Tuesday, 18 October 2011

A Slow Month

October has been a bit of a slow month writing-wise.  It’s been busy everywhere else with family birthdays and families in general.

I mentioned a few weeks ago that my mum was 70 and we’d planned a bit of a birthday meal with all the rest of the family including her brothers and sister and my own brother who is currently living in Spain.

It was all a bit hush hush and the secret keeping a bit stressful.  It all went OK on the weekend though and she had a lovely time.  We bought her laptop. She’s never owned a computer of her own before so this was a bit of a thrill for her. She’s really gone for it and is now online.  There’ll be no stopping her once she starts!  She’s had a few lessons off me and my other brother, but I’m sure there’ll be a lot more.

My niece was 10 last week too, so we went up again last weekend.  It’s lovely to see all the family so much, but when you’re working all week, it does take a big chunk out of your time.  I seem to spend my life in constant catch up with housework and clothes and making sure the kids are where they are supposed to be at the right times.  There never seems to be much time in the evenings to write and even if I do I’m usually exhausted.

I’ve been trying to concentrate on short stories at the moment and am part of a wonderful on-line writing group called Fiction Addiction.  Their feedback is invaluable in improving my writing but I’m currently trying to re-write a story they critiqued and I’m getting myself in knots over it. I can’t figure out if it’s better or worse.  That’s the thing isn’t it? Your writing can only get better if you do question it but when you do you just end up thinking its rubbish.

I’ve re-read my critique from the RNA for my novel too and now that I have some distance I can see that the criticisms are spot on.  The problem now is how to fix it.  And that’s the hard part and the reason why I’m not making any progress this month.  I just can’t see the wood from the trees.

I’m off now to go and get an axe – I think I need to do a bit of clearance work!

Thursday, 6 October 2011

A Very Frustrating Day

Technology is a wonderful thing – but only when it works.  When it doesn’t it can be very, very trying.

Stupidly I transferred a lot of my work from my netbook onto a memory stick when we went on holiday as I had downloaded a load of dvd’s.  When we got back I didn’t bother putting it back on as I work from different computers and it was much easier just to use the memory stick than to continually move stuff back and forth between the computers – I have little memory myself and get easily confused! 

At the back of my mind I kept telling myself to back up all my work in case I lost the stick but never got round to it.   You know what’s coming next don’t you?

I’ve been working on my husband’s accounts recently – only behind by about 6 months so decided to do it in the dining room, so I could watch / listen to the X Factor.   I’ve worked hard this week on that and amazingly am almost up to date.   But when I was at work yesterday I decided to look at something on my usb in my lunch hour.  Put it this way, I didn’t eat much when I found that the memory was completely empty of files. 

I wracked my brains trying to figure out when I’d last done a back up, how much recent stuff I had printed off and what I was going to lose.  I wasn’t a happy bunny at all and constantly kicked myself all afternoon for not backing up properly.  It doesn’t matter how many horror stories I hear, or even the fact the hard drive on our main computer crashed before now, I still don’t seem to have learnt my lesson.  

Lesson now sunk in – BACK UP! BACK UP! BACK UP!

When I got home I decided to do a test and to my immense relief, it worked on my net book and all my files were there.  I was so happy!   I have now copied all files back onto my netbook as well as on to another memory stick just in case. There must be something wrong with the connection though because it memory stick wouldn’t work on the kids’ laptop either.  Think I will throw it in the bin now!

So sometimes technology is a wonderful thing and sometimes… well there’s just too much of it isn’t there?  In our house we just have too many gadgets and now my son has bought an I-pod touch with his birthday money.  Unfortunately I’m the only one in our house who even has a vague idea of technology so it’s up to me to set them up and deal with any problems when it all goes wrong.  Last night I was trying to set up the Ipod, help son with his homework, drop youngest son off at a class and pick him up an hour later, clean the house, cook the tea and put the ironing away.  Needless to say I didn’t get much of anything done. A very frustrating day indeed.

Anyway, whinge over, normal service to be resumed.  I just can’t wait until the boys get older and can deal with the techno stuff!

Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Recovery!

Well, it’s been a busy few weeks with birthdays aplenty.   Son’s birthday sleepover went without physical mishap so that was good.  On the negative side it was very, very LOUD.  Well, I suppose it’s what you would expect with five 9 / 10 year olds a 7 year old and a 6 year old.  But I’d forgotten just how loud boys can be when they’re en-mass.

Only three slept over other in addition to my two, but I am still struggling to figure out where the “sleep” in sleepover is.   I naively thought that it would be fun for them all to sleep in one room – a downstairs bedroom.  Well, it was fun for them but not for me.   In the end I had to split them up and then stand sentry on the door to prevent one individual from sneaking back downstairs again.   Then at 2.15am three of them woke me up with their noise and I got very cross.  It didn’t make me feel like a very nice person but it had to be done as four of them had football matches the next morning.   I won’t be doing it again in a hurry – or ever if I can help it!   One at a time from now on.

On the Saturday I visited my family and then on Sunday afternoon we took some of son’s friends and his cousin to Crocky Trail.   This is a brilliant place, but as I hadn’t been before I didn’t really know what to expect.   You have to admire farmers in this day and age who do something unusual with their land to bring in some extra income.   The place is full of slides and apparatus for the kids to play on. A particular favourite was Titanic where the slide rose up and then started to vibrate and the kids had to try and stop themselves from falling down.

There is also a trail with swings at various intervals, rope bridges and all sorts of fun obstacles.  As a child my grandfather owned a farm and it really took me back to when we used to sling a rope from a tree to swing on, or roam across the fields.  Kids don’t get enough of that these days.

One of my son’s best friends has his birthday the day following his, and as we are friends with the parents it was nice to be with other adults when supervising kids who are not your own.  We had a really good afternoon and a real giggle too.   The sun shone which was an added bonus.  I’ll post some pics next time if I get a chance to download them.

Last weekend was my mum’s 70th birthday and we went to visit with some of the family.  More about that next time though.