Friday, 30 November 2012

Reviewing My Year...

Do you take time to seriously look at how you've done each year? And I don't just mean waiting until January the 1st and making resolutions-they usually don't last long...

Early December is my writing assessment time - if it's not been done earlier in October/November.

Reviewing the Writing Year
I've found looking at what's worked, and what's not gone as I'd hoped, is useful.

So last year (2011) I'd only achieved 2 of my 4 targets, that I'd set myself in late 2010; so I didn't do more than make general plans.

Here's what I decided I wanted for 2012:

 So I'm going to be getting on with my novella for the remainder of the year.

This coming Saturday I'll be at Sally Quillford's Pocket Novel workshop, which I'm looking forward to and I'm sure I'll learn a lot.

Hopefully next year will be more productive.

Did I keep to any of them?

I attended the Pocket Novel workshop and enjoyed it very much. I was reassured that I'd understood the requirements, and it did make me look at a few aspects in a different way, which I've taken into my other writing.

I also came home with another couple brewing in my head.

Yes, I've been working on the novella. Not as much has been done as I'd hoped, but I'm finally getting on with it.

Has it been productive?


I completed the revisions of the short story that I intended to send to Woman's Weekly. I sent it, and a few days off the four months received the standard rejection letter. But I actually got it sent off this year.
In the New Year it will be getting another look over and being sent off elsewhere...

A previously abandoned One Word Challenge Anthology book began a new life as an e-book project, and finally became available for purchase mid-November. I have contributions in it, and Serena does too.
So that was something I hadn't anticipated happening this year...

(You'll be able to read about the anthology by the Talkback Writers in the January 2013 issue of Writing Magazine-possibly with photos of some of the contributing writers included.)

I've got the basics of a few other projects which are in line for future development and writing up- some full length, others probably novella length.

I read some of my flash fiction to an audience at the Fringe at the Ship event in Lowdham in June.

Last week I did a slot on local BBC Radio promoting the 'One Word Anthology' with a fellow contributor (Catherine Dalling).

The past six months have shown me what I'm happiest doing, and what the best system of writing is for me personally.

I have my office area- that was just something on my wish list last year.

And Serena Lake has finally made her debut, quietly...

That is a lot more than I'd decided on last year.

Now I need to consider what I want to aim for in 2013, but I've been so busy that I haven't even thought about it yet. But I will.

image courtesy of Danilo Rizutti /

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Back to Normal - Almost...

I'm glad to say I'm now fully online again, so will be catching up over the next few days.

Only when you lose your internet use, do you realise how much you use it for.

My OH did let me use his little netbook, but it couldn't cope with sites that had lots of graphics and pages with adverts on- I couldn't do anything until the page was loaded and it was so much slower than I'm used to...

My computer has had a couple of replacement parts, so I got an IP address again (my computer lost it's identity at the weekend along with my internet access) but it still didn't work.

The technical experts at my ISP (internet service provider) did a brilliant job, despite being on the less usual solutions stage.

And the answer to my problems?

Apart from adjusting settings and typing in codes to get it to do specific things, it improved after uninstalling the computer's security package, and replacing it with an alternative- internet access was immediately restored.

I'd done quite a few standard checks before I rang anyone; run the diagnostics on my computer, checked wires and connections and the old favourite of turning the router off, then on; turning the computer off and then back on, clearing cookies, browser history, cleaning the disk.

I have a basic housekeeping routine for my computer each week to keep it running happily, and it is something everyone should do regularly- and you can set your computer to defragment your files once a month.

I'm just glad there was someone on the other end of the phone who could eventually solve my problem, when the initial work didn't resolve the issue.

Have to say I can see the advantages of wi-fi, but even that doesn't protect you from security updates
upsetting your computer...

A big thank you to all who left comments on my previous post- they helped retain my sanity when I was getting upset and annoyed at the numerous phone calls and brick walls I kept facing in trying to get back to normal.

Now, I'm going to catch up on what's been going on in the writing world ready for my weekend post...