Lucky

Didn’t know what to blog about tonight, but I’ve decided to go for pot luck.

I feel lucky.

I feel lucky because I have a nice, secure home. A roof over my head, that keeps me safe and warm. I can cook, clean, sleep, and all without worries. Yes, this is the result of years of hard work and being careful financially by my husband and I.

I feel lucky because I’ve just gone freelance and totally self-employed and I have work coming in. Yes, this is the result of years of work too.

I feel lucky because I have generally good health, and after a bout of very poor mental health earlier this year, I’ve improved greatly. Yes, this is the result of hard work too – plus the support of a loving family who I couldn’t have done it without.

Luckily, my physical health is improving too.  At the start of the year I couldn’t get up the stairs without getting sore legs and struggling to breathe.  Now I’m fine for that, and taking long walks every time I can. Again, this is because I started taking those walks and I’ve worked hard to keep going.

Oh look, everything I’ve been lucky about has been linked to hard work. And I suspect that’s true of everyone. Well, maybe not the good physical health – pretty sure that’s at least partly genetics, but that means I was lucky genetically too.

I really do feel lucky because I have worked, yes, but I’ve achieved because I have a fantastic husband, great kids, and wonderful friends. They bring me luck. And I thank the stars for each and every one of them.

But it remains true, whoever said it (found references to Thomas Jefferson and Gary Player as well as Samuel Goldwyn): The harder I work, the luckier I get.

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A New Life in My Own Home.

This is a new start in my life in the same home, it’s scary and will be unpredictable. Though this isn’t the big move new start that some people go for, striking out in any venture is always nervy.

This first week is certainly not what I was expecting – in the best way possible.

I was expecting my first week to be an adjustment from office hours, doing some studying to be officially qualified to do the work I’ve been doing for years, taking the opportunity to keep up with the daily walks I’ve been doing for the last few months, and trying to get into some kind of pattern.

Turns out that the pattern I got into was one of working much like I’ve always done, which was a surprise.

First day of non-office work, I was extremely lucky – and I really mean that, I was very lucky – I secured my first direct commission as a structural editor.  And I’m enjoying doing it.

Nicely, because I’m now my own boss, I’m not chained to the desk 8 til 4, and that’s meant that when the weather is dry, I can go out for my walk whatever the time of day.  This is something that’s very valuable to me.  After a very difficult start to the year (I was suicidal), it’s been tough to get back to normality, and walking has helped a lot. That’s why it’s something I very much want to keep up, though the new lockdown here in Wales is going to have some effect, especially as winter comes in and we face more days like today when it just didn’t stop raining.

But a good week, I’m pleased with the way it’s gone, and I’m looking forward to many more like it.  And now I’m off to start editing again.

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First Day of the Rest of My Life

With all that’s happened this year, then being put at risk of redundancy, I decided to take the opportunity to radically alter my life. I’ve taken the redundancy and am not looking for a new full time position. I’m going to concentrate on my writing and editing. This decision was easy to make, but it’s be hard at times to believe in myself and what I’m doing. Yesterday changed that.

I have now had one day of not working (Friday).  It’s be weird and wonderful.

Started the day with a message that the quote I’d given on Thursday evening had been accepted, so I sent out the invoice accordingly and now have my first commission in my new freelance editing life. 

Then I went out for a walk, this has become quite a thing for me, and I’m using The Conqueror Events virtual challenges to keep me motivated and moving (Currently along Hardian’s Wall).  Yesterday I went to the Mumbles and had a walk through the town, then along the coast up to the turn for Langland.  It was lovely, long and I got to see seals?  Never seen them locally before. Though they aren’t very obvious on the photos, there were six of them.  Is this a pod? A family?  Not sure what the collective noun for a group of seals is.

In case you can’t see them, the sixth slipped into the water as I took the shot.

When I came home, I realised that I needed to send a blurb to my publisher, which I did, and then I got an amended contract, confirming that they want the last two books in my steampunk series. So that’s a relief and something more to look forward to.

Added to all this, over the last week, I also got the cover image for my next crime book, so now I have promotional articles to write for that. And I’ve taken on the role for local convener for a writers association. 

All in all, this not working lark has proved busier than when I was working. 

Just to add the cheery on the top of my day, yesterday I stepped on weighing scales – always a risk I know, but I did it – and I’ve lost half a stone in about 3-4 weeks.  Happy bunny.

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Best Foot Forward

I recently started a virtual walking challenge, and I’ve been doing quite well, averaging over 5km a day, but today’s been a bit of a wash out.  The weather is so poor I did a quick walk, but the rain decided to lash down and I got soaked, so only 2km done today. 

Need to find a way to resolve that around the house, because, let’s face it, the weather is only going to get worse from here on in.  Was hoping that the WiiFit would help, but the balance board has been refusing to couple with the machine for several weeks now, so that’s a no go. Toyed with the idea of replacing it with a Switch and Ring Fit, but don’t have the spare cash at the moment.

So really I’m being a bit whiny here, because if I really wanted to exercise, I could go up and down the stairs a few times, or get a fitness DVD on, or get the step thing from under the mountain of rubbish in the cupboard. 

