Saturday, 5 November 2011

Just write the words!

So It's November and that means NaNoWriMo.

This year I'm mentoring 6 newbies and being a 'precense' in the chat room. I'm getting asked a lot of questions about peoples works and I'm finding more and more that I'm answering them the same way every time. But these questions aren't just limited to NaNo work, they come up time and time again with a lot of writers. So here, for you're assistance is my answer to just about every issue you will ever have when writing a first draft:

JUST WRITE THE WORDS!

Seriously.

Should my book have a prologue? - Doesn't really matter where you start it just start it and write the words.
Should I name my chapter 'x' or 'y' - Doesn't really matter, you can edit it later. Just write the chapter.
Can I mention 'this'? - An agent will give you a definite answer when you get that far, for now just write it and worry about it later.
Should my epilogue be from the perspective of 'z' or 'w'? - Which feels better to you right now? Go with that and you can always use it as an outline and edit it later.
How should my character respond to 'that'? - How should I know? Write something, you can edit it later if you think it's wrong then.

I plotted and planned my first NaNo novels to an almost OCD, level this year I'm just writing in 2000 word chunks and not really caring how it turns out. The section I'm working on right now, for example, is completely rubbish, I know that. But it is words and it does give me something to work with later. And that is all that actually matters at this stage.

Editing is for after the first draft is done. So if you're thinking 'Should I change this?' and you're not done yet, I'm going to go with 'no' as my answer. Mark it if you like but don't touch it till you've finished writing everything. Seriously, inner editors should be banned completely from first drafts.



And yes, I may be a little fed up with people thinking they need to get the first draft absolutely perfect, you can't so stop trying, just write the words and edit it later.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Thoughts on NaNo this year.

So NaNoWriMo is fast approaching and plot bunnies are gathering around my feet (Quite literally actually as I'm crocheting a load for my region). But that leaves one big question, which bunny to follow? Which rabbit hole to fall down this year?

The sensible part of my brain says to split the 50k between The List and a bunch of short stories. A less sensible part says to try to write 30 short stories in 30 days. An even less sensible part says to take the shiny new idea that just arrived and run with it. 

The first option does make more sense. Yes, it might make counting up the words a bit harder and it won't be NaNo in the strictest sense, but shouldn't I finish at least the rough of The List before I start on anything else? Then again, what if I find jumping back and forth too difficult and give up completely? I could try to finish The List and then write short stories I suppose.

The second option is my favourite. Technically I could still write scenes from The List and count them but I could also experiment with my shiny new idea and a few other things lurking around in my head. It'll be a challenge but it'll be one that starts fresh each new day so I might be more likely to finish it.

The third option is just plain stupid. I haven't done enough any research, I have no characters, it's all a vague idea based on the title of some Lifetime Movie. It could all go horribly wrong within the first few thousand words.

Oh I don't know. Maybe the second option is the best idea. Maybe I'll wake up on November 1st and do something completely different. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

Friday, 7 October 2011

Opps...

Are you impressed? 2 blog posts in 2 weeks. It's like a record.

So far I've been able to stick to my plan of studying a little each day and writing a little each day. Well, okay, I did nothing yesterday but I've done twice as much today so still on track.

I do have one little issue though. Well, I say little, it's about 50k and takes 30 days and had you asked yesterday I'd have said there was absolutely no way I was getting involved in it this year. Can you guess?
That's right, somehow I'm doing NaNoWriMo again this year. Except not only am I going to be attempting it again, I seem to have accidentally volunteered to assist the ML for my area*. She asked for help and I said I would if she could think of a way that didn't involve me leaving the house, I fully expected her to say she didn't think there was anything. Oh well, not the first time I've accidentally volunteered for something and I doubt it'll be the last, it's a habit I have for not liking to see people get stressed when helping them isn't really going to be that much work. Except, of course, this now means I have to actually 'do' NaNo, which tends to require a plot of some kind, or at least a general idea.
I had been toying with the idea of doing 30 short stories, one for each day but might cut it down to 15 and split my words between that and finishing last years NaNo which is still missing bits we shall see.

Anyone else doing a NaNo novel this year?


*If you have no idea what I'm talking about please go here.

Monday, 26 September 2011

Planning for a year.

