Tag Archive: real life


I’m am mildly ashamed to look at how long it has been since I’ve posted on here, but this blog has not been alone in the neglect. It all started about the time I had to knuckle down and really get into the meat of my dissertation. It took a lot of my time and effort, and there’s been things since then that have just piled up, and I was really bad about picking up all the pieces that I’d left strewn behind me in the wake. I didn’t go to taekwondo for six months, I failed NaNoWriMo for the first time ever, and my eating habits spiralled in a slightly uncontrollable fashion. But that’s the good thing about life – you can always come back and pick things up. So new(ish) year and I’m really making an effort to do things.

First big and good news is that I got a new job. I started that in October and I’m now pretty settled in it. I’m an Information Analyst for the NHS now (a mental health trust) so I get to look at figures and numbers to do with mental health services and provide information to people so that we can show we’re meeting our targets and improve the service. I love it, it’s data and number crunching and SQL and excel all the time. I do miss the library, I like books and information and the people there were great, although weirdly the biggest thing I miss is how much I moved around – I’m very sedentary in this job, and I have to drive to and from work, so no more walking, and I do notice the lack of it (I try to walk during lunch time). But the job is overall more satisfying and much more my pace of working, so it’s a huge step up.

Since started my master’s degree I’ve not done much, if any reading for pleasure, so something I aim to do this year is pick up a book or three again. Not signing up to any challenges or anything, just realising the I enjoy reading and encouraging myself to take it up again. The new job is full time so I find I have less time to do, well, everything else really, so I’m really working on doing what I want to do and cutting out the other stuff that I don’t want to do. It’s sort of like refocusing. Writing comes in here as well – as mentioned above, I failed NaNoWriMo for the first time since I started, oh, what, seven years ago? And you know what? I’m rather okay with it. I decided that with everything that was going on (new job, anxious about results, some mental health stuff, other bits and pieces) I could push to try and get it done, but then I’d probably hate the story at the end of it, and liking what I’m writing was more important to me than completing the challenge. It was a good realisation and I’m still okay with that decision and I look forward to getting back into that story. Again, I’m not going to push this immensely, but I will remind myself to open up a file and put some words on the screen, because I am looking forward to getting back to writing that book I didn’t – Quiet Poison, it’s very fun to write about assassins and underground stuff.

One thing I am looking to do more of is play video games. I’ve had Ori and the Blind Forest sitting on my computer for ages, and I’ve just picked up a recent release called Rime for my switch which looks right up my street. I’ve also got Persona 4 to finish off so I can finally move onto 5 (but nothing will ever match the feels I had for 3 (playing as the girl, it’s much better)). I do like playing video games and I feel that I don’t do enough of it. I get distracted. And as I said above, working full time cuts down on my spare time, as I still have all the house and other chores to do.

Oh! Speaking of house – me and my partner are going to try and buy our first house this year! If we can get the right mortgage lender, we’ve not had the best luck so far finding one, but we will! Eventually!

In more good news last weekend I went to the first LARP player event (smaller than the main events, often run by players rather than the main crew) that I have ever enjoyed, and considering it was my third, I was almost put off them forever. I’m grateful to my friends for pulling me along to it, because I did have a wonderful time, and I’m actually looking forward to trying to go back next year. I got to heal the people from the fighting tournament, enter some contests, coming third in the crafting one, talk to people, and had a delicious nap on a huge pile of bean bags. It was a very fun and relaxed day and just what I needed to get me excited about LARP again.

What have I missed. Life. Writing. Gaming…of course. Dragons.

You know I mentioned that I won third prize in the crafting competition? I did it with this beautiful cuddly thing – my wood dragon. I’m super proud of him, even though he took forever to make (entirely hand sewn. Worth it, but sooooo much time). And guess what? People have already asked me if I take commissions – pretty damn high praise in my opinion ^_^

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November Conclusion

First of all, apologies for not posting during the entire month. The reason is pretty obvious – I was putting all of my creative energy into finishing NaNoWriMo. And when I wasn’t doing that, I was either doing my masters, trying to keep up with work/social life, and getting ill. Fantastic time to get ill really (but I have medicine from my wonderful doctor now so it should start getting better).

First of all, the big news. I won – I wrote 50,000 words in the month. Yay!

2016nano

However, this year was really difficult. As you can see, for most of the month I was actually behind where I should have been, and although I caught up at the end, it was difficult to get the words down on the page. Also, the novel I said I was going to write – The Blood Within? That’s didn’t really happen. I got about 10K down on it, and then it just stalled. I couldn’t seem to get it out of my head and onto the page.

So I swapped projects, choosing something which I knew I could get out of my head and write down. It’s probably never going to see the light of day, but it got me writing.

This was actually the first year where I doubted that I could make the 50K. Giving that I’ve been overachieving for a few years now, that was a pretty scary thought. But, I have to remember, that I was doing a lot this year. And actually, managing the 50,000 words alongside everything else that I was doing? Not a bad feat.

So how is the other stuff doing? Well we’ve started the dissertation preparation module in my master’s course, which has me internally screaming every time I have to think about it, but I do think I have an idea for what I want to do, which is a really good start. And I’m mostly on top of that work, which is good.

Work is…well, at least it’s nearly Christmas.

Social life is good, and the tabletop games I’m playing in continue to be excellent. Actually, I’ve been invited to play in a new one that’ll be starting up next year and i’m super excited for that.

