Resolutions 2017 – February

Another month gone and I feel I have not been particularly productive this month but we shall see

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

No change or should I say no weigh, I have had a really weird month and I have avoided getting on the scales, I have changed a couple of things in terms of routine and with half term everything has been up in the air, I have a feeling I may have put weight back on as I feel really bloated but I will get my backside on the scales for a fresh start on Sunday then really need to get a move on with shifting some weight for Darker I need to get into that dress lol

2017-02-01-2

02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I am still down on where I want to be but I know that by focusing and getting stuck in I can get back on track next month, I just need to get my time managed better and get my focus back.

03) Exercise more

I have managed a couple of trips to the pool this month though still not as much as I should have. My average step count over the 28 days is actually down as last months was 6,740 however in my defence you will notice a whole day missing there on the Thursday of week 19th Feb – 25th which was as a result of me heading off for a day out without checking it was sufficiently charged, also that whole week is down overall with the fact it was half term and therefore no school run.

2017-03-01

04) Blog at least four times a week

Failed terribly again but now feeling much more positive about what I want to do with both the Vlog and the blogs, it can be quite difficult sometimes thinking what to write but I also have the A – Z to start thinking about and planning.

05) Get out more

Nope not been anywhere though I am guaranteed to have at least one for next month, and the following month. I blame the fact I am single and the big event this month was Valentines!

06) Write every day

As you can see I have had a terrible start to the year in terms of productivity/word count but I have done some plotting in on paper a lot of mental brain storming and plotting now just to get back to getting it all on paper.

07) Work on my self belief

I know this month I have fallen short of my goals but carrying on from last month I am not getting stressed, instead I am looking more at what I can do to change my own actions to achieve what I want and to accept some things are beyond my control and I just have to deal with that.

08)  Time management

I just reinstalled my Pomodoro app to help me focus on set tasks for periods of time and set my Freedom app back up, both these help with focus and productivity so fingers crossed next moth you will start to see results.

09) Update my wardrobe

Because my weight has not changed I have not really thought much about this, other than drooling over clothes in the Joe Browns leaflet that fell out of the paper if you are unaware of this company you can take a peek here, I love the books and tweed type jackets.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

Two weeks into March and I am ashamed to say that the newsletter has not gone out yet however it is on my list of things to do in the next 48 hours so do not despair also need to try to contact last months prize winners again as they have not responded to the email.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

My personal life is still stalled but I think it will be a case of if/when it happens it happens. I have so much going on, so many exciting things coming up with signings, new books etc and of course would love to have someone to share them with but it is not the end of the world, would rather wait for the right person than settle for just anyone.

12) Keep my website up to date

As I write this need to post two updates, to be fair I had done one of them and saved it but because I didn’t hit publish for some reason it did not save properly and it wiped it, lesson definitely learnt, if I am not ready to publish then write the post in word and copy and paste at the appropriate time.

Lazy Sunday #33

Hi guys well another month is almost done and in some ways for me has not been a very roductive one but so much going on behind the scenes. I am currently sat typing, sparkling everywhere and my fingers are blue, yup some days it is better not to ask.

I did sit down to start this earlier with a full cup of coffee but it is nearly empty now after being distracted chatting to a friend so I best get on with things before I get distracted again.

  1. Where has the year gone? Well March is upon us and as you know it is followed by April which can mean only one thing… http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/2017/02/announcing-2017-blogging-from-to-z.html need to start thinking of a theme for this year
  2. This second blog post will take up a little more of your time but it really is a great watch, I never really though about the idea of drag kings so this was educational and also raises some interesting points about challenging gender stereotypes https://throwingchanclas.com/2017/02/13/wretched-productions-delivering-and-wanting-to-deliver-more/
  3. I have been following this blog for a long time and have followed the journey she and her family have been on with her husbands dementia this post however hit home so much, as you know my gran passed just over two years ago but towards the end she was not sure who I was, she would talk to me about me parents as if they were strangers to me, she knew I was a relative just seemed to struggle to remember who exactly, and while it is hard it is something you have to learn to overcome https://jmgoyder.com/2017/02/18/dementia-and-misrecognition/
  4. I love listening to podcasts, usually true crime ones or ones related to sci-fi or writing, but when I saw this post I thought the idea does sound intriguing, the exploration of how other people remember events which had profound effects on you but they may not even register. I have not listened to it yet, I think a binge listen will happen later this week but am certainly looking forward to it https://adelegallogly.wordpress.com/2017/02/25/jonathan-goldstein-revists-regrets/
  5. I failed miserably at the Goodreads Challenge last year, I am determined to do better this year but also to write the reviews for books much quicker so they do not sit on my desk with the fact I have read them unregistered for months lol https://breezybooksblog.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/on-a-reading-binge/