Shiny new student planner is now looking rather full for next year. Either I'm slightly insane to be attempting to tackle so much plus a baby or ... well let's face it, I'm slightly insane. Would you like a look at how my diary has filled itself?

First I put in all the hospital dates I currently have booked, those are important. Then I added in all the birthdays and anniversaries that I need to keep track of in an attempt to not forget them or to be sitting the day before my parent's 25 wedding anniversary thinking "Opps, I was supposed to send a card already" (Not that I'm currently doing that... no, not at all :/).

The I headed over to OpenLearn, a website linked with my university (Open University) that offers free, internet-based cut down sections of courses. No tutors, no assignments, no recognition, just the materials and a student forum to chat to others doing the same course. I ended up with a list of 14 courses I wanted to do. Some are cut down versions of courses I've actually already taken as full length tutor lead modules but I'd like a refresher. I then took note of how many study hours each took and worked out an order to do them all in. Here's the list of courses in order:

Learning how to learn
Reading
Reading and note taking
What is good writing?
Approaching prose fiction
Parenting
Writing what you know
Start writing fiction *
Reading Great Expectations
Introducing the Classical world
Improving learning performance
Extending and developing thinking skills
Reading evidence
Essay and report writing

As you can see there's a kind of system here, some general learning courses, some writing courses then more intense learning courses. In theory, taking 1 hour 20 minutes 3 times a week, this list should take less than a year to complete and that included time off for holidays. We shall see though.

Then I had to add in a few extras, I really want to improve my basic maths skill so I have a mental maths book and 2 other workbooks to get through doing a few pages each week. I also never learned cursive writing so tend to print when I write rather than joining up my letters. I have a handwriting book to work through to help with that.

Then I decided that 200 words a day of writing was totally do able (though I did put it down to 100 for Jan-Mar due to baby) so I wrote that in too. And blog posting needs to get done so I've scheduled in updates to my personal blog on a Monday and this blog on a Friday starting from the first week in October.

I'm still debating whether or not to add housework to my lists just to remind myself to do it. Might add it for the first few months and see how it goes, I figure the more I have written in my 'to-do' section the more likely it is to get remembered than if I cross off the studying stuff and think I'm done for the day when there's bathrooms to be cleaned and soup to be made.

There you go, one rather full looking year. Except I doubt that what I've written in will take more than 3 hours each day if it even takes that so maybe I'm not as insane as first thought.
Right now I have an essay due on Friday, 2000 words on the uses of Roman villas - thrilling stuff so I should be working on that rather than making this long post any longer.


*Stay tuned for more announcements on this one early next year. It's a course I've done in full before and I have an interesting plan for it this time around.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

My planner.

This arrived in the mail yesterday:


Shiny new student planner. It has your typical homework diary bits but also blank timetables, finance sheets, useful websites, address pages, information on common spelling mistakes. Load of useful little bits. There's a page from my old one stuck to the fridge because it lists what counts as a portion of fruit or veg.

I've already gone through and added in the last few dates for the course I'm currently doing and all the important birthdays and hospital appointments I have. So now I get to sit back and fill it with fun stuff. Open learn courses I want to do, competitions I want to enter, when I need to post new blogs, that kind of thing. Hopefully (if I don't loose it in a cupboard like I did the last one) it'll keep me a lot more organised and things will actually get done. I just need to work out how to get everything into the diary in a sensible order.

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

More news, decisions etc.

Yes yes I abandoned you again, I'm sure you're used to it by now.

Anyway, the big news and the reason I've been hiding away and not posting is because I've been ill. Close to 17 weeks of illness in fact. 17 weeks and 3 days to be precise and I know that because the little app on my phone tells me this is how many weeks pregnant I am.
That's right folks, I'm growing a human!

I have really low blood pressure and a tendency to urine infections so it's not been an easy 17 and a bit weeks and writing really hasn't been anywhere near the front of my mind. Well, except for when I'm supposed to be writing assignments and would rather be doing anything else. I'm getting very tired very quickly (sleeping for 10-12 hours most nights and napping in the afternoon) so you'll have to bear with me. However, I have made a few decision which affect this blog and my writing and all that sort of stuff that you actually want to know about.

