Motivate me

In a truly heroic effort I have managed to drag myself to the gym three times this week in an effort get this routine thing that people keep talking about. Since I last went to the gym there’s been a change of ownership and as part of taking over the new owners  have painted/stenciled ‘motivational’ phrases which includes ‘you’re just one workout away from a better mood’.  

Now I know I’m a cynic and ‘motivational’ sayings usually bring out my inner snark (as noted by choice of punctuation around the world motivational) but I don’t know who these actually help, especially as actually dragging yourself to the damn gym in the first place rather than going home to sit on the couch and drink wine like any sane person is the main achievement – it’s not like you’re going to sit in the corner with your book once you’ve got there now is it?  So I think they should be more realistic with their motivation, maybe ‘exercise – it’s like cleaning the house except you can’t take turns with your flatmate’  or ‘exercise – no you can’t pay someone to do it for you’, ‘exercise – stop whining about it you still have to do it.’

Of course it doesn’t help that the making endorphins part of my has faulty wiring and isn’t connected to the recognise that I’ve just done exercise part of my brain.

All this got me thinking about Demotivational posters (which if you haven’t seen you should look at – it’ll kill a decent amount of time if you’re trying to procrastinate) and how I should really write posters for them – maybe I’ll get around to it… one day.

Welcome to 2014

Hello and welcome to 2014!  I hope everyone has had a good Christmas/New Years and enjoyed your holidays if you’ve had one.

As it’s the first day of the new year it’s time to figure out what to change going into the new year – what to throw out and what to keep.

So I’m doing the usual things – starting a diet (5pm on day 1 and I’ve succeeded so far), and looking at where I’m at.  I can safely say that 2013 was a great year professionally, a great year academically, an average year personally and a rubbish year in writing.  I let myself get thrown way too much by disappointments and didn’t make enough time for writing.  I was a busy year – I did complete two papers and have a busy job but I still should have found more time for writing.

So what am I going to do about it?  Well I’ve joined a writing forum on goodreads which has weekly short story contests which will encourage me to write, I’m going to have my re writes of my novel done by the end of January, and I’m going to plot out the rest of the series so I do know exactly where it’s going rather than the vague fuzziness of a rough direction I have now.

If I am not actively trying to get my book published by Easter then I deserve to a bollacking.

And of course I will blog more – I know I’ve said it before but I will commit to at the very least one post a week.  I do have an idea for a fictional blog that has been kicking around in my head for a while so I will try and work out the details of that and get it up and running. Who knows – I may even get around to starting on the King Arthur book I’ve been thinking about for a while.

What it comes down to is writing more and reading more – I’ve read that you need to write everyday and that’s what I’m going to endeavour to do.  If I’m not back here within a week someone send in the heavies to give me a talking to.

When things come together in odd ways.

Hi there, long time no post I know.  At this point I’m like that douche bag ex who comes back and promises that this time it’ll be different  only to disappear for ages, or basically the guy from this song.  I come in, blog, make grand promises to blog more then don’t bother for ages.  But this time it’s different I swear!

So this week was my birthday and I did have a bit of a ‘holy crap, I’m 34′ moment – you know when your life is no where near as together as you think it should be (that’s a whole other post…).  But it does seem that there has been a concerted effort by people involved in some of my favourite things to bring me news of new stuff for my birthday.

It started on my Wednesday – my actual birthday (as opposed to the week long celebration period) the BBC announced the title and poster for the 50th Anniversary episode of Doctor Who (current pop culture obsession) then on Friday it was announced that JK Rowling is writing a script for a new film set in the world of Harry Potter and a second Beatles at the BBC CD is being released with a whole lot of previously unreleased material.

It’s like everyone (or at least people in Britain with decision making in specific areas of pop culture) was working to get me stuff I like for my birthday.  Now they just have to repeat it next year.

Life, work and a cat who’s lost the plot

So I’m back and it’s a Monday so what the hell, let’s try and start a routine…again.

I’ve been dreadful at blogging of late and the main reason I came on here was because google have let the power go to their heads and have gone all ‘evil empire’ on things and my friend who owns an online shoe shop has been hit by a new google program which is supposed to stop spam but is actually stopping a lot of the traffic to her website.  The upshot of this is that she’s having to rework her whole website and get links removed from websites that might be dodgy – like this one apparently.

But since I’m here I may as well update.  I’m into my third week in my new job which is going really well, I’m really enjoying it and it’s interesting and busy and varied and we went out to dinner in my first week!

My cat though seems to have crossed the line into all out crazy though.  He’s always been pretty playful but he’s become obsessed with these little multicoloured pom poms that I bought to doctor a jumper for an ugly jumper day we had at my old work.  I really don’t know why but his reaction to them is like how other cats react to catnip.  I’ll try and get a video of it because it’s hilarious and a complete over reaction.