So that’s it for today off to do some house work and maybe a little writing also to scrub my fingers lol

Lazy Sunday #31

Well it has once again been a bit of a lazy week though in some respects I have been making strides forward in the back ground, first let me invite you to join me in my very first Facebook page take over. Wednesday evening I will be taking over the Hourglass Events Leeds 2018 page which you can find here, I shall be hosting there live from 9pm GMT and doing a give away or two, it is a group so you will need to join in advance to be sure not to miss out but given the fact there are numerous awesome authors on there trust me it is worth it, plus you might just get the chance to grab offers from others between now and the event. I will be doing another next month as well on the Darker Side page and will provide more details nearer the time.

So you will have already seen my Resolutions post this morning so this afternoon lets settle down with a coffee and read a few post dinner blogs…

  1. The first post I am sharing is about a love of mine I can no longer indulge in and that is wearing heels! This form of footwear has become rather contentious, okay they are not really good for your foot but they do look good, and the feminists argue we should not be forced to wear them , which I totally agree with but neither should we be judged for wanting to, I love a nice pair of heels, they look pretty and make me feel even more fabulous, and it is never for someone else I have worn them (well okay there may have been the odd occasion but lets not go there lol) but for how they make me feel. I cannot wear them at the minute a combination of weight and my bad back but if I could I would probably want all the pairs featured but especially the red boots https://valentinaexpressions.com/2017/02/04/feet-in-short-trunks-valentina-cirasola-designer/
  2. The second blog I want to share today is one I have shared before because of their art, today I am sharing it because I love the fact they have been gracious enough to share a little glimpse into their life and I have to say I can imagine sitting there with notebook in hand and writing the most glorious poetry, some vistas are just inspirational https://paintdigi.com/2017/02/04/photos-of-my-country-2/
  3. I am a huge Instagram fan, though with me phone it is a nightmare keeping up with posts, I tend to try to catch up via the computer at least once a day so that I can return some of the likes from friends on posts my phone might decide I don’t need to see, but the other thing I enjoy is seeing the way different types of creative art is shared, be it music, art, or poetry, so I loved this post which shares some of the poetry accounts they have come across  https://christinastrigas.com/2017/02/03/top-10-instagram-poets-i-cant-stop-reading-in-february-2017/
  4. Next up is a post from a lovely lady who also happens to be an amazing poet and uses Instagram herself to share her words, this post however is about her camera and is something I relate to, I too find lately I do not take my big camera out as much, relying instead on the camera on my phone and sometimes am gutted at the images I have missed https://lucywilliamspoetry.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/lucys-diary-04022017/
  5. The final one today is a writing post, the post initially caught my attention because of the idea of music transporting us but then as I read on I found so much of this post resonated with me that I wanted to share it here https://amandamblake.wordpress.com/2017/02/04/anywhere-but-here/

Resolutions 2017 – January

So the first month has flown by and I hold my hands up, it has not been the start to the year I would have wished for but O really want to concentrate on finding the positives so let’s see how I did…

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

Well at the end of the months technically I am down but would have been better if I had not had the blip in the middle, the problem is nights out and stress have both contributed this month to that pound put back on but I want to just focus on the positive and the 2lbs lost. I really want to be losing a pound a week so I did half of what I wanted this month lets hope next is better.

2017-02-01-2

02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I have started on the second part but am well down on where I wanted to be by the end of this month, however I am determined the first draft will be done before the middle of March so time to get stuck in this month and make up for lost time.

03) Exercise more

I have not made it to the pool this month at all, just bad timing with other things I have had on but next month I fully intend to start getting back into the Monday morning swim at the very least. As you can see I did not hit my 10k step target very often, it is annoying that I cannot get it to show the full month rather than the 28 days but as I can’t change it just have to work with the stats we have. as they were all set at zero on first of last month the increase looks fab but the important thing will be to keep that figure going up, the one thing that is obvious is I need to do more than just housework on Sundays.

2017-02-01

04) Blog at least four times a week

If you are reading my blog you know I failed this terribly but I promise you it is going to get better, family issues and commitments as I discussed earlier in the month have had to take priority but am now getting better organised and balancing everything better.

