Excuse me while I cough and splutter…

C Mead final logoYip, winter is here, and I have the dreaded lurgy.  I hate being sick, and I have to be the worlds most awkward and worst patient.  I don’t like sitting still – even when I am writing I fidget – and I just want to do the normal chores I have every day to do, but if I do, I end up having a coughing fit, getting light headed and wanting to pass out.  Not a good look if you are home alone!

I had hoped that I would get the opportunity yesterday (being Saturday as I forward write my blog posts), to write some on my taniwha story – but no.  I got up, had a shower, felt great, made breakfast, felt OK, made some chicken soup, hang some washing up, did my hubby’s PAYE and then decided that I could handle much more.  I grabbed my Kindle and commenced reading while my computer downloaded a couple of movies.

I ended up spending the day watching Stupid Crazy Love, The Book of Eli and American Hustle.  Lets just say that Stupid Crazy Love was good, Book of Eli had a curve ball that you didn’t see until the very end and American Hustle was long, but didn’t have a very good hustle at the end.  (Give me the UK version any day where the ending is so complex you laugh because it was so obvious!)

So here I am, on Sunday feeling crappy still, but I need to start doing some writing.  So, what better place to start, than a blog post!

This week is a fairly hectic one for me, as most weeks are, and with being sick, that doesn’t help.  Being sick also has the down side of affecting my moods, and I get desperately cuddly and affectionate, but not for long periods of time (remember fidgety above?).

I need to get my A into gear and start scheduling time to write, read my course material for Mauri Ora and Proofreading and Copyediting course, otherwise nothing is going to get finished.  Right now, I do feel like I am in over my head, but I know I am not.  I just need to put my Kindle Fire down (sob – do I have to?) and do course reading at night.

So how is everyone else’s schedules going?  According to plan?  Or is there a spanner in your works too?

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Priorities

Its May already – come on 2014 – slow down a little!

Funny how priorities change.  At the beginning of the year I had a list of ideas that I wanted to work on, and that involved physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional things.  It involved things like spending time doing what I want to do, and what makes me happy.

At the beginning of the year, I thought that working with kids was what I wanted.  Now I am not so sure.

The school holidays have just ended and so has Camp Nano.  I didn’t get much more written on my Taniwha story this month – things happen, life happens.  My husband and I ended up in Auckland unexpectedly, but made the most of it by visiting with his Dad in Napier for a couple of nights on our way home.

I went for a shakedown tramp up Lake Rotoiti, and took the kids.  Learnt my lesson there.  Youngest son was great – carried 20kg

View from Lake Head Hut

View from Lake Head Hut

pack with little complaint.  The older two – one took a pillow and sleeping bag, the other took a rugby ball.  No warm clothes like they had been warned to do.  I won’t be taking them anywhere again.

So this brings me back to my priorities.  I no longer want to with people who don’t appreciate me.  I want to do things that bring me happiness and joy.  Things that I want to do, like tramping, volunteer work, spending time with friends who encourage and uplift me.

And writing and proofreading is one of them.  A writer friend and I have been in discussion about starting a proofreading business.  I proofread for her and she really likes my work.  I haven’t completed my proofreading course yet – because I really haven’t had time – well I probably have, just haven’t scheduled it correctly.  But I am seriously considering it.  But I want to come up with a name and a pitch that is catchy, eye-catching and interesting.  I don’t want to be Karen’s Proofreading Services – I want something like Book Doc, or SpellWrite.  I also need someone computer savvy to create me a simple pretty logo and webpage.

Oh well, dreams are free I guess.  One day I will be able to do what I want to do, and not have to make everyone else happy in the process.

February… Really?

Where does the time go?  I reckon last year won a gold medal for speed, but this year will be creating its own record too!calendar

So where am I at?  Mentally, in a good space, although I still have ups and downs, but I won’t bore you with those today.

Writing wise – this year is looking quite exciting to me.  I have grand plans.  First of all, I have a new critique partner who is absolutely amazing and I love her so much!  Thanks Deryn Pittar for stepping up when I asked for new critique partners.  I don’t believe any writer can have too many critiquing friends.

Rosalind AllenScarlet Rose – my Who’s that Girl submission has been critiqued and proofread, and now I will have a final read through before I submit it on Saturday 15th February.  I will have it done before then, and probably submitted too, so I have time.

I am also entering a competition, but I can’t say much about it because then it spoils it for the judging.  So lets just say I am super excited about this one.

I also have Taniwha that I want to write – a modern twist on a fairytale – involving NZ.  I have so many ideas and thoughts about this one that I want to get it all planned out before I go insane  😉 – whoops, maybe that is why I keep getting depression!

Also, I have started on Huntress, and sent that through as my final writing assignment, and I got 92%.  It was critiqued by June Colbert who writes fantasy stories for children, and she was quite fascinated by the story idea – and the other two stories that would follow on.

So I have officially finished my Writing Fiction course and started the Copy Editing and Proofreading course – which is quite exciting.  Have done my first assignment ready to hand in, just want to check through it all first.

This year, is my year.  Last year I felt I bumbled my way through, but my husband is behind me this year, he told me that he would help me with self publishing if that is the road I choose to follow.  I am so lucky to have such support.  But I won’t be releasing anything in a hurry.  I have too much writing to do first!

