Archive for the ‘Work’ Category

This week has been rather unproductive from a writing point of view: a close relative is ill and as a result we have another family member staying with us. Couple that with a busy time and extra hours at work, plus additional rehearsals in the run-up to our performance, and my routine has been negatively affected.  I am not even getting time to do my coursework in lunchbreaks!

I know it’s easy to fall out of the writing habit so I am squirrelling away some time in the next few days to work, but inevitability writing will come second to other responsibilities at times.  What I need are two things: a plan to get back to my routine – and to use my notebook to record what is happening.

My notebook is the place to record those funny moments that otherwise get lost from the memory, or the feelings of worry, frustration, awareness etc that spring up whenever life goes off on a tangent.  I must remember it, sitting in my bag waiting for those snippets that will fuel my imagination.

So other matters have taken over my week a little but I’ll still be able to focus on an area of my work on Sunday if I manage the time I have available more effectively.

That’s part of the writing job that I need to improve and this week will provide an opportunity to practice!

Happy writing,





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I said on Sunday that I would swap my posts around so here is my writing update…

It’s not much of one, to be honest. Fred now has a list of times and places to travel to but I am still working on exactly what he will discover at each of his stops. I already have a few plans but they need fleshing out which I aim to do soon.

I also have to write a marketing blurb for a friend’s memoirs – they are extremely interesting and I want to do them justice.

Finally I have an article to write about our writing group which is changing format soon…

My problem at the moment is actually sitting down to write. It’s a big couple of weeks at work – the project I have been working on for a year is coming to fruition, and it’s pretty hectic.

But hopefully in a couple of weeks it will calm down, and if all I do until then is plan, it’s not a disaster.

Quite honestly, it feels like this year has been against me from start to finish so anything I produce, I’ll be satisfied!

And that is all I have time for today.  I said it wasn’t much of an update, didn’t I?!

Happy writing,

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Yesterday I wrote about a book of poetry, and it got me thinking about how little of my work I have ever shared on here.

There are a variety of reasons why I don’t and they are all perfectly reasonable – and perfect excuses.

So I am going to share bits – snippets of poetry, a few lines of the books, maybe a phrase or two from the notebook even.  It’s my way of overcoming the barriers I have put between me and you.

Firstly, here is a stanza from a poem I wrote called ‘March Garden’.  It has been through a number of transformations but this is the most recent iteration!

The English summer blooms early this year,

And puffball clouds dance merrily.

The voices of neighbours climb over my fence

And sit on the patio with me.

This poem is about sitting and watching nature around me and is very jolly – most of my poetry isn’t so I am lulling you into a false sense of security!

Would you like to read more?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy writing,



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Firstly, I will give you a brief rundown on last week…
Lots of work, early starts and late nights home.
Queen’s birthday party
Writing again

As you can see, writing got sandwiched in between things. My grand plan for writing on the move was somewhat scuppered by a technology failure, but I was so tired I don’t think I would have done much that was salvageable anyway!

However, I did still manage to write a few times in the week so that was a good effort.

Moving on from that, to today’s writing, and I am putting my character back under observation. Not from me, you understand, but from a character who (possibly) has evil intent. She seems to be expecting it though, because her last thought of the day was:

It was like waiting for the sword to fall

She knows.  She doesn’t know what, or when, but she knows something awful is going to happen to her.  The question is, what?

But that’s a story for another blog post.  For now, I’m going to say goodnight, and be peaceful.

Happy writing,



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This is going to be a short post as I have a lot to sort out tonight.  It’s been that kind of week, actually – bits going on all over the place, and everything seemingly last-minute.  It’s as though everything just catches up with me when I’m not concentrating!

I guess that some of you will have had the same week – even if not this week.  So here’s a quick look at what’s been happening, without any of the extraneous talking I normally do!