05) Get out more

If you get my newsletter or follow me on social media you will know I did get out twice this month, once with friends and the second time with the monster (it counts for now okay) both times to the Chinese Buffet, which actually accounts for that pound put back on lol. No actual nights out planned for this month but do have a lunch planned with my lovely friend Debbie and hoping to arrange a coffee meeting with another friend. I am also working on a special outing the month after which I will tell you more about nearer the time.

06) Write every day

I did not manage to write daily but what I did do was write when I had chance and also sort out several old folders with different bits of short stories, as you can see this actually is providing the basis for two very different short story collections potentially, well actually you can’t see both just the one but not going to say which one will come first lol, at the minute one looks like it may be family/relationship based and the other horror, just out of curiosity please answer in the comments do you prefer themed short story collection or ones that are a complete mix of genres?

2017-02-01-1

07) Work on my self belief

This month I have taken on a new mantra ‘It is what it is!’ By this I am looking at accepting my failings without judgement upon myself, I will not rip myself to pieces because I did not achieve all my goals, I will not waste energy fighting the tide on things I cannot change and I will embrace situations and make the most of them. It does not mean I shall not strive to push myself but it does mean that I shall have faith that if I fail there is a reason and it is not always myself at fault.

08)  Time management

Well obviously I as have not been hitting my targets it would seem I have been failing miserably however it is not quite true, because I have been making more time for family and to spend quality time with my son. I do need to focus more and be more productive during the daytime hours I have spare for writing and that will be my focus for the next month.

09) Update my wardrobe

Well obviously two pounds is not enough to justify a new wardrobe but I have been thinking about what I want my look to be, I recently added some purple to the pink in my hair and I am tempted to move more towards purple than pink, I am rather liking the idea of a ‘steam-punk’, Victorian ‘Gothic’ I like the idea of the corseted structured look with maybe the long bustled /layered skirts however with a butt the size of mine that may not be the most flattering look to go for.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

The February newsletter went out on time and I am pleased to say I had plotted out half of it during the month, with the exception of a book to my friend Heidi and the January prize sending out I am now caught up on the mailing situation so that is a huge bonus. I am hoping to have more exciting things to discuss in the newsletters as time goes by because it is hard to make it so they are more than a rehash of FB and Instagram posts and not just pushing the same book over and over again.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

This month my personal life has not taken a step forwards, backwards or in any other direction. My son has been my priority and my one night out was not exactly the sort of night that was going to give the opportunity to meet someone. At the minute I have so much on making time to met new people is going to be hard, I don’t really want to go down the on line route and just talking to people on line because you can’t judge if the chemistry is there via text or even on the phone, it is a physical reaction, I did meet someone last summer but due to other issues it did not work out but the chemistry was off the chart and the memory of how alive that spark made me feel means I am not about to settle for anything less.

12) Keep my website up to date

I am technically behind by one post as I write this, mainly because I struggle to think of interesting things at the minute to put on up there, I also am due to add another today as I am finally finishing this in the Sunday despite the fact it has been on the go since Wednesday but it has been a rather chaotic week personally so I am going to forgive myself as after all ‘It is what it is!’

Lazy Sunday #30 (I know it’s Monday but it seems it did not publish despite me hitting the button!)

Good morning, I am trying to get back into the habit of posting this earlier in the day once again, however I keep getting distracted by Roger Federer bending over in front of me, and no don’t worry I am not delusional just watching the Australian open final as I write this so if you do not get it till after lunch it is his fault. I am a huge an of Federer, in an age where so many sports stars have become arrogant he remains a gent, there are no tabloid front pages of tantrums, affairs or drug scandals, I think he should be the sporting hero we show as a an example to children of what you should aspire to and though I am not a fan of Rafa Nadal I have to say this match has been a Tennis master-class.

So I haven’t spent much time this week at the computer again but I do need to seriously get stuck in to the various projects I am working on and that also means getting my routine back in place as far a blogging and everything else. I find once I start neglecting one aspect of my writing I neglect all, the slippery slope is very steep for me, so today I will be working on the newsletter for Wednesday, and don’t forget if you choose to sign up whether here, via FB or my website every month when you open the newsletter you are entered in a prize draw for that month, the prize changes each month and is announced in the newsletter. So let’s get on with a few blogs for this week…