What Do I Want To Do?

pen writingFollowing on from my post last week on Who Am I, I have decided to tell you a little bit about my plans for next year.

This year, I have embarked on a writing course by Courses Direct and I have been enjoying this, although I do need to pick up the pace a bit on this!  I have been thinking a great deal about my writing and where I want to go with it.  And I would like to set up an Indie publishing company at some stage.

So next year, I am looking at doing a course on copy editing and proof reading.  This is something I have been interested in for a while, and I can do this through Courses Direct as well.

I also hope to continue writing and working as a teacher aide, but I want to extend myself a little, and as my depression and antidepressants have really restricted my mental abilities, and I have been unable to concentrate enough to do a more in-depth course, like Psychology(!?!), then doing something that is within my field of interest would be a great way to push myself along.  It will hopefully help with my own writing abilities and skills, but would also lead to taking on freelance work and being able to work from home, and make some extra money.

I also plan to continue writing articles for The Rural.  I have been asked to provide articles on healthy alternatives to cleaning products, and when I investigated my own cupboards at home, I found I have at least 6 books on this already, so I am happy I can come up with something!

I want to cut back on some responsibilities I currently have, like BGAC (Boys and Girls Agricultural Club) and only do the admin side of the show rather than run the Mini-show.  But that might have to be another year, so I can train someone up to take my place.  I will still retain my interests in the Friends of the School for the local school I work at (like a PPTA / PTA but more casual) and KiwiWriters, because these are groups that I am passionate about.

So next year is looking like a busy one, but I can handle that.  I want to start achieving and setting some personal goals for myself, not just writing goals.

Feeling Flat

It is hard with writing sometimes, because you do have periods where you feel flat, where nothing seems to be happening, and that is how I feel today.

Life should be good, I am proofreading, editing, writing, but there seems to be something missing, and the short story I am writing just isn’t coming together like I would like it to.  My goal is to write one a month, so I really need to keep going with it, but I really am not feeling the love!

I could start all over with a new story, but I don’t think that will work either, because there isn’t anything that I want to write about.  i suppose I could start at a different point in the story and see if that makes me more excited…

Having a sneezing fit every 10 minutes, a sore back, a garage that needs emptying so I can put fire wood in it – no wonder I feel pretty damned yucky!  Oh well, life goes on, just have to keep battling on and make a list:

1.  Finish proofreading (only have one story to go)

2. Write 500 words on my short story

3. Clean out the garage when it warms up a little (might enlist the aid of youngest son, 50c mixture goes a long way!)

4. get some editing done.

There, when you break it down like that, it doesn’t seem anywhere near as scary…

Plugging on

It seems to me, that all I am doing at the moment is editing, and little writing.  It is quite a mundane job, editing, but still, my creativeness is being used, otherwise surely I would have become mental by now!

I am working on a short story, and endeavouring to put 250 + words a day on it, but shorts aren’t the same as actually writing 1000+ words a day. 

With editing, I am trying to reduce the number of words in my stories, which seems strange, but a necessary evil, but I have found that having completed the edit of The Journey Home, I have only removed about 3000 words, and so far, with The Quest (even though I am only a quarter of the way through) I have removed 800 words, but I read 47 pages in two days, not a bad effort.

Not only am I editing, but I am also proofreading the galleys of Masters of Horror Anthology – I so love the stories in this book.  And I am not a fan of horror, but my eyes have been opened.  Horror isn’t about gore and blood, it is about what scares you, and there are so many elements in this book that should cater to a wide range of people.

So while I feel like I am not doing much, I can actually see that I am achieving a lot, and will continue to plug on…

Where does the time go?

Things are moving fast in my world at the moment.  Just before Christmas I was wondering what the new year would bring.  Now I am wishing it would all slow down so I can catch up!

Well, I suppose I can drop the “bored housewife” mantle now, because I don’t really have time to be bored.  Between writing, editing, proofreading, keep up with web changes, I am just about backwards, inside out and upside down.

I am part of Triskaideka Books, a small NZ / Canadian press that is going to produce quality Horror / Science Fiction / Fantasy cross genre books, for NZ writers.  We really want to get it into readers and other publishers heads, that NZ can produce quality writers, not just non fiction.  It is exciting times with the Masters of Horror Anthology being the first book off the ranks, which also happens to be the first time I have a story published.  The next book will be from the Editor / Publisher himself Lee Pletzers, and having spent my summer holiday proofreading it, I can tell you that it is quite a book.  Details on when these books are going to be released will be updated here, so keep posted.

On top of that, I am part of KiwiWriters management team (Secretary actually!) and so far have not attended a single meeting.  Not through lack of trying!  Most of the weekends that they plan the meeting, the weather has been fine, and so we go camping.  We are currently setting up a new and improved website and trying to bolster out flagging support for NZ writers.  I want to be one those people who motivate others to write.

Occasionally I work as well, although that has been quiet at the moment.  Would be nice to be a little busier, but then it would interfere with my writing…. mmm, damned if I do and damned if I don’t!  Just can’t win that one!

I have also volunteered my time at the school as a parent helper, plus trying to keep the house, write a new novel, edit another novel, with one in the wings still to go. 

Still, I am happy and content at the moment.  I am not someone who likes to be idle, I prefer to be busy busy busy and keeping my mind occupied.  So if you can think of anything else that I should belong to, please feel free to make the suggestion, not that I will take you up on the offer.