Saturday, 24 December 2016

Merry Christmas to you all

So it's Christmas Day tomorrow (just in case, perchance, you didn't know) and I'm officially signing off until the new year. May your last week of 2016 treat you and yours well, and safely usher you into 2017. However you spend it, all the best for the 25th.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

What have I done this year?

The big day is almost upon us and around this time in December each year, when my children have finished school and I've mostly prepared for Christmas Day, I like to look back over the past twelve months. Have I made progress? Did I get everything done that I had planned? What changes and surprises were there along the way?

January is my birthday month and this year was a special one. This year I turned fifty, that's half a century of 'me'. My husband treated me to a wonderful, romantic weekend in Venice while our children stayed at home with their uncle. 

I posted my reading list for the year, shared my thoughts on organising my online presence, told you about my Top 10 Books and shared my hoarding vice. I continued to send out my novel to literary agents and took up the reins on my next novel. 

In April, I took on Camp NanoWrimo for the second year running, talked about doubt as a writer, and told you how Shakespeare made a writer of me. That month also saw the arrival of our puppy, Bailey. 

After the NanoWrimo rush of April, I took on the challenge to write a page a day in May, a challenge which I passed. I also joined an amateur dramatics group with my daughter. 

Summer came and went in a hectic haze. There was a holiday break by the seaside, family birthdays and that amateur dramatics group I mentioned above? They put on a musical revue which my daughter and I performed in. Who knew I could sing (croak)? 

With my children's return to school, I had the peace and time to return to my novel. Still receiving rejections from literary agents and continuing to send Shadowbinder out to yet more agents, I pressed on with not only novel number two but my plan for the entire series.

I began an online writing course and told you about my Hallowe'en dilemma.

One benefit of having a dog is the creative thinking time I have whilst out on walks. I wrote about this in Today I met a poet

November whirled by and before I knew it, I was sending my husband up to the attic in search of Christmas decorations. 

Throughout the year, I've contined to provide you with photo inspiration and writing exercises. I haven't done very well with my reading list but I have put an immense number of words down on paper/keyboard. 

Some things appear to have stalled in 2016 (my search for a literary agent) while others have skidded me along on my knees. I can't say it's been an easy year but I know I'm not alone in feeling that. 2016 has been a difficult year for the entire world. I won't go so far as to say that I'm glad to see the back of this year because I still have plenty to look forward to before I sing Auld Lang Syne on the 31st and I've seen great personal progress over the past twelve months too. 

Time to work out how I'm going to spend the next twelve months. 

Monday, 12 December 2016

Something Useful for 2016 - Exercise No. 24

It's December and, in  case you hadn't noticed, Christmas is speeding towards us. This weekend, my children helped me decorate our tree. The ornaments are a mixture of styles and colours but many hold wonderful memories. 

Most of you will have a Christmas tree in your home this month. My December writing exercise is to choose one of your decorations as an inspiration for your writing. The inspiration could come from where you bought your decoration (or perhaps it was a gift), or what the symbol of the ornament stands for itself (be it, an owl, a Santa or a snowflake). 

If you don't have a Christmas tree at home (or if you aren't at home this time of year), then choose an ornament on a tree in a shopping centre, or find one online. 

Which bauble have you chosen or what has it inspired you to write?

Monday, 5 December 2016

Photo Inspiration for December

I came across this frosty bench while walking the dog this morning. What do you think? A meeting place hidden away from the rest of the world? A well remembered picnic spot? What would this inspire you to write?

Friday, 2 December 2016

What I'm doing this month - December

This month I shall be running round like a headless turkey, or rather a stressed out mother trying to remember everything that needs to be done before the twenty fifth of December. There are cards and letters to be written, presents to be bought (half done already thankfully), people to catch up with, schools events to be prepared for and attended, and writing to be done.

Note how writing comes last on the list. I 'will' write this month in the way that my family 'will' enjoy the Christmas season. I'm determined (if a tad frazzled and fraught at the thought of it all).

Oh darn, I have to put the tree up too. I need the husband home to get it all down from the attic first. I also have to figure out how to puppy-guard the tree. I don't want Christmas Day ruined by a toppled tree or a pile of chewed presents (unless it's a present for the puppy of course).

Joy to the world and all that. I think I need a strong coffee and a mince pie.