  • The whodunnit is progressing nicely – I’d prefer a little more speed but at least it’s moving onwards
  • The new plan is as done as it’s going to be – I know where I need to put my energies now
  • I got some reading done – big books are a bind and after this one I’m going for something quick and breezy
  • I’ve been busy at work – my new role is fun but quite demanding
  • I have become obsessed with Strictly Come Dancing once again – it’s my annual tv love-in and we’re even planning our Halloween party around watching it!
  • It’s less than 10 weeks until Christmas!!! (I just added this one for fun :-))

And, as we all have busy weeks that sometimes feel like they’re getting away from us, here’s a quote from Marty Rubin:

In the midst of a busy life don’t forget to live

Happy writing,



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It’s been a very busy weekend, because I’ve been helping out at my friend’s annual business open day. It’s a beautiful location and a great weekend but boy, do I feel it when the last customers have left and we’ve packed up for another year!

The whole week has been a little frenetic, actually – I changed jobs on Thursday, so had a lot of finishing off to do at the beginning of the week, we’re in the process of clearing out our storage room and there’s a new course starting that I want to catch up on before I get behind!  I have also been making decorations in readiness for my Halloween party, culminating this week in the weaving of a large orange wool spider web.

Beyond these, I have done some writing, and got a few bits under my belt.  Sadly, not much of the whodunnit.

Or rather, the time I’ve spent hasn’t got me to the end. It’s so odd – I can sit and write for a couple of hours, only to have moved very little either in word count or story. It’s like that dream where you run down a corridor that stretches the more you move.

So at the risk of yet another missed deadline, I am going to set myself a new one. Before I do that, though, I will do a final plan to get me from where I am to the end. I keep adding bits to the story, but what I ought to be doing is getting the key information into the interviews with the lead police officer, so that will be my focus for the coming week.

By next weekend, I will know what I need to do, and have a timetable to do it.

I will be so very, very glad to get this one finished, I just can’t tell you.  I never imagined working on it so long and it is a reminder that I need to be more practical in my writing processes. It is also a reminder that every writing session missed is an opportunity wasted – I no longer have the luxury of making up writing time at 3am or working through the night to meet a target.  I have to set my targets around my life, not the other way around.

It’s a lesson I should have taken on board already, but it’s one I struggled to absorb.

If nothing else, this whodunnit has been a good learning tool as to how to balance writing with my paid work; like so many things, it’s taken me a while but I’ll get there in the end!

Happy writing,



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Sorry this is late – my internet issues summed up last week, really: one minute I was jogging along, and the next something went awry.

So first of all the lost (other than my wi-fi!) – I have somehow lost all the work I did on the whodunnit after 15 February. I was typing it up on the go, on my new phone, and I think I must have done something wrong because the document has vanished into the cyber-ether. I am frustrated, but not horrified: I am wallowing in the story and I will treat this as a chance to re-boot. By way of this post I will give myself a target of 3000 word this week to make up for what’s vanished.

And onto the found.  I’ve found a bit of poetry mojo; I want to write a whole new set of works in the coming months, and the poetry really seems to be firing right now. My lovely husband made a comment that led me into one, and our general chit-chat on a journey through Wiltshire led to another. Two in a weekend, both of which have something in them I like, is a really positive outcome for me.

I found time to spend with my friends at reading group.  We didn’t actually discuss any reading though, just had a meal and a chinwag – so it was basically a girl’s night!

I also found challenges.  One challenge was a driving experience which I didn’t want to do but had to do, for work – I did it, and that’s enough for me 🙂 Another was a rather deep-end re-entry to dance classes where we had to perform six, none of which I’d ever done before!

On balance the week looks pretty good, in retrospect. Even the lost writing hasn’t fazed me as it might have done, because I know I’d gone down the wrong rabbit hole. For a short story, this one is really becoming over-complicated, and I will use my 3000 words this week not only to get back on track but to near completion.

In other news – I seem to have lost a week in the 100 novels, because book 76 was On the Road by Jack Kerouac and I never mentioned it.  It’s another classic of American literature, but I’ve only really become aware of it in the last few years.  I love the idea of it, but wonder if I should have read it when I was younger and more open to the idea of just going off.  I’ll add it to the ‘read me’ pile and maybe get to it one day!

Book 77 – Voss, by Patrick White – is another one I’ve never read.  It sounds full of anger and I don’t know that I want that now so it won’t go on the list but I do love books set in Australia – the sheer scope of the country is always so overwhelming and majestic.

And finally – having started a new job today I am going to have to reorganise my life for the next few months.  I don’t want my writing to sink under a lot of other daily tasks, so I am also intending to reconfigure the writing timesheet and report my progress.  I won’t do it all the time but maybe once a month, just so you can give me a virtual prod if I’m slacking!