Only I’m not doing any of those things. 

Why?

Because I am so damn cold from the getting wet, I can’t face a moment of choosing a DVD let alone ages of clearing a mountain of rubbish.  So instead, I’m going to sit with a hot water bottle and hope I warm up eventually.

Tomorrow will be a better day.

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Good Day

Today has been a good one.  Had a nice long lie in. Got up about 11, then at 3 we made time for those special three words.

All Day Breakfast.

Sausage, bacon, black pudding, fried mushrooms, baked bean, and of course toast.

This is not a healthy breakfast, even when it replaces lunch. But it’s not something we do often.  In fact the last time we had a full cooked breakfast was September last year. So as a one off treat – it’s fab.

Also though today, I’ve been working on my WIP.  This is now coming together nicely. I’ve managed five thousand words today, that’s my best in a long time.  And I’m not finished yet.

Yes, a good day all round.

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Daily

Started this daily blogging because of feeling low and with lockdown, it was something regular to focus on. I’ve noticed that now I’m feeling mentally better, and I’m back into the swing of writing, that I’m missing days because I’m just so busy that I forget to blog. I’m also finding that after a full day of computer work, I want to turn it off more of the evening.

So, as lockdown starts to lift, which will mean I’ve even more things to do, I am going to keep blogging, but not feel bad if I miss a day or two.

Today has already been busy, I had to go out to take parcels to be returned to Amazon (weird thing is I think the Amazon depot is actually closer to me than the drop off point), and gone to a the supermarket, as well as deciding not to go into another shop because the queue outside in the rain was too long. Got writing, ironing and family stuff to fill the rest of the day with.

I am glad lockdown is starting to ease, but the only place I really want to go is 80 miles away, to visit our son. I’m not sure if things have eased that much, especially since it means crossing the Welsh-English border.

I am looking forward to tonight, though. We’re having chicken wings and homemade pizza and watching “EuroVision”. While I would generally avoid a Will Farrell film like the plague, I’ve heard good things about this one, and am prepared to give it a go.  This is also the reason for the early blog today.

Have a good weekend, all.

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Too Fast

The days go too fast!

Only now am I seeing that I didn’t blog last night, that’s because I’ve been busy and tired.  I am finally making some headway with my WIP.  I know the story order and I am now moving through it start to finish. By being more logical about what can and can’t happen, what characters would or wouldn’t know at these various points is clearing the path so I can see where I’m going. Also by doing this, I’ve realised that there is a whole new thread that I need to weave in, and it’s a good one.

I think that one of the reasons I’m struggling so much with actually writing this book is because as it’s the series finale it draws together a lot of the threads from the earlier books. I’m conscious that it’s possible that a reader won’t have read those books, which means I have to do a fair amount of explanation. The problem is balancing that with the readers who have read the previous books, who don’t want to be bored.

Luckily, I have two characters who alternated books, so they can ask if something comes up that they don’t know about. I also have a third character who starts the book without his memory, and gradually regains it through the journey of the book, so I have ways to show the past, I just need to avoid data-dumps. They’re boring to read and as bad to write.

So that’s where you’ll find me at the moment, sitting and writing, and it’s great to be back in the swing of things again.

Oh, and on the natural health side. I’ve restarted the multivitamins, minerals and high-level iron, as a result my skin is clearing up again and I’m feeling generally better.

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Macaron

Macaron Basics Part 2: The French Method | The Cake Merchant

I just said something it never occurred to me I might actually say. 

“Macarons are on my bucket list of baking.”

Weird things to say, but, also, it’s true.  I like baking, don’t bake often, but I like doing it.  Now, macarons are something that I’ve been thinking of making for many years and just never got around to trying. But I will.

Right now I’m watching Bake Off: The Professionals, and I am stunned each week how good those guys are – even the ones who end up going home. 

And it’s chocolate week.  So, you know, bye!

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Bleurgh

Didn’t post last night, because I was trying to write blurbs for my steampunk series. It didn’t go well.  There are five books, and I’ve only got two decent blurbs, and even those aren’t great.

The tighter a piece of writing has to be, the more difficult it is.  I need to get at least the first two to the publisher asap, but I’m not happy with them.  So, you’ll have to excuse me I really need to get these sorted.

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Van Trip

Today’s been better.  After all the stir crazy, we managed to go out in the van and park by the shore. Though we couldn’t go far between the many showers, it was good to be away from the house and in more fresh air.

I’d packed a picnic, we had soda cans in the fridge, gala pie, cocktail sausages, apple pies and lots of other good things.  So, we had plenty of supplies and were about to stay out for five lovely hours of not being at home. More importantly, we had a toilet in case of getting caught short. 

It was definitely a great way to go out in splendid isolation.

The pic is with my hubby, and daughter, and I was trying to wave at the camera, which is the weird hand position, and oh my God the fat! Still, also, the happy.

And what was good, I managed to work out the rubbish in my latest WIP, that’s what the board on my lap is.  It’s part of a puzzle board that I was sticking scraps of paper to. The scraps were scene details and I was putting them in an order that makes sense.  I also read 35 pages of “The Invisible Man” which I am finding difficult to get through.

A good day really.

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