  1. I can honestly say I have never considered writing nonfiction, I read lots, especially true crime but writing it always seemed so much like hard work to me, all that research and fact checking and then trying to make it different to all the other books on the same subject, So when I spotted this post on a blog I follow I thought hmmm this might be an interesting journey to follow, it might not be to everyones taste but I am in on seeing how he does in this class https://thevelveteenmaraca.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/serious-nonfiction/
  2. So, you have written a book, think the hard work is done, think again, it is only just beginning! Actually persuading people to read your book is tough, you give the ebook away in promotions it sits on kindles untouched but even if people read it getting them to leave that all important review is even harder. While I am not sure the classes are right for me I do think the articles on this blog are always well worth a read https://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/2017/01/26/how-to-sell-your-book-first-what-is-it/
  3. Next up is one that made me stop and think, about friendship, what it means and when it is not really friendship but something else which is hard to define, and how sometimes the only option we have for our own sanity is to walk away from a situation, I confess I have had some myself where I really should have followed her example in taking the practical steps a lot sooner than I did https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2017/01/28/a-real-friend-knows-when-it-is-time-to-let-go-of-the-friendship/
  4. The next one is a photo blog, I love to travel but don’t get to do as much as I would like, damn that bank account lol but I do get to see places through the eyes of others here on WordPress and it is not only the sunny days that can give you a taste of a new location https://briangaynorphotography.com/2017/01/28/the-shroud-of-the-city/
  5. And lastly we go full circle, I talk about how for me to be more productive I must be busier and more organised for others the opposite is true but I love this description of being called back by the muse, I also fell in lose with one of my characters but not saying which one lol https://artistpath.wordpress.com/2017/01/27/enchanted/

As you may guess from the fact this is landing in your inboxes after one pm the tennis went to a fifth set, Roger distracted my by being awesome and he won so I am rather happy about that. off now to top up the coffee and update the website before cleaning the bathroom, what glamorous lives we authors lead!

Lazy Sunday #28

I want to say this is the first Sunday of 2017 but technically it is the second however as you got a vlog then it is the first Lazy Sunday. So have you got your coffee ready? For most of the posts this week you will notice the theme is resolutions, you can read my post here but I just want to take a minute to talk about why I make resolutions each year. I am later than usual publishing this but I went out last night so am slow getting my thoughts together today lol.

If you have followed me for a while you know each year I post a set of resolutions at the start of the year and then follow them through to differing degrees of success. Last year I was terrible at doing a monthly update, this did not actually mean all the resolutions failed, for example Ascension and Voices were both published. for me the actual act of writing my resolutions post is a way of actively focusing my mind on what I want to achieve in the coming year, both personally and professionally, the updates allow me to see whether I am on track. It is worth noting that missing out on writing the updates does not mean things are not going well but rather sometimes I feel that there is nothing new to add to a previous month although I am still moving in the right direction. for many of us our lives are so busy that giving ourselves targets and reference points we can refer back to helps us maintain a focus on some aspects that it is easy to lose in the chaos of everyday existence. Making time to exercise seems like something that would seem simple but until it becomes an established part of a routine it is easy to neglect, having told the world you intend to do it can be the motivation needed to make it happen.

Enough of me anyway and onto some blogs…

  1. The first lot of Resolutions come from Emmy Leigh I especially love the one about creating an environment in which all can flourish, I frequently find myself getting stressed trying to balance everyday house work etc against writing time and need to find a better balance https://emmyleigh.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/new-year-again/
  2. The next one really does embrace the idea of learning from each experience and moving forward https://blessedwithastarontheforehead.com/2017/01/02/new-year-time-to-renew-and-redo/
  3. The final lot of Resolutions is from Ellie and are quite similar to some of mine I love the idea of an office but until I move one day that is not an option https://quotidiandose.wordpress.com/2017/01/02/new-year-new-plan/
  4.  There is going to be another Annual Bloggers Bash  in London this year and they are running a competition to help fund it, I have the date pencilled into my diary and am hoping to be able to attend this year http://sachablack.co.uk/2017/01/01/the-big-bash-competition-2017/
  5. And the final blog for this week is one I hope you will all follow, not only as I am one of the signing authors at two of their forthcoming events but also I hope to be at many more https://hourglassevents.wordpress.com/2017/01/01/2017-the-year-for-darker/

That is it for this week hope you enjoy xxx

Resolutions 2017

As you will be aware if you have joined me here the last few New Years I like to make resolutions, mainly in the blind hope I might stick to at least one or two of them and this year is no different, well no that’s not true because actually it is. The resolutions I am making this year are split into two categories, writing and personal, and I am going to do half a dozen of each, then update you  on my progress monthly/

01)  Lose weight, yup this old chestnut again, I lost a stone and a half in the second half of last year so just set up a fresh spread sheet and new targets, while I know I have a lot more weight to lose than my target weight I am simply being realistic about losing weight in a healthy way.