Studying
I have a wonderful love/hate relationship with my studying right now. When I get an interesting topic I love it, when the topic is boring or I have to write another stupid essay I hate it. So that combined with future babyness means I'll be taking a break once this course is done (End of September) for about a year. Sort of. I'll be reading over all the bits from this module that I've skipped so that I can actually say I've completed it and to get my moneys worth from it. I'll also be doing a few Open Learn (Read: free) courses mainly on study skills, writing and future course related things. Stay tuned for more on this as I have a plan that get's you guys involved too.

Writing
This has been put on a break for now. Partly because I'm STILL waiting on Race getting back to me about TL and it's future and partly because I haven't had the energy to sit at a computer and type for any length of time (I've mainly been watching TV or reading stuffs). After this September my plan is to scour the internet for some competitions, probably just flash fiction and short stories and try some of them out for size. I'm not out to win vast quantities of money, just get a bit more writing done and hopefully a deadline and an incentive will help that. So if you hear of any interesting competitions over the next year let me know.

Blogging/Vlogging
Vlogging wont be happening unless someone asks for something specific. Editing has to be done on the huge desktop computer with it's uncomfy chair and it can take ages. I did enjoy vlogging but I doubt anyone will miss it.
Blogging may become more frequent, hopefully it will but you'll need to give it time to get there. If you're interested in my personal life rather than just my writing life then tough, if I don't know you enough for you to already have my personal blog address you're not likely to be getting it any time soon. This blog will be solely for writing stuff, with obviously an odd mention of private stuff if it needs to be made public (like in January when this baby is due).

I think that covers everything. At the very least I'll be posting at the end of September when my module finishes but until then I can't promise anything.

Monday, 4 July 2011

Excitement!

All has been quiet here for a while and there is a reason for that (mainly sickness, blargh). However, After my next assignment gets handed in (it's due in a week so I should probably get started) I'll have a bit more free time on my hands and thus will be able to post more and do that other thing more... you know... write.

Still waiting on Rachel Mercaldo reading the rough of The List for me so if you see her, prod her for me, but I plan to get back into it anyway. I may also start the Monday writing challenges again so keep an eye out for them.

Anyway, I'm sure I had more news but the art of Benin is calling me so I should go grab some food and do some studying.

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

This war was not going well.

She was dead, he knew even before they found her.

He had always been told people looked peaceful when they died, but she didn't. You couldn't mistake her for asleep with the terror still painted across her face. He stepped forward to close her eyes, careful to avoid standing in the blood pooled around her. A cough stopped him before he touched her. He looked up to see a shadow shake it's head. He breathed. He stepped away from her, her eyes still staring into the dark but he couldn't give anyone a reason to suspect he'd been there.

He turned away from her, ignoring the instinct that told him to stay with her. He'd gotten good at ignoring that instinct, he told himself she would have died sooner if he hadn't. The truth was she wouldn't have died tonight if he'd listened to it tugging at his heart to stay home and protect her. A shadow solidified beside him, a hand rested on his shoulder and then disappeared back into the darkness as he walked away from the young girls body. He paused, at the end of the alley and whispered, "Goodbye sister," and then he was gone, swallowed up by the night as he headed back to the manor.

Had anyone stayed to watch they would have noticed a small spark of light, a short distance from the body, and a tell-tale smell of sulphur as a messenger headed back to report to it's master.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Re-reading Harry Potter (or becoming a critical reader)

Before we got married I discovered that J had never read the HP series, not any of it. I also discovered that reading to him is a good way to get him to sleep when he's stressed. Thus I began reading a little to him most nights. Usually I only get through a page or so and he's asleep so about a year later we're only just arriving at Hogwarts in 3rd year.

Now when I read, I read for pleasure and I don't care what I read, it takes some pretty poor writing or a really bad story to make me want to give up on a book. I tend not to care for the most part about bad writing as long as I can get lost in the story, I don't even tend to notice horrible sentences or vast amounts of telling or any of the other things that would make a book 'bad'*. Which is why this re-reading of the HP series has me totally confused (and on more than one account screaming at the book).

Maybe it's because I'm reading it out loud and so focusing on the words and sentences more, maybe it's because I'm a bit more used to spotting bad* writing, or maybe the writing in the books is bad but I get to caught up in the story to notice it normally. Doesn't matter. Main point is that these books, which I've re-read every year since the came out, are driving me nuts and I'm really not enjoying them.

