summer chasing imaginary creatures round a park in the cold is not so much fun. My journeys to work and back now involve my being logged into the game to get distance to hatch eggs and to spin discs every time I pass certain buildings to get him balls to catch these creatures with, I don’t really mind that much because it is not as if I have to go out of my way but it is annoying that it is a drain on my battery and I can’t listen to my podcasts at the same time. The good thing is of course that it gets kids outside and exercising and in our case, by default, it means more exercise for me especially on a Sunday when I am prone to be a little sedate. It is also something we can do together though I can only name a handful of the creatures we have caught.

 

It is now evening I am afraid I got distracted chatting to a friend. My #NanoWriMo stats have not changed since last week, a combination of overtime and illness on top of normal work had a detrimental effect on my focus and I now need to write around 2.5k a day to hit target. It is still possible, I have a week off work at the end of the month so I can make up some words there hopefully.

I have quite a few different things going on in my head at the minute to deal with as well as writing so I am struggling to keep my focus on sitting and getting the right thoughts down. Right now writing wise things are going well, but I think sometimes when one aspect of your life is improving it does make you look at other areas that maybe are not doing quite as well, there are aspects of my life I would like to change but for now they will have to wait, I have far too much going on in other areas that I am excited about.

June & July Resolutions

I know I said I would be back to the proper resolutions set up but to be honest the last couple of months have been a nightmare.

First, there were the issues with my son which I discussed in a post you can read here, then my dad was in the hospital.

There have been times the last two months where I have felt like throwing the towel in, my writing has suffered, most of what I have written over the last couple of months has basically just not been good enough which leaves me two months to complete two novels before Darker. Can it be done? Well. yes, but it is going to take a lot of focus

Can it be done? Well. yes, but it is going to take a lot of focus because it is the school holidays on top of everything else. The reality is this means so much to me that I really don’t want to fail. I have worked out if I write 4k a day then I can still do it, this will mean some late nights no doubt, as given the speed I can type it will equate to around three hours a day on top of other things I need to do.

What does this mean, for me overall, first less time messing about doing other things, I am also guessing a build up of house work lol and less chatting on social media, though I will still be around for various events and to promote #Darker. You will probably get shorter blog posts, though there is a good chance you might get more on time as it will be in my interest to be organised and schedule ahead. There are times I find I work better to a deadline and right now life has given myself a bloody tough one.

I have put some weight back on, so that is something else I need to address, when I am stressed I eat or rather I don’t eat properly and nibble on crap, I lose faith in myself and look for comfort in the wrong ways, it is also school holidays so I don’t have the school run for exercise, struggle to find time to swim and dancing is sporadic. I need to make a point of getting up every half hour/hour and walking about even if only a hundred steps or so at a time.

The last few months life has run away with me but now it is time to grab hold of the reins and regain control.

Lazy Sunday #39

Okay so Sunday is almost over as I write this but to be fair my daughter has been here most of the day and I cooked Sunday dinner so it did not turn out to be totally lazy. The world was a darker place for a little while this week and things like writing and blogging seemed foolish and frivolous, as I titled the vlog this week ‘No Words’ sums up my feelings still but I will talk about that later in the week in a separate post. So on with a few posts to little the mood a little I hope and spread some love and light in the only way we can, by carrying on with life as normal.

  1. I love this post, admittedly I do spend half my time thinking in terms of medieval technology but what we consider an antique was once cutting edge  https://quirkybooks.wordpress.com/2017/05/19/devon-county-show-technology-vs-crafts/
  2.  There are some blogs I follow because they provide a quick fix of joy and this is one of them, I love this photo they have shared and would love to dive into that glorious blue water https://wanderlusttina.wordpress.com/2017/05/27/split-view-waterfall-jamaica/
  3.  One of the other things I love about reading blogs is you get to see places that you would never get to in real life, let’s face it the world is a big place, so much to see and do and for most of us we lack the time, resources and freedom from commitments to get to a fraction of them, so seeing others journeys is almost as good https://exxtracts.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/jew-town-kochi/
  4.  I had a wonderful interaction on another bloggers post regarding colours that compliment my hair now it is purple, she has followed this up with a really cool post about the fashion of going a little crazy with your hair and how to manage your wardrobe to match https://valentinaexpressions.com/2017/05/28/balayage-and-ombre-hair-valentina-cirasola-designer/
  5. Some times we just need a little light relief, something that we click on and it just makes us smile https://thestoryreadingapeblog.com/2017/05/19/eleven-wishes-for-you/

The one thing these posts all have in common is they span the globe, they remind us of the fact we have more in common with 99.9% of people than we have differences with that 0.01% who seek to destroy the way of life we love, they will not win unless we let them poison our heart, take care of each other and remember a smile to a stranger can create ripples that might be what is needed to heal our world.

Lazy Sunday #29 and Vlog Time#88 – Glossybox Unboxing

A little different lazy Sunday today as I have really not read any blogs this week, I hope by next week a semblance of normality will be returning but I do feel you are owed a slight explanation for my recent absence.