Until next time – happy writing!



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Wow this post is late.

Not just because I should have posted on Sunday, but because it’s three in the morning and I’ve finally got a chance to get on th internet.

All my carefully crafted thoughts have long since gone to bed and I’m left with a sense of how my life has changed – my all night writing sessions are no more, my patterns of paid work have pushed writing back down my priorities list, my studies have apparently ended, and I don’t have time for all the things I want and hope to do.

But then I come on line and I write posts, or I join one of my lovely writing friends in a discussion, or I look at the work I’ve done and I feel the passion, excitement and desire to write that I’ve always felt.

I know it’s there, and I know it’s part of me.  So next week my blog will be all about how I got back to it and made the very most of every writing moment I had.

In other words, I’ll either have a great writing week or be practicing my fiction for you all…

Until next time – happy writing,

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This week I’ve been using my lunchbreaks to make a lot of notes for poems. I grab myself a soup, sit down, watch the clouds float past and write.

It feels really positive because the poems I am working on are for a special event, and are coming together really well.  I am jumping so swiftly from one to another that it feels like I’m on some sort of perpetual motion generator.  A poetry train (of thought) if you like!

It’s good that the notebook is working for me because with such long days and so many other things to get done, writing really did feel neglected.  In fact, my whole creative life was put on hold once I went back to full-time work.  But a few weeks in I’m getting a little balance back.  Writing during my lunches; I actually finished a whole book already this week and started a second; I am making the most of the long weekend here to get out and see some live music for the first time in ages.

I don’t want to work full-time for long, but if I can keep some sort of equilibrium for now, at least it won’t set me back completely.  My worst case scenario has always been going back to work and not writing any more, and finally I am managing to do both, which gives me a lot of faith in myself.

In other news – This week we’ve reached book 48 on the novels list – A Passage to India by EM Forster.  This is a book I want to read, so I haven’t read the comments yet!  I have seen the film, or at least parts of the film, but I don’t remember much of it except white suits and hats, and a carriage.   And maybe a mountain?  It’s been a loooooonnnnnnng time 🙂

And finally – I saw this article about the way we absorb a story being different on physical format to paper format.  As someone who loves the physicality of a book, and has only come to screen reading since being gifted an e-reader at Christmas, I am not sure I could ever be objective or dispassionate enough to debate the relative merits of each: the smell and feel of books is part of the reading experience for me.  I have read a lot of books on the e-reader now and appreciate its practicality but I think that’s part of its downfall for me.  I don’ want a practical reading experience, I want an immersive one – and I still think I get that best with a hard copy book.

Maybe it’s because I’ve always loved reading that to change it – or my relationship with the words – impacts on the subconscious experience.  Maybe the love of reading is as much about feeling the weight of a world in my hands as it is exploring it – and on an e-reader every world weighs the same…

On that rather philosophical point, I’m going to bow out for today!

Happy writing,





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I read a great quote that I haven’t been able o find again unfortunately, but I thought I’d share the concept anyway.

It was something along the lines of ‘if you don’t write when you’re busy, you won’t write when you’re not’.

It jolted me out of the haze that has surrounded me since I went back to work, and I sat down and moved my story on a little. From tomorrow, I’ll be using lunch breaks to make notes on the work I’ve done so far, and use any space I find in the evenings to write new sections of the novel.  I’ve even decided to change phones so I have one I can work on whenever I get a chance – sitting at the dentist, or in the car waiting for someone, or as my partner drives me to an event.

These sound like little things, and they are. But putting all my little things together will help me balance work, life, and writing – which is what I really want to do.

In other news – This week we’re on book 44 – Of Human Bondage by W Somerset Maugham which is another I haven’t read. I am interested in books that are heavily autobiographical but I don’t think I have time to fit another book into the list, so it’ll stay as a possible for the future, I think

And finally – it occurred to me today that this blog will go very quiet through November when I get married and go away for my honeymoon.  I will pre-write a few posts before I go but I’d love to fill in some of the blanks with guest posts so if you’re interested in writing a post about anything relating to writing or reading, let me know!

Until next week – happy writing,





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