The end of book 1 has a part where we're given Harry's thoughts, the first and only time that happens in that book. It's kind of jarring. It doesn't happen often in the rest of the series, and that's the most jarring example of it but every time it comes up and you get a "'I should do this now' thought Harry " moment, it makes me pause for a moment. I might be wrong but I think the rest of the book is written in 3rd person, why suddenly jump to first?**

Book 2 has some wonderful repetition going on in it where we're told what certain characters are doing over and over (the Weasley twins pushing Harry's trunk).

Book 3 has the trio put there trunks in an empty carriage of the train, get off the train, get back on and hunt again for an empty carriage eventually finding one that just happens to have their trunks in it (Oh, and Lupin). I screamed so much at that I woke Jeff up.

I could go on but I wont. Part of me is annoyed that these books have now become kind of tainted for me, I'll probably still read them again at some point but I'm not sure I'll get the same enjoyment from them. And part of me is proud that I'm finally spotting bad* writing and hoping it will make a difference in my own writing.



*'bad' objectively speaking, everyone's view of what makes a book bad is different.
** Well aware I could have this wrong, I get my viewpoints confused all the time, I once wrote an essay in 3rd person objective when it should have been in 2nd person.

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

TEASER!

Here, for the first time in a looong time is a short teaser from The List. enjoy :)


I lifted the scissors, my intention had been to return to the flowers but he looked so terrified that I just stood there holding them while he continued. “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have said those things, they obviously upset you and that’s not right.” My dad took that moment to arrive home from work and walk through the kitchen to get a drink. Nathan and I froze in silence. As dad was leaving he called over his shoulder, “Sweety, don’t threaten with scissors, use the big knives instead.” Nathan stared at my father’s retreating back, a look of total shock on his face.


What? I said it was short.

Friday, 13 May 2011

Bit of a re-vamp!

You may have noticed that the site address has changed, as has the title and a few other bits and pieces around the place. I'm having a bit of a re-vamp with things. I went through and changed everything away from FICWrites and a lot of stuff away from AbsentNormality as well. Both still exist but in very limited forms.

I've also finished reading over the 33k that currently makes up The List and hope to get back to working on that soon. Thinking I might aim for writing for a few hours every Friday to start with and go from there. That does mean that if I write something on Friday I can possibly tease on a Tuesday. Possibly.

That's it for now. Shall hopefully post again next week.

Friday, 15 April 2011

Slowly coming back.

Slowly I'm making my way back into the blogosphere, slowly I'm making my way back to writing and slowly I'm getting my life to resemble something that doesn't make me feel like a waste of space.

Since I last posted I've moved house, spent a terrifying day in hospital (which left me with an awesome bruise on my arm and some sad news but I am okay now, just a little tired and emotional), I've learned to crochet, gained a sister-in-law and made some headway in deciding what to do once my current university module is over.

I've also been spring cleaning, both the house (in a 'why on earth do I still own this, chuck it out' kind of way) and my blog dashboard. So I now only follow 15 blogs and even that number may drop in a few weeks. I felt a bit guilty about this when I started clearing them out as I figured I should be following everyone who's following me. Then I realised that your reasons for following a blog may be different from my reasons for following someone and really I don't have time to read the 30-odd blogs I was following never mind reply sensibly to any of them. So 15 it is for now.

Not much more to say. I would promise a book review on Monday but we'll see how I feel when we get there.

Monday, 7 February 2011

So apparently we're moving.

The day after my last post my husband came home and announced that the landlord would not let us extend our lease, she wants to reclaim the property. So we have 2 months to find somewhere else to live. This would be made easier if we knew where husband was going to be based for the next while. He's going to talk to his boss at some point this week and then I might well be phoning my aunt to get advice on buying a house. See this being a grown-up? Sucks at times.

Now, I promised a book review of Zombies vs Unicorns but it really needs a post of it's own to do it justice so instead have a bit a found in my story box this morning. You'll just have to guess where it's from because even I'm not sure (not to self :Untitled1 is a bad file name).