The LIFE BOSS hit pretty hard this month. That’s been on and off terrible, but I am getting it sorted out, slowly, but getting there. Stress is a big thing for me at the moment, but I plan on spending December taking things a little easier, and the 365K club comes to a close at the end of the year, so that’s another thing I can take off my plate. That’s actually going pretty well, and I’m sure you’ll hear about that before the end of the year.

So yeah, November was hard, but I am glad that I did it, and I’m super glad that it’s over. December is going to be getting things back on track, back on a steady progress level, rather than the frantic pace it’s been for November. And next year in November, I’ll have finished my degree, so there’ll be more time and brain space for writing epic amounts in a month.

I hope that if you did NaNoWriMo, that the month was rewarding for you, whether you hit the goal or not.

nanowrimo_2016_webbanner_winner_congrats

The car bumped over the turning into the front of the campus, once again her head gently hitting the head rest, and she narrowed her eyes.

“Have a good day, sweetheart.” The driver said.

She leaned over, and gave him a quick peck, even though she didn’t want to. The car door was slammed a little harder that it should have been, and she trudged her way through the front door.

The first thing that assaulted her sense was bright blue hair. Her eyes narrowed even further, almost hurting from the unnatural colour that was being presented to them. Why did people feel the need to stand out this way? Not that she usually minded. She’d considered going green herself in the past, but today, it was too bright, too statement.

The staff room was cold, and there were people in there. Sure, her colleagues, who she knew well and worked with every day. But she slumped at her desk, pulled up her email, and printed out this week’s rota without looking at anyone else, feelings bubbling to the surface whether she wanted them to or not.

Five minutes of attempting, and failing, to cheer herself up even a little by perusing the internet, and she went downstairs to grab the keys.

Her boss noticed, of course. Pale, drawn, and a permanent frown that spoke of her annoyance at everything today were dead giveaways.

“Have you tried some of those sleeping aids? They can be quite good you know.”

The compassion at her two hours sleep last night was appreciated. It was about the only thing that hadn’t caused her to frown even more since she had been dragged away by the screaming alarm clock after a scant two hours of tossing and turning.

She grabbed the keys to the third floor IT room that she was stationed on for the first shift of the day, and decided that the stairs were too much this morning, and punched the button for the elevator. It rattled it’s way up two floors, and she stepped out.

The grill was loud and obnoxious. It always was, but it was on the verge of giving her a headache this morning, as it finally hit the top and she could step in, Lights on, printer on, staff computer on.

It was long before the first students came into the room, five girls, and sat at the computers, chatting away. Then she spotted the biscuits being eaten, crumbs falling over the desk and floor.

Her eyes narrowed to the point of almost being closed. No, it was just going to be that kind of day.

This little extract is actually my day yesterday. I was bumbling through on two not very good hours of sleep and every little thing was the most annoying that it could be, even if it was something that normally wouldn’t, like the dyed hair. Normally I love dyed hair, but yesterday, nah, just too bright and in my eyes.

But, upon the advice of my lovely, lovely boss and co-workers, I did stop by the pharmacy and pick up some sleeping aid tablets. Somehow I stumbled through seven hours of work, got home, managed to stay up until a semi-reasonable time, then took some tablets, fell into bed, and I had the best night’s sleep I’ve had all month.

So today, I’m feeling fairly perky, and far better than yesterday, and I might actually be able to get down and do some of the things I’m meant to be doing. Like packing for Empire this weekend, editing and actually getting on with my work rather than being half dead at the desks!

sometimes you just want to scream

Writing Update

Okay, so real life got in the way and I have let my writing habits slip. Turns out I’m not much of a habit former, but I kind of knew that already. Had a job for over a year now and I am STILL not used to getting up in the mornings. I hate mornings.

First things first, a small apology. I have not been keeping up with the schedule that I set for the 100 Theme Challenge. I promised to do two a week, which means that I should be on 37/38 this week, but I have only just published 31. So, expect quite a few more themes to be published in the coming week or two so that I can catch up with myself and get back on track with that. I also hope that you have been enjoying the themes so far.

Novels. I have stalled with my Novel. After the Garth Nix author event I was rather fired up, but I haven’t done anything with it yet, and this morning was the first time I’ve looked at that novel in a few weeks, I’ll admit. I did however start editing again, so hopefully I can pick it back up and start getting through it. I still have the hope that I’ll be showing it to a select number of people by the end of the year, which I can do if I put some hard work into it!

Talking about Novels, I’ve been using this great software called Novlr. I think I talked about it before. It went to kickstarter to get some funding, but it’s not doing so well and there are only a few hours left! If you like simple design and a focus on writing then it’s really great. If you think you might fancy it, have a look: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/novlr/novlr-novel-writing-simply?ref=nav_search And yes, this is a bit of a shameless plug, but I really do want this to fund, so I’m just leaving the link here, and if you want to follow it, please do.

I have some novels on the backburner, but I’m not really thinking about them yet. Focusing on the current WIP.

However, with NaNoWriMo on the horizen, one of them might come out an get some time to shine! I think I know which one I might pick for this year, but I have a history of changing my mind. I do like NaNo, with all the people and the competitiveness and the charts and the numbers and the writing. I might even try and make it to some physical write in’s this year. And then I remember I don’t have a laptop and that makes it much much harder. Maybe soon I can get one. Maybe soon.

I also have another writing project which I have just started. Considering that’s all I’m going to say about it, I don’t know why I’m mentioning it, except that it is something that I’m doing with the readers of this blog in mind, so wait awhile and you should see what comes of that! (Warning, a while is probably likely to be in the months sort of time frame. I have a lot of projects on the go right now!)

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