I am not going to go into details but most of your are acquainted with my children via my blog and social media, you know that the monster has not had the easiest of starts to life, fighting of meningitis as a baby, having to have adenoids removed etc. However the one bit I do not really discuss is that he is awaiting assessment for autism, he is incredibly intelligent but he struggles with the social aspects of school, this last month or so beginning in the run up to Christmas he has been having a tough time.  His confidence and self esteem have hit rock bottom, nothing caused by anyone else, simply issues where he cannot perceive the world in the same way as those around him. There have been dark days, days where I have cried, frustrated I cannot make everything okay for him, days where I am angry at a system that has meant we had to reach rock bottom before anything starts happening. The most important thing has been spending lots of quality time with Jack, okay the house looks like a bomb has been dropped in it, the washing pile is huge but using a mixture of positive and negative reinforcements for behavioural issues I am hoping we are through the worst.

I was not going to say anything but then thought you know what, it is what it is, you are here not just for my writing, you could just check out the website for that, but because this is the place you come to get to know me, and this is part of me and my life. I am not perfect, neither are my kids but we are all doing the only thing anyone one can do and that is get through life as best we can and hopefully leave a legacy of love, respect and smiles. Yesterday I took the monster for to a Chinese buffet here and if you missed the photo on instagram here he is discovering a new favourite, crab claws…

whatsapp-image-2017-01-21-at-21-26-10

So As I have no blogs to share I am going to share a couple of other things I have been watching…

  1.  One of my favourite vlogs, yes it is morbid but also totally fascinating https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E8DxI8Pn1Uw
  2. I finally got round to watching this, and as divisive as it has been to fans I have to say even as someone who prefers the Marvel Franchise I loved it  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CmRih_VtVAs
  3. I know Bunny is not to everyone’s taste, she can be loud and over-exuberant but I love it when she does these first impression videos and the Does this thing really work video’s not sure I would want to try this but I always try the masks in my Glossybox and occasionally they do not work out so well and the prices are ridiculous https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6jD0p2lyaM&feature=em-uploademail

So last thing today a quick unboxing vlog

Lazy Sunday #14

Well the birds are singing and I am sat hugging a double choca-mocha, the weather is undecided and I am hoping the school uniforms dry quickly just incase mother nature decides she is not going to co-operate with my plans for catching up with the washing today.

Because this is the one blog post of the week I write in real time rather than scheduling it does give me the chance to share things that grab my attention right up to the last minute, it is Father’s day here in the UK so I have just posted to FB as I know my dad rarely reads my blog, though he does surprise me occasionally but I will just take this chance to wish all the dad’s out there a Happy Father’s Day.

Now on with the business of the day which is of course blogs…

  1.  Now I have to say I learnt to say no a long time ago, but then again I have always been slightly opinionated and strong-willed, I have also never really cared what other people think of me, and I have to say I am not sure if that is a sign of intelligence or psychopathy? Take your pick! However Sarah discusses some interesting research about cake and chocolate, personally I am rather suspicious of anyone who says no to either right from the beginning strikes me they may be a fake rather than intelligent because who doesn’t like a bit of cake? https://sarahmichellelynch.net/2016/06/17/its-okay-to-say-no/
  2. Next up a bargain summer read, or if you fancy leaving a review you can contact the author for a free digital version, I loved her First Series and fell a little in love with one of her characters but have not read this latest one yet so you know who will be getting herself a copy https://msfowle.wordpress.com/2016/06/16/summer-sale-on-my-book/
  3. As I mentioned it is Father’s day and I just read this post from the lovely Dallas, you get to know people by interacting, eventually you know them, their family and their history, people you never met in person become part of a huge virtual, global extended family, and sometimes they share pain as well as joy. Reading posts as the man so proud of his allotment experiences the indignities of failing health and age is heartbreaking but even more so knowing how helpless those who love him are, this latest instalment, that of finding the right care home is especially poignant on a day like today, because sometimes loving someone means doing what is best for them even when it breaks your own heart, https://crazytraintotinkytown.com/2016/06/16/the-long-road-home/
  4. A new blogger this week, and he also happens to be another of the Darker Side authors so I am sure he will feature more in future, I cannot do micro poetry, I tried the six word story thing at one point but I accept my failings, even 500 word flash fiction is hard for me a tend to be more wordy though I like to think I stop short of full blown purple prose, but here is the perfect example of how to say much with only a few words https://cameronlincoln.wordpress.com/2016/06/12/hard-time-micropoetry/
  5. You might recall the other day I mentioned trying the pomegranate and raspberry tea/infusion, well I saw this in my inbox and it seemed like fate then I discovered I live in entirely the wrong climate to grow one, I am gutted but once I make my fortune and have a house with a huge conservatory you better believe I will be growing one in there https://tjsgarden.com/2016/06/12/pomegranate-is-1-in-our-top-10-heat-resistant-plants/

 

So that is your five for this week, I am going to go pull out al the furniture in my bedroom in the search for the missing fitbit before I accept defeat and buy a new one next payday, enjoy the rest of your Sunday xxx