I signalled Vladimir to come closer, I had to tell someone what the Commissioner General was planning and he seemed like the best choice, even if I didn't fully trust him. Split followed us outside so I sat on the wall glaring at him till Vladimir got the hint and sent him back inside. Slowly I started to explain what had happened at the robbery, keeping my voice low in an effort to keep it steady. Despite my efforts he must have worked out how worked up I was because he pulled me to his chest stopping me before I could explain about Tom and Sam. He wrapped his arms around my and gently asked if Steff and I had been hit by the beam. I tensed, "We were busy saving lives," I said, hoping the dodged truth didn't shine through. His posture changed, I wondered if he had heard what he wanted to hear. He stepped away from the wall pulling me to my feet, he wrapped my arms around his back, "Hold on tight." I had barely got a grip when we took to the air. This wasn't like jumping, I had no control over this. This was flying, pure and simple. I moved my head to look up at Vladimir, he ginned down at me so I looked away again watching the rooftops float by. "I don't always have to transform to take flight," he said and I wondered how we came to be exchanging deadly secrets when before we had only tolerated each other for Steff's sake. Flight was a way more useful Taint than jumping and very uncommon, if the Commissioner General ever found out Vladimir would be taken in or eliminated for sure.

We touched down a moment later and I released my grip, thanking him with a smile. I took him inside to meet Sam and Tom and let them explain their story. As everyone chatted I studied Vladimir, he seemed genuinely concerned about the guys. Maybe Steff was right and he could be trusted. I leaned closer to him and whispered, "Do you want to know what I can really do?" "Oh yes please." The voice came from behind me, right from the mouth of the Commissioner General himself. I turned back to Vladimir, an apology in my eyes as I said in my best stroppy voice, "I can walk away from here and back to a normal life." I moved before the Commissioner General and his goons could stop me, pushing through the door at the back of the bar and bumping into Raven. I must have sounded pissed when I asked where Steff was because she actual answered me for once. I headed out to the courtyard where a concerned Tink told me Steff was up on the wall before I had even opened my mouth to ask. That was how I knew I'd find her with at least 3 bottles. I was just pulling myself up beside her when the Commissioner General appeared, damn that man could move fast. "Why not jump?" He asked, his grin betraying what he really meant. "I'm tired," I snarked back taking a bottle of White from Steff who was eyeing the Commissioner General with as much mistrust as her drunken state would allow.

Monday, 31 January 2011

Vanishing act.

I know, I vanished, again. You're probably getting fed up of that by now.
You may have noticed me mention that I had been ill since New Year? Well it kind of all came to a head last weekend. I've spent most of the last two weeks in bed or curled up on the sofa under the spare quilt. And given that my Uni course starts in 5 days, my priority is to be ready for that rather than getting back into my blogging/tweeting/vloging/AWing swing.

Wednesday I'll try to give you a video and a sensible blog post, Friday I'll post an extract from The List and Monday I'll be reviewing a book my wonderful husband bought me for Christmas called Zombies vs Unicorns. Keep an eye on the Twitter if you want to know how things are going, I'll try and keep it a bit more up to date.

Thank you for sticking around (if you have) and I apologise once again for my wonderful vanishing act.

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Matched by Ally Condie

I picked this book up just after Christmas and read the whole thing on New Years Eve. I hadn't even finished it and I was recommending it to Race.

Matched features an MC called Cassia who lives in this 'perfect' world where everything from who you marry to where you work and when you die is decided by the Society. On her 17th birthday, Cassia attends her Match Banquet where she finds out who the Society has decided she is to spend the rest of her life with. It turns out to be a boy she knows, Xander. Yet, when she tries to view the files the Society give her about Xander, it is not his face which appears on the screen, but that of someone else she knows, Ky. For the rest of the book Cassia tries to decide between Xander, who the Society have chosen and Ky who's face she saw by mistake and then starts to become closer too.

The Society have tried to make everything perfect for it's citizens, unfortunately this leave the world feeling a little bland which is also reflected in the writing. After the Match Banquet there isn't really another time where as much attention is paid to the details of the scene. Which kind of lets it down a bit and in places makes things hard to visualize. Though I can sort of understand why it might have been deliberate to leave out any descriptions and thus enhance the blandness of the world the Society has created.

Featured in the book is a poem by Dylan Thomas called "Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night." which speaks about raging against the inevitable which is kind of what Cassia tries to do for the whole book. She breaks a lot of rules to get to know Ky better and forces her friends to break rules for her too. Whether it actually makes a difference is hard to say. The ending of the book isn't very strong, it is book one of a trilogy and it does leave it very open. However, I think the story might have been stronger if the Condie had been forced to write it as a stand alone.

