Wednesday, 26 January 2011

New Year's Resolutions

OK so I know its a bit late for resolutions but....

I decided this year I wasn't going to make any yearly resolutions because basically they would be the same as last year - get a novel out there, read more, declutter the house, create more time for writing etc etc. I have found that having a resolution with a time span of a whole year simply doesn't work for me because you think you have loads of time and then suddenly its December.

Towards the end of last year I started setting myself monthy writing targets.  I found that this shorter space of time geared me up to work harder and while some months I set myself too many tasks, at least I had a list that I could tick off as I went. A ticked list gives me a huge sense of satisfaction (saddo that I am) and even a half ticked off list is better than none.

So this year my new year's resolution was to set myself monthly targets for both my writing and at home.  Now, that January is nearly at a end I have some ticks and some not.  One of the tasks I set myself for my writing took me alot longer than I had anticipated but I have worked really hard on it so I don't feel I should beat myself up too much over that.

One of my goals for January was to join the Romantic Novelists Association. I've wanted to join for a few years now but never managed to apply in time - applications for the New Writer's Scheme opens in January and usually get filled up quite quickly. But this year I was on the ball and am now officially a member.

This is something I'm really excited about, not only for the chance to meet other writers (if I manage to attend any of the events) but also for the opportunity to submit a completed script for an appraisal.

I have decided to work on the novel I started on for NaNoWriMo. I completed a very rough first draft of this at the end of December, so after a month of working on other projects, February will see me starting to whip this into shape (well attempting to anyway).

I am the kind of person who responds to deadlines and I realise that at the moment the only person who is going to set these for me is myself, and now with something concrete in mind I'm feeling really optimistic about the year ahead.

Hear's hoping I'm still feeling optimistic as August looms!

Friday, 21 January 2011

The King's Speech

I went to see The King's Speech on Wednesday with some friends. I must admit I was rather sceptical before I went. Sometimes when a film has such rave reviews you go expecting greatness and come back feeeling a little short changed. It was definitely not the case with this film.

I'm sure the film has been reviewed by people much more knowledgeable than myself on the industry but we all know what we like and what we don't like, and yes, I definitely liked this film. As far as the plot's concerned, and compared to other films, on paper there's not alot going on. Although the abdication was a major event in history and probably has changed all our lives even without us realising, because we know what is going to happen I suppose the storyline could have had the potential to be a little dull in places.

Dull it was not. In fact I was gripped all the way through. This came from fantastic characterisation, acting and dialogue.

Colin Firth was brilliant, as his accolades have shown, but so were all the other actors. I particularly loved the part that Geoffrey Rush played and the interaction betweent the two characters was superb; both funny and heart rendering at the same time.  And I have to say that casting Timothy Spall as Winston Churchill was sublime.  He was absoultely brilliant.

The film was funny, serious and compassionate and when he went to make the speech, I think I may have actually stopped breathing for a short while.

I would definitely recommend this film and I might even go again!

All in all it was a marvelous evening out and it was especially lovely to spend some time with friends without the company of husbands and children.  It does you good to step off the hamster wheel every now and again.

Have a good weekend and if you get a chance go and see the film!

Monday, 17 January 2011

It's No Use! I'm addicted

Some women go crazy for shoes, some for handbags.  And whilst I have a fair share of both, its books I can’t resist when I’m out shopping. And notebooks. And stationery. Of any kind really.

My tbr pile is reaching dangerous, skyscraper proportions, I’ve  started keeping books in different  cupboards in the house as there are too many to store in just one place and I’ve even siphoned some off to store in my desk at work.

So, after an expensive Christmas where I slithered into the dodgy depths of overdraft, I swore that January would be a book buying free month. I would curb my impulses and keep my hands firmly in my pockets.  I would refuse to buy any more books until my stash is somewhat diminished.  

So far this month I’ve done really well.  I’ve averted my eyes in the supermarket and refused to go anywhere near the deadly shops of sin.  But on Saturday I needed to transfer some money and what did I do? Yes, you guessed it I bought not one but two books.  In fairness they are not for me, they are presents for other people and what nicer things to receive as presents I ask you?

But all the same, it proves one thing.  I am addicted.

What are you addicted to?

Monday, 10 January 2011

Happy New Year!

A rather belated greeting I’m afraid but last week was a bit hectic to say the least.

My youngest son has the misfortune of having his birthday on 5 January. I always feel sorry for him because by the time Christmas and New Year is over I often find that I have run out of steam. Usually I just want everything to get back to normal rather than have to start the celebrations all over again. The fact that most people also feel this way forces me to try just that little bit harder to make his birthday enjoyable.

This year though his birthday was dogged by illness. Both my husband and myself had been feeling under the weather at New Year, so it was a very quiet one, with us seeing the New Year in at home and then going straight to bed. To be honest my bed had been calling me for a long time before midnight but I stuck it out because, well, you have to don’t you?

On Tuesday it was back to work (which to be honest was a bit of a relief) but because the children didn’t go back to school until the next day my husband had taken the day off to look after them. I thought everything was on schedule for the next day; presents sorted, party numbers confirmed, friends coming round after school, only to find when I got home that husband’s feeling a bit under the weather had morphed into full blown flu. At first I thought it was a bit of the man flu type flu but as my husband isn’t one to take to his bed I had to revise my cynicism. In fact he was off work for the whole week, which I have never seen before - as he’s self-employed he usually goes to work even when he probably shouldn’t – he spent most of the week in bed and didn’t even want anything to eat apart from the odd bowl of soup until Friday.

So, I cancelled the friends round from school – didn’t think their parents would appreciate them catching the flu after only being back at school for one day – took both the boys out for tea on my own, and even managed his party at Quasar on my own too – that was fun! All this between working flat out at work, school runs, housework and looking after sick husband.

I did my best though and I think youngest son enjoyed himself. Can’t say I didn’t try anyway.

Husband’s better now, apart from a hacking cough which just doesn’t seem to want to pack its bags, and life truly can get back to normal. Thankfully!

Hope everyone's New Year is off to a good start.