I don’t want to diet as such, I enjoy food too much but it is more about eating habits and portion control, after all a little of what you want does you good lol. so this is the chart I will be using at the minute the whole year is shown as a red line, which you will hopefully see begin to incline week after week.

2017-01-02

02) Publish the remaining two parts of the Queen of Ages trilogy

I already have both out lined and know the overall story arc, it is strange because as excited as I am to begin work on them I am also a little reluctant to finish the story as I have lived with these characters in my head for so long while I plucked up the courage to share them.

03) Exercise more

I pay for a gym membership but at the minute have been using it to go swimming once a week, I am determined that I am going to up that to at least twice a week plus use my Fitbit, I was using it frequently but then I accidentally misplaced it then struggled to get it working properly again but hopefully that is resolved. The online dashboard app does not allow a month view rather it does four weekly so the evidence I shall show will be the four weeks prior to updates. I have it set for 10k steps per day but honestly that never happens I might manage one or two days a week so I am going to aim for a weekly target of 45k per week initially hopefully that number will go up and you will see my weekly average increase each week as I get fitter. As you can see I have not used it for a few weeks so it does allow for a fresh start stats wise.

 

2017-01-01-1

04) Blog at least four times a week

I tend to be quite hit and miss with blogging, either managing daily blogs or going weeks without a post. the only reason for this is poor time management. Most blog posts are around 500 words which takes only half an hour to write. The only blog post I do that I need to live post is the Lazy Sunday post, all others can be done in advance and scheduled, including the weekly vlog.

05) Get out more

Since I split with the monster’s dad I have really gone out very little, that is partly through choice and not feeling like it due to the things that have been going on in my life but also the practicalities of being a single parent, but if I am going to consider meeting someone and having a relationship it might help if I actually leave the house lol, chatting on line or texting is fine but I miss going for meals, going to the theatre or cinema, and of course I don’t actually need a partner to do these things I can go with friends or even on my own but whoever I go with this year am determined to have one night out a month and one coffee meeting with a friend each month.

06) Write every day

I have lots of targets set for myself this year, and if I want to achieve everything I want to get done I will have to not only hit them but realistically hit them ahead of target. I have downloaded the writing tracker so brilliantly crafted by Jamie again this year and she has added the ability to add monthly targets as well which will make it so much easier to keep track of where and when I am struggling.

2017-01-01

07) Work on my self belief

This is one you cannot track on a spreadsheet or by hitting targets it is something within which I need to work on. I constantly second guess myself instead of going with my gut reactions. I also find it hard to take compliments, I may smile and say the right thing at the time but after I question what every comment could mean how it could be interpreted a different way. This is one thing in which the old cliché of fake it till you make it might actually apply but I also think it is something I need to work on from the inside.

08)  Time management

I have touched on this in my other resolutions but I want to elaborate, I know there are enough hours in the day to achieve all I want to but too often I get distracted. I want to set up proper working hours where I focus purely on writing, mainly while the monster is at school. I am trying to find my receipt in the folders for the freedom app which is a great way of stopping you get distracted by other online apps.

09) Update my wardrobe

Now obviously as I lose weight I will be buying new clothes but that is not what I actually mean, I want to work on an image change to go with the transition from someone with a day job who writes to an writer who works a few hours at a day job.

10)  Publish the newsletter each month

I have a horrible habit of leaving the newsletter until the next minute then not getting it done at all, I am determined that the first day of every month if you have signed up for the newsletter it will be in your inbox at some point that day preferably in the morning.

11) Work out what I want in my personal life

This might sound strange but actually it is not, I have lived on my own for quite a while, I am used to having my own space, doing things my own way, so the question is going forward if I meet someone what am I willing to give up or settle for. For example part of me would love someone to curl up with on a night when I fall asleep but I also want to be free to come and go as I please and not to have to answer to anyone. I have enough picking up after a child, two cats and a dog, I don’t want to have to pick up after another person, so you have to question what another person would be wiling to contribute to a house hold. The real answer is of course that compromise is required, for me I have to work out where I am willing to compromise and what the deal breakers would be and of course the fact is these types of things do not just effect me so I have to be doubly sure before I considered letting anyone meet the monster.

12) Keep my website up to date

I have been terrible at posting to the website, it goes months without being updated, which when you consider I pay for it is ridiculous. Admittedly the website is more of a one stop shop, it has links to all my books, photos, newsletter sign up, news and events. It also has a link back to here for those wanting to know me more as a person, I am determined to keep updating it with a weekly post but also to promote it as much as I do the blog and my other sites.

 

So that is my dozen resolutions for 2017, have you made any, if so let me know in comments what they are if you wish to share.