I did enjoy the story, I seem to be developing a thing for dystopia, and it wasn't like anything I'd ever read before. I would recommend it but not everyone will like the blandness of the text and the slight predictability of the plot, it does after all feature one girl and two guys and we all know she's not going to pick the one someone else chose for her, and certainly not in the first of three books.


EDITED TO ADD:
I've just re-read this and i think it's possibly the harshest review I've ever written. And yet I loved the book completely. Yes, some might find it bland, but I was too caught up in it to notice. Yes, some might find it predictable, but if you read a lot everything becomes predictable. You should have seen me bounce when I heard this was one of three. I am soo looking forward to reading more of Ally Condie's work.

Monday, 10 January 2011

Lots of stuffs

So I missed Friday and I honestly can't remember why since I don't think J or I did very much that day. Shall we start with the info about The List I promised?

This week I've started work on it again, I estimate it's between 15 and 20k from being finished so am giving myself 2 weeks to get that all done. Then it will just be a case of sorting it into the right order and starting the fun process of editing! I'm going to pretend I'm looking forward to that and maybe I'll convince myself that it really won't be that bad. Editing is hard, you should see what happens when I edit essays... there are many tears there. And I don't even care about the essays, The List is my baby.
*deep breath*
It'll be fine when we get there.

Now, I mentioned last week that I'm planning a little competition. This will be a special competition related to The List so, you know, can't take place till I at least finish the first draft. It will take place EITHER when I reach 30 subscribers OR after the first round of The List edits. This competition will be special for 2 reasons, one being the way it will be awarded (more on that when it starts) and the second being the prize. This competition will be to award one lucky person the first ever read through of The List before any other beta readers get hold of it. Sound good? Stay tuned because that may well be happening at the beginning on next month.


Now Mondays are normally book review day but I have cut two of my knuckles making typing difficult so you will have to wait until Wednesday for my review of Ally Condie's Matched.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

My Study

There was supposed to be a video to go along with this but technical difficulties felt otherwise inclined to let you have one.

Our new house (apartment really) has a spare bedroom. This room houses, surprisingly, a single bed and an extra single mattress for guests who might want to stay. It also houses my pet finches, the book case for my course books and a desk. Oh and usually at least one rack of clothes fresh out the wash and trying to try in the warmest room in the house.
It's a bit multi-purpose, it's a bit cramped at times and it smells a bit funny most of the time but I lovingly refer to it as 'my study'.

I have a tiny desk with my tablet and a printer on it. I have drawers full of pens, pencils, notepads and assorted stationary. I have a widow, I have birds to watch. What more could I possibly want? It is from here that 3 times I week I'll be posting from and hopefully here that 5 times a week I'll be writing. I'll also be studying and job hunting from here as well and generally surfing the net.

It's nice to finally have a specific place to do these things as I get a whole lot more done than if I sit in the lounge. It seems like I need to have a purpose if I'm in the study. Hopefully this means more writing will be done and we'll be on to edits soon.
Do you have a set place to write and work? Is it as multi-purpose as mine?
Stay tuned for some List news and a competition tease on Friday.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Obligatory New Year post

Yes, I know it's now the 4th, and that it's not even Monday. I had being going to do this yesterday but something else came up that took me all day to sort out. I'm sure none of you mind anyway.

So, new year, new pile of books to review, new writing group to go to, new resolutions.

Let's start with the resolutions... but let's call them 'aims' instead.
1) I aim to post a blog every Mon/Wed/Fri (doing well on that so far).
2) I aim to comment on 3 blogs per day (I realise I may need to increase my blog reading to do this).
3) I aim to tweet at least 3 times a day (I should probably add 'and make them sensible' to this... but I wont).
4) I aim to post at least twice a day on Absolute Write
5) I aim to read and review 1 book per week.
6) I aim to post 1 video per week
7) I aim to have The List query ready by the end of the year.
8) I aim to get a paying job.
9) I aim to pass my University course this time around.
10) I aim to exercise 3 times a week

There, that should do it. Mainly I want to gain more writerly friends, which is why I've also joined a local writing group that started as an off-shoot from NaNoWriMo.

Tomorrow I'll post a bit about my new study and possibly a video tour of my house and on Friday I'll let you all know where things stand with The List and what's happening there. I'll also tell you a bit about a competition I'll be running soon.