Return of a rubbish blogger


So clearly I’ve been rubbish at blogging lately and will undoubtedly  be sent to blogger purgatory   having my liver pecked by birds or something.  

So what’s happened in the 6 weeks since I posted? Have I been sitting around in my PJ’s eating toast and watching TV on the net? Actually no! In the last 6 weeks I’ve:

  • Gone to work, and managed not to stab anyone or in fact let loose with a long string of obscenities
  • Blown up my hair straighteners with a very impressive bang.
  • Completed two assignments and there for the paper I’ve been doing despite my extreme indifference and chronic procrastination
  • Bought a new laptop (I’m posting on it now – don’t I seem thinner, lighter, faster and quieter?) 
  • I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time reading stuff about Doctor Who on the net
  • Cooked duck for the first time (very successfully too)
  • Started revision version god knows what of my book.

So you know, I’ve done stuff.  One thing is certain though – I need to get better at regular blogging.

It’s Procrastination time!

So it’s been a while since I’ve done one of these – it’s time to introduce you to some of the wonderful places on the internet where you can while away the hours when you really should be doing something else.

I’m studying again this semester and my essay topics are really really boring.  Now I’m sure most students say that but it actually got so bad that I cleaned my oven, which is by far my least favourite job.

One thing which has been a great form of procrastination has been this game, where you have to name the 75 London Tube stations represented in pictures.  That’s right 75 tube stations.  I swear I spent more time staring at the tube map when I was trying to figure this out than I did during the entire time I lived in London.  I warn you now – you will end up cheating.  You will also end up thinking of random tube stations at random moments.

I have wondered several times exactly how I managed my rampant procrastination as well as my obsession du jour, then I remembered – when I was studying the first time around I lived at home and we 15 hours of dial up internet per month.  This was enough to check emails, do some research and spend a bit of time on the Harry Potter forum I was on at the time. Now I have 80GB per month of broadband, a much faster computer and a lot of stuff to look at online.

Mind you I also remember failing an assignment because the book ‘Into the Wilderness’ was far more interesting than comparative readings about Social Studies education, so there are always distractions to be found.

Writing update, update

So there has been progress of sorts since my last post. It turns out a strongly worded email to the organisers  of the award wasn’t needed, as the snippy email I sent on the previous Saturday was enough to get an actual response.  It didn’t answer all my questions and they were a wee bit lectury and it was very much a ‘I’m sorry you’re upset’ type of apology but in amongst all that, they did admit that they dropped the ball in regards to communication with entrants and there was an ‘administrative oversight’ which I guess is there way of saying yes they didn’t communicate the way they should have and we should have been told what the situation was much earlier.

I’m still not happy, it certainly hasn’t restored my faith in the organisation as a whole, which is a shame as I fully support their goals. However as one of their goals is supporting writers I do find it hard to take the rest of their mission statement seriously.

However I’m over it and I’ve moved on – more or less.  I wallowed and generally felt incredibly crap for a week or so and then had to try and decide where to next.  There are a few things to consider: Firstly other people had given me positive feedback, these same given me constructive criticism (like ‘That ending really doesn’t work’)  but people were generally positive.  Secondly there was a prize on offer and no one was good enough to win, which means that my book is obviously not even close to the level they want, if it was nearly there surely they would have given me the award and told me what to change – that happens as part of the editing process anyway.  Thirdly I love writing, more specifically I love writing fiction, even more specifically than that I believe in my characters and my story; I feel that there’s an audience for Amelia and her troubled journey’s through time.  However I also know a lot of people think they’ve written the next great novel or the next big thing and their manuscripts never see the light of day so this really doesn’t make me special.

This all left me even more unsure than before confused that ever, do I get a manuscript assessment or is that throwing good money after bad?  If my book is 75% of the way there then it would make sense but if it’s a steaming pile of poo then there are a host of other things I could spend $400 odd dollars on.  Luckily I remembered that I actually knew a published author.  Thanks to the wonders of the internet I’ve been a member of an online community  since 2004 though it’s now splintered off into factions (it’s a long story) and am friends with many of the members on facebook (despite the fact that many of them I’ve never met). One such person is a published author and she didn’t mind a novice writer agonising ‘how do you know if your book is ready’ and has very kindly offered to read through my manuscript and give me some feedback.

I have entered my manuscript into the Text Prize which I did before I heard about the result of the Storylines award, however there is absolutely no chance of me winning this because if I can’t win in a New Zealand competition where everyone is rubbish, then there’s no chance in an Australian competition where far more people will have entered.

So I’m not giving up yet, Amelia Stirling will live to time travel another day. I figure that I’ll see what my writer friend has to say, see if it’s worth sinking money into a manuscript assessment make the appropriate changes and then hopefully jump on the ‘rejection go round’ that is trying to get published.  I always knew it was more of a marathon than a sprint and everyone faces pretty major rejection before getting anywhere with this industry, I never factored a situation where nobody is good enough to win when I was mentally preparing myself.